34 Comments

Loved this post. Tender, thoughtful, felt like the spoken word with a bit of melancholy. Images and photos were lovely.

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Thank you so much, Jill. I really appreciate this comment — thank you for reading!

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May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

I am up early this morning with a migraine, hoping to distract myself from the pain that the meds have only dulled. I opened your post and gulped it down, listening to sweet birdsong and stopping to write a few words of my own. Thank you for the connection, for making me think, for making me remember some early memories of my own.

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Dawn - I hope your migraine ebbed. Thank you for reading and for your comment. I really appreciate knowing that it had resonance for you. I hope there were good memories to think back on.

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May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

This brought back memories of my mom and her’s, old photos of them and me, feeling weepy. First birds spotted this morning - a male cardinal, a pair of house finches and a cocky blue jay.

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I’m very weepy this morning myself.

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Lovely sightings today, cardinal, finches, and jay. Red, magenta, and blue…. Very nice! I hope you had a peaceful day and that thinking back was good. Thank you for letting me know you read!

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May 12·edited May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

I love how reading this really makes me feel like I'm experiencing the "grasping at smoke" feeling of trying to process a memory 💕

This made me think of a "memory" of my own childhood with lots of details that I can see and remember clearly:

My uncles (my age) and I are playing with some kittens that we put in an old baby stroller, we are bothering my grandparents while they play cards with the neighbors

Then, one of my uncles carries a kitten to everyone in turn-asking them if they want to see a cute little kitten. Everyone is ignoring him and he gets frustrated and says - I said, does anyone want to see a g ..d...cat?!

I recounted this story to my grandfather years and years later and he looked at me funny and said, "Honey, that was a joke I used to tell " 🤯

What? Omg! One of my core memories is a story he made up 🤪 He was quite the teller of tales! I'm sure this story is based on actual facts which makes it harder to know what's true

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lol. Melissa, thank you for sharing this story. What a funny moment, but what a great example of how things get shifted or a bit askew along the way, and we often have no idea. That is too funny, really, about the story. Thank you for commenting. I hope you enjoyed a good day.

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May 12·edited May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

Wonderful pst! I love the memories and the old photos of the boys and your bird drawings!

Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for your words and thoughts.

Up before the birds I think but I have just heard the local crows chatting. Suki is posed on the railing waiting.

A few days ago we saw Canada geese walking their chicks in the park. So proud and alert to every danger that might threaten their young. Ready to charge and hiss…..

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Thank you, Gail! I appreciate your comment, and I can picture Suki at the ready and waiting. She really keeps you on your toes!

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May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

This was a beautiful post, Amy. I really enjoyed it. I have the same bird book, which also holds a special meaning and connection, given to me by my mother. I used it to identify birds in my yard when I was just starting my own life as an adult. Sadly, it is missing the front and back cover…and a few first pages. One of 3 special books that became victims of dog book-attacks over the years. I was able to salvage most of this one.

And for the record, I think you are very cool. (Though my level of coolness may not carry a lot of authority on that subject.)

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Thanks, Erin. I appreciate the support. I loved seeing the graduation photo you shared in our group this morning. I hope the weekend finished off nicely. That’s amazing that you have the same book! I love that, although I’m sad about the dog damage. But I’m glad you were able to hold onto most of the bird one.

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May 12Liked by Amy Cowen

Loved your post, the other day I was sewing something. My mother used to make our clothes. We showde her a picture of what we liked and she made it for us, souschef a talent. I still have her sewingbox. Using it makes me sentimental, gratefull and brings back load of memories. Such a treasure !

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Sorry for the wrongly spellen Words , autocorrect………🥴

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I love this, Lia. I completely understand the connection to sewing (and knitting) tools and memories. I love that you have that connection and the tangible reminder of the sewing box. How wonderful that your mother made clothes based on what you picked, too! That’s very special. I hope you had a good day — and no worries about spelling. Auto-correct often does its own thing, I know!

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I LOVE the birds on the shipping tags. Beautiful! It inspires me to think about maybe doing ICAD, but on shipping tags…

I love looking back at pictures of my kids when they were little. I realized early on that we were going to be on a different path than most families, and I can see joy and sadness and love and fear and tears and beauty all mixed up in those images. I’m sorry my kids won’t pose for pics now that they are teenagers, and forget getting them in the frame!

My relationship with my mom is challenging, as was her relationship with her mom (although it is unspoken). I know we say we do the best with what we have, but I haven’t been able to forgive.

I read a really great post this morning about hats and moms and death, and it got me all in my feelings.

