Mirror, mirror…

November 16, 2015 § 1 Comment

  

Mirror, mirror…

November 9, 2015 § Leave a comment

  

Please take this whip from me.

November 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

“Operating from the emotional reality of a child”

That’s what I said Monday night to a group of people who get together once a week to talk about becoming their own parents.

A piece of me is trapped. Back there in that classroom, in the corner of the play yard, locked in the bathroom, scrambling over the fence to get away from them.

The scapegoat. The fat one. The one that everybody picked on, the odd man out. The one that wouldn’t play sports, the one who locked herself in the art room because she couldn’t face the lunch room.

Kiddo, i’m not quite sure how to get you out of there yet, but I’m working on it. But first, please, I need you to stop driving the car. You really aren’t old enough.

Please take this whip from me.

Please take this voice that says I’m not good enough, strong enough.

Please take this voice that says I’m not lovable, really. That I’m just fooling myself. 

Please take this whip from me.

“We admitted we were powerless over the effects of alcoholism or other family dysfunction, that our lives had become unmanageable.”

I can’t make a fucking Christmas wreath.

November 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

I can’t begin to tell you how oddly relieving this is. My degree is in Fine Arts, an extended major in Painting & Cast Metals. I also had enough credits in Photography and Ceramics…

I’ve attempted to make a Christmas wreath three years in a row now.

It always winds up this haphazardness of intention – nothing like the beauty I see on Pinterest, or other such pernicious websites.

I was on the phone with Mom a week ago when I revealed my revelation. Her response was, “oh my god, there’s something you can’t do?!”

Yep. There’s something I can’t do. My work is in a museum collection, I’ve been represented by several galleries, I’m in countless private collections…

There is a limit, and I found it. And, somehow, it is such a relief. I think, most of all, it’s a relief just to admit it. Being on the planet these days where my main priority doesn’t have a paintbrush in my hand makes me a little crazy. I have a creative self that still wants to be kept in the business somehow.

Limits… Admitting that there is something I can’t do makes me admit that there is something that I can do – and I should be doing it.

People think that being an artistic creative type is such a magical thing. The truth is, there is this unbearable drive to make beauty that doesn’t pay the rent or balance the checkbook. It’s such an intangible urging that ultimately has very little value in contemporary living. 

And so, my experience has been this: put down the paintbrush to pay the bills. To live my life. But then, I’m always hauling home this project or that project. Yes, I can repair and reupholster that old morris chair abandoned on the side of the road. Yes, I can repair, resize, and alter that fabulous piece of clothing that someone was going to throw away. Yes, I can take that piece of scrap wood home and turn it into something fabulous.

Then the next thing I know I’m coming home from work, exhausted, and I can’t rest because all I can see are all of these projects around the house that need tending to. All of this really great potential.

Limits. I could say no. I could stop dragging all of this junk home and start making time to put pen to paper. I could stop dragging all of this junk home and pay attention to the fact that it is imperative that I make the time and space to do what I do best, and quit trying to make fucking Christmas wreaths.

Better than you can…

September 6, 2015 § Leave a comment

Yesterday I was at the Scottish Highland games in Belfair. 

I was standing outside of a booth noticing that the vendor was having quite a response to me. For the most part, everyone there had pretty much smiled at me and I hadn’t caught any negative response. But this woman was staring. And it was the kind of stare that was accompanied with a scowl… I caught her elbowing her husband to get an eyeful of me. 

I quickly slipped behind a display rack. I could see him straining to see around the rack so he could catch what she was pointing at.

And then a little bit of wicked snuck in. I very calmly stepped into their booth, making sure my hands were in my pockets the entire time. As I did so, I made sure that there was no clear visibility between the two of us. In fact, I made sure I got quite close to where they were sitting, but always keeping my back to them so they would not get a full close up glimpse. It was such wicked fun and I didn’t feel one ounce of guilt for doing it.

Towards the end of the day, my friends and I were catching one last performance by the Seattle Knights. As I made my way towards the bleachers, or young man caught my eye. A tall lanky thing at about 14 to 15 years old with a sword strapped to his back, and carrying his skateboard. He approached me with his best fake Scottish accent, “That’s quite the nice beard you are growing… how long did it take you to grow that?”

I smiled. Shrugging my shoulders, I told him it had been since December and this was probably about as long as it was going to get. He replied saying that he couldn’t begin to grow such abundant facial hair. I promised him that it would come in…

He plopped down next to me and turned to the stranger to his left, “Look at that, will you? The woman can grow a beard better than you can…” The poor man turned to us, eyes got big as saucers, and quickly turned back to the performance.

I chuckled with him. So bold…

Owls

August 12, 2015 § Leave a comment

   

Potato Salad 

July 24, 2015 § 1 Comment

“Why do you have a beard? You are a girl.”

I looked down at the small red head staring up at me from the steps of the Harbor Mercantile. Her little brother turned his attention towards me, as did her grandmother sitting on the bench between them.

Grandma beat me to the punch. “Your grandmother would have quite the beard if she didn’t have tweezers.” 

She continued to stare at me as she reached up and stroked her throat, “I have one little hair right here…” Her grandma nodded, “It might be telling of things to come.” The woman had a slight smile on her face as her twinkling eyes went from her little granddaughter up to me.

I grinned. “Your grandmother is right, a lot of ladies can grow it, but they choose not to. I just like mine, and I think it looks kind of cool.” She thought about that as I paused. 

“What do you think of it?”, I asked.

“Well, I think it’s kind of weird. But I kind of like it, too.” I smiled and nodded as I went inside the store.

The usual raucous crowd was inside. I love the haphazard social scene at the Harbor Mercantile. The morning coffee pot was still on, and the banter was flowing. I started to walk out the door with my purchase…

She was still standing there in the doorway, looking at me. “That’s all you’re getting? Potatoes?” I held up the two bags of baby Yukon golds. “Yep. I am making potato salad, and I have everything I need. Except for potatoes.” She pursed her lips knowingly and nodded. I wished her a good day and hoped that she was up to something fun with her grandmother… 

She waved at me as I walked to my car, “Good luck with your potato salad!”

I live on an island. 

I love where I live…

——-

Good Luck Potato Salad

About a pound and a half of baby Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped into generous pieces. Cover with water, and bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, turn off the heat and go to work for four hours. 

Bust out a sparkling clean house at an unreasonable pace, all the while sweating about your guests coming in the afternoon. 

Rush home, still in your work clothes, and put potatoes in a strainer to drain. Run out to sweep off the deck, and make sure the slip & slide is in good condition. Put out paper plates, check on the sun tea you made yesterday, clean off the one serving spoon still at the bottom of the sink.

Chop up three medium-sized kosher dill pickles, and toss on top of the potatoes in a large bowl. Dice a fistful of parsley, and throw that in with about a quarter cup of mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of cumin.

Frantically try to grind white pepper in the pepper grinder that has never really worked very well, call it good enough. Toss and put a lid on it to keep the flies out.

Feeds one employee on her birthday, her husband who goes back for three helpings, a teenage boy that eats as much as his dad, and a young girl who would rather have popcorn.

Oh, and one house cleaner who forgot to have breakfast…