Linen Napkin Notebook 3: “Normally Normal”

Normally normal
Normally normal

I found a scrap of paper in a pile of scraps of paper,  with a red pen drawing of a girl over squiggly pencil lines.  The words: written in marker stitched over image, next to it.  Good idea I thought, guess that’s why I made a note of it.

That morning (a few days ago) the words, When things started to get back to normal, kept running through my head. So in my studio I pulled out one of  my white linen napkins from my massive pile and a marker and started to write.   The words poured out and I put the piece aside.

Yesterday when was looking for a picture for my blog,  I came across one of the drawings I did while Jon was in the hospital.  It had a girl standing upside down on a book.  It seemed just right for the words.  So this morning when I got in my studio, I had an idea of what I wanted to do.  My first version got messed up when I stitched the girls eye over a tiny fray in the napkin and the thread wouldn’t hold.  So it was either start again or have a one eyed girl.  On the second version (this one) I changed the words a bit and got the girl right.  For me the tree was grounding and “normal”.   I saw it as a part of the piece even before I knew there would be a  girl.  Then some of those hearts that hung off the IV lines in the Hospital Drawings.  A heart tree.

My decisions about what to stitch and what to draw with marker are completely intuitive.  I stared at the linen napkin until I saw what it was supposed to look like.

I’ll probably sell this piece eventually.  I have to find a way to finish the edge.  But I have found that I like looking at the three of these Linen Napkin Notebook pieces together.   I feel like they’re forming a story.  Or maybe each one is its own story. I’m not sure what it is, but something makes me want to hang onto them for a little while.

It was when things started to get back to normal
that she realized that normal
isn’t static. It undulates like
the Battenkill  where she normally
would be spending these  Summer
Hot July  afternoons (floating down it with her lover) if
things were normal.

5 thoughts on “Linen Napkin Notebook 3: “Normally Normal”

  1. Love it. Your prose reminds me of a line from a movie, Tombstone, where Doc Holliday says to his friend Wyatt Earp, “There is no normal life, Wyatt, there is just life.”

  2. Dear Maria, I am beginning to understand that a true artist has art in her soul, brain, and body; and she expresses art as poetry, prose, drawing, fiber creations. I used to think you were amazing with colors and designs. Now I know that you are just as amazing with words. All these entries since Jon’s hospital stay are art. I am so glad that you’ve written them. Annie

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