Saturday, October 30, 2010


"What a pity she didn't sell that bonnet to you for two dollars, but it is a set you know", the old Polish bird croaked as she leaned in real close and puttered around my spot at the long wooden table heaving with blankets, baby clothes and woolens.

What a pity indeed. I love when I hear that phrase, clipped short and sweet in its own little way. Makes me think of Helen, Helen, Helen.

Nice Saturday today with the low lying dark, clouds heavy and throwing pails of rain onto the fresh wash hanging on the line to dry. Damn, that always happens. We went out anyway, ignoring the laundry and went about the usual Saturday routine that I so look forward to with the close of each work week. Goodbye Leo, hello Saturday afternoons in the city with my guy. Mitch and I wandered and ran into two friends; one old and one new. JJ, host of last night's Halloween pre gate night party at Casa Petshop (she was the best Yummy Mummy I have ever seen [dead baby et al]) and Nick, this charming man with sterling character that I have heard so much about. A quick hello with Nick in the middle of the street in front of Arts Cafe and a quick plan of dinner for four when Jillian comes.

Off to Drawn & Quarterly we went to pick out a new children's book by the beloved M. Kalman (What Pete Ate A-Z) and then we wandered to Monastiraki for some more letter writing supplies, old photographs and a quick look book for my Mitch. So many jewels in there, so hard to choose. Emily at the till tipped us off of a church basement bazaar going on around the corner and off we went again, two heads in the rain.

I love basement bazaars and this one did not disappoint either: two skirts and a sweatshirt of perfect proportion. From there we walked back home. I made sweet oatmeal cookies while drinking a cup of tea. Mitch worked on a new drawing for a print he has cooking. Tiny, elaborate and ornate frames with rolling scrolls, he is very good. Now JJ is on her way over to play a game and watch a horror movie. Halloween at home, costumes optional.

Below is a photo of Leo wearing a pair of swim goggles. He was into them! I have no idea why, but he kept them on his face for ten minutes just chilling, watching the world around them through aquamarine glass. What a weirdo. I love him.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Dearly Beloveds.

Riza and Lags, Liza and Rags.

Dearly beloveds, I love you so. Thank you for reading what I have to say and also for the deep care. I feel you, telephone calls are never necessary; to me, written words hold so much. Much more than many things. I am terrible on the phone. Last night's letter was not a crying out to anyone, just a crying out to myself. In actuality, I read a post by Beth Mans just before sitting down to write my own and was so comforted by her security in being unhappy (at the time). She named it loud and proud, splayed on the floor, chipped nails and tears. And that is okay. It is brave to write it down sometimes. I so admire that ability in people.

It is time to be real. Fall is all about peeling off, paring down, stripping bare, shaking loose until there is nothing left but the very core. I am definitely in this place. Knee deep in my own refuse (which is always more hopeful than neck deep. Being neck deep in places is unnerving. Like a swamp! Being neck deep in a swamp should be a sin). It is only in that place, shaken loose, that one can begin to add new layers. So, there in lies the rub. I am going to be real, even when it results in an unpleasant read, a darkened heart, heavy boots. I am dark as night right now. There is an obvious pattern at work here. Like a five year afghan in the works. There are light spots, and racy details, and smooth pearls, and then there are the dark lines that feel never ending, even though there is always a hard right turn somewhere in the pattern and back into the light I burst. Like a fish flying out of water. The only thing that has proven to lift that feeling over the years is to name it with painful honesty, to write about it and to make it real. Thanks for your love you two. You are so dear to me, both of you.

This morning I looked in the mirror and began formulating a new letter. It felt like a string of words swept down around the curve of thought like a string of something fitting around one's neck. 'Oh, that's nice', a quiet murmur of thought. Two letters need to be constructed very carefully for my two new portfolios for art school if I want to have a fighting chance of weaseling my way back in again. It just came, that first whisper of an angle. What a glorious feeling to stare into at eight ten in the morning. Those are some of my favorite moments in life (in terms of writing and being a writer of sorts); standing there in stripes, toothbrush dangling haphazardly from between my teeth, my eyes unseeing as my mind blinked and then began to bind bits of words together in such a way familiar--sort of like Leo and his blocks--so precise and so vague all at once. It felt nice.

