Sunday, November 28, 2010

go grass go (ten things)

1. I knew a man who carried seeds in his pocket. When he found cracks in the concrete he sowed them.
2. We were just getting the car jumps right when I heard the clapped out Briggs and Stratton over-revving over the back lawn.  I went out, cursed, and took over the mowing.  The machine started easily, which was just as well. It stalled 15 times on the 15 square metre lawn, then I took it down to the shed and swapped it for the new machine. Another Briggs and Stratton.  I asked the folks why they'd bought another one and they said the old one had been alright. 15 years ago.
3. In 1990 I mowed protest spirals into the front lawn stripes, my Grandfather made me a large gin and tonic and then I hitched to Queensland. 
4.  Joe stood on the porch and pointed at the bits I missed, over by the cattle yards.  He gave me a thumbs up when the job was done to his satisfaction. Then he went inside and spread peanut butter on the table.
5. We have both been sick and my room smelt like old fever. I stripped the bed and pushed it under the windows.  Then I let the sunlight disinfect it while I read a bit of Faulkner and Hemmingway. Joe found me. A banana and coconut muffin picnic seemed like a good idea. Now the mattress cover is clean, with a light crumbing.
6. I know a woman who is quite old and frail, but every now and then she has a bottle of champagne and a think. I did this last night.
7. I watched Liam Neeson in Taken and barracked as he shot every bad guy. I cried because Cary Grant was married to a plain woman and the judge wanted to take away their adopted baby. I went around the house taking photos of the composting clutter but everything came out yellow but all the other bloggers don't use flash so I didn't. I thought about the last four years and swore a bit, gave more thanks (because this is what the taxi driver outside the Royal Children's hospital told me to do) and went to bed.
8. Joe woke me at seven with a demand for electrical tape. I was not hungover.  I repaired the broken wire on the Christmas lights. Then Joe slammed his finger in the fly wire door and I dropped the Christmas lights' adaptor on my foot. It was really heavy.  We were both screaming. The lights didn't work.  It appears that one pin on the adaptor was driven back into the adaptor when it landed after its fall.  The broken lights are intricately strung up with the fibre optic garden lights and they look alright against the curtain, even though they don't flash.
9. Joe and I had a fight. It's called Mosquito Finger Wars. One person makes their index fingers into probosci and one person has to slap the mosquitoes down. When  a mosquito gets slapped it makes a raspberry sound.  I made the mosquitoes, but the slapping really started to hurt.  Then we both started to laugh, round and round, cracking each other up.  I could be wrong, but I think this is the first time we've done this.  Really really both laughed.
10. The bitumen was freshly laid, outside the pediatrician's rooms, back in autumn.  I had decided to stop trying to convince the pediatrician about the importance of optimism. His need to be right was greater. For him. The bitumen was freshly laid, but boy, the grass was fresher.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

a festive little spirit

I tried to sit down to my over-due tax forms last night, but wound up clearing my desk instead.  Then one of these little creatures came to visit, rapidly followed by many more.  I think we might send Christmas cards this year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

wonder walk

On Saturday we take the perfect antidote to stalled projects - a walk in a magnificent garden. It's impossible not to marvel at the creative forces at work in nature, and, me being me, I get a bit jealous. Why can't I make anything that approaches the beauty and complexity in a garden? My inanimate manipulations seem so very primitive.  I find myself on the point of becoming competitive with a flower.  Then I realise that we, as we pass through the garden, adults and children at various ages and stages, are not so very different to the garden.  Complex, beautiful, changing creatures, created partly by nature and partly by the sheer hard yakka of the gardeners around us.  
And besides, a flower couldn't even begin to make a quilt.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wannabe Straight

I don't sew straight, I don't cut straight, hell I don't even stand straight. What was I thinking when I started to piece these overalls? Something about men, work, scent, redundancy, loss and lack. No wonder I came over all wobbly.  This piece has reminded me of my dangerous ambivalence when it comes to form.  My head, heart and soul are cluttered places and my projects are sorting processes.  I start with a goal that is about 66.666% unachievable - some massive material object to be generated while I think things through. Along the way, the scope shrinks, the form shifts and if I'm lucky I'm left with something that resonates with at least one other person on the planet. I'm always running out on time and patience. A novel becomes a sculpture, a poem becomes a rug, a quilt becomes a paragraph. This is not the path to artistic excellence, it's the art of failing well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sill Quips

There are five in our family - Mum, Dad, me, my brother and my sister. Back when we all lived together, we also had a couple of shady boarders. They were called Somebody and Nobody. Somebody was the one who broke things, lost things, took things and left things lying around. Nobody never did anything.

It's just me and the four year old, here in the shed, but I think Somebody has a bit of a sense of humour.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


It's done. Finally.  
I've been working on, and talking about, this one for months now.  
It's a 200x140cm  knitted rag rug that sits happily on a floor, but is also pleased to engulf any comfortable but ugly piece of furniture that needs covering.
The themes, inspirations, origins and processes behind it could be a small novel, but narratives annoy me right now.  A friend came to view it today and commented that it was the kind of rug that things would get lost in.  She was right. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

book keep

Past the dragons, the brides, the babies and the dancers, 
a mouldy little tower in a dank part of the wood that surrounds the shrine.
It's where they keep the books.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Junior Hi

Junior High School art project, photographed though a dusty toy shop window in Mishima.

mountain home

The rice is bagged
and the sheaves are dry.
How the wild grass waves.

(I can just imagine what the neighbours would say about the
 way that new house echoes the mountain)