Friday, December 3, 2010
Knit skulls, streetlit nights, and You, and Me and a bunch of ground corn
Humans have a need to find the why’s when sometimes there simply isn’t an answer to the why; but when we don’t find that answer, we think we can’t find peace—finding peace has to come from within us, not from without, for if we look for the peace from without we may have to continue searching searching to no ending. Find your peace and then let it settle in—it's a letting go and a holding onto balance.
Now . . .
The two photos you see are the ONLY photos I took while in Texas. Um, er . . . okay, Kat, you didn’t take ANY photos of humans? Only the scene outside your mom’s house while you were looking out the window, and the skull of a deer your uncle has had in his shop for fifty years? OOOOO-Kaaaayyy. Teehee. But both of these images compelled and called to me. Look at the lit-night scene—what does it bring to your imagination and thoughts and innards?
And as for the skull: look at the intricate and beautiful knitting of the skull. This is art. This is beauty. This is magical! Why is it knit like this? (& some science/medical person may know the answer). I couldn’t quit studying it. Off where you cannot see is my mom and my uncle, and me, and we of course are not in the photo. Sometimes I am bad about not taking photos of people and only of things. dang.
I want to tell you all about grinding the corn. The corn was my uncle’s who lives in Arkansas. These are my adoptive family. I can’t tell you how much I hugged my adoptive mother while in Texas. Without her, I do not know what would have happened to my brothers and to me. I’ve been with her since I was about 3 and a half. She is Mother. My mom. She’s the best. HERE’S TO ADOPTIVE MOTHERS/PARENTS!
She grows corn herself, and herbs, tomatoes, squash, peppers, beans—and more—in her beautiful back yard. We had a big bag of corn from the farm and an old-fashioned grinder. I’d pour a bit of corn into the receptacle, balance my self on the table to keep it steady, and then with the other hand/arm I turned the crank, over and over and over until it was ground—then I’d do it again, and again and again, until all the corn we needed, plus a bit more, was ground.
I ground that corn by hand and while doing so, I thought how difficult life used to be, and still is, on farms and old homesteads and before “modernizations,” but how those doing the living didn’t perceive things as “difficult” necessarily, but only as living their lives; it was and is their Normal, just as we live our Normal.
It took us a couple of hours to get the corn completely ground, to sift it, and then to grind the courser parts and sift that. Every time I looked into the bowl of ground corn, I felt a sense of satisfaction of a job well-done, of how good that danged cornbread was going to taste. And taste good it did. It tasted like Farm, like Work, like Sweat, like Old Times, like my granny. The cornbread dressing I made from it was a masterpiece of our work, especially after I added in the fresh herbs Mom grows.
I wished for more time with Mom. The older I become, the more I want to learn from her—her canning, her garden, her knowledge she gained from her own mother growing up on that farm.
We run from our mothers only to find that we’ve gone in a circle to meet them again.
Lastly . . .
I was emailed that The Best Damn Creative Writing Blog did a great review of Sweetie—you all know how I don’t look for reviews or my rankings/reviews on Amazon, so I have to be told if someone sees a good one. And Asheville Citizen Times put Sweetie on their list of “What Books are Good as Gifts?”! They wrote: “The strong, “quare” voice and supernatural elements also infuse Kathryn Magendie's novel, “Sweetie,” in which a bullied schoolgirl finds a friend in a wild spirit.” So far, I’m hearing good things about Sweetie. Like at Missy’s Book Nook where my publicist sent me the link to her review of Sweetie. And! Angie at Gumbo Writer is doing a great contest for Sweetie giveaways and some other gifts!