Monday, February 23, 2015

someday is now

I can only tell you a few key things about what my family did this weekend:

  • Date night: dinner and a dance concert.
  • Sister date: the girls walked uptown on their own, twenty dollars from Dan tucked into a pocket-in-a-wallet-in-a-bag, to see Charlie Chaplin's City Lights at the independent cinema while Dan led a workshop a couple of blocks away.  My mind is a bit blown by this information and by the swelled chests around here. So much pride about the independence.
  • Dishes done, supper made, happy family to greet me on my return from a weekend away...

Pittsburgh. With these beautiful people! We went to see Someday Is Now: the Art of Corita Kent at the Warhol Museum, but of course the whole trip was an adventure, inspiring and meandering.  (The adventure really began as we drove there Friday night; we spotted what might have been light pillars in the sky and pulled off onto a dark country road to get out and watch the magic. It was very very cold...and so worth the stop.)

Pittsburgh - especially in the snow - was so colorful and photogenic.  We wandered alleys, noticing textures and color, old architecture and...Christmas decorations? Eliza, looking at my photos, commented on all the words I took pictures of, which is fitting.  Kent used words she found on signage, packaging and advertisements as source material for her powerful silkscreen images

So, the snafu of the trip, and the reason our overnight turned blissfully into a weekend, was that minutes after we arrived at the museum, the power went out and we were ushered back into the snow. We had already decided that we were probably staying another night, and this sealed it. After catching our breath from the disappointment and worry over not getting to see the show, we relaxed into an evening of incredible Thai food and talking, talking, talking.

Shut out. So sad...

I have to say that my favorite part was walking with  my friends in the snow, laughing, noticing, delighting over the wealth of eye candy that was old Allegheny City's streets. It felt somehow in the spirit of Someday is Now, this taking time to look and see and wander.

Ah, we were so happy to be the first patrons to enter the Warhol Sunday morning. I think we all secretly worried that we would miss it completely, but it wasn't something we dared say out loud. Sigh of relief. Two hours wasn't enough but it was wonderful: Corita Kent's circus posters and her bright word serigraphs (I don't really know what else to call them, but they are a combination of image and quotes), Warhol's earlier drawings and prints, blotted line drawings and layered tracings.  I was there with two artists, so this was a rich time of exposure and learning for me as they shared observations and knowledge and we talked about what we liked.  And Tokarz and I might have squandered 10 or more minutes giggling in Silver Clouds, standing still as we could, watching the feral mylar balloons careen around us like a herd of drunken cows. It was very unsophisticated and completely awesome. We tore ourselves away to drive out of the city...

...and home. To transition from our little airbnb nest back to the rest of life, hopefully carrying thoughts and connections and kernels of a really joyful forty-eight hours with us.

Monday, February 16, 2015

out and in

she dictated, I wrote, she took over...

Saturday, February 14, 2015

sister time

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

parabolas, brain doodles, and steering the boat

I think I've mentioned before that Wednesdays are a wild card for us.  Sometimes we are in synch and the flow is sa-weet! But many weeks we are tuckered out from Tuesday's coop and Wednesday finds us in our separate corners.  It is reminding me that long ago we quit a coop for just that reason: instead of coop taking one day of busy and out, it really took two days from our week - the long day out and the long day of recuperation.  That feels like too much time to me! We lose our rhythm and struggle the rest of the week.

I keep thinking that rhythm is hard won, because that has so often been my experience, that if you interrupt the rhythm of your days it takes so much energy to get it back.  I wonder if some would argue that in that case, it would mean the rhythm ain't really there...I tell you, this business of  - what? shepherding? guiding? I can't find an analogy I like here...steering the boat? Anyway.  Trying to facilitate a good day for three people is a bit mind-boggling. When I'm rarin' to go, they are deeply focused on Something Else and vice versa.  Case in point: I had my shoes on to run to the store for supper supplies and Ani bounces down the stairs singing, "I'm ready for piano!!!!" Turns out, she had a lovely practice, without me. Good for both of us...

So, to celebrate the successes of today inspite of no rhythm...Eliza launched herself into sewing together the pieces she cut during sewing class yesterday, to make a beautiful little "clothespin apron".  I'll have to get a photo of the finished product to share.  She is still doing a good bit of winging it, rather than being sure to check the pattern and the instructions, but I'm seeing big improvement in her craftsmanship, which was one of her goals.  I love that she forges on and does it, rather than thinking about it for a few months before starting (Ahem. I am intimate with this approach).

Ani and I butt heads a bunch today.  Just couldn't really see eye to eye on most things.  I finally went and lay on her bed and apologized for the ways in which I'd been pushing her to do the things I wanted her to do today.  What I wanted her to know was that I really deeply value her ability to tell stories for nigh on three hours, that I don't think it is a waste of time for her to cut out every piece of clothing her paper dolls have so that she can tell her story and that I remember not wanting to practice piano, and I thanked her for getting to it when she was ready.

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Wednesdays tend to be a math art day.  

We made parabolas a few weeks ago, and today we made more parabolas and Eliza and I stitched some, while Ani got out the compass and made a circle to string on.  I mostly enjoyed that we were all at the table together, Doing.

oh! circles! so many circles!

Ani tried the stitching, but was easily frustrated and went on to something else. Eliza made the sweet butterflies below.

My triangle. I can see why these were popular in the seventies!
My friend Molly sent me a link to this and it got me traveling down a few rabbit holes and thinking about how I could use this method of thinking "out loud" to encourage Ani to put more thoughts to paper.  The girls attend an off-again, on-again poetry class with a poet we love, and Ani participates in her own way, but does not often choose to write during class.  I've offered to be her scribe, but she feels pressured by time and is a bit intimidated by what she perceives as the ease and skill with which her friends accomplish their writing. (Some are impressively skilled and some are willing to accept some scribe help to get past the mechanics and are able to contribute to the class.)  

So, we doodled.  We chose to think about our cats, and to draw and write what came to mind as we talked and giggled and thought.  

I think we might be on to something.