Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday 13: Another Mish Mash

This was a pretty good week. Here I am again in Provincetown, having arrived last night with dinner on the table. One of my best friends, her husband, and two great sons are here with JB and me for the rest of the week. We will all play at art much of the time.
1. What you are looking at is magical. This is a work in progress done by a nine year girl who doesn't feel very good about herself and whose greatest wish is to spend more time with her mother. She and I made two clay characters together during the school year (Bob and Lacy) and decided we would spend the summer writing a story about them. That has led us to adding some more clay "props", coloring background scenes, and planning our story, which I will photograph and somehow figure out how to put the pictures and words onto paper and into a finished book.
But here's the most important part" MOM is sitting at the kitchen table with us having as much fun as my client and me. We're creating, using our hands, and here and there sharing some feelings and fun. This is "therapy" and I couldn't be more pleased so far.
2. And speaking of MOMS, here is mine. She has been in serious-to-severe back pain for three weeks, barely out of bed. This Monday we carefully took her for an epidural. The doctor's office was freezing and there were no blankets to be had. So the nurse found an extra sized johnnie and we wrapped it around my mom. By the way, if you haven't read about my mother before, her name is Rose and she is 93, with the most charming and caring and funny personality anyone could have. She has zero memory, ZERO, but in the present moment, she is there 100%. Things weren't always easy between us, so to have and love her so much now is another piece of magic.

3. Magic # 3: this book of mine. I've just finished a book signing this morning: 30 minutes and one small sale. But it's all totally good. This week I sold 6 books and whatever happens next is safely in my hands. The more I promote, the more I'll sell. Getting this book written and published has helped me grow as a person and a writer more than I can express. And to all of you who have supported me and/or bought the book, thank you so much.

4. Some people are special. They just are. And Renee is special. This week has been awful for her and her family: her mother is hospitalized, and her beloved sister Jacquie and Jacquie's son are both undergoing sudden and emergency surgery today: both involve cancer, and this is all so unfair I could easily rip a room apart when I think of Renee's pain. Please pray for Renee. I mean really truly pray: take a moment or many moments and send her all the love and healing that is available from a benevolent God. Please.

5 & 6. Thanks to Aimee from Artsyville, I have joined a journal group and that has pushed me to draw more and rely less on words in my beloved moleskine. I don't know HOW to draw, but I am going to learn.
7. Want to visit me in Provincetown? Just walk up the brick walkway and hang a right at the patio.

8. When I lived here, I avoided Commercial Street in tourist season. But now I'm happy to stroll along and seek out my favorite images. This building is called The Little Store. I buy my newspaper here every morning, and here too I long to buy cigarettes, which I don't and won't.

9. After my book signing, JB and I had breakfast overlooking the scene and sidewalk below. I'm leaning out the window thinking, 'man, I've had an awful year. I've been sad and stuck for most of it. I'll probably have a certain hole in my heart for the rest of my life. But I don't want to be sad anymore. I want to appreciate everything I have and every wonderful person around me. '

10. This is for Mim. This is perhaps the store you and DH stood in front of during that electrical storm in Ptown. They make their own taffy in the window and tourists buy their fudge by the pounds. I hope you have another memory like this in Ptown, Mim. I actually like the idea of Lolo and me, and maybe Debra Kay and Suki and Soulbrush being part of it. And can you even imagine Emily finding a way to get Marianne here too?..........

10. Just before the candy store, just to the right of the Town Hall, the town face painter left this note on her table. Help yourself to paper and paint until I get back, it said. That is Provincetown, and it's what I love best about being here.
11 & 12. Our friend Gordon is a wonderful painter. He started this painting this week when he and his family arrived at our place. He, like me, says he creates here so effortlessly it's as though some unknown force pushes his brushes. That's how I feel when I am writing here: effortless.

13. No thirteen. Does that mean I'm supposed to tell don't show instead of show don't tell?
Well, okay, here's my final mish mash today. Tomorrow Gordon and JB and I are paying $ 10 each to draw a nude model at the local art museum. I have never ever done anything like this before, but I am going to bring my micron pen and colored pencils and see what happens.
Somehow art is coloring my life. Artists and Writers surround me like never before. And want to know why? It's this blog. It's a life that includes blogging. It's YOU.


  1. Wow, so much going on! I have to add my heartfelt prayers to yours regarding Renee and her precious family. Renee is one of the strongest, most beautiful, giving people I've ever known, bar none...

