MEMOIR

I have been working on a memoir for my grandchildren. It’s comprised of essays, short pieces called snapshots, recipes and photos.  It has been an amazing process of reflection into the lives of my grandparents, parents, brother, cousins, friends and so many of my life experiences.  What I realized along the way is how grateful I am for my parents’ love and generosity;  I had been labeling them for about 70 years as controlling and critical.  In writing an essay about what they gave me (emotionally as well as materially), I am deeply humbled and so proud of my parents.  I hope to keep you posted with my progress in this project.dsc01071IMG_7094.JPG

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Museum of Arts & Design, NYC

Hello Friends on Winter Count!

This is my first attempt at posting.  Please be patient.  Please send me all your helpful criticisms;  I’m not exactly sure what I’m doing and I want to participate in this wonderful winter project!

This past week I had a marvelous NYC adventure.  I took the subway from Brooklyn to midtown Manhattan and saw CROCHET CORAL REEF:  TOXIC SEAS by Margaret and Christine Wertheim at the Museum of Arts & Design on Columbus Circle.  The most fascinating crocheted objects were made of wool, acrylic and beads.  They were created through the process of Hyperbolic Geometry, a particular kind of geometry found in vegetables such as lettuce and kale as well as in coral reefs.  The two artists took the scientific algorithmic process to the world of art and crochet.  Here are some of what I saw on display.

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Winter Solstice

the slow return of light

Sagg Pond  12.21.16

In a land sufficiently rumored by cold a thin layer of ice holds Sagg Pond still.  Solstice from Latin solstitium, from sol sun + stit- stopped, stationary. We open our doors in wonder to the golden tassels of reeds, ice shards reflecting light like chrystal;  beauty in a broken world. The arc of a fawn’s ribcage a frozen hillock its color only a winter’s breath darker in tone than the honey colored reeds that seem to bear compassionate witness to him.  The gentle calls of songbirds wake me to the question “Do they know the natural world is threatened as never before”

I wish for all living beings, not just humans to live the full expression of their lives.  For wildness to thrive. For a return of abundance, integrity and diversity.  For human beings to remember their kinship with trees, birds, plants and water.  That we recognize our capacity to love the natural world again and celebrate as OFFERING.

Solstice Blessings

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My Wintercount Project…1-4.

I think I’ve honed in on what my project shall be for the ‘winter count.’  While on the Delaware coast for Thanksgiving, I found myself collecting oyster shells on the beach to paint….their gnarled shells looked as if the Great Creator had already done a bit of watercoloring herself upon them. Back at home, I finally got around to painting a Blue Crab claw that had sat on my desk since September. From another walk, a fragment of a purple-lined mussel shell. And yesterday morning, an alluring two-toned feather in dove-grey and white, beckoning to me from the driveway…

Fragments of my WANDERING.IMG_4860.jpgThese objects whisper to me about the lives they once contained…I find myself researching them for far longer lengths of time than I spend painting them. This research often stretches beyond what is necessary, as I strain to find definitive answers:  which feather? from which part of the bird’s body? is this a body contour feather, with its downy, plumulaceous lower half? or could it be a wing covert the way it so neatly and symmetrically curves? are covert feathers symmetrical like this? – and this is where my other guiding quote comes in, about knowing when something leaves me feeling drained, depleted, atrophied. The painting, however, leaves me feeling powerful, excited, electric.

 

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img_4853I had thought that I would inscribe each painting, identifying the objects by species, relating their natural histories. But now I am not so sure. I’d nearly convinced myself this feather belonged to a Junco, that natty-clothed, flittery, social bird of winter, but just as I set to penning the words on the paper, it occurred to me that the feather was much too big to be a body contour feather of any Junco. And that called the entire ‘naming process’ into question. Still, there is something in this process of inquiry, a kind of forensics or mystery-solving, that I am compelled by. Only, rather than a death, I feel I am discovering a life, other life forms I never knew about, right beneath my nose….

So the project is to be these fragments I discover on my unplanned, aimless wanderings à la Keri Smith….bringing them home, painting them, learning about them (without obsessing), creating a winter catalog. Already I see a relationship developing among their colors…cool violets and sky-blues, smoke-grey and buffy pink….winter hues. I’ve already dug to the white pan-bottom of my ultramarine in my watercolors.

Somehow, too, I want to bring my journaling in to play….creating small, open-ended histories for these objects…

…but for now, count me in to the Wander Society!