I search my phone photographs for moon and come up with this photograph: an eerie sun and cloud photograph with a halo. Sometimes the clouds and fog combine with the sun to form frightening light, even though it is beautiful too.
The computer also picked this picture in the moon search. I’m not sure what that is about. Elwha had hopped into the bathtub not realizing that I had just gotten out. He was soaked and howled, because he couldn’t get out. He was a very grumpy kitten, grooming for an hour.
peace me, loves peace me, strangers peace me, Beloved free us from dangers
peace as a river peace as a wave peace as a verb peace saves
peace my heart peace all of ours peace all the friends peace the wars
peace a gift peace a joy peace fearless always no war toys
peace me, loves peace me, strangers peace me, Beloved free us from danger
I kept the paper cup in the picture, because the cup is animals and plants, but the cup also is a pair of lungs. Breathe peace. And breathe for all the people recovering from covid-19, short haul and long haul. And breathe love and shelter and support to all those grieving for our dead and let us grieve too.
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: apparent. And for peace.
My sister freaks out once. “Oh, my gosh. Our parents still have boxes from their last move a decade later. What will we do when they die?”
Me: “Get a storage unit and open a box a year at Christmas for the rest of our lives.”
Her: “That could work.”
I tell my sister that we could start a magazine in response to Real Simple. “We will title it Playful Packrat.” We come from an impressive line of Packr– I mean, Collectors. Collector is honorable and respected. Packrat is, well, unfashionable. Perhaps I should title it Circumspect Collector instead. I know someone who seems to be collecting heavy equipment, which is an interesting choice. One needs more property than I have for parking.
My house would make Marie Kondo shudder. The photograph is the basement: the stack is my mother’s larger artworks. I am moving stuff around now that I am home-on-oxygen instead of running around clinic like a crazy rabbit. And like this writer, https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/maximalist-response-marie-kondo-minimalist-mandate, it ALL gives me joy. Well, ok, not the tiny ants. We are at war. My kitchen may be cluttered but by gosh it’s clean clutter because the tiny ants let me know immediately if I screw up.
Anyhow, my mother died in 2000, my sister in 2012, and my father in 2013. My parents left me their stuff and grandparent stuff, some of which I had never seen, and I still get dead people mail. The colleges and universities are the most persistent. They don’t care if someone is dead, they still mail out the Alumni Magazine. I get U of WI, Cornell, Princeton, U of Oregon, Medical College of VA, OHSU and Williston. Holy moly. U of TN and SUNY Binghamptom have lost track of us, thankfully. I wish I had kept my father’s notes on Beowulf and mailed them to Williston for their library. It would be a sort of just revenge. I still have boxes (my excuse is busy physician) so I will bet that I can find something to mail to each one of those places. Something that they want just as much as I want their Alumni Magazine. With a cover letter that says that my contribution is hidden in the documents. One dollar each.
I have too much stuff but I have now turned middle aged, that is, I am over sixty. So I now am on the downward side and decide, there needs to be outflow rather than inflow. I like my stuff but it’s time to start moving it. My mother was a prolific artist and all of the silent auctions in town will now be blessed by her art. And don’t worry, it is not awful! She has art in the Smithsonian, the National Museum of Women Artists, and a bunch of other places. See my April A to Z for details.
For my father it was books and musical instruments. I still have the guitars. I think there were twelve trumpets? A lute, a harp, a cello — the lute is in very bad shape and the others have gone to someone else and the school, respectively. Recorders, gone. I have flutes, my regular flute and then ones made out of clay, cherry, pvc pipe and bamboo, as well as a Native American flute. I am mostly playing the regular flute, Native American flute and guitar.
I am guilty of books, too. I DO want to read them all, but even if I did nothing but read for the next sixty years, I might not finish. The excuse that some are reference does not fly. Some are pure unsullied entertainment and by gosh, I am keeping those! I am not allowed to go to the book sale next week. I do have a library box but the books are not leaving at the rate they have been arriving in the last year. And it’s my fault.
Anyhow, I am enjoying my clutter. After all, we invented tables to put things on. Sometimes we do have to clear the table for the NEXT project, but no worries! There is always the floor!
