Thursday, June 26, 2008
When I am creating a bracelet or any work of jewelry I often think of it as a tiny world in itself. I attribute this gift to my mother. You see, when I was a child she taught me to love doll houses. We would create the little food, the little furniture and yes we would even crochet tiny blankets for our doll house world. The people living there always had Gumby limbs and crazy dresses. When I would start to feel sorry for myself because my mother would make me wear a denim shirt with red and white checked sleeves and a big apple on the front, I would think of the little doll house people with the pink polka dotted dress glued to her with the tiny petticoat peeking out from the bottom. She always had to wear big black Mary Jane shoes and had a constant pleasing expression. Perhaps my mother was wishing she had a daughter that pleasing.
When I am making a bracelet and when I started making theme bracelets I loved the idea that a bracelet full of cookbook images would have little forks and mix master charms and even little mini hamburgers. When I would wear one, people would almost always stop and ask me to show them the little components, kitchy and fun and full of their own energy. I think tiny things do have their own energy. When something is loud and screaming at you it seems as though it has no secrets, but when you are talking about something tiny, something so small you have to stop and check out the details you wonder about it's secrets. I wonder who has carried around this broken earring I have found at the scrap bin at the goodwill. Who loved this earring, was it a birthday present? Did some bride give this to a bridesmaid as a thank you for the months of angst leading up to her wedding? Did a lover leave this on a park bench while she was kissing her latest crush and it was found by yet another hander offer waiting for it to be someone else's treasure?
Objects have their own energy. When I start a piece of jewelry I know in the end who would want to wear it. I know the large Frida Kahlo Day of the dead pieces are going to be worn by frail women who have a fire and energy to carry off a huge piece of jewelry. They re the women who walk with confidence and who are out living in the world and when I am finished and wondering about who will wear one of my pieces of art I often send them a little prayer into the air wishing that they are noticed by someone like them who wants to share themselves with the world and it may open a whole new dialog. I just received a letter from Paris from a woman who purchased a bracelet and she remarked that the people in her book club were fascinated by the images of Plath and many of them haven't even heard of her.
Our lives are full of mystery and a song that is all our own. I would hope that if you have had a desire to take some of yourself and put it out there that you will take the bold step to do so and share some of yourself in a world just waiting for you. If you have an interest in my art you can find it at Etsy.com under the seller name POETSUMMER. You can also find me at Ebay under the same name or my own E Commerce site at Summerpoet.Com.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
A little mention of Whitman as he was the father of free verse. If you haven't read I Sing The Body Electric, it's time to head to the library. This stuff is the grit of America and if you stop to think about it he's teaching us what all our fathers have taught us; respect the land, treat others with kindness but be firm and take special honor of those who sacrifice for you.
O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring;
Of the endless trains of the faithless--of cities fill'd with the foolish;
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light--of the objects mean--of the struggle ever renew'd;
Of the poor results of all--of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me;
Of the empty and useless years of the rest--with the rest me intertwined;
The question, O me! so sad, recurring--What good amid these, O me, O life?
I don't think of my father most on father's day as he wasn't a man of ceremony. He didn't command respect one day a year, he commanded respect always. He was dark hair and dark eyes and knew more people than anyone I've ever met. Anywhere we'd be there was someone my father knew and knew fairly well. He liked that people knew him and it was an every day occurrence that someone would just stop at our house, no call, no plans, just stopped in. And when they did there was always an extra plate for them at the table. There was always time to stop and tell stories and he always had a hand to help someone else.
People were different then, they were more social and like I said he just knew everybody. We had huge summer parties because he loved to cook for a crowd and if he came home from a fishing trip with coolers full of fish, we had the fish fry for anyone and everyone we knew. My father was fun. People wanted to be near him because he would make you laugh and draw you close but still maintain a wall of mystery about him. He served in the armed forces. He was a marine and once you are a marine, you are always a marine. My brother and I used to crack that we were going to sue the government one day for messing with our father's head. He wanted things in a certain formation and when that didn't happen he was a terror.
Most of all my father taught us loyalty. You didn't take what wasn't yours and you didn't behave one way but talk another. I have my father's fierce sense of love and loyalty especially for my family. When someone steps out of line and loyalty isn't their first and foremost thought I become frustrated. My mother and father used to tell us kids, "love each other with your whole heart for one day your mother and I will be gone." How right he was. My mother died before her 40th birthday and he died not long after. The hole they left in our lives felt like these giant footprints that we would walk around, try to build bridges over and out of frustration eventually you just give in to. I miss them. I miss him when I am unsure and not feeling strong. I miss calling him on Thursday afternoons and bringing him lunch. You see, growing up I had a warrior on my side. No matter what circumstances he was on your side.
