Amie is teaching me how to do blackout poetry. We are both working with a page, copied from The Secret Garden, and creating different poems from the same text. The idea is to “black out” the words or word fragments you don’t want to use and then create a poem with the shape of what’s left. Have you ever done this before? I didn’t know about the world of Blackout Poetry until Amie showed me a google search of so many examples out there, both visually and word wise. Creating poetry from existing words on a page is such a different way to spend time with literature. I’m finding it fascinating. I could spend hours doing this sort of creative work if Wallace wasn’t dismantling the entire house behind me . . . doing his own version of blackout housework, I suppose!
Last fall I wrote a piece for Wild + Free on fermenting with children. It is one of my favorite articles I did for the magazine because everyone in our family helped with the photos, the recipes, and the fermentation! One year later, everyone is gathered around again, making a new ferment: Giardiniera. Jeffrey’s endless enthusiasm for fermentation experimentation is contagious. I think we are raising a whole brood of wildcraft makers and brewers.
After the Giardiniera project, we made wild grape soda: one of our September traditions and favorite ferments!
Amie and I took a botanical watercolors class with Maia Hausler at the Old Art Building together. We learned so much, and it was an absolute treat to have three uninterrupted hours with my girl, two afternoons in a row!
I’m cleaning out a
cupboard of watercolors
and art supplies
and nature journals
and clay, and I am cleaning
but this is what I end up doing
laying out the bits and pieces
of a homeschool year
as a sort of still life
on the kitchen table,
and admiring all the little
reminders of a creative life
in the this home
filled with birdsong
We are reading so many good books this month! Being at Gousty is bringing out the reading in all of us. The stack of books that Amabel has read to herself this month is even higher than the stack in this photo! Many of the chapter books that I read as a child and adolescent are in this house (the actual copies!), and I love coming into the living room to find her curled up on the couch with one of my old books in her lap.
We are learning so much about Korea during World War II from this book by Linda Sue Park called “When My Name was Keoko.” Korean children were required to speak Japanese during this time when Korea was part of Japan’s empire. Children also learned Japanese Kanji, which we practiced in the fall. The girls loved returning to it again this spring – practicing the characters both in full size and tiny doll size.
I’m behind in posting my daily photos this month. There is so much life happening here every day — homeschooling, games, play, getting ready for spring, house projects, spring snow, more spring snow . . . and I’m catching just little bits of it on the camera.
Recently, the girls were looking through some photo books from the past couple of years with Wallace, and as I listened to them reflecting on the pictures, and remembering moments together, I realized how these daily photos have — collectively — come to mean something to them.
I started a 365 project in 2016 primarly for myself. These were my goals then: To nurture my creative voice. To encourage myself to see beauty in our everyday life. To be an active part of a photography community. And to see my family more deeply, with more dimension, and with more reverence.
When I continued taking daily photos in 2017, my goal was “to keep practicing the arts of photography and writing and use these tools as a way to pay attention and express gratitude.” I’ve continued in 2018, with a similar goal. Taking photos does help me to pay attention. Seeing though the lens of a camera has become one of the very important ways that I practice gratitude. Because of this, these photos matter deeply to me.
But years from now, I hope these photos will also matter, in different ways — in ways I maybe cannot imagine — to my children.