Saturday, February 20, 2010


Today I am taking a leaf out of Hugh Prather's book.

I read Notes To Myself by Hugh Prather, many years ago and had forgotten about it until recently when I found an excerpt on the internet and wrote it down in my quote book.

"All I want to do, need to do, is stay in rhythm with myself. All I want is to do what I do and not try to do what I don't do. Just do what I do. Just keep pace with myself. Just be what I will be.

I will be what I will be -- and I am now what I am. Here is where I will devote my energy. I need all my energy to be what I am today.

"Today I will work in rhythm with myself, not with what I "should" be. And to work in rhythm with myself I must keep tuned to myself. There is a part of me that wants to write, a part that wants to theorize, a part that wants to teach.

"To force myself into a single role, to decide to be just one thing in life, would kill off large parts of me, rather I recognize that I live now and only now, and I will do what I want to do this moment and not what I decided was best for me yesterday." -- Hugh Prather

This morning I set a few hours aside to wander about the house photographing whatever caught my attention. I spent another hour playing on Picasa, enjoying old photographs and cropping new ones. It's something I've been wanting to do but kept putting off until I had more time.

I love my kuba cloth and the fact that it looks good in every photograph, whether it is a backdrop for Peter Beard journals, my carved totems or Ethiopian icons.

I'm drawn to the leather straps and the dotted design on this Masai honey container. Though it is an old container the wood still smells of honey.

Stones collected from all over the country....

Terracotta pots overflowing with Bougainvillea.

The monkey has the last word ...... he also has the last banana off my kitchen counter.


  1. i love that you actually have a monkey in your yard with your last banana....and i love that you are just allowing yourself to do what you want right now.

  2. I've been doing a lot of following my nose pottering this week, too. Sadly, no monkeys here.

  3. monkey knows
    living in the here and now
    banana to banana
    no judgment here
    no pressure
    curiosity and food
    simple pleasures


  4. The monkeys always steal the show (and the bananas too I guess)!

  5. Ahh, Robyn. Thank you for this. I feel myself relax and breathe deeply, smile and feel peace as I read your beautiful words, see your world and know we live now. And I celebrate that we are connected in our worlds, and in the now.

  6. ..this is exactly what I said to myself...when my role of "mother" was terminated.....and my role as (employed)"teacher" had to end because of a spiteful, bullying head...

    Both of these hurt badly at the time, but I am now at peace in my role as "me".

  7. Such wise, brave words. Isn't it funny that we actually have to remind ourselves to be ourselves? But we do.

    Did the monkey steal the banana, or was it a gift? I still shudder when I consider what Edward would make of monkeys in his garden.

  8. I can't believe that little thief got into your house. Drat...

    Your photos are very artfully done. I love seeing your collection of things as here in SW IN, USA I don't have access to such items. I find them very alluring. I want to touch them. Smell the honey...

  9. I'm just amazed with your monkeys Robyn! Love the details's another world , the macro world. Wonderful to get lost in it! Glad you are bending time! xxoo

  10. First, beautiful words-- have to get that book-- second, wonderful images- of your work, of your tools, around your house-- beautiful.
    third, how fabulous to have a monkey near by eating your bananas..
    my favorite image is of the stones and rocks-- bet you knew that!

  11. Thank you for the small peak at some of your things.I love the icons, another thing I would love to collect but not readily available here. The kona cloth, hmm one day!
    We are in one of our terribly broke moments, happens every year, so I dont know why I worry so, sometimes I wish farming wasnt so dependant on weather and the middle men.
    As usual the monkey, from a distance, is a delight.

  12. Thanks for sharing these uncovered words of wisdom. Love the Kuba cloths too.

  13. It's been years since I've read Notes to Myself, too - but those words couldn't ring more fully for me today. Thank you so much for writing them out and sending the affirmation I needed to accept more fully where I am, right now! much love Robyn, K

  14. Did you give that monkey the banana - or did he help himself???
    Wise words from Hugh Prather, and I love your elephant carving!!!

    a great site for you to peruse. JT

  16. Wonderful words from Hugh Prather...needed them today, I have been *dithering*. I have taken on a new project and finding it hard to find my way. Maybe I will just try and do it my way and see how I go.
    Lovely to see little vignettes from around your home. Such lovely pieces, I especially love the honey pot.