And then there was light. The correct wall and the precise swat of a switch. Poof, the re birth of. (Arthur is an excellent name. Side note, duly noted).

I have decided the theme for the new portfolio (two in one style again. Last year it was a giant fabric envelope bearing two paper parcels wrapped up in string): all things soft. Soft faces, soft light, soft eyes, soft hearts, soft design, soft fabric, soft paper, anything and everything wrapped up so prettily and thoughtfully and painfully soft. Choosing 19 photographs to submit from a sea of a cool million might be the death of me, but what doesn't kill one makes one stronger. As for the Studio Arts angle, I am forced to broaden the scope this year as I have slim to no new silk screen material to choose from. But then there was watercolor. And that is soft. Ink and quill, fabric crests, soft dolls for nice people. Margot Polo is going to be all over this thing. If they don't like it, that is okay. I like it, these ideas newborn, soft seedlings of hope. What I am without at the moment is how to tie both the Photo package and the Textile and Print packages together under one big soft umbrella. I need a vehicle (not in the literal sense). Last year's vehicle was a giant envelope. I am thinking a quilt, a ragtag, ratty, hand stitched, thoughtful quilt that folds up like a hitchhiker's. Or someone, something, somewhere on an incredible adventure with an incredible crest swinging from a stick, marking the path.

My crest. Oh my god, my crest. This damn thing has been percolating in thought since the beginning of September. It is not near ready to be attempted yet. I guess that is part of my process. I get an idea and stew, and stew, and stew. And then I stew some more. Like one of Mitch's amazing sauces. He is always telling me how important it is to let the flavors of his sauces stew. So I am stewing some more until the time is right to pick up my shears and race through the softest muslin I can find. So something with a crest, maybe sewn onto a quilt filled with a flat of nineteen of the softest photos I can think of (Old Eyebrows in there for sure, along with the Face Painted Boy, and a picture of Rollin because he was in the mix last year too), and a package overflowing with drawings and one Lady Longbody for good luck.

That is just an idea. Thank you for reading, for writing your own posts that I eat up on the regular like a fancy dessert. What a treat, this internet thing. It is hump day today, my first one seeing as I have to work on Friday this week (oh no! My beloved Free Friday!), so do something good for someone.

Write a letter today.

Love, Megan.

post script: stay tuned for a Year in Review photo post coming soon (AGAIN, does anyone know how I can change it so that posted photos show up as wide as the written post itself? Aghh, I am inept in so many avenues. Please help. Stay tuned for the Couple of the Year, Baby of the Year (Leo, Rollin, Olive, Izzy, Avery) and so on photos. If anyone knows a scrap about the photo sizing thang, please write. Merci.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dry fountain.

I can hear bells from my spot on the hardwood in the little entrance nook. From where? Je ne sais pas. All I know is that I love the sound of bells. They always remind me of Thun, this little ski village situated on a mountainside in Switzerland where they rang as clear as day when I was there three years ago, and again today in my memory.

Today was one of those days where I said "I am not happy" out loud while Leo slept behind a closed door. Oh no, not again. Too much Julie Doiron in the morning on my walk to work through the fog. It's okay. I finished a letter to Lisa and then began a long and skinny letter to Maude. After that I painted a river and a creek on heavy paper and felt much better.

The sound of bells always helps.

Today after Leo's lunch (messiest mealtime to date [squash hair and a veal beard and raspberry lips] as he has recently learned to projectile spit), we cruised on down to Parc Outremont. It was empty, which I prefer. I was so preoccupied with the idea of opening my latest parcel to arrive in the post a la my mother, that I nearly failed to notice the pond had been drained. And then the great awareness of such a stillness and silence came, like a preview for winter played in a fancy gold and red movie theater of dreams. It rolled right in like a carpet of fog. It made me sad in one way and calm in another. Leo seemed to pick up on the change as well because he looked and looked at the silent fountain and finally screamed in horror. "I hear you pal. I miss it too". I have never lived close enough to a park with a pond and a fountain to notice when it is readied for winter. It was a strange feeling.

