creating sticky fingers

“Materials are like elementary particles: charged, but indifferent. They do not listen in on your fantasies, do not get up and move to your idle wishes. The blunt truth is, they do precisely what your hands make them do.” Art and Fear. David Bayles/Ted Orland

creativity tugged

“do something different”

big paper?

pencil?

paint?

paper?

feeling

looking

for “the one”

creativity tugged again

imagination took hold

collage!

torn paper collage!

there I sat tearing, ripping, reripping

listening, looking, thinking

lost in creating

wondering

with sticky fingers

piece by piece

slowly the image appears

the image of the one black-eyed susan spared by noshing rabbits

Not Quite…

Standing on the pier, luggage in tow, waiting for the ferry. The crowd of travelers was forming. I noticed an older gentleman lean over to Kim. “Are you ladies headed for a bible study?” There was a hint of sarcasm in his voice (nothing against a bible study). We all turned towards our fellow friendly traveler. We laughed together. “Nope, not quite bible study for us.” I clarified, then elaborated sensing his curiosity, “We all graduated high school together and we’re celebrating our 50th birthdays. 1970 babies here.” “Ahhhhh..” he replied with a tone of reminiscence. “How old do you think I was then?” Without hesitation, he answered his own question, “I was 42 years old – 92 now.” He proudly revealed. “92! Wow! Impressive!” I said celebrating our new ferry friend.

That was the beginning of four days and three nights celebrating our history. A history loaded with friendships and experiences that molded each of us

  • 1970 something – Too young to remember actually meeting Beth. We were born and raised in Seekonk. We went to kindergarten together. We moved right through George R Martin Elementary School together. She was one of those friends I always looked for in church on Sunday mornings. Beth has always been there.
  • 1978 – I actually remember the day Kim walked into my third grade class. She was wearing a brown dress with a black print. There was a thin black tie at the waist. We immediately clicked as friends and before I knew it, she and I would be spending summers running back and forth to each others houses. We’d end up taking dance classes and acrobats together. We had not a care in the world.
  • 1982 – Beth, Kim, and I transitioned to Junior High School. This was the year that the north end kids and the south end kids would merge. New faces, new relationships, new friends were waiting. It didn’t take long before one of us befriended the tall twins from the north end – Kerry and Crystal. There were dances in the gym, after schools at the library doing anything but reading. There was the 8th grade camping trip, youth group ski trips, sleep overs and more.

2022 – Four days and three nights off the leash. There were conversations about husbands and work, kids and retirement. There were belly laughs and snorts. There were many memories and stories pieced together bit by bit.

Friends like these have a way of reminding you who you are and where you’ve come from. I am blessed to have these friends. In their company I celebrate where I’ve been, where I am. They feed me energy for the future.

The four days and three nights may not have been a bible study but it sure was filled with blessings.

A Habit and A Process

Observation, one of THE most powerful habits of a writer. I have learned to grow and nurture this habit through line drawings. As a beginning writer, I often found it challenging to move from thoughts to words. I needed a bridge. One day, decades ago, I took the plunge and began to follow the line of what I saw – children in my class, the basket of laundry, the plants in my home, the stone on the fireplace, the trees outside my window, the window. Sketching became the bridge between my swirling thoughts and the blank page. Sketching to see and think became not only a habit, but an essential part of my writing process.

I’ve been watching the hydrangea in my yard closely. Each day, I see newness. Each day, upon observation, I am witness to the change and because, sketching is part of my process, I preserve the ever changing hydrangea in my journal and I discover writing.

green leaves become the background the infant flowers
the tips take on the blue that will soon spread
follow the lines of the petals, the flowers, the leaves
capture the brilliant blue by rubbing dabs of oil pastel with a tissue

About a month ago, Amy Ellerman wrote a post where, “after spending an exorbitant amount time in a rocking chair watching a mother bird and her babies” she invites everyone to “seek out the magic happening in your own environment”. I am also inviting you to do the same. Try connecting to that magic with a line drawing or two, not make a beautiful picture, but rather to discover the magic before you and within you.

Ad Breaks

“Remember they are not not programs, they areTV shows.” Dr. Rick states to his audience filled with young homeowners hoping to “un-become their parents” in one of our favorite Progressive commercials. Billy and I like to recite the lines every now and then, just for a good laugh, or maybe to be sure we are not becoming our parents…yet.

A few nights ago, Megan and I were laying on the couch watching the women’s gymnastics olympic trials. Megan is very dialed into the upcoming Olympics and hence she was dialed into the all the trials. We had been watching for about an hour and half and they were getting closer and the announcers were beginning to project who they thought would be heading to Tokyo. As the competition was drawing to a close, the broadcast station seemed to be drawing it out a lot longer than necessary. “Geez! ” I said, about to comment on the sudden barrage of commercials. As if reading my mind, Megan blurted out, “There’s an awful lot of ad breaks!” “Ad breaks???” “I meant commercials!” Megan was now laughing at her own self. “Is that what they call them now, ad breaks?” I was laughing right along with her but also seeking information as if in a Dr. Rick seminar. “They don’t call them ad breaks instead of commercials, do they?” Still giggling, she said “No, mom, they are still commercials.”

Guess I don’t have to sign up for a Dr. Rick seminar…yet.

slow changes

the sun is higher, stronger

rays call for the green

and then

those rays call for the blue

slowly, week by week

the hydrangea’s colors

answer the suns call