Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mary's Art (Annie's too) and Moonset Meander

The Plaza Gallery in town has a show of children's art featuring elementary schools.  I was there for a writing class to discover two of MY granddaughters have art hanging!  I called each Mama-of-the-Artist with hilarious responses, "Oh, yes, we were going to tell you about that..." and "What art show?"  Hehehehe.  Mama's are often the last one in the communication cycle, non?  So anyways, we made it to the Opening, and Mary was given a "I'm Proud to Be An ARTIST" tag which delighted her no end.  Well, I am the proud Nonnie of the Artists!  And I wear that tag daily.

Some of us thought that this was an amazing portrait of Luna.  But, it's not. 

This is Annie's piece.  She was unable to be at the Opening because of a raunchy cold.  We will be meeting there soon.  There were several of these bicycles, I could line my house with them.  I love the colors and the active molecules happening here.

Moonset was phenomenal this morning.  Oh oh oh.  Has it always been like this?  Perhaps I have slept through too many.  Of course, today was exceptional in the noticing.

I have been missing my father.  Yesterday I decided that I am just going to do a sort of free-write post here (of course, all of these are free-writes!) with Dad at the helm.  What have I been missing?  Besides the obvious?  Foremost in my mind has been conversation.  He loved stimulating conversation.  As his daughter I did not always appreciate this in my growing-up.  It seemed that he talked to everyone else.  Until I started bringing home concepts:  aha!  He was surprised at the "workings" of his independent daughter.  I recall his reading one of my papers, his looking up with a grin, "You're a good writer!"

Every morning, yes every single morning rain, fog, frozen or shine, he saw the dawn from the pasture or corral or from the barn door.  He mentioned this almost daily at breakfast.

One of the things I am missing at this time in my life, is a two-sided conversation.  Dad talked "politics," in fact, was an active member of his community, serving many years on School Boards, and as a Director at the creamery co-op.  He didn't like conflict, but I am certain that in the face of it he stayed with the points of the situation at hand with intention to find common ground to accomplish the most benefit for the most people/students.  I do not believe that he ever called into doubt the other person's integrity, religion, race, sex, or patriotism in a situation with two(or more) view points.  At home, over the backbone of the dairy cow he might expound from his frustrated place, and be/sound racist or sexist, but he would never be so bigoted in public.

From the kid-point-of-view, when his compatriot dairyman, and very good friend, Charlie, would come over to "discuss" problems at the Creamery, I could hear a lot of shouting and hollering.  I knew there was disagreement, but could never get close enough to hear what it was about, as Dad had taught us that on no uncertain terms were we ever to come into the milking barn when they were talking.  Top secret, good ol' dairyman business.  Then, Dad invited Charlie in for coffee and dessert, which he usually declined, roaring off in his beat-up truck, shouting his good-byes over the din.  He, after all, had to milk his cows.

I am an NPR and PBS junkie.  I say that since we have gotten TV these past four years, that I now am having an NPR Education.  I love documentaries.  I watch ones on subjects (going to Mars?) that don't even interest me.  Mostly I choose, and usually choose Masterpiece Theatre and Nature.  I love the exquisite photography.  Oh, and those British comedy sitcoms make me laugh my socks off.

But.  But I am tired of analyzing or listening to them analyze.  I am just tired of it.  I really strongly dislike "talk radio" of the "conservative" ilk, not that I ever listen to it... just excerpts of rhetorical barf.  I guess what I am saying and feeling is that I miss the possibility of asking a question and receiving a thoughtful, respectful, kind-of-inclusive answer.  I miss listening.  I miss hearing Dad say something like, "I hadn't thought of that..."  Having him pull the question apart and sort it to his understanding and viewpoint indicated that he had heard the question!  Wow.  What a concept.

As I have said before, I grew up in an agricultural community where everyone knew me from five generations before.  I could get away with nothing.  All accounts of my activities were relayed back to my Father, sometimes before I got home.  Oh, and when he bought me that '65 Mustang, neither one of us heard the end of that!

The issues and responsibilities of today's USA are not unlike what was faced as I was growing up.  Most likely the biggest difference is that there are more layers of change needed.  Would we be a happier population if we took a little more time to listen?  Is it so important to blurt out our own line before the other has spoken completely to theirs?  Is louder truer?  Does my skin color and gender combine to make me invisible?  Does yours?  Does a person's political or religious affiliations disappear them?  Are you disappeared?

Keeping Watch

In the morning
When I began to wake,
It happened again---

That feeling
That You, Beloved,
Had stood over me all night
Keeping watch,

That feeling
That as soon as I began to stir

You put Your lips on my forehead
And lit a Holy Lamp
Inside my heart

Today is a wonder.


Elizabeth said...

That purple over and around the moon in your photos is sublime.

I loved your "free thought" musings on this post. I, too, love discourse and "argument" -- I, too, need to listen more, but I do think that what makes our times different than your father's is the incredible amount of information -- both useful and useless -- that we are bombarded with every single second. Sometimes, there's just TOO much to listen to and we forget how --

Merry ME said...

Artistry must run in the family. Congrats to your little Picassos!

Missing Dad's. Well, I'm kind of in the middle of that one. I can't say, though, that I will ever miss some of the "conversations" from around the table. Dad would start it, control it, turn it upside down, and mess with it until his daughters who seemed to always come up short left in tears and frustration. One sister learned the fine art of debate in High School and often tried to hold her own. Dad could take either side and beat her down.

Listen? Nope, he was never much of a listener.

But in these last years of his life, he's congratulated me on my writing. A prize I keep close to my heart.

A creamery co-op? Now that sounds exciting!

N2 said...

Love, Love, LoveLY photos! Worth getting up for these physical and mental rambles. You did your Dad proud with this internal discourse and honored the Grand Girls. Very Good Work, Madame. x0 N2

Ms. Moon said...

Wow. Those shots are AMAZING! And for some reason, I never think of "moon set." Why?
Thank-you for talking about your dad. I am always happy to hear about a good one. Sounds like you had one.
Lovely, all around.

Annie said...

How heartwarming, Laura. Your g-girls are sweet and so unrestrained in their work. So different is each but both so filled with a zest for life.

Anonymous said...

Deep and resonant post. Thanks, Moon Sis.

Bethany said...

Beautiful post, what a tribute to your Dad.
Loved the poem at the end.
I hope you can feel your Dad like that, watching over you. Talking back, listening....

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