In the 8th grade or so I had this teacher, Mr. Zolno. Mr. Zolno was a strange man, he walked with a noticeable limp and he was a cog in the system. I battled this teacher about not wanting to learn to speak little parts of Spanish. I came home in total frustration as this Spanish class kept me from the extra music classes I loved so well. One day I just poured it all out to my dad and the next day in the middle of class he had taken himself from work to show up at school. After a heated conversation with Mr. Zolno my dad threated to break off his good leg and shove it up his ass. Students were perched at the door and for awhile my dad was a bit of a folk hero. Later he would tell me, "study hard and the Zolnos of the world won't know what to do with you, forget the extra music class. If you want to study music your mother and I will arrange that after school." So why go to school if you felt this way? "Simple, nobody screws with my kid's head."
He was a bully and a man who loved tender women. My mother loved him so much that I think it's a blessing she passed first. She wouldn't know what to do with alone. So Dad, I miss you. I don't just honor you today, I think of you every day and when someone tells me I am being like my father I just kinda smile and try to be more tender. You gave me my love of the garden, my fierce passion for anything and most of all strength. What more could a daughter ask?
I hope you all enjoy Father's day and take a moment to tell your father you love him, even if loving him is a challenge. I am off to make Chicken Ala king for my son.
If you have an interest in my art, you can find me at etsy.com under the seller name POETSUMMER. You can find me on Ebay under the same seller name (I just passed a 4,000 star feedback milestone there) and as always on my own website under Summerpoet.com. I have a little contest running on etsy. When you purchase anything there I will assign you a lottery # when I mail out your order and when we reach the 500th sale I will pull a name and make you a custom bracelet, on me. The shipping is on me and the bracelet on me. I will also pull about 10 runners up who I will make either a pair of earrings for or a ring. It's just a little way of saying thanks for YOUR loyalty and for being so supportive of my art. Take care and enjoy the day! Carrie.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I have had such a positive response to my jewelry on Etsy. Right now there are almost 1,200 people watching my new designs and feature me as a favorite. That's amazing to me. My sales are over 320 and I feel as though I need to find a way to say thanks. Here goes; Every time you want to purchase something from my site on etsy, (Etsy.com, seller name: POETSUMMER), and you leave me a note that you found visited my blog, I will put your name on a lottery ticket. When I reach my 500th sale (and as things go now that won't take long), then I will have someone here pull that number and you're the winner! I will make you a custom bracelet from me, any theme you like. That's at the least a $60 value and I will ship it to you anywhere in the world.
I try every week to bring a new design for the offering as I know that everyone gets tired of looking at the same thing. This week I introduced my Found Objects bracelets as seen above, rather than full of photo charms, full of found objects from this and that. The above bracelet is my Love Is bracelet and is featured on etsy this week along with a Faith bracelet and a Tarot Card bracelet.
My new line of pendants/charms is 5 random thoughts. These are five pendants either found or made by me in charms and beads that represent a color theme or a subject matter theme. They look great on a ribbon as a pendant all together, make a great purse pull and I have even had a customer wearing them as earrings on exchangeable wires.
As always, if you want to see your family, your favorite pet, your church, people on your soccer team or yoga class on a one of a kind piece of wearable art, please drop me a line and I will create something special just for you that you can hand down to people you love one day. My jewelry is all about appealing to what strikes at your heart as it's made from the stuff of my heart. Take care, enjoy the day and keep in contact, Carrie.
Imagine if you lived your life dedicated to peace. I mean it's bad enough I suppose that people die of diseases we should have invested money in to prevent. People die every day of cancer or AIDS. Babies die in their crib of sudden death syndrome. For young people to be blown to pieces on the other side of the world, away from their families and people that love them seems a cruel joke of sorts. Yet the brave put their lives on the line for us, to keep us free or so our government tells us. To be against the war, to not want to hear Charlie Gibson tell us about another 40 dead while we are making Chicken Ala King makes us unpatriotic? I don't have a child in combat. The war doesn't really touch my life other than perhaps increasing gas prices. I never blink an eye when a reporter barks about another $.25 gallon. Europeans have been paying far more than Americans for gas that's why they drive those little tiny cars. But to be at war and think that we shouldn't feel a dent in our daily lives while thousands of our youngest and bravest are living in hell day in and day out while their families live on the edge of pain waiting for the call, wondering if their house will have to be wheel chair accessible seems just selfish. If gas were $20 a gallon would we want our children home, our 19 year old army children safe?
