Thursday, September 26, 2013

We've Got to Stop Meeting Like This!

Yesterday I ran into my mom at the dentist's office. That also happened last time, and perhaps the time before!

Now, yes, once you get on a dental schedule, aided by electronic calendars at the receptionist's desk and all that, it's reasonable that people might be in dental synchronicity, but this occurred even after my mom had canceled and rescheduled her exam & cleaning! So it's a Random Coinciday in the blog!

OK, here's another coincidence. I visited a gallery on our town's First Friday open studios/galleries event last month and really liked these tintypes I saw in the window and on the wall. I asked about the artist, whose name seemed vaguely familiar but whose work I'd not seen before. Then the artist walked in the door, and we were introduced, and he sort of recognized me, but we couldn't figure out where or when.

Background music: "Where or When" as sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Then, suddenly, me: "Oh, you're Rashod!"

He was, indeed, Rashod Taylor, who'd been my high school student several years ago when I served as a replacement English teacher for someone who left on short notice. (I was a college teacher but got a temporary teaching certificate that lasted for the 90 days they needed me to teach!) He was in the yearbook class and was a fantastic yearbook photographer. Since then, he's been to Africa and New York City, he's developed his portrait photography skills, and he's gotten interested in some historical photographic techniques, making tintypes and ambrotypes, using the collodion process. You can see a couple here and more at his feature today up at Escape Into Life!

In another coincidence, my computer is in slow motion today as I try to show you these rapids by Rashod, so I am going to sign off as soon as I can. But I'd just like to mention that my mother, my daughter, and I are all getting our teeth cleaned on December 26!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Memory Walk

See this beautiful, labyrinthine, mosaic table? I wish it were mine! I bought raffle tickets for this table, made by the excellent Kim Tingley, but, went to someone else. However, the rafflish proceeds will go toward the Walk to End Alzheimer's, coming up this Saturday, September 28, in our area. I will be walking, and so will the excellent Kim Tingley, and you can support us, individually or as a team, by clicking here!

We are the Progressive BiPeds, led by co-pastor and dog trainer Bob Ryder, of New Covenant Community and Pawsitive Transformations. We are BiPeds, as opposed to dogs, but maybe a dog will join us! A lively, yet well-trained dog named Daisy! (Or maybe this wolf will join us, howling!) Anyhowl...

Alzheimer's runs in my family: my grandmother (in older age) and my Uncle Terry (at a younger age, alas!) died with/from Alzheimer's, and we have friends in local care facilities now. I pause (get it, paws?) to reassure you that my ins and outs with linear time are simply how my regular origami brain works.

Our hearts go out to all affected, and my feet are made for walking. No doubt I'll be wearing these red shoes. Again, you can donate here, at the walk site, and I hope you will, because it looks like I have raised nothing toward the cause, but I promise you I made a small donation to the team before I realized I could be in town that day to walk, and, of course, there were those greedy-for-a-mosaic-table raffle tickets I bought, yearning, yearning...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Linear Time

I've been so delightfully busy I lost track of linear time. On Wednesday morning, I was suddenly convinced it was Thursday. Plus, I ran out of groceries and accidentally bought Oreo-sprinkled brownies. Of course, this might all be the paint thinner talking....

Anyhoo, we had a great opening weekend for Earth and Sky, by Douglas Post, at Heartland Theatre! I'm serving as dramaturg for that and giving the curtain speech. Tonight we resume under the full moon!

Over at Escape Into Life, I've posted a review of Her Vena Amoris, by Carol Berg, one of our EIL poets. Usually I do that on "poetry Wednesday," but see Wednesday/Thursday confusion above. Fortunately, our new Artist Watch editor, Maureen E. Doallas (also an EIL poet, as it happens!), was ready to go with a new art feature, too!

In my own poetry life, I am busily composing new poems, submitting work as fall reading periods open up, and receiving rejections galore and the occasional acceptance! I need some really good news soon to keep my spirits up, or I might resort to the Oreo-sprinkled brownies. Purchased, in fact, because the kids are coming home for the weekend to see Earth and Sky. And for love!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Earth and Sky, Moon and Stars

I came out of the opening performance of Earth and Sky tonight to a beautiful half moon and marvelous stars! Earth and Sky, by Douglas Post, is playing all September at Heartland Theatre! What a receptive audience we had, and what great performances. I worked as dramaturg on this production, and loved it! I'll be there almost every night to give the curtain speech. The play is a "poetic thriller" with a strong woman at its center, and plenty of surprises.

Somehow it fits that the new poetry feature up today at Escape Into Life is Susan Blackwell Ramsey, with powerful paintings by Kelly Reemstem. This one is called Task at Hand. I know I'd sometimes like a chainsaw available for the task at hand. Or at least a recycling bin.

So, check out the poetry feature online! And, if you're local, come see Earth and Sky. It's a beautiful weekend to be out at night!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Hitting the Books

OK, I'm hitting the books again, as promised. The first of the book reviews is up at Escape Into Life, on a wonderful book of poems, Notes from the Journey Westward, by Joe Wilkins. I've been admiring his work for a long while. He has a memoir, too!

I'm also on round two of my Camille Claudel* research project, so I am hitting those books. Not literally, though that may happen, thanks to 1) paint thinner smell on the patio & 2) taking my books outside, to read them on the patio. It's so beautiful out, I can't stay indoors.

*For another dance/music/theatre collaboration with Columbus Dance Theatre in Columbus, Ohio!

From the picnic table on the patio, where my books sit in a basket, ready for notetaking, I can see pink balsam and blue morning glory.

I can hear cicadas & a neighborhood roofing project.

And I can smell...paint thinner.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Paint Thinner

My husband’s interesting new way to paint is with paint thinner. That is, he adds paint thinner to the paint to make it pourable, and he half paints, half pours. I roll my eyes at this, not because I disapprove—and he is producing beautiful paintings with this method!—but because paint thinner makes my eyeballs roll around in my head.

We were both loopy enough to begin with, and now this.

His studio is in the basement, where he also keeps his exercise machine, so sometimes he exercises in the haze of paint thinner fumes. That can’t be good.

My husband eventually realized that it might be best to 1) go outside for a while after painting 2) take the painting outside to dry. 

But, now the patio smells like paint thinner. This is an open-air patio, no walls. So, soon the entire back yard will smell like paint thinner. And then the neighborhood. And then the world.

I have hanging plants on the patio. I have seen them rolling their eyes at this, too. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Domestic Labor

Happy Labor Day! It's a gorgeous day here, perfect for a parade. The heat has lifted, the sky is blue, and there's a light breeze. We have family wamily in town: kids home from college and work, brother and his wife in from the west coast, visiting lots of family around here. So various pleasant gatherings going on. A holiday with bits of domestic labor, which, of course, never stops!

Here is a parade of poems, up for the holiday at Escape Into Life. With photography by Monika Nguyen. How about that mysterious and delightful cow?