Thursday, 17 September 2015

Wild Goddesses and Gods


IT'S AN AEON AND A MINUTE since I stood on that shore looking out over the then unknown seas of motherhood which were to wash over me just a few days after this photo was taken. And now my baby boy, deepest joy of my heart, is nearly 7 months old! Words feel strange on my tongue and under my fingers, it will take me a while yet to find good ones to weave around this new story of motherhood in all its depths, and the Rima that writes this now is a different one from the young woman looking out to sea there. But I am starting to feel a creative spring as the autumn falls on us in Dartmoor, and I am wondering how I might continue working as an artist whilst mothering. I feel all of you out there wondering at our news too, though spending time near a computer has proved almost impossible for me so far, so different are the ways of being required to be with my child and with a laptop! 
Much has been happening in our life and work since I was last here. Since the momentous Becoming-Three which happened at the end of February when snows were still falling, we've moved through spring and summer and we've left house life behind, selling many of our belongings in a rainy but enjoyable yard sale, and we've moved into a 16 foot yurt near to where the truck build is happening. I have work in three exhibitions, Hannah Willow & Friends at Obsidian Art in Buckinghamshire, a wondrous new gallery in Portland, Oregon: The Fernie Brae, and a winter show yet to come in our local Green Hill Arts Gallery in Moretonhampstead, Devon. All of this feels quite amazing given that I've hardly made any art all year! We have been out with my red handcart - a lovely creation made by our friend Eric from old doors and bicycle wheels from a drawing I gave him - selling my work on the streets of Totnes.
 

The truck build continues in its wonderful slow and majestic way, we hope to have an update on its progress soon over at Hedgespoken. During all the welding and decision-making and wood-planing and painting and hammering, a filmmaker from Germany, Marie Elisa Scheidt, has been accompanying our journey for a final piece for her studies. We are one of three protagonists in her documentary, which has a working title of Our Wildest Dreams, and which you can see glimpses of here. These two pictures below, taken earlier in the year, when both babe and truck-home were not quite so grown, are by her.
These days we are living in a circular space amid a copse of trees. We wake to hazel nuts being thrown down on our roof by squirrels and nuthatches, and fall asleep to owls, hooing close by our canvas walls.
Once more we're living a life where water and wood must be carried, and washing up must be done by lamplight. It is wonderful beyond words to be living with the leaves again, though different and harder with a baby, it feels so much lighter and righter than the house did. The view from our door looks like this:





But there is one thing I have managed to create with my hands since having a baby, and of this I am immensely proud. When Tom and I first met, we planned to make a book together; and five years later, having first created an even more incredible being together, we've finally made our first book - a small and beautiful chapbook, litho-printed on recycled paper by a workers' coop - this is Sometimes A Wild God, Tom's widely-loved poem, illustrated with six little ink drawings by me, which I did at night when little one was finally sleeping, though I wanted so much to be sleeping too... it was hard, and I felt very out of practice, but the constraints have forced a new kind of work out of me, and I think this is an interesting beginning. I hope you'll all go and have a look, you can order one for £7.50 from anywhere in the world at the Hedgespoken Shop. We are really proud of this, and excited that it heralds for us a new chapter of book making. But we need you all to support this endeavour by buying copies, spreading the word for us, and asking for it in your local bookshop or library.







Over the last couple of years, some of you have asked about buying the original Weed Wife painting, which I created in oils on burr oak in 2013. Up till now, it hasn't been for sale, I have felt it a deeply special painting and have been unsure how to put a price on it. However, we're now at a crucial point with our truck build, and struggling to make ends meet now that my income has all but disappeared. So, I am considering for the first time selling this painting if the right person comes along and offers me a sum I feel I could exchange it for. If you feel that might be you, please get in touch and let me know how much you might be willing to pay for it, and we can take it from there. I'd love for it to end up in some Herbal library or Wilderness school or somesuch, but perhaps you know of a place and a person who should have it... 


