Ribbon belts… FAIL! This is why I prefer sewing by hand. The evil sewing machine bobbin!
Sorry I’m playing catch-up this time around. Stuff and whatnot. This is all I did that week so…There you go!
Below is an early draft of a new poem. Your feedback would be appreciated as I work to revise it. Many thanks.
The One that Got Away
I stood on the shore
Of sleep, forgetting lines
Cast. They hooked words
That pooled up to the surface,
Bubbling and begging
For ink. Lazy, I
Dreamed on and drifted
Away from tugging poles
And taken bait. I woke
Too late – words sunken
To the bottom, no longer
Able to be fried up on the page.
Fort McClary State Historic Site.*
Fort McClary is a former defensive fortification of the United States military located along the southern coast of Maine at Kittery Point, the seaside district of Kittery. Used primarily throughout the 19th century, it was built to protect approaches to the nearby Piscataqua River. The property and its surviving structures, including a blockhouse dating from 1844, are now owned and operated by the State of Maine as Fort McClary State Historic Site.
Coastal defenses on the site date to the late 17th century, when Sir William Pepperell, a local wealthy landowner, acquired the property and erected crude defense works. In 1715 the Massachusetts Bay Colony voted to erect a permanent breastwork of six guns for the defense of the Piscataqua River. The fort itself was officially established in 1808 and named for New Hampshire native Major Andrew McClary, an American officer killed the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. The fort was used throughout the 19th century, most notably during the War of 1812, as well as during the American Civil War, during which time Vice President of the United States Hannibal Hamlin enlisted in the Maine Coast Guards and served as a cook in the fort. It saw little action during these conflicts.
By the 1910s, most of the fort had fallen into disrepair and it was officially decommissioned in 1918. The State of Maine acquired most the property from the federal government in 1924, after which time it was managed as a park. Several of the dilapidated structures were demolished in the following decades. During World War II, surviving parts of the fort were used by civilian defense forces. In 1969, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The surviving blockhouse and other structures were renovated in 1987. The 1844 blockhouse serves as a museum.
*text from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_McClary
Flying Lesson 20
Navigating with map and compass.
We are flying over the sea today, after having positioned the water and all the infinite but reachable goals from sealevel thet were found the other day.
(By Stig and myself)
Walking on bridges gives great insight. It adds a sense of both size and distance, my own and the all-encompassing.
They place me in between the sky and the sea, between the sea and the shore. Everything equally far away and everything equally close. It is the closest I can come to flying without actually lifting.
It is easy to breathe on bridges.
Then we draw maps and places hundreds of pins, some with small colored flags, all across the maps we just draw up.
Everything fit on our maps!
The goals and roads, (even the smallest path [stig]) take-off runs and points of departure, form a network of opportunities, while the background images and visions of the future are added to make the whole more understandable and possible to use for navigation.
Flags are set, with exact precision, to highlight the outline of our landscape and mark important goals, both achieved and anticipated. We compare the different colored borders and marvel at the map. Despite being both huge and widespread it pictures, for both of us, a well-known landscape where many of the lines we have drawn separately easily converge into patterns we recognize.
I am aware that you can fly on just instinct and faith.
I know that all goals are achieved in exactly the same way and often even easier.
But to be able to draw a map and read it right gives a steadier flight. Provided you don’t get stuck looking only at the map and forget to look at the sky.
Because it’s only by focusing on infinity that you can get all the way, no matter where you come from.
I went to The Phoenix Art Museum 8-13-11. Here are some of the pictures I took.
I call this weeks geek – “Alter Aspect” , because everything in the world flows in duality. To each experience, its opposite exists.
Today is the only day when the sun and moon are balanced, Tu Bav’ is what inspired me
Sweet alter aspect of me
oppose my savory
showing up in all colors
rays of whimsic enchantment
do you bloom more
are your petals fuller
when they drink upon the endless
& abundant sweet sap
the color, like all things blend into &
re-emmerge from the darkness
and so it suggests that there is more color to be had yet,
and many more sips of consciousness to warm
Hear is another one! I am pumped that I figured out what to do with all my crazy random drawings. I love drawing these the most, because it’s here where I can let my mind go and create something awesome with out sticking to a certain title or theme. although this is random, it all works and I like how each drawing ends up having a theme of it’s own and thus becoming a story!
Ps. my scanner was giving me problems and for some reason wouldn’t scan the entire image.. there is suppose to be a box all the way around… oh well!
A “joint effort”: the design in black Sharpie was mine, and then Robyn added color.
When I’m Calling You…
Two weeks after I moved back home to New Hampshire last December, my grandmother on my father’s side passed away. She had a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, and I had, selfishly, I will admit, not been to visit in several years. My last visit was much too painful to relive.
My father is the youngest of seven children, and our family lived the closest to the family homestead down on Meredith Neck. I spent a lot of my time at Grammy & Grampa’s house as a kid, frequently spending the weekend, or school vacations. I think that out of all the dozens of cousins in the Weeks family, I spent the most time there.
On weekend nights when I wasn’t staying at the house, I would often call my grandmother and spend hours on the phone with her, talking about everything, and about nothing. Looking back, if I were to ever have to name my best friend as a kid, I’d have to truthfully say it was my grandmother.
