I have always had an urge to create. In secondary school it propelled me to write and to paint. Over the decades, I’ve expressed this creative impulse through one art medium and another, through healing touch, and through words–this is my poetry of everything–this is how I make meaning and find my way.
What would you want to know about me that you wouldn’t necessarily find in my writing? I like color. A lot. The walls inside my house are painted violet mist, celery green, fern green, and mango passion. The curtains are orange or purple and white; the shades are orange; the couches are covered in blues and greens. I really like color.
Did I tell you about my dog? Well, not mine, exactly, unless you go by that old adage, “possession is nine-tenths of the law” because this dog likes to hang close to me. She is a wizard. She is a human angel in the guise of a red dog. She is ruled by the law of BALL. When her boy comes home, she growls and wrestles, but, for me, she catches or she rests watchfully–attuned to any sign of movement that might indicate a time for catch, or a trip outside, or a trip in the car. She knows that when I come in the door I will take her out the back and play catch. She knows that when I sit on the couch to watch my detective shows, I will play catch, lofting the ball over the dining table to the sliding door. She knows that when I fluff my pillows for an end-of-the-day read, I will play catch. She looks at me and she knows everything. That’s my dog.
Yes, I watch TV. Well, actually, it’s Netflix. I am genetically predisposed to enjoy detective shows. It’s my Grandmother Lalia’s fault. When she came to live with us, we watched Perry Mason every afternoon. Better than the soaps. And those eyes, tsk!—dark and brooding—they were killer as he honed in to rattle the cage of the crook or murderer. Of course he had a wonderful team for support—Ms. Delia Street and the handsome private investigator, Paul Drake—isn’t this the model for every crime show since the 50s? My mother continued the trend, watching Matlock and a slew of spin-offs and knock-offs. They were so satisfying—the case was always solved by the end of the show! Now I watch Bones reruns and NCIS, The Closer, Murder She Wrote, Midsommer Murders, and all the British detective shows. I like the science and logic combined with the unpredictability of human behavior. As a friend remarked to me, these shows satisfy the hunger for story.
In the Kitchen: I like to cook, but I am less inclined to whip up an extravaganza than I used to be. I can find equal satisfaction in reading a new cookbook (see Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem), especially if it is illustrated. And cooking shows can be the most entertaining of all. So my sisters and I share recipes and often cook but we rely on virtual cooking when the ingredients elude us, our pocketbooks limit, or other forms of inertia keep us from leaping into action. This reduces calorie consumption (less of a motivation than it used to be!) and allows me to range far from the strictures of my gluten-free, dairy-free (a.k.a. migraine-free) zone.
Stitches in time: I began to sew when I was eleven and made my own clothes through high school, sewed for my children, made shirts for the spouse, and would have continued sewing, happily and compulsively, were it not for FHS, forward head syndrome, that misalignment of vertebrae that can send a neck or back into spasm, or, as in my case, trigger migraines. So I backed off the big projects (and set aside binge reading, too—so sad!) to relearn how to carry my head. My Gemini nature is very willing for me to flit from project to project; I have found ways to touch down at the sewing table for a seam here and there (and to prop my book on a stack of pillows to eye level for reading in bed). Sewing is one of my creative languages, legacy from my mother.