I am blogging A to Z about artists, particularly women artists and mostly about my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway.
I find two copies of her resume. One is from 1991 and one from 1993. I will add the 1993 information, but it’s a LOT. My mother was prolific! She complained about getting ready for shows and I did not realize how very many she did! I am so proud of her. She died of ovarian cancer in 2000 and I do miss her still.
Helen Burling Ottaway
Del Ray Atelier
105 E. Monroe Ave
Alexandria, VA 22301
SELECTED SOLO SHOWS
1991 Nov Will have solo show at Bird-in-Hand Gallery, Washington, DC
1989 Sept “Cascades: Watercolors of Washington State”, Bird-in-Hand Gallery, Washington, DC
1988 Nov “Fantasy Etchings”, National Orthopedic Hospital, Arlington, VA
1987 Oct “Spirits to Enforce, Art to Enchant”, Fantasy Art, River Road Uniterian Church, Bethesda, MD
1986 Mar “Prints and Poems”, Poetry by Katy Ottaway, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC
1984 Nov “Forests, Flower, and Fantasies”, Sola Gallery, Ithaca, NY
Apr “Birdland and other Lullabies”, Pastels, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1981 May “Fantastical Bestiary”, Etchings and Drawings, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
Mar “The Way of the Brush”, Watercolors, Gallery One, Alexandria, VA
TWO PERSON SHOWS
1986 Nov Two Person Show, “An Occasional Pair of Claws”, Fantasy Art with Omar Dasent, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1985 Apr Two person Show, “Figures and Foliage”, Pastels, Capital Centre Gallery, Landover, MD
1982 Nov Two Person Show, “The Four Seasons”, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
SELECTED GROUP SHOWS
1990 Feb “Visions 1990” Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY
1989 Feb “Year in—Year out”, Studio Gallery, Washington, DC
1988 Mar “independent Visions III”, Metro Gallery, Arlington, VA
May Juried Show, Sculpture, The Art League, Alexandria, VA, Juror: Bertold Schmutzart
1987 Dec Juried Show: “The Best of 1987”, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC, Jurors: Dr.
Jacqueline Serwer, Sandra Wested, Robert Stewart
1987 Apr “Independent Visions, Fifteen Women Artists”, Metro Gallery, Arlington, VA
Feb “Portraits 1987”, The Art Barn, Washington, DC
1986 Oct “Juried Show, “Printmakers VIII”, The New Art Center, Washington, DC
Jan “Independent Visions”, Metro Gallery, Arlington, VA
1985 Dec Invitational, “Highlights of the Year”, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC. Jurors:
Linda Hartigan and Monroe Fabian
Nov Invitational, “The Macadam Nueve-Splintergreen Conspiracy Show”, Gallerie Inti,
Washington, DC. Curated by Omar Dasent and Ann Stein
Oct Juried show, “Printmakers VII”, WWAC, Washington, DC. Juror: Jane Farmer
Mar Invitational, “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to be Artists”, The Splintergreen
Conspiracy, Martin Luther King Library, Washington, DC. Curated by Omar Dasent
Mar “Shakespearean Images”, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
1984 Nov Juried Show, “Printmakers VI”, WWAC, Washington, DC. Juror: Carol Pulin
July Juried Show, “Printmakers VI”, WWAC, Washington, DC. Juror: Jo Anna Olshonsky
Oct Four Person Show, “Just Four”, Galerie Triangle, Washington, DC
“The First Great American Camel Show”, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1983 Mar Juried Show, “Printmakers V”, WWAC, Washington, DC. Juror: Barbara Fiedler
Feb Juried Show, “Artists – Art Historians: A Retrospective 1972-1982”, National Conference, The Women’s Caucus for Art,m Bryce Gallery, Moore College, Philadelphia, PA
1982 May Juried Show, “Woman as Myth and Archetype”, WWAC, Wshington, DC. Juror: Mary Beth Edelson
Feb Invitational, “Art is where the Heart is”, Gallery 805, Fredricksberg, VA
Feb “The Printmakers of the WWAC, The Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VA
Jan Juried Show, “The Eye of Eleanor Monroe”, WWAC, Washington, DC Juror: Eleanor Monroe
1981 Oct. Juried Show, “Collage and Drawing”, WWAC, Washington, DC Juror: Jan Root
Numerous juried shows, the Art League, Alexandria, VA
Numerous group shows, Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1967 B.F.A Cornell University, Ithaca, NW
1992-currently Teach Drawing and Watercolor, Capital Hill Arts Workshop, Washington, DC
Teach Art Class for Seniors, Recreation Department, Alexandria, VA
Teach etching workshops and watercolors at the Delray Atelier, Alexandria, VA
1987-1990 Graphic Artist, Al Porter Graphics, Washington, DC
1985 Fall Co-Director of Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1982 Director of Exhibitions, WWAC, Washington, DC
1982 Director of Gallery West, Alexandria, VA
1981 Chair of Exhibitions Committee of Gallery West, Alexandia, VA
Taught watercolor classes at Washington Women’s Art Center, Washington, DC
Taught children’s art classes for the Arlington Recreation Department
1967-1970 Assistant Curator at the Ithaca College Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY
I wrote this in 2016, when at least nine people died of overdoses in Vancouver, BC at Christmas, from fentanyl. I knew fentanyl was hitting my corner of the Washington State too. Warning, this contains a lot of swearing (edited so this does not become a “mature” site). I was in a very bad mood when I wrote it. It is meant to be black humor, to help me deal with grief.
See, heroin is rather labor intensive to produce, being from the opium poppy and all that. (When people say “I only take natural supplements.” I want to say, “You mean like opium and heroin? You know, plant based.”) Also, Afganistan, those fungkers shoot you as soon as look at you. It turns out that fentanyl is cheaper to make and you can source the ingredients from China.
And then, you can make fake oxycodone tabs and fake hydrocondone pills and sell them for bitcoin on the silk road. But you know, ya gotta mix the sheet right. If you mix it wrong and a buncha people overdose and die, there are complaints. Ya might get some scared clients, like, junkie friends of junkies. And then there are also those chronic pain people who aren’t junkies but been forced onto the streets to treat they habit, I mean, pain. We got a good thing going, the pill thing, because the junkies think that pills is safer than heroin. You might scare the fungkers and then how the fungk will I be able to buy that island with my bitcoin?
So dealers, ya’ll fungkheads, ya messing it up if you don’t get the goddarn mix right. See, fentanyl is not routinely tested for on the blood and urine drug screens. So the person gets labelled as an oxycodone overdose and no one knows that it’s fake pills. But when there are too many deaths, the goddarn feds and doctors get suspicious and start testing the pills.
Same with heroin. Cheapens things to cut it with fentenyl. But you gotta calculate right, because if you kill a whole bunch of clients at once, 1. you cut into profits 2. you make the cops and docs suspicious. You gonna ruin it for everyone, you goddarn morons.
And now I hear we got a new mix. Carfentanil, an elephant tranquilizer. Read the recipes carefully, morons, it’s 10,000 times as strong as morphine, you gotta dilute the sheet 10,000 times. Don’t you know math? Take a goddarn chemistry course.
Don’t fungk things up for the responsible drug dealers. A live client keeps on paying.
Wait, another? We don’t go through the stages of grief once. We go around and around, like a spiral. Some days we want to lie down in the driveway and just not move. Others it seems like the there might be a tiny bit of sun in the world after all. A mourning handout from the American Academy of Family Practice writes about a culture where one is considered “legitimately crazy” for a year after the death of someone loved. The person is allowed to be emotional, complain, wear their bathrobe all day and call people at 3 am.
Maybe we are all in that stage right now.
Stages of Grief Playlist 2
The Offspring: Pretty Fly for a White Guy
Kate and Anna McGarrigle: Hard Times Come Again No More
I love Great Blue Herons. We have a lot. I love them best in trees, because they still look strange to me in trees. They will perch right on the top of our tall Pacific Northwest trees and look like peculiar Christmas tree toppers. Alien angels. Their bones are lighter than ours, so they can stand on a limb that would not hold me or you.
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