Readied for winter. What a thought. It is coming, it is rolling in. Every night, the light clips itself off shrinking faster and faster into the dark of night. We wake in the dark and move around each other haggardly searching the wrong wall for the light switch. I don't mind the rain either. The winter season is inevitable and this year I am surprisingly ready for it. I even have boots.

Time to eat something warm. What? Je ne sais pas. We have no food. But we have spices (thanks Ma). I wish I was just about to sit down to a family meal of overdone beef stew. Oh well. Soon enough. Soon enough! To close, a photo of a trainyard in Vienna taken from a balcony high above. I miss Europe, let's go back.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

You splice up my life.

Rebecca, hello out there.

Rebecca, I miss you.

Rebecca, Rebecca, Rebecca.

Rebecca, I found these two photos today while on a wild cupboard cull and promptly taped them together and scanned the shit out of them as fast as I could. I also found a lost roll (sans digital files) of photos of you and Grant in Kawaii Crepe and one GREAT shot (split between two frames) of you and your man leaning against those classic grey-blue slats of Papa Georges. I miss you two.

Now there is a great chain of Grant and Rab moments frozen in time taped to the wall above our work table in the sewing room. Wish you could see it, you would laugh aloud. Damn, what I would give to hear that laugh ring out in my long home. Dinner is on, vinyl is about to be selected: Townes Van Zandt in honor of you and Grant and Sir Iaan.

Missing you like only a French woman on a motorbike can miss a heavy-earringed woman dancing in alone in a Factory.

Ex oh, ex oh,
Francoise forever.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Diptych Emporium.

The last frozen mother-made Gingersnap down my gullet followed by tap water the same temperature as the weather outside (almost cold enough to hold snow) shlooked noisily from a Tante Daryl bottle (check the mail) all the way from Thailand. This bottle has been lost and found again more times than I can count. It doesn't have a stopper and it never will. Last February, I lost it at an upstairs Ragpicker's party dead across from my old home on McDermot (the one with the never ending golden wall) and days later when Mitch presented it to me at my doorstep at the start of our very first afternoon Scrabble and vinyl date, I knew he was good for me. And he was. And he is!

Today has been wonderful. Eggs and avocado and a day old sesame bagel, coffee and blankets on Balcony Brick for one, hot laundry in freezing hands hung to dry and a BIKE RIDE up and around town. I ended up at Drawn & Quarterly (which I think is safe to say is both mine and Mitch's favorite discovery since moving--it's a book paradise to say the VERY least) and bought The Elements of Style by M. Kalman, a favorite of mine. Her work is so dainty and brash at the same time. I like it. Her grasp on color is tight tight tight. Her reds and oranges, oh! Coral me wild. I also bought one her her children's books, Fireboat, which is beautiful. Andddd I also bought a plant and flower illustrated directory. I like directories, this will be of good use I think. Then I cycled home with my awkward bags of things and wrote a few letters (James, I am having a heck of a time attempting to scrawl in Mandarin; wish you were here to laugh and guide--but I suppose that would defeat the purpose of correspondence altogether) and scanned bits of things. See below.

Liza, you inspire me in innumerable ways. Today it is the Diptych (thanks to your introduction to such a thing in my life). Therefore, this post is dedicated to you. After a squirrel chase of a customer service encounter at Astral Photo downtown, I took my fat stack of freshly printed photographs sans cd and just scanned them instead. Juxtapositions are nice. Included in this batch are shots from my neighborhood, a slice of sunny Vietnam on my favorite street Bernard, early morning shots from Leo's front steps, mauve things, Old Eyebrows (she arrived! I cruised through the stack so hungrily just to hold her tender face in my hands), floral things in my life, Autumn guests, Mitch's handsome face, prairie fields barely captured through Milky's car window, the faces of some of the women in my family whom I love and admire. I especially the first one of Manitoba crop paraphernalia and my Grandmother's face captured at the height of surprise. She loves surprises, so do I.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Board to death.