I tend to think supporting the war is unpatriotic. We seem safe. We've beaten down the enemy whoever they are. We have poured buckets and buckets of cash, cash better spent sending those dedicated brave souls to college at a problem that never seems to end. The middle east has been at war for what seems like forever and things there just don't change. The only difference now? Now Americans are the new target.
Where does this bring me? I was wondering this last week when Best Friend mentions Ezra Pound and that she had read an article about a man who knew Pound at St. Elizabeths mental hospital in Washington, DC.
Pound protested the war. He was in Italy at the time and he met Moussilini and he liked him. They ate together, they explored the Italian countryside together and he considered him a friend. When Pound heard from his American friends in Washington that they planned on invading Italy and that the US press couldn't say a pleasant thing about the Italian government, Pound went on radio to protest the path his country was taking. He talked about the power of the Federal Reserve Bank and he talked and talked and talked about war being a money machine.
You have to understand where pound was coming from. He was born in the US was raised on the east coast but he spent most of his life in Europe. He went to Europe looking for Yeats. He was a big fan of Yeats' poetry and he set out to find the man behind the prose and find him he did. He worked as Yeats' office secretary, drank with him, and influenced his poetry. He believed as Yeats did in mystical powers and the power of positive thinking. But Pound didn't stop after meeting Yeats. He sought out T. S. Eliot and made him his friend and they spoke of nothing ordinary. They talked of the war, of Eliot's work with the Nazis and in all this Pound was living the life most of us would want to live, this huge life about his passion. He wrote and he lived and he traveled Europe until he'd meet Hemingway. He asked Hemingway to teach him to box (wasn't Hemingway just the stud we all wanted?) and later in the Moveable Feast, Hemingway would refer to Pound, "I couldn't ever teach him to jab." He also befriended William Carlos Williams and later Robert Frost.
No man hath dared to write this thing as yet,
And yet I know, how that the souls of all men great
At times pass athrough us,
And we are melted into them, and are not
Save reflexions of their souls.
Thus am I Dante for a space and am
One Francois Villon, ballad-lord and thief,
Or am such holy ones I may not write
Lest blasphemy be writ against my name;
This for an instant and the flame is gone.
’Tis as in midmost us there glows a sphere
Translucent, molten gold, that is the “I”
And into this some form projects itself:
Christus, or John, or eke the Florentine;
And as the clear space is not if a form’s
So cease we from all being for the time,
And these, the Masters of the Soul, live on.
Pound went on to write from his insane prison. He wrote and he wrote and he wrote. Many famous and infamous men came to his defense. Frost wrote to the government on a weekly basis for almost a year. Twelve years later he was set free and warned by the government that if he were to so much as raise an eyebrow in regards to a political issue he'd be back eating gruel and living with the insane. He died in 1972 a recluse. And today men are dying in war again and although we can speak out on the war how many of us feel heard and how many of us wonder if speaking out against the war makes us sound without love of our country or respect for the people who fight there?
The GirlLive today unafraid and full hope. Do something today that helps you live that bigger life. Know that your voice is heard and that the world will only edit what you allow them to edit. If you want peace, then write to someone running for public office or someone who already holds that office and let them know you are tired of men dying. If you wind up in St. Elizbeths, perhaps we can share a room.
The tree has entered my hands,
The sap has ascended my arms,
The tree has grown in my breast-
The branches grow out of me, like arms.
Tree you are,
Moss you are,
You are violets with wind above them.
A child - so high - you are,
And all this is folly to the world.
Thanks for sharing time with me here. If you are interested in my art, you can find me at Etsy.com under the seller name POETSUMMER. You can also find me on the evil that is Ebay under the same seller name. I also have my own Ecommerce site at Summerpoet.com. You can always reach me at Summerpoet@msn.com. Peace, Carrie.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I was thinking about Anne Sexton this morning. She was a troubled poet. I know all poets must seem to have their dark side. Perhaps that's the ingredient for writing anything, to have a little dark living in the corners of your head. The only way it seems fit to share some of Sexton's work is to tell you about her life. She was a model. She was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a temporary wife, and a writer. I think I love her fairy tales the best. These aren't your ordinary run of the mill frightening witches and demons. These characters are the monsters that live in all our fears, tearing apart your soul if you let them because they are close to you and know all your secrets. Cinderella's step mother, Riding Hood's granny, all people known to them but best poised to destroy them, from the inside out if necessary. Anne was sophiscated, a feminist when it was cool to be a feminist and you can tell by reading her work that there was a struggle between the dark and the light. Let me give you a taste;
When Man Enters Woman
like the surf biting the shore,
again and again,
and the woman opens her mouth in pleasure
and her teeth gleam
like the alphabet,
Logos appears milking a star,
and the man
inside of woman
ties a knot
so that they will
never again be separate
and the woman
climbs into a flower
and swallows its stem
and Logos appears
and unleashed their rivers.
with their double hunger,
have tried to reach through
the curtain of God
and briefly they have,
in His perversity
unties the knot.
