Thursday, June 30, 2011

always time, on my mind...

from the sketchbook.
Today there is sunshine and being drunk off of it. There is tomato soup with almond milk and a boatload of sweet greek basil. There is ginger tea iced down with club soda and there is also ice cream. There is picnicing in the yard, under the shade of our big tree, surrounded by sketchbooks and paper and pastels and Sharpies. At this moment, time is limitless and everything else is only at the edges.

Monday, June 27, 2011

self-portrait: struggle.

taken immediately after an hour of trying to dance.
 Oh this neck injury. All I want to do is dance from my heart and I can't.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

my feet hurt.

LOro dell Azzurro by Joan Miro

I am reporting to you fresh from a date-weekend with the husband. And yes, my feet hurt. We trekked 50 miles or so down to the Baltimore Art Museum, where we walked and walked and walked and oohed and ahhed until our ankles were like sausages and our eyes were blurry and dry. It was heaven.  I have absolutely no pictures to show you because we felt too lazy to take a camera. Of course, now I wish I had pictures to display and boast about, but it really was nice being unencumbered, so I suppose my memories will have to do.

This weekend, we also:

- were nearly killed on the highway by motorcycle gangs
- sat on the rim of a fountain in the sculpture garden and fed one another dark chocolate (I don't really need porn; my life is a porn flick. ha.)
- sat in bed listening to sitar music, him reading, me sewing up some pencil/brush cases I've been working on
- went for a very long jog

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, June 24, 2011

his last day.

The sprout finished preschool today. His classmated made him a card and a bunch of drawings which were stapled into a book. I cried.

He starts kindergarten in the fall. I'm not ready.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

the funny thing about blogging is...

completely non-related photo
Sometimes, you are too busy actually living to write about your life. Sometimes you are not at the computer because you are busy pasting a father's day "installation" to your bedroom wall, which said father will be extremely surprised and smitten with when he gets home from work. Sometimes you're out on your front stoop with a cutting board and a scary knife, cutting up the biggest watermelon you've ever seen. Sometimes you're hiding under the covers with your five year old boy, and you plan to write about it on the blog that night but, alas, there is popcorn to be made and Star Wars movies to watch. Sometimes you sit with your fingers on the keyboard and forget what you were going to write so you instead hop in the car and go buy some red lipstick, which you then try on once you're home and proceed to make sexy (?) faces at yourself in the mirror. Sometimes you realize it's officially summer so you sit outside with six to seven books about Van Gogh and Frida Kahlo and you sort of half-ass read and tan your winter-white legs.

Sometimes--what it is I guess--is that actual life takes precedence.

Monday, June 13, 2011

So grateful for...

the first tomatoes of the season.

handmade cards.

handpainted/printed fabrics.

artwork by little hands.

this man, who is working his butt off to make this house a home.

a new painting (finally).

the gifts from friends adorning my wall.

And gratefulness also lies to the unphotographed:

- a fully-illustrated book of birds, given to me by my grandpa.
- spanish verbs and nouns; how beautiful they feel rolling off the tongue.
- finding thrifted dresses that have never been worn.
- getting back to writing. I'd forgotten how much I need it.

I think this week will likely be all about getting my hands diry, in soil, paint, and glue. And delving into books, sucking up knowledge, bird-watching. Also planning a little father's day surprise for the husband.

Anything you're grateful for lately? Any interesting plans?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"Metamorphic rocks are rocks which have been changed. Changes may be barely visible, or may be so great that it is impossible to determine what the original rock was."

- Rocks and Minerals, A Golden Nature Guide

I thumb through the old photographs, always a dumb decision. It takes mere minutes for the familiars, the ghosts all their pets to sidle up next to me, poke at me with their sharp instruments. I lay them out across the wooden floor, like an installation, glossy, matte, yellowing polaroid.

In this one, I am riding my first bike. It is pink and white, the training wheels are still smooth and clean. My outfit is ridiculous considering my chosen activity--the frilly, pouffy-skirted dresses I refused to take off for several months. I am pedaling diligently down our gravel and dirt driveway, and he is walking behind me, poised and ready to rescue me from gravity's whim. We are both browned by the sun, our skin exactly matching in shade and color.

This one was taken at a state park in southern Texas, though the name of it eludes me. We are hiking through deep woods, snaking through trails choked with growth, stomping over sturdy plank bridges laid across swampy sections of marshland. He carries his machete, as familiar to me as the rest of him, hacking vines and thorny braches, clearing the way for me to come through, unscathed.

Fast forward several years, where the documentation of events lessens considerably. Dig down to the newer photographs, the ones I hide from myself, only occasionally admitting to their existence.

