Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Music In Me

The Music In Me Collage, Stage 1, front
This image represents my first work with a new international collage group, The Collage Collaborative, organized by my friend Nikki Soppelsa, from Ohio. Each person begins a collage, and then it is mailed to the next person on the list. Usually 4-5 people work on one collage. The work cycles through the list and eventually comes home to live with the person who started it. I am fascinated with this entire process and thrilled to have been invited to participate.

This is my first, "The Music In Me". It includes images from a 19th century original music score I found in a box of old music that came to me through the "Free" tab on Craig's List in Cambridge last summer, and Victorian Music Covers.  I found an old photo of my Great Aunt Minni and have included it here.

This particular great aunt, my father's mother's older sister, fell in love with a doctor's son and they became engaged. Her engagement present was a diamond ring that came from "the old country" and a bed that came to Iowa in a Conestoga Wagon. The marriage never took place as the young man took the "Inter Urban" train to Davenport, Iowa and met a Dance Hall girl. He fell in love with  her, and ran off to San Francisco. Aunt Minni kept the ring and the bed, which both came to me when I married. My grandmother used to tell me the story when I was in middle school, warning me about the dangers of boy friends!

What I remember most about my great aunt Minni was that she loved music. She was always humming when I was a small girl. We would go to great aunt Emily's farm in Mt. Carroll, Illinois, and her sister, Minni, would be there for the weekend, helping to make bread, lemonade, and angel food cake. She would walk with my sister and I and our grandmother, Clara, down to the creek and watch us wade in the water. She died when I was only 6 years old, but I will always remember her music.

Due to my hearing issues I don't sing all that well, but I always carry the music in me from those summer days with my grandmother and her sisters.

Participating in this collage group is exactly what I need at this juncture in my creative space. We are still surrounded by snow, and cold temperatures, but at least we have marvelous sunshine this morning. Beams of wonderful warm light are streaming into the grotto as I work this morning. It makes me think of my friend Nikki, and all the people in The Collage Collaborative-they too are like beams of light, sending their emails and sharing their own creative process with me electronically. Amazing what technology has done to connect artists and creative types internationally!

Each person who emails or posts, or sends photos of what they are working on is like a note in a symphony that is being written with each breath we take, each stroke we make. I will carry this music in me, just as I do the music of my grandmother and her sisters.

All will be well, and all will be well, and with the grace and light of God in our souls, all will be well.