Sunday, April 25, 2010

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i know that i should be here more often, and that i've been slipping, lately.
but i just can't help it.
it either comes,
or it doesn't.
and sometimes i'm too busy
treading water
and i get out of breath,
and can't describe the feel of doing it.

other times
it comes flowing out of me
so that
from the first word
to the last
it is like one
and even when i myself
go back and look
i can't be sure
of where that breath

i'll be back
when that happens

best wishes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

a few things that i am grateful for tonight::
kids that respond to the answer to the question of what's for dinner with "yum."
friends who ask to come over.
being able to open the doors and windows.
my mother.
the extra box of tea i found in the cupboard.
a kind man at the camera shop.
a promising weather forecast.
sisters who can run a bath.
daughters who can fold the laundry.
neighbors with white lilacs.
tim being able to walk to and from work.
peonies and lily of the valley thinking about blooming soon.

best wishes and goodnight.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

lake grasses

with the riot of color and blooms out there, which are all gorgeous, i like these two photos, still.
the quiet side of spring.
things are changing and growing and being renewed in all sorts of ways. some not as showy as others, but all a part of the hopefulness and potential of these in-between months.

today driving home i heard a song by allison krauss, and was reminded of how i felt when i very first heard her sing, in the movie down from the mountain. i had never heard a voice quite as pretty. this just seems to suit a gentle spring day.

more tomorrow. thanks for reading.

Monday, April 19, 2010

this is where i grew up
and where
i still
call home.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

waking at two a.m. with the half-lucid knowledge that the kitten was not inside.
walking, barefooted and nightgowned around the yard
back to bed,
dreaming, in rolling fits and starts, about lost kittens and children and opportunities.
and then
again at six,
barely better clothed.
and then finally at eight,
tim goes out with plastic bags ready for the worst.

anna says: "she goes this way..."
and so we go this way.
and we hear the faintest of plaintive cries.

the little orange cat way up in the tree.
all night.

big ladder, and mommy, is needed.
i. am. mommy.

she comes to me.
sap covered and collarless.
tired and scared,
but sweetly heavy in my arms,
i walk her into home,
and she drinks as if at a mirage,
and she falls asleep in the laundry.

i am so relieved that i have
what will be merely a story
by the end of the night
to tell lindsey,
and not a bad, ugly truth
that we are left dreaming about
and reworking
in our minds
for a long
to come.

does it ever stop?
do the days ever become predictable
and manageable?
or are we really left
every day
to handle what lies
around every hours' corner?

i say goodnight to you
with girls
and cats
curled up safely.
for tonight.

thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


my mother tells a story.
when she was a young mother, and she was adopting a baby girl, and she had four little boys of her very own already, a social worker came to her house to check in on how things were going.
the woman came in and sat down in the livingroom of the little cape cod house that was home, and began her interview. and then the door burst open and some of those boys ran in, one of them bleeding.
nothing serious. just one of those little catastrophes that play out almost daily when you have a house full of kids.
so my mother excused herself, and scooped up the injured boy, and went about tending to the knee or whatever.
when she came back, the woman remarked that she couldn't believe that my mother would get up from such an important meeting, and leave her guest there alone, waiting.
and my mother's point of this story-although she is much too modest and practical to even think of it this way-is that she had her priorities straight. she knew where she was needed the most.


today i went to the farmers market. it's still indoors. in the town my parents live in now. i've watched it grow in size in the last two years and you can get everything from fish to bread to pickles to coffee to plants to samosas to cider donuts and meat and on and on and on.

i came home with bags heavy with all sorts of things...goat cheese, eggs, and those donuts nestled on top like the delicates they are. i unbundled them and washed what needed to be washed and wrapped things up in dish towels, taking pictures (of course!) all along.

i am seduced by these spoils.

i looked behind me, at my littlest girl. she had spent her first night away from me in her entire five-years-and-fifteen-days last night. and she had been a trooper. a happy, happy, proud trooper.

but she was crying.

i said: do you want to go get smooshie? (this is the made-up danish word we used originally for "cute", and now just means to cuddle.)

and she, thumb in mouth and laying on the kitchen window seat, all warm and tired, just nodded.


i've always taken that story of my mom's for granted. i've told it over the years, but i can't say i've ever thought through what i would have particularly done in that situation.

of course, i'm not in that situation.

but i can say that i learned a lot about priorities from my mom.

thanks for reading.

