Sunday, May 6, 2018

We Can Work With This, Too

Maybe you don't know what you will come up with. Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe the color is the thing, and the playing with it--layering and adding, covering and taking away. After a while the paper takes on its own life, and while you did not find the thing you were trying to create, you found something else and it was beautiful. Think of it as a collaboration between you and Chance. I  am open, you tell God, you tell the universe, you tell the people you love. We can work with this, too, without losing ourselves, without forgetting our dreams. It's just that the canvas is so much bigger than we had anticipated.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Coptic Stitch Journals

These days I have to think in terms of projects. While I work on one the others wait, patiently or otherwise. I finish things, but usually not within the time frame I had imagined. Some days this is frustrating, but other days I can totally bask in the warmth of knowing that I do finish things, contrary to how I saw myself when I was much younger, and not only that but I like the things I eventually put out into the world. Most days that is really a whole lot of warmth, and it is helping me to get more comfortable with the backlog of Things Waiting.

One recent project is this group of hand bound journals/sketchbooks/blank books. Pink is not a color I turn to very often, but back in February I was recovering from influenza and bronchitis, thinking about how nice spring would feel, and probably feeling the influence of Valentine's Day everywhere I turned. I wanted pink--glowing, tender, robust, healthy, promising pink in deep-breathing, loving shades. I also wanted to play with watercolors and so, slowly, these journals were born.

Somewhere towards the end of finishing one of these journals, I had the impression that I was creating a small world. And hopefully someone else will take this simple small world into their hands and feel the call to create their own world or worlds within it. That is my hope for these little blank books. I think our souls ache to create and birth and converse as much now as ever in our history.

This, too, is an encouragement when I start to get overwhelmed by all the Things Waiting. They will be finished because they are needed.

These three are available in my Etsy shop, Bark Bread Designs:

These two are available locally at an antique store, along with some other items I have made. (If you are interested in these, please message me.)

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Friday, March 2, 2018

"Cicada" in Whale Road Review

The spring 2018 issue of Whale Road Review, an online poetry and short prose journal, came out yesterday, and I have been slowly reading through it. Relishing it, more like. It is an honor to have my poem "Cicada" included among all this richness. I hope you will find the time to take a look.

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Friday, February 23, 2018

Now in my Etsy Shop!

"Maybe I can let the pile of laundry be what it is and see it transformed at the same time."

My book, Shift: a visual poem, is now available in my Etsy shop. Equal parts prose poem and photographic series, this slim hybrid challenges the reader through vivid pictures and spare text to see the world around us both "as it is" and as something more--magical, transformed, full of possibility. You can find it here.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

"Imprint" at Rock and Sling

It is an honor to have my piece, "Imprint," up on the Rock and Sling blog this week. It pulls together some things I have been mulling over for months (sparked by the baby mouse and its siblings pictured below) and I am so pleased to be able to finally have it out in the world. You can read it here.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

Pasta with Squid Ink Sauce

Hours after moving our son into his dorm room at an arts boarding school a year and half ago, my husband and I sat down to one of the most delicious and memorable meals of my life. I was heartbroken and terrified--our boy was young and it felt way too early to have him away, despite the fact that he had initiated it and that after much soul-searching we were all convinced it was the right move for him. The dinner fixed nothing, but the sheer warm magnificence of it was something of a balm, the way light glitters off broken glass and reminds you that despite the shattering there is still beauty to witness. We ate wonderful things, including a pasta in squid ink sauce, which, despite a warning from our waitress, I ate without tucking a napkin into my shirt. I admit it, I fully believed I had learned to eat without dribbling. And I not only dribbled, I dropped a big piece of pasta right down the front of my shirt, and the black stain is never going to go away. I could not throw the shirt away, and I could not look at it for a long time, either, so I tucked it deep in my closet with all the other things I do not know how to deal with. Something in me remembers at times like this that I am a slow-simmerer. Finally the thought struck me that I could cover the stain even though I could not remove it, and I found tucked nearby one of the lovely vintage handkerchiefs I brought home from my grandmother's house after she died. And I sewed the two heartbreaks together, and it took a very long time, longer than I thought it should have, but look I have made a new beautiful thing and someday I will wear the people I love who I can no longer have close by. 

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Introducing Bark Bread Designs

So I spent much of 2017 making things. Writing and submitting, still, but also making the most lovely little tangibles I could manage. My visual poem Shift was the first project, but I have also been working on a number of paper creations: earrings, blank books, a few necklaces. And I finally have an Etsy shop, Bark Bread Designs, open so I can share them with the world. Please visit! I have more to list, more to learn, and a bunch of new ideas to try, so stay tuned. I'll keep you posted.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Note to Self

There is plenty to fear in this world, and more than enough horror to go around. Let this change you, yes, but don't let it stop you. Practice every day standing tall and being soft at the same time. The fear will be there whether you go forward or hide, so you might as well go forward: reach out and see and listen and reach out and see and listen. Tall and soft, tall and soft. Rest when you need to. Fight for what is right. And watch for what is beautiful. Let that change you, too. Let it carry you. Then carry it with you, to every damn dark place you can.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

I made a book. You can buy it if you like.

It's been pretty quiet here on the blog. Partly because life has been crazy and busy and full, and partly because I have been working on several longer-term projects. I put the first one out into the world today. Shift is an extension of the teleidoscope series I did during the Advent season last year. The project was powerful for me, and I wanted to make it into something a person could hold in their hands, or place in someone else's hands, if they felt so inclined. And so, this. I liked the idea of print-on-demand for this particular project, because only as many of these as are wanted will go out into the world, and I do not have to get anyone else's permission to send them out. I would love it if you wanted to buy one.

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