A few snapshots, corners of our new homes, if you could call them that. I see him, the fracture lines that were always present splitting in earnest now, nothing to strap them together, to keep the structure sound. In this snapshot I am on the side of the world held together, barely, by willingness and forward-thinking. Visiting his side is an exercise in futility.

In this photo, he sits in his lopsided recliner, constantly smoking cigarettes. The room is completely closed and unbelievably stifling. The apartment is a strange mix of things: newly acquired trinkets, movies, pornography, beer, keychains, bottlecaps, cigarette packs, beef jerkey, empty picture frames. The kitchen table is covered in detritus from two different lives, there is no pride in the placement of anything. In my density of that moment I did not understand that bonds mean nothing, as tenuous as they actually are, and that all of that time was temporary, already fading to white-out.

There are no more photographs after that. Lives ended and yet, did not. The dissapearence of him is inexcusable, a perfect example of what neglect looks like. There are no explosions here, only the steady mining of the soul, the chipping away that is slow and first and then suddenly complete. You blink and it's done. There is a sensation of having been visited by a thief in the night; he has taken the jewels you stored in the freezer, inconspicuous in their brown paper bag. There is the discovery of wells that are indeed bottomless, the plink of the pebble is never heard.

The sediment, stone, the plates of your life shift. All settles and you are as layered and heavily clouded as marble. You are strong, you can be knocked around and take it, but when dropped from unimaginable heights you crack down the middle, then outward in a complete circle, then you splinter apart and fly around dementedly. Others have to shield their eyes.

I pack all the memories back in their box, in the past, in the dark, probably where they belong. The ghosts dissipate with one last angry cry, sucked back into whatever hellish vortex they crouch in when I'm not scratching open old wounds. And just as efficiently as I remember, I compartmentalize, I forget. Like all things learned throughout a life, it's an acquired skill.

"...finally the original rock is completely absorbed, and the resulting rock shows no traces at all of what it once was. In structure and composition, it is granite."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

a blessed weekend (complete with crepes).

We are having a very good weekend here. Or perhaps I should be more specific: Hayden and I are having a very good weekend. Vincent is unfortunately stuck shooting a wedding and some other things all weekend long. He's missed some pretty magical stuff.

On Friday, we had my brother over for dinner--a good, homey meal of spaghetti with homemade sauce, meatballs, and garlic bread. After he left, I got a little restless, and took Hayden out to the bookstore for some playtime. He zoomed rockets and airplanes while mommy browsed through her favorite magazines. We shared a giant cookie and afterward walked down to the old covered bridge to see the ducks. At first there weren't any to be found. Then, suddenly, a dozen flew in over our heads, like they were crash-landing, splashing into the pond. Hayden squealed and jumped up and down in joy. I could smell someone grilling steak and see the sunset streaking the sky orange. A good end to the day.

On Saturday I woke up early and found it to be overcast and grey. I got my workout over with and took a long bath while Hayden watched some cartoons. Then I opened the fridge, starving, searching. I didn't know what I felt like eating until a thought popped in my head: crepes. Yes. With the fresh, organic eggs I was just gifted.

Usually, I fill my crepes with mushrooms and cheese and other stinky goodness, but this time I craved sweet over savory, topping them with a honeyed strawberry sauce.

I think I like making crepes because it's such a leisurely process, perfect for the weekend. Oiling the pan, pouring in the batter, swishing it around, and waiting. Over and over, one by one, until you have a stack of beautiful, sunny crepes.

Crepes with Honeyed-Strawberry Sauce


for the crepes
- 2 beaten eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk (I used almond)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. honey
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- cooking oil/butter

for the honeyed-strawberry sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 4 tbsp. honey
- juice 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Combine eggs, milk, flour, honey, and lemon juice. Heat a well-oiled or buttered non-stick pan over medium/high heat. Ladle in one scoop of batter, then tilt the pan all around until spread thin. Allow to cook until browned on one side only. Gently remove to a paper-towel covered plate. Repeat with remaining batter, oiling or buttering your pan as needed. Make sure to watch your heat throughout the process, turning it down a notch if the crepes are browing too fast.

For the strawberry sauce, heat the water to boiling in a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the honey and the lemon juice. Let boil for about 30 seconds, then add strawberries. Stir, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

To assemble your crepes, select as many as you'd like and fold them into quarters on a plate, drizzling with the strawberry sauce between each one. You can add dark chocolate shavings and real whipped cream if you're eating these as dessert.

As for what's left of the weekend, I will be:

- watching Gnomeo and Juliet with the boy
- finishing a landscape I've been working on
- listening to Bon Iver
- making tuna salad and granola (not to eat together, at least, I hope not)

Hope you're having a splendid Sunday. <3