Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Birth of the Bookmarks

At the time when we learned that Julia had died, I had been making cards. From the scraps of the cards, I had piles of colorful paper that were the exact correct size for a bookmark. Also, because the time of year - late winter/early spring, I find myself surrounded with beautiful flower and seed catalogs. During this very dark, cold time, I would find myself looking at the piles of colorful paper, looking at the stacks of beautiful flower pictures, seeing all the other art supplies and the interrupted projects. And what does a "maker" do when they they don't know what to do? Make things. Making things gives me something to do when I would otherwise just be sitting there doing nothing and feeling as bad as a person can feel. Having something to do makes you feel less powerless. I know too well that there are some things I have power over and other things that I absolutely do not have any power over. So I do what I can with what I have.

When my brother Richard died in 1996, it was a warm spring and I had a greenhouse full of baby plants. I spent all of the time I could working with those baby plants and seeds and making things grow and live. It helps to feel that you are not totally passive and helpless and can do nothing. You have to make something for yourself to do. So now, with the loss of Julia, the best thing I can do to remind myself of life and growth, and to remind myself that the world is not completely dark and sad and cold, is to simply create something bright and lively.

And so the bookmarks were "born".

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