Category Archives: Continuing

Not much and so much

Want to start the week with the frank acknowledgement that between writing with others three mornings a week and editing my novel, I’m not able to show up here quite how I’d like. For now. Even with comments. Please be patient with me!

I took this photo in high school. It’s somewhere on Route 20 where the road loops over Lebanon Mountain, crossing from Massachusetts to New York. I think it’s just downhill from the infamous “Dead Man’s Curve.” It fell out of some shelf recently and I share it because it demonstrates the consistency and resilience of the house as motif in my work.

Scrolling backward to find a color xerox collage made in my early twenties, I tagged just a few recent house compositions.

Below is the piece I was hunting for. Two Isabella Street, Northampton — the last place I lived while a student at UMass. The photo was copied, cut up, fragmented, and copied again on what was then an absolutely ground-breaking and thrilling piece of technology: a color copier. It had a dial that allowed the scanner to apply different colorways. This copy shop was in San Francisco and I worked there and probably the only saving grace to that job was access to that Xerox machine. Now I can see that this red collage/color copy exhibits not only the resilient house motif, but a love for technology-aided variations (now done with filter in my iPhone). Somewhere, I have green and yellow versions of the collage.

Back to the binder! It’s cold and damp here today, which you might be able to tell from the shots from Finn’s and my walk this morning. The one of him lounging on the couch might have been taken while we were watching Stanley Tucci in Italy.

Ill at ease

A morning where the shoe doesn’t slide on, the electric cord doesn’t behave, ideas about the future won’t hold.

I walked to the dentist. The clouds enchanted me. The wind blew cold but we don’t really have winter around here anymore. It’s disorienting.

During various stages of lockdown, I got spoiled by calendar-months free of appointments. Now I have to catch up: mammogram, annual, endocrine check, another dentist visit, cardiologist.

Groceries came close to midnight last night. My bad. I expected them at noon. But that’s not all — onions that I bought by the piece last time were softball-sized, while this time they’re smaller than baseballs. The last time I ordered a sleeve of garlic, five heads arrived, neat as buttons in a mesh bag. This time: three. It’s hard not to wonder how much of the size-fuckery is intentional on corporate America’s part (and not, ah-hem, a function of ADD).

The silhouettes quilt is finished except for a sleeve on the back.

I turned one of the @threadcrumbshop moons into a sun.

I considered and rejected accentuating the circles in the B&W base fabric.

The quilt for Baby Girl M is pieced and about half-quilted. Unfortunately, one of the shows I’m watching now (Call My Agent) is in French, so I have to quilt or watch, can’t do both.

A month and a half ago, I anticipated that we would all be feeling intense relief on Inauguration Day.

Nope. Who here isn’t feeling dread? Who here hasn’t learned in no uncertain terms that trump’s army is gonna be reckless and violent for seasons to come?

Peace above us. Peace below. Peace behind us. Peace before. Peace all around. Peace. Peace. Peace. This is where Michelle’s voice would bring such wisdom and hope to us all and I miss her.

Orange equals overwhelm

Today, I should say. Today, orange equals overwhelm.

A little background. My tech skills need updated. I need to learn how to transfer photos to my new laptop so that I can then delete 1,000’s (and I mean 1,000’s) of pix from my phone. Talk about too much!

Then, I need to figure out why blogger won’t let me leave comments (and there, I speak of too little. Too little interaction with some beloved blogs because *#%*£#).

Finally and most immediately, I need to update my blog-reading app. I thought I was keeping up with a chakra exploration led by Acey and come to find out, I’m way behind. Way behind.

Which is actually a terrific place to begin: with that ancient and enduring sense that I am not enough. Perhaps this sense dwells in the lower midsection. A second chakra phenomenon.

Is looking backward an indulgence? Is it at some times and not others, for some people and not others?

Wondering about that.

I scanned Acey’s posts and took a few pix before and during the morning’s dog walk and then pulled out my SoulCollage cards (so much orange!) and went down to my studio (so much MORE orange!)

There was no prayer, music, or movement involved. Just a burning punk and curiosity. I will let most of the photos sit while I let an approach appear.

But to start: a corner of orange fabric sticking out of a desk that once belonged to my mother caught my eye this morning.

It’s a piece of high-end linen given to me by a local upholsterer with a scavenged piece of paper stitched on top. I don’t remember when I made it, but it’s years ago. The design looks map-like and therefore holds excitement, but the grubby aspect makes it also seem forlorn and wrecked. As I go through the chakra exercise, I will add to this little wrecked, forlorn, exciting map-like shape and see what comes.

I was already thinking about yellow and how key it is to orange, when on our walk (our very COLD walk), I came across a plastic gate in a neighbor’s yard.

Look! In that space between panels, is where orange vibrates.

If I was to pick an emotion that would be moderately difficult to explore right now, it would be MISSING. Missing, as in tender longing, not as in regret or obstruction. I suspect I spend a fair amount of time avoiding how much I miss certain aspects of earlier phases of my life, including (MOSTLY) but not limited to my sons.

More soon after more reading, exploring!

Check it out: Acey’s chakra exercises.

Grey Sunday, random notes

Wind and rain are supposed to begin at kick-off of the Patriots’ game and let up around the game’s ending. Ha! Maybe speaking to the end of a dynasty?

This chyron perhaps speaks to the imminent collapse of our hospital systems. Less people might be dying of Covid, but here are two critical problems: health care workers are already burned out and help cannot be secured from other states because the entire country is awash with the disease.

This Atlantic article speaks to all of that.

We walked in the woods this morning. It’s not raining yet. It seemed that some sort of geocaching was afoot because the paths were littered with people staring down at pieces of paper.

One wonders how anything will stay in business. Not that I give a shit about Bloomingdales, but it is a case in point.

I like sheer fabric as much as the next fiber enthusiast but I don’t particularly go for murder as a fashion theme. WTF Style section of the NYTimes?

I didn’t know fat freezing was a thing.

Today I will stitch and watch Love Actually. K commented from the other room yesterday as I actually managed to watch a Hallmark movie in its entirety (I don’t usually). He said, “It sounds like you’re being force fed dead raccoon.”

Don’t ask me where THAT analogy came from!

This time next week, my brother will be at home and it will be his birthday.

“It’ll start getting cooler”

It’s 60 degrees here. Crickets sing their autumnal songs. Hard not to feel blessed, with zero hurricanes coming at us and zero fires raging nearby. The finches are feeding on the echinacea seed heads near the side door. When I come out, they fly off, startled and pretty.

K went to work today for only the second time since March 13. There were 313 Covid cases in Massachusetts yesterday, so I don’t know? Finn understood the change and stayed up in bed with me.

I am adding batting to the single-layer sections of the global warming quilt. Tricky. Fussy in a way that would be avoided if I were a Point-A-to-Point-B creator. Believe me, sometimes I wish I was.

But just look at that amaranth! It is one of the few glorious results of my seed planting efforts this year. Exactly ONE of the dozens of sunflower seeds I planted survived the rabbits.

The huge squash leaves came from a rogue seed that took root when a piece of compost fell into a yard waste bin and took off! I love how surprises arrive in the garden with a casual regularity that defy their miraculous nature.