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This Is Why

August 30, 2010

Weddings are not my cup of tea. All that love stuff seems sooo over the top and sooo overplayed that I want to distance myself from it all. Eeew, Yuck, Okay we get it. The very last thing I am looking for is to couple up. I want to be asked to dance by a stranger, I want to take a long walk, and I certainly want to fall asleep in my own bed, alone. I am repelled by togetherness. But not at this wedding. Luke was everything I could have asked for on that day. He was very aware of my conflicted relationship to the dress and did everything he could to soothe my nerves. He poured me some wine and held my glass until I was ready for a sip. He listened patiently to an endless stream of concerns pouring forth during the ceremony and simply squeezed me tighter and recommended, for the zillionth time, to let it go. He picked out the best stuffed bird to take home and watched my back while I ran to fetch it during the cake cutting. He laid by my side in the hammock while everyone else was dancing and was just as giggly and crazed as I was about our score. And just as the band was really gearing up and the wine was really flowing and all the men had started smoking cigars… he agreed that it was time to go. He is one part lover, one part friend, one part parent, one part child. And this is why he is perfect.

The Big Day

August 30, 2010

I scored one of those wonderful stuffed birds. And of course it was an amazing wedding. The highlight? Arriving and asking for the bride. At first I was given a look like, You will see her when she walks down the fuckin aisle, but after a brief explaination I was ushered inside. A nod and a smile to Suniti but not too much talk. I was there as a representative of my trade. I washed my hands and got to work smoothing, snapping, creasing, and tugging the fabric so that it hung as intended. I even brought a little leather satchel with my sewing supplies and was about to add a few more hand stitches to the bodice when we were told the show would go on in 5 minutes. Those last minutes were better spent between lovers and I made my exit.

Luke said I was flushed and tense when I came downstairs. And I was! I was so nervous! And this is why I struggle with wedding dresses. Because here she comes, and the crowd turns to take her in and they see the most beautiful version of Suniti and everyone is glowing from their hearts and radiating love and admiration toward her… except one woman who is having a serious breakdown at the sight of a wrinkle. By the end of the night, and it actually took that long, I was relaxed enough to realize I was very tired. And so my handsome date and I gathered our dishes and slipped away. And I said to myself, for the fourth time, You are done. And I think I mean it!

At Home

August 27, 2010

I went to the coast and slept on the beach. And in my absence Suniti came and collected her dress. I like to imagine a reunion of sorts. When they first met the dress was just an idea. Simple and pleasant. Over the last month the dress has matured, swelled, filled and become complete. I like to imagine a silent conversation between these two beings. And the dress would say, I can now be yours. And Suniti would say, good, because it is now that I need you. The wedding will take place tomorrow afternoon in a large and grassy backyard behind a small wooden house under the gentle Oregon sky.

Not To Be Trusted

August 26, 2010

The dress is completely done. And off it goes to the dry cleaners for a final cleaning and crisping. After weeks in my hands, despite my attempts top be extra extra careful, the dress was grimy and terribly wrinkled. Days before the wedding I get a call… Um, Hi Emily this is Abe from Abe’s Dry Cleaners. I have good news and bad news. The good news is that the dress cleaned up real nice. The bad news is that the underskirt didn’t fare too well. You might want to come and take a look.”

This was my first experience with a dry cleaner. Filly pieces are wash and dry and now I realize what a necessity that is! These places are too be avoided! Just seeing what a chemical cleaning did to a once full tulle petticoat is enough to scare anyone away. It became a shriveled ball tightly griping the underbelly of the dress. It was even sharp in places! Thankfully I was able to remove and replace the underskirt, wrinkling and dirtying the dress only slightly (sigh) in the process. And so, for the third time, I hear myself say, You Are Done.

Hobby

August 25, 2010

This year I grew mostly flowers. Because Sarah and I both work at the farmers market and have all the produce we need. And because flowers present that special opportunity for pride and love. Just this morning the flax bloomed. Just one tiny raspberry colored papery moth. My relationship to growing flowers is so different from veggies. I don’t yell for Sarah when the zucchini fruit forms but this morning I interrupted a step-by-step retelling of boy kissed girl to run to the newly revealed flax and gently hold its head while stating the obvious. Hi honey, you made it!

Quiet

August 20, 2010

I go into my studio and shut the door. It has been awhile. I am no longer acquainted with the unfinished garments, left over patterns and that particular color of thread that are the remnants of my last collection. They do not stir me like they used to. In fact, everything that was last season’s process repulses me and I quickly bag it up and sweep the floor. I take down and wash the empty and molding tea jars and reenter with a fresh cup. I  set it down, open my workbook, turn on the radio, and settle in. It is another world in here. In this small room restlessness and impatience and boredom ricochet about until they tire and are overcome by more subtle feelings. A quieter voice. A creative spirit that says, hold still. Do you remember me? Did you think I had left you? Hold still and listen. I have a new story to tell.

Happy Birthday Sarah

August 19, 2010

Tuesday the 17th was Sarah’s birthday. And true to her calling, she planned out every minute of her special day. The afternoon found us lounging by the river with a cooler of healthy snacks. As the sun traveled the sky more and more people arrived. They came to wish her well and to let her know, in their own way, that they care so much for her.

Sarah, the perfect wife. Sarah, with diamonds in her eyes and a generous laugh. Sarah, who truly values love above all else.

