My lessons seem to always come to me in retrospect. I suppose this is the way for most, but for those of you living in the moment, never looking back or forward, I'm open for suggestions. When I arrived in Paonia my life was an uncertainty. I suppose that's always the way as well, but had I stopped to think I may have found myself turning back to those reliable almost-certainties. Instead I was given and took up residency in a building that in some way spoke to me. It said "be here." So with now immediate plans but to go back to what I've known I found myself unloading my car of my life's possessions into a funky little cottage that built on a vision and with the helping hands of a beautiful community. The energy was felt immediately and for the first time of a handful of times I sat on the well worn rug that would offer comfort to many and began to build my little fire. I pulled out my sketchbook that consists of more words than images and I wrote:10/6/14 "Fate has a funny and dominating way of making it's presence known when life seems almost hopeless. Wood stove crackling keeping me warm in the Gingerbread House, I sip on my tea without regrets at this very moment. Listening to Ray Charles, sitting on an oriental rug loved from years of footprints from artists past. The new chapter has begun. The desire to create art for my sanity has returned and grows like a tiny flame whipped to near extinction from life's uncertainty and despair. I look forward to climbing the ladder each night I'm here, this ladder made by some thoughtful hand. It's a sturdy ladder with a lot of character and I guess that's just what I need."

There was a freedom behind those walls of Elsewhere that reminded me everything is going to be ok and on the days with no worries I was restored by the energy there to hope for greatness and appreciation. As the days went on as they do I learned from my mates. Different perspectives and acts of kindness and thoughtfulness were daily lessons that I had somehow been immune to for some time. My studio, Filled with light and positivity, was a sanctuary where I could move freely without self consciousness. I could get weird whenever I wanted and I did. The time flew quickly and with each curtain drawn to the evolution and community involvement of that sanctuary I fell more deeply in love with my life. I suppose had I been more presently aware I would have understood that then in addition to now, but time moves quicker than the mind and I find myself working on a way to slow time down so I can live appreciating each moment until I move on. Heidl Hasenauer