HOLY, BEAUTIFUL MESS!

  “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~Mary Oliver Holy Mess

Living a life full of joy and purpose is a full time job! It requires constant attentiveness, mind-full-ness and TRUST. Trust that if you try your best to be honest and loving and kind, things will work out just fine. If you smell the roses, brew the fair trade coffee, fill the birdfeeders, donate your time to wonderful causes, love the important people in your life with all you heart, and spread your happiness widely, life can be so beautiful!

And yes , I know, I’m Susie Sunshine (it’s annoying to a lot of people!)–I can see the good in pretty much ANYTHING (or I make peace with it, try to learn from it, and later, sometimes, even discover that what I thought was a complete disaster, a huge mistake, or a catastrophic bungle, mysteriously brings something wonderful into my life!

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes.  Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams crayons

I like to use ALL the crayons, I love to make big, juicy messes, I’m happiest when the women who come to play at the Creative Cottage are laughing & sharing their remarkable stories together!

But don’t think my life is simple or perfect…I get flat tires, the laundry piles up, sometimes my dreams are dashed, occasionally people really hurt my feelings, and now & then (not often!) I have one of those days when I just want to stay in my jammies all day, watching old black & white Turner Movie Classics…

but MOSTLY, I’m utterly JAZZED by life, soooo grateful to be alive, amazingly blessed to be loved by the love of my life, so lucky to have so many fabulous friends who support the Creative Cottage, and incredibly grateful to have my sweet sister back in my life!

When my life gets messy–when the stress of too many commitments oppresses me, when the sad chaos of this crazy, dangerous world scares me breathless, when the curved bill thrasher pecks greedy holes in the first lovely little tomatoes

I choose to celebrate the sunrise…

good morning

admire the blooming peony,

peony

and embrace the imperfections, the chaos, the holy mess of this beautiful life! CreatiVity Has No Limits

I believe I am on the right path… writing poems, making art, mentoring the Girl With He ART, and loving (with my whole, wild, wide-open heart) my devoted mate, my amazing friends, my beautiful Creative Cottage, my crazy, wonderful, messy life! 

right path

Thank you for joining me on the path, for sharing the journey with me, for helping me up the steep parts, for sharing your lunch, for standing up on the high, windy peak, admiring the view with me!

I love you and I love the path that keeps me grateful for every moment I have to live this life and share it with you!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Art by the beautiful Kelly Rae Roberts

CAVORTING!

Cavort: to engage in joyful activity; to have lively, boisterous fun

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This what the Tucson Weekly said when they highlighted our storytelling event as one of their coveted “Pics of the Week”:

Local “mischief makers” Kaitlin Meadows and Penelope Starr will put on a literary performance full of inquiry and illumination. Antigone Books, 411 N. Fourth Ave., will host the event on Friday, April 24, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The theme of the night is balance. The performers will explore how to manage asking, receiving, and learning to love what you have and get in a whimsical style that involves surprises and audience involvement. Both Meadows and Starr have extensive experience as storytellers and should engage the community in a fun and thought-provoking performance.

K&P-1 And, YIKES! did we have fun! Thanks to all our fabulous peeps who showed up to share the evening of cavorting with us…

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I’m was thrilled how many old friends came to laugh along with us!

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This is our fourth year of sharing these storytelling ventures at Antigone…and I love my side-kick–

Penelope Starr K&P-15

is the amazing creator of Odyssey Storytelling . She was one of the first wonderfully creative souls I met when I arrived in Tucson a dozen years ago–and before I knew what was happening, she had me performing as an Odyssey storyteller…it’s been a crazy, wonderful ride since then!

Every year we find a way to take our dog & pony show (more like a Thelma & Louise movie actually!) to Antigone.

Have I raved about Antigone in these posts lately?…Antigone is one of only a handful of independent bookstores left in America–woman owned, a landmark off Tucson’s famous Fourth Avenue, and the most magical place to find the books, periodicals, journals, cards, and just plain “cool stuff” in Tucson.