Friday, April 16, 2010

happy friday to you!

much news about goings on at the gallery, but we're still finishing up the details of putting all the work online and on the walls. up way too late last night, and way too early this morning, and the scanner has been working overtime. but i'm so excited about all the wonderful work that's passing through our hands.

so in the meantime, click here and see who all's a part of our new show, PAPER.
works on paper by an outstanding list of artists. good stuff people. good stuff.
more later. back to work.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

i started this post a full twenty four hours ago.
that i never got back here to finish it is a sign that:
i lay out in the back yard with anna for a long time yesterday morning,
looking up.
i visited with some friends, and took some photos.
i waited for the girls to come home, sitting on the front steps with my tea.
i cooked dinner for eight for the first time in a while; we're all back together now, in one place.
i walked out to the park afterwards,
and watched one more little girl in our neighborhood learn how to ride a two wheeler.
i cleaned up the kitchen and folded a load of laundry.
i looked at a japanese craft book that a friend lent to me.
i kissed tim goodnight and left him to finish up our taxes.
and i went to sleep.

and today is a new day. thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

sometimes i just don't know what to say.
if you know me in real life, this may be a virtually incomprehensible statement.
not knowing what to say differs from not having anything to say.

i remember a quote from somewhere or someone that says something like: if you want to be witty, work on your character and say what you think.

it always gave me a bit of an inferiority complex, that quote.
but now that i'm so damn old, it doesn't scare me off anymore.


best wishes for a good day. thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

a whole new world of inspiration opened up to me today.



i went looking for around fog linen at a japanese bookstore called kinokuniya. i didn't find it, but i did find a whole new world of inspiration for both decorating my home and taking photos. so, so good.
i came home with (of all things) a craft book on basketweaving. i fell in love with it in the store and couldn't walk away from it.
now i want the fog linen book more than ever. but could someone explain to i really order it in yen and have it shipped from japan?

ok. that's my question for tonight. thanks for reading.
ps:: that's my new teatowel from elisabeth bentz there, under the tulips. she's having a baby, and a sale in her shop. but not in that order. there's not much left, but what is, is really lovely.

Friday, April 9, 2010

isn't it all about touch?
the feel of the cat's tail, so soft.
how it's just as good to rub somebody's back
as it is to have your back rubbed?
how making matzoh balls is as much about making them as eating them?
about how once you decide to get your hands dirty,
you don't mind at all to plunge your hands into the soil
to plant the flowers in spring?
about how while you're swishing the bubbles around in the kids' tub,
you're having fun, too.
about how when you're cutting paper for collage,
you're a little surprised at how much physical work it is,
that your hands hurt from cutting.
and that when you look in the mirror,
just before bed,
and you are caressing into your own skin
the same old lotion,
to make your face
stay the same,
it is all so familiar,
and yet.
you are used to touching someone younger.
you are used to your old self.
it's all ok, though.
here we are.

thanks for reading.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

i took about a hundred flower photos yesterday.

open lemonade.
i think it's safe to say it's spring, now.

this morning
breakfast was a baguette with butter and honey.
anna's blowing bubbles in the back yard.
and there's a cardinal in the tree out front.
i'm making a long, long grocery list.
the town came and took down the fort the kids had made in the park out of the broken trees.
bikes are left scattered around the neighborhood.
i'm planting pansies in the window boxes.
the windows are wide open.
what's left of our japanese maple is budding leaves. i think that might define something- hope, or resiliency.
i'm finishing up the rainbow chard; the farmer's market on saturday had seven different kinds of greens.
i'm wondering how to make celery soup.


i could listen to this song all day long. it makes me feel like i'm floating.

best wishes, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

what i love most about having all of these girls
is having all of these girls
have the same
sort of
and watching how
they all experience them

we have a new kitten.
she is soft and skinny and growing
and playful
and sharp-
both toothed and witted.

