Sunday, July 30, 2006

the final book page

I finished all the pages for Marissa's unbound book - this is the last one here. I clean my paint brushes on sheets of translucent waxed sandwich paper, and this is a collage glueing together torn pieces. I tied the pages together into a bundle with vintage ribbon, wrapped it in white and pale pink tissue, and tucked it into this little leather suitcase I found at the thriftstore and has been the receptacle of all the pages from the start. (I covered the inside of the little suitcase with cheery vintage-looking wallpaper and it has a clean, fresh feeling). I topped the tissue-wrapped bundle with a love note, a small tied bundle of fragrant lavender, and sprinkled dried rose petals over the top. It looks beautiful, I'm pleased.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

a few more

I had fun yesterday afternoon playing in the studio. These are two pages I completed for Marissa's book. I'm enjoying this project so much, as I consciously put my love and prayers into each piece. And I just got a call from my girl this weekend, and she's meeting lots of people (thanks to my very connected cousin whom she's living with), she's even going out, and enjoying herself - a lot!! Just three weeks after the 'non-wedding' and she's finding life does go on and how.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

celebrating 26 years together

Walter and I are celebrating our 26th wedding anniversary; gosh it doesn't seems possible and yet so much has happened during that time. These are some photos of us when we first met - doesn't Walter look dashingly handsome? What an odd couple we were, he had been attending graduate school and I had been hitch-hiking around the country, sleeping outdoors under the stars most of the time, and finding work when I needed money. Needless to say, his parents were NOT impressed with me initially - I was 10 years younger than Walter and a bit *airy* (still am). I chose to go back to school after we had been married awhile, I'd had both the girls, and had settled down. It all seems like a life time ago...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

a work in progress

We woke to humid warm temperatures; it didn't cool off much all night from the 105 degree heat we had in Belfair yesterday. I can't ever remember such high temperatures here in July. The air is still, not the hint of a breeze - just warm, heavy, and still.

One of the ways I'm coping with Marissa moving away, is doing artwork and journaling. I found a stack of 6" x 8" matboard scraps at the thrift store, all different colors. The called out to be pages in a book; and the little brown leather suitcase I found for a song, called out for recovering inside so it could become the new home to my pages. So, I covered the inside with some lovely wallpaper and suddenly it is so much fun to open and close it to see and handle all the pages I've done so far. I'll be sending the book to Marissa when I finish it - it seemed like the nearest thing to a piece of my heart I can share with her right now.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

As Time Passes

Marissa has made her way to the Twin Cities and is really enjoying it there. She's exploring the possibly of attending the College of St. Catherine to finish her degree if she stays on and after she establishes residency. She's already got her eye on a little studio apartment walking distance from the college and her cousins' house. I can hear the hints of sadness and homesickness in her voice, and everything here feels so different, so sad, knowing she no longer lives and works nearby. Still, I feel so much gratitude for this amazing opportunity that wrapped it's arms around her right after the devastating wedding fiasco, and the love and direction she's receiving from extended family.

I found myself working out lots of my feelings in the July journal pages I did for Kathy Wasilewski's calender journal, a round robin I'm in with 11 other MMCA members. This first page is a collage I did in 2004 when I took a workshop on Whidbey Island with Claudine Hellmuth -it seems an appropriate opening to head up the following pages.

Monday, July 10, 2006

THE WEDDING ... that never was

after days of me crying and letting go, letting go, letting go
the day before the wedding
there was the rehearsal
and then the rehearsal dinner - his family and hers and wedding party
my family described the way walter and i looked as 'stricken' like we were attending a funeral
his family was offensive and rude to ours
at 9:00 AM the day of the wedding
he called M and said he was calling off the wedding
unless she signed the pre-nup
(her attorney had looked over the the pre-nup he had sprung on her and said it was awful,
and would be a terrible mistake to sign it - that it practically needed to be rewritten it was so bad, and there was not time to do it before the wedding)
M was strong, she stook firm and said NO, she would not sign it until after the wedding when both of their attorneys had worked on it and had come to agreement
(this whole prenup his family set up for him is a joke - he is no bill gates!!)

So, he called off the wedding.

hours before the
flowers were to arrive
the cake
the catered dinner for 125 guests
the DJ
the photographer
guests arriving at the gate
guests who had flown in from all over the country

she was devasted as you can imagine. but deep within her, she knows she will live through it. and I think she even believes me when I tell her she can create a much better life for herself now. I am so very proud of her, it would have been so easy to cave under all his family's pressure that morning, but she didn't - as much as she loved him, she stood firm, she held her ground.

My nephew and his family in the Twin Cities (St. Paul) were there - such beautiful and generous people. They have invited her to come and stay with them for a while. They are in their late thirties, have a huge beautiful home and are very connected with lots of people and activities. They have two beautiful young daughters who adore M and visa-versa. She will have a room/bathroom in their home that is like a mini suite. There she will have weeks or even months if she likes, to explore Minneapolois and St. Paul, the University, her heart and mind, and to grieve, while being surrounded by family who love her and offer her their strength. She will see a whole new world this much so much different from this little community she has lived in all her life. This will be the very first time she has lived away from here, far away from us - what an incredible opportunity for a 23 year old woman to make a fresh start. She's driving her car, and her sister will ride with her then fly back. My heart is so very sad for her, seeing her in so much pain, but also light with joy in knowing a much better life is ahead of her. As much as I'd miss her, I'm secretly hoping she falls in love with the area and decides to move there, find a job, and go back to school. Whatever she decides will be fine with me though - I'm just grateful she has this time and space to heal.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

I hear my voice

Girls Time Out

I had the best time and I just had to share with my blogger friends. My daughters and I took off for the ocean for a 'girls time out'. We rented a room on the beach and spent the following 24 hours playing, giggling, and enjoying one another. We decided we wanted to make this a more frequent tradition. The girls rented beach bikes while I took off walking with my camera. It was very crowded, lots of folks with fireworks and kites, and horseback riding too. My girls love activities, so this was a great place for them; me, I prefer a quiet deserted beach where I can walk for hours, picking up treasure and getting lost in the thundering sounds of the crashing waves. I got that chance early the next morning, while the girls slept, I took a 3 hour walk on the beach - the tide was out so the sand was pristine, my footprints leaving their mark along with the seagulls. I could have easily spent the entire day walking that beach, it was exactly what I needed to restore my spirit and soul. These are the treasures I found on my wanderings. I also saw lots of crabs waiting for the tide to carry them back out to the sea, a beautiful starfish, lots of jelly fish, and clams disappearing into their deep sandy holes. My heart was bursting with gratitude as I walked the shore and I asked the sea how I could repay her for sharing her abundance with me. The answer I got a while later, was to make art with my treasures, to just make art!! So I started working on a piece last night and it feels like it's making itself. My reservoir feels filled again as I re-enter my hectic world.