This has been a tumultuous year, despite how optimistic I was when 2015 ended. I’ve experienced the shock, and sudden punch in the soul that is an unexpected death of a person too young to leave; and the long drawn out anxious, prolonged pain that taught me the cruelty of a society who treats animals with more compassion than the elderly. The loss of my Grandmother was a tremendous blow, and despite the months of hurry up and wait (in the midst of a bout of unemployment), I could never have anticipated the depression that would follow.
There have been beautiful things too; moments that could have only been born from tragedy; validations of love after long separations; revisiting the joys of my childhood in the visions of the future generations embracing life the way only children can do. In the aftermath of the sadness, in the still quiet times that followed, there was a particular moment of beauty–a blessing of inspiration.
My Grandmother was a writer–a poetess–a lyricist. When I was little I could hear one of her songs play on the Spanish radio stations. For one of her birthdays, her eleven children published her collected works, and even held a book signing for all of her loved ones (and there are so many: at last count 11 children living, 26 grandchildren, 30 great-grandchildren, and there is one on the way!). Looking for ideas on a tattoo to commemorate her, I searched through this book. The poems are all in Spanish, so I hadn’t really paid them much attention before. I’m glad I waited, because that day I could feel her in the pages, hear her love in the words. There were so many things she never said to us, she was a stoic woman, not given easily to emotion, but there on the pages were the tender adorations, admirations, and wishes of a Mother, a Grandmother, a lover, a friend. That’s when I realized that these were the gifts she’d left me.
My creativity, my comfort with words, these are things that come from her. The ability to craft words, and craft with words, these are as much her legacy as they are my gifts. I remembered in those moments that my Grandmother did these things in age before a computer processor. She poured her emotions into a typewriter–an unforgiving machine. She had to combat technology in order to share her love. So I did something crazy. I bought a typewriter!
This is Audrey. She is a 1940’s Royal De Luxe manual, portable typewriter with authentic glass keys (except for the “s” it was factory replaced by Audrey’s original owner).
Another beautiful moment that came throughout the ordeal of this year was during the moments of familial bonding that occur when a matriarch is claimed by the universe. Some of us hadn’t seen one another in years, and we had certainly never been together en masse in several decades. As we caught up with one another’s lives we discovered passions and talents. My family began to echo the calls of some of my friends– “Use your talents.” They said. “Share your gifts with the world.”
Maybe it’s because when Audrey arrived I realized that words are the things we leave behind, and are the method we can fearlessly use to share our emotions; maybe because there is a romance in the written word; or because the mystery of a typed note seems to be a fleeting whisper of memory; there are a million reasons I heeded this call.
I am proud to announce to my wonderful readers, that I have officially opened an Etsy shop where I can share my love of words with the world.
Words. Words craft. Wordcraft. Word crafts.
That is to say I plan to manipulate words in their physical form. Starting with beautiful hand typed quotes in various colors of ink: black, purple, pink have already been added. Green and blue are coming soon! Just click the link to see what I have in stock.
Shakespeare in pink!
I’m also releasing limited runs of word manipulated art. The first of which are a series of frames layered in actual book pages from books I’ve rescued from the library garbage box.
I’m so grateful to everyone who has encouraged this endeavor. I’m already feeling the energies of the universe changing. I’m already feeling the beauty of my dreams manifesting. The creative spirit in me is inspiring me to return to my novel, and finally get that draft written. This above all I owe to all of you.