# 16 decembrance 2019

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Over the weekend we opened our doors and invited the public in to see our work and our life. I got over-tired, over-exposed, and over-stimulated. I wonder how did I get here and how do I keep going? How does change happen? How do I regroup and then entice more people in and do it over again?

My mother hated entertaining. She hated the pressure of opening her doors. Yet she was so generous and such a good listener. But she had me who wanted to invite too many people into her home. She used to say to me,  "You are such a natural teacher you should find a good school to work at."  One summer I tried to teach my brothers how to make artist books. After describing how to follow certain systems, they bared their teeth with great resistance and made up their own rules. They worked on my projects upside down and backwards. They dubbed me the "arts and crafts director" which I thought was a slight. Yet the following summer when we got together they asked "What is the project this year?  What do you want to teach us this time around?  It was so fun last year."  Really!  You could have fooled me.

My family had the habits of telling stories and making up theories. My father preferred good stories over the truth. The kids also had the history of not listening. This lingering legacy clings to my skin. I try to change, making sure I tell the truth. People want to hear the story of how and why I make what I make. How did I come to live in Virginia after being born in New York City? I accept the conditions of my birth, third child in a household of athletic, loud boys; growing up with the children of other artists. As much as I try to make my own path in the world my family stories always linger. I am still the sister. My calm may begin to buckle at times but I will continue to embrace change. I will keep trying to learn how to meditate. I will keep trying to tell my story with new meaning.
16 winter 2019.jpg

I ripped my mother being born

             and I am the only.

                           The oldest ripped my grandmother

                                       and still came more.

We have a family history

             of losing our heads,

                          of no one listening,

                                       of telling someone before.

We are raucous and willful,

              loud as thunder


                             No one can forget us,

                                            we bear our teeth.

We pass through bodies


                  like summer heat. We eat

                             and thicken, worry men.

                                            They plead and suffer, come again.

I entered the world

              a turning storm,

                             but no one stopped me

                                            though they'd been warned.

"Interrogation Suite: Where did you come from / how did you arrive?" by

Remica Bingham-Risher.

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This page contains a single entry by Catherine White published on December 16, 2019 7:55 PM.

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