My favorite book? Oh it would have to be All My Pretty Ones. She won the ulitzer prize for Live or Die and those poems are a little less dark and a little less power. As women we have to ration out power like throwing candy at some parade. Too much power and we are demon bitches and too little and we are open for the taking. It's a tight rope walk isn't it? Kindness is often mistaken for weakness and when you are a woman in today's society weakness is not an option. My mother was perfect at the balance. She ran her own business, she educated herself, she handled life. My father walked in the room and she needed him for something and while she was doing it she was a beauty. Manipulation 101 and I learned at the feet of the master.
There is joy
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
in the spoon and the chair
that cry "hello there, Anne"
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.
So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.
The Joy that isn't shared, I've heard,
Enjoy the day, I am saying thank you for you also. If you are interested in my art, you can find it many places, at Etsy.com under the seller name POETSUMMER, at Ebay.com (I know, I know, the place that can suck anything artistic from your soul) and my own E Commerce site, Summerpoet.com. You can email me at Summerpoet@msn.com.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Eventually thoughts linger to wonder what happened to the person who treasured these little pieces of found somethings. Did they die and their heirs not find them important? Did they just tire of the extra baggage we all carry through life. I am not a saver. I used to save every little scrap of everything and then one day woke up and just wanted less stuff. I didn't want to save the little candle holder I proudly held since I was 4 because I carried it in the Christmas pageant. I wanted to pack less when I wanted to move. I wonder though are those things someone else's treasure now?
I have the perfect career for someone who is a reformed pack rat. I get to collect and save things and then turn them into something else and present them as my art. It's fascinating. Each day leads down some new road. I have been making shrine pendants to celebrate the Day of the dead. All these pieces are put together with little scraps of this and that on my beading table. My beading table is four long desks all put together in the sunny corner of my studio. Sitting on top are over 300 little drawers each containing beads or findings or wire and scattered little treasures. Scattered all of the tops are piles of this project and that all waiting for my attention. Hanging from the ceiling in long strands of wire are little treasures I've found that I just can't part with yet, a bird full of gliter, a Christmas ornament I found at a garage sale. They catch the light and they inspire me.
In the other corner I've started a mosiac, one of those monster pieces about 7 foot tall. I was inspired by a new friend who has been collecting sea glass and decided to collect my own glass, colored glass and in little stolen moments will just start filling in this mermaid here and there until she's all full of color and life. I am anticipating some bloodied fingers and making this piece into three panels and maybe one day installing them in the garden.
My son tells me I retreat too often to my studio. He finds me there when it's very quiet and I can hear him at the door listening to see if I am busy trying to figure out if I want to be disturbed with an ice coffee or if I'd rather just be left alone. Bukowski wrote about this sort of passion. He wrote of gathering evidence of a kind that needs some sorting and if your hair be blonde or if you you are bald you cannot enter until I've figured the universe. Bukowski was a genius. He was a drunk and a whore monger and he educated himself, taught himself to be a poet through sweat and shack jobs and shirts smelling of vomit and whiskey. If you aren't already a Bukowski fan, then let me wet your appetite a bit;
sway with me, everything sad --madmen in stone houses without doors, lepers steaming love and songfrogs trying to figurethe sky;
sway with me, sad things --fingers split on a forgeold age like breakfast shellused books, used peopleused flowers, used love
I need you
I need you
I need you:
it has run awaylike a horse or a dog, dead or lost or unforgiving.
Whenever I see a frog I think of sway with me, a tiny frog trying to figure the sky.
One of my favorite Bukowski poems is Yes:
when God created love he didn't help most
when God created dogs He didn't help dogs
when God created plants that was average
when God created hate we had a standard utility
when God created me He created me
when God created the monkey He was asleep
when He created the giraffe He was drunk
when He created narcotics He was high
and when He created suicide He was low
when He created you lying in bedHe knew what He was doing
He was drunk and He was high
and He created the mountians and the sea and fire at the same time
He made some mistakesbut when He created you lying in bedHe came all over His Blessed Universe.
I hope you discover a little Bukowski on your own. Ham on Rye is a collection of autobiographical short stories and a good place to start.
Well the little gray cat is curled up sleeping on the window ledge, the sun is burning into the day already and I have some creating of my own to do today. Enjoy the day and thanks for sharing this time with me, Carrie.