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As I Said: A Dissent

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Chisholm & Abzug

As conservative members of the Supreme Court get ready to more or less overturn Roe v. Wade , I'm thinking about lawmakers and the law. What is the law? Poet Frank Stanford says the law ain’t nothing but bluebottle flies . I might add: the law ain't nothing but whoever is in the room at the time.  I made these little sewn books in honor of pioneering lawmakers Bella Abzug and Shirley Chisholm. Their nicknames--"Battling Bella" and "Fighting Shirley"--suggest how hard they worked to get and stay in the rooms where consequential decisions are made.  It's easy to admire women like these, but alongside the admiration I also want to remember that the fighters and the witches and the dissidents grapple with doubt and fear, too.  A few years ago at a celebration of life for the regionally-beloved artist Harriet M. Rosenberg , many people spoke about Harriet's toughness, her bravery and her willingness to make her own path. Then the painter Nancy Brassington

Skeleton Woman

  Warm and hazy, not the usual colors for winter: black and green, rotting walnuts but also chickweed growing new. This morning I ate a little of that fresh green & walked around in a patch of Aaronsburg woods, sat a while near a decomposing fawn, all damp dead fur and slack, with Tara Brach’s talk on the Skeleton Woman in mind. Lately listening to Brach and other teachers I’ve been astonished to catch a glimpse of how large fear looms in my days. I was talking about this with my friend Andrea on the porch of an old house she bought at auction in June, telling her about the insomnia and rumination and all the pharmaceuticals and crystals and flower essences I’ve tried. She said, okay, I know this is a little risky but have you tried—Comedy? For a minute I thought she was talking about a street drug I’d never heard of. Then burst out laughing as she described how we could do stand-up and tell jokes in the wetland in the new year, “rip fear a new one.”  To start with I made this c

scribbled hinge / new moon 10.6

  Carbon on paper/ 2013   "We bound all the memories of mothers together in one bundle but the white thread dissolved like sutures the thread decayed & then we couldn’t tell what belonged to whom, whom to what" You Animal Machine (The Golden Greek) , Eleni Sikelianos  

new year / new moon 9.6

  Golden figure with cows / paint and paper on cardboard