Saturday, January 6, 2018

Everything has a story...

Looking at it , it seems like just another old kitchen utensil but the ravioli cutter has quite a history behind it...

We couldn't mention the Mafia out loud.

In our house it was whispered like people used to whisper cancer.

My grandparents were both from Sicily you see.

It wasn't until I was in my teens that I heard about my great Uncle Frank.

It seems Uncle Frank was a Don in the, you know the M word.

He was arrested for tax evasion and sent to federal prison.

Coincidentally my grandmother had the exact same name as Franks younger sister and was able to visit him in prison under the guise of being said sister.

While in that prison Frank was being rehabilitated and one of the things they thought would do the trick was to have the inmates participate in wood working, metal workshops and such.

Frank worked with metal and being Italian, had made a ravioli cutter.
It was made of brass and copper and steel and it was given to my grandmother on one of her visits to the prison.

Not long after leaving prison, Frank disappeared.

They found him in the desert in southern California.

He had been on his way to his farm where he produced, you guessed it, olive oil when he met a very unsettling fate.

Frank was the recipient of an Italian neck tie.

That was in the thirties.

The ravioli cutter became a fixture during my childhood.

Something that was always around and always in use.

Grandma used it faithfully until she died.

Cutting hand made ravioli to serve to family and friends for many years.

I inherited the cutter when grandma passed away and I have it to this day.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

a writers folly...

I bought it on a trip to Paris.

I was blocked. Staring at blank paper day after day, week after week.

What better inspiration to write stories and poems than with an extraordinary pen purchased in this
city, home to so many great writers.

Victor Hugo
Jules Verne
Simone de Beauvoir
Ernest Hemingway
and Gertrude Stein to name but a few.

And so I bought the pen.

I'd seen it in the window of a stationary store on my walks to and from the café every morning.

It beckoned me toward the window with it's intricate silver design.

I'd managed to admire it in passing for days, but now it was becoming an obsession.

I broke down and bought the pen.

It was extravagant and expensive but with a pen like this one could, no, one must write wonderful stories.

It is seven years later;

I was cleaning out a drawer and there was the pen.

Still in it's box.

Upon my arrival back home all those years ago, I had tried to use the pen but it was too heavy and
bulky. Too difficult to write with easily.

And so it was retired to the drawer.

Never used to write the masterpiece it was meant to write.

Maybe I'll try it again, who knows...

Monday, August 29, 2016

found objects...

I found it in a thrift shop.
Fine bone china big enough to hold gallons of coffee on the toughest days and a single serving of oatmeal on cold winter mornings.

It holds hot lemon tea with honey when I'm sick.
Coffee on normal days.
When I'm writing it's right beside me holding caffeine and critiques.
Over the years it's held change and flower petals, candy canes and crayons.
The day it breaks I will cry...

Saturday, August 27, 2016

a different kind of jewlery...


One of three little white tigers I was photographing. When I was finished she playfully sank her teeth into my wrist creating a not so little puncture.
I spent the next 14 hours in an emergency room.
I still have the scar, one of many over the years spent photographing wildlife around the world.
I wear them as one might wear pieces of jewelry.
Although they do not sparkle and shine, they are the reminders of the incredible life I have lead and the wonderful opportunities that have come my way...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Helen's hats...

In the corner of her bedroom sat an old wicker chair she'd picked up at a garage sale.
It was what sat on that chair I had come looking for...

Three floral hat boxes stacked one atop the other like they had been for all the years I could remember.

They contained my aunts most prized possessions.

Three wonderful hats she had acquired over the years.

One had been rescued from a thrift store in the nineteen seventies.

The red one was a souvenir from Paris in the late fifties.

And the black one had belonged to my mother.

Everyone else had already rummaged through her house and belongings. Picking through her life like scavengers.

Those who had come before had absconded with her jewelry and china and anything else they had deemed valuable.

Helen would have laughed at their notion of valuable and hid that laugh behind her hand to hide her crooked teeth...I loved that laugh.

I left the house with the hat boxes and a smile, wearing the red hat.