• Mel Jones

Notes from the Edge: Bohemian

We’ve been a little slack over the last seven days at Culture Salad. Babies, holidays, grandchildren, a poetry challenge (365 poems in 365 days). You know, stuff. Life has a way of pushing our art to the edges, relegated to some spare moment that rarely comes.

Spare moments are a myth, at least for adults. Every moment of every day is spent rushing from home to work to home to sleep only to rise the next day and do it all over again. Occasionally we slip in a little something extra, like paying bills or getting gas and groceries. Check Facebook; leave some snarky remark for a detested politician on Twitter.

But art, art takes time, focus, effort. It takes connecting to the person you are and owning that. I choose to see my artsy-self in most things that I do. I have redecorated the room that used to be my son’s. It’s an artsy, eclectic sort of space now with posters and postcards, hand fans, woven baskets, throw pillows, Indian designs, and lace. It’s a rich mix with an eye to each detail: teapots and tiffanies. I still need something for my hats. They’re currently scattered about the room sort of haphazardly, mixed in with the assortment of Van Goghs, Monets, Tolkien, Shakespeare, and coffee mugs. Parrothead, Red Sox, and Whovian paraphernalia. In an odd sort of way, the space is one of the most artistic, honest expression of who I am. I like it. Whenever my granddaughters visit, they poke around in jewelry boxes and boot cases, touching this, then that, asking about the story behind each tiny thing. And everything has a story.

Just yesterday, my grandchildren helped me redo some things in the living room. It’s my next project. But it’s shared space so will likely be more challenging. We’ll see. I am going for a bohemian sort of look in that space as well. We are nothing here if not bohemian.

Sometimes that makes living in the real world challenging. Paperwork. Bills. Remembering to buy toilet paper! It’s all so mundane! And no one has ever accused me of being ordinary. Ever. Bitchy. Introverted. Opinionated. Snide. Snobby. Crazy, sure; but never mundane.

And so I weave along trying to balance my Frankie with my Grace. It’s not easy. At all. Yesterday, I paid some bills, began redecorating my living room, and taught my ten-year-old granddaughter how to make a decoupage memory box. I cooked lunch and introduced her and my grandson to Michael Jackson’s music. We talked about Freddie Mercury – and what gay looks like. Like that’s a thing! We discussed the importance of live music, and I promised to take them to a show this summer. How does someone get to be thirteen and never been to a concert? Apparently, that’s a thing. You know, your average sort of day, for me. That’s what most grandmothers do, right?

And so writing has slipped to into the background for a moment. But, here I am back again doing that thing I do sort of instinctively: write. Tomorrow the world gets crazy again and I must go out from my sanctuary and face it… I try to look at that as opportunities to find inspiration.

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