Sunday, April 24

we also saw a snapping turtle in the park but i didn't get a picture of it

hole in the park road that will have a speedbump anchored to it soon.
"Life is to be lived. If you have to support yourself, you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. And you don't do that by sitting around wondering about yourself. - Katherine Hepburn

Friday, April 22

otoshiana and the hovering

Please appreciate that I don't have my camera. This is me taking a picture by hovering the laptop over the cutting table. Thank you for your consideration.

At this moment I'm making my first otoshiana from Pattern Magic.  That's a fancy word for a sculpted hole. And when I say "from" what I mean is, I didn't read the instructions or measure anything or do the prep part by making one out of paper, I just stared at the pictures then started cutting out my own. If I have my way it will end up in a skirt. If I don't you'll never hear about it again.

Speaking of never, and never saying it, I picked up my copy of The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron yesterday - not to read, but to toss into the giveaway pile. Then I opened it up and read this line: "Artists love other artists. And part of what we love is their courage." Of course I instantly thought of all the wonderful support other artists have offered to me this week, just because I opened up enough to talk about my petty struggles. And this courage has been, in a way I didn't quite have words for, what I love about so many other makers (of all sorts) and what they do - their willingness to show up, and to not only make, but to actually push their creations out into the world. Once you start taking these chances yourself, respect for others and humility blooms in all directions. Yay. I need to remember this connection.

So ... I'm going to read it! I never quite clicked with The Artist's Way. When I found it it didn't address my resistance enough to keep my attention. I never like saying that out loud because so many other people dig it, but I'll start with this book and who knows, maybe back slowly up to that one too.

This was not an ad for Amazon dot com. It just came out this way.

Monday, April 18

so I thought, I've already embarrassed myself on the internet, why not share a poem I wrote?

Around The House
by Helen Carter

with thanks to Billy Collins

While Mr. Collins sails alone around the room
I chase myself through my house.

Growing larger as I run - I only inhale -
from room to room I plod,
duck through doorways, careen off shaking walls,
flat feet pounding the worn wooden floors,
the ceiling fan now a garland in my hair.

Once I thought I had myself cornered
in the dust behind the furnace.  And once I lunged at a blur of light
behind the shower curtain.  Both times I fell.

I pass the baton to my other hand and pick up pace,
now even the dog, who will chase his own tail until he falls over
sees no point in this race
and lies down on the futon, idly counting laps.

I know what the buddha said
about the ten thousand things:
they are as they are.
But he has never been over to my place,
let alone climbed the stairs to my attic.

There he would find me,
fully inflated, finally still, exhausted,
sneaker filling the stairwell, neck bent oddly,
one giant pouting eye
blinking out through the louvered window,
noting the weeds in the garden, thinking
I’ve never been as cute as Alice,
thinking my head has grown too large to rest in his hands,
still thinking I will win next time ...
almost tired enough to exhale
before inhaling again.

His fingers find the hanging string and he puts out the light,
squeezing past my foot and silently down the stairs.
In the hall, the dogs thunk their tails as he passes,
not even bothering to lick his knees;
they know he is only walking over to my desk
as he does every day
to sit by the lamp and wait for me to wake up.

Sunday, April 17

helen doesn't work here any more.

paper pods in the studio
It's a clear gorgeous morning and I'm in the studio, with fresh crisp air coming in the window, and I'm drinking cold leftover tea. I made some paper pods yesterday from a ream of cheap crummy graph paper that I just got from a scary store full of crap. I really like it. It smells like glue. I have to remind myself to play. How sad is that? I continue my fight against treating myself like an employee - how long will it take to undo this? Can it be undone?