Last night I was sitting peacefully thinking about turning 35. It’s the eve of my 35th birthday and I want to recommit myself to art. I also had a breakthrough about something that bothered me. I used to feel like I didn’t use my sad, stuck-in-rural-Arkansas teenage years wisely. I should have been studying sewing or Spanish, but I was collaging my bedroom walls from floor to ceiling (and spinning my wheels.) I realized I hated my surroundings so much that I was collaging to change my environment. I realized that was the best I could do with the materials and resources I had at the time and I forgave myself. I was collaging to create the world I wanted the best way I could.
I collaged the walls once or twice over. I collaged my calculator and binders. I doodled all over my softball glove. I collaged the garbage can to hold the clippings of the stuff that went into the collages. When I reached a stopping point I would read Sassy again and speak to friends on a land-line telephone because we had no internet back then.
Now that my baby is almost one, I feel some independence coming back. I’m ready to create.
My glorious grandmother is not doing well. She’s been my mother figure for a very long time. She’s been my light. She is now 91 and I’ve been preparing for a long time for her to go, but it will still be sad. She lived her life in a way she could be proud of. I don’t think she had any major regrets. She had a very long loving and positive partnership of a marriage. She worked and loved raising her kids and she sewed and crocheted and kept herself busy and social her entire life. I’ve been so lucky to have this role model. My son is named after her and she’s so proud of us both.