“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Happy Leap Day, But Be Careful!

This is a very  quick collage. I've been starting small pieces & leaving them laying about so that on any given day, with any given idea, I can just slap the things together.  Pretty much literally - I lost the clock behind jars of paint this morning.  If I can just stop worrying about whether something is real  art, I can fly.  And these little things don't feel like real art - they just feel like fun.

PS - 4:49 pm - I just noticed this looks exactly like a monkey.  I just love it when stuff like that happens! ("God is happy, memsahib - he plays with us!")


I'm Late, I'm Late . . .

I blame it on this clock, bless its heart.  It needs to grow legs - or better yet, wings! - to move itself from room to room.  It's not my fault!  You'd think it would be easy to find a small, white, battery-operated - no digital, please - alarm clock.  But I've tried!  I swear!  I've been trying for months - since my living room clock died after 20 years of near-perfect service (well worth the 3 bucks it cost me).  Tried in vain!  And I refuse  to settle for anything different.  Michael can tell you about that - I replace my Levi's jacket with another Levi's jacket, my white leather Keds with more white leather Keds.  But since the remaining clock can't figure out how to follow me from the living room to the bedroom & back again, it's up to me  to remember to move it.  Sometimes I forget.

And last night - I'm embarrassed to admit this, but admit it I will - I was totally caught up in this movie starring Dermot Mulroney (how could I not be?) & Debra Messing.  It was awful, it was predictable, it was wonderful, and she wore this beautiful blue/green, aqua-y/seafoam dress, & besides, I've been in a very "girly" mood lately. I blame it on the pink tulip trees that have bloomed at the same time as my pink Christmas cactus - if I'd get up early enough, I could take some photographs & prove it to you.


Letting Go

Not one of my strong points.  Oh, I'm terrific  at throwing out things, but letting go is a whole different thing.  My new banner for this blog is an example.  It is the original Emma Tree - before there was even an Emma.  It was a mural at our old photo lab - it had real limbs attached to it that I decorated seasonally, and absolute joy in every brushstroke.  When we moved, it killed  me to leave it behind.  I had it all figured out - I planned a ritual where I would paint over it - I couldn't dare let our old landlords do that.  How could they possibly understand what it meant?  It was something I needed to do alone - I needed to say my goodbyes to the tree, to the space, to the time spent there.

But I got sick.  Very sick.  A month's worth of fever sick - the hospital 2ce  sick.  Then my across the street neighbor - Mary (Our Lady of Lindsey Lane, and in her 90s) fell and broke her hip about the time I began to feel better & the care of her cats fell to me.  I could barely get to work & back & take care of my  cat, Maggie, and then across the street to Mary's house every night.  But eventually I got better & eventually Mary got better.  The day she came home was final moving day for our business & I hadn't even taken remembrance photos of my tree, much less managed the time for my goodbye ritual.  In the absolute final hours, I snapped some photos.  That night, after we moved, moved, moved, moved, moved  stuff,  I broke down in tears.  I stayed after everyone else had gone, and just sat on the floor and said goodbye to all those years.  This was the tree that greeted me every morning during the years we worked 70 & 80 hour weeks for months on end.  This was the tree that was there when my father got sick, the tree that stood by when he died, the tree that was there when (one month later) the real Emma made her appearance.  When Michael & I ended our workdays with our ritual - me reading out loud to him - this was the tree that kept us company.

But then we were gone & I swore I would never  paint another mural.  And I've kept my promise to myself - this lab has a tree I've built onto the wall - it can be dismantled & I can take it with me if we move again.  It also has real limbs, and it gets decorated seasonally - strangers going by will stop in just to get a close-up look - and it's just as wonderful in its own way.  But when looking for photos to design a new banner, I came across my old, final-moment snapshots. There she was. The original Emma Tree. And I knew I could have her back. I could see her every day.


Fairy Tale for Grown-Up Women: Part 1

This is the 1st page of an ongoing story. It has evolved from an altered book to a "new" book to having pages torn out & collages attempted. It now sits in pieces in a basket, waiting for that "aha" moment when I'll KNOW how it's to be finished.


Breathing Room

This painting on wood
always makes me think of a window high on a wall,
and room to breathe.


Girl Stuff & Words

I spent my driving time yesterday listening to The 12th of Blues, a terrific CD compiled by generous friends Joe & Lisa of Howling Wolf Creek (best musical tastes EVER!) & pondering (agonizing?) my inability to commit words to a collage-in-progress. When I mentioned this to the ever-wonderful Michael, he jokingly asked if they were "girl words". (Well, yes, of course, I AM a girl!) Is girl stuff not "real" art? If it's pretty, or if it speaks of dreams, does it then not count?

Girl word list: bliss, joy, soul, dream, dance, breathe, celebrate, whisper, moonlight, kiss, play.


One Toe in the Water

It's Saturday morning & the sunshine is pouring down from the sky like magic. My heart & hands are open to both.
After a HUGE Mexican breakfast, I am on my way to Pandora's Box , one of my favorite shops - full of cats & kittens, antiques, art & the blues. Then my niece's basketball game - she's a Shooting Star!