Close Your Eyes

February 22, 2013


I remember being wasted and having sex. My one night lover is someone I am embarrassed of. I can’t recall his name. I stay wasted for 3 years. When I come out, I see I am living in squalor. The attic roof has holes and birds fly in and out. At the far end of the room is a cage wall. In the door jam of this room, lying on his stomach and facing away from me, is my son. Past him, inside the cage, are hens and rats. One hen is dead and the rats are prosperous. Two run past my boy. His left ear rests on his bent arm. I bring a shoe down on their two heads and kill them. The boy looks up and reaches for me. Are you hungry I ask. His eyes find mine. Yes, his voice is quiet and perfect. A surge, sweet and forceful, fills my breast. A smile takes root in my cheeks.
I nurse him.
I feel nursed.
Love will never leave me.
A third nipple begins to show on my breast. I would rather it didn’t.
We take the puppy for a walk, to avoid the sound of the workmen during the day. We live on a grassy hill, the ocean appearing down a short valley on our left. People stroll by with large animals on leashes. Bears, dogs… and I see that animals are friends and we needn’t fear fighting any longer. The hen must have died from lack of water.
Someone stops and asks, are you going to pick that up? I feel confused. Your dog pooped. I explain, I hadn’t noticed.


Blue Shoe

February 16, 2013

anne lamott

It’s just a night to enjoy yourself. I am speaking out loud. Tonight I don’t have to do anything. Work isn’t pressing. No classes to teach. No social event. No desire to take a walk. I ate dinner in the nook at the top of the stairs and began to read. A jar of tea sits untouched by the bed. I don’t want it but my body does.
Most of the time I feel grateful not to have someone in my life. I remember the negotiations and needs a relationship brings and happily thank god that the hours of my day are not encroached upon by someone else’s… vibrations.
And then a night like this comes along. And on a practical level I think that maybe I could afford to take on one more project. That I do have a few extra hours to spare for companionship, for hanging out with someone I like and want to sleep with.

This is the least romantic post I have ever written.

VDay, Oh Yeah…

February 14, 2013


For a single lady I sure am receiving a lot of love this Valentines Day!
This is not a holiday I give much weight to. You all know I love love. But you also know that I hate being told what to do, who to be, how to give and receive that love. Oh, tonight you say? I have to be holding someone’s hand? Yeah, that’s ok, I’ll pass. Hold my hand tomorrow.
But today I have been blessed by small acts of kindness. Little letters, little packages. All containing sweetness, my favorite. Merci!


February 14, 2013


The Flute Pant.One of the many gems I am bringing back for Foundations, Installment ll, out in April.
Fist pump, high five, howl at the moon.

Routinly Non Routine

February 14, 2013


Slacks and I get up early. This week. Ever since my sister informed me that we humans sleep in cycles of 90 minutes I have been more inclined to get up at the first offering, 6:30, instead of the next stop, 8. The house is full of sleeping women and so I gather the essentials and make my way down the creaky stairs, waking every one of them I’m sure. Currently I live in the hallway. The nook actually, bed-sized alcove on the second floor. It is poorly constructed but lets in great light. Someday I will replace the aluminum windows and build a day bed. For now I am thankful to have a place to sleep. I rented out my cabin to a woman named Ashley. I like her. I liked her over email but kept my enthusiasm in check because email personalities are not the same as real personalities. I know this because the gmail me is much nicer, sweet and full of exclamations. In person I am reserved and discerning. Ashley is a photographer and wears her mom’s silken overalls in stripes of faded silver. She dons a brimmed hat and her hair is cut short on the back and the sides. Within five minutes I asked her to live here. In a permanent way or as permanent as life can be when it is filled with self-induced change.
I used to think I didn’t like change. I used to think that I craved stability, a home, a partner, a dog. And I do, but that’s not all.
I crave routine- but the kind that changes from week to week. Right now I wake early and stroke a cat and sit and write in the chair with my coffee. Today I will work in the studio where Filly and my new line have all of my attention. Last week I was in Santa Cruz tending to relationships and creating a physical space for me and my community. Next week… perhaps turning the soil and planting Oriental Poppies for Spring. Teaching, sculpting, designing, building, selling Zinnias by the stem. This is not a messy life, it is an orderly rotation. Not a roulette wheel, where I bounce, small and scared, from one thing to another. More like a hand-held slide projector. When a slide falls into place, it’s all I can see. And I stare and admire it with all my might. When the frame changes it is because I pulled the lever. And on I move.

