Tuesday, March 27, 2007

blue roses

I've been hanging with my Blue Roses a lot lately since I can drive again. Four of us gathered in Mystic at Libby's bright new yellow apartment right after my surgery. Here is Alvina, Libby, and Anna on the Mystic bridge.

I am very lucky to have these women in my life. I'm ever amazed by the support, inspiration and friendship that is shared among these six very different people. The Blue Rose roots started in children's book publishing but have grown much deeper then any group or club.

Alvina posted about me and my secret scarabs on the Blue Rose Blog. I was wondering why this discreet blog suddenly got so popular. Anyone who knows Alvina can imagine how especially flattering it is to be written about by her.

Monday, March 26, 2007

a stitch in time

On Wednesday Lisa took out half of my stitches, and on Thursday morning I took out the rest myself. Yes, me! Who previously would pass out at a drop of blood at the drop of a hat.

On the same day I found an elderly woman who had fallen badly on the side walk and broken her teeth. I was able to help her without passing out, too. This makes me really really happy.

My hand, two weeks after the surgery, with one stitch left to go.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


A chalk board door, that holds magnets. Because you just can't not have one.


Layer three: a special sort of black paint...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

winter and spring

Saturday was the strangest day. It was the very first real snow of the winter, and my first robin sighting of the spring.

My neighbors Angel and Gio made a snowman. In 7 years I've never seen a snowman on our block. It's a really good one, too.


Layer two: iron imbued paint.

Monday, March 19, 2007

scars can be useful

Here's why I love blogs-- I might not have noticed my scar's similarity to Harry Potter's lightning bolt scar had a couple readers not pointed it out.

A little googling brings up a gold mine of mythological references, and makes me love my scar even more. Yes, I love my scar.

I like the Harry Potter connection. His scar is proof of his extraodinary survival skills. It warns him of danger. It's probably what makes him able to talk to snakes. And it's a bigger part of the story then is yet known- Rowling has said that the last word of the series will be "scar".

Snips from an article I found cached, by mythologist Maggie Macary:

Harry’s scar is the great symbol of the series.... The scar is his metaphor, his most noticeable feature, the one thing he likes best about his appearance, and the one thing that makes him recognizable... A mark that reveals Harry has been opened to the world, diverted in his predictable life path, bringing complexity and a diversity of meaning into his life... The lightening bolt has deep mythological and symbolic relevance in all cultures, representing power and strength and the fertile creativity of masculine energy as well as inward, meditative power and vision.

The scar is a body’s permanent memory of its breaching, a mark of violation and yet also an endurable mark of transformation. The etymology of the word scar comes from the Greek, eschara meaning hearth. In ancient Greece, the eschara was a portable hearth that stood on graves and allowed burnt offerings to the Earth-gods and to the Underworld deities. In associating scar with eschara, a wound becomes an offering to the Underworld, a sacrificial act to placate and purify demons, ghosts and chthonic forces. The scar becomes the mark of that offering, a never-disappearing symbol of one’s sacrifice. Harry enters the story scarred. It is the essence of who he is, and it means that he is never innocent. Innocence in this sense means unmarked, untouched, whole. Harry is not whole.

Harry’s scar is the mark of a deep sacrificial darkness, the death of his parents and a childhood of despair and abuse. The wise wizard Dumbledore knows better than to heal and remove Harry’s scar. “Scars can be useful,” he remarks sagely as he compares one of his own scars to a map. In fact, Harry’s scar turns out to be a quite handy map as it ties Harry to Voldemort in a deep intimacy that exists only between the twin hero and villain in the fairy tale world.

Thanks clever blog readers!

(drawing by Mary Grand Pre, of course)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

zag zig

I've had this Oxalis plant for 17 years. It's followed me to all but one of the 9 places I've lived in that time. I've had hundreds of plants, but this one is a trooper and can take all the draught and starvation I inflict upon it. Because it's basically a weed, but that doesn't matter to me. I love how it opens its leaves in the day, and folds them up like umbrellas at night, and how when I've been especially good to it, it thanks me with a few white flowers.

Joseph Campbell, quoting some other great man, said that when you are near the end of your life and look back over it, it appears as if it was planned, like a work of art that fits beautifully together, made by a master craftsman who knew the outcome from the beginning.

When I was seven living in suburban New Jersey, I never would have believed that I would be a teenager living on a horse farm in Vermont. When I was selling gourmet fruit to skiers, I never would have believed I would be lucky enough to go to RISD. When I flew away to spend my junior year in Rome I never would have believed the boyfriend I left behind would still be my boyfriend 12 years later. When I walked into a New Haven head shop 2 years ago to buy a tiny silver hand pendant in commemoration of my first performance as a fire spinner, I never would have believed I would break my hand playing roller derby and end up working in that shop.

But it all happened.

Soon after I began wearing the hand of Fatima, I added to it a tiny snake charm, because I'd learned that "Linda" is derivative of the German word for serpent, and I liked that so much better then the Spanish "pretty".

I met an actor who was wearing the same snake charm. I asked him why he wore his, and he said it represented the unexpected twists and turns of life. I liked that too.

I still wear these two, though the hand lost its tiny red stone somewhere in the time after I had the pins taken out of my hand. I keep looking at the pattern of them together, and consider how many of the most important life changing transitions come not from deliberate decisions we fret over and painfully make, but the tiny, minuscule daily choices we barely notice. A particular word spoken to a particular person at a particular time gets you a new job, leaving a place one minute late gets you on the train your future best friend is on, stepping to the right rather then the left puts you into a pile of fallen skaters and you break your hand.

A person could stress about this, or feel great relief. So much of our lives isn't controlled by us, so there is no need to worry about always making the right decisions.

"Fate doesn't hang on a wrong or right choice. Fortune depends on the tone of your voice." So says Divine Comedy.


I needed inspiration to move back into my studio. I have big plans for this door I started priming last night. We'll see if it works.

Friday, March 16, 2007

zig zag

Today, one week after surgery. I'm just starting to practice holding a pencil with my thumb, fore and middle fingers again. I do therapy every hour to keep it mobile, and in between wear a splint to straighten impudicus.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

a fist

A video from Monday, 3 days after the surgery, at the therapy center. Even with crazy stitches and swelling the movement is already so much better.

Monday, March 12, 2007


On Friday I had the tenolysis surgery. It took Dr. Altman and his team 2 hours to free my tendons. I was able to make a fist for the first time in 3 1/2 months on the operating table. I've got about 40 stitches and have to keep it moving. It is totally gross. I haven't been this blissfully happy in a long long time.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


It is here. At a touch of my hand,
The air fills with delicate creatures
From the other world.
-James Wright, Milkweed

Monday, March 05, 2007

international fame

Grace is on a world tour. She saw the Teaching K-8 cover in Hong Kong. That is cool.

(P.S. Fortune still missing.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

hearts: round 2

There are 8 new hearts, here, rather then the original web page for now. Quicker updating of sold hearts- check underneath the images to see which are available.