Friday, September 15, 2017

Fried clams, funerals and Brian Wilson

Is summer really over?
It's been such a whirlwind this season.
Some summers are slow & lazy,
but this summer felt like the opposite for some reason.
Of course we made time for fried clams & scallops
and the wharf
and walks on the beach,
and family gatherings
and the occasional bonfire,
but it feels like it was gone
in the blink of an eye.
We had company this summer,
which is always nice,
but I won't lie.
I always look forward to my time alone again.
As a serious introvert,
solitude is the only way for me
to find my footing again
and after weeks of being
in the company of others,
I was longing for alone time
about as much as i long for chocolate.
(yes, that's a lot of longing)
We also had a death in the family...
my dad's brother,
whom he loved dearly.

Harvey loved antique cars
and had a few of his own.

This is dad, on the day of the funeral,
standing next to Harvey's beloved Thunderbird. :(
Funerals are always so heavy, aren't they?
They should be, naturally, 
since they're about the loss of a loved one.

But I sometimes wish
we were better at
celebrating a life
rather than mourning a death.
I guess it's hard to celebrate
when some hearts are broken
in a million little pieces.

 And then, there was art.
After finishing this book,
I got thinking about mental illness
and how horrible it must be
to be living with voices in your head
the way Brian Wilson does all the time
(from the Beach Boys).
I started cutting out these images
from a magazine one night,
thinking I'd use them in a collage.

Once I saw them all there,
I only decided to use a few of them.

Painted over some of the red,
added words,
played a bit with lines.
At first, I was thinking guitar strings
but the lines got carried away
into something else.
Then the hurricanes happened
and the floods all over the world
and things got heavy again
and the only way I can deal with *heavy*
is through art.

We all need to find our own ways
to deal with tragedy,
with injustice,
with suffering.
I know that too much social media 
is not good for me
so I've made a conscious effort
to slow down and not to carry
the world's weight on my shoulders.

It's been difficult at times
because I just can't believe some of the things
I see or hear,
but I am of no use to anyone
if I am overwhelmed by the suffering
or the stupidity of others.
That doesn't mean I don't care about others,
or about what happens on this beautiful planet,
but it is not necessary for me
to know about 









It's just too overwhelming for me.

I read something the other day
(ironically, on Twitter!)
about a woman's therapist
telling her that it was
ok to let social media go now and then,
because as human beings,
we aren't meant to process
so much suffering at once.

And I thought YES.


I so agree.

I don't care to know everything about everyone.

I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything
if I don't get the news on a daily basis,
or if I don't know about what's happening
in every corner of the world,
or if I don't know about who had what for dinner last night.

I DO, however, feel like I'm missing out on REAL life
if I spend too much time on social media.

Can you imagine missing out on walks at the beach
with this cute little face?
Or wonderful Friday evenings making art?
Or watching a movie with my son?
Or sharing a glass of wine with a friend?

No thank you.

Life is precious.

But you gotta pull your face
away from the phone (or the laptop) now and then
to remember just how precious it is.


  1. Loving all of the art, and the summertime photos. I agree that summer seems to pass especially quickly (because I am a summer girl thru and thru perhaps). Yes most funeral are so heavy but I have been to a few celebration gatherings to honor someone deceased rather than a big funeral. each time it was held a few months later and I found these to be such a wonderful experience and way to remember the person. Sorry for your family loss. Love the end of your post- precious, yes. Happy PPF and thanks for sharing.

  2. Very true words once again .... So sorry to hear about your uncle's passing, it must be hard on your dad. I often wonder what it must be like to get old and see everyone around you that you've known your whole life die. And having no one left who has known you as a child... Not something to look forward to I think ... I love the quote from the woman's therapist. Very true!

  3. Your posts are always thought provoking. So sorry to hear about your loss. It is at times like these that we realize the many invisible ways our family supplies our support and aging is about losing these supports, one by one until we stand alone. And that is who we are.
    Love your art and happy PPF

  4. Another fine post. I am sorry about your Uncle. Wonderful art too.

  5. I am sorry about your Uncle. Such lovely art!

  6. So sorry about your uncle Pauline! What an amazing photo of your dad though. That will be cherished forever!! He looks so healthy and young there!! I agree that we should celebrate people before they go more than after! I love how much joy you are finding with your dads dog..there is something wonderful that animals give us that nothing else can!! Yes to staving on social media yet staying current and in the loop. There is a fine line between being overwhelmed and informed. Like you I don't NEED to know everyone's business....never have. However that sets us up for everyone telling us ALL for some reason! Love your art and journal page. That one piece does look very musical.. Such a shame about Brian Wilson.