Author Archives: deemallon

Domestic metaphors

I made multiple attempts to upload a video about collage on Sunday and Monday. Spent hours clearing space on my iPad because full storage seemed to be the problem. It wasn’t.

Furthermore, memory kept automatically reverting to full. I have no idea why. It’s not as if the videos/apps that I deleted were restored.

On Tuesday before my class here, a twelve ounce drinking glass grazed the counter on its way to the dishwasher and EXPLODED. Shards everywhere!

Quick-crated Finn and got up all the pieces. There’s something satisfying about hearing glass bits rattle up a vacuum’s metal tubing. One last shard turned up in my pants pocket hours later.

Not long after my sister’s death a Pyrex dish of hers shattered violently, sending chunks of glass all over the stove top and floor. There seemed to be no good reason for it.

What an apt metaphor, I thought. Relationship with my sister involved enduring regular explosions of her rage, often triggered for no apparent reason. It was always dangerous, on some level, to be around her. Her fury and its wounding mess.

But this week? No clue. Maybe it’s her dropping by to say hello since the one year anniversary of her death is on the horizon?

I ended up being glad I couldn’t upload my comments about collage because that’s so last month. Writing in both classes has moved ahead at lightening speeds. Novel and not novel. For some reason, I couldn’t formulate anything to say here, as if the attempts at recording and the failure to upload left me mute.

This ramble is an attempt to come back.

Flowers and sweet potatoes

Finn and I made the long loop — Jackson to Langley to Cypress and home. It was cold. Hat, scarf, neck warmer, over-socks, and gloves cold.

I listened to “This American Life” because it’s good and because the campaigns and the corruption of our government are all so overwhelmingly demoralizing right now. It was about a Somalian’s arduous, frightening, uncertain and ultimately successful journey to becoming an American citizen.

Even though the benefits of such a status are no longer clear, how could I not feel grateful?

I get to go home and write, I thought, with gladness instead of dread. I get to make sweet potato fries and rib eye later, I thought, for a special guy who has already brought me flowers. Why, I might even wander over to a posh mall and buy him a gift later, because I CAN.

Meanwhile, over on Instagram, I’m giving away this cloth wallet. Leave a comment over there to enter. I’ll pick the winner on Sunday.

@deeamallon

PS I made this big enough for an iPhone. Does anyone know if it’s okay to put one’s phone near a little magnet, like the one employed in this clasp?

PPS. I’m sure you’ve spotted the indigo moon? From Jude’s @threadcrumbshop also on Instagram.

PPPS If you haven’t seen or heard Maddow’s February 12 program, you must.

https://podbay.fm/podcast/294055449/e/1581566912

(For some reason the YouTube links incorrectly to other shows?!)

Round and round we go

I was born at dusk: 5:47. Sixty-three seems an impossible number but there you have it! It was a good birthday with ice cream cake, roses, “Little Women,” and calls from both boys.

(If you’re a parent to millennials, you know what a big deal a call is).

A string of grey grey days. I’m back to editing. Back to working on C’s quilt, which I am lap quilting in six pieces. Back to trying to ignore loud construction noise.

Today, the news unsettles me more than usual. Is it because we’ve arrived at that moment when a lawless leader has done so much damage to our institutions (think: the Senate, the DOJ), that he is, for all intents and purposes, a dictator? Nothing to hold him to account.

I worry about the press. I worry about the Freedom of Information Act, especially given how little disclosure is coming by way of the courts. I worry about the election in November. I worry about violence. I worry about how far and wide our petty leader’s retribution will run.

Please don’t tell me how little good worrying does — worry is not lessened by being made wrong for doing it! And, as you know, it’s not ALL I’m doing (though — HA! — I worry that whatever things I manage to do won’t matter enough to counter this tide of corruption).

On the plus side, I read a piece by some pundit opining that whoever the Democratic candidate ends up being matters very little. Turn out is everything. Not the freakin’ swing voters. Turnout. Not the policies. Turnout. That idea takes a little pressure off finding exactly the right (electable) candidate.

The press, the House, and a huge majority are the last places of hope.

Feels an appropriate moment to share this lovely and suitably profane gift from Deb Lacativa. We both know it references not caring about who thinks what about our views. The caring about outcomes, about the future, runs deep.

And then there is this gift from Michelle. I’d sent her my banner from Mo’s project and unexpectedly, she sent me hers. I walk by it many times a day. It cheers me up!

Lastly, thank you so much to all who took the time to read or listen (or both) to an excerpt from my novel. Thank you thank you. Your encouragement means more than I can say!

