"This work is unlike any other, in its range of rich, conjuring imagery and its dexterity, its smart voice. Carroll-Hackett doesn’t spare us—but doesn’t save us—she draws a blueprint of power and class with her unflinching pivot: matter-of-fact and tender." —Jan Beatty

Posts tagged ‘Honoring the Elders’

Quarantine Prompt a Day <3 Elders

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. 

Daily Prompt Love <3 Unsung

28 June 2019 

Make art about underappreciated, unsung, nobility. 

unsung nobility

Image by MonoRenal from Pixabay

Daily Prompt Love <3 Grandfather

16 June 2019 

My dad was one of the funniest, gentlest souls to ever walk the planet. I wish my youngest son had had more time with him. 

Make art about grandfathers.

Daily Prompt Love <3 She

11 June 2019

Make art about the wisdom of old women, about the dangerous old woman. 

old woman

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Daily Prompt Catch-Up! Storms, and Shrines, and What We Can Learn <3


I grew up in Hurricane Alley, eastern North Carolina, so the preparation for these big storms is something I learned early. Hurricane Matthew has ripped through Haiti, and is on his way to the US East Coast. All my provisions are laid in, flashlights and emergency equipment in place and ready, and I’ve battened down as much as I can. But sometimes Mama Nature’s just too big and unpredictable for any kind of preparation.

Make art about preparing the best you can.



Thinking a lot today about all the ways people find their way to, or demonstrate faith. Took me immediately to one of my top three favorite songs, The Mountain, by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer.

Excerpted Lyrics by Dave Carter

Some build temples and some find altars,
some come in tall hats and robes spun fine.
Some in rags, some in gemstone halters,
some push the pegs back in line.

I see the mountain, the mountain comes to me,
I see the mountain and that is all I see.

Make art about temples or altars or shrines, faith in some unexpected way.



Road Angel Andrea at Walmart today told me about her grandmama teaching her to sew, first by making curtains, long straight hems, she said, over and over again, summer curtains, winter curtains with their heavy lining. She said her grandmama was patient but tough, making her tear out crooked stitches, and try again til she got it right. “I learned to take my time,” she said. “I learned to take my time, look ahead of the foot, and how a pair of curtains can make all the difference in a room.”

Make art about curtains. Or about what you learned from an elder.



Some Much Needed Wisdom

from my beautiful late husband ❤ John Little Bear Eaton ❤

John tribes meme

‘Cause I’m Crazy Excited! Daily Prompt :-) Passing on the Old Ways

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.


Daily Prompt

“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


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