how did i get here?

my husband, my beautiful Dragon, died suddenly at 12:03 AM on 9 February 2009. there was a cold, lovely full moon and 3 feet of snow on the ground. i "slept" for the following 10 months and "woke" to the physical and emotional pain and torments of deep grief. i "woke" to find i had moved the day of his funeral and that i am lost. i am looking for me while i figure out the abstract, unanswerable questions that follow behind any death. my art has evolved. his death changed that as well because i am forever changed and will forever bear the mark of losing the only man i can ever love.
there is alive and there is dead and there is a place in between. i am here wholly in my heart for my children, but i feel empty inside at this time. i miss him. i have not gotten very far in my grief journey. i make no apologies for this.
this is my place, my blog, where i write to tell the universe that i am still here.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bunny's Mansion ~ part two

and we're back. Lifestyles of the Small and Insignificant is bringing you the second part of a three part special on the reclusive artist, Beach Bunny.

yesterday we left Bunny sitting in her Dragon's chair, getting pensive, as a photo of her beloved Dragon appeared on her computer screen. today we're back and Bunny looks tired. bless her little heart. she spent a relatively sleepless night in misery. she misses her husband and today, tonight at midnight, it will be exactly 14 months since he died. Bunny drew through the night and looks hollowed out this morning, but she is up and ready to graciously show us three more areas in her boho-chic pad.

the photo below is Bunny's studio. Bunny is sitting on her work table with clothes spread out that she is presently measuring and sketching as she plans another quilt for someone. we can see that this is supposed to be her dining room but since Bunny doesn't dine per se, she opts to use it as her work space.

and what a work space it is. there's a quilt on the wall that Bunny will be taking down to work on the one from the table. someday it will be Bunny's own memory quilt but she has been working on it for a long time and sets aside quite a bit. there are two of Bunny's own personal pieces of stained glass she has made that she doesn't have the windows to put them in. and there's another driftwood sculpture in repose on the top of Bunny's bookshelf that is simply chock full of books, shells, little stones, and photographs.

Bunny's quilt frame is broken apart and sitting on the floor behind another set of bookshelves and on the right we can see Bunny's little globe that lights up. what a girl. twirling, twirling that little lighted globe remembering all the countries her Dragon pointed out to her that he had been in, all his stories.

and now for the living room. ah, what a spectrum of color and clutter. Bunny makes such great use of a small space. her plants are now all outside clearing the top for her one tender amaryllis. below it are the notions of her trade. threads, needles, trims, beads, and ah, yes, there are the shells and rocks and more photos of her beloved Dragon.

Bunny is reclining on her borrowed sofa - her daughter isn't using it right now. behind her is an ugly orange shag cushion for her back and draped over the top of the sofa is an afghan her mother had knitted so many years ago. on the wall to the left of the blinds are a collection of photos of her children at various ages. such a sentimental soul, she is. on the arm of the sofa is Bunny's latest dragon handkerchief that is in progress while on the ottoman are a pair of jeans she is patching and embroidering.

last but not least we know that on the wall above the sofa is Bunny's first husband quilt. we quietly ask her why it isn't finished and in a low, halting voice, Bunny explains.

"i moved here 7 days after my Dragon died. i was lost and, i was lost. i didn't know what to do, or really how to live without him. i sew and i had all his clothes everywhere. my daughter suggested i make a quilt. so i just started cutting." gazing up at the quilt Bunny's eyes fill with tears. "i can honestly say i had no plan. i do not remember doing it at all. not one stitch. not one section of embroidery. i have no memory of working on it at all. it seems it got bigger and bigger as i went. i can see that. but there was no plan. no talent went into it. it's not finished because i simply do not know what to do with it. it's off. as in not square. i mean i could fix it, not a problem, but if i did, then it wouldn't be the thing, and that's what it is - it's a thing - it wouldn't be the thing that got me through all the days and nights of those first weeks here. it's not representative of a Memory Quilt. it's my grief. that's all it is. it's my grief. i cried over it. all over it. as i was making it. i must have cut myself and stabbed myself a hundred times because i couldn't see due to the tears. i guess, someday...."

Bunny's voice trails off as this "thing," as she calls it, holds her gaze far longer than is comfortable for us.

but finally our sweetly generous little Beach Bunny comes back to us and moves to sit in her chair. The Chair. this is the one she sits in every night for the handwork she does. it's the one she uses to pose her stuffed bunny for the photos. she is posing with her latest dragon handkerchief. such a funny Bunny. we can see the ever present pillow for her aching back, and 2 crocheted afghans and one old chenille bedspread. and there is the stuffed bunny her son sent her that she can put in the microwave lying across the top of her chair. she heats it and then wraps it around her neck and shoulders. Bunny with a bunny. such a cute image comes to mind.

on the side table is an assortment of embroidery floss for her various projects. the lamp has quite a few old rosary beads draped over the shade. and there it is. we can see better. on the ottoman are the jeans Bunny is also working on. such a busy Bunny. such a quiet Bunny today.

she is gazing back off towards her husband quilt and looking a little bit drowsy. i think we'll quietly slip out and let Bunny take a nap if she can. she looks so forlorn and exhausted.

grieving seems to be a very hard thing to do. tomorrow Bunny has said we can see her kitchen and her ladies room. she calls it the ladies room since Bunny lives very much alone and she is a lady. we understand and we think she is very clever to state the obvious like that.

bye, Bunny. here's a cup of hot tea before we go. no, no. don't get up. we'll lock the door behind us. see you tomorrow.


Widow in the Middle said...

I feel honored to have a peek into Bunny's warm and welcoming abode. She may be living on a shoestring budget but she has created a comfortable home surrounded by lovely and meaningful possessions, the kind that really matter because they are not just things. The flag wall hanging is spectacular.

judemiller1 said...

I was so glad to visit Bunny. I wish I could have stayed longer and talked, but I know she is tired. Bunny and I seem to have the same things around us--floss on the table nearest her chair, projects she is working on. Some might call it clutter, but Bunny and I know--these things bring comfort. Love you Bunny...

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady,

I feel privileged to see your little home. I'd like to take issue with the word insignificant but I can feel your hurt all the way across the ocean. I like your choice of music. I let it play all the way through. I never had softness in my life and I know that your husband was a different man after he found you. Know that there is nothing insignificant about you. You gave him love. He called it absolution. Just wanted you to know especially today because of it being 14 months and all.

Semper Fi

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