Posted tagged ‘Karin Gustafson’

Special Cow Training

August 26, 2021
(Moon Jump)

As always, all rights reserved–Have a good day!

Little Elephants/Last Days

August 23, 2021

I was going to write today about some of the benefits of using an iPad Pro for drawing illustrations.  I even dreamed of this topic (or at least thought about it muzzily as I lay in bed.)   I was going to write about how drawing on paper is so much more fluid and original; how when I can get the courage up to add color (inks or soft pastel or some kind of paint), those paper pieces can be so much more rich and complex, but how I still often end up using the iPad Pro for illustrations, because the iPad, unlike inks, soft pastels, paint, can be readily used in a bed. (You may be sensing a pattern here.)  Perhaps, more importantly, the  iPad does a lot to mitigate the need for both courage and patience.  

An example of how the iPad can help to make an illustration can be found in the the little elephants above (completed on the iPad), and the unfinished paper sketch of the same little elephants below. (This was the basis for the iPad drawing.) 

But in the middle of thinking about these elephant drawings, I remembered that today was the beginning of the week of my mother’s death, which essentially lasted this whole week, some years ago. (My mother, at the end of her life, by the way, loved the iPad Pro; mainly for youtube algorhythms. I could type in a piece of music I thought she’d like and youtube would take her to another and another. It felt like magic to her, or, perhaps, a really good TV channel.)  

Though  when I think of my mother’s death week, I don’t think of the iPad. Rather I think of how she and I, and the rest of us too, rose to our best selves,  of how death can sometimes do that.  (I think of the way people speak so eloquently at funerals. How they often seem to transcend some inhibition, some self-consciousness, that dogs their normal speech.)

In my mother’s case, the nearness of death brought out a great generosity.  Yes, pain medication may have assisted, but a true shine was also there, as she made sure to thank everyone who came her way; to express deep gratitude, and in the case of each family member, a profound and specific love. 

In my case, the nearness of her death (temporarily) undid my will to avoid the moment, that endless bargaining with time. This morning, remembering it, I congratulated myself for calling up various family members from a hot Florida sidewalk as I took a break from the freezing hospital–to let them know that if they wanted to see my mother, that is, talk to her, they needed to come now.  When the option of much more convenient weekend flights came up–me, who typically tries to make things work for others as they would have them work, simply said that they should do what they could, shouldn’t feel like they had to come, but that if they wanted to see her, that is, talk to her, they had to come now.

And they did come. I don’t know how they managed it, but they too seized the moment.  And they did get to talk with her, and they would not have been able to wait. 

I feel so sorry, as I re-read this, to think of all those whose family members died of Covid, who did not have the togetherness of last days. 

It is raining steadily here. Through the upper part of the window, it looks beautiful, soft grays and greens, and the sounds of the rain, very gentle now, feel merciful.  Through the lower part of the window, though, are channels of brown water that have taken over the driveway and, most likely, the roads.  

Dream Song

October 4, 2019

Dream Song

I dreamed I dreamed in one two three
I dreamed that you were here with me.

Repeating music held us close
its harmonies in measures dosed
as phrases that sang again again
while we seemed to be back then

when you were you and I was me
and we could see, hear, move freely,
when you held me and I held you—
we didn’t know time held us too.

Now all that’s left is time’s tight hold
so close around as I’ve grown old,
I see it as through a magnifier—
blurred, yet lined, a fist, a mire.

You, like the music, just in my head
when I lie upon my bed
in the dark that even enfolds time
sometimes sometimes sometimes sometimes.

**********

Hello! Here’s a poem that I am posting for Kerry O’Connor’s post on Real Toads, with the wonderful picture by McMonster, @mc__monster, below. Pic above is mine.

Two New Picture Books!

June 16, 2019

 

I am very pleased to announce the publication of two picture books, written and illustrated by yours truly!

EVEN SINGING WAS THE MOON!–for those who love to sing and read, also a bedtime book. 

ABC GOAT–for those who love letters! And cake!  And friends!  

Please check them out!  Review if you can!

 

Moment

February 8, 2019

Moment

I’m sitting on the train;
it’s all so much the same,
why does it always change?
this sitting on the train.

The strips along the platform
as yellow as they fade,
Now spray paint swelling every wall
but not much to be read,

sure, missives of a sort —
initials blown to bubble;
train jitter jars then starts again (again)
through city rubble.

I long for something shining
not metal and not glass;
will the dulled to sparkle,
what’s passed to not be past;

rest one hand against my lips,
think small moist palms (once kids),
then feel (imagined) yours, dry, warm,
as a kiss upon closed lids.

Now, we cross the river,
a train next track smears blue,
as I still wait for that some time
when I was me, you you.

************************

A drafty sort of poem for my prompt on Real Toads to write about this very moment. 

I’m sorry to have been so absent; I have been working working at work, but also have put out a couple of books–one about the death of my mother, called Momoir, Maybe, and a new children’s book, Little Dog Thirsts For Adventure.  Check them out!  

 

My New Book – Momoir, Maybe

September 11, 2018

My new book, a series of micro-fictions and fact, available now. It is a book of particular interest for anyone who has, or once had, a mother. It feels like an act of stupidity, hubris or bravery–honestly, I just don’t know–to put it out, but I have worked a great deal on it and think it’s good (ha–maybe). Please check it out. Note that it is not a children’s book, though it is a pretty book in print.

Evening Porch

August 30, 2018

Evening Porch

I went out to an evening porch
because a bur bit at my heart.
I could not tell if it was you
or your loss that stung so smart.

The crickets rubbed a murmur synched
to a wholeness I could barely hear;
my forehead had to listen hard
harder even than my ears.

The breeze that rose from somewhere North
felt a bit like fingertips;
you too were raised in a place of cold
but rarely touched my face, my lips.

And yet this sweep of ending day
whose deep’s deep blue except where green
speaks to me of you, of you,
and means what I would have it mean:

that you loved me and I loved back,
that foreheads can be made to hear
(as now beneath the crickets’ arc
the stream’s rush cushions far and near)

so that on the planks I walk
beside a door that leads to light,
beside that blue that you’re blurred in,
I find a seat that bears with night

and try to write there till it’s dark,
write there even in the dark,
letters that feel their way along
this burdened page, unburred heart.

********************************

Here’s a poem for my own prompt – Going, Going, Gone, on Real Toads.

Painting is mine, though not sure it goes with the poem! All rights reserved. 

Heading somewhere certainly

June 24, 2018

Acrylic on canvas panel, 2018, all rights reserved.

Pulled apart

June 23, 2018

June 2018; all rights reserved.

Happy Mother’s Day

May 13, 2018

May all your chickies be well!

Acrylic on canvas board, Karin Gustafson, 2018, all rights reserved.