    I'm surrounded by artists: my husband paints, my oldest daughter teaches art in high school and paints, quilts...well, there's nothing she doesn't do that's art-related and I have my poetry, collages, photography, gardens. . . and it's all wonderfully healing. I'll be sure to look up your book. Sounds great...and congratulations on getting it published! Blessings!

  2. yup, your book is in london and another copy in south africa too with my niece.a wonderful read. yup, i can certainly see us all there next about it?? glad that your sad year is at an end, and that you can see the happiness shining through. yes i get so mad about renee and family too, unfair and cruel.!!!!!!

  3. Let art color your life! Embrace the magic of letting go and scribbling and splashing. (giggle) Well... you can practice some restraint. Shake out your hands, relax, clear your mind and draw what you see and feel. BUT no touching the nude model! (wink)

  4. Ha Ha Ha KJ....Sweetie...
    In April there was a conversation on Art.

    All I can say is LOOK at you NOw....Love ya darlin....You are rocking the art in writing and drawing...Your MOM is beautiful ,now I know here the beauty is from. I always love your photos....Hugs and Loves for all your friendship and support.

    kj said...
    i have to agree with snowbrush. plus i would lovelovelove to play along but what would i reciprate: poems? postcard advice? emily rabbit's scribblings and thumping demands for jellybeans?

    have fun with it all sonia. creative sharing is in the air!

    April 18, 2009 2:19 PM
    Snowbrush said...
    "Lol Snowbrush...."

    Oh, it's okay, Sonia. You happy craftspeople just go on making your happy crafts on this happy day while poor elderly one-armed me sits here and cries.



    April 18, 2009 4:24 PM
    kj said...
    snowbrush and i write! we are writers! and maybe poets!

    ps i can spell 'reciprocate' better than my first attempt.

    :) have a nice weekend sonia

    April 18, 2009 5:39 PM
    Sonia ;) said...
    Snow and KJ,

    Both of y'all have the gft of Art in writing..That is an art medium I can only wish to have. To put words into ways that is honest, insightful, funny, strong, and imaginative. I can only express that through painting, molding, and sculpturing. Once long ago...these mediums were sought after and thought as a gift of the gods....Without writings, painting, and sculpture would have ever never told the history of the world....So yes yall contribute...And I would love a poem, a writing...some come on and join dont have to follow the my friend Tracey has said.."rules are meant to be broken"...let me know

    Sonia ;)

    KJ...there is hidden talent in everyone...Just letting yourself go to do it.

    Hugs xoxoxox Sonia

    * Prayers of every minute for Renee and her family...

  5. I'm so glad you posted about Renee - she must have a hundred comments waiting but I'm so worried for more pain in her life. God I hope everyone get's as well as can be soon.

    and you...lovely post friend - and thanks for the reminder of the building. That wasn't exactly it, but a great memory.

  6. That was lovely, thank you for taking us on such a nice trip. I love your mom and I will say a prayer for Renee, cancer is running around in my family too, so I know how she feels.
    P.S. Glad you sold some books :-).

  7. Lots going on in this post...

    I'm glad you are finding fulfilment in both the work and the time in Provincetown. And of course, praying for Rene and her family. My God, what a trial for them.

  8. marion, i really like seeing your comment here! thank you. you sound as proud of your daughter as i am of mine, and with good reason. i'm sure she's alot like her mother.

    soulbrush, next year?! you bet! i know that wanting to be happy is the first and most important step in experiencing it.

    chewy, you've gotten me so excited i'm now dancing around the kitchen table. :)

    awwwww sonia, how did we become a mutual admoiration society? you are so sweet to take time to review all this. and you're right: i'm growing leaps and bounds. take care of yourself!!!

    mim, what i worry about is the effect this may have on renee's stamina. i would walk to canada and back for her. we'll all pray.
    and mim--next memory in ptown could be in october. xo

    annie, thanks for all your wishes. i'm rooting for you too. xo

  9. cs, it's good to be here. i hope are falling into summer nicely too. each day is different, some clearly better than others, but i am trying, and i know that counts.


  10. And it is YOU, my dear. Congrats on the book sales, and may more sales come flooding in!
    The art therapy piece is just wonderful. What fine work you do.
    Enjoyed your whole mish mash of stuff. :-)

  11. Aww lovely 13 and your mum looks so much like you or do you look like here . .anyway . hearts are sent to poor Renee, I love Provincetown and I envy you drawing nudes. I'd love to have a bash. Soon maybe. Sorry, gotta dash but I'll email on the weekend.