Bored to death (with my own work) is my favorite television show.

The name Skinny Laminx was already taken by this incredible woman who prints her own fabric (dream life), but that is okay. Margot Polo suits me. Skinny Laminx's work is pretty incredible and makes me long for art school and for the looms and silk screen shops that are just beyond my reach. Soon enough. This year was clearly set out for preparation and practice. I have been practicing some ink drawings and will begin sewing like a wild animal very soon, but for now I am challenging myself to set my quill and ink aside (steady hands eventually find their way) for now, and to practice painting what I see with gouauche and watercolor. Right now my watercolor set is pretty laughable. When I bought it for 4.99 at the Jean Coutu (comparable to Shoppers Drugmart) by my house, a French woman in line behind me asked if they were for the baby. I laughed and said no. She said, "I didn't think so" with a gorgeous lilt.

Anyway, it is quite obvious by now that drawing things from my head is not something that comes easily, and chances are it never will. Practice practice practice. These days I am trying to sit down in front of different spots in my home and draw what I see. First I will draw them with a quill, freehand, and then I want to move into painting them only. There is such incredible safety in lines, dripping black, scratched into heavy cardstock grudgingly bound to a coil. I need to let go of this if I want to improve as an illustrator. No more just black for me. Boo hoo. There will always be black ink lines to begin, but it is the layers I need to expand my horizon upon. This is going to be a hell of a challenge, considering I always draw like this.

Like this. The line drawing below is something I did last night after a delicious dinner with Mitch. We rearranged the house over the weekend (it is still confused, but much better) and there is now a work room. I sat on the floor of the new bedroom facing my favorite piece of furniture and my trusty bulletin board. Both pieces were rescued from the street. The giant board is home to the million flying scraps of my life: things I find on the street, color, fabric, drawings, love notes, old letters, things from Liza, Rob's prints, remnants of the bush, leaves, dried things, string, you name it; it has been up there, it is up there now, or it will be eventually. I like to look at it when I wake. Currently, there is a long tape measure for fabric in the perfect chartreuse that separates my side from my guy's. I like seeing the sides build on their own accord. The long and lean piece of furniture that the board sits atop was found while on a walk with JJ, my second week living in Montreal. It was just there on St. Joseph, three blocks from my home. Stout little french legs, two pretty doors. It is actually in a sad state a la moment and I am trying to figure out what it once was. Desk or hutch? It is clear that it has been hacked into a desk, but I am not convinced. (So, add furniture restoration to my growing list of Things to Learn this year) Yikes. Anyway, Mitch and I stripped it clean of the hideous parquet number that covered all of the best bevel work! People who destroy antiques... don't get me started. Pardon the crooked scan, my drawing book is too large for the scanner.

Leo is singing in his bed, work calls.

Drawing of my buffet table and bulletin board; Ink on cardstock. October, 2010.

Here are some samples of fabric work by Skinny Laminx.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Fall that got away.

October is slinking out the door like a Montreal dirt dog. I saw a really weird dog today while out and about town with King Leo. It looked like a fuzzy puppet creature hip to hip with his master, a female version of Sherlock Holmes. All he was missing were the marionette strings and all she was missing was the spy glass. Dynamic fantasy duo. The tiny boy was too busy mewing in his stroller, face scrunched in pain from the new tooth pushing through the soil like a fresh white daisy growing in his mouth. Cutting teeth is such a weird concept for me.

