The Gullah women of South Carolina have perfected the art of sweetgrass basket-making, a traditional craft first developed in Africa. The tradition thrives today in the hands of women who weave these baskets using the same methods and materials. Along a highway appropriately named Sweetgrass Highway, their baskets are for sale along with their stories. I bought a middle – sized one with an edge called elephant ears or roller coaster. It has bands of pine needles to add colors, is signed by the artist and smells wonderful.These baskets on display in the afternoon sun made me think about how much I miss it when I’m not making things and how wonderful it would be to pass on this kind of tradition. Note to self -get busy!
A jar of found pieces in the window caught my eye. I loved that the shop owners cared enough about the remains under their corner of Charleston to display them. It’s these fragments of those who passed before us, and even from our earlier life that makes us who we are. As a magpie, I’m always collecting little pieces that catch my eye. Shells, rocks,charms, wrappers, letters, metal, all find their way into my hands and collections. I think this year is a good time to gather them together and display them to honor those fragments of memory. Using an old glass jar would be a great beginning and I certainly have many of those. I know there are shard lamps, plaques, and vases, but I think they’d be happier without glue or cement holding them static.Any suggestions?
Day 3 on the road. Most people probably don’t jump in the car to find a place of stillness, but new sights and people help to do that for me. I hope in this season of crazy, that you find those moments to appreciate and just breathe.
Sometimes you just need to start moving. Stand in one place and rust starts to creep in – into your thinking and you begin to still your senses until you find yourself frozen in attitude . So I’m off on a road trip. Hopefully the person who returns will be a bit more flexible and inspired. For the next two weeks, my posts will be more sporadic because of internet connections. If I’m late with a comment, it still matters to me and I will respond. Thank you for helping me to connect with so many wonderful new friends.
There is no longer a front door, chimneys, mantels or window glass.You can almost picture a swarm of locusts descending and eating their way through the house.No locusts. Humans. Scavenger is a more appropriate word. The house beckoned from a roadside between Nashville and Memphis. I wish I could be more specific but when we road trip, we’re never exactly sure.Empty to the elements and those that felt they had a better use for the brick than the chimneys that once graced the home, it is a carcass. Stepping over the threshold, I could find glimpses of what the home might have been.Traces of color and scraps of wallpaper provided detail. The bird’s nest meant it still could provide shelter.Late afternoon sun warmed walls and door frames. I wondered what the former owners would feel to see it standing naked to the weather and abandoned to its fate.
Somewhere on a back road in Mississippi, time worn wood and mottled brick give this building a patina of age.No longer speaking of use and purpose, it stands in dignified silence . Simply forgotten. Neglect sneaks up so quietly that it’s easily overlooked. Relationships may be taken for granted, friends and children are put off, gardens and homes, time for personal growth- all these fall prey to the demands of careers or needs of others.Vibrant dreams and plans grow threadbare and emptied if neglect grows unchecked.Taking a moment to really see things in their current state is the first step to protecting and reaffirming what’s important to us. There’s more to say, but I need to go call my mom…
Corpses litter the beach.Macabre yet stunning in their simplicity. Erosion is the guilty party. Stands of trees surrender onto the sand and are bleached into submission. Having read about the beach and its nickname, I couldn’t wait to find it. The task became more difficult than I expected because it has several names, and Boneyard Beach isn’t endorsed by the visitor center. It’s formal name is Black Rock Beach and finding it was well worth the communication issue. The December morning we visited, the deserted beach didn’t disappoint. The formations of trees and roots, those that lie in isolation and some entangled with others , took my breath away and made my camera tired. I might have stayed longer, but it’s the kind of place that will appear different the next time I visit. I didn’t want to feel greedy, as if I had taken too many photos and stopped experiencing the moment. Sometimes I need to remind myself how to do that.
Entering Holly Springs, Mississippi on Route 7, you can’t help but notice a cluster of buildings that has struggled to survive. The remains of a mechanical college that dates back to the early 1900’s invite further inspection. A mixture of Victorian with Mansard roofs and ironwork to a newer auditorium building, the glimpses through vine covered windows tempt passersby. Having visited this campus for several years,one building is now a pile of rubble. Where books peeked out from a basement storage area, and glass shone in most windows, the buildings now stand forlorn while flocks of turkey vultures roost in the eaves and chimneys, The first time I disturbed them I was quite unnerved when more than twenty huge scrawny necked birds came swooping from the rooftop and began circling. Having no desire to reenact a scene from Hitchcock’s The Birds, I tiptoed back out of sight.If you look closely at the chimney in the photo, several remain to stake their claim.There had to be something more useful to do with this property than let it slowly collapse onto itself. Unfortunately, it may be too late to try. The building in the bottom photo was damaged in a storm and is the rubble you see in the second photo. Somehow we have to learn not to be so shortsighted.