Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Artists and Poets
Just a quick non-holiday related item. A poem and accordian book that I made is being featured on The Artists and Poets Blog today. I wrote the poem and made the accordian book in response to a ZNE theme week challenge way back in April of 2006. I started working with altered art/mixed media techniques about 6 weeks before that. Again, I wish I had that freedom of not knowing anything.
This is another one of those things that I wish I hadn't sold. For one thing, I would love to take a picture of the book standing up in its accordian shape. For some reason I never thought to do that. I've wished for that image at least a dozen times since then.
Another reason I wish I still had it is that the subject matter feels very personal. I was feeling very alone then, we had moved out of the city and our one car was being used by my DH for work transportation. None of the neighbors was home during the day, and I couldn't go anywhere that I couldn't walk. Rexy wasn't talking, she was 2, and we hadn't yet gotten the Autism diagnosis. All I wanted to do was talk to my mom or one of my other mother-figure relatives. Sadly, my mother, my maternal grandmother, my paternal grandmother, and my great-grandmother - all important female figures in my life - are all dead now.
Ever since having my baby I have been feeling those losses more strongly than I have since the initial losses. Especially my maternal grandmother.
When she was still a small infant, Rexy used to look up as if she were really looking at someone and babble away in baby talk to the air. As if someone were playing with her. Maybe it's silly, but I started to feel like my mother and grandmother were there, watching us. Sometimes I would get that, "Look, did you see that?" feeling.
None of these pictures are actually of my mother or grandmothers, but they are representative of them. I remember my mom having that look, during the 60s - and she was always reading a book. My paternal grandmother and my great grandma always wore aprons and my maternal grandmother was always very stylish and wore bold jewelry and animal prints.
What I remember most about all of them is how much fun we had. They all loved to laugh and were very generous-hearted (weird phrase, but it works for me). Sitting around someone's table or living room, laughing and talking up a storm, are the memories that come to mind first.
What I regret most about their loss is that Rexy won't have a grandmother in her life. (My DH's mother is gone, too.) Mine were such an important part of my life. Still, they pass their legacy on. Their - and my - love of reading, late nights, creativity, and laughter is already showing up in Rexy. And my beautiful aunts and uncles, despite having their own families, try to fill in the gap.
I don't know if you can see it well enough, but behind the vellum on this last page is a piece of music, the words for which read "when I recall the love." It was just perfect for this project.
While writing this, I realized that this could be a very apt entry for Art Crusade # 15. As I said before - in a different way - family is home.
What about you? Where do you live, where are you from? Join the Art Crusade and share!