Speaking of the little chicken (he has rooster feather hair in the morning), Leo took his first step today (unaided by play thing, wooden stool, or any of my limbs). Whoa! We were sitting on the floor playing with his favorite black ball like we do everyday and all of the sudden he had pulled himself up along the fridge door and just took a step towards me, not thinking anything of it. I looked on from my place on the floor, completely amazed to be the first to witness such a thing. He toddled in place just for a moment like a stuffed bowling pin before smashing to the hardwood with a great gull shriek. Leo, Louie, Lou-Lou, Little Chicken, King Leo, Leonard Arthur Spry learns to walk: Day one. Fuck.

My work just got a whole lot busier. That pretty much sums up my 9-5. Every morning I walk into his house, he screams a bloody murder hello and hands me some toy. And so begins our day. Out slips mama bear, and I warm a bottle for nap number one. He sleeps well. When he wakes up, I pick out some awesome outfit (Baby Joe stripes all the way) for him and comb his blonde rooster hair down to a dull roar. Then we play. Well I lie on the floor and he climbs on me or throws things at my face. Then we go for a quick walk with the millionaire stroller (orange) and drop letters in the post or pick up things for his mama or whatever. Sometimes we swing or cruise to the park to look at the birds. Today I stopped and got a bagel and he chose the very moment I was paying my whole 70 cents to the Fairmont bagel lady to squawk and shit his pants. Thanks kid. We went home and had a very successful lunch.

At ten months, Leo has just learned to squish any and all food (save for cheese and soft tofu) between his lips and onto his shoulders. Picture some kind of machine that Playdough would invent, that is what it looks like. He usually pulls this maneuver while I am spooning my lunch down my own hatch. Fortunately, I am quicker than he is and am getting really good at shoveling it right back in when he least suspects it.

After lunch we go for a long walk by the mountain to watch the leaves change or to my favorite park in a neighborhood called Outremont where the Hasidic Jewish wig mama's hang out with their equally priced strollers. There is a great big pond with a fountain and a nice walking path that snakes through the whole thing. It always reminds me of Peanut Park and I can't seem to get enough of nostalgia these days, so that's where we go. He usually peaces out about half an hour into the journey which gives me juuuuust enough time to do a drawing or write a fast letter or read a bit. Then we swing for a long time until Leo's legs get all stiff and funny. It's a safe bet he has probably shit himself again so off we go, homeward; Leo singing with the gulls on the pond. He sleeps again for a quick bit and I cruise around the house reading his mama's fancy cookbooks and cleaning up.

At five o'clock he is passed off and I head home clutching my plastic bag of tupperware. I like walking past the middle school at the end of Leo's street right around 5:05 because all the slutty junior high girls hike up their panty hose while they smoke in the alley. There is an old woman with a terrifying face who lurks on Waverly as well, sweeping leaves at random, yelling out in her mother tongue. And then there are the cats. So many cats. At least ten on my eight minute walk. They are so nonchalant about the goings on. They are either completely oblivious to the seasonal hand changing or extraordinarily aware. I like them, they make me miss our cat Gizzy. The one that got away.

The Fall that got away. The cat that got away. The expectant Tiny Mom that got away.

It is hard to say good bye to the things that we are not ready to release.

Yesterday as Mitch and I waited for the light to change after watching Andrea's bus whoosh away from the curb outside the metro stop, he turned to me and told me to "get involved". We chose this move, I have grieved The Loss Of long enough and now it is time to get involved. "I know. Okay". I will get involved. Sometimes it is so much easier to stay at home in this long and lean apartment in the grey twelve year old Reebok pants that I bought at the dollar store in Red Lake, than to get involved. But it is time. Now that we have rearranged our apartment to better suit us, I am sitting in the empty work/guest room (that used to house not only the bed, but also Sula during her landing period from Germany; and Andrea only hours ago at the very spot I am now sitting at at the table) wishing it was filled with the sound of sewing. Soon enough. Soon eeeeenough. (I did find some incredible tags to print the Lady Longbody logo on today!).

