With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise. ---excerpt from Still I Rise By Maya Angelou
Let me just say this blog break was unexpected. Not to bog the blog down with details, I'll summarize the important stuff, the highlights thus far of the late spring and early summer:
Mo and I have been 2nd hand shopping for furniture and just short of dumpster diving we've been out nearly every day scouting furniture for her new apartment for a new phase in her life. (God be with us.) The furniture finds filled my studio and we ventured with her leading the way into painting with chalk paint.
We'd go at nights to paint so we could pull the furniture out in the hallway...(and the AC was out in the building, luckily enough, the nights were cooler and somewhat tolerable). The other furniture pieces are still in storage. A couple of dressers, a headboard, and a buffet left to go.
Mo's car completely died leaving 4 adults to depend on 1, ONE car (feels really retro, but we've adjusted quite well given the circumstances). And she is now without a job related to her continued knee issues and asthma. But being the
The hub-man and I decided to house hunt for a rental and after weeks of looking we were 2, TWO, days late given notice to our complex and the best the apartment manager would do was to give us a 3 month lease because missing the date BY TWO days automatically locked us into a year lease. And we came close to deciding on 1 of the 4 we had viewed...a 3BR, 2BA ranch, wood floors with a basement. After five years of having a studio at Mellwood, I'm ready to bring it home and am envisioning a basement studio So you see, looking for another place is the key. But as it stands now, October will be our deadline to move.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, I had 2 bouts with pneumonia but didn't require a hospital stay, but did do time home-bound with rest. Also, several significant people in my life made their transition and passed on, a good friend who was my best friend in junior high; a neighbor, one of "the mothers" on the block I grew up on; and my God Mother who was my Mother's oldest, dearest friend, Ms Trudie Mae Wickliffe. She was 98 and in her right mind. (Thank you God for the blessings)
Ms Trudie and my Mother arrived in Louisville around the same time, sometime in the late 40's and worked at the Brown Hotel together while staying with a cousin of my Mother's who lived by the racetrack whose husband was a horse trainer. They eventually moved out together and shared apartments sometimes with another friend, Grace. But it was Ms Trudie, 14 years older than my Mother, who remained a staple in her life and later in my life growing up. One of the most important affirmations I received from her when I as a young woman who left a marriage after just 1 year...she got me without me having to over-explain or apologize to what appeared as irrational to others. She later gave her understanding of me wanting to live outside of marriage with my now husband (of the 28 years we've been together, we've only been married this last year). It may not sound like much now, but back in the 80s, in my family, it was still a dramatic thing to do and cause for too much talk.
Maya Angelou's passing was a moment...to have one so significant in my culturally relevant formative years leave this plane jolted my eyes to open to examine how i'm living and how I've used my talents and re-evaluate how to move forward. I love this photo of her dancing with poet Amiri Baraka taken by photographer, Chester Higgins dancing on top of Langston Hughes' ashes buried under Rivers: African Cosmogram created by Houston Conwill (a native Louisvillian). Now, the photo itself says JOY, but when I let all of the above just marinate for a minute or so, that JOY just intensifies and I start laughing out loud! Living is a beautiful thing!
The last of May ended my time with the co-op gallery. More of a financial move for me since my lower priced work is depleted and my direction is not to make more right now. It is what has sold. I do not want to devote my efforts to "what is selling" right now.
The piece that had been in Form Not Function 2007, Negotiating Territory, was donated to an auction at Spalding University to help with establishing a scholarship for African American students. But then a month later, I turn around and miss a deadline for a group exhibit of African American Women Artists at a local gallery. Even though I have a tinge of regret, I have to believe that all things work toward good in my life and its okay.
I'm still crocheting, but not as with much gusto since I'm no longer on steroids, and I missed a friend's birthday for which this shawl I have on my hook is for...but there is always Kwanzaa, Christmass, Valentine's Day, or any other day to celebrate just being.
Reading. I've been reading a lot and I simply must tell you about 1 of 2 books by Estella Conwill Majozo (sister to Houston, see above). First, Sister, Please, Can You Stand A Little Honesty. A collection of sermons that Majozo has presented over the last 10 years or so to various faith-based audiences. Each chapter is a offering of faith-based and culturally relevant steps we can take to keep our souls intact and not just as individual women but in a community of women. I don't know about you, but I require certain thoughts and feelings, as oxygen, that speak to me, my soul, in order to ward off the numbness that grows as a result of stress. The offerings in the book, helped and will help me to facing forward, nurture the desire to spring high and rise. I've been carrying the book with me when I go out and re-read parts at night before going to sleep. The 2nd book I'll talk about in my next blog post. It also holds personal meaning for me and my family.
And finally to ward off the melancholy that occurs when I'm unable to be in my studio space creating something, I've picked sketching back up...specifically sketching faces. A face a day is what I'm doing and then I upload to my personal FB page.
Until next time, peace....