Friday, December 3, 2010

Knit skulls, streetlit nights, and You, and Me and a bunch of ground corn

I want to thank you all for your comments below – you are all lovely and beautiful, and to Anonymous: I hope you will please please reach out if things become dark again; if nothing else there is an entire blog community who cares, okay; and not a fake care, but a real Human Care—a loving sincere care; okay? All, thank you sincerely and kindly and with love—your comments of love and loss and tragedy tore into me—we are all of One more than we often realize.


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!

16 comments:

ficwriter said...

Gawd, I can't image you down cause you're always making me laugh. Guess we all swing like a pendulum.

I'm going to download Sweetie on my Kindle because I am sure we will meet one of these days, then I'll buy a signed copy.

Love,
D

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm guessing that the skull is like that for the same reason as human skulls come in three parts - so they can squish out during birth, and knit together later.

Teresa said...

Love the pictures, especially the skull. I think it shows how we are all so wonderously made. ;-)

Glad to see you back again--it's always winter here when you leave us.

Deb Shucka said...

I love the story about the grinding of the corn. And reading about your mom.

I'm thrilled Sweetie is getting the positive attention she deserves. You hit it out of the park with her.

lakeviewer said...

You know that statement about running away from moms...
Well, it's the theme of a novella I've written, and re-written, and polished, and re-polished. I'm obsessed by this theme and this story and I can't get away from it.

I UNDERSTAND!

Judith Alef said...

Great visuals with words and deer skull. I appreciate my knitted skull that gives and takes like a good sweater; otherwise I would've been like Humpty Dumpty before I was 10! ya know the landing on your head biz as a little kid.
ps: Major kudos on receiving A+ book reviews. Rest up a bit, you hear now?

Diane said...

I love how you said we come around a circle back to our moms. I can so relate to that and wish I had had more time with my mom. :O)

Lori said...

You are such a dear wise woman that I just enjoy reading...I love your honesty and openness...that corn grinder sounds so awesome...reminds me of my roots on the farm and where we grew and raised everything...everything we ate was from scratch like this...and here I am doing a lot of these same things...although I would love to be out in the country so I could do more...I still have a grinder of some sort on my wish list...some day. :) Happy weekend Kat! XX

KarenG said...

Glad you are back, but sorry I just can't see the beauty in the knitting of the skull! Wondering who this Anonymous is and what that's all about? I must have missed something!

Hanny said...

How great and mysterious is Life! We can never have any idea what's coming our way. We look for a masterpiece and find it on the bones of an animal, where it had been hidden for years. Things are good, and then things are bad; we just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

demery bader-saye said...

I sense another book brewing... one that involves grinding born and canning and gardens and knit skulls. Thanks for a little peek into your TX time.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Kat .. thanks for coming over to my blog - good to see you there. I love your corn story - and the story about your adoptive family .. there's a special affinity to those we've known throughout our lives .. who are extra special for one reason or another .. yours particularly so - as they became your parents .. mothers of all sorts are so special.

I wrote about "The Legend of the Bloody Butcher Corn" .. red cobs .. good raising seed stock (vegetable tales a few posts ago) .. have you heard about it?

This is a wonderful read .. and brings back memories of my Mum - while I spend time with her during her last stroked chapter .. thank you - Hilary

Karen said...

Kathryn, I read the post below and am so sorry about your family tragedy.

I love how you descrbed the corn and yet we also learned alot about you and your family. Ah, the artistic author. And congrats on those great reviews. I'm gonna read that one, too! :)

Gaston Studio said...

Wow. Just wow.

Talli Roland said...

Just dropping by to say thanks for posting my Web Splash in your side bar! Really appreciate it! :)

T. Anne said...

"We run from our mothers only to find that we’ve gone in a circle to meet them again."
Intense and so very true!

It sounds like your mom is very special and quite handy around a garden. Hats off to her. =)