Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I am finally back from a show in Orlando. On the way down, I stopped at Anne Choi's place. I had a great time seeing her and her kittens and chatting until late into the night. I not only marvel at her talent, but at all the cool treasures she has collected. Her home is a magpie's dream come true!

The show was dotted with several familiar faces and it was good to see them. During my time there, it was also nice to hang out with one of my best friends during my free time. I've known Jennifer since we were ten years old. It's hard to believe that so much time has passed since we were playing in the mud and (accidentally) burning down plastic playhouses. The spirit of the children we used to be is alive and well though; we have a knack of making each other laugh... a lot.

While I was down in my old hometown, I tried to see as many people as I could. One of the folks that I was fortunate enough to meet up with was my dear friend, Sam. She's the only person to call me a variation of my name that I respond to. She calls me, "Drew". I don't know how that came to happen, but she's the only one who has ever been able to abbreviate my name and have it stick. (It's stuck for over a decade.) She was also the person to introduce me to a lot of science fiction and open a universe of possibilities. We talked for hours about Steampunk, Joss Whedon, and Stargate. It was good to reconnect.

Above is a picture of Sam, me, and Jennifer. We had coffee at a coffeehouse near the university called, NaturaCoffee. An obliging college student snapped the picture of us.

Also while I was in Orlando, I got to hang out with Cathy Dailey and her husband, Steve. Both of them were so generous with their time. We had yummy Thai food for lunch. Above is a shot of her studio and jewelry station and a few pieces that she's just finished (or is still working on). Make sure to check out the online shop and her Etsy page. I had so much fun getting to know them and their business better. That's definitely one of the perks of doing the shows – meeting people and forming bonds over creativity.

I found a box hidden under the bed in my old room filled with pictures, letters, notes, and various pieces of my personal history. Above is a picture taken in kindergarten of me dressed up like an indian in a costume I made out of a pillowcase on a handmade Christmas tree ornament. Long before Enchanted Adornments came out, Cynthia made the book on the right for me. In it, we both drew pictures of elves, faeries and monsters. I was reminded of some of Azalea's drawings when I saw my own.

I also found a scrap of the shirt my brother, Dwayne, gave me before he disappeared. The shirt was dark blue and had the word "NAVY" printed in white. For all I act nonchalant and unaffected by it, his leaving was probably one of the most profound and defining events of my life. Not only did I loose my brother and role model, but that's when my mother learned to shout, when the silence at the dinner table became uncomfortable, and my father's militant ways relented under the pressure of doubt and regret. In a lot of ways, that was the unmaking of our family. Loss and unknowing created distance between us all.

An almost twenty year old wound reopened. The gush of hurt was staunched by the knowledge that in our own way, we've remade our family. We have a handmade family now. Max and Azalea are blissfully ignorant of that old distance. They are a new generation, where scraps of blue fabric have lost their meaning and are no longer reminders of things and people now long gone.

On my way back to Asheville, the car overheated and broke down. I was thirty miles short of reaching my destination. Freezing rain was pouring down and I got drenched. Awhile later the car got towed. It seemed like an impossibly long day. All I could do was sleep today I was so exhausted. The weekend definitely had its highlights, but I feel beat up.


mairedodd said...

the bittersweet of life completely represented in this one post... happy for your joy... so sorry for your pain... am glad that max and azalea are unknowingly bridging gaps and creating something new for you... and car troubles in freezing rain are never, ever fun... get rested...

Unknown said...

oh honey. i know we've talked about this pain, about the loss. we all have them in some form or another, but when it involves immediate family, it hurts that much more. and yes, i've seen the beauty that comes from your heightened love for cynthia, azalea, greg, and now max. you have a beautiful family, and you are a beautiful friend. get some rest, i hope to see you soon - xo

Unknown said...

I can relate...Its all how we process it isnt it? Im so thankful for the pain I have had that I never had to go thru what others have endured as in say a war torn country...the horrors. The sun has come out and may we all be thankful for these good days now. Bless the days ahead and for their goodness! Much warmth to you Andrew and youre family! xx

Cynthia of Cynful Creations said...

Isn't it funny how finding a box of memorabilia can dredge up so many old memories and feelings, good and bad? I'm so sorry to hear of the lsos of your brother and your car troubles. Sounds like you need to give yourself a little bit of down time to recuperate from these experiences. Take it easy and be well. Thank you for sharing these personal remembrances with us.

Pretty Things said...

Lucky you to meet Anne Choi!

Joan Tucker said...

those who heal without your help
those you abandon
those you pray for
those who wake you up in the night
those whose ghost flits in and out
those who send you images in dreams
those who scent the soil
those whose face appears in your reflection
all of them

I wrote this for my own journey..
Peace to you, Joan T

Jeannie said...

Add an alcoholic,abusive father and a neurotic mother and it sounds like home for me.

What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. Right? Maybe.
Love, Live and Thrive Andrew.

Andrew Thornton said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words and comments. I do think that this post expressed the bittersweetness that is life. One moment you're on a high, and the next you're freezing cold and shivering wondering desperately how this could have come to pass.

I think we can only take it in stride. All I can do is just keep making and plugging away. The answers will fall into place... one day.