One thing I think we can agree on: we are well into 2019. It’s been a blink of an eye, hasn’t it? A blink of an eye with a stye, with pink eye, an eye that’s got a torn retina, and is puffy from crying, but still just a blink. Oh I kid. All is well.
But if you’re feeling helpless and unsatisfied, let’s talk about doing something with your hands instead of your brain. Focusing on cooking, or mending something, or baking – something like this might even be a therapeutic way to get out of your head.
I saw a photograph a year or two ago on FB that showed a sampler that said…. “I’m so angry, I stitched this just so I could stab something 3,000 times!”
I loved it.
As you will hear, she tired of reading the out of control tweets of a certain American leader, and couldn’t get his lies out of her head. So she started a kind of resistance practice (for herself at first) which was to make textiles with his quotes. And you’ll hear more about it in this week’s conversation.
It’s time for me to list the five things that made my life better this week, but first a reminder to subscribe to the podcast - if you’re a listener.
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My 5 Things:
1. I had lunch with my friend Janie, whom I hadn’t seen in too many months. Here’s what happened that was so shocking. I asked her if she wanted to have lunch by text. She said yes and said which day. In 2 more texts we had our restaurant, our time, and we met. It seemed so simple compared to most social transactions. And we had a good long talk. And some good food. It’s so great when you don’t have to plan and cancel and reschedule and cancel…. Life happens though, to me as much as it does to others.
3. This statement by former Federal Prosecutors, many of whom served in Republican administrations. Published on Medium.com, it is open to be signed by other former prosecutors, should they want to. At press time there were 1027 signatures. https://medium.com/@dojalumni/statement-by-former-federal-prosecutors-8ab7691c2aa1
4. Greta Thunberg, Greta Thunberg, Greta Thunberg. The passionate pro climate protection crusader at 16 years of age puts a mirror in front of all of us and we feel embarrassed for not taking enough action to protect the world in which we live. As she herself said, she should be in school instead of having to take on this fight for the planet. How dare we depend on the young to do our work? (Much like the gun control issue, now in the hands of the youth while our doddering legislators greedily take NRA money and point of view as if they had no choice in the matter.)
5. I’ve eaten at a lot of my favorite restaurants this last week – it was filled with birthdays, including my own. Palma, Mishiguene, The Mark, Belle Harlem, Rotisserie Georgette, Red Farm – when I see them all listed there, I feel like a pig. Someone has to say it, let it be me. My favorite morsels: the tagliatelle with lamb, the baba ghanouj, slow-cooked salmon, the fried chicken and waffles, the roast chicken, and the pastrami spring rolls. What a week! All I can say, before I waddle out of the studio is, the austerity kicks in now. Salad till Thanksgiving.
This week’s guest, Diana Weymar, of the Tiny Pricks Project, had an idea that at first felt small and personal, but she has had to grow into a kind of spokesperson in its service as it got bigger.IT is a growing collection of hand embroidered, sewn, and needlepointed textiles, with content provided by Donald Trump.The first exhibit, at Lingua Franca on Bleecker Street in NYC is coming down this last weekend in September.Another huge grouping of Tiny Pricks is at Speedwell Projects in Portland, ME until November 3rd.
Diana’s 5 Things:
1. My childhood in the wilderness because I know how to be alone and how to play with my imagination and because growing up without electricity or plumbing makes you less fussy and more resilient
2. My children because they challenge, question, and push me to be a better listener and have more empathy, they have my back by sharing with me what I can do better, do differently. They're like the old men in the Muppets in the balcony, always offering a joke or a quip to help me focus on what I'm doing on and off stage. They also point out the silly things I do and my poorly-formed arguments.
3. My friends who make things for me: the year I lived in Maine a friend in Princeton knit a blanket for me and sent it to me for Valentine’s Day.
4. Instagram because without it Tiny Pricks would not exist.
5. Watching animals: our yard in Victoria BC is often filled with deer, herons, raccoons, rabbits, the neighborhood cat, the other night I opened our front door into a quarter acre of "unlandscaped space" and our dog stared straight into the darks with her ears up. I turned on the porch life and 10' away, facing us, was a huge deer with antlers. The three of us stood there for more than a minute just staring at each other. Animals remind me that there is other work to do and other ways to live.