Living in a Glass Menagerie

1I’m a klutz. I tend to trip and stumble and drop things on a regular basis. The closer to the ground I am, the safer I’ll stay.  I guess it’s because my thoughts are always racing and my body just can’t keep pace?

 When I find myself in a gift shop or museum surrounded by breakable objects, I try to move very slowly and strategically and I never pick anything up. I think the more solid objects like quartz tiles, marble, and stoneware would stand a fighting chance if I were to reach out and touch, but, unlike Roxie, I don’t toy with the fragility of glass.

Of course, I’m strangely drawn to these lovely objects of transparency like a moth to the flame. From the stained glass windows of churches and cathedrals to Waterford Crystal bowls, Italian Merano vases, Tiffany lamps and tiny Swarovski crystals, I’m enthralled.

fullsizerenderI decided, once, to try and create  a stained glass piece myself. It took me almost a year to complete, although it was not a very intricate design. A single blue rose in a green vase.  (The inspiration came from Blue Roses, the name Jim gives Laura in Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie.) My hands still bear the scars. It’s hanging in the front window. I haven’t dusted it in ages for fear it will break.

I’m in awe of artists who can work this medium and live to tell about it. Needless to say, I’d never attempt a class in glass blowing. High temperatures and sharp objects! I shudder to think about it. But I have sat at a safe distance, watching in fascination, as an artist takes a clump of hot, molten glass and pulls and twists and turns it like pliant taffy and then literally breathes life into it – resulting in the most exquisite piece of art.

My favorite Modern American glass artist is a man called Dale Chihuly. He studied and taught at Rhode Island School of Design in the 1960’s. Although I was not familiar with his work then (when he was right in my own back yard), I discovered the beauty of his glass sculptures in May of 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona in an exhibit entitled, Chihuly in the Desert.

Charley and I were welcomed at the entrance of the Desert Botanical Garden by three “Desert Towers” – Yellow-green glass sculptures rising up from the sand in the midst of cacti, palms and aloe. Inside the gardens were “Blue Sapphire Stars” which glistened in the sun by day and shone brightly when surrounded by lights playing off the glass swirls in the night. Orange feathered wings, graceful yellow swirls and straight red and purple spike bands co-inhabited the space comfortably with animals and wildflowers at their base.

The juxtaposition of gigantic glass works, sand and indigenous plants in the middle of a desert botanical garden was a concept I never would have imagined had we not spent the day walking along paths and finding them all coexisting as though it were a perfectly natural, every-day event.

We watched a video of how these colossal works of art are created and then transported to sites around the world – Chihuly Over Venice, Chihuli in the Light of Jerusalem, Chihuly at the Victoria and Albert.  His art is in over 200 museum collections. Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington is a long-term exhibition at  Seattle Center in Washington State.

You also can find his work in many public spaces. the Fiori del Como in the lobby of the Bellagio in Las Vegas; Mendota Wall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Chihuly at Union Station at the monorail in downtown Tacoma, Washington; The Red Reeds at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts are some of the many permanent installations of his works.

Charley and I were in St. Petersburg, Florida, a while ago. We spent the afternoon viewing the Chihuly Collection presented by the Morean Arts Center and then visited the Glass Studio and Hot Shop to watch as a glass blower created  a graceful, lacey-edged violet vase. A 30-minute class was offered, but Charley quickly coaxed me on to the gift shop before I could sign up. The words “Glass” and “Hot” made us agree this was a wise decision.

My love of glass has its roots back in my childhood when I would go to the five and dime store and  purchase small glass pieces as presents for my mother. She would put them on the window sills. I still have some of them and they remind me of her whenever they catch the light. I believe I love glass because it is so transparent.fullsizerender

I’ve been said to have the ability to see through people much as one can see through glass. My mother had this ability. She knew how to spot  phonies and liars. Mom also was adept at seeing through the hard exteriors with which some people protect themselves and she was fully cognizant of and empathized with the intense vulnerability many people carried with them through life.