It was something else to have Andrea come through our home belly first, and knowing that the tiny dancer was right there too, exploring our new home and swimming through gestation on the different sound frequencies of rushing water and angel hair pasta (hard right angle) and Nina Simone on vinyl. It was so special. They are so special to me, to Mitch, to us. The moment T Moms and the unborn girl walked through our doorway, it was like no time had passed at all. Mise en place, for a start. The same shower curtain, the same Top Hat print in the hall. You noticed all of the right things and there wasn't even a moment where I felt the need to apologize for a single thing. That is friendship, or a piece of it. There was such ease, it was there, settled into my center middle like a fox in an easy den even before you arrived at our door.

Mitch, Rags (+ Chilly) and I bellied up to Mitch's wonderful pasta dinner spread around the red table in the tall sewing room (sans sewing machine) and fell back into everything familiar that I have so longed for these last months. It felt like you walked right over, just a few blocks down from us, balancing a baguette on your daughter's head. What a woman. Whoa, I love you. Please come back with your family (whoa!). Awesome.

And so, life is chugging glugging walking toddling doddling zipping dipping falling meandering and hustling right along. Out the door with Fall we go. And all I can think of is Erin under the white and yellow scalloped awning, Lisa covered in gold flek with sweat pouring between her beautiful bosom, Liza head bent with the weight of midterm study (breathe in and out, in and out), Madhavi's bare arms because she insisted I take her arm warmers for the "very cold Autumn days to come" (which I gratefully donned today on a walk to Parc Outremont), Rab on a date with Bonnie 'Prince' Billie, Ronny Rouge teaching hip hop to seven year olds with attitude (perfect).

I-WANT-PEEEEEEEEEEEEET-ZZA--- MK and Assley style. Rap it. Whipping cream coming out like a water fall.

Dad, I will write more now that I remembered how. Also, a crop of new Belle Province photos coming as soon as I feel inclined to make the trek downtown with the squealing Chicken boy. Patience is a damn virtue.

Love, Margot.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tales of a Broom Closet.

There is no food in the house, thus I am eating pixie sticks (thanks a lot mom). I vowed never to eat a single one when I got them in a great wheeling package all the way from friendly Manitoba, but here I am; sugar mouth.

Leo and I had a good day together. He did figure out what screaming was all about over the weekend, so that is what we did today. I got a little tired of practicing inside the house so out we went to Outremont Parc where babies in hip strollers are aplenty. We swung together spider style, for the first time. It was pretty exciting. He fell asleep in one of the baby swings (how is that possible?) slumped over chubalub with tense fingers and dangling legs so I pried him out (dumb baby swing design there, if you ask me) and put him back into his own hip stroller and I sat and wrote the last letter in a package of many to my friend Eddy. Mailed that thing as well as a pint sized letter to my mother, not to mention the collection of dead flowers (how thoughtful) in the long envelop. Afterwards I swung homeward, the boychild still dead to the world inside all of those woolens. Must have been all the screaming in the morning.

We had an angry lunch together (him, probably due to the smashed egg/zucchini barf that was served) but afterwards he was happy to crawl all over my body like a giant shrieking spider while I read a book on the floor about setting up one's darkroom (for beginners). While I am still unsure of Leo's dads profession, I feel pretty confident that his mama is a furniture designer and I have a feeling that one of his Grandmas is a photographer. They have a million books on the subject with her name scrawled all over them, thus I am reading like a hungry madwoman.

I know I have written about my darkroom dreams and high hopes before, but this is serious. Now that I know the old Bessa collapsable camera is functional, I am in the process of hunting and eventually hooking my own Russian, quite like my good man Creme's Russian. I like the feel of his camera. And when I say Russian, I mean Russian made medium format camera. Giant negatives. I don't want anything showy or hip just for the sake of being hip (you would be surprised), I want something that weighs a ton of bricks and is a sharp shooter. Crystal clear giant negatives. And THEN I want to get down in my broom closet with some chemicals and start (at the very LEAST) processing my own film. This shouldn't be too difficult. All I need to do (other than a shit tonne more research on the subject) is clear the rest of the crap out of the hall closet (which is a good size for a teensy darkroom; it even has a light), source some chemicals and start up equipment and VOILA! Darkroom. Well, it is a bit lofty, but I need to get real here if I want to have an edge on all the teen spirit next year. I'm not getting younger.