There is so very much to tell you, I don't know where to begin, and finding the right thread of story and secret is hard. I don't want to put pictures of my boy all over the internet, nor write his name, so these are just glimpses of back of head and little feet. But I do want to share some of my experiences as I go along, and hear from those of you amazing women who have gone before me, mothering and making art, mothering and living on the edges of things. I have a new-found awe for all women who do this most sacred of tasks. From the deep love and profound tiredness I salute you!





35 comments:

abetterjulie said...

Blessings to you and your beautiful family, Rima! I'm so excited for the two of you. I can't wait to get my copy of the book; I ordered it the first day it became available. It's great to hear from you here again, but as a mother of two, I know how motherhood changes and redirects our words and our creative flow. Thank you for this post and the glimpses of your new life. The cart is great! I will be sure to share my enjoyment of the book on my blog to pass along the word.

Natasha Hill said...

Congratulations on your new baby, that last photo of you both is so sweet. It looks like there are lots of exciting things happening for you at the moment and seeing the book is so cool too, as soon as I can I will definitely be buying one! I also love the view from your front door. Living in that place must be amazing. - Tasha

Maria said...

Que hermoso es tu mundo Rima...tan inspirador! I wish I could find that beautiful book here in Argentina...Te envio un abrazo a ti y tu familia. María.- :O)

Karan said...

Brightest blessings to you and your little family! May autumn be kind to you and bring you rich harvest to fulfill your plans. And may your wonderful son grow up to have strong roots and strong wings as well.

Jess said...

Thankyou for a lovely blogpost! I love the photos taken with your precious little one. Motherhood has taken up most of my life but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world. I enjoyed having my babies and treasure every memory, it goes past so quickly! Congratulations on producing the book together. I'm sure it will forever feel linked with this special time of your life. :)
Jess xx

Lucy @ DreamingAloud said...

Hi Rima,

Oh I remember those early days of mamaing and trying to find the time and space to create. Have you read my book The Rainbow Way: cultivating creativity in the midst of motherhood? It's just 77p on Kindle till the end of September... http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rainbow-Way-Cultivating-Creativity-Motherhood-ebook/dp/B00GU1F7FG/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1441623342&sr=8-1

Lunar Hine said...

It is a sweet thing to be with you here again; to love your boy and wait for your truck-home and re-read your first together-book alongside you.
All love to you and yours
x

sarah said...

Thank you for this post, it was so lovely to hear from you and see the deep peace in your photographs. I wish many blessings to your family.

kat said...

Welcome back Rima, how wonderful to be cardling a new being, made by the two of you. Hope life is good and that the winter is kind to you all three. Will order your lovely book and look forwrad to its arrival :-)

Heather said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your baby son. It is good to hear from you again. I hope your exhibitions, the book and The Weed Wife will bring in a good income for you and that you get the truck build completed before long. I love your purpose built hand cart - it is perfect for the task.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rima. What a beautiful and lovely Work you do. I love to read about everything you write, and find it all very special and admirering. You are a brave and dear woman, and I send you and your little family many thoughts. Thank you. Eva, Denmark

Angela DeMatteo said...

Rima! Hello again! There's magic in that fumbling out of the woods of early babyhood. It's still fresh in my mind with a little two year old boy by my side. I look forward to reading your thoughts on motherhood and creativity. Many moons before I became pregnant I used to write and perform and sit and listen to music and read for endless hours. How will I ever get back even a piece of that? I'm amazed at your creation of the book with your love. I can't wait to hold a copy in my hands. Sending you blessings and love. Angela

Teresa Kasner said...

Hello Rima.. from Corbett, Oregon. How nice that you will have works in the gallery in Portland, Oregon. I will try to visit. Take heart, I continued with my art through the production of one girl and two boys. It will work itself out. You just don't give up your creativity and will find ways to give your time to it between necessary things such as feeding and clothing your child. :-) ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

Nancy said...

