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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Californicus and the results of a 22 hour drive

Californicus: a native species to California

It's funny.
Sometimes you have to leave a place to realize just how much you love that place. Certain landscapes imprint themselves in the lines of your palm, they become tied up in your locks and branded on your skin in a thousand tiny moles. In my very marrow resides the grit of California and in my blood flows the current of the Golden State. Whenever I cross the state line my heart gives a little flutter and jolt and something deep in my gut recognizes that land as home.
I have the heart of a redwood
I sing the song of the raven

***************************************

Weeks ago as I slid wet brushes over canvas while nodding my head to the beat, working tirelessly to finish preparations for "Venation," I spent a long day in contemplation. I was terribly distracted from my work, and completely wrapped up in a job offer that had landed on my desk of my BC. I hosted a debate in my studio, conversing with all my painted creatures, asking their opinions and trying my hardest to remain impartial (but that was never possible). As I debated I worked on one particular piece, studying an assortment of images of jackrabbits. And then I saw it. The images I had gathered, for no other reason than technical research, were carefully labeled with the genus rather than the common name.


And they were all "Califonicus." Native Californians. As their ancestors were, as they were born and raised.

****************************************

Fast forward to this last week's trip to California:


We've made a very official decision, BC and I. We've decided to open the next chapter of our lives, to move forward, to move on. To move South, to California. And soon. We have four short weeks to pack and tidy up business and ready ourselves for the move and soak up as much Seattleness (and Morris-ness) as we can.

I intend to eat a lot this month. There are far too many fabulous restaurants still on our list.


We'll be moving to a small town in Northern California (just North of Eureka if you know the area). We've already found a home with a huge backyard (hello my new garden), plenty of studio space (natural light is my best friend), and a less-than-five-minute-drive to the beach (be still my salt water heart). Like you may have guessed, it's been a busy week. I've been living off the adrenaline thrill of moving home.

I think I'll cry when I cross that borderland, just for the sheer knowledge that it feels so right. I've loved Washington deeply, I've adored it's mountain ranges full of thick trees and cities full of cherry blossoms. It will always be dear to my heart, I will always treasure these last years.

But the time is now.

California, here I come.

27 comments:

emmy d said...

Dear Dove,

Congratulations on the decision to move on to the next part of your lives! I know how both exciting and heart-wrenching it can be to pack up and move on, but you take each part with you in some way. Good luck in your preparations! And SO excited for you to be near the ocean!!

Em

MrsLittleJeans said...

I think I will have to cry with joy too...just know the feeling and thrilled that you have found your place. Meanwhile, Californicus is mighty handsomess and I think I have seen his cousins out and about in the past. Madame...being next to the ocean will be divine! : )

xo

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Umber Dove,

I found myself transplanted in California just about 7 years ago, never having known its beauty prior - I don't think a day would pass without a pang if I moved from this place.
Northern, that is: it is so lush and savory and wild up here. It's home.

Welcome back :)

xoxoxox,
Allison

UmberDove said...

Merci Beaucoup my Lady Friends!

"Lush and savory and wild," that's exactly it Allison (and as I think of it, that may have also just described you and I both)!

Emmy and MLJ - I know, the Ocean. When I think about being close enough to walk to the top of the hill and see the surf, I want to run through the house shrieking and flapping my arms around (hm, actually I've already done that) just for the sheer joy.

kerin rose said...

"Whenever I cross the state line my heart gives a little flutter and jolt "....ah, these are the flutters and jolts that have to be listened to....I know them well....

sometimes the soil of a place just embeds itself in your soul...

welcome home!

The Good Which said...

I am interested in owning this "Californicus" to put above little Clara's bed. Is is for sale? I must own!!

UmberDove said...

Oh Good Witch! "Californicus" has already been purchased - so sorry - because whenever I paint rabbits, wild, raw, wise and strong I think of you (do you know that our shared love of Watership Down was one of the very first things I heard about you?).

Kerin - we are made of the same stuff, you and I, yes we are.

Michaela Dawn said...

Ah, so I suppose we shall not convene on my next trip to the Sleepless City...

Yet, I see the sun in your eyes and how else could one resist the sand and waves, rolling hills of Cali.

