Family is the major focus of my personal life, but this week it’s also the dominant part of my life out in the big world. On Monday I was thrilled to have a letter published in the New York Times about the calendars I have kept since my children were born, where I record their milestones and funny quotes. For those of you who are writers or parents, I would love to hear if you have a similar practice.
Calendar of the Early Years
The New York Times, January 28, 2013
Re “The Last Calendar” (Op-Ed, Jan. 23):
I appreciated Olivia Judson’s article about the calendar of notes she and her brother kept as their father declined. I immediately thought of the calendars I have been keeping since my children were born.
Over the years, I have jotted down not only first steps and lost teeth but also quotes that provide a window into a child’s unique way of thinking. Here is my daughter, then 4, telling her baby brother, “I love you even though you don’t have any teeth to hold your tongue in place.” And here is my son, at 3, asking, “I’m getting to be mini-sized big, right, Mom?
Memory can be as fleeting as childhood itself. Like Ms. Judson’s “last calendar,” these “first calendars” tell a rich story that would otherwise be lost.
Arcata, Calif., Jan. 23, 2013
Clay, Straw, Paper: And speaking of family ties, tonight is the opening for an art show featuring my mother Erika, my sister Yoshi, and me. This is a special event for us, as it’s the first time we three have exhibited our art together. The show is one more manifestation of the encouragement my mother always gave her three daughters to express our creativity. (More about my remarkable mom in An Authentic Life.)
The show, called “Clay, Straw, Paper,” is at the Corner Gallery in Ukiah, California through February 23. There is more information in today’s Ukiah Daily Journal story, “Mother-daughter trio to show their art together.”
Valentine’s Day: To deepen connections of a different kind, I offer prints or cards that you can give to your sweetheart. You can see all my designs on the Makino Studios Etsy shop; these are also available from me directly as small signed and framed prints. Valentine’s cards are not just for lovers: I’ve also had people give dog or cat cards to a friend or family member who may not have one particular human companion, but whose animal companions make sure they are well-loved.
Here’s to love in all its varied and glorious forms: between family members or friends, romantic or platonic, full-size or mini-sized, with or without teeth to hold a tongue in place.
“Quite the pair”, shown above, is 5″ x 7″, painted with sumi ink and gansai paint on textured paper. It is stamped in red with my personal seal. Though the original has sold, it is available as a card or small matted and/or framed print.