28 March 2020
“Try to praise the mutilated world.
Remember June’s long days,
and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew….”
From “Try to Praise the Mutilated World” by Adam Zagajewski
(Translation by Clare Cavanagh)
Read the full poem here.
Make art today in praise, praising something, praising whatever is lifting your heart.
26 March 2020
My grandmothers. Two women from completely different worlds, cultures, backgrounds, across a vast socioeconomic divide, brought together at the end of their lives, because my parents loved each other, and loved them.
From Miz Pearl I learned about survival, food preservation, foraging, mending, how to find and create beauty even on the darkest days, and the power of prayer, especially when it’s sung. From Miz Ann I learned about the joy to be found in making things with your hands, the value of being a smartass, the pervasive connection of laughter, which fork to use 🙂 and how even the brashest and most self-regarding among us can learn the power of gratitude and humility.
Fierce women, strong women, wise women, loving women, despite the brokenness life dealt both of them. When they lived together, sharing the same room in my parents’ house, in the twilight of their lives, they became unlikely friends and sisters. ‘Cause that’s what Love does.
Make art about what you’ve learned from elders, about the gifts they bring to our lives.
25 March 2020
Make art about sustenance, about seeking it, about finding it, about what sustains you.
21 March 2020
Make art about growing, about growth, especially growing through difficult circumstances.
18 March 2020
Nourish the body. Feed the soul.
Thinking on all the things that fed me these last few days. Yes, the meals shared with my son, but also my brother-man Eric in West Virginia, with his guitar, serenading the world with an Irish song, the silly memes my sister Adaire and I sent back and forth to each other, my young alum Katlyn and her friend selflessly working to collect donations for families and kids in need in quarantine, my current students excitedly discussing their short stories and poems in our online class, my friend Brigid writing a new comic who shared the pages with me, the sound of my friend Lynne’s laughter through the phone, my old dog sleeping on his purple pillow, my silly cat Moco biting my elbow because I was ignoring him, the humming of the bees across the burgeoning green in my yard, the multitude of good people out there doing good work teaching, sharing, cooking, donating–coping, all of them, in beautiful, humane, and community-minded ways.
So much, in the midst of this fear, to feed the soul.
Make art about one thing recently that fed your soul.
15 March 2020
Make art about the beauty to be found in quiet, every day details, a cup, a spoon, the shape of a flower, the way morning light lands in a corner. We’re surrounded by beauty ❤
29 August 2019
Make art about what you do to heal.