today she killed her first mouse.
she slayed it out on the patio,
and batted it around
and brought it onto the porch,
now all mottled and limp.

i remember my own cat,
when i was maybe callie's age,
carrying in a whole, grey, weighty
and depositing it
upon the crossed ankles
of my brother,
like spoils and riches
to the king.

our new little orange kitten
killed her first mouse.

she will still curl up in the small
of my back

just as anna,
with her gangly legs,
full of bruises and cuts,
emblems of a day spent outside,
still slides her thumb into her mouth,
and her hand into my shirt,
and falls asleep
dreaming of
things i can only

more tomorrow. thanks for reading.

ps:: what inspired me to write tonight was reading this book to anna.

Monday, April 5, 2010

good morning, monday.

a few things:
these photos from our walk yesterday seem more colorful and lush than it actually was out in the woods, still with much grey and snapped branches hanging like so many swords of damocles above our heads.

lonely is the five year old left alone after having her sisters home from school for ten days.

breakfast today: leftover raspberry apple pie, eaten standing up at the counter, straight out of the pie plate with a fork.

on my list to cook today: lentil soup, granola, and chocolate chip cookies.

and on a related note: i am rereading laurie colwin's home cooking, just 'cause.

i did not buy this dress for anna the other day, and i so wish i had. but honestly, she doesn't need it.
i, however, would love the very same one in my size. can anyone recommend where i might find such a thing, or if they know of a place to find a similar pattern that i can talk my friend beth into sewing up for me?
i'm totally serious about this.

tim's out front bundling up sticks, and anna's playing near the creek. it's lunchtime now. a little breezy, but i think we'll eat outside.

enjoy your day. thanks for reading.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

i am so not above getting on the ranunculus band wagon.

aren't we just all waiting for a little sunshine,
an excuse to eat candy,
and a time where for one more day,
we can feel like the rules don't apply?

tomorrow morning,
the rules will apply.
if you could all give us a wake up call at about seven a.m.,
we'd really appreciate it.

but for now,
we'll go to sleep with soft, vague memories
of a week of no wake up calls.
no pressure.
a week of just being us.
it wasn't always so good...
there was an awful lot of yelling.
but it felt like it used to feel;
more than it has
for a while.
it felt

i mean all of that.

thanks for reading.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

this is what our house looks like.
this feels like a sunday. i think it's saturday,
but frankly, it feels a little like tuesday, too.
it's all mixed up.
we've been off for more than a week.
off at home.
i could not ask for more.
today it was as perfect as could be.
bright sun and enough breeze to remind you it's only april.
things i would never before have done,
i did.
like walk away.
walk out of the house and say
i'm going out right now.
see you in a bit.
i'm sorry you're sad.
i'm going to go out to the park...
would you like to come with me?
i'm going to go out to the park.
and everyone came,
and we hid plastic eggs,
and ate bread and cheese,
and some of us took
and some of us gave
rides in the garden wagon.
and some of us sat,
and talked,
and one of us felt
that it was exactly
what she wanted
and now one of us needs to go
fill the shoes
of the easter bunny.
goodnight! and thanks for reading.

Friday, April 2, 2010

photos from yesterday in brooklyn visiting with one of my favorite people. one of yours too, i bet.
the whole city blooming, all of a sudden, in symphony with warm air and bright sun.

i'm so exhausted,
but today, full sun again,
a full house of exuberant girls,
and a newly minted five year old.
i'm looking around for my babies, but they are all on their way to big.

so much good stuff. catch it while you can.

more later, perhaps. thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

ok, hi!
i've got twenty three things to do today and am getting a late start, so i've decided to sit down here and write a quick blog post. makes sense, right?

here's what's up::
we spent the day doing a major clear out of closets, and as a reward, we drove our bad-selves to ikea last night at 7pm and bought a bunch of new little things that will spruce the place up in the tiniest, but most satisfying of ways. paper lamps, tea towels, pretty wooden trays, pillow covers, throw rugs, glass storage jars for the kitchen, and birch magazine holders for the office.
i love this ritual as much as anything. it completely motivates me to get things organized and to look at the house in a whole new way.
and it got the girls to clean out their closets.

