Friday, September 30

You can see the top of Henry's head as he looks back to the mother ship. That is what it feels like sometimes: that somehow all of Henry's inexplicable behaviors and so-called deficiencies would make perfect sense, be absolutely logical and right, in another environment. Like if we could only find the right planet!

Wednesday, September 28

It is that time of year again: nasturtium season. Although it is not a bountiful blossom harvest this year, they are appearing, one or two at a time. Not sure why I love them so much. Something about their appearance catches at me, snagging an emotional reaction that is completely absent when viewing an iris or a daisy. Yet I know people who have deep attachments to those flowers: it is just some mysterious individual matter of taste I suppose.

Paul Downs, local homeowner, digging a level base for a forthcoming swingset, has made a startling archeological discovery: a big whomping chunk of concrete. "Seems to date from about the mid-1960's" says archaeologist Downs, "Our best guess is that we have uncovered evidence of another civilization's attempt to erect a swingset on this uneven piece of ground, IN THE VERY SAME SPOT!" When asked if he had any insight into why this particular plot of ground keeps getting chosen for children's play structures down through the ages Mr. Downs only shrugged and offered, "Must be some sacred underground river magnifying magnetic pull to this point. That, or the fact that it is the spot furthest away from the house.

Monday, September 26

Next year I think I'll try to grow Brandywine tomatoes, which are very delicious in flavor but not as delicous a color. More of a pinkish hue. I always think of this glowing red with an orange underlay as true Tomato Color!

H gets in J's face and J tries to grab H's nose. The Two Stooges? My friends Alastair and Lindsay are visiting from Scotland with their 5 month old J. He is the cutest thing and P and H are very into him: a touching sight to witness. Henry on the other hand is completely oblivious, except that he is interested in some of J's infant toys and makes off with a certain orange squeeze toy whenever he can. The flip side is that we have mountains of baby and toddler toys here as I buy them for Henry at yard sales and resale shops constantly (11 year olds are innocently hard on toys intended for 18 month olds) and sometimes get them from kind friends who think of me when they are clearing out the toy chests of their growing children. Henry's autism has made unending his interest in flashing, whirling and musical toys. So for J it is like taking up temporary residence in a toy shop! But now where DID his orange squeeze toy go?

Sunday, September 25

From the garden. Lumpily interesting but not very delicious. Food though!

Thursday, September 22

Seems the height of comfort and luxury to me. "La, tout n'est qu'ordre et beaute: luxe, calme et verite." Maybe not exactly what Baudelaire meant when he wrote those lines, but oh well! I was touring the big old historic farmhouse of which my friends Helen Mangelsdorf and Roman Tybinco are now the caretakers.

Wednesday, September 21

My mother-in-law has a natural flair for arranging food attractively. This snack was almost too pretty eat!

Monday, September 19

I think you feel mature for the first time as a child, when somebody gives you a new baby to hold. Somehow holding that fragile new life in your puny little arms makes you aware of your own (comparative) maturity and strength.

Friday, September 16

Despite having lost his arms down the centuries, one feels the intense force of this divinity. Certainly the sculptor had a divine talent. How did the artist convey the powerful feeling of sublimity in such a restrained and calm manner? In my own way, I feel like this is what I am trying to do (but so often fail) with my much humbler paintings. I took this shot at The Philadelphia Museum of Art, but forgot to jot down the name or sect of the divinity or even his country of origin. None of that seemed to matter at all.

Thursday, September 15

at the Lake. Seems a strange juxtaposition. You'd think they'd put the water park somewhere more remote from water, for the benefit of more "land locked" citizens. Instead here it is, cheek by jowl with a big beautiful body of water. I guess there is one advantage: the kids are already in their bathing suits!

Wednesday, September 14

I could just see H's dream of flight, like a cloud of glory trailing around his head, while he was assembling this plane.

Tuesday, September 13

When I pulled up at the American College this morning, my van stuffed with paintings, I was met at the entrance to the Conference center, where I am going to be in a group show, by two of my friends wearing long faces. "Bad news!" they said as I turned down the Pretenders song I was listening to (trying to get my energy up for the day ahead) and rolled down the window. Uh-oh. Turns out the Gallery co-ordinator had scheduled us to hang the show at the same time as a large conference was happening. It is after all, a conference center, but there had been some miscommunication amongst its directors. I guess they didn't confer on this particular point.

Anyway, we were all feeling absolutely dismal at the prospect of hanging our work surrounded by hordes of business people. Somehow, it just didn't feel like the right psychic "mix", as well as being just plain inconvenient and awkward to hang artwork in a crowd. But, as it turns out, there were some perks to the situation! Not only were the crowds of insurance industry people crowding into "our" space only at 95 minute intervals, making their emergence a convenient breaktime marker, but this conference was seriously catered. We were surrounded with long tables of delicious foodstuffs and stacks of drinks of every description. And the place was so well organized that we barely even noticed the catering staff who seemed to sneak in invisibly and silently renewing and removing the plenteous refreshments. It was like we were at Hogwarts or something, surrounded by magical house elves. Conference center elves?

Anyway, it sure was different hanging day from any I have ever experienced.

Sunday, September 11

On how often I have been in such a very clean bathroom. Not very. And they don't always correspond to the general spiffiness level of the rest of wherever you are. I've been in some posh places with shabby, dirty restrooms and vice-versa. Always a bit of an adventure. This one was so spotlessly clean and well-lighted, I thought I must have walked in right after the health inspector! There was a funhouse-mirror quality to the hand dryer that was fun to document.

Friday, September 9

on the big red ball. After this episode it was left sort of wobbily floppy, making it look somewhat like the capture ball on "The Prisoner".

Thursday, September 8

I find this image very soothing to contemplate. Not sure why. All I know is that when I came upon this glowing egg counter in my local farmer's market I was transfixed. I was too embarrassed to stand and stare to my heart's content, so after a few long moments of gawking I furtively shot this picture and scuttled away.

Henry lets me know he feels in many ways that have nothing to do with words: here he is yesterday after school. His afternoon TSS (therapeutic support staff) had just shown up and Henry made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with her. She is a lovely person in every way, and very gentle with him, so I think it has more to do with the new Fall Line-up: school, different bed-times etc. Changes in routine are especially difficult for children with autism.

Monday, September 5

Today was the last day of summer vacation for my boys. School starts tomorrow, and this year it will be three different schools too. The thought of three seperate and different piles of papers and forms coming home every day makes me cringe in anticipation! But in other ways it should be interesting (right?)