Laura Adrienne Brady
My body is sometimes foreign to me. The years of illness have softened my muscles and many activities I once loved are now off limits. I cannot run, or bike, or strain with exertion without impoverishing payment.
Still, somehow none of that seems to matter as much out here. The trees do not mind if I cannot move quickly, or move at all. The critters prefer me slow.
The stiller I am, the more I see, the more I can feel.
A strange harmony reveals itself. I would not be here if not for illness. And being here is good. Must I then consider the illness, even if only in some small part, beneficial?
I contemplate Parker Palmer’s words as I lie motionless. “You seem to look upon depression as the hand of an enemy trying to crush you,” he writes. “Do you think you could see it instead as the hand of a friend, pressing you down to ground on which it is safe to stand?”
I imagine the great hand, lovingly pushing me down. Stop moving, child, the wind whispers. Maybe I am called back to earth now to learn a new way. How to be still as stones.
About the Project
For a brief time, starting in the fall of 2016, Laura (also known by her artist name, Wren) called Moose Lodge, a cabin in the Okanogan Forest, her home. Creatively adrift and physically unwell, over her months in the Methow Valley her strength began to return. With it came her voice, and she penned a series of songs and writings inspired by the surrounding golden hills, wild river valleys, and mountain peaks.
“Pebble Linings” is an essay vignette from the interdisciplinary project that emerged from this experience. Forthcoming in January 2020, the album of original folk music, Pink Stone: Songs from Moose Lodge—and companion book of essays, vignettes, song lyrics, journal entries, letter excerpts, and illustrations by Anna Briggs—tells one woman’s story of perseverance and renewal in the beautiful Methow Valley.
Laura Adrienne Brady is a writer, educator, and singer-songwriter. Her poems have been featured on King County public buses and in the journals Scribendi and Bricolage, and her essays appear in Brevity and in the book Our Food, Our Right: Recipes for Food Justice. Laura has released two albums of original folk music under her stage name, Wren. Her forthcoming project, Pink Stone: Songs & Writings from Moose Lodge, is a body of songs and a paired companion book inspired by her healing journey in Washington’s remote Methow Valley. Explore Laura’s music and writings at SwimmingRabbitArts.com.
Anna Briggs is an artist, drawing inspiration from the intimate relations she holds with her celestial, herbal, and elemental allies through studies in astrology and hermeticism. Her work brings focus to the depth and beauty of the law of correspondence, feminine power, and folklore, with an aim to inspire deep connections to the Earth’s magic. She resides in Eugene, Oregon with her beautiful family. Find her work at: Annasbreath.Art.