Up early and walked down to Patti’s house, where we carpooled to the Creative Entrepreneur Expo 2013, sponsored by the Durham Arts Council. When I first saw the email advertising this half-day workshop, I thought, “No. I’m not a ‘creative,’ and I am not selling any services to creatives. So there.” But then Patti forwarded it to the neighborhood listserv. And then Liz reforwarded it to me. At this point, the knocking on my door is getting so loud I can’t ignore it any more. So I arranged with Patti that we would buddy-up and attend together. My intention was to have no goals or objectives about the day; I just wanted to expose myself to what was going on and see if anything resonated with me.
While seeing my physical therapist the other night, he asked if I liked my eating habits (an odd way to ask the question, but it got me thinking) and I babbled for a few minutes about the little things I’ve picked up on eating, hunger, diets, and the like.
I told him about how I was at 250 lbs. in my mid-20s, my work with a nutritionist where I learned that starches shot my weight up like nobody’s business, the various diets I’ve been on in my life, how food and money are both lifelong meditations since I tell myself so many stories about what they say about me, how fasting one day a week has taught me the difference between hunger and cravings, and the little tactics I weave into my life: make a plan for how to navigate the dessert table at the family reunion, put a hand on my belly and ask myself “Am I hungry?” when I stand in front of the candy machine (for some reason, I can’t lie to myself when I do that), using the No S diet eating plan when eating normally through the week. And on and on.
He smiled and said, “Sounds like you have some great coping strategies, there.”
To which I replied, without thinking, “My whole life is a coping strategy.”
(There’s probably a blogging rule somewhere about not making the punchline the title of your post, but I’ll deal with the blog police later.)
I repeated this line to my mastermind group later and they laughed and said, “You’re right.”
Not quite sure what to do with this self-appraisal that bubbled up out of nowhere, but it’s something more to meditate on.
My friend, the novelist Lewis Shiner, has a new Christmas short story up on the Subterranean Press site. It’s titled “Merry Christmas from the Kensingtons” and is Lew’s own Christmas ghost story — particularly the ghosts of Christmases past as lived out in a series of annual family photo postcards.
It’s a haunting story, and in reading just the simple descriptions of the family members as they age and grow, I found myself writing each person’s lifestory in my head.
Lew said he had bought such a stack of family photo postcards at a flea market and the images, showing each family member growing older and with their personalities inevitably peeking through, year after year, haunted him.
I share his fascination and deep imaginative involvement with found objects. I’ve always found art installations made from found objects more interesting than other types of sculptures, for example. I also enjoy such items as densely collaged artwork and Cornell boxes; contemplating the original objects and sorting out my reactions to them, and then to their new associations and relationships within the artwork, can keep me staring for hours.
The power of Lew’s story — and of those found images — shook loose a memory from my own mental lumber room of when I cleaned out the attic of our rental house before moving to our current home.
Durham is growing its own crop of local businesses — not just local artists and boutique eateries, but also a love of handmade crafts and the pleasure of both making and admiring objects that, as William Morris might say, are both useful and beautiful.
The Horse & Buggy Press, a local letterpress, has some wonderful pictures for its Restored Radios exhibit, displaying American radios from the 1930s-50s restored by Asheboro resident Bob Gordon, age 81.
I know these radios were probably mass-manufactured, but damn — just look at them and marvel at their decoration, their style, their solidity.