Made by Hand

letting go/going north!

Looks like all those self help books might just work! After years or trying, heartbreak and all but giving up on a future in academia I side stepped my ego, my fears and gave it one, two more tries and who would have imagined it would feel so natural and nearly (a relative term) effortless. The doors open and they say welcome, we are so happy you came. In less cryptic terms, I am moving to Bellingham, WA for a one year appointment as Visiting Professor of Sculpture and Foundations! As I share this news with friends it's amazing how many connections I already have there. Oh and my two oldest friends live in WA! SO thrilled.

 I did not take this gorgeous photo of the forest in Bellingham but I will be there in September!

I did not take this gorgeous photo of the forest in Bellingham but I will be there in September!

It is however bittersweet because I am so much enjoying my life unfolding here in South Santa Cruz County. I will miss the fields of kale, tractors at rush hour, alpacas and donkeys on Casserley Rd, the cacophony of animal sounds that gently wake me at night, coyotes, then roosters, followed by the dogs always willing to contribute and socialize. And my students and everyone at Cabrillo College Extension. My WOWW class and basketry class reminded me why I teach. The gratitude of the students, the joy of sharing simple skills to see them add to the knowledge with their own unique insight, I love it! Which is good to know as I move forward to a full time position with more responsibility that ever before. I am sooo ready!

 Western Washington University Campus near the waterfront!

Western Washington University Campus near the waterfront!

I've already secured a spacious new home, cottage really, just 10 minutes from campus by bike and 10 minutes from the water by foot, right next to Fairhaven, a especially quaint part of Bellingham with all kinds of great shops and cafes. Having room for all my tools and basketry material is a relief. And now I have an excuse to design and build some furniture! I wonder what grows there?

 Wow! Farmers Market in Fairhaven seems to ROCK!

Wow! Farmers Market in Fairhaven seems to ROCK!

It will be such a change to be able to walk to town, flush a toilet! Walk downstairs and make a cup of coffee! This is going to be quite an adventure. Still, I'm going to miss my Santa Cruz family, the doggies, the forest not to mention my Bay area family. Grateful for all the years of support, silliness and love. I must remember I am a nomad and I will be back, always.

Can't wait to start designing my new bed! And school, well that's the whole reason I'm going! Teaching Sculpture in Wood and Intro to 3D this quarter! Flying in August 2nd to meet with new colleagues and do a drive by on my new place. That's next week! Today... it's my B-day and I'm doing what I want, where I want, when I want. Through all this, the last 10 weeks of recovery, I've learned a lot about what I need to feel well, to feel giving and open to others, which is ultimately why I am here... to share and support the community around me... I think that's why teaching stayed with me, even when I gave up, felt as if I had nothing left to give. One has to give away a special gift, that which we've learned and honed like a jewel. It's not about pride, it's about nurturing and sharing those skills, stories that have filled up some of those holes in the heart, and even grown new parts, making a lumpy, little bumpy, misshapen heart, yet a bigger, broader more resilient heart.