Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What If

Sometimes, only one person is missing, 
and the whole world seems depopulated.
— Alphonse de Lamartine

A really gorgeous, thoughtful children's book came out recently from French illustrator Blexbolex. And it's not just about people, but about the human condition.  The human condition is something I think about a lot.  This book I held in my hands, so easily shows the subtle commentary on the dichotomies of lives chosen or just plain lived.  We all exist alongside each other, our lives or our deaths can affect the people not only around us, but around the world.

The butterfly effect is something I believe in.  Some days I feel like I just have to.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day after Day, Time into Time


And Maya Angelou writes...
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

leaving brings the lonely

'You’ll get over it…' It’s the clich├ęs that cause the trouble. 
To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. 
You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. 
The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never loses. How could it? 
The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. 
This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?
— Jeanette Winterson

On December 14th, one of the best friends I've ever had, was killed.
It was a story heard around the world.
I know this because before I actually got the call from our good friend in New York that Suzanne had left this universe, an unread email sat in my inbox from a friend in Germany who had heard the 'news'.  And it's 'news' in semi-quotes because it actually was news, the kind you instantly hear about on the radio and the kind that's played on the TV.  And while it feels like there's a hole in me that sometimes feels as if it's filling up with the 'news' and I'm about to drown,  it's also the part that keeps her memory alive and talked about by people that never even knew her but now wish they had.  And that's the part that is both strange and wonderful.  Two things I never thought I'd feel about someone's death.
I've never been through it this closely.
maybe it's age.   maybe it's awareness.
      Or maybe it's awareness that comes with age.

I've struggled with writing about her and not writing about her.  Wanting to explain just how much she means to me.  I'm not sure I can put into words...
With Suzanne, I was vulnerable.  I hate being vulnerable, as much as I hate getting a shot.  With Suzanne, I couldn't even feel it.  It turns out, I realize in these days without it now, I relied on her sense of humor, her incredibly quick wit, her total interest in others, and a level of acceptance that was unparalleled in any other person I've known.   

This would make her laugh.
Everything I just wrote, she'd laugh self-deprecatingly and say, "yeah, right."
And that's been the hardest part of this whole thing:  Knowing I'll never hear her voice in this world again.  I talk to her every single day, hearing her voice in my head so clearly, but some days the realization that I won't hear her laughter ring out, makes me gasp with fear.
I found this world easier with her in it.
And everyone I know that knew her felt exactly the same way.
      That's a really goddamn big loss.

And while denial can't be totally healthy for long, it feels,
rationally so,
that it's incredibly disrespectful to admit or even to accept that she's actually gone.
So, for now at least, I'm pretending she's not.
That may seem the strange part.

And yet, the incredibly wonderful part is that, in reality, Suzanne lives on in the big apple,
a place we both loved completely and completely lived for;
her name placed in Central Park on a bench for you and yours to rest on
and a tree for you to be shaded by.

That's just the way she is.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Admiring MLK

Man has the greater capacity for goodness, and the potential for evil. --Martin Luther King, JR

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Art of Craft? oui

I have the sweet opportunity of being one of a small group of exceptionally talented artists and teachers that have been invited to teach a class during a fabulous weekend held at French General in Los Angeles, called The Art of Craft

It's the 2nd annual Art of Craft weekend and the last one proved to be a craft-a-thon like none other.  I know, this time around, we're out for more of the same goodness, french-ness, craftiness, camaraderie, creativity, and out-and-out fun. 
I'll be leading the Pocket-Memory Book class:  A non-binding book made with everyday envelopes and tons of great vintage materials.

The great thing about all the classes I've taught over the years, is seeing the students "fear" of creativity at the beginning of the class turn into no-holds-barred creativity by the end!  So many of us think we're creative-less and it's just not true!  It's marvelous to watch people come up with their own ideas, inspired by the original or inspired by the person they're sitting next to or by the materials provided (each class during the weekend comes with a kit to create your craft).  Head over to French General's website and sign up for classes by Pam Garrison, Charlotte Lyons, Michelle Jorgensen, Kaari Meng, Anna Corba and moi!  It may just be the beginning of your future of crafting and creating and community. It's a wonderful weekend that shouldn't be missed!