feeling so much lighter!

Posted: August 25, 2021 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

We have lived here in our old lady of a house for nearly 13 years. A lot of stuff has gathered in that time as well as dust so I am busily cleaning and clearing everything down to the smallest scrap of cloth, sorting the buttons & beads, feathers & sticks, stones & bones, books & journals, old sketches and drawings, artworks and tools etc etc and feeling so much lighter!

will get started on the dining room next as I have to wait til the sun comes up to vacuum this corner where I type on the computer and keep the business records, it’s already sorted as our two 11 year old printers died when I was preparing the tax earlier this month.

We are still in lockdown here in Sydney but allowed to go for walks within 5 kilometres of home, Sydney Park wetlands is keeping us almost sane

and garden maintenance is deemed an essential service

we miss seeing our friends and Rod is looking forward to going for a beer at the local pub, the Covid variant D restrictions will start being lifted when 70-80% of the population are vaccinated but we have a long way to go!

  1. jude says:

    Cleaning can be like travelling…

  2. Martine Bos says:

    Cleaning…………..best thing to do during lockdown,

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Martine))) it’s very satisfying knowing where everything is and quite hard work, using muscles I don’t usually use (says a lot for my housekeeping!) the aim is to be finished by September 1st and then start making some new work for Artsite’s Collector’s Choice xmas show!

      • Martine Bos says:

        Mo, new work ………….. now thats interesting……

        • Mo Crow says:

          Beth Brennan who stitched the Tree of Life pennant for the dream sent me two pairs of the finest leather ladies gloves one black the other old ivory white a few years ago, they have been waiting patiently for me to dream them into something new. I am going to deconstruct them to cut stars out of the pairs then reconstruct them with the white stars stitched into the black pair and the black stars stitched into the white pair. It will be challenging but if I can pull it off they will be beautiful and big enough for the much bigger women’s hands of today. I want to continue the cut work that I explored in ‘Reaching or the Stars’ & try to push it further with inlaying the cut out stars, deconstructing and cutting through the black and white leather at the same time should work then reconstructing with buttonhole lace might make them big enough to wear, exhibiting them would be like a Cinderella fairy tale. Heather of True Stitches stunningly stitched silk on felt work in ‘Reciprocity’ and ‘oneintotwotwointoone’ gave me the spark to make them happen & the house cleaning is giving me time to think about how to actually do it!

      • Lana says:

        I’ve just built a new drawing/sewing room and tidied up my art/craft area in my shed, so I know that cathartic feeling of cleaning and decluttering.

        • Mo Crow says:

          (((Lana))) A new studio is so exciting x fingers this deepest clean I have done since 2002 will somehow get us up to the mountains in the New Year! This evening I have spent a couple of hours sorting all the old cards but it’s taking a long time as I keep wandering off with all the memories of old friends…

  3. Marti says:

    Well done Mo, I’m sure that Julie is giving you a thumbs up for all of your sorting, organizing, cleaning, etc. Everything that you can do now, is just that much closer to the big move to the Blue Mountains and that also has to feel lighter and very good. A lovely bonus to all of this hard work is that it is a bit like time travel; as you handle objects, the when, where, why questions pop up and trips down memory lane spring forth…

    What a stellar project you have awaiting you – stars and gloves and finger MAGIC !

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Marti))) yesterday marked a year since Julie’s sister in law Sue said in her eulogy at the funeral, “So if you look up into the night sky and see the stars rearranged into neat rows, take your time to listen to the sound, “swish, swish” as a slim spirit scrubs the milky way clean” Julie kept a purrfect house and garden, her spirit is helping me sort this place out from up there with the stars for sure! When I received Artsite’s call on Sunday for new work that has never been shown in a gallery or on social media I was a bit bummed out as I was thinking of showing the River of Moons but it’s for the best really as submissions for the Libris Artist Book Awards open in November & Julie would love to see it win!
      The dream of the mountains is still happening but we are not allowed to even visit to go for a bushwalk with the ongoing lockdown restrictions. It snowed at our friend Cathy’s place yesterday (in Mount Victoria, the next station out from Blackheath), she moved up there in June and now that Old Man Crow is walking totally pain free and as easy and fast as I can it will be a dream come true!

  4. Pete Webb says:

    thank goodness for a country with its values in the right place; Gardening an essential service. Gardeners in most countries are not paid at all well. World value of beauty and aesthetics, not to mention Natural landscapes still has a long way to go. Ignorance is more abundant than ‘ weeds ‘.
    I bet in your spring cleaning your personal memory bank was called into focus many times. Love and attraction are really incredible links to fantasy and creativity. Without allowing ourselves to gather things from time to time, our inner child can go begging for inspiration and imagination. Just as well your vacuum cleaner works. Did it suck up anything by mistake ???

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Pete))) I wanted to frame the Cosmic Seedling I did for your book for the xmas show but as it’s been seen here on this blog, was last year’s xmas card and published over there in your book it’s out of the question as well. So many challenges with looking back over all the work of more than half a lifetime, the Flighty Nature of Chance is a recurring theme which pops up from time to time, some of the botanical illustrations are really quite good but threw a lot out along with all the working sketches & research for the Zodiac series, An Illuminated Book of Cats and The illustrated lyrics of Old Man Crow. I am the only person who would want to try to decipher those rough scribbles! I’m at the stage of the game where what is left behind should not be an embarrassment, have to figure out what to do with all the old journals & sketch books… thinking of using them page by page for fire starters when we move to the mountains.
      PS don’t think I heard anything go down the vacuum tube except a few pins & really don’t want to try to look, the amount of dust was outrageous!

