primalmommy on sat 1 apr 06
I have all kinds of serious decisions to make, important deadlines to
meet, and thinking to do... so logically, I called today and had another
dumpster delivered, and spent the entire day working so physically hard
that I can barely lift my arms to type.
I am reorganizing studio and garage space, and tore out all the
fences/paths/chicken wire/plants/tomato cages and trellises that once
made up my 35X50 veggie garden. I raked it all to bare dirt, except for
a pile of basil stems, straw mulch, and miscellaneous brush in the
middle. I mentioned to Jeff that I would have to come out and check on
it after dark, as I was worried that it might catch fire. (See, open
burning is prohibited in my neighborhood, though chimineas and wood
stoves are fine.. so it would be very wrong for me to burn my garden
debris and then rake the ash out over the soil for fertilizer, every
year.) I felt I should be out there tonight with my rake, though, in
case it should happen to catch fire. And whaddya know, it did. It took
me about two hours to put it out ;0)
My brave new garden in the back of the yard will be for a potter who
gardens, not a gardener who pots. A nice row of heirloom tomatoes, some
eggplants and basil, low maintenance, a sprinkler on a timer and
roll-mulch with no weeding. Small, efficient, useful.
Last night late I got on line and ordered used versions of those books
on building a wood fired bread and pizza oven. Jeff's pretty much
resigned himself to the fact that he's not going to be a professional
pastry chef in this lifetime, but he says he'll make the breads and
pastries as an avocation, maybe for events at my future gallery/studio
... maybe Tony's right about David's "angle".
And I agree with Lili and others that we potters need to somehow get our
handmade work into the public's mind. Polly Ann Martin, in a workshop in
Tennessee, spent a lot of time talking about making dishes for specific
foods, and I have been thinking hard about that lately. The cooking
channel talks a lot about "plating" but not the plate. Food can be as
artful as ikebana... both container and contained should matter.
Maybe modern people are just too far removed from things handmade.
Neighborhood would kids always comment that my house smells good -- it
took me along time to realize why. It's because I cook! Most of them
have two-career parents and get pre-prepared meals. A
coconut-milk-chicken-curry in a crockpot all afternoon, a pot of chili
on the stove or a peach cobbler in the oven are not the universal
childhood smells I assumed they were.
It brings me a lot of joy to know the hands that made things I use. I
have my morning coffee alone with a different friend every day, and my
kids ask for their favorite cups and bowls by name (some of your names).
I don't know the cow who made the cream but my friend Val's chickens
laid the eggs... Connor made the bread, my bees made the honey, Kevin
Crowe made the honey pot... tonight Jeff made Saturday dinner-date tuna
steaks with wasabi sauce and artichokes, I grew the rapunzel and
purslane in the cold frame... next I am off to a bath in the addition we
built on the house when Molly was born (I made the tile surround)...
Where to live... I have been fighting giving any kind of advice in the
whole living-near-family issue. I come from farmers on my mother's side,
and several generations are buried in a small cemetary in LaPorte,
Michigan -- a few miles from where they were born. I grew up with four
grandparents, three great grandparents and two batches of cousins,
country ones and city ones.
My father could barely make himself write the check for my college study
tour to Paris, for fear I would marry a Frenchman and never return... He
took my choice of grad schools in Oregon as a personal affront, as it
was as far away from Ohio as I could get. I met Jeff in North Carolina,
went to Texas and then Maryland. When we decided to have kids, though,
we moved to where the grandparents were. I can't imagine childhood
without mine, and wanted that for my kids.
Everybody's different, and the average American family moves -- is it
every 4 years now? Kids go off to college and careers, elders retire to
the sun belt, nobody stays in a job anymore until they get the gold
watch. And not everybody likes having kids around later in life, with
their noise and chaos. What works for us seems probably incredibly
outdated to others.
It probably won't be a big surprise to anyone, though, that my
sympathies lie with the mommy of new twin babies, who probably is glad
to have support and some mothering herself. We have a weird culture,
when it comes to mothering... in many "less developed" cultures, new
moms are surrounded by other women who mentor them through this
marvelous, bewildering, exhausting rollercoaster that begins when you
squeeze a little human out of your body and become a hormone-addled,
sleep-deprived beverage dispenser.
Sometimes people who have never done that don't get it. I know that can
sometimes include the generation of men for whom the expectations for
baby-parenting mostly consisted of handing out cigars. I do feel for our
clayarter friend, struggling to breathe and wanting to be home... but as
a mom/daughter/sister/wife/woman, I know what it is to be pulled between
loved ones who need me.
My tendency is to choose the one least able to manage without me. Babies
are not babies very long, and once our own are grown, only grandbabies
will be ours in that way, have that same "right smell".
I love my husband, and take good care of him, but he can feed himself,
dress himself, and manage fine for long periods of time without me. He
once asked me -- if the ship were sinking, and I only had room in the
lifeboat for him OR the babies, who would I pick?
He waited longer than he liked for an answer and finally retracted the
question. He didn't want to know. Sorry, love. It's not a logical thing.
I have no idea what my own kids will choose for their lives, and I won't
attempt to tell them. Gibran says, "You may house their bodies but not
their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you
cannot visit, not even in your dreams."
Whever I see my kids blow the seeds from a dandelion, I think, "That's
going to be you one day... you'll open your parachute and sail off to
your own life, put down a tap root of your own."
I love garden metaphors...
Except once in a while one throws me... like the horse skull I took down
from the garden fence today that had clusters of hornets' nests where
its brain once was... a sinister and spooky metaphor, that one...
OK, I am off to soak my scratched aching bod in a hot bath. My hair
smells like that garden brush/herb/mulch fire -- a bit of campfire wood
smoke smell, with a touch of import-shop-incense and the occasional
whiff that reminds me of long-ago greateful dead concerts ;0) and my
date is headed for bed.
Kelly in Ohio
who plans to spend tomorrow -- rain forecast -- shuffling papers and
thinking about deadlines.
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Shula on sun 2 apr 06
One thing I have learned in the almost 59 years I have spent on this planet is never to say never. If you had told me 4 years ago that by my 58th birthday I would no longer work in the business world and would be a nurse, I would have told you that you were crazy. If you had told me in 1996 that in 1998 I would move to southern California and love it here, I would have told you that you need your head examined. I'm always learning - sometimes the hard way, but I do learn.
And perhaps you and Jeff could work together on your passions blending his love of cooking and your pottery. I could see new show on the cooking channel - combining plating and the plate. And perhaps it won't be just you, but a group of ClayArters who could talk about the plate angle and Jeff could present chefs (and get paid for learning) cooking the food that is appropriate for those plates. Regional cooking with regional potters. Food courses (appetizers to desserts) with the appropriate dishes. You're a good writer. I bet you could put together a dynamite proposal for the cooking channel.
in sunny Redondo Beach, CA
OK, so here is the true confession. I don't have cable, so I can't watch the cooking channel. But I do have DSL (shows you my priorities)
\ Jeff's pretty much
>resigned himself to the fact that he's not going to be a professional
>pastry chef in this lifetime, but he says he'll make the breads and
>pastries as an avocation, maybe for events at my future gallery/studio
. . .
>And I agree with Lili and others that we potters need to somehow get our
>handmade work into the public's mind. Polly Ann Martin, in a workshop in
>Tennessee, spent a lot of time talking about making dishes for specific
>foods, and I have been thinking hard about that lately. The cooking
>channel talks a lot about "plating" but not the plate. Food can be as
>artful as ikebana... both container and contained should matter.