Monday, June 28, 2010

Flaws As a Way In

So what is this blog going to be about? I guess it's just going to be my small and crooked vision of the world.

I'm going to write about my old farmhouse in the country; my cobbled-together life of writing, editing and teaching; my crotchety and darling aging poodles; my mystery series, which straddles the line between cozy and hard-boiled; my primitive rug hookings; my poetry; and how my life with another writer just keeps getting more interesting after twenty years of unwedded bliss.

I want to look at the seams, where we're almost coming apart, how we hold together. Or to examine the way the flaws allow us into pieces of art--be they poems or bowls or rugs. I want to praise hand work in all its forms, even if its just painting a wall or weeding a garden or washing the dishes. All the traces we leave of our movements through the world.

I want this blog to be one of my traces. Will there be flaws? You betcha.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend in the Country

As a gardening friend said in Stockholm, WI, on Sunday, "it's wet and weedy out there." The earth is exhaling, that's for sure--and it's a moist, fertile breath.

I drove down to my house in the country for the weekend, my two two furry sidekicks, Rene and Jacques, seven-pound poodles, riding shotgun. Well, actually Jacques was riding in my lap. When we hit real countryside his small head pops up and he stares out the window. I wonder what he sees, this blur of fields, golden and waving.

We both know when we're in the country. It sinks into our bones. I drive a little bit slower. I visit the sky. He stares out the window. I'm sure he knows where we're going. Rene sleeps, but then he's sixteen. He deserves to sleep. He comes out of his coma when I turn up J to go to our house. Then they both become frantic, out, out, they want to be out of the car.

When I open the door to my house, the calm silence hits me hard. My shoulders sink. I drop my bags and breath in. I love the smell of my house--reminds me of bridal's wreath spirea--dusty and slight spicy, but not as sweet.

We walk down to the very small town—eighty some people on a good day—and say hi to everyone in the shops. My dogs get treats, and I get all the good gossip. We walk back up the hill, feeling satisfied.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Why Small and Crooked?

When Pete Hautman and I had been going out a year or two, he gave me one of those winsome, knowing looks that I have come to dread and love at the same time, and said, "I know what you like--you like everything that is small and crooked."

He was and still is absolutely right. In this brand-new blog I will write about my mysteries, my rug hooking, my dyeing, my house in the countryside of Wisconsin, my poetry, my family and friends and dogs. While not all of them are exactly small (my house is small, my poems are usually small, my dogs are very small and getting smaller poodles, but my group of friends is large and Pete's no small potatoes), they all have their own definite crookedness about them, and I mean that in the absolutely best of ways.

Please come by for a visit often.