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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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Rock & Sling Guest Post: Summer Reading

I am honored to have a piece up on the Rock & Sling blog this past week. It was the wrap-up of their Summer Reading series and a chance to revisit how life and books intertwined at some key summer moments, past and present.

And now that I'm thinking of summer, here's a small bit from a trip to my hometown in June:

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Of Burgers and Barrooms Anthology, Main Street Rag

I am so pleased to have my poem, "This is exactly" included in Main Street Rag's upcoming anthology, Of Burgers and Barrooms. I had the opportunity to peek through the proof, and it looks like a fascinating and varied collection. The projected release date for this collection of stories and poems is November 14, 2017, but you can preorder the book in advance for a discounted price of $10 here

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Monday, August 7, 2017

What I Did This Summer

So I've been playing with paper for a long time. And long ago when I went off to college I thought I would have time to study both art and music seriously. When it became clear that I had to focus on one or the other, I told myself I would take art classes again someday, maybe after I got my big orchestra job. And life went differently than that. That's okay, though, because hovering on the side of my writing all this time has been this desire to extend words and thought more and more into a physical realm. This summer I took several classes at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and my head and heart are bursting. (It's a magical place, and I can't wait to go back again.) The pictures above are things I made in class--now I'm trying to find time for skill-building, and practice, and ways to bring some of the ideas in my head to life. I have so much to learn, and I'm so excited.

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Update: May/June

I am honored to have had two pieces published recently: an article in the American Suzuki Journal, and a poem in Rock & Sling (Issue 12.1.) 

It was a special treat to see my article in the ASJ featured on the mailing label that came with the journal--I am rather proud of that. The article, "Walk the Hills, Crawl if Necessary" was something I worked on for months this past year. The basic point was that as parents we run into times when we have to loosen our grip on our expectations, that sometimes what looks like stagnation is still a moving-forward, just maybe hidden, or very slow. It ended up being very, very close to home, and depending on the day (week/month) it was sometimes nearly impossible to write about.

The poem in Rock & Sling was also difficult to write. "The Beatitudes" by Vladimir Martynov, Rescored for Kronos Quartet was a piece I nearly gave up on. It began as an assignment at a poetry workshop I attended in 2015, the last assignment at the end of an incredibly full, intense week. I hated what I had written so much I decided not to turn it in. In the end I could not leave it alone, either, but it took many months to shift into its current form.

Today's theme? Never give up. Time is kind of a magical thing, and I keep forgetting to factor it in. 

I have been working on several projects while away from this blog. Day-to-day what I see around me is Mess, but over the course of time I can see that I am making progress. In time I hope to share about those here. In the meantime you can find me a little more frequently on Instagram.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Make it New: See it New

It is an honor to be a guest contributor on the Rock & Sling blog today. And it was good to re-read my own words. I know I am not the only one who carries the weight of current events, personal struggles (those of my loved ones as well as my own,) and what amounts to a daily battle with chaos around on her shoulders. It is only natural that we get tired. Playing with a teleidoscope last December felt like escapism at first, a place for my soul to rest during a busy time. But it became something more, reminding me that transformation is a powerful powerful thing. You can read about it here.

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