Best wishes to you miss, on your travels,
M

CrowNology said...

A Raven's song from the throat of a Dove...
I wish you very well in the land that seems to own you. Newfoundland, the land, owns me. Perhaps the antithesis to California...I know how you feel.
Andrea

The Good Which said...

Alas, poor Hazel has escaped! What about a print then, dearie? I have feasted my eyes on your etsy shop and would love to be able to purchase this one as well. Watership Down will always be our to share!

BC said...

Wait, what? We are moving?

mme. bookling said...

please god tell me this is a joke.



i'll always love you, gin-bourbon.


love, vodka-scotch.




(just for the record, i think you're very brave)

(just for the record, i hate this more than i could convey)

mme. bookling said...

is it wrong to want to leave a comment that says the efff word?

Trista Anodei said...

I can't say I'm not jealous, being stranded in the sprawl of LA. But I'm *quite* happy for you, lovely.

studio.delucca said...

welcome home Californicus...
wishing you all the best with your pending move.

xo, another california native

UmberDove said...

MD - so maybe not in the Sleepless City, but we WILL convene one of these days, be it under redwood or over black rock!

Crow - The pull of the land - yes. I love knowing that YOU know what I mean!

BC - don't think you can get out of packing like that!

Mme. - you are free to say ANYTHING, but just don't make me cry in too many more restaurants this month. And come with me. I need you. I need you to help put away my mugs and arrange the mantle and walk on beaches. And be near me.

Trista, Delucca - California ladies mine! (even if it be in the heart of LA, which is honestly a foreign country in itself to me!) If it were not illegal (again - I picked so many up here in Wa) I'd say we should all wear crowns of poppies!

Mum said...

I can't help but wag my tail when I think of you being only a 6 hour drive away.

But... If you hadn't been my tour guide, I'd never have met Seattle so intimately. I'll always love that city. (but never as much as SF!)

Can't wait to have you "home" on terra firma!

she said...

just reading this now...
OH
MY
WORD.

i don't even know how to feel about this, but i think that's my heart breaking for mme.

my other heart says that if you are happy, i am too.

such conflict in my soul!

maybe i am happiest that no distance could tear asunder what has been forged with The Four.

so many thoughts...

Nancy*McKay said...

...home is where the art is...

or something like that, right...

btw...can i have your craftsman bungalow...???...

Taddyporter said...

Oh I think you are already there. I can sense the salty mist on your face and hear those ravens at your feet and they are so VERY joyous to have you back.......may your packing move swiftly and without a hitch(though I would not be surprised to hear of some "misplaced" car keys as you ready your departure). take care Umber.

Joyful said...

How exciting for you! North California is so beautiful. I have dibs after Nancy for your current home :-)

Good Girls Studio said...

I love moving, it's like a do-over , a chance to erase any oopsies from your former life (or bad wall paint choices!hahaha) & start anew ! Best of luck on your move!

UmberDove said...

Taddy - ha! I would not be surprised myself!

Nancy, Joyful - It is my final Craftsman wish that you two should share my home as you see fit - however you will have to duke it out as to dibs on the clawfoot tub!

GoodGirl - thanks friend, it's good to be reminded!

She - I'm taking her with me. At least for a while.

Mum - I'LL SEE YOU SOON!!!!!!!

Michele said...

I have to agree with she.

So happy for you that you have found your path but so sad for mme.

My best friend moved away almost a year ago and I'm crying right now thinking about it.

no more words ...

Melissa said...

Oh goodness, how exciting! AND what a beautiful place to move to.

Candace - I remember when Jillian moved away it near tore my heart out. But it heals, and we're just as close. Prepare for some roadtrippin'.

Devon said...

Woowzers! I'm a little speechless...

I am all at once very excited for you and very sad for me. But, blessings on your next journey, I know you will find peace there.

Cocktails, anyone?

The Noisy Plume: said...

The one thing the world had better prepare for is the thunder and lightning that will sound when you and the BC and the Mme and the Saint reunite for visitations over the course of your life.

That's the sort of thing that puts cracks in the pillars of the earth.

CA ahoy!
I'll come help you plant your radishes. XO