“Riot is the language of the unheard”

Lying on the couch after dinner, half-asleep and wondering when all the shows about WWII will finally dry up, I suddenly remembered the dead robin in my bag. Eek! I’d picked it up on our walk yesterday with the intention of burying her here and then forgotten.

Still in my bag? Sleeved in a newspaper plastic but still. I’m going to California in the morning. Imagine if I’d forgotten it altogether.

I found that butterfly tag in my carryon laptop bag. “Riot is the language of the unheard.” Where did I hear that? A slightly haunting relic of the summer of George Floyd? Does anyone know who said it? [thank you Deb and Nancy. This was said by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.]

And, to pick up on Grace’s blog about creative endeavor, there is that question that thrums through the life of a maker. Why? Why do you do it? In particular, what is the point of all these collages, many of which exist purely in ones and zeroes on a screen?

This one is paper, but uses a print out of a digital collage in the background (me, peeking out above the book).

One thing I said in the comments is that there are very few things I do in life that don’t require overcoming resistance. Ugh. This again? Working with pattern in cloth and collage is not like that. I just find myself doing it. For that reason alone it’s a valuable, ongoing exercise.

There’s more to say about this, but as Jude recently noted on her blog, maybe the saying matters a whole lot less than simply continuing.

Right now, I’m “getting” scenes about some characters living in Boulder during the pandemic. I have no idea yet whether this is a viable project. There are ecstatic dancers who appear and disappear (all women) and no one knows what to make of them. There is a feral boy who lives deep in the woods. There’s a mom and her three kids, one of who is decompensating (again). Her middle child is a lawyer working for a social justice group that objects to decisions being made about the former bomb factory at Rocky Flats (turn plutonium-contaminated land into a public park? Really?)

I share this because, like the collages, the scenes keep coming whether I want them to or not. I’m sure Deb can speak to this.

Okay. Off to give Ken a tour of recently planted perennials so he knows what to water in my absence. Mostly divided hosta. Oh those reliable and prodigious hosta!

15 thoughts on ““Riot is the language of the unheard”

  1. deb

    I know exactly what you mean about the movies in our heads that leak onto the page. Really. If we don’t write, we’ll go to around talking to ourselves.::::::::::::::::

    There are deer that don’t know about your hostas? Let’s hope they don’t read blogs. A bank near my old office closed abandoning some spectacular hostas. I spent days of filthy, sweaty labor digging up huge clumps, hefting them into my car trunk and planting them as soon as I got home. I remember Jimmy feeling my upper arm and saying “Wicked guns, babe. Enough already.” Five days, a dozen giant plants nestled in the front garden by Friday evening.
    By Sunday, they were gone. Chewed to the root.

    1. deemallon Post author

      We don’t get deer damage but the rabbits are little agents of destruction.

      I don’t see the movie until I write it. Is that weird?

  2. Nancy

    Yay…trip day is arriving!
    Good thing you remembered that poor birdie in your bag!
    Here is the quote in 2020:

    Love the lively cloth weaving, but as far as the why? The what matters, purpose, whatever…I totally have no idea on any of it.
    I did have a thought today while mending, which was: I am not an artist, therefore it matters how I do this mending (technique, style, color etc.). I am not an artist, I’m just doing it. Period.
    In this moment, that is enough.

    Enjoy your trip so much!

  3. Nancy

    My comments have been taking time to show or not over here. Grrr.
    Anyway, I forgot to say about the scenes coming…do you DO anything with them? Write them down, as is? It would sure be interesting to look back on. I am not a writer, but scenes come to me when I should be sleeping or in my dreams…millions of them. Oy

  4. joanne in Maine

    OKAY I am deeply in love with he last image. Especially the blue with white dots- which I own. Making this with my own stuff…..so in love…

  5. Mo Crow

    (((Dee))) good quote, have always felt I would see anarchy in this lifetime but never thought it would come from the country of my birth!

  6. Doris Tennant

    “riot is the language of the unheard”
    Martin Luther King
    Grosse Point High School
    March 14, 1968 (shortly before his assassination)

  7. RainSluice

    Chilling to the bone, what MLK said, when and where he said it. How sweet that you bury dead birds. I thought they might carry diseases so I just photograph them and leave them for the vultures which is a bone chilling act compared to a funeral.
    I didn’t know deer liked hosta; mine proliferate. Every spring I put a pile on the street for the taking. There are so many types of hosta!

    Whatever drives your mind seems to me to work beautifully.
    What I love about a longer flight is the isolated time to read and write.
    Have a safe trip and a lovely adventure. xoxo

    1. deemallon Post author

      I had two plastic bags in my bag, so I could use one as a glove and the other as receptacle.

      This flight, I watched SHE SAID. Good movie that brought all the ick about Harvey Weinstein back.

  8. Liz A

    wishing you safe (and uncomplicated) travel … I’m guessing Finn would have led K to your robin had you not remembered it before leaving

    as for the MLK quote, the increasing drumbeat of draconian laws and shadow docket decisions makes me extremely uneasy … I hope it doesn’t come to riot though … peaceful demonstration has always been my preferred MO

    1. deemallon Post author

      I was bumped up to first class again. Such a treat! I don’t need the leg room but all the other extra room makes for a much more comfortable flight.

      Most of the violence in this country is coming from the deranged right. I guess I understand why Fani Willis is making announcement after announcement so that law enforcement can be ready when trump is indicted, but on the other hand maybe just charging him without any announcement would have been good?


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