I’ve often noticed that we’re not able to look at what’s in front of us,
unless it’s inside a frame. —Abbas Kiarostami
This is how it is with me lately. Everything is frames and frame sizes and pictures to fit frames and matting to fit frames (and did you know how varied matting can be, that it comes in suede or bamboo or the texture of a basketball if that’s your thing??) And it’s not all beige either, FYI.
At this moment I may well be the most knowledgeable person within a certain kilometre radius on the subject of thrift shop frames. Go ahead, ask me who has the best prices, the biggest stock, the easiest aisles through which to maneuver a cart clunky with the oversized, the gawdy and the gilted. Ask me about how it’s important to check the BACK of the frame not just the front. (Backs can be a bugger.)
Because this is what I do now, ever since I got the happy news that my photos of abandoned couches were accepted for exhibit at ‘Gallery A’ in The Robert McLaughlin Gallery.
In this exciting new world of ‘preparing for a show’ I hunt for the tacky and eccentric. Really not so different really from my usual life…
I also clean and scrape glass (why do stores insist on putting price tags in all the wrong places?), pry off the buggery backs, measure, ponder which pic goes where and if any require basketball textured matting, and take regular coconut milk macha green tea latte breaks with my staff.
That last step is not insignificant.
The show opens next month.
(Shameless promotion, I know, but… imagine!)
It won’t work if it’s done only when it’s done en masse.
Or when the beautiful momentum of hundreds of thousands gives it credibility and air time. As powerful and important as that is.
It won’t work if we stop when the cameras stop and the journalists go home and we’re left with our own small lives and make the mistake of thinking what can I do… me… one tiny person?
It won’t work if after stretching to this extraordinary moment of pink power we let the elastic snap back into complacency and start supporting what’s easy instead of what’s right.
Pink is no longer a colour.
It’s an attitude.
Reclaimed at last from the retail aisles and Barbie accessories. Let it stand instead for kindness, equality, respect, truth. Let’s accept nothing less. And let’s find creative and clever ways to live it every day in our own small lives.
Also, let’s remember that however important it is, it’s not the only colour.
But maybe, just maybe… it can lead the way.
Equality. Kindness. Truth. Respect. Across the board.
Although I haven’t worked in an office for years I still work office-ish hours.
So Fridays are very TGIF for me and this one in particular seemed in need of some goodness. A distraction, a need to play hookey, to get away from it all. Bird seed seemed the logical answer. So off I took myself to a nearby town where a source told me I could score some excellent Ethiopian nyger at the local feed shop.
I got twenty five pounds.
It was noon by then so I stayed for lunch. The first place I stopped didn’t want me to sit at a table by the window as I was just one person and that’s primo seating. So could I please move to another table at the back? No, as a matter of fact, no thank you… I do not care to sit at the worst table in a half filled room as penance for being a single diner.
Ta ta, said I.
And wandered down the street feeling oddly buoyant.
The next place I landed reminded me why things happen the way they do. Had the other folks been nicer I may have never have discovered this place, which not only said sit where you like — it was ten times busier, had a merry vibe, a shelf of books for reading not for decor, people actually seemed happy to see you and the food was out of this world delicious.
AND they had mussels… so………..
I read a cookbook about seasonal food.
And had PEI for lunch.
Moral of the story — How being faced with the unkind or unjust can still have a good outcome if you put your heart into it, trust your gut, stand for what you believe in, and other bodily metaphors… and how fete-ing myself on Fridays might just become a thing.
Also moral of the story — It’s one way to remain sane.
I hang small flags
upon the fabric, flickering in a line
across the yard until
not thoughts and prayers
but prayers answered
and uses one for
It hasn’t been perfect, true.
Whatever perfect is.
But there have been friends, and there have been children… there have been cats and dogs and horses. There have been visits and visitors and mist seen from a porch.
There have been sunsets.
And the sun has come up each day and there have been meals and laughter and silliness shared. (Why does the lion always lose at poker? He plays with a cheetah.)
There have been creampuffs (and the cages are rattling for more). There has been candlelight and firelight and tea on the patio and music and words spoken and read and thought. There have been ideas realized and hands held, rides on strong broad shoulders, and monkeys. Yes, there have been monkeys!
There was the ocean and the star that night and there have been birds and a fox, several rabbits, deer leaping over a fence, too many squirrels to count and their nests impossibly high and visible only when the leaves fall. There was a crop of garlic and green bean salad and all those fat, happy worms.
There was a campfire and sagebrush and the rumour of bears. There was pizza and good cheese and bread and long walks and friends met for the first time In Real Life.
There was snow and there were snow angels and invitations and real mail in real mailboxes.
There was rain and the lake with its waves and tides and beach glass. There were stones.
*And now there are pomegranates to remind me of what is not nothing.
With thanks to everyone who was part of the everything this year.
Everything that was. And is.
The light and love of the season to you all (laughter and pizza implied).
See you in the new year.
*(Please read this beautiful piece by Leslie Prpich… and gather your pomegranates.)