It’s Tuesday, already with the promise of being yet another week of uncertainty here in the U.S. and around the world. Many people are protesting peacefully and reacting positively to all of the callous cruelty being set upon us by leaders who are ignorant and self-absorbed. Citizens  are becoming more aware of those around them who are suffering. They’re taking their responsibility to human kind more seriously than I have ever seen in my 68 years on this earth. Even more than after 9/11. We’ve come to the realization that it is not a time to close ourselves in but a time to open our hearts to those in need. It assuredly is no time to be silent.fullsizerender-2

“Loneliness is personal, and it is also political” (Olivia Laing).

“In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable…Isolation becomes loneliness.”(Hannah Arendt on “How Tyrannical Regimes Use Isolation as a Weapon of Oppression” in The Origins of Totalitarianism. )

Social media can be a real curse for me, but lately I see how it can be used to connect people and make them feel they are not alone, not isolated. It can be used to call out the lies, publish the truth, defy the bullies and to unify.  Many of my  friends on social media are tirelessly fighting against the “holes of oblivion” against the “post-factual politics”, against the “alternate truths” with their intelligence and the dissemination of facts. They are from all parts of the world. We are kindred spirits.

There is no better way to challenge the hatred being leveled at our fellow human beings than to stand up for them and to let them know we will protect them. In doing so, we protect ourselves.

I’ve been very fortunate in the people who have chosen to “Friend” and “Follow” me. I often visit their pages and blogs to reaffirm the fact that “…in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”(Anne Frank)fullsizerender

And so, I wish for  all of  you, a better day tomorrow and a peaceful week.

A Happy Valentines Day.

 

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82 thoughts on “Living in a Glass Menagerie

  1. Thanks for a lovely post, Claremary. Living in Seattle, I see Chihuly art (and talented facsimiles) everywhere, but my socks were knocked off by the desert pieces you shared. Absolutely gorgeous—now I want to see them in-person. Thank you for your lovely message, too, and the reminder that even in these dark days, we are surrounded by the light of kindred spirits. I loved the L.R. Knost quote—once again I had to replace my socks.
    P.S. – I’m a klutz, too.

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  2. What stunning art, Clare. The video is mesmerising. Thank you so much for sharing and also for your message of hope. We have to hang on to hope and show we care for our neighbours and friends and the strangers who come to our shores seeking refuge.

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    1. I keep waiting for someone in the House or Senate to call for this buffoon’s impeachment. He’s broken the law with his NY/DC Dual residence/ business, has numerous conflicts of interest to say nothing of the nepotism and favoritism of donors that is a constant, and ignored the constitution with his orders and appointments. And let’s not even get into the realm of lies and perjury he and his cronies revel in and his cozy relationship with Putin.How much more is needed to make a case? But no Democrat is making a move and the Republicans are like sheep except for 2 women. And it all comes down to money – our Grand Corporatocracy! Hundreds of school kids walked out of their classes today in NYC to march and protest all of it. (Hopefully all future intelligent voters.) I don’t know how far we have to go, Mary. If I were younger, I’d join an underground movement! But I’m glad you liked the post. I left the politics for the end in case people are choosing to tune out. But I think it will keep seeping into everything I write, now. Clare

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      1. Dear Clare,
        I probably should have read to the bottom before commenting but felt I had to react here. I have only been doing social media in fits and starts since December. I barely even checked email. For a while I only watched minutes of the news, and until recently, l have struggled to be able to finish news articles because I was so appalled. I didn’t even blog in January because I didn’t want to turn my blog into a political call to arms, which was what I was feeling but which has never been its intent. You have done a great job of balance here and kept it so positive! That is encouraging to me. I should have stopped by the barn sooner. Thanks for inspiring me to re-embrace balance -that has been a theme for my life-justice with mercy, judging (good judgment) with grace. Thank you so much for the reminder, my friend. Jo

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      2. Jo, I took January off, too. (After all, we are twins and kindred spirits, Right?) I couldn’t find a balance and didn’t want to rant, although I’m not ruling out ranting in the future. There’s just so much a girl can take❣️ Well, we’re back and I have to warn you that Roxie is writing a post and she is not known to be subtle.( Just a warning.) Right now I’m composing a post about weather in New England with a bit of a scenic twist. We’re going to get our 3rd snowstorm in 4 days tomorrow, so I’ll probably complete it as I sit by the fire. Stay warm in your new home and give Doug a big hug for me. ❣️❤️❣️ Clare

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  3. What a wonderful post, Clare! I love Chihuly’s glass and you have posted such a variety of his work. The quote from L.R. Knost was new to me; I will keep it close and read it often. Just when I think things can’t get worse, they do. With the Republican majority in Congress, I don’t think impeachment will happen; I’m hoping for prison.