today tim finally broke, and walked into the office to work. he'd been staying at home since the COLOR show ended, and technically we don't have to have the gallery open. i think out of solidarity with me, as there is no school this week, which is sweet. but the singing and the yelling and the temptation of the kitchen finally got to him, i guess. i support his decision and his will power fully.

the kitten keeps walking across the keyboard as i type, and twice now she has successfully shut windows down with one paw. i called tim to laugh about it and he wanted to know what key that is.

and, on a perhaps related note: what do you feed cats when you've run out of cat food, and just given them the last of the tuna?

anna's birthday is friday. 'nuf said.

i've finally moved the little white sparkly lights from christmas out of the house and onto the porch. it's supposed to be in the seventies later this week.

i'm thinking of putting the knitting basket(s) away in a closet for a while. they just sit there and mock me, and it's getting me down.

i love that my girls think that the "romantic depot" that we pass on the way to whole foods sells wedding dresses. they, um, don't. right?

tomorrow i get to spend the day with a friend and i just can not wait. can not wait to see her!

alright. i'm done now. time to get to work. thanks for sitting through that. and thanks for reading.

Monday, March 29, 2010

four questions for heather smith jones.

[small works by heather smith jones available in the gallery and the online store.]

earlier this month heather smith jones agreed to do a little interview with me about her work, and i asked her exactly four questions. her answers are thoughtful and interesting, and you can read them here, and also (soon) on the interviews page on the gallery site.

tt::was there a time in your life where you consciously decided to pursue being an artist, or did you always feel there wasn't any other path for you?

hsj::You know the notion of being made to do a particular thing? I think I always knew I would be an artist and doubt I ever considered anything else. Making art is what I love to do; it's where my instincts and passions, talents and skills convene. My parents, both artists, nurtured creativity and encouraged my own artistic interests from a young age. I consider it a valuable experience as well to have grown up in a home surrounded by handmade things.

tt:: i'm interested in your process. where, when, and how do you like to work? would tell us about your studio, and what time of day, how often you work, etc...

hsj::I'm in the studio daily and love the freshness of working in the morning when my thoughts are new. My studio itself is designed and built by my husband from reclaimed materials as well as local lumber. It was a labor of love to construct as well as a lot of sweat and tears, probably some blood too. Every day when I walk in the studio door I take a deep breath and am grateful for it and for all that went into its making. It truly is my favorite place to be.

tt:: there are a few recurring images in your work, but is there a theme or themes that you would say ties various series of paintings together? or a question that you are trying to pose or answer through your work?

hsj::I'm continually interested in the dichotomy of things. Overall my work relays the notion of finding hope in the midst of struggle, an idea I communicate in concept and composition. Oftentimes I compare dissimilar ideas and visual elements within a painting. For instance an open space may be next to a cluster of overlapping objects, alluding to ideas of finding quiet during chaotic times. While there is a narrative or a chain of ideas within a piece I don't want it all to be easily explained. I like for a viewer to have as many questions as answers when looking at my work, or at any art for that matter, and find something to connect with and think about.

tt::your photography is equally skilled and lovely. do you view your photographs as completely separate or different from your other work, or do they interplay in some way? does your photography inspire you to paint, or vice versa?

hsj::Photography is something I really enjoy doing and try not to take the end product too seriously. Composing a shot and seeing what actually happens helps me practice patience and work to solve artistic problems. The process gives my brain something else to consider, like a kind of creative exercise. It is another medium I do alongside my drawings and paintings, yet the subjects of my photographs don't necessarily manifest in that work.

i thank heather so much for her taking the time to answer these questions. you can read my interview with jennifer judd-mcgee here, and tim's interview with eunju kang here, and all of the eyebuzz artists interviews here.

thanks so much for reading.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

perfect doesn't come around every day.
even a perfect day has it's rough spots.
grey skies and wind means the picnic happens in the car.
but there's a bookstore in town.
giggling girls mean you spend more time in the education center than the exhibit spaces.
but there's a sculpture garden and a big old tree outside, where you spend more time than anywhere.
and at the end of the day,
all you will remember,
is each other.

more tomorrow. thanks for reading.