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P1540501 porto to cruz hammock

Hammocks represent well-deserved slices of rest, though one has to remember to squeeze the marrow from each day.

“The first symptom of the process of killing our dreams is lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tired and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The Truth is, they are afraid to Fight the Good Fight…” Paulo Coehlo  (From Coehlo’s Blog, The Good Fight)

Connection Speed Envy!

Connection Speed Envy!

Sluggish internet is one of the major complaints about living off the grid in Latin America. Uploading images, opening or sending emails, and opening new pages can be quite frustrating. Many times the “like” function will not work, and one can forget trying to comment or read the drop-down box that brings comments into your space.  Ask your computer to do a simple task, and then sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee while it churns before kicking it back!   In the wee hours of the morning when most of the internet users are sleeping, my connection gets an injection of energy!  That’s when I catch up, if my schedule allows extra snoozing time after I’m finished! Here are some screen shots from a few weeks ago:

Grrrrrr!  Note the drop-down box at the upper right!

Grrrrrr! Note the drop-down box at the upper right!

internet woes 01

My first reaction is one from the ego; how DARE this connection be so horrid that I’m paying good money to have in my home. Then I remind myself that ten years ago I rode a bus for two hours to reach a cyber cafe that often was ‘down,’ when I arrived!

internet woes 03

Isn’t this lovely? A white page! Artists love white pages, but not like this one!

internet woes 04

internet woes 05

I also remind myself, “If this is as bad as your day gets, you are one lucky woman!” I have friends enduring some nightmares concerning their new home that is crumbling-shifting from recent rains and erosion. What they would give to have poor internet as their only frustration.

After I count my endless blessings, I often set up a queue of images to upload and then switch to another task – perhaps pulling weeds or watching birds or adding more details to “If Fish Could Fly.”   Every so often I peer at the computer to inspect the progress.  Many of the files ‘kick back’ with an error message.  Sweet revenge is to get lost in my painting, and then I totally forget about the uploads or the lentils simmering on the back burner – until the faint smell of burning food snaps me out of my painting fog!  If the internet continues to balk, I shut down the computer and try again hours later. Many people have wondered how I find the time for so many creative outlets.  It’s hard to explain, but there is always an abundance of material incubating in my head, and most of it begs for my attention!    Paulo Coehlo’s post provides a logical explanation from his book, The Pilgrimage.  – We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies  

Happily Immersed in the Andean city of Guaranda, Lisa critiques just-shot images of red-caped Indians.

Happily Immersed in the Andean city of Guaranda, Lisa critiques just-shot images of red-caped Indians. (Photo by Marie Groff)

As I grow older, my soul seems to expand in all directions, and I marvel at almost-constant chance happenings that enrich my days.  The artist’s eyes never stop,  and I am lucky to be able to act on so many creative opportunities.  I have the patience to see them from incubation to finished product.  Every waking moment, for me, is a gift, and I try to squeeze the best from each day.

"Red Capes" in progress;  Watercolor by Lisa Brunetti

“Red Capes” in progress; Watercolor by Lisa Brunetti

There are days when fatigue waves its white flag, and I surrender and recharge my batteries longer than normal.    Otto Muncho often writes about the creative process on his photography blog.   I especially enjoyed his post, Replenishing The Creative Well.    Last week, when I reached Guayaquil after a long day of travel, I treasured the well-earned honor of collapsing in the hotel room, complete with a BATHTUB  and endless hot water.  (Sorry, Mary, I know this is painful for you to hear!)

A stroll through the botanical gardens on the Malecon 2000 always preps me for a visit to the MAAC museum of contemporary and archaeological art.  Ah!  What a sweet tonic those places are for my soul!

Guayaquil Botanical Gardens -  Face Paining Joy

Guayaquil Botanical Gardens – Face Paining Joy

A stroll past this corner (below) took Barbara and me into a very unique museum on Saturday.  More soon about what’s behind that elusive entrance!

"Museo Loco"   - Would YOU step through that entrance?

“Museo Loco” – Would YOU step through that entrance?

Although I love my immersion in the city, I am always, like Brer Rabbit, ready to be hurled back into the briar patch.   Recharging one’s batteries balances with hard work.   The human body needs both.  The discipline of keeping our minds and bodies sharp requires that we embrace an active and not passive attitude about life.   For the next two weeks, my friend Barbara will be in the copilot seat on the Zeebra’s Magic Carpet ride!

Barb in Ecuador 2007

Barb in Ecuador 2007

We’ve already had several unique encounters, including a ride home from the beach yesterday in a dump truck!  Prepare for unique tales from the Briar Patch, as soon as the internet connection improves!  (Two photos were uploaded in about three hours!)  Until then we’ll be painting, or beach combing at the nearest PlayaMart, or – who knows?  Whatever we choose to do, we’ll be embracing life!


Stay tuned,