All Together Now

February 11, 2013

Picture 5

I have been visiting. Just for a couple of days. I am here to celebrate my Grandma’s 90th birthday and bask in the warmth of my family and friends. This trip to Santa Cruz feels like a vitamin C tablet, peach colored and sweet, melting in my mouth.
But starting in May I will live in Santa Cruz- for half of the year. The plan is to wave goodbye to Portland on January 1st and head south where Spring starts early. I will return to the Northwest in the summer when the weather is right and the berries ripe.

Oh my god this is happening!!!
Sorry, I stepped out of the narrator role for a sec. I just can’t believe this plan is coming together considering that it has been a fantasy of mine since… I was old enough to scheme. The Riverside property, located a block from the river and downtown and just around the bend from the sparkling ocean, has been in the family for decades. It is a multiple unit rental that until recently my grandma owned with a business associate. My Dad and Bonnie are now the proud owners of the other half. It is now possible for me to get in there and have my way with the place.
After I wash the walls with bleach and pull up the carpet, I will plant a little orchard and raise zinnias. In Santa Cruz you have to wear a visor in February.

Teenage Boys

February 3, 2013


Nobody likes teenage boys. They are the demographic I least like to meet when walking alone at night. Rude and aggressive, lack of smarts, lack of concern, driven by biology. I should know, I am the frazzled mother of the breed.
Slacks did not come home last night. This is the third time he has gone missing in the wee hours before bed. I walk the blocks, my breath showing each time I call for him, my ears stinging with cold because wearing a hat would prevent me from hearing the jingle of his tags or his odd little cry. Previously he managed to make it home before bed, to my great relief. Last night was different. He was nowhere to be found and I closed my eyes over salty tears. Where could he be, was all I could write in my journal. I dreamt about Bello and woke crying, mourning anew my old dog, mourning the loss of my new little love. It is clear that I am dreadfully vulnerable again. It is scary to love something.
This morning I laid in bed well past nine. I don’t like to do this as it throws off the rhythm of the day to rise so late. But what was there to find? What could this day offer that would be worth participating in? Only the discovery of his body- my actual thought. And so I dressed like a huntsman and set out to find him one way or another.
Damn teenage boys. They torment us all but none more so than their mothers.
He shot out of the house across the street, the house occupied by a turning wheel of dudes in black hoodies with not enough body fat. “Oh, is this your cat…He’s cool.” Yes, it’s my fucking cat! Read the fucking tags, and I swooped him into my arms and carried him home, twenty paces.
He sleeps now, like he will never wake. I’m sure he was up all night, with the gang he calls his friends. And I curse and kiss him, safe for now, all of us.


February 1, 2013


I am going to teach at the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts. I’m teaching a class I designed and proposed last spring. I have never taught it before, except in my mind to the imaginary audience that watches my every move and thinks I’m great. What will real people think? It starts this Tuesday, in the evening.
The class explores the oddity and wonder that is the Fashion Collection. I remember being very confused when asked to draw my first collection in Fashion Illustration. They wanted design cohesion. They wanted the ideas to touch, just a little. I wanted to design each piece to be distinct and unique. I couldn’t see that they looked like a disorderly and unfocused group of ladies waiting for the walk signal. No relationship, each out for her own.
I will teach how to take an idea, actualize it, make its mate, wait and wonder, then make their child, or friend or mother… build a family, with checks and balances, with rivalries and love affairs, with every role filled.
I’m so nervous… no, eager. A first date with someone I really like.

Not Suited, Well Suited

February 1, 2013

Not Suited

While I have been working in the studio and drinking hot water with lemon ginger echinacea juice, my website has fallen. I failed to notice…. for how many days I don’t know. Oh business-side-of-things, how you challenge me! I’m afraid my lapsed domain says a lot about my personality: my obsessive focus on one thing at a time. I have spent endless hours over the last four weeks designing Fall 2013, bent over the cut table, making a skirt that falls from the hip like a marionette. And it says that I don’t lift my head from the task at hand until that task is done. Which it is, and it looks good. And now I rear up and look around…. hello world outside the studio, hello world inside the computer…the website and store will be back up in a couple of hours. I’m frustrated with the self that is myself. However the technician sounded really cute.

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