i loved jigsaw puzzles as a kid. so it stands to reason that i am a bit of a planner as an adult. not a rigid planny-planskins, just someone who likes a good challenge, and likes to put all the pieces together systematically. my husband just finished a manuscript for a food and travel memoir about our family’s first deep immersion in rural languedoc. now it is time to find a literary agent and a publisher. this is the kind of challenge i am talking about. somewhere out there, i know there is an agent who is the right person to represent this book, and a publisher who wants to publish it. we just have to find them. so, if any of you out there think you might be able provide me one piece of my puzzle, say an aunt or uncle who’s an editor at Alfred A. Knopf (to pick just one example), let me know. i’ll be putting this puzzle together for the rest of the year.
white poplar leaves
i looked at this flower and it reminded me of somebody praying. i realized that the light coming down from above somehow looked churchlike, and then i realized that if the light had been more horizontal, this flower would have looked shadowed and interesting but not like it was praying. and then i realized that all the windows in those old cathedrals were up high, and i wondered if any part of that architectural decision had to do with people’s tendency to look at whereever the light is coming from, and in this case, the light is all coming from approximately heavenward. i’m not particularly devout, but the thought makes my feel happy and peaceful somehow.
dahlia (i’m almost sure, but possibly mum??)
in the spirit of this tulip, willing to show a different side of itself, here are three things you may not know about me:
1. i was an afs student in argentina in high school
2. i have a weakness for Pillsbury Orange Rolls
3. i was the bad influence in high school, who arranged the drunken weekend bonfire parties on the peninsula of a nearby lake until my dad broke up the party in his boxer shorts, a trenchcoat, and a bb gun.
dried white tulip
once again, an hour or more of careful arranging yielded half a dozen very neat, very stylized, very low-energy (to borrow a phrase) photos. then i spilled the turkey feathers from a height of a couple of feet, and photographed them. spilled them again, and photographed them again. and suddenly they were possessed of the randomness and fertile energy of nature.
wild turkey feathers
st. paul, minnesota
a portrait of mary jo in early 2017. i have retreated a bit into my center, where i still feel quite young and hopeful and vital. this is partly a response, based on the way i am wired, to the turbulence of my country’s current public life, and partly a positive retreat into a creative bubble where i am generally happiest. so, here i am. healthy at the core, and just a little frayed at the edges.