S. sent me a message in early March. She wrote that she had just started making meals three times as large as needed and freezing two-thirds. She remembered that we had complained of our long days creating a pinch on time in the kitchen. She added that she felt obliged to let me know of her cooking project, so I, too, could get ready for May.Read More
I like this spot.
mythological creation story.
shape in a mirror.
resurrect a dispassionate scene.
long wish wait.
In the valley below
A distant ridge
casts a shadow.
Sometime soon, if we get to it, we will mow the meadow. That’s how a meadow stays a meadow in here. The black cap raspberry, tulip tree, and box elder would rather it otherwise. Instead, they meet the cutting blade, put down deeper roots, send up a new stem, and greet the spring. They greet the spring no matter what. Do they long for anything? Do they wish? Do they await the death of the cutting blade so they can arise?
Saturday. Went to see art with a friend. Talked art making and music making with that friend. We both have children and we covered that topic, too. But, we really talked about making work more than our children. At least it feels that way. Just talking a bit about making work feels big.Read More
A sketch. A beginning.
My head bounced against those low, pitched beams. My skirt became dusty. Dust shows on black. Very well. Plastic tubs, cardboard boxes none look pretty in a photograph. Climbing over items after setting the camera’s self-timer. Tidying the attic is necessary to move ahead.
Most of my photographs of our recent trip to Florida are portraits in hotels. Hotels are where I spent most of my time. The other photographs are taken from the truck, which is the other place I spent alot of time. I also spent time visiting family. I took very few photographs of them. That’s how it is.
Upon checking into our first hotel, Beren began to sneeze. Allergic to the room, I hoped. Not likely. His nose began to run. About four days later, I noticed that my hips were aching. I came down with the flu.
Beren and Jared took turns checking on me. “Momma, I hope you feel better soon,” Beren said gravely and repeatedly as he patted my hand nervously.
As I improved, Beren declined. He woke one morning complaining of a headache. Only stupid YouTube videos and reading a year’s worth of Prince Valiant comics quelled his misery.
During the week he and I were hotel-bound, Jared explored the dreary town of Vero Beach, which is where we landed before I collapsed. Vero Beach is not exciting, I discovered, when I was finally able to get out of bed.
I spent several days and nights just sleeping. One day I drank several cups of Bigelow’s Plantation Mint. As I lay down on our room’s foldout couch. I noticed I was not sleepy. In hindsight, I noticed that Plantation Mint tastes a little like mint and alot like green or black tea. I did not sleep that night.
The takeout in Vero Beach is awful. I had hardly an appetite. Once I woke to see Jared pour a viscous peach-colored Thai curry onto one of camping plates. I closed my eyes again.
Jared claimed he was having a fine time taking excursions by day with Beren until he got he flu and then alone once Beren collapsed. And by night, he was working on his book and playing guitar in the hotel. After twenty years with this man, I knew that would fall apart shortly and completely. It did. I’d feel the same.
Throughout the two and a half weeks, we contemplated turning back north. We checked the weather in New Jersey. We imagined that after another good night’s sleep the following day would be better. It - the trip, the personnel, and the food - never really improved.
I found this note on a scrap of paper. It is probably about 3 years old. Beren is past his Richard Scarry days, in which we find the compelling but bit part character, Maniac. Here is what Beren told me about Maniac:
Maniac’s ear and arm fell off. He plants mugwort. He uses a tea candle as a fire pit. His house is no color. He had no family.
Her cart was in the middle of the aisle. Her boyfriend said ‘hi’ to me. I mumbled a reply, not even words, really. That cart was in my way. She stared at me. I navigated my cart between hers and the shelves. She did not move.
She was wiping down the gas pumps while I pumped gas. I said ‘hi’ just as squatted down to continue her work. She looked up, smiled, and asked how I was. An honest smile. I returned her smile with my own and wished I said hello while she was standing.
I had the expectation that she might not be friendly. She had disappeared when I entered the store. She was friendly. My hair was messy. Hers was not. We talked about wildflowers, clothing, Ocean City, Maryland, and paying the rent. She asked if the shopping was good in New Jersey. I said no. We both wished we had longer torsos.
I read meaning, distraction, attention. Every wrinkle, fold, bulge. Each have meaning. The length of stay in a drawer. How the sheets were drawn across the bed. The age of a hand.
I like the mistakes the best so far. Catching unplanned in between moments.
Last year was last year. In December’s cold days, I was preoccupied. There was little time or space to reflect as I like to do. February is here. Last year is done. This year is here. I have no resolutions.
I will make photographs and write. I will bring closer together my vocations - art and conservation.
“There she is,” I repeat as one of the females cruised low over the grasses. Dark against the evening sky, long winged. I admire her tawny red-brown feathers and powerful flight. I remember how the male looks, much smaller and silvery grey, and thus called grey ghost. The females get no name of such mystery. Red power.Read More