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    1. Susan, You are a woman after my own heart! Prison! Wouldn’t that be a political coup! But the way we’re headed, I’m seeing more of a French/Russian Revolution thing happening. So many millionaire/billionaire appointees! Chihuly is setting up 4 exhibits in the US in 2017. They’re on the link. Charley and I are planning to go to the one in NYC. Thanks, Susan. I’ll visit your site soon. Clare

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I lined them up on a shelf to take that photo, but they are usually on the window sills. I had originally done the post with the photos Apped. You can imagine the beautiful effects you can get with them. But Charley said I should use the originals and so, I redid it and am glad I followed his advice.

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  4. I expect you know this, but there is a name for being a Klutz and it isn’t just plain clumsy. Just as I with my butterfly brain am formally discursive my daughter who is exactly as you describe is known to be dyspraxic. She too has a high-functioning and rapid mind but she breaks things, knocks things over and is generally surrounded by baited breath in those that know her. She is enchanting, as is this piece … and I love the links to glass and thence to this fragile world. We can solve it with love, we can solve it deliberately and so long as we use it judiciously and don’t allow ourselves to let ego get in the way, Social Media is certainly part of the solution. Connection is essential and SM allows this in quick time, it’s downside is everyone electing themselves an expert and that has inherent dangers. So I am no expert at anything except that I assuredly know that love is the answer and love really is all we need. So if we can join hands, connect across this wounded world, stop the demonising and let the love flow, we have a chance. And I, for one, will never stop trying. ❤️

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    1. Osyth, No, I did not know that! Discursive and dyspraxic. Either way – I fall down and break things. I do try to slow down, but then have no patience with myself. Maybe it’s my constant sense of time going by to fast and not having enough of it?
      I think you are right about solving problems with love. But I do feel strongly that we need some political tactics here in the US to deal with this situation right now. It does not bode well for our future. I’m going to write a post some day about how it will potentially effect our lives – health wise, economically, educationally…. Even though Charley and I have a simple, middle class life right now, so many things are being done to make that come crashing down on our heads. And those who have been less fortunate than we have been are going to suffer even more. I think if I talk about it in a personal light, people may understand better why this is so serious to everyone who is not filthy rich here in the US. Roxie is hungry and lying on my arm stretching her paw to my face. ZuZu is screaming for her breakfast from downstairs. I must obey! I enjoyed your “alphabet” posts on your stay here in New England and hope that you return to us for more adventures soon. Love, Clare

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      1. Of course there must be a strategy … just look across the Atlantic at the fine mess being collectively made by the two main political parties because they failed to expect the unexpected and now have no notion of what to do except to keep announcing that ‘the will of the people must be obeyed’ (the will of a tiny majority which if you are to believe the polls does not go near to representing the real will of the people today who if polled again would likely actually bother to vote and would vote against severing ties with Europe) …. strategy is so important. And leadership. Good, decent leadership with no agenda beyond executing on the strategy. Given the mess this side of the pond, given that my husband is a US Citizen and given that our healthcare and my husbands pensions (greater than mine by a factor of many times) are your side of the pond I may have no choice but to live out my days in the USA. Whether I will be allowed to enter on a Green Card and apply for Citizenship is, right now more fragile a notion that it has ever been. And I do not jest. Mine has been a journey which I have chosen not to write about until I know my fate. There are so many who will be directly and indirectly effected by the New Order and none in a good way – the ordinary extraordinary of your land and I cannot imagine that there will be smiles at bedtime. Love IS the answer, so is strategy and then a strong, unerring, charismatic and decent leader to deliver. As I wish you all Bon Courage, I selfishly and silently wish myself the same ….

