Friday, March 4, 2011


Evelyn: One of my favorite "old" things is my aunt Ruth's sewing machine. I rescued it years ago from the attic of my grandparents place along with a handful of hand-made wooden train cars, some comic books, and an old tractor. Justin was just a little guy, and the machine reminded me of sitting at Grandma's big sewing machine where she allowed me to sew an endless array of clothes for my barbies out of cloth remnants. I felt productive, and creative, and sat for days with thread and cloth and markers and buttons.  I figured out how to make outfits without any help other than running her machine. I hardly know how to sew today (other than things that require a straight stitch), and I might have some of those old clothes in a box somewhere, but I do remember how grandma was a champion for my own creative energy, encouraging me to play, design, experiment, make-believe, and imagine my world with fruitful extraordinary flair. Sometimes I miss her and wonder what she would make of the work I am doing today.

Monica: Last night I went to my first dance class in nearly 2 years. I went through the familiar ritual of preparing for class: gathering dance shoes, water, notebook & pen, hip scarf, wallet, and car keys into a basket, putting on loose black pants and sparkly skirt and tying my hair up in a ponytail. I opened the drawers of the old steamer trunk in which I keep all my costume pieces and was blasted by colors and textures I had nearly forgotten: glittering belts I had bought at workshops, Afghani jewelry and antique hair sticks purchased at the Tucson Gem Show, my favorite costume bra that I made when I first joined Midriff Crisis, the moccasins with a hole in one toe that I've danced in since I was 15, my zills in their red velvet pouch. There was a feeling of homesickness and a feeling of coming home. I love that dance has given me a certain confidence in my body, maybe a little bit of grace, and a way to express myself without words. I've missed it. And I'm so glad to be back, if only once a week.

1 comment:

  1. Grandma would be so proud of you, as she was when she was alive. She was such a creative woman herself, from baking twebach to playing the organ, crafting, sewing, crocheting, and writing. I didn't have the patience to learn the things she tried to teach me (piano, crochet) but I loved that there was always something to do at her house.