These are all highly creative projects/ideas/ways to connect that speak to me through words and images more than an object ever could. They involve people connection which is so sorely lacking at times in our everyday lives. We really have to work at it. I am a fan of many NPR writers from my cousin Sean Hurley to Carol Wasserman (Swimming at Suppertime — a memoir about life on “the wrong side of the bridge”) and Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I recently reread her memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. I totally got that book because that is how I tend to live and write and create — in bursts, synopses, catching the quick wave of inspiration before it drowns me. Here is Amy’s latest work and you can read more about her here and here.
Month: April 2009
DeCluttering for Guatemala
I have been wanting to clear out my art and crafts supplies — I feel so unfocused when I have too many interests. Marty uses football as an analogy to share bits of insight with me. In this instance, he compares me to the football team with two quarterbacks. For example, Tom Brady is the quarterback for the New England Patriots, and that helps the team pull focus. But some teams have two quarterbacks, essentially meaning they have none.
I have been trying to express this sentiment to him for years in my own language.
It’s why I want to clear out what I consider an over-abundance of supplies. As McCabe says in her classes, too many choices is confusing.
Physical clutter becomes emotional and mental clutter for me. I recently received an email from a local Catholic Church. A group of kids and adults are going to Guatemala the end of June and are seeking art and sewing supplies. I have been wanting to donate my stuff to a group working with children, and voila! It has manifested. Yay!
Shutter Sisters Dream Assignment: Picture Hope v.2 from LittlePurpleCow Productions on Vimeo.
Gifts from the Sea**
As my blogging evolves, I am thinking it will drift in and out of the different stories of my life. Today’s is sublime. I inhaled the salty ocean on our morning walk to the beach, the hint of summer heat to come overwhelming me with the scent. It was divine. Remember when you were a kid how after a day at the ocean you could taste the salt on your lips and skin? Diane Ackerman writes that our scent sense is our most evocative memory sense. It is so tied in to our sense of taste. I didn’t want to lose the power of the ocean’s scent, so waited as long as I could before popping a candy in my mouth to soothe my parched throat. I am looking forward to fresh oysters at the farmer’s markets this summer, so pure and cold, tender morsels of the sea sliding down my throat. Heaven!
** another favorite book, along with Diane Ackerman’s Natural History of the Senses (and The Zookeeper’s Wife, her last one I read).
Sisters of Mercy
My marriage, on the other hand, was not like Amanda’s. If it was, I’d have 3 children instead of two. I miss that third child every day. As it was, Molly almost wasn’t. Although I was married, I felt like I had no business being pregnant when the marriage was unhappy and volatile.
I loved my little boy fiercely, with all my heart, he was the light of my life, the apple of my eye, in an otherwise soul-killing marriage. I loved being pregnant with him, the childbirth experience, everything about it. I remember his first movement in utero. We were on a hill on Cheese Factory Road in Hinesburg — a country drive like so many we did, that was when we were happiest as a couple, when we were on the road.
I imagined working right up until he was born the way so many women the world over have — working in fields, squatting and having their baby, and then returning to work. I did work right up until he was born — not in a field, but in a convent kitchen. I began labor before my shift that morning, but only told Brian, the main cook and Leitha, the housekeeper and my neighbor. I didn’t want to worry the nuns, because I knew I could handle it. And I knew they’d be all worried and possibly send me home (or to the hospital) if they knew. They were very good to me, the Sisters of Mercy. They are not departed or gone., experience
So much for commitment. My laptop crashed last week and until Marty has time to reload the software I am stuck on the “upstairs” computer. I hadn’t used the laptop for almost two years, partly because I was hooked on reading blogs. But then in January I started another etsy shop so figured, what the heck do a blog, too.
My problem is that I love names and I can never decide on a name. I didn’t name my daughter for a few days after her birth much to the displeasure of her 5 year old brother, Anthony, who thought Mary Anthony would be a lovely name for the little sister he was hoping for the day before he witnessed her birth.
He would answer the question “what’s her name?” with a disgruntled “she doesn’t got a name.” I so love that boy. He is an amazing musician and person. When I read Amanda’s blog about her boys all I can think of is Anthony’s childhood and how much like them he was. Role play and “cross dressing” (Mr. Dress-up, Fred Penner’s Place, Canadian children’s shows, and Mr. Rogers were favorites of his), creating Tiger Force helicopters out of cardboard boxes, oblong plastic tomato boxes, tape and paper. Which is why I avoid her blog a lot these days. It’s bittersweet to relive my past through someone else’s life. It distracts me from moving on with where I am now.
