My grandma Becker taught me to pray, sitting at the table in the farmhouse my grandpa built on Mernan Road. She and I repeated the Hail Mary counting on beads until I had it memorized. When I got my first mala beads in Nepal and chanted Om Mani Padme Om until it filled my head, I’m not sure I saw the connection. But now I do. Thanks grandma, for your soft jowls settling on my face, for teaching me how to talk about death, and for all the prayers you said for me.
Zadie Elizabeth, fourth grader. She was an early talker and as long as she has been talking, she has been teaching. She lines her doll students up, or her sister and grandmother, in her pretend classrooms and practices her leadership skills. It is a calling she feels deeply. Her great-grandmother, Kathryn Elizabeth, was a beloved 7th and 8th grade teacher in northern Kentucky. It was a time when women who needed to work fell into that role, but she loved it. Her students turned out in mass at her funeral, and a scholarship in her name lives on at Newport Catholic. All of us grandchildren enjoyed her natural way with kids, the way she gave what she never got. Her mother died when she was three and she was raised with her brother by her father and uncles. My mother, Kathleen Elizabeth, was named after her own mom, as was I: Jessica Elizabeth. I love this feminine lineage, one that carries through despite any surname changes.
Willa Marie, great-granddaughter of Marie Scalf. Mark’s mamaw comes from the hills of Kentucky, but her people come from the Isle of Man, a tiny Celtic island that is still self-governed, with a rocky coastline and deep mythology. Today there is an unincorporated town in Appalachia called Scalf and a Willa Marie wandering the wetlands of Wisconsin.
Yesterday I was inspired to add a few more photos to our annual October ancestor altar and I dug out this photo of myself. Just hours before that I was out in a field picking pumpkins with my daughters, basically the age I am in the early 80s picture. One of my favorite parts of last weekend at @her_festival was the dancing. The journey was orchestrated and wild, set within the glowing altars honoring the past, present and future with music to bring out our round shapes, sharp movements, flow and expressive form. And finally, levity. An invitation to connection, to dance with my playful, hidden and estranged young girl-self. I glimpsed her. I held her hands and spun dizzy circles with her. Thank you @adventuresofalexa ✨for bringing the sacred dance ✨#herfest
So what would it take, to truly turn the tide and turn away from the most successful human invention in the history of material science? The exhibition challenging our entanglement with plastic at @chazenartuw is stunning. I use homemade deodorant and wrap my sandwiches in beeswax cloth, but still my household is littered with plastic. Shit. #trashtalkers #greenturning
Home after four days nestled on the shore of Rangeley Lake under the full moon and a cathedral of autumn color. I am so grateful for the invitation to such an extraordinarily beautiful gathering of women. There were moments during the retreat I couldn’t imagine why I’d ever choose to leave that nurturing, bold space called in and held together by deep magic, where my power and purpose was clear. Retreats are so special. A wise elder who took me to the top of Bald Mountain offered this wisdom: walk slowly, bow often, be grateful. That I can do anywhere. Thank you to all the teachers, with a special bow to @yantrawisdom for her artistry and smile! #HerFest #HerFestival @her_festival
Too good not to share! So grateful for my 🦁 sisters! #HerFestival #HerFest
As the crickets soft autumn hum is to us, so are we to the trees, as are they to the rocks and hills. - by Gary Snyder Thanks to @zestinferna for bringing this poem into my life this week through song! #poetry
A good bake, no soggy bottom, a moist crumb, really scrummy. My talented children conceptualized and made this show stopper: a chocolate peanut butter layer cake. Are there cooking shows that might inspire them to cook dinner with the same creativity and motivation? We’ve tried Jacque and Julia but it just makes them talk funny. #greatbritishbakingshow