Okay, these posts are getting more and more lackluster. Excusez-moi. Oh, also, as far as Lady I. Hamilton is concerned, this drawing was inspired by an image of said woman that I spotted in aforementioned darkroom book. It feels good to draw again.

Margot P.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Huff puff.

A food collage for thought. I made this the other day while Leo napped the afternoon away. The Jamie Oliver food magazine is bananas good. Today, Saturday was so pleasant. I ate two bagels (both sesame, one hot fresh from the oven and one with cream cheese, pickles and pepper that I am eating as I write), managed to begin the day with oatmeal and coffee (what a novelty after days of being sans maker thanks to me smashing the old Bodum, dummy), and in all of the hours in between managed to shoot a bunch of photos of the neighborhood. Lots of flowers (Autumn's last), lots of darkened doorways and staircases to nowhere, signage, tops of things. Then an older woman sitting on a bench caught my eye. I didn't have my camera in my hands a la moment (damn!) because I had just bought a bunch of new books off a woman for three dollars in front of the FIRST bagel shop, St. Viateur Bagels (my favorite) and thus my hands were tied. I don't know why but my body huffed down beside her and thus began my very first French conversation while living in Montreal. It was broken and embarrassing, but I kept thinking about those black rectangle eyebrows stamped above her eyes and didn't feel insecure about my lack of vocabulary. I asked her if I could take her picture en Francais (shoddily) and she said "non" quietly. D'accord. We sat on the bench quietly and then she said that the weather was beautiful en Francais. I agreed and eventually got up and left. A while later I ran into Laura while walking down Fairmont (how lucky!) and I took her bike portrait and we walked back in the direction of old eyebrows to Loco's house. On my way home from Loco's house, I asked Old Eyebrows one more time if I could take her portrait. She said in English "I am not beautiful" and I said "Oui. C'est vrai; tu es belle" and she just gave me her face. Tilted up and open, those eyebrows standing proud on her face. And I just took it. Just like that. And if I didn't get it, shoot me.

Swans yesterday.
Old Eyebrows today.
Who knows what tomorrow.

Below is a picture I took of my sister in the weeks between coming home from the bush and the days before her wedding with that old VoigtlƤnder Bessa and an external trigger. Blurry, but a sweet faded memory of lunch with my mum and sister. Dollar drinks. Miss you guys. I only saw later on that it was a double exposure (I think) and noticed my ma's head on Erin's shoulder.

Here are some things I have been working on lately in my drawing book even though I can hardly stand drawing on paper that is bound. Hand me scraps, always. Majority of these are done with a quill and ink as I have been practicing to steady my hand and loosen my hold on writing utensils. My penmanship is tense (everything is tense), and I am trying to loosen it up a bit to become less sloppy (thanks for holding me accountable Milky. [His penmanship is killer]). So, new stuff. I am really into houses, old country homesteads build bravely in the middle of nowhere and left for dead. I want a house like that someday.

Someday. For now, as the last drawing says, I am in the zrob to w tej chwili, which is Polish for Here and Now. Au revoir.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Swans on Tobacco Creek.

This morning was one of those really good ones. Like a flower opening, or something equally as nice unfolding. I need to slow myself, ready myself, ground myself. Mitch is so good for me in all of those avenues and then some. We just came from one of the most intense musical experiences that I have personally ever experienced and I am quite tired now. But still, something changed in me today while standing in the middle of that velvet sound bowl, my feet non anchored, bass drum beating the inside of my throat, cello, harp, leopard silk, the most amazing downturned mouth I have ever seen, such noise, such togetherness.

To say the bottom of the barrel least, Swans, led by the sweepingly talented and semi frightening Michael Gira as well as the opening act by Baby Dee did not disappoint. What an experience. Mitch wove some stories and background history into a crash course before as well as en route to the show at Le National. What a man, my man. I was moved to the quick, layers fell away and rolled downwards to the stage in a ball of dust. It had been years since experiencing music in that way.

