The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013

By Tuesday, January 15, 2013 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

My mother saw the world through beauty until she went blind seven years ago.

Will the metronome stop suddenly, will my fingers stop playing, frozen in their accustomed position, no longer able to stroke the keys to the rhythm of life? Will the angels stop singing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When she goes, will I ride through life without a song? Will all the music stop? Will I still be able to keep a beat, listen to Horowitz in the same way? Every time I hear a hymn, will I remember her beautiful alto voice as my grandmother played her upright piano and the extended family sang shape-note hymns in harmony on a Sunday afternoon after church?

Will I cry every time I hear or read Whitman or Longfellow, or the many poems she knows by heart and can still recite? Will poetry ever be the same, or will it too lose its capacity to take me into its arms and soothe the day’s wounds?

Will I look at a painting, a quilt, a piece of art, and still perceive its beauty? Will visual beauty have the same all-encompassing, skip-a-breath effect it has now, or will it become cerebral and dull?

English: Presentation quilt from Oahu, c. 1855...

 

Every quilt she made was an objet d’art. Will quilts all be beautiful, or will they take on an unforeseen ugliness, forever bringing my mother back to life like a dagger through my heart? Quilts will become like life — pieces patched together however the quilter can, using whatever is available; living life with whatever, however it takes to survive — not art. Or will they? Perhaps that’s what art is, and not some planned and orderly activity. It’s about putting the chaos into some form that is aesthetic, pleasing, and has an important message.

 

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The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 13, 2011

By Sunday, January 13, 2013 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

My parents lost their only son, my brother Cecil, when he was only 25. Life was never easy after that. They kept on hoofing it through life, getting up every morning to face a little world they’d built, made up of four children and two exceptionally bonded parents, a world now broken apart, a world from which one of the vital building blocks had been abruptly and inexplicably snatched away without a moment’s notice. For nearly a year I would wake up in the middle of the night, and feel my right arm to see if it was still there, because I had the sensation that it had been brutally jerked off from the moment my brother died. I can’t imagine the nightmares my parents must have had. My mother’s jet-black hair started to turn white immediately. My 6-foot father started drooping his shoulders instead of holding them high, as he had always done. There was always a lingering sadness, a hole in what was once a whole. The grief was ever-present and it didn’t go away. It never has. It never will.

Explosion of the Mind, painting by Abram Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were a tightly-knit family, welded together by the strength and love of my mother, and as I saw her emotional strength and courage wither away, she still held her head high and endured. Imagining that she too will go away soon loosens all the nuts and bolts that hold me together. Will I fall apart when the moment comes?

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The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

Local vs. Non-local Food: The Arguments

By Saturday, January 12, 2013 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

I think we got spoiled by eating cheap food from all over the world. That put us out of sync with nature and skewed the price of local produce and products vs. produce and products from distant places, leading us to waste what we once had held precious because it was seasonal and local and therefore rare. Slow Food USA and Josh Viertel were right in fighting for fair wages for our own farmers and trying to lead us back to a way of eating that is in line with nature, which of course means paying a little more, but improving our health and local economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are many more arguments to be put forth. Let’s talk about it: the pros and cons, your experiences, your convictions, etc. We’d love to get a big discussion going here.

Click here to watch Building a Slow Food Nation, outlining the history of Slow Food in the U.S., and including Josh Viertel’s view.

 

 

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The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

Food Art: Spiced Chocolate Pistachio Cake, food photography by Meeta Khurana Wolff

By Saturday, January 12, 2013 Permalink

See more food photo compositions at Meeta K. Wolff.

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The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 9, 2013

By Wednesday, January 9, 2013 Permalink

by Jonell Galloway

My mother has been bedridden since the spring, in a hospital bed with bars so she can’t get out, as if the blindness were not itself a prison. The Parkinson’s, along with Prednisone for her temporal arteritis, affect her sleep cycle, so she sometimes doesn’t sleep for 3 or 4 nights straight. She eventually starts hallucinating. Sometimes she thinks she can see little children coming out of the ceiling, rather like angels coming down from heaven. The “angels” do not comfort her; they disturb her and she tries to jump out of bed and go after them, thus the necessity of the bars. No medicine stops this cycle somewhere between heaven and hell, and probably nearer the latter. How do we calculate a life, when is it time to stop the clock? By spending her days saying, “dear God, dear God, why do I have to live like this?” has she not decided she wishes the clock to stop? We cannot do it for her; we are forced to hold her hand and suffer alongside her.

Painting by Benozzo Gozzoli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Mama Posts: Reflections on My Mother, January 15, 2013 | Jonell Galloway

The Mama Posts: Reflections on my Mother, January 8, 2013

By Tuesday, January 8, 2013 Permalink

by King James Version

Mama went blind nearly 7 years ago due to an autoimmune disease called “temporal arteritis.” For a quilt artist and designer, a woman who expressed herself through images rather than words, there could have been nothing more devastating. She felt her life had ended and didn’t want to go on. We tried to give her bits of cloth, yarn, ribbon, wire, etc., in hopes she’d learn a new way of making sculptures or sewing patchworks in some crazy, original way using her fingers to feel her way around, but she couldn’t even see what she’d made, so it was of no interest to her. She would usually try for only a very few minutes and then throw it into the air in anger. She listens to audio books; her caregivers sing with her, read to her, play music for her – all things she loves — but she has lived in deep discontent because she has lost her most precious sense. Now she is physically diminished because of the disease, and speaks in the King James Version all the daylong. “Dear Lord,” she says, “let me go home,” where I will be able to see (I add).

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