Friday, November 28, 2014


Have you ever found yourself elbows deep in conversation with a complete stranger just seconds after meeting him or her?  A deep convo about spirituality, ownership of your truth and creativity, the bigger purpose of our lives, how certain landscapes make you feel immediately grounded and at peace?   I had one of those conversations last week at a small craft fair with an artist named Miani Carnevale.  She sells what everyone else would call jewelry.  She, however, refers to them as prayers.  "They call to people.  When they pick one up, they have to have it because it's meant to be theirs.  This isn't jewelry.  It takes me weeks to make these because I put prayers into the process.  Whomever needs them, finds them and has to have them."  Her prayers were made of natural materials, mostly.  Nuts, stones, glass, seeds, etc. strung on Irish linen cord.  Standing in front of her display - rocks, tree branches, feathers, natural fibers all surrounding and supporting the pieces - almost felt like coming upon debris in the desert that had somehow strung itself together to adorn and be worn.  Instant appreciation and a sense of natural connection is what I felt. 

We then talked about living in the west.  She described it as "a place so open and vast that one has to be honest and truthful.  There's just not room for anything else."  I love that.  I understand that.  I know what she says is true.  And boy do I miss those humungous spaces.  Where you drive for hours and are still looking at the same landmark or landscape or mountain range because it's just that open, a huge part of an even larger view.  I felt so relieved and relaxed and calm while talking to her.  I kept thinking that she gets it.  She verbalized what I was trying to say and what I've been feeling ever since we left the west.  I know in my soul that I simply need wide open spaces.  Big sky.  The ability to see for miles and miles and miles.  There is something incredibly freeing to be able to lock your eyes onto a monumental piece of geography in the distance and to move toward it, on a highway, at 70 miles an hour and have it STILL take you a few hours of driving to get close to it.  Or to stand on a mountain with a 360 degree view where you can't hear the sound of anything but wind, you're eye level with soaring raptors riding thermals and you can see changing weather en route that won't actually arrive for an hour or more.

I didn't buy one of her prayers although I was drawn specifically to two of them.  I may take a basket making class with her.  After all of the amazing people I've met on this planet, I'm still overwhelmed when I meet someone with whom I feel a lightening-quick bond.  Even if it lasts for only the length of one conversation, the effect can last for much longer in my thoughts.  I feel people like that have something to teach me.  Perhaps our meeting was meant to remind me of my love for the west and southwest, that my connection to that type of terrain lies deep within me and has nurtured me in the past.  I ought to pay attention to those memories and focus on ways to make new ones.

If you're interested in her art (she paints as well), you can view some pieces along with her bio and artist statement here.

If you'd like to read a quick article about her, you can do so here.
                                    *                   *                   *                 *

We had our first NY winter storm, starting on Wednesday and leaning into Thursday.  We lost power for almost twenty-four hours which hampered our Thanksgiving cooking, but we made do.  So glad we brought our sleeping bags, camp stove & fuel, mess kits and head lamps with us as they all came in handy.  Here are some pics.  Snow just makes everything more beautiful, doesn't it?

Getting ready to make tea with the camp stove while Penny admired the snow.  It might be time to put the clothespins away until spring!

I love how hushed it feels after a fresh snow fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment