Memorial Day Blog: 5-26-13

Memorial Day Weekend. County Road 39 or Route 27 or Sunrise Highway is clogged beginning at Hampton Bays and funneling into Southampton where the highway ends at the Lobster Inn, bumper to bumper all the way; it is the initiation of the summer season, the end of normalcy as we know it, the incursion of festive celebrants, the advent of blatant conspicuous consumption on a monumental level. We stay at home in the summer whenever possible, off the roads, out of the stores. I shop late at night or at the crack of dawn, before the assault begins. Now you must take a ticket from a machine at the mouth of the parking lot before you enter, and then you drive around and around looking for a spot, as rare as hen’s teeth. If the little ticket floats off of the windshield in a whiff of summer breeze, a waiting constable will quickly issue a summons for violation of town statute which incurs a costly fee in lieu of wasted time fighting it. Hoards of couples and trios of festive excited young women in trendy dress, coiffed and made up to the enth degree to look casual, dressed in the most de rigeur of provocative alluring fashion descend like locusts ready to decimate every thing in their path, now they are shopping for the necessities of entertainment and festivity, their hopes and dreams of romance and good times a brightly burning flame at their brittle cores. They no longer talk through every activity non stop to celphones seemingly attached to their heads, but instead are ticatacking perpetually, text messaging...

Studio Neophyte Again : June 25, 2013

This morning I am finally going to work in my studio after a long absence. I am like a bride in her pristine lacy negligee approaching the marriage bed for the first time. I am filled with a sensation of apprehension combined with joy and expectation. It has been too long since I permitted myself to create art; it is who I am, an artist. The last four years I have worn the hat and mantle of author, spending every waking moment it seems attached to my computer like some weird permutation of a Stephen King or Koontz combination creature as I complete my memoirs. It’s true, this has been a phenomenon of my own invention; knowing my proclivity towards procrastination and the insatiable lure of my craft I had made a pact with myself, more like an ultimatum. After my first encounter with cancer, a looming sense of mortality and foreboding lurking over me, I had decided that it was now or never as far as finishing my story went. I had been working on it for forty years, and the idea that I would leave it behind unfinished filled me with disappointment and regret, and not a little fury with myself for neglecting to complete it. So the ultimatum: you may not work on any art or go into your studio until the story is complete and published. Now four years after that memorable day the thing, grown like Topsy into four books, a trilogy with a sequel totaling nearly two thousand pages in all, is out and done and completed. Not that the drama doesn’t continue,...

After the Verdict…Thoughts on Justice

Justice Last week was the first anniversary of the publication of “Innocence Lost”, Book I of my Trilogy with a Sequel, “An Untenable Fragrance of Violets”. And by happenstance today is Bastille Day, the French day of Independence from tyranny. It is the day after the grave and obscene travesty that passes for justice in this country, the acquittal of George Zimmerman who was charged with murder for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. It amazes me that the crowds of supporters outside did not storm the castle, so to speak, when the verdict was published. After a sleepless night following weeks of watching every moment of the trial that was shown on cable news, the two things came together in my mind, hence this blog. The thing is, that the whole idea of injustice was the inspiration for my story, although it embraces much more than that. It is one of the reasons that the story is so long, four books, nearly two thousand pages; it is about my life as an artist, a mother, mother, wife, feminist, activist, survivor and so much more and it is set in the midst of ongoing history. As it happens, “Book II, Unintended Circumstances” concerns the years in which I endured a continuing custody battle for six of my seven children initiated by their father. This was my introduction into the court system, and to the vast and all-encompassing world of injustice, legal and personal, my personal introduction to conspiracy. Justice in this country, more often than not, is not about facts and truth, but about power and control and connections. “It’s...

Our Visit Saturday

Our visit Saturday from JoAnne, Francine and Lori was marvelous, Julie and Mike came along also. A belated multiple birthday bash [Joe, and JoAnne and me] combined with Father’s Day, usually a Memorial Day weekend thing this year postponed until this week. It was good to see them and spend time with them. But there’s another birthday coming up, and lest I forget that day my memory being what it is these days, Happy Birthday in advance, Lynnie. Lynnie is my youngest of the ten, my staunchest allie and friend. Always available twenty four seven despite her multiple responsibilities and her busy complicated schedule, lives less than five miles away. Her two kids, my precious brilliant grandkids Amanda and TJ outdo themselves daily with their ongoing achievements. Love them all to pieces....

My Thoreau Moment

So I am naming this blog after him in my strange journey to escape reality, and I cannot remember his name, a name that roles off the tongue like my own, a name that has been a part of the lives of everyone in my generation and beyond and before. A poet who moved to the woods and built his own home, sculpted an entire existence from nature and left overs, lived off the land in peace and tranquility…still, utilizing all of my bag of tricks, descriptive narration, the letters of the alphabet, word association and my trusty thesaurus, I am unable to bring him to mind. Oh, Him, yes, his name, sadly, no. Will it come to me in the near future? I am no longer certain of anything…uh oh, Walden. Waldens pond. Maybe. Thoreau… There, I’ve got it… Henry David Thoreau…Yes? Yes. So here’s the thing…I have determined to find and purchase a property, it doesn’t matter where, as long as in is huge and is located on the top of a mountain, surrounded in the back by forest primeval and in the front by rolling hills and valleys, field and wood and stream. And it must have a lake, or a pond, or a place where I may build one. A giant barn, or a spot to construct one. A cozy cottage. A parcel all around to plant into a vast garden. It may need renovation that; will be my joy. I will soon begin the immense chore of packing my untenable belongings, organizing and listing and labeling clothing, dishes, artwork, collections…something that somehow at this...

My New Plan

As I immerse myself mutely insensate in my daily escape into my Facebook addiction, answers suddenly appear in my mind. Answers to why I am so unable to focus, to concentrate on all those things on my list…things I want or need to do. Yesterday I was discussing this in the midst of bleak desperation with my friend John, how I have all these things I want to do and yet can’t seem to get to any of them. My friend said that I am just overwhelmed, making unrealistic demands on myself, and yet… It’s true, I lost an entire year after that fourth breast cancer surgery and the resultant eight weeks of radiation therapy, although I did turn lemons into lemonade when I wrote about the experience. I just began to feel like myself again this spring. Last summer, I never even got to go into the pool, my favorite thing, and for all these months had not the energy to lift myself from my bed, barely did those chores that were necessary, like cooking and eating. It’s true, the fourth book was just completed and published in April…there was a lot of concentrated work involved. Maybe that’s the answer. Writing; I have spent the last four years totally focused on the writing of my memoir, which evolved into a four book saga. I had given myself a dictum at the time I turned my attention to the necessary completion of the project; I was to involve myself in nothing, not my art, not anything else that might interest me, until the book was finished. And that is...