Photographs of pattern by Isabel Winson-Sagan
The Concrete Ships
At first you thought
the tankers in the shipping lane
weren’t real, but some kind
of mystic breakwater
then they seemed real enough
to leave, and go in search of
of something else
nine concrete ships
piled up in the Chesapeake
to protect from storms, and the imagination
at floating perpendicular skyscrapers
ghosts of war
never leave certain shores
is its own holy grail quest.
we rather loved
the huge fractured hull
sinking in the sand
broken off, a monument
to failure, wreckage
not unlike our scarred exhausted
who still could tell
quite a story.
It rained at night
the place names
soothe me like a lullaby
but even the strongest lighthouse
can be displaced
and dreams dashed
over these rocks.
Photos from Atlas Obscura
I’ve had many adventures recently. I flew for the first time since the pandemic. Two minutes into the trip I fond myself sobbing as TSA patted me down–first once, then twice, in a private area. Well, I was an accident waiting to happen and by the time I was told I had “residue” on my constantly washed hands and that I’d set the machine off by wearing a dress, I was in nervous tears. “Everyone cries” the TSA lady said in a calming attempt.
She was obviously not a bad person, but what kind of system is this? Like most systems, hard on women in dresses–traditional, modest, or chosen. Like contemporary systems, promoting the machine, including cell phones, computers, and imaging devices, not as helpful tools for life but as technological gods we must placate and please.
I had an opposite experience waiting for my flu shot yesterday. A woman in her eighties, wearing a beautiful medallion of the Virgin, started chatting. Her hugely pro-vaccine stance reminded me of my Jewish mother, despite the obvious differences. “My mom had a cousin with polio,” I offered. “And she was ecstatic when the vaccine came out.”
“I had polio as a child,” the lady said quietly. “A mild case. My right leg doesn’t work well and my left is over developed but I’ve had a long and good life.”
“How can people not get the Covid vaccine?” she asked. We shook our heads. Here was a miracle of technology that works, and yet people reject it.
Acceptance isn’t the last refuge of failure, but it isn’t my go-to either. I’m treading a narrow path between my trust in critical thinking and my need to not judge humanity every minute of the day.
It’s nice here in New Mexico in autumn. Th oak tree my son-in-law planted by the mailbox is turning a gorgeous red.
I’m well aware that more than one thing is happening at once–and I hope that in your world many of those things are good.
At the Renwick Gallery. Of particular interest to my creative partner Isabel Winson-Sagan who started off as a woodworker.
Pop Art? Abstract? Constructivist? Conceptual?
Bodie Island Light Station, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, NC
Janet Echelman’s colorful fiber and lighting installation, suspended from the ceiling of the Renwick Gallery’s Grand Salon, examines the complex interconnections between human beings and our physical world, and reveals the artist’s fascination with the measurement of time.
It was overwhelming to see this–just transformative!
Photo by Isabel Winson-Sagan. We were lucky to share the experience.
Self-portrait, cut from paper. The issue of self-presentation. Can you do it in words?
Photos by Isabel Winson-Sagan from a show at the Hirschhorn Museum in D.C.
Where was I?
National Park Seminary–once a resort, then a school, then military, then a ruin…now a development.
From a recent visit to the Grand Canyon.
it’s not often I can see like this
sitting beneath the twisted pinon tree
that breaks a stone boulder
it’s a far view in both directions
appears as mineral
layers of the Colorado Plateau
cut like a surgical patient
a slow intensity
tourists pass going up and down the trail
snapping pics of themselves, each other
wide open meaning of earth
it seems simple
to be either
at the rim or the river
but it’s not…
psalm of updrafts
these wings might have created wind
roots might just be another way of saying branches
the fire burns and burns
leaves charred trunks and small aspens
clusters of little sisters
girls of the trembling leaves
turning yellow, orange, autumn
equinox sitting cross-legged
cradling my cane
who sees me, sees just another person
feels cold, heat
give me a kiss
They look ancient, I but I think not…