  12. You're mom is a beautiful woman, by the way. I hope she's feeling better.

  13. Ah wouldn't that be nice to all meet in person....................I love that thought!
    Lovely post with so much positivity!
    And all those views! What a lovely town that must be.....

  14. What a wonderful time you are having and thanks for sharing.
    I'm sorry to read that you have been experiencing a difficult year, but it sounds like that's becoming your past and not your future.

    Yes we are all sad to read about the family crisis dear Renee is experiencing and wishing good fortune her way soon.

    Take care and keep on enjoying your summer.
    best wishes
    Ribbon :)

    PS.. I'm looking forward to your book, but just a little beyond my budget at present. I haven't forgotten though and I wish you every success with all your creative ventures.

  15. There's magic is this mish-mash KJ!

    I love what's happening with you and your little client and the fact that her mom was 'present' for it. yay!

    I envy you that you still have you mom and that things are good now. I have to get back to my book, the one where I'm writing about getting my mother back for a while.

    And Renee, jeez~ I thought about (and prayed for) her and her family a lot yesterday. I can't imagine the puddles of grief they're sitting in. just called me and broke the flow of my comments! JC KJ!!

    Anyway, I love the shots of P-Town and hearing about your time there. And yes, we will celebrate our birthdays together at some point. That will be fun! I like carrot cake btw ;) I'll bet Emily does too!

    Okay, time to get some stuff done so I can make an art space.

    Shake it easy!


  16. barbara, thank you. i read your poem earlier and i will be back to comment on it. it touched me deeply because i undertand it fully. xo

    baino, it was a nude MALE. i never considered it would be a guy! it was pretty interesting because you only had 2 or 3 minutes to draw him holding a tree limb in all these poses and then he would change to another pose. anyway, i love new experiences so it was fun. yes, email me this weekend. i miss you!

    kj to goddess, kj to goddess: please send marianne to new england...

    ribbon, thanks for your visits. how are you doing? settling somewhere? i enjoy your blog. and i will like to share my book with you. i'll be in touch....

    lo, make that art space, baby! and thanks as always for your attentive and great comments on my 13's. i don;t know how to manage to remember and respond to as many as you do. and our birthdays: you bet!!! xo

  17. My dear, KJ .... you *do* know how to draw! I love the drawings you posted ... and remember the story I told you about how you can ask a room of kids who can draw and every one of them will raise their hand ... but if you ask a room of adults only a few will. :) Your photos make me want to be in P-town -- let us know if you ever have a room to rent! xo

  18. Wow, this was a bit of everything...where's the kitchen sink? It is so beautiful there, other another time in America. Your comment about breaking the wine glasses was great! Wendy just commented that we will just drink straight from the bottle! Sounds good to me. He should be catching his flight to Kuwait soon... **sigh**
    love, Deb

  19. WONDERFUL banner!

    So fortunate you are to have this time with your Mom.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this post kj,,and praying for Renee.

    The feel of clay in your hands is so theraputic, I think. Is for me anyway.

  20. I will pray for Renee and her beloved family. It's great to learn that you join grop to encourage each other.
    Drawing is a creative way to express our thoughts!
    I love your entries and you are always trying your best in everything you do!
    You have inspired me again KJ!
    I will put up the award shortly.
    Thanks again KJ!

  21. Thank you for No. 4 dear friend.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

  22. KJ-you nailed it with your last paragraph-I have more art in my life than every before-mostly via blogging.

    My first loves were writing and photography and horses-I honestly don't know which came first. I guess horses because I remember loving them pre-reading, and I didn't buy my first camera till I was 7 or so (garage sale, Brownie Fiesta-wish I still had it).

    As with all true love, the many other loves that have come afterward have not diminished my love of the firsts.

  23. Life is just NOT a bowl of cherries, is it? Sometimes the bowl crashes to the floor and breaks into a thousand splintered pieces. Poor darling Renee, how much more must she bear? I will go over there right now and try and offer some warmth and comfort. It's been so difficult to visit my friends with that wretched IE8 glitch stopping me at every turn, but it's gone now and I'm back and will make time to visit everyone and be damned the consequences of missing deadlines etc.! Friends are much, much more important.

    Blessings to you, dear kj, I'm so pleased about your book and even more happy that you've put all the sadness behind you and are now looking forward with renewed energy.

  24. This is a very inspiring post! Wonderful ;)