I miss being able to walk outside and being enveloped by stars overhead. I went to high school in Springfield, MO, but was not born there. I lived in several larger cities before my father found a job and moved our family there. I had a little girl a few years ago, and Springfield has been on my mind, as I live in a larger urban area in New England, and cannot see the stars at night, just a few planets and the really big constellations. Even the Big Dipper, Orion, Leo, and the North Star are hard to see. I bought an app on my phone that shows the universe at night and I open it up every evening and point up before bed. I do this as one of my favourite memories of living in Springfield is going out onto the back porch, putting out a blanket and just looking up. Feeling enveloped by the stars and safe. I was also a teenager at the time. Time alone was precious, time to think. That safety was shattered a year before I graduated when several classmates went missing and are still not found. The safety net felt ripped open. But, I would still would sit outside; sometimes my mother would ruin it by turning the light on if I was out too long. The sky would fade and yellow and white moths would appear above me. At the time it upset me, but this memory has new meaning for me. Flash forward to now-I am a mother of a bouncy 3 year old. I think about her safety constantly. I dream for her that she will have some space like this that she can dream in, to think of the future, to grow. I need to remember to look up at the stars, so I can let her do the same, and keep a few of the moths at bay.
I love unexpected finds. I bought a $2.00 grab bag at Michael’s this autumn, while shopping for craft supplies for my daughter. She has taken a liking to try to find ghosts in house after Halloween, and I could feel in the bag, lots of flashlights she could play with. The extra bonus was lots of wooden letters and signs, meant for scrapbooking. I thought I would give them away and then remembered a printmaking book that utilized styrofoam letters on plexiglass to make prints. I thought, why not do the same and make a reverse woodblock print? So, all winter I have been making wrapping paper and small books with these &, @, *, %, # signs and more. In the process I have re-learned how to print well in the trying and making. Merry Christmas!