Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My weekend in Chapel Hill

This is for my Bowman Hall pals asking for pictures of how I spent my weekend. When I really started to think about what I did, there was a lot to share with y'all actually, if you can hang with my rambling.
We got there really late on Friday night and we just crashed. This is what I woke up to in my friend's studio.

I spent a lot of time playing with my camera app, drinking coffee that was delivered to me in bed no less, and lazing about with Bluey the cat. A girl could get used to this.

Couldn't you just have a field day in this room? So many crafty supplies and never ending inspiration. I was too lazy to do anything but take some pictures with my iphone and play with the editing while I enjoyed my quiet morning tucked in the woods.

I love the construction paper birds on the big sliding windows.

I did not actually schedule time for creativity though! I had things to do, appointments to meet, children to herd and basketball to watch.

Even though it was practically last minute, I was fortunate to be missed enough to warrant a Saturday morning massage from the goddess of body work and Yoga and the Mistress of Klecka Naturals, Edie Klecka.

So fun to catch up and the perfect way to start my day.

If you ever find yourself in Chapel Hill you will want to schedule a massage with Edie. She lives and works right on Franklin Street. . .

. . .and is amazing in a hundred different ways not to mention completely beautiful inside and out. This is a quilt hanging in her massage room. I am not exactly a tourist but I miss my peeps and this will remind me of Edie so click I went. I used to go to her once a week. I know, decadent! but you would to if you could. Trust me.

After that delight it was off to Vimala's for take out game food.

I'd been craving Vimala's Curry Blossom. At the bottom of the chalk board it says, "Vimala cooks, everybody eats! No one turned away."
What a radical notion to most and yet this restaurant started in her home kitchen many moons ago with weekly community dinners - her grass roots answer to feeding the hungry. The food is divine, local and organic. I encourage you to read more about Vimala here: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/giving-food-away-is-great-for-business-the-surprising-benefits-of-local-lending.html

Or watch the short documentary here:

What is that you say Lynne? Anything good that has ever happened started with a small group of committed women? Or some such. Vimala is a powerhouse of one.
She was my children's doctor's nanny when I first met her and she catered one of my best friend's weddings long, long ago and was having her community dinners even back then. She has a heart of gold and makes the best Indian food eva. I love that she has a restaurant now and that it is wildly celebrated. Power to the people.

She is an inspiration and always right there working away in the kitchen with a beautiful smile.

On this day it was take out as I said because when you are in Chapel Hill in March everything you do (or I do anyway) is geared towards making sure you are in front of the TV with your closest Tar Heel fanatics when the game starts- all the better when you show up with lunch from Vimala. We won! Go Heels! but I discovered I had a flat tire post game. After a little finagling thanks to Fran (my #1 Tar Heel buddy), Maggie and Juan, and a short walk in the woods with girlfriends and dogs, I was on my way back to homebase for dinner and a little relaxation and conversation by the fire with my friends, their family and my son.

Food, glorious food. This night the menu was turkey burgers with fresh tomatoes and all the other fixings, yummy salad and a beer or two for good measure.

Warm fire in the woodstove on a chilly night.

Quality time with cats - 8 to be exact.

It was hard for us womenfolk to pull ourselves away but there was (not quite) full moon drumming at the tipi. We were really late as usual but more friends I have not seen in too long were waiting and, much to my surprise, an unexpected treat was in store.

I should back up though, I think. Tipi? Drumming? We knew you were sort of a hippy but really?

About 4 or 5 years ago a friend (and my son's preschool teacher) bought a large, real Indian tipi and put it up in the woods (with the help of a lot of other amazing women) on her 10 acre property and http://www.wildwomynwisdom.org/ was born. It was originally intended and has continued to evolve as a sacred space for women to gather, celebrate, commune and share women's wisdom on the full moon (or sometimes the Saturday night following because we are all getting old and/or have things to do during the week that make it hard to stay up late and function at our best the next day when we actually do it on the full moon). I live 3 hours away now and about once a year is what I seem to manage.

This is Bridget and she is the amazing woman that started it all. Can you imagine being a little boy and having her as your first teacher? So fabulous, gorgeous and amazing. Love her, got to hug on her and chat and it wasn't long enough but it was better than nothing!

So this evening, in addition to all the drumming and singing and dancing, we were treated to the poet, Sheridan Bushnell. I will admit that when I go, which used to be a lot more than now, I always got there late (like this time) because I really don't want to bundle up my feelings in a little blurb for public consumption and share. Sometimes that is what happens before the party gets started. It is not my thing. I am there for the whiskey or wine (depending on my mood), the chocolate, the very occassional roll your own cigarette and the drumming. Everyone who matters knows this so I think they were somewhat amused by how blown away I was by this 70 year old poet that I'd never heard of before. I have to thank Bridget up there for making me come inside because I was happy out in the cold with the party girls and I would have missed something quite extraordinary if I'd not been coaxed to come in and warm up by the fire.

So this is Sheridan.

And this is just one of her poems that she read in the tipi on Saturday night.


Everyone speaks,
But no one listens.

As if we could hide the silence,
Anoint it in conversation,
Bottle it as holy water for the newly born,

To hide the pain of knowing
We are so much more.

Sheridan Bushnell

You can find a lot more about her here: http://www.untamedshow.com/index.htm

She is really, really cool! And I am not easily impressed. Here are some things she said which I loved hearing.

"It is okay to be happy." - kind of a duh sort of thing but it is always harder than I think to be really okay with it. I always think someone is going to pull the rug out from under me and that is not the best way to go through life.
"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." (she actually saw this painted on the wall of a shop in the NC Mtns.) I love that and I'd never heard it before.
She was an inspiring speaker and storyteller. It was great fun.
Next morning I woke up to brunch with more friends. This lady drove all the way from Columbia, SC to have breakfast with me. She was coming anyway but she woke up before the crack of dawn so we could see eachother and I totally heart her!

cavorting in the garden

Had to run get new tires - yuck, watch more basketball - we lost this time but I got to hold a baby for almost the whole game and he was so happy and my eldest said, "Babies love you mom because you have mom hands. You have the best hands in the whole world."

So that's what is in my viewfinder.