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fortunes told 1.

On my recent trip to Santa Barbara I unearthed this photo from my dad’s collection. My mother, with my childhood gypsy fortune teller, circa 1969-ish.
Given that I was in my childhood home and therefore imbued with a certain visceral sense of recollection, I was deeply moved by this. It embodies a bit of the atmosphere that I grew up in. So much magic, so much possibility!

I started mulling over what kind of alchemy do I want to do in my life; it used to seem clear, and yet these days, as my level of contentment grows, I don’t feel much need to manipulate the world to suit my ends. Hmmm. What came to mind, strangely enough perhaps, was the idea (not for the first time, but with a new urgency) of making striped sweaters, seamless, rugged, country, hippie even. Is this a manifestation of some “earth magic?” I think so.
So I started this:
magic stripes

But today, I am working on the endless sideways knitted border of the pi shawl.

pishawl

Almost done.

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WARNING: Non-craft content to follow!

my mother wore red

I was listening to some bad disco tonight…(is any of it good? I love it)… and thinking about my mother, circa 78, 79. Those were some days! She really took us for a ride.

For those who don’t know, my mom died on Halloween 2006, at the age of 57. She lived hard, that’s for sure. She did love to party. I think about her a lot, and try as I might to have it otherwise, my memories of her are of this partying hardcore broad (her word, not mine). I have some stories! but it wasn’t a really kid-friendly environment. If my childhood were rated like a film it would be a hard hard R. Not quite Boogie Nights, but still I couldn’t finish that movie, ouch.
I am aiming for a nice quiet PG-13 for my daughters! (for language and smoking)

here’s a story: When we had just moved to Astoria from Isla Vista (where they burned the Bank of America in 1970), my mom fell in love with a Turkish sailor who was passing through on one of the big ships. We were going to move to Istanbul! (if that didn’t work out, then we were going to San Francisco…) We even started to learn turkish, as a family. Taskin, he seemed like such a gentle soul, but then he went upriver and got into some trouble. Got drunk and knifed someone. So much for that plan!
Something my mom was always doing was taking me to movies that were totally inappropriate for someone my age. I think she was so used to me being her best friend, or else she felt guilty about leaving me at home. She said she was working 90 hours a week in those days. Days at the cannery and nights at the bars. So it was off to the movies we would go. American Gigolo (there’s the Giorgio Moroder connection), Midnight Express, Saturday Night Fever (hey I got that record for my tenth birthday!), Rocky Horror (okay that one wasn’t so bad), and there were other earlier shows that still nag at me. At least she didn’t take me to see Looking For Mr. Goodbar, but she still told me all about it, down to the violent end.

here I am in those Diane Keaton days, so pleased to be able to wear this coat for a night! I was 9.
rabbit skin coat
of course nighthawks is hanging on the wall… they were like that, such nighthawks.

here’s my mom’s 20th birthday party:
my mom's 20th birthday party
that’s her with the skinny legs. check it out, she’s smoking, of course.

And here’s another from that same time, 1969:
mom, me, and my best friend
warhol could have done something with her, it’s true.

There were some hard times, and I don’t need to tell all the stories, not here and now, anyway.
She loved to smoke and she loved drugs and she loved her kids. When I was younger I worshiped her, and then I got angry, and nowadays I just shake my head and wondered what she was thinking, with love, and humor, and respect for her struggles.