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  5. It’s almost impossible to keep the politics out at the moment, isn’t it? Many people here are shocked and disappointed at Theresa May cosying up to Trump – because she hopes their special friendship will be good for trade when we leave the EU. The Speaker of the House of Commons, who is meant to be impartial, spoke out the other day, saying he did not think Trump should be allowed to speak to Parliament when he comes on a State visit.
    I didn’t know about the school kids’ protest – good to know young people are as angry about all this as we are.

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    1. Yes, our political leaders are aligning all over the place. Very ominous, I think, when it should be a good thing. Ms, May needs to understand that he will be no friend to anyone but himself. He is toppling our economy as we speak and changing us back into Ugly Americans world-wide. She should not be putting her eggs in that basket. The Speaker sees through the guise, though, and that is hopeful. Kids are protesting all over. On election day, there was a walkout in the schools in Arizona and the young are starting to demonstrate more, now. Being a 60’s demonstrator, myself, methinks the buffoon should be very wary!

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  6. Claremary, your post has moved me on so many different levels. The art you’ve shared with us is far beyond stunning, I have never seen the likes of it and am enthralled. I would so much love to see this beautiful desert garden for myself one day. And your own piece of art ist very lovely especially because of the simplicity of your design. People often tend to “destroy” their artwork by putting too many details into them.
    I also share your feeling that it is often better to stay close to the ground 😉 I’m quite famous for dropping and breaking things. But my special “ability” seems to be to break everything made from plastic.
    What happens politically right now troubles me deeply. Being German I had already difficulties to understand how it is possible for a man like him with no political background whatsoever to even become a candidate. It most certainly wouldn’t be possible around here. There’s not a day going by without me clutching my head in despair when listening to the news either mentally or literally. Love, Sarah

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    1. Good morning, Sarah. The desert botanical gardens of the South West are truly marvelous to experience. We went to one that was a refuge for indigenous animals that had been injured and they had a veterinary clinic there where you could watch through a large glass window as they performed procedures and took care of the animals. You would certainly enjoy spending a day there.
      You break plastic? Now that can’t be easy to do. Plastic lasts forever around here. Roxie, of course, loves to break the wooden faceless angels and there is scarcely one left intact.
      Well, many of us are in amazement, too, at our present political situation. But so many people are making their beliefs known and demonstrating and trying to find a way to “fix” this mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. And we will fix it, because this is totally unacceptable. So, don’t worry too much. You have a strong woman in charge and Angela is not going to let a buffoon like Trump get away with anything while she’s in the room. There is certainly hope and better days on the horizon. We just have to weather this storm and stay united.

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      1. Hello Claremary! That desert botanical garden sounds more and more intriguing! Animals as well as art – what more could one want?? 🙂
        Yes, I know, my plastic breaking habit is a bit curious 😉 I regularly break little knobs from things or crack measuring cups or filling containers… it´s quite disturbing and I secretly blame my preference to all things more natural for it 😉
        I like how you see Frau Merkel handling Trump in the future 🙂 She´s certainly very headstrong and is used to have incompetent men all around her already 😉
        Have a wonderful day!

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  7. Chihuly is all over the Bellagio in Vegas. It makes quite a statement there, but I like your photos of Chihuly in the desert better. I, too, am drawn to glass objects that reflect light– like paperweights and cut crystal goblets. But I have never tried to make anything from glass, and applaud you on doing so.

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    1. Yes, we were in Las Vegas two years ago and were taken by the glass floral work above the desk. Like you, I do love the sculptures when they are interspersed with nature and Charley and I will be going to the Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn to see his exhibition this spring. I’ll write a post on it, of course. Have a great day, Ally. 🌻

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  8. As soon as I saw the pictures I thought, “That’s Desert Botanical!” One of my favorite places to visit. I hope to get there in the next month as our wildflower display is expected to be spectacular this year.
    Your comments regarding politics touched me deeply — I confess I’m one who has always stood aside, barely paying attention. Yes, I’ve always voted, but no more than that. However this election has shaken me out of my complacency. I’m uncertain what role I will take, but I’m determined not to be a bystander any longer.

