Woven and Printed Textile Design. Architectural Drafting. Writing. Learning Japanese. Gardening. Not necessarily in that order.
IG: maisonette _textiles
Reading a Poem is a Short Commitment
Reading a poem is a short commitment; or a lifelong one. The words are there, black on the page, secretly engaged in metamorphosis, until they no longer hold the shape you thought they had.
Another New York Story
Nicole stood in one of the bag check lines at the British Museum. No, she couldn’t stop them, again. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she reached for a tissue balled up in her pocket while trying to choke back sobs and look normal. The line was moving so slowly it would take another ten minutes at least before she reached the front. She thought about coming back later, but no, the line might be just as long. London was on high alert after some acid throwing and crazy drivers smashing into pedestrians. She squared her shoulders.
Losing Weight the Mindful Way
To start with, I’m going to give you all the disclaimers. This piece is a personal app review about my own experience with Noom. I have no affiliation with Noom other than the fact that I used the app for eight months. I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or health professional. I know nothing about your health situation; therefore, I am not qualified to give you advice. I am only here to write my unsolicited opinion on an application that I credit with helping me lose weight. I have never used any other weight loss plan or diet, so I have nothing with which to compare it. If reading about weight loss is a “trigger” for you, stop right here and find a different story to read.
Any Way You Slice It
Halfway through a surprise party for her 25th birthday, Jessie McAfee looked at Todd Haney looking at Phoebe Taylor and realized she no longer wanted to marry him. She had a bite of chocolate cake on her fork, all ready to pop into her mouth. It was a cake Phoebe had made, and it was good. It was the piece with the “2” written on it in white icing. Todd had the “5” on his. Todd had his hand on her back, but he was looking at Phoebe. In fact, now that she thought about it, even though they were engaged: it was Phoebe who he held doors open for; helped into her coat, sweater, or whatever; threw snowballs at playfully, and for whom he put up kitchen shelves. Jessie struggled with all that on her own and, if she asked for help, was met with a surly response, long-winded complaints, and very little action. As far as snowballs went, she’d rather stay inside tucked up with hot chocolate and a good romance novel.
The Riding Lesson
“I dare you.” Two girls stood, jostling each other, on the cracked ramp leading up to the old barn behind Grandma John's house. Weed trees, grass, and stubby poison ivy were growing up in the gaps between pieces of concrete. The massive barn door, its wheel still on the track, had faded red paint in places on the rotting wood. Nita put an eye up to one rough crack to get a glimpse into the interior. Nothing could be seen inside.
Words are Spoken Leaves
A short preface: When I look at the Japanese kanji characters for ‘word’ as pictured in the cover image, I imagine a story as a tree. The spoken or written words of the story are the leaves on the tree and they determine the type of tree, its shape, and the season we see it in. Japanese has been characterized as a vague language but its flip side is poetic and subtle. Written Japanese is for communication but it is also a calligraphic art discipline called shodo-the way of writing. The written language is a mixture of phonetic sound symbols (Hiragana, Katakana) and pictorial symbols (Kanji) that appeal to me as a visual artist. Put the three together and what should result in chaos becomes an organized, logical system. Learning the language and its written form has become a daily part of my life.
Although I already lived in the other world children inhabit as a child, reading was my favorite place to escape. Fairytales, lands far away, fables, myths were my favorites. The versions of stories told as they made their way from country to country fascinated me. One that has always stayed in my memory is this; a Japanese folk tale beginning with those well-worn words:
Night Out in New York City
Just so you know from the beginning, I’m a little white girl wasp; that’s with a capital WASP. I’m married to a white guy, same letters. Raised in a shorthaired, clean-shaven, no drinking, no smoking, no dancing, cards or movies Baptist church, that’s me. When I was a kid, my piano teacher, who was the organist of our church at the time, got kicked out for being gay. My favorite great uncle was gay too, and certain family members still whisper that label when they talk about him. We did move a lot, I was in eight different schools, three were high schools in two states and another country. Friends were few and far between. I ended up at art school because I liked to draw. The kids at this school had the world on me. They all came from Sophistication, USA, or at least New York City. I came from Sheltered, and somehow I skated through all the stuff that goes on in an art school total innocence intact. It never touched me, and I was probably, no, definitely according to my classmates, annoyingly self-righteous to boot. But people accepted me anyway, because all artists are outcasts of some sort, even the goody-two-shoes sort, join the club. “Not Fitting In” is my middle name. I graduated, got married right away, and after a couple false starts moved to Brooklyn and took a job in the Midtown Manhattan Garment District.