Sunday, April 29, 2012

So I started

our the semester with a blog for students that (or which, as the case may be) I was absolutely positive would be a good way of communicating since everyone is constantly on the computer or texting messages. But it took a long time for almost all of them to sign up and it was clear they didn't read it and so, for two weeks, I gave up. 
I'd also found out that Margaret, the woman who took over my position after I retired, e-mailed them twice a week. I did take their e-mails, (but this was only a couple of weeks ago since it has taken so long for us to get together to walk the dogs and have lunch) in the semester and some part of me said, the hell with it...this is a good way of communicating...and besides, I don't really know how to make a long list of e-mails. But the main point wasn't my ineptitude in that area, but that I was really pleased with using the blog. I'd learned about blogging from a former student who was in a class she liked, taught by a part-time person who blogged. At first this student didn't like reading the blog, but she found some useful things in it. And I thought, what a good idea.
And besides, I'd gotten all excited about Zoe Strauss..and wanted to do a renegade show, etc, etc, which shows what happens when you get really charged up but have no power except to get them to do their expected work. Nothing exciting.
However, one student is remarkable, and another went well beyond what that student had done the semester before and that was a great pleasure to watch...and others did interesting work, and so on....and there are only two more classes, one of which is tomorrow.
 I finished 100 4x6 drawings with text from "Bread & Roses: Mill, Migrants and the Struggle for the American Dream" by Bruce Watson...a meditation on the strike of 1912...that will be shown in the Essex Art Center in June...  I rather like it which is unusual since I don't much care whether I like my work or not, assuming I've done it honorably...but this has meaningful content and it might look pretty good on the wall.

Last night I dreampt that I had taken the work to Cathy MaLaurin (I don't think that is spelled correctly even though I e-mail her every ten minutes with some dumb question and have taken two interesting short workshops with her and she is finishing up her masters at the Museum School, etc...  and I'd brought along a doll house that my father had made, with all sorts of tiny furniture, also handmade, and lots of Christmas ornaments and decorations, all miniscule and made of paper and tinsel... what a heap of stuff that wasn't at all relevant to the other work I'd taken to her...But I rationalized that it represented houses from that 1912 time period. I wasn't sure why I brought any of the work since it wasn't due, but I had a bit pile of stuff lined up on a wide, low shelf...
Anyway, Cathy was wearing a wonderful one-piece something or other, sort of like what I would  have worn in the 60s, but much more interesting.. loose and flowing, pants, African maybe..that she'd made..I wanted to make one also...I should add the the Cathy-in-the-dream was long and willowy...(which is not far off from the real Cathy) and I'm not..and she's young and I'm not and I hate to sew...
even though I dutifully go to Empty Spools Quilters every Friday morning and try to make a quilt because Mary, who has been married 64 years, and is fabulous and always busy doing the final quilting stitching doesn't like to sit around and talk, so something has to be ready for her to do every Friday morning. And only Eileen and I are cranking out quilts and I always get there late so it's hard to finish one within that time limit...especially with coffee break during which I always take seconds and thirds of sweets, after trying, most of the time, not to eat them...
    I hate sewing and I hate making quilts, but I got committed...     maybe that means I got crazy which is also true.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


 There is a very nice fellow who also walks in the park behind Starbucks. He is tall and looks capable and might be from Bosnia, or maybe Russia. And he walks a small nicely ratty-looking dog who is a bit timid. He is always on the phone but stoops to befriend Tulip who really doesn't want anything to do with  him. She is generally afraid, especially of other dogs, and this fear masks itself in ferocious barking at them, pulling on the leash and jumping around. She occasionally barks at men walking by, but never at this gentle guy. She just dodges his hand.

Right now Tulip is guarding some food on the couch. This means that if I get close to her, she enlarges by two or three feet, snarling and snapping. She was deprived and mis-treated and it truly was a mistake to get a dog on line, from the south, sent up to me, sight-unseen. They did not tell me that she was so tangled and neglected that she couldn't walk when she was given to the shelter.

The kindly fellow says, "It takes time. She'll be alright.
I find it fascinating that dogs harbor/remember/are inhibited and inhabited by so many early impressions that they act out in various ways. Bogie had a very good puppyhood, but he learned to shake himself when I put the leash on him, in addition to sitting as he was told. Once he tried that, he never unlearned that pattern, sit, shake, leash put on, go out.

When he was less than two, his back legs began shaking. Nothing serious, just some neurological glitch. Now his whole body shakes when he's distressed by some assault -- something not going his way --  Sherlock trying to prevent him from walking through a doorway or a car backfire. Fireworks terrify him.

I imagine there are many gradations of responses to our hold-ons from childhood, but there certainly are polar opposites in opinions about whether early experience effects us.  I remember being very perplexed when someone said, "It's over and done with. And certainly can't still be effecting you." That is what I consider an insane view of the residue of our childhoods in us....   On the other hand is the irony of having to take ourselves in hand to teach ourselves whatever we might not have been taught early on....self-care, assertiveness, goal setting... whatever.