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    1. We were in Arizona one April when the wildflowers were totally amazing. because the fall and winter had been rainier than usual. I’m sure it will be gorgeous.
      Charley and I have decided to concentrate on a few issues. With me it’s gun control and of course, women’s rights. Charley is putting his focus on health issues. It makes a difference when you feel you are doing something productive. And I do intend to keep writing about issues that are important.

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  9. The Chihuly installation at the Botanical Garden was mesmerizing. I am trying not to use my energy up arguing and angsting about the current political situation. We must try to resist however we can an dave our energy for the hard work of resistance done with love.

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  10. oh Ethel!! those are gorgeous!
    And your stained glass window is an impressive piece!! Mine would have been all blood from all the blood I shed, if I’d tried! lol
    Thanks for sharing with us! Happy Valentine’s Day to you too, my special friend!
    Love, Lucy
    Hello, Roxie my love!! So good to see you still alive,and kicking! Sometimes I worry that others will be your undoing!
    Love, Melinda your Prez

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    1. Dearest Prez Melinda. I have so much to say and Mom is not letting me near the laptop. She sometimes lets me watch cat videos on her teeny, tiny mini IPad and she is hogging the desk in my new office! I wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day myself❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️ Love, Roxie D.

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  11. What a wonderful article, Clare – to go from being a klutz (me too) to adoring glass (me too) to being able to see through phoniness (me too, maybe not as well as you) to calling out the biggest and most transparent and dangerous phony in the world. Truly well thought out and written. I’m also finding it impossible to refrain from politics on my blog, but when you consider how much his policies affect everyone, you realize you must speak out. So I did. So you did, and very well.

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    1. Good morning, Sharon. Yes, it is a precarious balance we have to keep – writing about experiences that are not political and saying what is in our hearts because that is what we’re experiencing every day. I’m reading Gloria Steinem’s book “My Life on the Road”. It’s truly illuminating and I think you’d like it. Reading about her life experiences is keeping things in perspective for me in regards to what has been done and what needs to be done right now to keep the fight for equal rights from going backwards.
      We’re snowed in today and my meetings in regard to covers for my newest books have been canceled. That means I’ll actually have time to read some blogs. See you soon. Clare

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    1. Thank you. So much pain went into it! Glass and glass cutters are very sharp! (Talk about stating the obvious!)
      I always remembered that scene in “A Glass Menagerie” when Laura tells Jim she has pleurosis and he thinks she’s said “blue roses”. And I love the title and everything it conjures up in my mind.

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  12. The artwork is gorgeous. Back when I was young (oh so long ago) I made a stained glass hanging lamp. It was hard and I sliced and burned my fingers many times. I have it in the attic these days as they are not so much in vogue. I love stained glass and have a piece with two cats hanging in our bedroom window. The blown stuff is way beyond me. I have a very unusual blown glass vase that was given to my by a suitor when I was young.

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      1. I was glad I did it in a class. I got so frustrated (there is no room for error when it has to meet in a perfect circle) that I dropped part of it and walked out to cool off. My wonderful instructor fixed the booger that I did and I finished it. It took 8 weeks of intensive class. I used it for a long time. Today it would need a special place because it’s a bit gaudy in a 70s kind of way.

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  13. Nice post, Clare. Pretty pics. I was particularly drawn to your last few paragraphs… Optimists rule. Stay calm, keep our sense of humor, deal in truth. I am hopeful in spite of the battles I see coming in the near-term. There is no time in our history that I believe was better (greater) than our future can be, and I am determined to convince as many as possible of that truth.

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    1. I totally agree with you, Peg. We really need to go through this tunnel to get to the light on the other side. There has been way too much complacency which has allowed some of our”leaders” to get us to this point in history. I am very optimistic because more and more women are stepping forward – always a good thing in my opinion! You know better than anyone, I never started this blog to write about politics, but I just can’t rationalize silence right now. Too much is at stake.
      I do check in to your Facebook Page and many times share the wisdom you’ve posted. Thanks for the comment today and I hope you’re staying warm during the storm. PS It’s almost two years since I came crying to you about my tech problems in setting this whole thing up. Now I can safely say, “It’s all your fault!”