Window

August 18, 2010

This morning we opened a melon.

Lately the melons have been incredible but this one had a weird flavor and no sweetness. So into the blender it went with a dozen squirts of agave nectar and a banana. Better. After it freezes we will shave it into bowls. Cantaloupe granita.

This is what I mean by function unexpectedly beautiful. This moment. Standing at the butcher block, tan arms holding a glass of color, a silver spoon, silver rings, and the slow pace of this day. I notice that I noticed. Pause… this mixture must be new and important. Look around…here is your muse. She wears white, pale warm peach, golden brown. She is calm and graceful. She dances behind the beat. Design for her.

Premature

August 13, 2010

Earlier this week I heard someone say “Welcome to Fall!” Which just seemed ridiculous. I thought she must just be commenting on the cold morning. Until I started to look around. It is mid August. Pretty soon it will be September and everyone knows September is not summer. I went out to garden after dinner and barely had enough light to pull weeds. The days are shortening and the sun is softening. I am not wearing sunscreen anymore. Fall’s nearness was confirmed when I went to gather figs from Ayni’s tree. Figs cap the summer fruit season and their arrival symbolizes summer’s climax, and quickly thereafter, summer’s retreat.

We seriously did not get a summer here in Portland. I am still waiting for it- I’m not kidding! I actually feel that summer is around the corner. My garden is just about to take off… all I need is three more months of heat.yni

For Me!

August 13, 2010

Holy Shit! Luke got me a banjo! My first instrument. And so pretty! He secretly bought and refurbished it and presented it to me this afternoon as I sat waiting, eyes closed, on the couch. I have so much admiration for those that can sing or make music. I’m totally intimidated and afraid that I have no natural talent or even long-term determination. But Luke is easy on me- no pressure, no expectations. He said it’s nice to have an instrument around the house even if you pick it up only once a month. I’ve already picked it up twice today! I took it to the park in my backpack and played a simple tune while Bello watched fellas play rugby.

For Her

August 12, 2010

Suniti is coming over at 3:45 to try on the dress. The final try-on.  I’m nervous! I hope it still fits and hangs right and is to her liking. Oh Jeez.

Soft

August 11, 2010

Sometimes I don’t think I have anything to write about. I haven’t done anything or gone anywhere. Last night would normally have fallen into the “too-normal” to mention category. Luke and I took a hot tub soak, made dinner and watched the movie Old Joy. But between the soak and dinner we discussed our relationship and its challenges. Particularly my tendency to change rapidly from engagement to annoyance. And to suddenly be snappy and kinda mean. At which point I responded, “I’m a hard woman!’ Which was a way of flattering myself because I have always loved the song by Cat Stevens with a similar theme. And he responded, yes you are a hard woman. You are a hard person.

He is the kindest person I have ever met so when he says I am hard, I listen. He would not say it if it were not true. And when he says I am rigid and self-involved, and he says it with love and a little sad smile, I feel scared and embarrassed. Because I can suddenly see myself as he does and I don’t like it. And I see my whole life behind me and I know that I have not always been this way. But I am not surprised. This hard place is also very safe.

I have been mending and reconstructing my life over the last three years. I have pulled myself up and put myself back together. Stitched tight all the torn pieces. So tight, so well, that I have closed and covered trust and love and ease. I am – lean, self-sufficient, controlled. I am not – nurturing, vulnerable, soft. I am not in balance.

Natalie

August 10, 2010


I have a sister. (Okay, we know) But really, she is worth talking about again. Gimmie just a second, I am crying. These are tears I normally save for tragic love affairs. But really, is this relationship any different? My heart races as she makes her way to my door. And then she is here and I am off the world! Everything that was my life recedes and becomes irrelevant. Love. She is calm, she is understated, she is a slow builder. She leaves me wanting more. When she is looking at me I have it all, in the next second she is distracted and needed elsewhere. Away. And so away she went, last night, nine hours to her home in the mountains. And I wake with a bit of relief that I can focus once again on my life and responsibilities. And yet I can’t wait to see her again.

They say girls marry their father. What does it say about me that I look to marry my sister?

Festival Weekend

August 9, 2010

Oooh. It feels good to be home.

Festivals are challenging for me as a rule. My desire to list-make and efficiently tackle the day causes me to constantly wonder what I should be doing. Which seems silly because there is actually nothing to do but relax, talk to people and listen to music. Having a booth is really helpful. I am here, I am selling dresses, ahh, clear. And I met such wonderful ladies. And I received amazing feedback about Filly. And I was with all my favorite people. And I saw Martha Scanlan and Bonnie Prince Billy! So when I say it feels good to be home, I am really saying that despite all that wonderfulness, it feels good to be clean and well fed. I went to bed at 8:30 and slept for twelve hours!

Pickathon

August 6, 2010

Come visit the Filly booth at the down-home small farm music festival known as Pickathon. We will be the ones lounging on the grass and snacking just outside the booth. We will be the ones laying on our backs and watching the clouds. We will be the ones with three kids and an absent dog. We will be the ones with gin-soaked peaches. See you there!

Reading

August 3, 2010

Dear Sophititicates,

Tonight we offer something a little different. A bit mature. Certainly impressive. Four writers will take the podium to read original work in the form of lyric essay.  At the Fox Den. Pictures to follow.

Absence

August 3, 2010

Sorry for not writing. Nat says it’s because I have a boyfriend.

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