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I’m glad we were able to draw today, Laura, and I hope that your day ended up good. I really do hope there was some good for you. We all have different views on forgiveness, of course, and all kinds of complicated (or not) family relations. I was reminded recently about not offering unasked for advice. I’m putting that to use — and just hoping your day was peaceful. I am going to be a stickler though and say…. Shipping tags are awesome …. But they also aren’t technically ICAD. (That isn’t to say you can’t just do whatever, I know!) But I would TOTALLY encourage you to do a shipping tag series if that is of interest.

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My day was fine, I spent it with my usual side kick, so all was well. I think I would allow shipping tags for myself, it’s still in the spirit of the challenge, right?

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Thank for this beautiful post. You draw such beautiful images whether you are writing or doing visual art. Mother's Day is a hard day for me, but this post took me to memories of my grandmother, who nurtured me and was present in ways no other mother figure was. I'm going to go read your November post now. Happy Mother's Day, Amy.

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I am grateful for the women in my life, but we all know this day can be difficult. I hope your day was okay, and I am glad that there was a grandmother who was special and present. I hope there were some good memories mixed into the day for you. Thanks for commenting!

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I can relate to the feeling of reaching for memories that can't be verified. It's easier for our brains, I think, to create complete stories rather than leap over the gaps. I've had stories I was certain were true turn out to be completely different from another's version, or to be untrue at all. So disconcerting, and who's to say who has the details right? There is a lot of research about this, how the details of memories form, some that aren't real. It's important to history, particularly with regard to the criminal justice system.

I'm glad you have such happy thoughts of your grandmother. I also associate one of mine with birds, specifically the pileated woodpecker. She lived in New Jersey at the time. We enjoy seeing them here in Maryland, and I always think of her.

I wonder if either of these book sets feel like the one you recall? I had several from the first collection but I don't ever remember seeing the second.

You are a good mama to teach your boys to know the birds. <3

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Guide#/media/File:Goldenguides.jpg

https://www.ebay.com/itm/375411455598?itmmeta=01HXQPV98F0WN70DBPRY28JENV&hash=item576844366e:g:ZhEAAOSwJDtmNn0j

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Thank you, Elizabeth. Your summary of how our stories and memories shift and take on layers that weren’t there to begin with is right on. I agree with you that it is fascinating how people (even people with good memory) can have such different memories of the same moment. We are lucky when there are others to compare those memories with, of course! I love knowing you had a bird connection with a grandmother. How did I not know you were in Maryland? Why did I totally think you were somewhere else? Funny how that happens. Thanks for sharing those photos of the books, too. Interesting….. I don’t know now that I will ever know. I did always think it was the little golden (from my photo above — but it never quite matched what I thought). One of the ones in the photos you sent does make me wonder. Hope you had a peaceful day!

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May 13Liked by Amy Cowen

Happy Mother's Day, Amy. Beautiful post, photos, art, and memories. You are so gifted at capturing everything, from feelings to people, whether it be through words or sketches. As I get older and grow through life and loss, I realize more and more how precious it all is. What a treasure to be able to capture and express it all. It really inspires me to look for ways I can make my own journaling be deeper and more personal, about more than the art. I need to start capturing more little things, because so often they turn out to be the big things. Thank you for the inspiring post.

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Susan - Thank you. I hope you had a peaceful Mother’s Day. I know it may have been mixed, but I also hope you had a special day. I appreciate your comment, and I love how you are thinking of your journaling and art. You do such beautiful work, and I know you will continue to find ways to make journaling work for you.

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May 14Liked by Amy Cowen

Arms open. Lovely. Thank you.

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Thank you for reading.

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May 14Liked by Amy Cowen

Just saying 🙋🏻‍♀️ hello — i don’t know these cool kids you reference (because I’m out of the coolness loop) but you’re 107% cooler!

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Thanks, Tammy. Much appreciated.

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May 16Liked by Amy Cowen

This is a funhouse mirror of an essay, the images twisting and wowing and breaking into shards. I am traveling through a dark cave, yearning for Diogenes and his lantern. My ears are stuffed with cotton wool and my fingers pricked with the thorns of yellow roses.

You weave a strange, magic and elemental web, and I am captured in it, unable to move, flapping my wings to no avail.

I did not know my grandmothers, and my girls hardly knew theirs. But I know this about my mother: she loved birds.

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A beautiful response, Fran. Thank you. And this is a wonderful thing to know about your mother, too.

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I saw some yellow roses and thought about you.

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Amy- Thanks for sharing this. Especially the quote: "A bird does not sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” — Maya Angelou. It's been a while since I revisit Angelou. Your writing just reminded me of this. Hope your week is off to a great start? :)

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Thank you, Thalia. I appreciate the comment -- Maya Angelou left us with so many beautiful words, indeed!

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