I LOVE their kids section and the “Staff Picks” are always engaging and inspiring. Any book you hear about on NPR (or anywhere else) they’ll order for you. And if they don’t have it, they are gracious enough to send folks right down the street to my OTHER favorite bookstore, The Book Stop, also woman owned and in business for 48 years–AGAINST ALL THE ODDS!

you can do this

PLEASE support these fabulous Tucson bookstores–please don’t buy all your books from Amazon or other syndicates! These are our LOCAL businesses–with real,  hardworking, LOCAL employees who care–who live and breathe books–and who encourage local characters like Penelope and I to speak freely and share joyously.

Here is Antigone’s Debbie Cross introducing us…(thanks Debbie!)

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We had a fabulous time telling our stories! Thanks to those of you who joined us…and thanks for supporting Antigone (and The Book Stop)…

CAVORT every danged chance you get! It’s soooo much fun!

P.S. May Cottage Class schedules are out–click on the tab at the top of the page…I’m especially proud to share my first evening series–check it out!

Happy Cavorting!

Love From Your Mistress of Merriment,

Kaitlin

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

My Weekend With Gail Rieke

purpose

          “We wear wild like a badge over our hearts. We do community like it’s a blanket wrapping us up. We create and create and create some more. We love and yell and muse and eat chocolate. We hold space like it includes the moon and the stars which of course it does. We are linked with a red thread blazing new trails and connecting us to old ones. We are addicted to insanely outrageous cowgirl boots. We dance with abandon, sparkles, and huge laughter. We are Cosmic and amazing and uniquely US.”

From the Cosmic Cowgirl Anthem by Shiloh Sophia

The last couple of weeks have been soooo busy! So much to do in the garden and at The Cottage and at home. The Girlz With HeART program is growing and thriving and taking every spare moment around the edges.

Don’t get me wrong–I love all the juiciness and joy of these activities but, occasionally, I do love to just treat myself to some delicious nourishment from other sources!

Last week I was delighted to participate in a fabulous workshop with Gail Rieke sponsored by PaperWorks: The Sonoran Collective of Book and Paper Arts.

gail 4

What a generous, spirited, and encouraging artist she is! Check out her website here.

The theme of the workshop was “The Artist As Traveler” and we were encouraged to bring our personal travel ephemera to create a unique travel memento. I had thought I might do something about my travels hither and yon over the years…but, inspired by this quote by Marcel Proust,

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,”

I decided to do something “outside the box” (which, as you might suspect, is sort of my artistic signature!)…

though it DID turn out to be all about what was inside the box…

Let me explain…

sister box

This is an old wooden art box I’ve had around for years–much loved but empty and on the shelf, gathering dust–waaaa laaaaa, I thought, the perfect “vessel” for a little memento I titled “The Art of Sisterhood” about my recent visit to my sister’s farm up in the beautiful California Sierra’s, Down Home Handspun Fibers.

I filled it with little treasures I’d gathered on my visit–“dingle-bobs” from the liquid amber tree, moss and ferns and bits of my sister’s beautiful fibers…a broken toy from her fairy garden, rocks, pods, bark, wildflowers, and 100_4597 just plain “magical stuff” because my sister and I are both in love with such simple things.

“…before you can capture the unmeasurable, you must first learn to notice it…”

Hannah Hinchmann in A Trail Through Leaves

And then I fashioned two books to tuck in behind the built in palette..

.art box inside

Kim's book

The books were hand made and painted and filled with photos & journaling and quotes about sisterhood…embarkKim book 2

and they spilled over with the pure joy that reconnecting with my sister has brought me!

100_4609It was such a wonderful workshop! We had so much fun and learned so much from Gail (and about ourselves as artists in the process!)

gail class picture

I came away with a new understanding:

“This is a great moment, when you see however distant the goal of our wandering, the thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes part of the tangible world.” Freya Stark

do the impossible

So whatever your dream, whatever your secret longing, whatever journey your heart urgently implores you to take, whatever the odds against you seem–LEAP! Go for it! Pull on your cosmic cowgirl boots and GO!!!!

I’m soooo happy I did!

Much love to you and many happy travels,

from your friend Kaitlin

Mistress of Merriment

P. S. The bone on top of the box says, ” Bone & Blood Sisters, Heart & Soul Love”

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

A CIRCLE OF LOVE

 

kait & kim at yosemite 2“It’s hard to be responsible, adult and sensible all the time.  How good it is to have a sister whose heart is as young as your own!”  Pam Brown

Just back from a wonder-full, amazing, soul-quenching, heart-filling week with my little sister in beautiful, spring green North Fork, California!