If you look for it again, don’t be surprised to find it gone. Publishers are weird about what constitutes publication so out of an abundance of caution, I will mark it private at week’s end.

Stepping stones

The last prompt response to Acey’s collage Month* is big, perhaps 15 inches tall. I may not glue it down.

Stepping stones was the prompt. “Imagine our challenge experience has been a literal path with a stepping stone for each person.” I haven’t attempted to represent others here, but rather the sense of collective opening and movement.

The big rock arch formation giving passage to the sea represents one opening, the shell and bay window represent two more. The computer is a rather literal nod to how we connect, while the shoe stands in as metaphor for continuing on… stepping on more stones on more paths winding out ahead of us.

The melon’s bounteous seeds represent the fertility of the imagination, particularly when held in a collective vessel, here, the rind. I wanted to bring wings back in, so the cranes took pride of place.

I might not have been drawn to that shoe, but for what Grace said about how much she appreciated the gender-fluid quality of many of my images. The shoe itself mixes things up, but then, too, the laces touch the very female image of the melon, suggesting relationship.

It’s a sunny day here. Kids play with exuberance at the neighboring elementary school. Finn relaxes in the sun. It’s clean-the-bathrooms day, so I’ll do that and I want to make a meatloaf later. But otherwise, it’s back to SC 1738, with occasional peeks at how the Iowa caucuses are going.

*

Go to sparklinglotusink.com for more info on the collage challenge.

A welcoming space

I went abstract with the Prompt to depict a welcoming space from which to create in the future. Note: WP fucked with my type again!

The sky blazing with sunset. A shell with her boundaries and her secrets. And a leaping big cat with a body of prose.

The collage speaks to time, self, and energy, rather than to space.

I spent part of today at Staples, hoping to have fun making shiny copies of some of the last month’s collages. I transferred images from phone to a thumb drive in advance, but turns out the machine needed pdf’s and mine were jpeg. A young guy helped with the conversions. That took awhile.

A few pix were weirdly formatted (HEIC?). He speculated: an apple format designed not to be compatible with anything. Printer guy smiled when I muttered, “the fuckers.”

But the real disappointment was the copier itself. On the former color copier I could adjust for scale (necessary to make SoulCollage cards) and could play with color saturation.

Not anymore. Just print. Plus each print required four button presses, each with their dragging delay. More if I wanted a preview.

You can email pix to a staples website, too, so I tried that after a while. You email pix to their site and they shoot you a code and you input it and go from there. But since I chose medium resolution (thinking higher would take forever), the results were disappointing.

There you can see my nifty phone-jacked thumb drive.

Why is it that so many technological advances strip out features that were critical to an interesting and satisfying result?

Prompt #29:

collage a welcoming PSYCHIC space that supports your ongoing creative goals & activities.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

A seed a finale

Collage month final prompt.* The “seed collage” here on the left is not a seed and not a collage either but there you have it. It’s the last page of the sketchbook.

It looks like a peaceful scene, a couple (perhaps the man has retired?) looking out over the ocean. It’s a place of repose, regeneration, and beauty. The couple comes here often in between doing other things and going other places.

So a big thank you to Acey for vibrant and energized leadership through a month of well-timed and created prompts. She made a nest we could all climb in and fly out of repeatedly. There was a lot of excitement, connection with others, and discovery.

I haven’t finished yet, though. You didn’t think I had, did you? Many blank pages remain in my sketchbook and many loosely laid images have yet to be glued. Stay tuned. Below are some of the pages I either glued up yesterday or hadn’t yet photographed.

This week I made some survival decisions: I shall resume a meditation practice. I shall get on my exercise bike frequently. I shall listen to new music (I felt unbearably OLD watching the Grammys this year).

And, as a starter activity, I resumed writing postcards. Right now: to Florida registered Dems to inform them that they can vote by mail. It’s easy, it’s concrete, and it might make a difference.

Go to postcardstovoters to sign up. There’s a little bit of a screening process mostly to do with handwriting and the ability to follow directions, but then it’s easy. I get addresses by texting.

Corrupt-genius just expanded the Muslim ban to six more countries. The first time he pulled this shit, lawyers flooded the airports. Protests broke out all over the country. I took part in a well-attended rally in Copley Square THE VERY NEXT DAY. And today?

Something like shell shock. One friend said she didn’t think she could feel worse than she did on Election Day but does. I get it.

One of the newly banned countries is Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, aka a “shithole country.”

Given the catastrophic recent events and the worse events sure to follow, how do you plan to take care of yourself? What concrete steps will you be taking to get a Democrat in the WH come fall?

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.