It's so good to hear from you and your happy life. I have friends who made yurts (I have made one as well)and I have lived in one (a few weeks at a time) and really found it a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

Your life is a never-ending source of enjoyment for me to read about especially when ill health has curtailed my adventurous spirits. I hope one day to do a little more.

Bright blessings!

Nancy

Rain said...

Dear Rima,

It is with pure delight and tear-filled eyes I read your post. How I've missed hearing your wise words and catching glimpses of your inspired life!

My heart - a mother of a son's heart - is so full for you and this beautiful life you are creating (and now sharing with your wee one).

This summer, I donned a headscarf - me! at 45 years old! - and I toasted to you with gratitude for all I have learned from you.

And now, though I've been a mother for nearly 9 years now, I stand poised to learn much more.

Eagerly awaiting your next missive,

Rain

P.S. I live not far from Portland, Oregon. Should time permit, I look forward to a pilgrimmage to The Fernie Brae. And, a copy of Sometimes a Wild God will be ordered straight away!!

Mo said...

What a beautiful post Rima: congratulations on your son, and blessings for your adventure as a family. I was actually going to recommend Lucy Pearce's writing. I don't really "work" creatively, but find a lot of nourishment in writing and in weaving creative projects into my life. Lucy's words have given me a lot of reassurance and wisdom, particularly during the first year or so of motherhood when I was finding my feet with the transition of this huge life change. I also find Amanda Blake Soule an inspiring, creative Mama who I've learned a lot from (particularly from her books). And, as my son's grown further from those baby days, my hands and my time have been freed up a little more by him being able to have longer periods out and about with my husband. Best wishes for all you are creating and nurturing. Mo :)

Rima Staines said...

Thanks so much everyone - it's really heartening to feel so welcomed back here when it's such a struggle to get near the computer at all. I hope my updates will be a little more frequent now...!
Maria - we will send the book to Argentina, or anywhere in the world!
with love to you all from Dartmoor
Rima

Suzy Mae said...

Sending love and light to you and your beautiful little family. The view from your yurt is stunning. How magical for your little one to be cocooned in Ieaves and trees and hear the sound of water and birdsong when he wakes and as he sleeps. I can imagine such a way of life has it's struggles too but the feeling of lightness, freedom and connection to the earth must be an amazing experience. I'm so glad you have been able to carve out some time to make your art. As your boy grows it will become so much easier to work. There are many seasons in life and early motherhood is definite the most precious one of all :) x

gz said...

You both create many beautiful things together.
Blessings and Good Fortune to you and yours xx

Bedford Gypsy said...

Welcome back Rima, thank you for taking the time to write a blog, it's so lovely to see how you three are doing and how the lorry has started to take shape. Have a special birthday tomorrow and sending love to all three xx

Charlotte said...

Lovely to have a window on your world again, however brief. The arrival of a little person into the family brew definitely causes adjustments in so many ways, some of which we anticipate and others are joyfully unexpected. The one major impact both my boys had was on the direction of my creative energies. Finding a balance is the key, both for you and for him. I had to remind myself that my baby was not my belonging and that he would grow to share or leave my passions as they suited him.
I know that my partner made things easier for me; he took his one on one time in a way that benefited my returning energies. All the very best to you all x

Red said...

To have created a book in the first months of a new baby is quite an achievement! And it's beautiful. I have a copy here.
Go easy... enjoy this precious time, and allow space for you-as-a-creative-mama to emerge.
I too live in a Shed, in the woods, with my 3 and 6 year old daughters, and long for more time for my deepest love... Drawing... In silence and solitude! But my creativity has mutated and also can't help but emerge in so many new ways I could never have imagined. Inspired by your Hedgespoken project, we have built our mobile woodland school classroom!
And a voice reassures me - my time of solitude and silence will come again, and all too soon. And what richness I will bring to my art then, having birthed and lived in the thick mucky tendrils of life inbetween.
Love to you xxx

Quinn said...