To reverse again, I must go back again to this morning. Friday morning, my favorite day of the week. One hot bath, a cup of tea, some cinnamon toast, and two short episodes of Sarah's House (I am a shameless lover of interior design television; this not new news). The morning passed lightening quick and then it was half past noon and the doorbell was ringing and it was the Fed Ex Santa holding our new scanner! Party. I scanned everything I could think of (below are some examples of things I have been meaning to transform into jpgs [computer files, Grandma!]). My mother, my father, my siblings, triple denim.

Then I walked around the neighborhood, my neighborhood (which is quite something, I must say) after writing a letter to Eddy on the bench outside of Le Cagibi and I ended up at Monastiraki (as previously mentioned weeks ago, it is without a doubt my favorite place to visit) and was invited to an art opening happening tomorrow evening. Party. I hope JJ (Jeanette; two JJ's in my life now! Crazy) comes along. Anyway, I bought some papers, Monastiraki guy swung me a deal, and I left happy as always. Then I had my first over the counter banter with a stranger (en anglais)-- this amazing older gentleman who works the counter at the Japanese paper store down the street from my home. The first item I found with joy and thanksgiving was this incredible wooden hollowed stump container (sounds stupid, but it took my breath away and was one of those shopping moments where the price tag is irrelevant). It was a song. I was psyched. Now it sits on my work table and I am reminded of another version of home that I have encountered in my twenty four years, the bush. A part of me will always dwell there, even if I don't see it again for many years, it is home.

Oddly enough, today marks the beginning of Pop! Montreal, a wild musical showcase that happens once a year in this town. Bands come from all over to play all over the city. All of this is four days or so?!?! Bananas. It is so hard to choose whom to see. Tonight, Swans. One year ago to date (also the first day of Pop! Montreal, I stood in front of Fairmount Bagel with JJ and proclaimed my love for her city but quickly added that it was not for me. Who knew the girl with the sesame seed mouth announcing "I could never live here" would be the same one living three blocks down from that very spot a year later. Ha! Life is hysterical. I got told by the Universe, something I have heard before from Sula underneath our Celestial Tree (one year and one week ago). And so I am learning (incredibly slowly) to float through life. Floating is something I have a very difficult time with. Grace is something to work at, and there is no better place to practice.

There are many projects in the wings that are sitting pretty, inching their way forwards on their respective shelves within my brain (I tend to think of these thoughts like jars of canned harvest in a stone pantry). It isn't time yet, but things are happening. Or maybe I am just more hopeful.

Rebecca and Nik, thank you for the luck regarding Articule. It was one of the scariest moments of my life (how petty, now in retrospect) but the feeling of sliding into the circle of metal folding chairs in this beautiful gallery tucked away, dry and warm from the heavy rain made perfect sense. I was welcomed by many and my mind is still whirring from words I heard: committee, kids, outreach, membershows, dossiers, window displays, workshops, growth, community. It was amazing to feel so incredibly free to perch high above on the outskirts of an art community unbeknownst to me. I was welcomed to share anything I felt would spruce up their "dream" list. I suggested The Mail. Mailing things to each other, as artists and non for accountability. I probably just coughed the word mail, what a frightening ease-in. I can be so awkward at times! Flaming red, flaming lips. Regardless, the feeling of opportunity for something special to happen with Articule was undeniable. Kids in galleries, Chaos Sundays (an art evening that takes place two Sundays a month dreamt up by a group of seven and duly added to the Dream List. Nothing makes more sense to me.

The Lady Longbodies have caused a bit of a commotion; enough to keep bettering the initial design, enough to keep breaking needles, enough to make a whole bevy. And so, time took the reigns again and off we go! Hi ho. I hope this finds someone somewhere something. In the interim, here is a splash of some of my very favorite people, my family. Viva my scanner. My mum, my dad, my siblings.