Monday, August 29, 2011

SOS: 1339!

I didn't like my son yesterday. For the second time since summer had started, I couldn't find him. The last time he was off on some trails not far from home with his little friend Gio, having a "BIG Adventure", while mom was canvasing the neighborhood. Two hours later, after his dad had shown up & my stomach was in a knot of bile, they came walking & laughing around the corner, while I collapsed down on the front lawn into a ball, sobbing my eyes out & howling like a fighting cat.

Yesterday, he grabbed his tin of Badagon trading cards to show Gio & I asked him, for the umpteenth time, what he would do if Gio wasn't home."Come right home mama!",  he threw over his shoulder as he hurried off. I had a lot to do & so about an hour later I drove around the corner to pick him up to run errands. He wasn't at Gio's. Nobody was. I drove slowly down & around the nearby streets, listening for his familiar laugh in other kids backyards. A half hour later I was calling 911. I couldn't go through this again & was scared, pissed off & frustrated. Three cars soon came & I told them what he was wearing, downloaded & printed off his latest picture & got permission to drive the 10 minutes down the road to his dad's house, because his phone was going to message AGAIN, which pissed me off even more. I pulled in the driveway, honking the horn & yelled out the window to him & my stepson while turning the car around & speeding off again."Get in your car NOW! Gabe is missing & the police are looking for him!!"

By the time I got back the police had found him, walking along a trail I had told them emphatically he would NOT be on, because it was too far from home. Of course I was relieved. I was also REALLY pissed now & that familiar exhaustion started settling in to my bones that had taken me days to get over last time; stick-your-finger-in-a-light-socket exhaustion. He was VERY sorry of course & so after I had collected myself a bit, we took off in the car to find his cards.

"Go to 1339, mama!" "What? I'll drive the car slowly Gabe & you tell me where to go." "It's 1339 mama!" We kept curving around streets until I was about ready to give up & start back towards home. "Down this street here mama; TURN!" I then started looking at the numbers on the houses & sure enough, when we pulled up to a small house, several blocks away from ours, there were the numbers 1339 on the awning. He got out, went up on the front porch & retrieved his cards like it was the most natural thing in the world.

Now, instead of being pissed, I was in awe. Although Gabe's will be 12 this December, his cognitive ability ranges between a 7 to a 9 year old, depending on the skill. He had gotten himself from Gio's, who wasn't home, down another street, on to a trail, turned a corner, went down another block & to '1339'. Those friends weren't home either, so forgetting the cards he had put down to ring their doorbell, he was returning home the same way he had come when found. The love I felt for him washed away all the dislike in that moment & instead, I felt very proud.

" We're a gender, not a genre."

Adele's success occurred simultaneously with several other British female soul singers, & the British press dubbed her the new Amy Winehouse. Adele called the comparisons between her & other female soul singers lazy, noting "we're a gender, not a genre."

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Camille Claudel; French Sculptor

 Talented & ambitious French sculptor Camille Claudel caught the attention of legendary sculptor Rodin. Claudel eventually abandoned her work to assist the womanizing Rodin, becoming his muse and his lover. When the affair ended with Rodin refusing to give up his other women, mainly his common law wife, Claudel spun into an emotional turmoil that eventually lead to madness. Rodin condemned this sculpture done in her later years, claiming it would make HIM look bad & could ruin HIS career because Claudel looks so 'helpless'.  She spent the last 30 years of her life institutionalized. Noticing a pattern here? : /

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I have just run out of unemployment benefits & my only other source of income to support my son & I is ETSY. Believe me, it has been a life saver, providing me with at least enough to supplement unemployment, but not enough of course to support us. I have a very generous family, but they are all dealing with their own issues during these tough economic times.

Anyway, just yesterday on my walk I spent a lot of time talking to MARY. When I say talk, I mean PRAY of course. 'PLEASE! Show me what to do next! I need to earn more money! What can I do? I can't find a job;  how will I pay rent?' etc. etc....

I am the leader of our local Etsy Team here on the Olympic Peninsula in WA state. You can only get to where I live by ferry or bridge & although we're pretty isolated, there are LOTS of Etsy members out here. Anyway I met with another member today because we are planning a craft fair on the main drag through our town over Labor Day weekend. 

It just so happens that in the space we're going to be using, there was a flea market set up today. One woman's LOVELY MARY Shrine was for sale made out of a vintage bird house & covered in shells from our local beaches. She was selling it for $15! I just couldn't hold my self back. 'WHY ARE YOU SELLING THIS GORGEOUS SHRINE FOR $15?!' 'Well, I had $25 on it before & it wouldn't sell! Do you think I should mark it DOWN again?' 'NO! Do you have any idea how many people would love this on ETSY?' She responded, 'Oh, I don't know how to use a computer, I don't really trust on-line selling.....'

I bought the Shrine & went on to the next booth where I saw a Mary statue for $5, then at the next booth, a woman who had matching vintage earrings & pendant for $15 just handed them over to me without even asking me to pay for them ...... See where I'm going with this? With a $30 investment, I had 3 women ask me to SELL their flea market items on ETSY for them & they will each pay me 20% of their sales. AND NO, It is not lost on me that the first item I saw there was a MARY SHRINE. : >

Friday, August 12, 2011

Janet Frame: An Angel At My Table

Jane Campion is BY FAR my favorite movie director! You may know her for directing 'The Piano' & 'Portrait of a Lady'. I just watched another biopic film she directed in 1990, which is the 3 part biography about the famous New Zealand writer Janet Frame & named after her best selling book, The Angel at My Table.

It's difficult to believe actress Kerry Fox isn't a cruel character parody of 'Annie' in this movie, with her gigantic red mop of hair, until I looked at actual photo's of Frame. She was, in real life, heavy, gawky, anxious, painfully shy, awkward & had a HUGE red hair Afro, yet with all her outward attributes, there hid beneath a remarkable & prolific writer.

Get ready for a THREE hour movie, (with Part 2 being largely the harrowing years she spent in a mental institution, wrongly diagnosed with schizophrenia, receiving shock treatments & narrowly MISSING a scheduled lobotomy, ONLY because she had published a book & won a distinguished literary prize, WHILE institutionalized.

She reminds me very much of Saraphina, who I also wrote about previously in this blog AND so many other artists who demonstrate the miracle of determination, perseverance, & following one's gift in spite of tremendous adversity. There is a saying that goes something like, 'A True Artist Cannot NOT Create', or something to that effect. Janet Frame is just one more example of the literal truth of this statement.