Funny that I’ve chosen to blog on a morning after a 12 hour headache – especially since this blog is very much about choices. I never claimed to always make the right choice, though.
And funny that I don’t have much to say after three weeks, but what I usually do is just start typing and eventually something will emerge.
I decided not to go to the farmers’ market this morning. My CSA chicken is not there (they didn’t have water to process them this week – I hope that they found out before they slaughtered them!) and my money is low. I have enough in the freezer and refrigerator to get by this week, with maybe one small run to Deep Roots. There’s a large crowd by this time of morning and I feel the need to conserve my energy today.
This afternoon there is a celebration of John’s life at Green Hill. I have had a hard time dealing with this loss, as I do with almost any loss. I didn’t RSVP until the last minute because I kept putting it out of my mind, and when a friend emailed me for the third time about it I realized that I had to do it. His wife said that when she was going through his papers from the 90s that my name came up a lot, and that made me feel good. And it makes me feel good that John would be proud of the artwork that I am doing, although he never could understand my depression and anxiety at all. He asked me the oddest questions about it, but at least he asked. Some people just don’t get depression. My mother is one of those people. I wish that I was, but that would require giving up a large part of my life experience, and even the negative parts make you who you are.
Anyway, I found a recommendation letter that John wrote for me for a scholarship application to Penland about ten years ago, and I’ll treasure that. Plus other tidbits here and there.
In the studio, I hauled out all the old sketchbooks and notebooks of mine I could find (and that survived my studio flood of the early 90s), cut and tore out all the parts about weaving, and altered a nice coloring book about mythology that I got from the free shelves at Ed McKays. I took the pages about Arachne and glued them to the covers and first pages, glued woven samples to the covers, and glued every scrap and study and photo and note I could find that I saved, which was plenty. Even the projects that didn’t work, or never made it to the loom. I left some spaces for writing and other scraps that might appear, because in our cluttered house that is almost a certainty.
This past week I have been an obsessed fiend about making paper. This is the time of year that I clean out my files at work and I recycled a lot of it. Once I figured out how easy it was to make paper I couldn’t stop. I have to stop long enough to work, eat, sleep, and let the previous batch of paper dry. I’ve made several batches: white, dark pink, light pink, white with sunflower petals, and last night, a blue-grey. I saved all the trimmings from the sketchbooks that I took apart and used them. I added dryer lint to the last two batches. I’ve already used up my little Kandinsky journal and I couldn’t wait to make another journal with the paper that I’ve made. I did that last night too, with pizza boxes from Sticks and Stones (they have a very cool stamp that they use on their boxes), white paper, and I lined the inside covers with the sunflower petal paper. We shall see how easily I am able to write on the handmade paper.
The cool thing about this is that the materials are not costing me a cent, so I’m getting in a lot of practice before moving on to the more difficult or expensive materials. But I have spent a lot of money on great pens! I have always loved good pens, and the selections these days just make my head spin. I ordered $25 worth of gel and fabric pens from jetpens.com the other day, a site that I’ve tried to avoid because I knew that resistance would eventually be futile.
Now I need to save my money for my San Francisco trip, which is only a month away. I’m so excited that I will be able to see and listen to so many of my food and writing idols at Slow Food Nation. (Michael Pollan and Wendell Berry among them!!!!) I will actually be attending the National Congress before Slow Food Nation, so my only overlap will be the Food for Thought speaker day on Friday. Everything that I read about all of it just boggles my mind. What an amazing event they have planned!
The garden is not producing much these days, although it is full of foliage and green tomatoes! The Principe Borghese tomatoes began to ripen first. They are small, not sweet, but I ordered the seed because they are supposed to be good for drying. I’m getting a lot of Hungarian wax peppers, and they are delicious. There are a few more peppers ripening – pimento, paprika, and a wicked looking cayenne. I don’t ever even see a blueberry turn red before some critter takes it, so there will be no blueberries for us this year. This winter I will try to remember to build some kind of wire cage to put over it during berry time.
My guess is that it will keep me hopping to keep up with canning tomatoes in a week or two.