Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tube, as in the London Subway.  Jessica stepped off a plane into London and felt the clean, smooth, shiny and sparkly surroundings. I remember a similar feeling when I took a flight from Cairo and landed in Athens.  It was my first trip out into Europe after months in Cairo and after all the sand and grit I fell in love with the sunlight of Greece.  However, unlike me Jessica felt the world was too plastic, and she was separate from nature.  So it sure was a good thing this little lady bug on a well heeled man reminded her nature was still connected to the people in London.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Dining in PA

While in Pennsylvania, Lynn went to her brother's local farmer's market to buy August peaches and tomatoes. Afterwards, they took their loot home to have as part of their lunch followed by happy family time, hanging out time playing games. Lynn, you are probably not surprised to hear that I think that this sounds like a perfect PhD defense celebration.

Apparently, the PA trip was filled with culinary experiences - some of them a bit more rough then the above farmer's market lunch. In addition to dining at home, Lynn's family hit up a local German restaurant where the wait staff yell at the customers. Apparently ,the waiter threatened to beat them if they didn't clean their plates! They also went to a tavern from colonial times where a fork flew down from second floor breaking her mom's beer glass. What gritty dining experiences!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Watercolor blots

Lynn made a series of water color blots and then squinted her eyes to find shapes in them.  This fish and the jellyfish postcard, posted earlier, were from this series. 
Last summer, Lynn's brother defended his PhD. She drove down to Pennsylvania with her husband to cheer him on, wondering if she would understand anything he said even though he had been discussing nanotechnology for years. She confirmed later that indeed she had really only understood 10-15 percent of of his defense. Luckily, this meant he knew complex material (he passed!) and not that he was hopefully confusing to his professors as well.

Once home, Lynn headed to an outdoor concert. Enjoying being outside and music simultaneously. It reminds me of concerts at Interlochen's Kresge Auditorium, where the notes roll over you as water and trees dance around you. Lovely.  Tonight, I am headed to listen to Fatou in NYC with friends. While I am sure the setting will be less scenic, she is a Malian singer and the wife of one of my colleagues. I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


It had been six years since I had been in Sri Lanka. The country was recovering from the tsunami last time I was in Galle. Since then, the island has weathered another wave of war and sprung back, blossoming with signs of development so sparkly that it makes your eye's pop.  The scars of war and disaster are wearing away. The temporary beach house I stayed at years ago has been replaced by a better version of itself. Physical proof of impermanence and recovery.

A year ago, I sent Lynn my worries, knowing that sharing with a friend would help and that with time it would pass. Staying the course, thinking long term, worked it seems. There are not always dead goats on the beach.

After more than a month of creative doldrums, I am drawing again. It only took four Asian countries and a beach vacation on the Indian Ocean to get me ticking. No problem, right? Poor Lynn has yet to benefit. Instead, she is posting depressing postcards from a year ago, wondering if I am ever going to respond to her emails or find a card in her mailbox. Do not despair, pal, I too am making my way back again.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Making light of things we've seen in the last three cards Jessica was drawing very dark, morose subjects.  I guess the direct quote about me getting all these cards at once was "Lynn will freak out!" Just after hearing this, Jess attempted to make light of things by drawing this dead goat she and Merilee saw on the beach making them both laugh.  She briefly considered a series of holiday postcards in this sardonic theme- dead goats on Africa's beaches...I wonder what other vignettes she would have included?

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Another dark period

This postcard was mailed a few days after Jessica's birthday. Her birthday was not the subject a work retreat, a terrible accident occurred.  Jessica was dealing with all that it entailed, and again used art to process what she felt for all those involved.  While I was only able to listen from afar on the phone, it was lucky Merilee was there for Jessica to lean on.