I’ve been talking about it, dreaming about it, and sharing my excitement about it for months. And it was EVERYTHING AND MORE that I dreamed.

Kim is an amazing artist, rancher, gardener, mother, spinner, goat keeper, weaver, and grandma. Check out her fabulous website by clicking here: DownhomeHandspunFibers 

We had an absolute blast together!!! Though it’s been months since we were last together, we started in chattering & laughingat Pismos  the very moment we saw each other again!

“Is solace anywhere more comforting than in the arms of a sister?” Alice Walker

kim & kait at gretch's 1Her “Seldom Seen Ranch” is so green and lush during the Spring–tall pines and huge oaks and big meadows full of wildflowers!kim's front yard  AND then there is the pure joy of her tribe of goats–with oodles of new “kids” to giggle over!baby wonderlandgoat play ranchbabies at playKim is such an amazing person and sooo inspiring in a million ways!  She raises Angora and Pygora goats for their fleece which she hand dyes with the flowers and herbs that she grows in her amazing gardens! Kim's hollyhocksKim's dye flowersIt’s a huge undertaking and a daily practice of love! 

Kim and her husband are up at the crack of dawn to feed and water and tend the ranch…They are dedicated to their “back to the land” life in a very rural setting, at the end of a long dirt road that clings to the side of a mountain, in a beautiful valley that borders the San Joaquin River.

Mom 2Shearing to carding, tools of the tradespinning to dyeing, Kim commits herself to  every step necessary create her beautiful yarns  (Go to her website and buy some this instant!!!!)kim's yarnand weaving them into amazing works of art.kim's loom I’m so impressed and awed by her vision for her cottage industry

–“Let Our Circle of Love Keep You Warm“–is her motto and she lives it beautifully every day!yum!We had such fun during my visit! We had a scrumptious lunch with her daughter Gretchen at her beautiful home one day…kim and gretchWe played at the river with her son Jed and his children Kiva & Esha on a lovely Saturday picnic…playing at the river and wandered around the amazing YosemiteYosemite Falls with her daughter Michelle (and her boyfriend Jason) family at yosemiteand shared another fabulous picnic on Sunday!Bridal Veil Falls Mostly, we talked and laughed and cried and shared stories of our lives!

There can be no situation in life
in which the conversation of my dear sister
will not administer some comfort to me.
-Mary Montagu

We went kayaking… creek roarand, in her light-filled studio, kim's studiosewed some new curtains for the cutest little trailer Kim fixed up as my guest suite–we named it the Butterfly Bungalow because she filled two water-troughs with blooming flowers outside the door for me!Butterfly Bungalow I slept so soundly and so full of dreams! Her meals were incredible feasts of simple handmade food and her thoughtfulness made every moment such pure pleasure!

“To have a loving relationship with a sister is not simply to have a buddy or a confident —it is to have a soulmate for life.”  Victoria Secunda

One morning I got up early to surprise her by starting a little mural outside her fiber shed. This is the “before” with my chalk drawings on the wallfibershed before and  my “after” with the painting started. fibershed afterMy hope is that everyone who comes to visit will add flowers to the mural!

I adore my little sister Kim…I am in awe of her hard work, her dedication, her dreams, and her creativity. I feel so blessed to have her (and her family!) in my life!

“A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” -Isadora James

Kim & baby goat

(P. S. I’m already secretly planning to build a little shack out back to live in one day!)little cabin

Please remember to cherish the people you love in your life, find ways to spend more time with them, don’t let all the hectic, busy days of your life keep you apart!

touchStay in touch–call, write, visit!! Life is too short–capture the joy!

Be inspired by two sisters who lost track of each other for a quarter of a century and the then found each other again and will never, ever, ever be separated again!!!!!kim & kait at yosemite 2

 

“Bless you, my darling, and remember you are always in the heart-
oh tucked so close there is no chance of escape-
of your sister.”
-Katherine Mansfield

I love you Kim and can’t wait to be with you again!

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.