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  14. Hello my beautiful friend!
    I love this blog! I would love to see all his work in person! I love your writing! Tucker and I are hunkered down watching the snow from our living room window!
    Talk soon!
    ❤ Tonya

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    1. Tonya – we should have planned this better. You could be sitting with me in front of the fireplace having tea right now! But then, Tucker would be alone and that is just too sad to think about. We are really snowed in here in the woods! There is an exhibit he is creating at the Botanical Center in the Bronx starting in April. It will run through November, so when you go to visit your beau, you could plan a trip there. Stay warm and I’ll see you Thursday. ❤️ Clare PS – Roxie wants you to read her posts. She says they are so much better than mine!

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  15. Having absolutely no creative genes whatsoever I’m always impressed by people who can create works of beauty. Usually for me these are works of music, literature or painting that I admire but you have opened my eyes to a form of sculpture about which I know very little. I doubt that I’ll ever get to Seattle but I’m going to explore glass art nevertheless.

    On your second subject, you know only too well that I share your views on the state of the world, and particularly your country. I’m not one for mass public demonstrations as I don’t do crowds well, but I’ll continue in my own sweet way poking fun and mild abuse at the Orange One and his ludicrous entourage. I hope to read more from you on this too – your eloquence is always welcome.

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      1. The more who do that, the better. It all helps the underground movement and the growing opposition to him. He’s already the most unpopular President ever – that must be such a relief to Dubya! As for my creativity, I know my limitations 😀

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  16. Dear Clare, well now to some general comments. I learned via the comments above to say I also have dyspraxia (never knew it was a formally defined disorder!). When we first met, Doug sometimes affectionately called me Klunkie for my klutziness, an ability to get ahead of myself, move too fast, drop things, and hurt myself in the process! Because I was quick, I would try desperately to catch whatever glass item I had dropped. On rare occasions, I did, but more often I fell or twisted something in the process (feel free to laugh if this conjures up a humorous picture!). Perhaps this is a part of my affinity with Roxy D. ( Hi Roxie!)

    Also, no surprise, I became fascinated with glass, especially colored glass. As a child I would save my money and I bought a number of glass things for my Mom which I now have (I put a bit about that in a draft post, but may even do a separate one on it). And again, I remember being very young when my mother began the mantra for me: “Look but don’t touch” followed by the chant in my head “if you break it you bought it – and it’s broken.” Yet, colored glass calls me to my spirit. So, once again you feel a little like a Siamese twin separated from me at birth.

    I had never heard of this artist. I loved the pictures and video!! My mom and I and later Doug and I went to the Corning Glass Factory, and the Sandwich Glass Museum and Stydenstricker Glass works in Brewster Cap Cod. But glass and nature together like sand and fire are an stunning amalgamation. Breathtaking and lovely. As was your Glass Menagerie inspired brave adventure into stained glass (another love).

    Lastly, I also didn’t know the Knost quote but it also resonates as did your political comments I responded to above. Much to set me thinking!

    I am overdue with a thank you for the Chinese New Year greeting. But we did love it. It’s interesting to me how well the animals in their wood, earth, fire etc incarnations fit most in my family! But anyway. A long note to confirm how close a kindred spirit you are and even when I was hiding in busyness and the move you were also near to my thoughts. Love to Charley , Roxy, and Zuzu, too. Jo

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    1. My Dearest Twin, I actually wrote an answer to one of your comments before reading this – and of course it was about being separated at birth. We must be on some strange esp vibration network?
      I’m working with Milanda on a short story book and we talk about it when we Skype on Saturday mornings. She told me all about her Celebrations for the Chinese New Year. Since everyone is on vacation at the same time, they all jump on trains and take trips and Milanda was not happy with the crowded train situation. I’m glad you liked the card. It will take a lot more Skype sessions with my Chinese friends until I have a better understanding of their culture, I think. I’ve hugged everyone for you and Roxie wants to know how your pup is faring in the new home. I told her I’d give her a report when I found out. 😻

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  17. We definitely have some unusual psychic link! I love ❤️ it that you and Milanda are doing a short story book – that is so very cool! What is it about? Are they Zuzu stories?

