Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mothers, Fathers, and Dried Beans

The March/April issue of the local magazine Girlfriends opens with an essay by my friend Shannon Tassava, about "the challenge of balancing self-care with other-care," and ends with an essay by my friend Paula Granquist about her relationship with her father. Meanwhile, another writer friend, Mary Schier, has come up a winner in the annual Garden Writer's Association media awards.

Shannon writes about redeeming a birthday gift certificate for a massage and spending the entire hour of personal pampering thinking about her children. It's an experience most parents of small children can relate to. Paula, irrepressible host of "ArtZany!" on KYMN Radio, writes with characteristic lyricism and openness about her wonderful father, who was diagnosed with lung cancer while she was pregnant with twins. The image of the moon floats through her short essay. My favorite sentence: "My father shared 14 months on this earth with my children, their lives intersecting like a Venn diagram, merely a sliver of the moon."

Mary won a GWA Silver Award for the post "Dried Bean Philosophy" from last November on her My Northern Garden blog. Mary talks about harvesting black beans from her garden, and about gardening as an expression of "a desire for a more creative, hands-on, day-to-day life." She includes a passage from an essay by the late Paul Gruchow, about his mother's homespun creativity: "Scarcely a day of her life passed in which she did not create something intended to be beautiful or delectable as well as practical."

Three beautiful personal reflections on mothers, fathers, and the poetry of daily life from three talented local writers.


Shan said...

You are the sweetest! Do you know that I haven't even seen the issue yet?

Thank you as always for your unflagging support for my writing. It means a lot to me!

Mary S. said...

Hey, Rob, thanks for the mention. It happens that I read the articles by Shannon and Paula just yesterday -- good stuff. I have not met Paula yet but had the pleasure of meeting Shannon (and her littlest girl) a week or two ago. We writers should get together in person sometime!

Jim H. said...

Mary & Shannon:

Nice work!

A few years ago, Paula G. hosted an informal group of writers and would-be writers in Northfield. The group grew out of one of her writing classes and the desire of some of the students to continue to support each other. Maybe it's still going in some form.

New Poem: "Phrasebook"

My poem " Phrasebook " has been published online in Ergon: Greek/American Arts and Letters .