June 22, 2009

Day 1 One on One- Lily

I am sitting in the back of a car going towards Mt. Diablo to scramble up rocks. I was exhausted last night , fell asleep putting Rosy to bed, so this journal entry is being written the day after. The day after a very practical, uneventful day. What a relief! We went to a movie at a fancy theatre, a big deal for us country folk. Then Lily, Rosy Chris and I went to drop off my rental car. That’s it. A blissfully uneventful day that meant I could really just dip and and be with my family. I spent my one on one time with Lily. We went to Target so I could buy minutes for my cell, then to Fudruckers to get fries, a decidedly suburban out-trip. We walked side by side down the aisles wowed by the oddity of the big box store experience. We bought vitamin water, one of our American addictions, it is like guiltless kool aid! She watched TV in the Fudruckers, a baseball game. I realized that she had likely never seen televised sports before. Being in an American suburb together was a quaint cultural adventure.

We enjoyed each other company. Lily is cuddly in a prickly pear sort of way, likes to be close on her own terms. Which usually means bumping into me and grabbing at things in my hands or at my arms to guide me places. She steps on my feet constantly from walking so close. She is such a treasure, a funny combination of eccentric and reserved. Let me tell you a little about my Lily.

I used to cry when she was in my belly, she kicked SO hard, far harder than my other kids. When she was little she earned the name Lily Billy Elbow Knee for her ability to poke people with her joints. I would get irrationally hungry when I was pregnant with her, just could not make sense of the world. This is her temperament when it comes to being hungry, feed her or you will be sorry! She is the one in our family who will do the dirty jobs. She often cuts up big chunks of raw meat to feed the dogs, with no reservation. She is hard working and will always be the one who is in for the long haul when it comes to big projects. If we are moving a friend or building something, Lily will be there through the whole event. She is strong and focused. She loves horses and all animals, but she takes a no nonsense approach. She would just as easily be willing to hunt an animal with reverence to feed her family, as she would save a baby bird and take it to a bird reserve. Her art is phenomenal, though there is no convincing her of this. There is a Martha Graham quote, which has been my by-line for years, which speaks to Lily’s artistic view of her own work.

"There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
that is translated through you into action,
and because there is only one of you in all time,
this expression is unique.

If you block it,
it will never exist through any other medium
and be lost.
The world will not have it.

It is not yours to determine how good it is;
nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep the channel open.
You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
to the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is ever pleased.
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction;
a blessed unrest that keeps us marching
and makes us more alive than the others."

--Martha Graham to Agnes De Mille

How do you express yourself artistically?,
is the question in 12 days journal #70. I will give this journal to Lily. I imagine she will draw a horse, and then say how much it “sucks”. I will tell her what I see in it that doesn’t “suck”. She will take a morsel of what I say deep into her psyche and my wish is that one day it will help her to be able to express a an appreciation of her own art. Because while I love this quote by Martha, I disagree with part of it. I think artists can open themselves to being pleased with their work, that there is a huge catharsis in finding some semblance of satisfaction in ones artistic work, at least some of the time.


  1. yes...lily is rad. We loves her .

  2. Primarily, I'm a writer. That's always been the one thing that I've always been good at and shown a real talent for. I'm also good at musical expression...I sing and play the piano. Nothing special like perfect pitch or anything like that, but as far as the piano is concerned, I've always been able to watch someone else play and imitate what they do, which is handy when you are as limited as I am at reading sheet music. LOL.

    You and my daughter, Mira, have both inspired me to find some kind of visual art outlet to explore. I suspect I may not suck as bad at visual art as I have always thought I have but need a fun outlet to bring it out. I dance, too, but generally only in private. LOL. I'm working on being less self-conscious about how I dance so that I can be more free to express myself that way when not in private.

    I love theatre, too, but freely admit that I'm not very good at it and much prefer to sit in the audience for a good play rather than to be in it, although, again, I'm thinking about checking into maybe some very small roles in local community theatre at some point in the future.

    Great question! I love the arts and always have. :-)