Make art about connections made through food, connections in the present, or to the past.
My mama kept a garden to feed us kids when I was growing up. We were poor, but nowhere near as poor as my mother had been as a child, growing up as she did back in those beautiful North Carolina mountains in the Depression era.
One of the reasons I can is to remind myself to be grateful. I think about how this was the only way my grandmother–we called her Miz Pearl–had to feed my mama and her brothers and sisters, and how she’d work all summer so they would have anything to eat at all in the winter. One hard winter the only thing they had at all were the green beans Miz Pearl had canned the summer before. So as I’m working, I’m thinking how lucky most of us are, to have access to food in ways that the generations before us did not. I’m not rich by any stretch, and I do love my home food, but I have never been hungry, not truly, because of women who put up food this way, who had that wisdom.
So i’m grateful. and really really aware of how I don’t need this food to live, how I don’t have to haul water up from the creek, how I don’t have to build a fire to cook, how hard, how so so so hard, those women before us worked to care for –just to feed–their families.
I’m even more grateful, and excited, because for the first time, my sons, my oldest J, who is 26, and his younger brother Dean–the one I call Manchild 🙂 just months away from his 21st birthday– have asked to learn how to preserve food by the old canning methods. Even Manchild’s best friend Colin wants to learn! So I’m one Happy Hippie Mama right now 🙂
The web of cultures in which I was raised teaches us to honor the wisdom of elders, to honor and appreciate the wisdom born of survival and innovation and ingenuity developed over thousands of years walked by the procession before us. It teaches us to honor what sustains us, the planet, and our community. I am excited to share this with my sons, with these young people. I am honored, and humbled, to have the chance to teach this way of Loving as it was taught to me.
“Oh my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways. And deep ways and steep ways, and high ways, and low.”~Henry Lawson
Make art inspired by old wisdom.
“When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. … Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.
I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition.”― Thích Nhất Hạnh