Category Archives: Collage

Dark and rainy Sunday

I fled to the basement. Power sanders, power saws, and illegal gas-powered leaf blowers were insufficiently blocked by my special head phones.

But then I had fun. I actually forgot what it’s like to get lost down there. Put together one collage — it speaks to memory and Saharan dust (even if those are Asian elephants. Are they Asian elephants?) — and added to an old crab quilt. The addition of indigo dyed moons will, I think, make it gift worthy.

Thank you for all your kind sentiments yesterday. K is writing an obituary and cleaning out the gutters and switching out the water in the fish tank and marking out the circle for our new patio. Acting like his Dad, in other words. His father cleaned the gutters well into his 80’s.

Pandemic Diary

Day 63 or 64 or whatever. Another collage and its companion. If the one above had a title, it might be, “the horror of graphs.”

This one might be called, “the desolation of streets.”

Waiting for Instacart in a comfy collapsible soccer/mom chair in the garage because — wait for it — it’s a little too hot in the sun.

Yesterday I planted amaranth and basil seeds in a little tray delivered by Home Depot. This morning I dropped sunflower seeds right into the ground near the foundation out front. I am edging and weeding and transplanting in a daily rhythm that feels effortless somehow, and satisfying. Not much else feels that way lately.

We are planning to have a circular patio with an 18′ diameter installed, as well as a 26′ path of stepping stones from the garage.

Needless to say, the contractor who repeatedly asked, of the circle’s dimension, “18 by what?” did not get the job.

Here’s a heads up to all those folks who think a mask detracts from their appearance or their liberties: Galvin-Instacart-delivery-man, with his shaved head, tight T-shirt, and yes, mask, was about as good looking as they come!

Just as I’m starting to get a routine, I’m also starting to get sick of the routine. I unload in the garage, wearing gloves and mask. Pantry items get parked and stay untouched for four days or longer. (You’ll also note the mail piles, representing a four day rotation).

I save all plastic bags, but they also go into a rotation such that none will be touched before a week or so has gone by.

Inside, I plop goods into a hot water and bleach solution and rinse in hot water. I used to do this in the garage. It is much easier at the sink.

Finn waits out these proceedings in his crate.

It’s all a little perfunctory at this point and honestly, grocery shopping is one of the lower risk outings one can make. Nevertheless, I’ll keep going this way for a while.

I’m happy to report that my brother finished his ten ER shifts at Stonybrook, Long Island and is heading back to LA tomorrow. We will all feel even more relief at about ten days out, symptom-free.

Meanwhile, younger EMT-certified son is considering throwing himself into the fray and I actually support the idea.

I’m not a terribly good follower these days. News takes up most of my media bandwidth. The fact that the magenta robe was an exercise in extreme frustration made me wonder about how I set priorities. Never mind why.

It’s time to piece the back for the sixth of six panels for C’s quilt and do a little research on the best way to assemble the panels. They will all have been hand quilted at that point.

And, it’s also time to pick up manuscript after a short hiatus. Lots of writing happening here these days, just not that. The author-consultant who was supposed to start reading in mid-April has been delayed until beginning of June. I have the last fifth of the book to edit before then.

June is around the corner. Can you believe it?

Pressure production

New collage made on Day 63.

Finn barks at compost pick up truck. K talks about pressure consumption. “I took the 5.6 and divided it by… ” And then pressure production. “The factor goes down, not that it goes up.”

Dog needs a walk. I need a walk.

Busy day yesterday and week feels cluttered going forward. How is this even happening?

Collage made today, below. The word I pulled out of the thesaurus as I started was “tabulate.” As in tabulate the damage done.

Brain damage. Chalk board counting quarantine days. Exotic luxury cupboard cut in half, never to go back together again. A clothes line reminiscent of domestic life during the Great Depression.

Seeds keep arriving in the mail! We have two quotes now for the backyard patio project. Some things continue apace.

I am finishing this garment tomorrow! Next up: something without pleats or plackets! Pieced a strip from mask scraps to use for collar and front edging. I like the idea but it may not follow the curves of the robe properly.

I raised the blue skirt an inch and a half and the proportions are much improved.

Spray paint, gifts, and rain

When I removed the house shapes after spray painting, I was reminded of Jennifer Coyne Qudeen’s work. She uses house silhouettes with marvelous invention.

The house silhouettes combined with images from the NYTimes Travel section with fantastic result (below). Even the tears make me swoon.

About to settle in for second Zoom writing class of the week, the one I’ve been part of for many years. This one I get to listen more.

Here’s a quick tour of my writing space on this rainy Thursday.

My son didn’t pack Jude’s strays and (ahem) I didn’t remind him. Someday soon, I’ll pop them in the mail to California.

Day SEVEN of HOME CONTAINMENT. I like that phrase better than self-quarantine or isolation. How’s it going with you all?

It was nice to come down to a ready pot of coffee but weird to hear a conference call about technical appendices going on. Fortunately, K didn’t have his camera on because when I walked in front of his screen his colleagues would’ve seen an old bird with weird hair who looked like she just woke up.

Spaciousness

“In the midst of fear, kindness is needed, even just a little, so that the panic, restlessness, and angst don’t completely take over. We can simply ask ourselves if even in the midst of contraction and tension spaciousness is available as well.”

The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation, by Narayan Helen Liebensen

I’ve been though so many states of mind since yesterday, it feels like days instead of hours since I last typed here.

Rather than explain, I will barrel forward.

An old photo of D (top), as I think of all the parents home with children. Next, a little shell/insect combo, revealing how much I am missing paper play.

This collage, made in 1980 while I was living in SF, used copies made on one of the first color Xerox machines. How I loved that ‘color shift’ dial! Now my niece is sheltering in place just across the bay from where I once lived.

I lived in that duplex during my senior year in college in Northampton, Mass. Look how themes stay with us!

Meanwhile, plans have formed to use my sister’s cardboard collection after revisiting this book below.

An early decision will be how to attach the house/pages to each other. Artists in the book use various means: ribbons, wire, hemp, rick rack.

500. That’s how many words I deleted this morning. But today it doesn’t satisfy, because my hunch is that the trimmed chapters need to go in their entirety. More decisions.

Where are you finding spaciousness?