Rima, I think of you now and then and hope you are well, and now I am so happy to hear that you and yours are very well indeed. Thank you for stretching your word-choosing muscles a bit and writing to your many friends out here in Elsewhere. Best wishes for your ongoing endeavors and new adventures!

Pilar Teishin said...

i'd found your blog when my wee boy was just 7 months old, and now, 8 years later, i rejoice in your wee 7 month old :) what a fine, fine circle.

mel said...

so good to hear from you again.

lots of wise mama words already in the comments...but the common thread is that our creativity mutates and transforms with the blessing of motherhood. it's not without trial and sometimes frustration [no good comes from trying to sugar-coat that!] -- but in the end, my life and my work [when i manage it!] is all the richer for my two beautiful children.

bless you one thousand times over for your choice to preserve the Quiet for your baby boy -- oh, what a delight! [my kids pre-date the frenzy of social media etc.....i'm pretty sure we didn't even have a computer when my daughter was born, lo these 12 years ago! ]

now i'm off to order my book....xo

Amy said...

Much love for all the abundance in your life, and gratitude that you choose to share it with us!

cristina said...

It's not easy for us new mothers and artists... With one foot I keep the cradle moving while drawing or writing - and when little one and the even smaller one are awake there is almost no room left for artmaking. But there is light at the end of the tunnel when they are old enough to hold a pencil or a brush themselves. It creates a new set of problems (like "improving" my drawings), but gives you a little bit more time. Still, it is hard, harder then I thought before having my children, but also way more beautiful. They are a distraction, they keep me from work when my fingers itch with longing for paper and pencil - but they are also an inspiration. And quite lovable ;-)

I'm impatient for your little book to come... The mail here is known for making a lot of extended coffeebreakes on every farm between Reykjavík and our place, so I guess I have to wait some days longer.

All the best, dear Rima, from the not so very icy land!

Meg said...

Your words rang so true to me. I have a seventeen month old and another little one on the way, and I'm a writer who struggles to find time to write. My biggest advice is to be kind to yourself, allow days to simply marvel in motherhood and others to simply rest, knowing always that your art is never far. Also, naps are so important! We worked hard to get our little guy on a schedule so that I would have a decent chunk of time to work on my writing. Best of luck to you! (I was so happy to see a new post!)

Linda Sue said...

yes, best thing ever, biggest love ever, this planet is simply not good enough nor the heart large enough. Best wishes! and LOVE

Angela Bell said...

All the very best to you and your lovely family !

nikki said...

Wow wow WOW, so many congratulations and well wishes! The best of the best of luck!

carorose said...

Dear Rima, welcome back. I have so missed your blog posts but rejoyce with you at the birth of your child.

As an older woman, I'm 70, let me say that those precious years with your babe rush past and don't come back. When older women told me that would be the best tme of my life I thought they were mad. I was tired all the time, my child had colic even though I breast fed all my children and I couldn't get near my creative work at all. In the end I decided to just take each day as it came. Looking back I did do a lot of creative work but my main focus was my children and they actually fed my creativity. I am so glad that they were my focus. There were times when with my husband and our family lived on the edge and I chaffed about the amount of tme taken from my work but I have 3 children who watched everything we both did as parents and grew up finding and following their own creative paths and are good human beings. Now I am a grand mother and the cycle continues.
God bless you all.

Jeri Landers said...

Rima, Delighted to see that the babe is born and well on his way to a life of discovery with splendid artist parents.I so relish and treasure the days when my boys were just little ones. I continued with my art all through their babyhood and childhood. Memories of a baby in basket on a warm summer day in my booth at a country fair, little boys making their own "art" to sell along with mine, and they, helping me set up booths and bag merchandise. We traveled from one coast to the other from the time they were just wee tots.It was really quite wonderful, as I am sure you are discovering. There is nothing to compare with motherhood. So happy for you and your new family.

Nada said...

All the very best to you and your lovely family ! Blessings.

la- rêverie said...

Wonderful your blog. Many Blessings to you and your family.