    Jacky xox

  17. What wonderful words to live by. And I can see from this post that this is exactly what you are doing. Thanks for the taking us along on your journey.

  18. I really needed to hear that you posted! thanks!

  19. Thanks Robyn you just gave me permission to play! Just popped in via Flickr

  20. Gorgeous photos, you have some wonderful collections, very thought provoking words too.

  21. oh gosh. it's Mr nilson!!! (Pippi's companion). I read HP many years ago too. I love what he says here about rhythm. rhythm is all. beautiful photos of your work and household items. rich and resonant.

  22. Hi Robyn - I'm happy to meet you and your blog - you are on the other side of the world from me! but what a small world it is! Count me in as a new follower :)

  23. Great tour of your easy to drop in and relax and follow your words and perfect decision to follow the words of Hugh too...if not all day then at least for this hour. Thank you!

  24. Dear Robyn, Thank you for reminding me of Hugh Prather. The words that especially are meaningful to me this morning are, "today I will work in rythm with myself" I love seeing your treasures and want to tell you that the comb arrived safe and sound and it is so beautiful... now my own sweet treasure. Sending love, roxanne

  25. Hugh Prather is a very smart man - excellent advice :)

  26. wow, long long ago, i had and cherished hugh prather's notes to myself...SO his name leaped out at an old friend. thank you for the excerpts, and the peeks at what surrounds you. nice to visit, as always,

  27. I have enjoyed your pics and words. It's important that at least some part of our homes reflect the true nature of those that live there. Looks like yours does!

  28. I hadn't thought about Hugh Prather in forever. Thanks for the reminder. Funny how every once in awhile you read something that sparks a memory of a previous time. Thanks for the reminder.

  29. and does the darling little monkey have Very Sharp, Not-so-little CLAWS on its Very STRONG Paws?

    Inspired -- as always. Off now to JustOneCow (yes, a new verb) the piece that I sketched, and pulled fabric for, and want to have ready for my group's now-annual exhibition in early summer. I've only been delaying for a month and half.

    Thanks, Robyn!

  30. I had not seen Kuba cloth until visiting here. I have kuba cloth envy now! Wonderful images of your collections R and the quotes are timely too.

    It's going to be very hot here over the next week. 39-41. So, although I got back into the studio, it will have to wait again. So, have got out the art books, and sketch book...

  31. This monkey wants to steal a banana off of Robyn's counter, too!
    ...Lucky little bandit~ !
    If that's the same book I'm thinking about, I purchased it years ago. Must find it on the shelves sometime and re-read.
    Thanks for the soothing reminder, my friend.
    Banana Kisses~

  32. What a wonderful post, and your work is very inspiring!

  33. i love that book and so agree. I am in the habit now of asking myself, "what am I inspired to do today?" and no matter how crazy it seems, it is always exactly what I needed to do. Love your photos of the things that caught your attention and of course those crazy MONKEYS!

  34. Love your work; love your photographs; love the things you have around your house; love the quote (words to live by); LOVE this post!

  35. I'm glad you are an collector (and sharer) of quotes.

    Right now, I feel I should be reading blogs instead of unpacking from a trip or starting something new in the studio. Perhaps that is not what was meant in those quote, but that is the way I am interpreting them now.

    I have just recharged by camera battery. I wonder if I should take a photo or two.

  36. Just been catching up on your posts Robyn. So many wonderful things and it is lovely to see what interesting items you have in your home. I find quotes fascinating too but have never thought about having a place to record them all. What a good idea. They should be remembered and shared around because the majority of them give us so much wisdom.

    The Ngurrara Canvas and the macrame are particularly eye catching.

  37. Thank you for the tour! (and I love those Icons)

  38. Oh absolutely love it. The quote and the images!

    Our worlds are so different and it's so nice to be able to see this via the net!


  39. the Masai honey pot, oh yes, that is pleasure in me now,

    thanda and a new crop of banana for the counter top... what freedom to have an outside dwelling animal to enter in, or is it hard?

    smiling and learning, thank you.

  40. what a beautiful post! a big hug for the monkey, too :D

  41. Thank you so much for yet more inspiration & the reminder to just be. It seems absurd that we need to be reminded ~ silly humans! I'll have to pick up a copy of that book.

  42. What a delightful post Robyn - such good advice and I loved seeing the fruits of your labours that day! You and I are keeping the monkeys well fed - I had another in the kitchen last week stealing an orange this time!

