Friday, December 30, 2022

Mrs. McGillicuddy


Dear The End,

Mrs. McGillicuddy is dead.  Long may her memory live.

There are people, often even strangers, and quite by chance, who let you see the layers and depth of the pond we call our lives.  They give you glitter, and politesse, and mystery, and a wink.  And then, one day, they are gone.  The traces they leave are large and small, and everywhere.

A long ago friend of mine, a lover, really, is dying or dead already.  I am not going to check which.  I haven't seen them in ages.  I don't need or want to see them, but, oh!  That night at the Chinese restaurant with the tiger tapestry on the wall- I don't ever want that to leave my framework for understanding the world.  By the world, I mean love, I mean people, I mean meaning.

Mrs. McGillicuddy was a cousin of my Mother's: there were, um, like 75 cousins, at least, and everyone of them nearly identical to the novice and infrequent visitor.  I was a very novice and infrequent visitor, and also, very young, and so I suppose I needed entertaining?  What were the aunts, uncles, parents, and other people doing while these cousins would spin their yarns of Mrs. McGillicuddy?  I don't know, and a few questions about who or when she was have yielded nothing.  She was going to 'get you' if you didn't watch out, and she once chased me around some parked cars in the dark, shoulders hunched, with her hands out in front of her, clawing towards me.  It was a game that scared you just the right amount, like a roller coaster.  But the powerful thing was that she was a different being than my cousin: Mrs. McGillicuddy was more than just a different name for a person you know.

I wish this was more clear, this magic she made... but magic often cannot be explained, and when you try to, you get blank faces and 'that sounds awful.'  But it wasn't awful, and these liminal spaces where taboos are broken are amazingly vast, and so vertiginously free- I don't mean free like you think I do, I mean free like flying, free like falling, like jumping into the sea.  Like being one with all.

And so, then, this is Mrs. McGillicuddy's eulogy, and I am here, reading at the altar, to say a final goodbye to her, to a room full of people who somehow never even met her.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022



Oyster bed.


Dear Curious Oysters,

Have you wondered, long, hard, and deep into the night just how the Dodo is made?  Where do these notions come from, and how are these serendipitous snippets assembled?  

Well, I'll tell you: one thing leads to another.

Here is what an early draft or rather, sketch, of a Dodo post looks like:

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

the weight


Dear Waiting,

I have been thinking on weighted blankets.  I love a heavy blanket, it feels comforting.  Not everyone does, of course; some feel claustrophobic under the heaviness.  

Why now?  I ask myself, why heavy blankets now?  You may (or may not) recall the euphoria of the fluffy Duvet years, in the 1980's, '90s, and even the early 2000's.  We were all going to get good and intellectual by ditching the top sheet and doing like they do in Europe: duveting it up every night.  I had one, in college; it was down, and shedding feathers all over, and I hadn't the money for a nice cover, so I sewed two cheap top sheets together and slid in my lunpy fluffy duvet.  The sheets were unfortunate colors- very saturated:  a deep unnatural purple and a dark and chemical green.  Also, it was a real chore to get the duvet into this envelope, so I hardly ever washed the cover, but that was okay, too, because, well, I was using the top sheet for the most part, because the sheets I had came that way, as a set: a bottom fitted sheet, and a flat top sheet and a pillow case or two.  It seemed silly not to use them both when making the bed.

I had a second duvet, and when it got all lopsided and thin everywhere but the feather filled far margins, I got a quilt, with techno-fiber batt stuffing.  It never moved, or seeped through the seams, that batting.  Since 1999, it's been wool and cotton blankets and quilts.  But, would a thirty pound blanket be more of a good thing, or too much of a good thing?  

Enjoy your longest night, under blankets heavy or light!

Monday, December 19, 2022



Dear Readers,

Don't ya love a word that sounds like another?  The heir/air.  The flour/flower.  The alter/altar.  The beech/beach.  The peak/peek.  The pore/pour/poor.  These words are known as homophones, as distinguished from homonyms.  Although, these examples are also homonyms!  There is some overlap; if it sounds indistinct, you can explore the differences, and check out the less commonly sighted/cited/sited third sister: homograph!  What a wonderful world of words we live in!  And, here is your song of the day!

Monday, December 12, 2022

I'm with her.


Dear Luscious,

Your song of the day is an old favorite, and this is a fine, heartfelt rendition- by the end, I am sure you will feel that you, too, are not made for these times.  But, we are living them anyway, and so it sure is nice to feel understood, even if only for the length of the song.  Songs never let me down in this way; they always understand me perfectly.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

moon song


Dear Night,

Ooh, you are having some moonlight!  Here is a song to celebrate the glistening reflection of day.

Friday, December 9, 2022

Your Girl Friday: Bravely fighting monomania for you and me!


Dear Friday,

Oooh, I love your girl!  I love all your girls, Friday, and I am not afraid to say it!  I love you, Rebecca Morris!  Check out her beautiful, and essential for abstract artists, manifesto:  read it here.  Actually, you don't even need to use paint or brushes to love this manifesto.  Here is a website for appreciating more of her work.  As for me, what am I going to do with my great love for Rebecca Morris?  Well, I thought I might transmute some of my desire into large paintings.  

Saturday, December 3, 2022

meso meso


Liu Bolin, the artist behind door Number One.

Dear Ones,

How are you?  If you, too, are feeling meso meso, I offer you a few oddments, amuse-bouches.  See if one of these little distractions doesn't lift you up a little bit:

Door Number One.  Number Two.  Number Three.  Number Four.

PS  Bonus Cowboy Junkies Track.

Thursday, December 1, 2022



Quilt, Inez Storer, 46" x 46", 2007.

Dear Archeology,

I wanted to be one, once, you know?  An archeologist.  I thought it would be fun to piece together the past by digging for broken shards and pieces.  

I saw a woman I used to know on the street the other day.  

I ducked, and hid, and ran.  

She was standing, a little on her heels, a little bit back, maybe her arms were half crossed.  She was looking towards the pavement, down.  There was another woman there, taller, blonde, I think; much more substantial.  She leaned kind of forward, in contrast, like maybe she had to be closer to hear the words.  I wondered why, or rather how, I recognized her.  It was the shape, the attitude, yes, but perhaps also the aura.  

I felt that creeping stiffness, when I saw her- that invisible forcefield one tries to erect when under fire.  I remember that feeling so well, from so long ago, when I was just a young woman, and not nearly as sure of my right to be here, and so, when I see her now, I am reduced to a quaking jelly that is not able to move, or defend itself.  I saw her, and I hid, and I thought of you, growing up under that wing, and I saw so clearly that you were maybe always the parent, and not the child, and oh!  I cried for you, and for her, and for me, too, and for all the fragments buried that are the evidence of all the lives and wounds and sufferings.