Friday, April 30, 2010
Tonight I'm thinking of Popi, my best friend Caroline's beloved grandfather who died this week, while recovering from an open heart surgery at age 92. He was loved and loved his family, his community, lived a rich, full, intelligent life, and will be missed.
I'm also reminded of A Wrinkle in Time, which Madeleine L'engle opens with:
"It was a dark and stormy night.
"In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, wrapped in an old patchwork quilt, sat on the foot of her bed and watched the trees tossing in the frenzied lashing of the wind. Behind the trees clouds scudded frantically across the sky. Every few moments the moon ripped through them, creating wraithlike shadows that raced along the ground.
"The house shook.
"Wrapped in her quilt, Meg shook."
And Mrs. Whatsit comes with the wind, and thus the beginning of the adventure into the unknown.
Here's to the unknown and dark, windy, stormy nights.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Now you can visit the class via a video created by Marisol Montoya.
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Reading Mary Oliver today gave me a slightly less sinister reminder of swamp, bayou, rich earth.
Here is the endless
cosmos, the center
of everything — the nugget
of dense sap, branching
vines, the dark burred
is swamp, here
peerless mud. My bones
knock together at the pale
for foothold, fingerhold,
such slick crossings, deep
that sink silently
into the black, slack
earthsoup. I feel
not wet so much as
painted and glittered
with the fat grassy
mires, the rich and succulent marrows
of earth — a poor
dry stick given
one more chance by the whims
of swamp water — a bough
that still, after all these years,
could take root,
sprout, branch out, bud —
make of its life a breathing
palace of leaves.
~"Crossing the Swamp" by Mary Oliver
(Top photo by Eddie O'Bryan, courtesy of New Era Portfolio)
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Willful Creatures in with me. She is a genius of magical realism. Here are a few passages for you, so you'll go buy her books, and get in line with me for her new book coming out in June: The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
Aimee was at a literary pub crawl I attended a few months ago, and, explaining she couldn't often read this short story at regular book store readings, she shared "Motherfucker" with us.
"I fuck mothers," he said to anyone who asked him. "And I do it well," he added. ...
He never liked any of them for longer than one or two times. Or, he liked them but not enough to keep calling. I love all women, he told himself. He liked to try on hats in stores.
One afternoon, he was at a fancy Bel Air party on a damp lawn talking to some damp and fancy people. ... The motherfucker wandered across the lawn to the starlet, famous for her latest few films, wearing the red straw hat and matching red dress, the one watching her four-year-old play on the lawn chairs, the one whose husband had left her for a man, or so said the newspapers. Everyone else was afraid to talk to her. ...
Thursday, April 08, 2010
With the series finale airing next Wednesday, I've started watching "Ugly Betty" again. In last week's episode, Betty turned down a fashion columnist job when an ex reminded her that fashion is simply not her passion. She wants her writing to highlight the world's needs, real life people whose problems are far greater than what shoes go with which bag.
Throughout the series, it's obvious that Betty's cheery attitude and hard work is what gets her ahead, but it's equally obvious that she's in the wrong industry. Fashion's not the right fit. It's so easy to get into a job, an area of life, and move forward without thinking: is this what I want?
I've been in the film industry off and on for most of my adult life, but Monday night, when Cate and I pitched Action Kivu to the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild, I was reminded once again that THIS is what I want to do. I felt high on adrenaline and energy as I walked out of Home Ec, a fun, funky shop filled with fabulous fabrics, sewing machines and crafty, creative women. It was our first pitch, and a good test to work out the kinks of our five-minute presentation covering the conflict in the eastern Congo and what Amani and Amini are doing to empower and educate the women and children through the Kivu Sewing Workshop and sending kids to school.
It was inspiring to see a community of women come together, and to see their interest and compassion for women in eastern Congo. The L.A. Modern Quilt Guild will be working on a quilt to raffle to raise money both for their own non-profit status, and to support their sewing sisters in Congo. Cate and I are waiting for fiscal sponsorship so we can start raising money and take your tax-deductible donation to help support Action Kivu. More soon! (And if you're a quilter - check out the main page of the Modern Quilt Guild to find if there's one in your city.)
Friday, April 02, 2010
Even though my body is slowly shutting down and my bed is calling to me, I'm starting to get that sense of excitement that I crave in life. What's next? I want to live life wide-eyed and wondering. Tonight, my eyes are fighting me, so more will have to come later.
Tired, but excited for the unknown. While waiting on job news, I'm going to dive into a stack of books just delivered from Powells.com (The Corrections, A Thousand Sisters and American Primitive), and "Paris, Texas" waiting for me to un-sheath it from its red and white Netflix wrapper.
Welcome, unemployment, and all that is unknown.