  43. I really enjoyed my visit to your blog, Robyn. Great stuff!

  44. What a great place to be - inside and out!

  45. I have read Hugh Prather many years ago as a college kid. When I pick it now I know it will be very different. I loved seeing the beautiful things around your home. Your blog quietens me. Like how you feel when you enter a silent room. Thank you for that.

  46. nifty to enjoy your space like this. that monkey cracked me up!

  47. Paula, I love having the monkeys in the garden but they do tend to wander inside and grab everything they think is food .... even if its not food.

    Annie, pottering is good!

    Joan, there's plenty judgement when it comes to monkeys. Poor things are only trying to survive but they get shot at quite often. Its not their faults that their territory is shrinking.

    Shayla, you gotta love them :-)

    Leslie, it was indeed a very relaxing day.

    Chris, me is the best way to be ..... I could set that to music.

    Pamela, I never give gifts inside the house. Sometimes things happen to be resting outside in the courtyard if there is a natural food shortage. If the trees are full of fruit, "things" don't rest in the courtyard.

    Thanks Lisa at Greenbow, I had fun.

    Jo, it is so easy to get lost in the details ... like your bark photographs.

    Donna, yes I knew you would gravitate to the stones!

    Penny, my art output also depends on the weather. Roll on Autumn!

    Catherine V. Bainbridge, glad you enjoyed them.

    Karin, often I re-read things and find wisdom I wasn't ready for during the first read or I find words that have more meaning in different phases of my life,

    Oogleboops, this time he really did help himself .... promise!

    Lisa :-)

    Jacky, I'm sure your way will be more comfortable than someone else's way..... or if you can find the balance between ....

    Seth, the words are calming aren't they. I suppose they give one permission to just be.

    Blu, if you gave yourself permission to play, my work is done :-)

    Thanks Ro.

    Suki, from now on I will always think of you when Pippi Longstockings comes up.

    Kimmie, the world does seem much smaller since I started blogging.
    Thank you for following.

    Mary Ann, visit any time :-)

    Roxanne, "today I will work in rhythm with myself" important!

    Jeane, I just found another book by Hugh Prather. My wish list is getting out of control again.

    Neva, a blast from the past .... enjoy!

    Marilyn, I'm so surprised at how many people know his writing.

    Lucky Dip Lisa, it doesn't reflect the fact that I hate dusting however :-)

    Teri, as long as they are good memories!

    Melanie, I'm so happy that JustOneCow is alive and well!

    HHnB, that is the only good thing about the really hot days..... getting out the books and idea books.

    DJ, a happy little bandit!

    Outside the lines, thanks so much!

    Cat, good question ..... "what am I inspired to do today?"

    Curio, I'm loving the love :-)

    Kim, go on .... its time for a photo safari.

    Cathy, keeping a quote book or journal is really inspiring.

    Cynjon, glad you enjoyed the tour.

    Amelia, blogging has opened so many doors and windows.

    Mansuetude, I can assure you a monkey has no problem with walking straight into your house .... or swinging, running, leaping, jumping, sneaking .... you name it, they've tried it.

    Zoe, the monkey says thanks!

    Shimmeringshack, and yet we do need to be reminded over and over again.

    Caroline, as long as the hunger pangs are kept at bay!

    Don, glad you enjoyed the visit.

    Kenda .... and in Autumn it is perfect!

    Vineeta, what a great thing to say. Thank you.

    Velma, that's what monkeys do....they crack me up all the time too.

  48. What an incredible post! I love all the images and the quote is magic, so obvious and so difficult to be all that you are. Thank you Robyn.

  49. Thank you for sharing this. What a great reminder for us!

  50. All very true, and something I have been thinking about alot lately. We often call ourselves artists when people ask what we do, but how many of us recognise just what that means? Being an 'ordinary' person and scheduling your time for things doesn't work--- we have to wait until 'it is time'. Even if that means staying up till 4am. I'm slowly coming to terms with the idea that I'm not being dramatic when I say 'I'm an artist, it's just how we do things'- it's true. We're aligned with a force that stretches beyond clocks and boxes.

  51. Such wonderful, empowering quotes! And the photos...I would love to just come hang out in your house...the earthy ancient quality of your many art objects and tools too speak perfectly to the appears from the images that you do indeed know what you want and do what you want. Inspiring!

  52. I really love your photos and artwork, very inspiring, thank you.