Archive for January, 2010

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

January 18, 2010

She begat me and I became her. As a teen, I resisted, as an adult, I’m honored and hope to fill the toes of her shoes.

Wise, gentle, compassionate, I never heard her yell or be rude. Always makes people feel welcomed and wanted.  And at almost 90,  I still have her in my life. At the prodding of a friend,  I thought I’d try a portrait.

First a rough sketch in willow on linen.

Pre- toned canvas, light sienna wash.

Trying to work out the main features in a general way.

The real mom.

Thought I had a good ride with this one so far and then. Then. It all went south and I think I forgot how to paint. Can you forget? Can you forget how to apply the paint. Seems that’s where much of my angst lies. It’s either too thick, too thin, too muddied, too overdone, or just too wrong.  So this tribute to be is not to be. It’s been duly scraped and scrapped.

But let me paint a portrait of her for you with some of her/my favorite expressions and quotes that I still find myself parroting today.

” I’m too light for heavy work, and too heavy for light work “

” One mother can care for 10 children but 1o children can’t care for one mother “

” When in doubt, DON’T “

” The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know “

” For a marriage to work, the man should love the woman a drop more than the woman loves the man “.

” A woman needs her own pishka * that no one knows about ( * translation from Yiddish- a private stash of your own money – kept even from your husband )

( Hope my husband isn’t reading the last two but if he is…. Hi Honey!  You know I don’t listen to my mother ).

” After 70 there are only two things a man is looking for in a woman- a nurse or a purse, and I’m not going to be either one ” ( This said after my father died )

And after my  commenting doubtfully on a boyfriend much shorter than I, she added ” laying down, they’re all the same height “.

How can you not love the simple truth and beauty of her take on things!?

She is the source of my inspired love of painting, decorating, and general festooning of anything. She has painted walls, lampshades, shoes, canvases, and toilet seats. The latter with thick applications of acrylic paint in the form of flowers thinking we were all asleep.

Some of ” we ” were not. And sat down. And stood up with the seat still stuck to my sitbones.

But seriously, what am I going to do about getting paint onto canvas without suffering the perpetual ” Scrapenheiser Disorder “? Really. Help.

I’ll ask them, see if anyone here can lend an ear.

Surely someone HERE can lend an ear- just look at them!

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What Do We Call This Year?

January 5, 2010

So we popped corks, watched a ball drop on TV, watched Dick Clark need a chair, heard the fireworks, listened to the conch shell be blown….(it’s a  Caribbean tradition and a sketch being started ), and made the usual hasty boo boos in writing the first checks of the new year.

But we still don’t know what to call it or how to welcome the decade. For the past nine years it’s  been two thousand one, two thousand two,  two thousand nine and now?

Now what is it? Twenty-oh ten? Twenty ten? Two thousand and ten? Two thousand ten? It’s unchartered is what it is. We’ve no precedent for how to say it so maybe it will sort itself out or maybe it will go the way time telling has gone. Pre- digital watch wearers told you the time as ” twenty to two “. Now ask anyone wearing a digital watch what time it is and you’ll be told ” one forty “.  Or if you’re in the company of a military person, you might have to take out your abacus and calculate that oh sixteen thirty means you missed your plane.

Or as Carol has mused over, we could still be using Roman Numerals.

Or just say what my elder friend says with a look of fed up disgust when told that something needing fixing will ” take time “.  ” Crap “, she says, ” I don’t have time for time “.

Well anyway you say it, the new year has trotted in and schlepped along with it, a new decade.

Let’s agree that no matter how we say it, read it, or write it, we’ll all do our part to improve some small acreage of this planet we live on.

Because from her head to her crazy toes, Cloud is making the world a much prettier and sweeter place. Let’s follow her lead.

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