Placentas and Hometowns

show details 8:58 PM (19 minutes ago)

The first fiber model of the organ that fed us all, even the unintended and unwanted among us, is well under way. It’s funny because I was holding off on project prototypes/contributions/

foundational placenta art until my sewing machine repair was complete.

And, of course, I’m not even using the dang thing.

Stitching by hand feels just right and allows for greater flexibility in prompting the thin formal fabric into organ-ish ridges. I’m using gold Sulky. Which sort of sucks because it snaps if I pull too hard. There is a metaphor in there somewhere. The cheniille is just foundation texture. I have manymanymany layers to go.

It is not even 9:00 pm and I am ready to sleep. However, there is still much to do.

I am going to lay out word processed text blocks for the bird cards (Presents for Strangers) and then will unfortunately have to have them printed somewhere, as my printer is not printing. Hmmm…perhaps I’ll try to fix the printer first. Then I could print onto sheets (cut to printer size) of newsprint – I have a lot of this sort of worn-out, acidic paper.

I used to work in the Technical Services offices at a University Library. I was an Assistant to the Mid-East Cataloger. That means that I was in charge of call-numbering and cataloging the ridiculously huge number of Arabic language newspapers and magazines that the library had in its holdings.

My work area was the closest to the fire escape and the back bathroom. I was surrounded by papers and packing boxes from Egypt. Books with minute Arabic lettering in gold along their spines. Paper, paper everywhere and I was in love with it all.

I would ferret back to my apartment the oddly green and stripish packing papers that the boxes of outdated magazines were stuffed tight with. And peculiar soft and bumpy one-ply cardboard from Jordan. When I moved away from Portland, Portland State, and Millar Library – I took my boxes of salvaged paper products with me. Moved it all the way across the country and then back and forth another couple of times. I am certain I still have some of it somewhere.

And maybe at some point I was going to fashion an envelope from it or use it as some sort of medium. Now, if I come across it in a box within a box, somewhere under my desk. (I know there is a box under there that I packed in Portland six years ago – ten years ago? That I’ve not unpacked since.)(Time capsule for the absent-out-of-sight-out-of-minded?)

If I find it, I guess I’ll just keep it intact, in its pure sheet of paper form. A reminder of a what I was doing about fifteen years ago. That’s an old piece of paper, isn’t it?

What this has to do with anything is that I’d much rather print on my old crummy paper than introduce myself to the town that I live in on a bright, bleached-white page.

So, perhaps a slight postponement of the launch of birds. I’m aiming for speaking the purveyors of some of our fine LOCAL businesses (downtown art + craft supply stores, perhaps a couple of other places) on Thursday afternoon, with birds and display on hand. And web presence well-groomed. perhaps this will take longer if I can’t figure out the issue with the printer. Perhaps not. Soon, though.


I have the first batch of birds all ready to go.

Tomorrow morning I am teaching family life education (sex ed outreach) in North Buncombe. I ought to pluck my head out of the clouds and go to bed.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Re: Landholders
Sent: Feb 7, 2010 1:09 PM

Remind me to write a 5-paragraph essay (ha!) on Snakes and Southern culture. (Or just read Feast of Snakes, by Harry Crews.)

My childhood was full of snakes. Lizards. Alligators.
Reptiles of all sorts, it seems.

I grew up on the edge of Georgia, a prehistoric place in so many ways. I seem to dimly recall an awareness of a world beyond the creeks and marshes.

(The ocean was so close!)(Once I got glasses, I could see Florida!)

But everything close seemed never to change. Until, of course, it did.
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Landholders
Sent: Feb 7, 2010 11:37 AM

I come from the generation in which, if you lived in the relative middle of nowhere, it was not uncommon to grow up on more than a sub-divided lot.

I spent my childhood exploring over 700 acres. Don’t be impressed. Walden’s Pond, it was not. Pine for pulp mills (whose lights – up and down the southeastern coast – must have looked like fires in the night if viewed from a ship at sea) palmetto thickets (impenetrable!)
straight up swamp where the brackish creek ran into the sandy soil, marsh and mud giving slow way to the sandy soil of home.

I have seen my mother – who is now gray and thoroughly benevolent- behead rattlesnakes with hoes. We used to keep one in the van, a hoe not a rattlesnake, in case we came upon a serpent – laying large and innocent on the sunny dirt road.

Always great excitement for my brother and I…the death of venomous creatures at the hand of a parent. Especially our mother, this woman who made us grilled cheese sandwiches. Killing a snake…with a hoe…she was heroic in our eyes.

My parents know that killing something that was there before you were is not necessarily a nice way to make friends. They didn’t kill the snakes joyfully; they sacrificed the snakes out of dumb human fear. Which is understandable. A diamondback rattlesnake could possibly kill a child. And so they weighed the guilt of killing a creature who had done nothing with the worry that, if spared, this same creature may bite a child as he or she crashes through the woods in the way that children do.

And they killed the snakes.

Once the subdivision was built on the land that was ours, once snakes crushed on the hot paved roads became a common sight, my parents stopped killing them when they were seen near our house.

My brother and I were old enough, by then, to keep our eyes on the ground. .

Is there really anything to say?

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