Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Andy's due date was Labor Day, 21 years ago. I love a play on words so I was very excited to think that I might be in labor on Labor Day. However, Andy made his appearance two weeks early. Labor was just a softly horrific memory by the time labor day rolled around. My new labor was a labor of love. And of working a milk factory to provide sustenance to my little product. But every Labor Day I think of my delight in having Andy due on Labor day.

This year Andy was nowhere to be found. Well, honestly I wasn't looking. He is already back in his University town. And he took a road trip with friends. So he was off having a good time. And I was otherwise occupied with a wonderful task: showing my Niece, Sj, area colleges. I picked her up mid-day Saturday and delivered her mid-day Monday, and between that we toured 5 colleges, had dinner out with friends, saw some ferociously clever exhibits at the Tacoma Art Museum, hit Fireworks at the mall, had a quick visit with Sj's cousin who was at Bumbershoot, and took in a great movie. It was all a labor of love, I tell you: I loved every minute of it.

I never got to mother a daughter. Actually, I understand that's a very difficult thing. As delightful as Sj is for me I know that being her actual Mom, I would see more than just her most delightful side. So I like being a fun Aunt (at least I think I am) and just pretending that I had a daughter, a very polite, communicative, sweet daughter for the long weekend.

At a few of the schools (SPU and UW) I had enlisted the time help of gals who were more familiar with the campuses: one a current student, one an alumna. I learned things I didn't know about the campuses. Unfortunately the schools were not yet in session so it was difficult to get a feel for what the student body was like. And then one was my Alma-mater, UPS, and so I had fun walking through the campus, into the library and the student union building, and remembering a very special season in my life. I could tell Sj where I met some of the women that are still close friends. Ones that ventured with me to Italy over 30 years after we first met. We even found the old apartment building, a few miles from campus, that I shared with them during our Senior year. I smile as I'm typing this with the memory of those times. I am happy for Sj that she has this in front of her, wherever she lands.

The movie we saw was "About Steve." Sandra Bolluck plays a quirky character so well. I want a smirk like hers. And red go go boots. It's a good movie. You could wait to see it on DVD, but if you are looking for a fun evening out I recommend it.

I took Sj to Fireworks to shop for a birthday present for a friend of hers. And then I am the one who ended up spending money. I grabbed up these flowers for my courtyard. They were on a tremendous discount (end of summer season I guess) and cried out to me to be placed in the courtyard so I could have flowers into the winter. They already cheer me up when I arrive home.

The current temporary exhibits at the Tacoma Art Museum are around jewelry art. Several artists are exhibited in the large collective room. One artist, Nancy Worden, is showing a collection titled "Loud Bones." Her pieces, though "jewelry" are more art, most unwearable, but all presenting true concepts about what it is to be a woman, chapters in our lives, political comment and other ideas much deeper than the collection of materials she uses. The materials are fun in and of themselves. Lots of found items, such as curlers, typewriter balls, eye glasses frames, trinkets, money, beer caps. She has turned the junk into striking, organized statements. This is one of the few exhibits where I wanted to read about each piece to decipher what her inspiration was and to understand the deeper messages. The introduction on her website offers the key to why I think I was so intrigued by her work. "Reflecting her passion and personal conscience, [Warden's] jewelry is forceful, unapologetic, demanding, and gripping. Her investigations are often humorous and sometimes painful, but her voice is never timid."--Rock Hushka, Tacoma Art Museum Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art
Necklace: "Initiation" by Nancy Wardon

The description of her art is how I hope to develop my writing: reflecting passion and personal conscience...often humorous and sometimes painful, but never timid.