So what does this all have to do with writing practice? I’m not sure — that was just my starting point for the post which has kind of gotten away from me as I didn’t plan to write this much. Only that until the laptop’s fixed, I won’t be keeping up much with this blog. I am going to try to get some more goodies in my Etsy shop though — some crafty ephemera packs.
After spending a good part of the morning on the pictures for this post, tomorrow will be the etsy day. In the meantime, here’s shots of my sweet boy (today’s his half birthday, does anyone else celebrate half birthdays?).
In the first he’s Elvis “Grisley” singing in front of Mom and his newborn no-name sister,
the second he’s all set for his KISS reunion concert when he was about 17, and the last is from a couple of weeks ago playing at Harry’s, a local blues bar.
P.S. Is there a trick to editing pictures so they’ll be bigger, besides clicking on them?
Maundy Thursday. Holy Thursday. The Last Supper. I felt like I was channeling Evelyn as I baked biscotti dolci for the Easter holiday. Little round almond flavored cookies with a confectioner’s glaze and colored sprinkles. I remembered her in our little LaFountain Street kitchen making them so many years ago when Anthony was a little guy. Before Molly was even born. I think it’s how we hold people we’ve loved in our hearts – through our memories and sometimes our actions. So many of the memories are triggered by food. Our first nourishment, almost before the love comes, there’s the sharing of food that is so sacred. Mother and child. We are blessed when we have someone to share a meal with, whether it’s our first or our last, or somewhere in between.
** above images of homes across the street from our wee house from this site:
“Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and the Maserati will get here when it’s supposed to.”
Now what are the odds of this? Marianne Williamson is one of my favorite speakers, and I copied this quote of hers from Simple Abundance yesterday. I went to a morning sewing class afterward and it was so good, I decided to stay for the afternoon class, too. 10a to 130p turned into 10a to 5p. After class, I called up my friend Louise to see if it was okay to stop over to pick up the Italian cookie recipes she had for me (she and the recipes are straight from the Old North End). I pull into the space next to hers because someone else parked in hers. And what was parked there? A Maserati! Her friend Sylvia was visiting too. Who woulda thunk? So, dang girl, I am gonna seek that kingdom of heaven cuz now I know that Maserati’ll get here when it’s supposed to. Even if it is someone else’s.
Synchronicity I tell you, synchronicity. All in the timing. And man, as a human being it is so hard to not at least try to control time. Butcha can’t. Ya gotta let go of it and ride with it. Like a Maserati.
** photo from maserati website
Today I called Chris, my sister-in-law. I was going to call her yesterday but then figured why not just wait until today, the anniversary of her mother’s/my mother-in-law’s death. I’m glad I called her. She’s getting the family ready for a Seder up North but we had a quick chat. I told her I’d lit candles by Evelyn’s picture today but we talked mostly about our kids, and our businesses. She’s a home organizer and is finishing up a support group she was running. I’m an unemployed Granny Nanny just starting my business. I am so glad Chris reminded me of my commitment to writing. I need to remember that as a creative, it is better to do something badly than not create at all. In my case, this goes for writing. Practice, practice, practice.
For our beloved Evelyn today and all the mothers out there from Bohemian Single Mom’s blog post today:
Real Mothers don’t eat quiche;
they don’t have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils
are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors,
filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play-dough
doesn’t come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don’t want to know what
the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers know that a child’s growth
is not measured by height or years or grade…
It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother…
The Images of Mother
4 YEARS OF AGE – My Mommy can do anything!
8 YEARS OF AGE – My Mommy knows a lot! A whole lot!
12 YEARS OF AGE – My Mom doesn’t really know quite everything.
14 YEARS OF AGE – Naturally, Mom doesn’t know that, either.
16 YEARS OF AGE – My Mother? She’s hopelessly old-fashioned.
18 YEARS OF AGE – That old woman? She’s way out of date!
25 YEARS OF AGE – Well, she might know a little bit about it!
35 YEARS OF AGE – Before we decide, let’s get Mother’s opinion.
45 YEARS OF AGE – Wonder what Mom would have thought about it?
65 YEARS OF AGE – Wish I could talk it over with Mom.
The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.
The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes,
because that is the doorway to her heart,
the place where love resides.
The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole,
but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul.
It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she
shows, and the beauty of a woman with passing years only grows!
I like to think that when the sun came out today, that was Evelyn saying hello.