No one had a greater impact on my upbringing than Christine. Picking fresh raspberries to make her special sauce to put over ice cream, going out for walks to Shep Brown’s Boat Basin, playing all sorts of card games (Rummy, Slapjack, and Butterway being her favorites – I can’t begin to tell you how to play anything but Rummy today), and sitting in the screen house watching the cars go by and listening to music ( she liked all of my then-contemporary music, she called it “peppy”) and singing.
Oh, Lord, did she love to sing. Not that she could carry a tune in a paper bag, mind you, but she just loved to sing songs that seemed so old and romantic… I still can hear her wailing away to “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life and “Indian Love Call” (which up until three minutes ago I thought was titled ‘When I’m Calling You’). I still have a cassette I made from 1982 when I was just five years old with the two of us singing. I haven’t listened to it in years for fear of the tape disintegrating.
She taught me that love in unconditional and non-judgemental. To say that I was an eccentric child would be a grave understatement. I was overweight, and bullied and teased not only for the way I looked, but also for my personality traits that were not the accepted norm for a young boy of the 1980s. My differences were embraced and celebrated at my grandmother’s house.
Instead of hunting, fishing, and getting dirty, I preferred to indulge in hot fudge sundaes and gossip, watching soap operas, and making collages from movie star magazines. While my male cousins would draw pictures of war and guns, I would draw a runway ready fashion extravaganza. I never came out to her, but I don’t think it would have been a great shock.
She was always dieting… sort of. It is from her that I get the habit of ordering a side salad and a Diet Coke, dressing on the side, followed by a huge slice of cake. She always had Diet Sprite in the house. It was a perfect complement to the afterschool snack of saltine crackers slathered with mayonnaise, or a peanut butter and butter sandwich. Any meal could be considered “diet” if you had a scoop of cottage cheese on the side of your plate.
Far from overweight, she attended weight-loss meetings weekly for most of my childhood. I found it was more of a social event, when after the weekly weigh-in, “the girls” would go out for fried clam dinners and hot fudge sundaes. But, that was my grandmother.
My grandfather passed away when I was a freshman in high school. After that, we still talked every week and I still visited but it wasn’t the same. How could it be? Her own life had changed so much – the man she was married to for almost 60 years was gone. Because Grampa had complications at the end that were the result of smoking what seemed to be endless cartons of unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes, she used to get on my case about quitting smoking. This all came to a head toward Christmas 1999. Grampa had been gone eight years.
I received an “anonymous” letter with literature from the American Lung Cancer Society. While there was no return address, the shaky, almost cartoonish printed letters on the envelope were unmistakable. I called and asked her if she had sent it. She claimed innocence. Her heart was in the right place, but subtlety is not a strong suit in my family, and really not anything we aspire to anyway. I didn’t speak to her for several weeks.
The relationship changed slightly after that. There were still phone calls, visits, letters and cards, but I had asserted myself as an adult. I think we both needed for me to do that, but I just wish I hadn’t chose something so harmful to myself upon which to stand my ground.
My last visit to the house was in mid-2004. It was in early June, a week or so before her birthday. I went to Walmart and bought her a fluffy white sweater – she was always cold, so sweaters and sweatshirts were always a great gift choice. I also copied a couple of photos that I had taken of me and my sister the previous summer, to add to the thousands of family photos she displayed all over the living room.
I first sensed something was wrong when she opened the door. She didn’t recognize me. While I hadn’t seen her in several months at that point, I had spoken to her at least within the previous two weeks. After a few moments, I reminded her who I was, and gave her a big hug. Oh, how tiny and frail she seemed, all of a sudden.
I sat on the couch, and she on her chair, just as we had for more than 20 years, and we talked. But she began to repeat herself. I showed her the photos I brought for her, and she remarked that I had a beautiful girlfriend.
That was the moment that I realized that I didn’t think I would be able to visit again.
The visit went downhill from there. My uncle was out grocery shopping, and she told me that a couple of times, but he called him by my father’s name. Toward the end of the visit, it’s no longer clear to me, but I think she asked me how and if we were related.
I cried almost the whole way home. I still retained all the wonderful memories we had, but hers were lost. I spoke to her a few times after that, but it became increasingly more painful that she had no recollection of who I was. But, selfish as it may be, that’s how I wanted to remember her – as who SHE was. Not the person she became.
Of course I felt guilty and selfish when she died. I’m not attempting to be absolved of that guilt by writing this. I don’t think I can let go of the guilt for a very long time. As per her final request, there were no calling hours or funeral. No obituary was published.
Now, some time has passed, and the family homestead has been sold. In about ninety days, the place I considered my second home will belong to someone else, but the memories will forever be my property. I will be making one last trip there this weekend, to take photographs of the places I loved, but nothing can bring back those yesterdays.
I’d like to think that I carry part of her essence with me wherever I go. Without her influence, I surely wouldn’t be the adult I am now. This is simply my way of calling her to say goodbye. I know she’s listening.
By the way, I did quit smoking a few years ago, Grammy. I know it meant a lot to you that I do.
I’ll leave you with a poem she used to recite a lot when I was little – “Sea Fever” by John Masefield:
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
I always had a great time. Thanks for the memories…
Christine S. B. Weeks
June 16, 1915 – December 15, 2010
This is a companion piece to the notebook I made in Week 19. After fashioning a notebook from the cover of a 7″ Punk record I picked up in the bargain bin of a music store in Portsmouth, NH, I popped the vinyl record in the oven and warped it into a decorative bowl.