Stray Dog Arts

Merry Christmas from our hobbit castle to yours!

The Bicicletta, Italian cocktails anyone?

Charlie Brown, we love you.

A cozy snowy Christmas Eve in our hobbit castle.

with love,
The Marianiello's

December 1

It feels amazing to me that today is the first day of December. The pond has frozen over in a fragile sheath of ice for the first time this year. It's been a process of freezing, starting at the edges, and has been going on for weeks. But this morning it has finally found its way across the entire surface.

I love the pond outside our house. It reminds me of Thoreau and a favorite quote:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

This is a quote that I have lived my life by. I came across it in high school and have made many decisions in its echo since.

It seems surreal to me that it's already been 4 months since we moved from the middle of a city to the almost-middle-of-nowhere. We moved at the end of July. In mid-August I got really sick with Rocky Mountain spotted fever (most definitely the strangest illness I've every acquired!). I had to drop everything for an entire month--the unpacking, painting, my work. Everything. That was difficult for me to do. I am pretty hard-driven and to be stopped in my tracks is not something I'm very good at. Not to mention, my schedule was already packed to the gills. Those lost weeks were not something I had to spare. From there it was a domino effect in trying to catch up. A big solo exhibition, many events, two major projects, and a handful of commissions we are taking our first step into December. Time is a tricky monkey. It's gone from July to December in one fell swoop. Blink! This must be how it happens, how we grow old. This is how one day we wake up and we're 90, remembering how young we felt when we were 35. All I can say is: dang. I hope I live to be a 1,000.

And so today I drink my coffee out of an especially fragile cup. Some days I prefer the thickness of hand-thrown ceramic. Other days, like today, I prefer the fragility of fine china. I think it says something about how I'm going to approach my day. Sometimes I put on my old jeans, a sweater and boots and dig into my day with a full heart. Other days I like to move more deliberately. I like paying attention to the delicate surface tension that stretches itself across the pond, a fine combination of stretched lace and glass. Who knows, my mid-afternoon I might switch to that heavy ceramic mug, but for now I am content with the subtle features of the morning.

There are so many things to share and catch up with you in the space of this blog. Photos, stories, events, paintings...they wait in files on my computer and in my head and on my camera. But, for now, here is just a little slice of one moment out of one morning. This is my life as an artist. And, this morning, it is a life lived deliberately.

Here's to a December filled with a life worth living.

Photo taken by my husband, Vinny, this past weekend. Sitting at my computer in the studio with my wolfie girl, Anu, contentedly asleep at my feet (if only she were in the photo, too!).


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