Tag: in her own language (Page 2 of 16)

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Masters of embroidery know that it is not enough to follow faithfully the drawing traced: the expert needlewoman must be in possession of the nature of the drawing, to give to it with each stitch the appearance of life, sometimes life itself. The vibration of a wave lies not only in the perfect placing of the woolen thread, and the passing of the needle in the cloth follows an interior movement that is not exhausted by the mechanical gesture.
– Marta Morazzoni, The Invention of Truth

162b

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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It is only with the heart that one can see rightly;
What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery
from The Little Princee

161

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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6 160 1 erased

Drawing seems to calm Nancy
or maybe it distracts her
either way,
the result is the same.

Nancy was watching tv when we went to pick her up,
her face lit up in a smile
when I turned the corner,
and she got up as fast as I’ve seen her get up
in a long time.
She moves slower now, you see.

She seems to zone out more,
and today we saw mini-episodes
of what sure looked like OCD behavior
as she arranged everything from
pamphlets that Andy strategically placed
in the truck in hopes of keeping her from
taking his maps and receipts
and eyeglass cleaning cloths.
It worked,
but she didn’t especially like
where he put them
and then at the restaurant,
she saw fit to
take the fries off her plate
and neatly arrange them
on a napkin.

Nancy22Nov12a

She tried to wrestle the sketchbooks
away from me in the car.
She likes to draw.

Drawing22Nov12b

She began drawing like she did yesterday:
writing her name
or the word “love”
or a combination of the two
then encasing
and ultimately obscuring it.
My mother said she saw
birds and sometimes,
angels in the drawings today.

Drawing22Nov12c

But by the time we left today,
her name (if that’s what she was writing)
was not legible.

Was she tired
or does it reflect how she
feels about herself
and her life?
Maybe the correct answer is
D) all of the above.

Turkeys22Nov12

We saw turkeys on the driveway
to the cottage Nancy lives in.

Sunset

And the sun was setting when we got
back to the hotel
to close out this Thanksgiving
with margaritas
and two loads of laundry.

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~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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Clouds

Today started off much like yesterday ended:
with a cloud poem.
Interesting how the clouds actually look quite similar,
like today just picked up
where yesterday left off.

Chuck

This is Chuck.
He apparently loves dangling earrings,
based on the way he lunged at me
and used his freshly-sharpened claws
to climb up my chest in
pursuit of the aforementioned
earrings
less than 5 seconds
after I snapped this photo.

[ :: ]

We paid Nancy a surprise visit today.
When we walked in,
she was sitting in the living room,
cleaning out her pocketbook,
tossing papers on the floor.

We took her for an after school snack,
and of course I just happened to have several
new, blank sketchbooks and markers in my pocketbook.

Bird1

There were birds

Twotoned

and two-toned drawings

Doublepagespread1

and double-page spreads,
(She always started with the
righthand page
then spread out onto the
page on the left.)

Napkin

You’ve heard stores about
books and businesses
and inventions
getting their start on
a napkin?

Seriousartist

She was uncharacteristically serious
about a few drawings,
intent on what she was doing.

Drawing1

But for the most part,
she was her usual smiling,
contented artistic self.

Working1

Today she started every drawing with a word,
usually her name
or the word “love”
or a combination of the two.

Working2

Working3

Then she set about
embellishing the word

Working4

layering drawings
until the word was nearly invisible.

Working5

Like always,
she knew when she was finished
with one drawing
and ready to start another.

[ :: ]

Remember those papers she was throwing away
when we first arrived?

Schoolwork2

Read the line at the bottom of the page:
Hidden pictures.
Coincidence?
Do babies only smile
when they have gas?
I think not.
On both counts.

NancyJeanne

It was a good day.
Art-filled days usually are.

159b

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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This drawing speaks to me of parent/child.

Clouds1

Today’s sky: a cloud poem.

We are quite the motley crew:
my husband with his hurt back;
my mother with her aching neck/shoulder/leg/hip,
and my daughter with her broken foot and badly sprained ankle.

158b

We had arts and crafts time tonight.

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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6 156 1 erased

Tonight my daughter and I worked on measuring and preparing things to stock her new etsy shop. It’s mostly vintage clothes and housewares, her inventory.

MomsDress3

We worked at my mother’s house, and before long, my mother really got into the spirit of things, bringing out the pink beaded chiffon dress she wore at my wedding, 39.5 years ago.

MomsDress4

My math teacher’s wife helped her pick it out. All these years, and I had no idea she kept that dress. I’m glad she did, though.

MomsDress1

It seemed the perfect setting for #156 since Nancy was at that same wedding.

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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6 155 1 erased

155

Not much to say today as I spent the entire day writing . . . and I finished my book (and NaNo)! That was a few hours ago – I’ve been tidying up some things (but not the book, that’s for January).

Moon2

Moon1

I started a new cloth last night. It is a cloth replica of a wake-up image I had last week. I’m not abandoning Nancy’s drawings, just starting something to take the place of writing till the first of the year. I like having more than one thing to work on. Gives me a break when I need it.

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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Thoughts about the finished cloth (that may technically be a quilt because it will have 3 layers, but I really can’t call it a quilt for some strange reason) swirl. I laid out some of the panels let night, and went to bed absolutely overwhelmed with how large – how huge – this finished cloth will be. Where will I work on it? I’ve never used a quilting frame – where do I get one? Will I need it? How do I use it? How do I get the look and feel I want without adding weight and turning it into something other than my vision simply to follow the rules of shows that might allow it in their special exhibits. Do I have enough handkerchiefs? How will I ever get this done and write a book and birth all the other things waiting in line? What was I thinking? These and about a gazillion other similar thoughts went to bed with me last night.

I did not sleep.

Sometime during the night I got an email from Judy Martin that calmed me down a little bit, her sage advice telling me to make the art then worry about shows, the link she sent for some fabric that looks like just the ticket. She knew exactly what I meant when in my email to her I described how I want the finished cloth to be delicate and responsive. What a relief: just make the art and the shows will come. Of course. Thank you, Judy.

I exhale, and then . . .

A crop of new thoughts rush in with the same unrelenting swirl: How did I get so far off track? What was I thinking bothering Judy with an email? Will I ever have a studio? Where will all this stuff go? Will we be able to sell this media room furniture? How can I live and create in this clutter? I need to clean the floors, but when? What do I need to do to get organized so I can enjoy Christmas and have a creatively productive 2013?

On and on it goes. I don’t know why, I just get like this sometimes.

154a

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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6 153 1 erased

Yesterday, we took Step 1 towards converting the media room into a studio for Moi. Said another way: I AM ABOUT TO HAVE A DOOR! Today, Step 2: find a furniture consignment store to rid the room of the media furniture so I can move in studio furniture. Given that it’s only been 1 year and 8 months to get to Steps 1 and 2, I should have a studio by this time in 3042 (though my goal is by Christmas – 12/23/12).

153b

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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6 152 1 erased

152

It was chilly when we went to the storytelling festival, so I bought a shawl, and now I’m embellishing it with Nancy’s drawings and maybe a poem or two to help me memorize them. It’s something I want to do – memorize quotes and poems and poem fragments that fill me up. Here’s the first one. Angela sent it to me just when I needed it.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore.

Naomi Shihab Nye

I will say it and stitch it, I will wrap it around me till I know it by heart and it becomes a part of me.

[ :: ]

If you’d like to be part of a digital gratitude quilt, go right here.

~~~~~~~~~

She is my developmentally disabled sister-in-law, Nancy,
and I am Jeanne, the woman who flat-out loves her.
Go here to start at the beginning.

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