Monday, November 28, 2005

Self Portrait Stamp

I finally created my stamp for the AML Self Portrait Swap. Only a few weeks late. I think it captures my better side.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Mail Call: Your Deepest Fear

Last Thursday I took my 40-year old sister to the hospital for surgery on her vocal cords - throat cancer. I share that detail with you because if you're reading this, and you smoke, I'd like to remind you that you're killing yourself. Don't think you're not. And don't get all fussy with me, I'm not telling you anything you don't know. Besides, I know what it's like. I'm an ex-smoker - quit in 1998 and still view it as the BEST thing I ever did. We are still waiting for her results but the surgeon told me he was "guardedly optimistic" that they got it all and she won't need additional treatment or lose her ability to speak. Bullet dodged? I hope so.

During the two hour drive to the hospital she was understandably nervous about the operation and I asked her if she could talk about what exactly scared her. From there we began talking about the things we are afraid of. I mean really afraid of - the things that terrify us. We really couldn't come up with much. We came up with a lot of things we don't like; she hates roller coasters, I'm not wild about bats; but very little that consumes us with fear.

My biggest fear is of tornados. I have no idea why - I've never even seen one except on film. Since childhood though I had tornado nightmares - until one night about twelve years ago when I had a tornado dream in which I wound up in the center of the twister. I have not had one since. Still, they terrify me. Even strong winds get me a little nervous.

But I asked myself, what else? I mean, c'mon, I know I am not that courageous to only be afraid of tornados. There must be more. I wondered as we drove for a while in silence, maybe we are too afraid to speak about what we are truly afraid of. Maybe giving it words scares us. Or maybe admitting it to someone else does.

So I am asking - what are you afraid of? What terrifies you? What keeps you awake or makes your skin crawl? What do you dread?

Send a postcard of the one thing that most frightens you. No deadline.

Deepest Fear
PO Box 147
Pawlet, VT 05761

Monday, November 07, 2005

Coffee Shop Poems

Comes a time when you have to just stop worrying about him. He's locked up and getting three square a day.

How did you enjoy your birthday Millie?
Oh very much. Even bingo'd.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

No Apology Necessary

This morning I showed my husband the latest book I made. This one is entitled Screams in a Dream III and is similar in construction to the Sans Issue piece below.

He looked at it. Held it. After several seconds he said "It's rather horizontal," and handed it back. I laughed, agreed, and left the room to get another cup of coffee - thankful he didn't say it was "interesting."

A little while later as he was saying good-bye for the day he said "I'm sorry I don't get your art. I mean I appreciate that it's probably well thought out and well constructed. I know it has a message and I'm sure it's very wonderful. But I don't really get it."

I was really touched by his genuine sincerity. I assured him it was ok. After more than twenty years together I know my art isn't meant for a brain like his, and told him so.

To further let him off the hook I confessed that as much as I want to, I don't think I really get Concrete Poetry. I try, I seek it out, I enjoy much of it, and think I even generate some, but I can't say with any certainty that I "get it."

He answered that surely then it would be wasted on him - because everyone knows I like weird shit.

He's a really good husband. And my biggest fan.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Happy Birthday Torben Doose!

I received a beautiful card from Torben today - thanking me for the Sans Issue piece I had sent him. He said the way it was wrapped made it feel like his first bithday present (which his card noted is today, Nov 2).

When I made that piece last week, which uses photos I had taken while in France (Paris and Loire Valley) in 2003, I didn't know where it was going but decided to send it to Torben after receiving a card from him. After all it was France, and he was in France and honestly, I just really like his name. It's one of those names that rolls out of your mouth just the right way. Torben sounds solid and capable; Doose sounds a little whimsical. Great name. There are a lot folks with good names in my network of artists and friends but something about his just sticks. Maybe I'm partial to three syllables. So Happy Birthday Torben Doose!

Thanks to everyone for all the great art I've received. Dan Waber's "Flock Of Wild Commas" lit me up and one of Laura Barletta's beautiful collages is sitting on a shelf in my newly renovated bathroom.

I've received tons of great mail art and stamps in the last weeks and will get some posted as soon as I can. I still need to finish up my stamps for the AML swaps I'd signed up for and hope I am correct in the belief that the earth will not tilt off its axis becuase I'm late on these. Life happens. Lately it's happening in large, demanding ways. Some good. Some not. But life is always a work in progress, so when I try to gauge its success or how well it might be going I borrow a method from the financial markets: I use a 200-day moving average. Luckily, using this measurement my life balances out to pretty damn good.