I came across a reference to photographer/artist Chino Otsuka recently and I was so intrigued I made a note of her name to pursue later. (Although this is nothing out of the ordinary. This is how I read these days. I sit down with an ugly stack of lemon post-its beside me to jot down titles or references to be researched later).
I have great plans to purchase a tiny notebook for this purpose, maybe even a Moleskine, but as I write today I continue to find curled, yellow, origami projects in my pocket that provide a delightful intellectual surprise on laundry day.
Chino Otsuka had a exhibition a number of years ago called Imagine Finding Me in which she has combined photographic images of herself from the present with those from childhood and various times in the past. The result is strangely moving and slightly unsettling. There is also a series of sparse but potent accompanying words in which she refers to herself as a “tourist of my own history.”
Reminded me of Scrooge but you know, with Photoshop.
Every fall, The General and I earnestly promise to attend one of the local agricultural fairs – and then somehow it doesn’t happen. Usually, I’ve had to work and then we forget or get absorbed in the minutiae that comes with keeping the house going. In other words, it hasn’t exactly been a priority.
But lately there has been so much sadness around us. The kind of sadness that presses down on you, making it hard to take a decent breath; it presents itself upon awakening, I can feel that tiny jungle drum in my heart, warning me that nothing in life is static or safe. I know this feeling well and I understand that it has been re-ignited by the passing of friends and family of friends, lately, by world news, giving “fresh hell” a whole new meaning. But in order to be happy now, right now, I can only focus on the everyday things that delight me. Obviously, we’ve all heard this before via Oprah, the Buddha himself or those dreadful Facebook memes but it’s still valid.
Which brings us full circle to the agricultural fair. Continue reading
When my parents decided that we would move to the UK when I was but a blossoming ‘tween, one of the (many) propaganda stories they hinted at (along with the acquisition of a pony, our own stables and a chuckling brook round the back) was that many young Brits-by-the-sea enjoyed “beachcombing” as a very suitable pastime. (I expect that these badass individuals spent the rest of their time modelling cabled sweaters on knitting patterns … just saying). The allure of a metal detector may or may not have been mentioned at this time but even at the advanced age of 13 I realized that this was severely uncool and was just not going to happen on my watch. Continue reading
It’s always strange to me how certain moments in your life are especially memorable, and can be recalled again and again with complete clarity. I remember parking on a quiet, tree-lined side street, nearly nine years ago now, and since I was very early for an appointment decided to just wait in the car till it was closer to the time. It was early morning. Someone was already cutting their grass so the air was filled with that luscious green smell of fresh earth and chlorophyll sweetness. I was sleep deprived and close to tears (again) as it was not long after my husband had left. As I watched, I saw a pewter Subaru pull into the driveway of a well maintained older home with a tangled English garden in front and fat circular bumblebees drifting lazily in and out of hooded flowers. A woman with a blondish-grey pony tail (pulled sleekly through the back of a navy blue baseball hat) got out of the Subaru and balancing a Starbucks coffee cup, frisked up the steps in form-fitting running gear before absent-mindedly pointing the keys over her shoulder to chook-chook the lock. Then the house door whooshed open and she was gone from my view. Continue reading