Sweet Lies

2 09 2012

“Experience of danger does not derail the experience of life,” says the mother to her son. Soft brown eyes like her deceased husband’s look up at her with absolute affection and need—obsolete of understanding.

At one, Johnny is curious and light. She with the pilled turtleneck gazes ahead at the morning light pouring onto the kitchen table. Tomorrow when Johnny understands, light will run from them–for they are contagious. Cast from a caste on India’s Southern Coast without a father, mother and son arrive in sunny humid South Carolina. Krispy Cream donuts can only hide the stickiness of truth.

After Johnny is fed, she hums—filling the shadows under the table with vibrations—trying to push the universe’s light out of her world. Where will they go today? Hours of horrific excess creep into her consciousness. Yesterday or maybe it was two months ago, she and Johnny (well really she—adding another’s name to the story prevents her from living too much in the reality of her loneliness) bought this plantation with her husband’s last winnings. If only winnings had wings. If only those winnings had flown Dejajeen to them. But gambling does not provide one with such a mystical high—just a temporary delusion of possible grandeur. And then one falls hard. Concrete. Blood. The bet is over. A messenger shared the news and mother and child fled from a family of chaos and addiction to a place without depth or darkness.

To explain her story to the neighbors would be difficult; but perhaps it would be best to practice on them before she must share with her son? Nevermind. Krispy Cream awaits. Stainless steel, glass, and sugar. The donut shop on 2nd street provides the mother with anonymity and helps her dismiss the need for purpose. If the customer in front of her can easily order a glazed donut, so can she.

To have the choice of sweetness without judgment sweeps a smile onto her face. But then she desires to choose something of a different sweetness. Her son does not care. Nor the world. The mother hopes it matters to the donut.


The Row [Row] of Corn

2 09 2012

It is a mafia—marching past oats and barley. Tumbling over wheat grass with the force of ego and determination of genetically modified food. The kernel is a colonel. Its presence on my food labels is as mysterious as Rumi; yet as dangerous as Romney. Ever present and foolish this colonel/kernel floods through our blood. It causes me to wonder whether I’m going to erode and slip into another skin. If only we could slide away from our food habits as a snake slithers away from a field of empty stalks—knowing the tractor is treacherous.

Bee Keeping at Cedar Lane Urban Homestead

18 03 2012

It’s official–I’m in love  with homesteading. On our less than half acre urban homestead we have two cats, two goats, and two alpacas and now they’ll soon be bees!

I’m finally committed to bee keeping! I’ve ordered a top bar hive from Orr Bee Supply and should be able to pick it up from Old Fort in two weeks. Yesterday, I ventured to my old college stomping grounds of beautiful Madison County and reserved bees for the top bar from Wild Mountain Bees. I also came home with a beautiful cypress garden hive that will house my bees from Stuart VanMeter in Henderson County. I’m so excited about this venture! From a fellow bee keeper neighbor to the folks at the Buncombe County Bee School, the vibe of bee keepers is so open and calm. I’m looking forward to cultivating such energy and guarding these special bee-ings (I couldn’t resist:).

Here’s a pic of the cypress garden hive. The location is away from the house and animals. The hive is raised on two cinder blocks but still needs to be leveled.

Creating Again

15 03 2012

I’m dedicating myself to creating a collection of print, paper, and fiber artists I admire.

I stumbled upon Georgette Veeder this summer and am in love. Veeder’s fiber and paperwork are so eloquently earthy–especially his piece “Compromise.”

After listening to Eric Cumberland speak of the ethics and continuum of meaning with photographs, my craving for additional communication on images has increased. I wish virtual holograms of artists speaking about their work could accompany their pieces. With “Compromise,” I wonder if the material is the content or does it refer and create another content/message. Regardless, the folds, textures, and depth of darkness evoke associations of animals skins or clay filled river ravines. Something that will give life after it rests, darkens, and decomposes itself just a bit more.

(A temporary) Compromise is necessary in seeking balance. I suppose my hiatus from active art making, discussion, promotion has been like such for several years. Within the past year, I’ve slowly transitioned from decomposition to creation. The textures of travel, stories, children/teens, and urban homesteading are weaving themselves tighter together confirming my path through the outlets of photography, fiber art and printmaking.

As I sip a glass of wine on my front porch I hear the light rain and birds chirp (so cliche–I know:)). I will not compete–I will create with a consciousness that is mindful. A toast to today!

