preservation of historical information

Amy you need to come and sit down

She said my name again as if trying to anchor herself to me.
there is something I need to tell you
we need to talk
I am still under the impression that people should just announce death flat out- that they should shout it out to you and slice the pain in one single moment. 
I would rather have someone tell me something flat out- I don’t like to be prepared for death.
Her pink capri pants were perfectly pressed to sharp creases down the front of her leg.
It was one of her golden mothering moments as she was thinking only of me. 
I had never experienced death in a hard and fast way before. 
This was my inauguration into adulthood. 
She touched my face with her hands and her hands smelled like flowers from her lotions. 
She touched my face and I did not pull away.

She gestured towards the large cedar deck outside the living room and we opened the sliding glass door all dirty and grubby with hand prints. 
We walked outside and I grabbed the packet of parliament lights off the ledge.
She said nothing and did not even make a sound and for a small window of time 
we could both only hear inhaling and exhaling.  
The tiny sounds of burning tobacco.
And then the whole forest heard me cry.

was your hair really once black like a bird?

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

Yes dear

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.
These hands.
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

hold down the future

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 wonder what having a highball at Hogan's bar was like back then?

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.”

Some of the photographs are here to view.

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?

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."

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

Get me delivered to yr email xo