Amy you need to come and sit down
we need to talk
we could both only hear inhaling and exhaling.
The tiny sounds of burning tobacco.
Finn plays with my grandmother's hands whenever he is with her.
He takes her hand and within moments he is pulling her nearly 90 year old skin from her like elastic bands.
He rolls her dark blue veins that lie like wet rope against the speckled white skin.
She shakes him off and raises the back of his thin t-shirt to scratch his back.
He is my child.
He loves to be patted or tickled or touched.
He will sit submissive for a few moments but then he is again at her looking like a small microscope at all of her oddities:
her brown flaky bits and bobs
her constant bruising
her general translucency
It is as if he may see right through her skin if he squints hard enough.
He pulls at her white thin hair and says:
Old granny was your hair really once black like a bird
Yes dear the darkest hair in the hollow
Granny were you once a little girl
And it goes on like this long enough that every single time
I wished I had a microphone to make this history real and frozen.
And her hands.
They are so foreign looking to all of us because they have been around the sun so many times.
I wonder what all they have done.
Lately I am most fascinated by her penmanship and pies they produce.
And of course the way they calm down the generations of us.
He begins again.
And Granny stretches her long fingers
out against the cool of the laminate kitchen table and smiles.
(wrote this last night at my every three week writing group that I love. I love that we are starting to become a group that just might make the world a more magical place)
photo via we heart it
Finn's bottom two teeth are about to fall out and I swear to god it freaks me out.
It freaks me out that he is old enough to tongue his naked gums soon.
A hole where his teeth once erupted as I rocked him back and forth across many midnights.
Across the vast canyon of babyhood that only lasted for like ten seconds when I turn my head and think about it.
When I turn my head and strain my left eye.
trying to see the past
trying to hold down the future
I forgot my camera and wanted to cry- but I still want to tell you about this awesome show over at Stuart's Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio. If yr local you must go check it out.
It was quite amazing. The room was packed with many generations of folks and the show was stunning.
Stuart’s Opera House, Nelsonville, Ohio Presents a photographic exhibition of Vern McClish “Appalachian Families and Faces, 1971-1975
May 29- July 17, 2009
Opening Reception for the public: Friday, May 29, 6-9PM
Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio is pleased to present Vern McClish’s documentary photographs of the people in the communities surrounding Nelsonville, Ohio. The exhibition, entitled “Appalachian Families and Faces, 1971-1975” continues from Friday, May 29 to July 17, 2009. There will be a reception open to the public Friday, May 29, 6-9PM.
From 1971-1975, Vern McClish documented the people of the coal-mining region of Southern Ohio, particularly in and around the communities surrounding Nelsonville, Ohio. Intrigued by the fascinating people and area, McClish photographed there for four years, recording the daily lives of people living in this critically important historical part of America. Now he has returned after over 30 years to share what he saw then with a wish to reconnect and again record what he sees today. “After not being in the area after over thirty years, I decided to return and see if I could retrace my steps. As I drove from my home in Massachusetts, I wondered if I would be able to find familiar sites or if gentrification had changed the area so much that I would never recognize it. Boy, was I wrong, for time had not changed very much, though I did find that Hogan’s Bar, a favorite watering hole in Murray City, is now gone.”
The images are so amazing in person and there is a particular little girl in a few shots that captivated me. She is gorgeous and to think she may be still living in the area and able to come look at her image shot so long ago is thrilling to me. Many of the photographs held mysteries. Eyes that looked back at you and you just knew they were long gone.
I am haunted by history always.
Some family members were there and saw old familiar faces.
It was truly cooler than cool.
Check it out if you can.
***And locals- The Randys are playing there in June!
Wanna go and drinks some beers on the square?
Sometimes I would stand in the stacks and practice my French while shelving books.
dooblehvay dooblehvay dooblehvay
Je deteste ma vie
Oui oui oui
I saw the film Belle du Jour while babysitting for the Kline family on the top of the hill in town. They had a TV room with shimmery glass windows and comfy couches.
After tucking in the children I poured myself a large glass of box wine and watched the film.
I felt intense and moody and lustful and perplexed at the perfection of Séverine's hair.
Things changed as I systematically watched the families foreign film collection that year.
I was fixated on Catherine Deneuve, and discovered Vincent Perez.
I would practice sultry between the massive bookshelves.
In my mind I was a divine mixture of Audrey Hepburn, Deneuve, and Madonna.
I was classy. That was my new thing.
Just like when I discovered jazz and it stitched me in my side and
made me more than the acres of woods I was from.
French made me cooler that my town.
I wore a polka dot scarf around my neck for three weeks.
I pulled on jaunty berets and menswear clothing.
I was going to Paris the moment I turned 18.
I had already researched the metro map that my French teacher Madame Brown had brought back last year from her honeymoon to math teacher Mr. Hedges.
Madame Brown talked endlessly of Paris and how writer's sat in cafes and smoked and drank coffee and read Sartre- living the dream she would say.
She was so worldly and wise and yet she was here. In Shitville, USA. Why?
I would trace her bulletin boards of France with my fingers, wishing to be there.
I wanted to lay on Jim Morrison's grave and lick it.
I wanted to go into bookstores and cafes and get lost.
I wanted to kiss a French boy.
I didn't know it then, but I would do those things.
All of them and more during a summer where time was still slow, my skin invincible, and the whole world revolved around me.
I didn't know it then either that Madame Brown would die in a plane crash in Germany five years after I left that cow town.
I read it in the local paper while home visiting my parents.
She was survived by a name that sounded very French and may have been attached to a Vincent Perez lookalike. Mr Brown was history and for as sad as I was for a moment about her death, I was delirious for her as my mother poured the coffee and told me all about how Madame Brown had a mid life crisis and left Mr. Brown and moved to Provence.
Madame Brown died a happy woman I think.
And this has made all the difference.
title post- Amelie 2001
I was reading an article on the plane this week about WPA posters. Now honestly I did not know much about the WPA- only that when my cousin named her daughter with the initials of WPA her mother made a big deal about it and we were all like "What?"
I must have been applying lip gloss and writing in bubble letters on my folder during that history class session. It is actually kinda embarrassing that my British husband is constantly refreshing my knowledge of my own country. How can I memorize massive parts of Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons but be unable to say much about Franklin Delano Roosevelt? My brain is not right.
Anyhoo, it is kinda cool shit. It was basically from what I gather that contemporary artists were paid to make gorgeous propaganda silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters. They ranged from art to health education. The social messages mixed with amazing art has made me crazy.
I love these. Around 2,000 posters were created by artists working for the New Deal Era Works Progress Administration.
I would love to have one now.
I might have found something to collect after all these years.
title post- Ferris Bueller's Day Off 1986
photos from the Library of Congress