My daughter Chloe was born in 1993. My pregnancy was not planned—I was 33 years old and really hadn't thought much about being a parent—but I can state unequivocally that deciding to have that baby is probably the best thing I've ever done. Not that it was easy—HELL NO. But isn't that generally the way with things that are worth something? Effort is required my friends.
DISCLAIMER: I am not implying that everyone should make that choice. I speak for myself, and myself only. When I was sitting in the bathroom of our rental suite on Howe St. and saw the blue strip come up on the home pregnancy test, I made an instantaneous and irrevocable "yes" decision that only I could make. I could not have guessed in advance that I would feel the way I did at that moment. But I did feel that way and I was very, very sure. Come what may.
In 1998 I was asked by the artist Diana Lynn Thompson to participate in her massive project/art installation "Conceptions", which I sadly did not see when it was mounted at The Richmond Art Gallery in 1999. Diana had worked for several years on paintings, quilts, embroidered panels and more, all centered around the world of conception and birth. The centerpiece of the show was 17 tables, each one displaying a journal either about having or losing a child. I contributed one of these journals.
Before I get to the collages that the journal open with, here is a snippet of the written section:
"Here's another statement that doesn't properly describe a bloody thing: Having a baby changes EVERYTHING. It doesn't only change how you view yourself, your body, your partner, your relationship with your partner, or the world in general. It doesn't only change how you spend each passing moment of your day. It doesn't only change your priorities, your values, your interests and your ideas. It's a molecular change. It's new cells, and new eyeballs. It's a forced trip into the ozone with no prior instruction. It's a huge new capacity for love you didn't know you had. It's an instruction on humanity you didn't know you needed to learn. It's a growing up you didn't know you needed to do. And it's a sometimes very painful learning about yourself that you'll often wish you didn't have to do."
Heavy, dudette. And now for the collages (they still make me laugh):
This month's winner of a giclée print from balampman.com is firstname.lastname@example.org! Congratulations! Now, I have no idea who this is, but I've sent them an email so I hope to find out soon.
Last month's winner of the draw for a FREE giclée print from balampman.com was Ellen Box, the mastermind behind the beautiful bags and wallets of Bonspiel Creation. When I met up with Ellen to hand over her prize print ("Prince No. 11"... surprise, surprise), she gave me a pair of her Pantone panties! Or as she calls them, PANTONIES. Available on her Etsy shop: