series, collar, rain, and shelter

SERIES.  The new series is comprised of self portraits, any of which could be captioned: “me looking deranged”.  This makes No. 2.  (No. 1 in flickr stream recently).  This well-loved Irish Linen dish towel (I think “linen” warrants a capital “L” here) was finally retired from its kitchen duties last night.

COLLAR.  A strip of the dish towel is being auditioned here as a collar on my boro work-in-progress (in Jude Hill’s Contemporary Boro class, online).  Just like I enjoy the visual pun when my older son wears Old Navy garments with the words “Established 1994” (because HE was established in 1994), there is something fun about wearing the words, “Made In Ireland”, because even though I wasn’t, my ancestors were.

I THINK I am 100% Irish.  Was always told this.  But, my mother’s father was born and raised in Hartlepool, England and had a British accent, even when I knew him decades after his arrival on Ellis Island (I found a copy of his ship’s manifest on the wonderfully historic Ellis Island website).  He (Albert Jacques) met his wife (Alice Healey) in Brooklyn, and her family haled from Co. Cork – but was my grandmother born in Brooklyn? Or in County Cork? I can’t seem to get a straight answer.  My father’s parents were both Irish (Mallon and Kinney), but I don’t know when their arrivals to this country took place.  Probably a generation or two before my grandparents, though.  My father has a namesake on one of the rolls for the Civil War – one of the MANY (come to find out) William Kinneys who fought with the militia coming out of Pennsylvania.

But, back to the garment.  The red disturbs my plan to stay monochromatic and since the fit of this thing is going to be problematic, I think I’ll force myself to stick to the blue plan.  The sleeves may come off to convert the shirt to a vest if I can’t find a way to cinch the waist a little.

RAIN.  The rain is making surfaces shine. The rain is making me appreciate shelter. The rain is making wonder how all the sleeveless prom attendees tonight will stay warm!!

SHELTER.  Sometimes the places we find solace come to us unbidden, or as surprises.  Like this spicebush.

Under the boughs of this bush-turned-tree, not only do I feel a sense of shelter, there is a hint of magic. My husband thinks it is perhaps ‘too big’ for its spot, but, though I prune aggressively every year, I will fight for its right to overcome our notion of what fits.  It has umbrellaed up and out from the small twig I put in the ground years ago into a beautiful small tree that creates a tunnel toward our garage gate.

I love the way when I stand under it, everything that is so familiar looks different.
How grateful I am for this fragrant, light-catching green, vigorous grower!

7 thoughts on “series, collar, rain, and shelter

  1. saskia

    ha, you certainly look deranged! again I’m laughing and hey the shirt with the kantha is turning out nicely…..why not red? well you have a plan I guess; have you ever been to Ireland? Over the past 25 years I have been 5 times, (one of my best friends lives there),
    the green light is mighty powerful indeed……..

  2. deedeemallon

    I turned 20 in Dublin and traveled, by bike, around the entire southern part of the country after that spring semester… it is a beautiful country & talk about green!!

  3. ali

    I love the juxtaposition of you in Irish Linen with you gazing out from under the spicebush. What a lush, lovely, wonderful post.


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