Honey for the Heart. Sigh. I surrender: it is our October. This year is like puppets on crazy juice, amped up and SO BIG. There are several visiting artists who have joined in the three weeks of making, and they bring shape, energy, and knowledge to the event that has really enriched the whole experience. There is always someone around to bounce ideas off of and the responsibility for seeing it all get done isn't falling on one person's shoulders, so there is, dare I say it, more joy in the room! Hard to imagine, but there it is.
Ani and I spent much of the first week doing paper mache. Whatever needed moving along to its next stage, that's what we worked on. A huge joy this year for me is seeing her feel really competent and confident, not needing to be right with me all the time. I turned around one day and she was helping a class of college students who had just come in learn how to paper mache. (I know you think you know how to paper mache, and it probably works pretty well, but trust me, when you are working on large puppets that are meant to last a while, there actually is a better way! It starts with cornstarch...)
|Ani and Zen working on water hags and dragons|
|mushroom hats!!!! yessssssssssss!|
|working on the first phalanges of a giant hand|
|Look who's home and jumping in! She sewed Queen Patty that fancy dress.|
Ani and I have been recruited to be bees in the parade. There is a theme this year - the Chinese elements - and the bees are the clowns of the Fire section. They're the ones that make the honey for the heart, of course. I was greatly torn between getting to dance as a water hag and follow my true heart to the Earth section as a fungus, but in the end, my daughter asked me to be a bee with her, and I could not refuse to be among the mischief makers.
|Ani and Talal trying out part of their costumes|
|Dan constructing a cart to carry a makeshift gamelan - yes! Music!!|
It's mischievous, glorious, over-the-top fun. Some year I will allow myself to make a whole puppet, but it takes me a while, you know, and I've been content to know I added many layers to many creatures, and that my spirit will be a part of the magic that is happening this week. If you are in Southeast Ohio and need an invitation, here it is: please come!!! You won't be sorry.