    • tovke says:

      You wrote…almost sane…
      You cleaning sounds less sane 🧐

      • Mo Crow says:

        (((Yvette))) too true, Old Man Crow is wisely staying out of the way as I have turned into a whirling dervish like the Tasmanian Devil in the old Bugs Bunny cartoons from when we were kids!

  5. grace says:

    so much, just ahead, and i love the words about a slim spirit scrubbing….i will listen
    for that tonight

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Grace))) Sue’s words were the inspiration for all the moon ladders in the River of Moons! The computer corner is dusted and more stuff tossed out… how many old telephone books do I really need for squashing glued pages flat while they dry ? & thank goodness we only need to keep 7 years of paper records for the tax man. Next up is sorting all the old xmas cards into one small(ish) box & making some sort of sense of those steel shelves in the dining room, then get out in the garden shed to store all the stuff piling up for recycling when Reverse Garbage & the local tip finally reopen when the lockdown eases, hopefully before xmas!

  6. Faith says:

    You’re more ambitious and perseverant than I about cleaning. I last only a few days when it needs a few weeks. And how great that gardening is considered an essential service! The garden pictured above is lovely.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Faith))) We are very bad housekeepers, usually spend about 1/2 an hour a fortnight doing a rudimentary tidy up whilst Old Man Crow does a quick vac. The amount of dust that has gathered here in the neglected corners that haven’t seen the light of day for nearly 13 years was truly astounding, the house is very relieved & so are we! We look after 15 inner city gardens for lovely people that we have been working for for nearly 30 years, we’ve grown old together. We are nearly ready to retire at 66 & 74 years young(ish), cleaning the house in the hope that we will move to the Blue Mountains one day in the not too faraway!

  7. Nancy says:

    Mo~ Oh my. I have so many thoughts here. I completely understand this process! I’m glad at this point your deadline is only self-imposed, giving you the time you need to clean and process. My sister has the 3 pairs of vintage gloves from my mom. She will probably donate them to the high school her girls went to, to the theater department. Another way to bring them to life, but I still have mixed feelings about that. I could sit in your place for Days, in that ‘rolly’ chair or on the couch…looking and reading every book title and asking you questions regarding the stories of your stuff. Your doorway looks like mouse ears (you can tell who I work for! haha) and the clothesline of masks, such a comment on the times. I’m glad your country is smart and locks down (Heard New Zealand doing this in a strict way too)…and glad you are ‘essential service’ worker – so you can get out and enjoy the air and these beautiful garden spaces. I thought of you today while photographing a plant I don’t know the name of! Sue’s words were indeed beautiful and inspirational May Julie’s memory be a blessing. I’m so glad OMC is feeling better! And glad you have wonderful inspirations for art and for cleaning (going to the Blue Mountains) I could comment on 100 more things here, as this post is so full and rich, but I’ll leave it here and just add a farewell for Charlie Watts today. xo

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Nancy))) just found this comment in the trash after Beth alerted me her comments today weren’t getting through, the gremlins in the machine!

  8. Liz A says:

    I’m pretty good at “wet cleaning” windows, kitchen and baths, but couldn’t care less about dusting and vacuuming (that awful noise … ugh) thankfully, Don is all about “dry cleaning”

    love that you are documenting the old lady in pictures, something to look back on when you head for the hills … but please, oh please don’t use your sketchbooks for firestarters … if nothing else, surely they would be wonderful collage fodder

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Liz))) it’s just on midnight, the steel shelves are sorted in the dining room, celebrating with a cup of herbal tea & a little time out cruising the cyber sea. I will enjoy the ritual of slowly committing to fire all the old sketchbooks & journals, looking at each page, scanning anything that has relevance or coherence to my art practice here & now in the 21st C and letting them go, clearing space (the Victorian cottages I love in Blackheath are quite small) & wanting to leave an interesting footprint when I get to the end of the line.

  9. fiberels says:

    Ahhhhh cleaning house . . . not the most fun thing to do, but sometimes it clears the mind too 🙂
    The spring gardens are wonderful and a relief when everything else has closed down. Take care you two and stay safe uhhhhm sane !!!

  10. fiona says:

    Mo – I know that beautiful sense of lightness when you consider everything you have about you; then select what you really want to take with you. Our downsizing was enormous but oh the lightness! I look around and know everything we have, and that everything is here because we want it, need it, or use it. Simplification is a grand thing. This is such great preparation for the move – it enables and creates the move! And, I love the notion of the reversed-out stars on the gloves – brilliant and sublime! Go well.

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Fiona))) one more day of winter and then it will be spring! Just mending some cushions and the old lounge tonight where i can actually see since I cleaned the gold glass lampshades for the first time in 13 years… they were very furry! You two are such an inspiration for getting things sorted and rehomed at Deckled Edge Press!

  11. deemallon says:

    I love looking at all your book shelves! It’s a lot of work, sorting etc, but immediately satisfying

    • Mo Crow says:

      (((Dee))) sorted all those books & gave away about 20 to the little street libraries. We are still in lockdown here for another month at least for the Covid D variant to run its course. It’s getting a bit tedious not being able to catch up with friends, go to art galleries & Old Man Crow is missing the pub but we are doing a lot of reading, just finished reading Louis de Bernières’ South American trilogy; ‘The War of Don Emmanuel’s Nether Parts’, ‘Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord’, and ‘The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman’ a wonderfully surreal and wild ride!

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