    Tell Roxy that Nessa said to tell her that she is still a bit mad at me because while she has a large (1/2 acre) yard, there are only a couple of bush size trees, and I found the only yard in the world totally squirrel free. Nothing for her to chase. I try to make it up to her by throwing things for her to chase but it is not the same. However, what makes up for that loss is that she has fallen in love ❤️ with Tanner, the Belgian malinois next door. Unfortunately, like Romeo and Juliet there is a fence between them. Still they sniff each other through the cracks between the boards and run up and down the fence together! The course of true love is complicated as a large grey hound has moved to the house on the other side! Whatever will happen next?

    When in April will you be in NYC? I have a check up at Sloan Kettering on April 27th. I’d love it if we could be in the same place st the same time! We need a chance for a nice long conversation!

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    1. Jo, I’m not sure when we’ll be there, but I’ll try to figure out a way to be there at the same time. We’ll probably stay overnight and go to the Botanical Gardens for the exhibit and then the Bronx Zoo. I think we should make a phone date to talk out the plans among lots of other things. Roxie understands Nessa’s plight. She, too is in love with Maru who is only there for her only on youTube videos. She is pining away.
      Milanda and I are putting together stories about friendship. She is doing the illustrations and I’m doing the text. She’s getting some of her ideas from stories about values her mother has printed out for her on the internet.I’ll definitely write a post about it very soon.

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      1. Oh, I hope you can work it out, Clare. Actually, it will probably just be Gretchen and me this time…though we’ll see if Doug is up to it. He still is having pain residual to the surgery. We will probably fly in the 26th and stay until at least that Saturday. If not, when does Charley go back to John Hopkins? That is not as long a commute for us. But we do need a long phone call soon for sure. This week we will make a final trip to Edenton to finish Doug’s office and a few final things that were in storage in the manse, maybe even dig up some iris, but back on Friday. Maybe we could do a call next weekend? Enjoy your snow…I’m glad you got a little break in the weather. Love, Jo

        Liked by 1 person

  18. What beautiful glass work. Thank you for sharing with us. We took one of those glass blowing classes and had a blast. The people working there made sure we were safe at all times. We have the two flowers on our kitchen table to always remind us of that day. Happy Valentines Day to you and the family.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. My daughter brought me to see the Chihuly exhibit at the Boston MOFA several years ago for mother’s day. This is most definitely an exhibit to see in person as no photo can do the pieces the justice they deserve. Simply breath taking.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Clare, thanks for the lovely pictures of the glass sculptures. Some of them are huge. Like you, I think its an art form better not attempted by me being the perpetual breaker of delicate things that I am.

    I feel as apprehensive as you do about what the global future holds with Trump at the helm. I felt outraged by the way one of our national literary treasures was treated by US customs and immigration recently, obviously under one of his policies. Mem Fox writes wonderful children’s stories so loved by Aussie kids and she has travelled to the US many many times to speak at conferences without this kind of reception. Then I heard that Mohamed Ali’s son and wife were treated in a similarly appalling manner as they tried to re-enter the US after being away. Disgraceful!

    I agree with your ideas about social media giving us a crucial voice. The pen really can be mightier than the sword.
    I just love your quotes, especially the L.R. Knost one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have all of Mem Fox’s books. She is a treasure. this buffoon is on his way out! We will be in DC for a symposium on prostate cancer. Charley is presenting on the topic of “Financial Toxicity” and we will be going to congress to speak with reps on funding for cancer – busy week. And that idiot is addressing Congress on Tuesday. The city should be a zoo with marches and such. Best to keep me tied down!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Busy week indeed! Would love a copy of Charlie’s presentation. My email is r.haynes47@bigpond.com. But only if it’s not too much trouble. Good luck with the funding quest. Such a worthy cause. I volunteer for a cancer charity here. They do great things with no government input.
        Breathe deeply and remain calm. 😋

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll be writing a blog about our time in DC. I think I will try to video Charley and include it in the post I write – if I can figure out how.
        I have a post on the poster art from the women’s marches I’ve yet to edit and publish. I am falling behind once again. But I will try to remain calm. I’ll visit you soon. Love, Clare

        Liked by 1 person

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