Traveling Home with a Stop in Prague

9 07 2011

After expressing our gratitude and saying our goodbyes, we headed for the Parnu bus station where we hopped on a LuxXpress bus for our two hour ride back to Riga. The bus was the nicest one we had ridden on the entire trip and even had complimentary Wifi. We just wished we had the very back seats as the noise from the motor and bumps in the road added a few sighs to our ride. The ticket we purchased included a transfer from the Riga bus station to the airport which made for convenient (seimi direct) transportation to the airport. Finally we were flying over Riga, reminiscing on how quickly time was “flying.” Two hours later we arrived in Prague where we had around a 23 hour layover. After withdrawing some Kroons and catching the airport express bus, we found ourselves near old town and walked for about twenty minutes until we found Prague Square Hostel in which we had two beds reserved in the 5 bed dorm. Surprisingly, the other three beds were occupied by three brothers from Washington state (during our time in the Baltics we really didn’t come across hardly anyone from the states). After a quick check in and meditation, we took our cameras and map and quickly stalked the streets of Old Town Prague competing with the obnoxious tourist crowds. I think Charles Bridge and the Astronomical Clock were my favorite highlights. A delicious dinner with potato pasta with local sheep cheese, a sandwich, a mushroom soup, and a Pilsner beer filled us with much contentment and provided the opportunity to people watch. As the golden light continued to quickly set, we ran through the cobblestone streets like maniacs trying to capture some visual memories. Cathedrals, castles, and palaces almost escaped our lenses but the light lingered until around 10 and soon we were returning to the hostel with sore feet and filled memory cards.

Photo gallery!


9 07 2011

Now we only had two official full days left of our trip and planned to visit summer seaside town of Parnu. We took a tram (unfortunately in the opposite direction) to Tallinn’s main bus station and caught the next bus to Parnu. After an hour and half we arrived in Parnu and Rock asked a stranger for their cell phone and called Evelyn, our possible couchsurfing host. She quickly met us at the bus station and we walked about ten minutes to her family’s house. Her mother, aunt, and grandmother all live in the house in which Evelyn grew up in. A quaint fruit garden provided their family some beautiful space between neighboring houses. Evelyn walked with us to the beach where we met some four guys from Spain who needed a place to camp. Soon we were heading back to Evelyn’s house with them. After setting up a tent commune in her backyard, we went to one of only several main streets in Parnu and had dinner at a bar. The next morning the guys from Spain left and Rock and I went on our own adventures. The beach and The Tervis Waterpark filled the first part of our day. In early afternoon, we saw a couple film that were part of the Parnu International Film Festival. One film was about the Ostional Community in Costa Rica who harvest sea turtle eggs for their livelihood and explored the controversy surrounding such a project. The other documentary highlighted the story of a convicted American “eco-terrorist” (I disagree with such a term!) and his association with the Earth Liberation Front. Afterwards, we visited two different art museums/galleries and strolled through a few more streets and parks before stopping off at the bus station to buy our bus tickets to Riga. Since we were starving, we ran over to the grocery store. Here we picked up some chicken and potato salad from the deli and chowed down on a bench outside (imagine stinky hunched backpackers gnawing on greasy chicken bones☺). When we began our walk back to Evelyn’s we no longer felt like vagrants and paused to enjoy a modern dance performance on a bridge in a park near her house. We both entered our dreams content and tired.

Photo gallery!


9 07 2011

Switching currency was a breeze at the Tallinn airport and soon we were using our Euros to pay for bus ticket to the old town. We followed directions to check in for our private room at the hostel but eventually learned they were giving us a private apartment. So after much backtracking and sweating in the sun, we arrived at our place. It was a quaint almost unfurnished one bedroom apartment on a “side” street from the bustling Vene St. An hour so later we were exploring and settled for a couple pasta dinners with chicken and a creamy cheese and mushroom sauce. After paying for our dinner, we decided we needed to reduce our food costs and scouted out the nearest grocery store which was located in a big shopping center outside of old town. Hare krishnas, buskers and trees wrapped in knitted blankets lined the sidewalks within and around the park in front of this main shopping center. The main square in old town was filled with tourists and was quite the scene. A bachelorette party lingered on the steps of the cathedral asking tired tourists to donate money to their “fund” and a pedaling pub rode past us as we stared at it all. Beggars did not seem to linger inside old town but heavily lined the sidewalks outside the old town gate off of Vene street. Armed with ear plugs, we slept soundly and awoke the next morning to a street cleaning machine. Around noon, we went on a two hour tour of the city via the “Yellow Free Tour”. After a rest and lunch, we took bus A1 from the Virus Kesvas center to the beach. We hoped to visit a contemporary art museum but missed the stop and instead ended up at the Youth Song Festival, which featured young Estonians singing in traditional dress—the crowds, talent, and crafts were all pretty impressive. A stroll down the beach afterwards and a “home cooked” dinner of rice and veggies filled our early evening time before we experienced one last stroll through old town. We discovered some new old narrow alley ways. I especially loved 12th century narrow cobble stoned Katerina street. Small windows and original wall fragments revealed the depth of history of the street. As the café’s closed, and the bars began to fill, we retired—filled with history, beauty, and tiramisu (courtesy of the grocery store)☺

Photo gallery!