I’m getting married. I say this to myself several times a day, feeling the words in my mouth, hearing how they sound in different rooms. I’ve found the person I want to build a life with, and he found me, and big things are beginning. Lots of different types of days.

We got engaged in Paris– a secret trip he’d planned for a long time. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit, and it was a dream.

I wish my mom was here– I wish that every moment of every day, but I also wish it specifically for this, because it’s a big thing, and I’m so excited, and it would be so much fun to be excited about this with her.

Here are some drawings I did in Paris (click image to see larger):

And here are a few photos:

thinking about my mom today

IMG_9536 This is my mom in Chicago, at a cafe, in March 2012. I was asked to do a reading at AWP, so Mama and I took the train and stayed in a hostel and explored the city together. We bought knitted hats with knitted flowers– she’s wearing hers in this photo, mind is red with a grey flower.

IMG_0054 This is my mom working on her final painting in late December 2012. She painted and drew a little after this, but this was her last finished painting. I have so many pictures in my head just like this, Mama in her overalls, a fuzzy hat, paint all over her clothes and the furniture moved out of the way, drop cloths on the floor. She had a “working face” that was serious and funny all at once. She would squint her eyes, purse her mouth, looking at the person or thing she was painting but also looking through it to the other world, the one she saw with light and shadows. Colors are just made of light.

When Mama started snow-painting (her winter sport) she talked about the specific “winter light.” There are so many colors in those greys and whites. I’m looking out the window here by my desk and I can see all these greys in the sky, and the blues, greens, peaches mixed in, so faintly. The dark branches with thin twisty twigs against the glowing light of this winter sky. Now, on these long winter days which seem like they will never end, I can see how beautiful they really are. I know Mama’s up there painting that sky for us.

self-portrait in purple sunglasses

self-portrait in purple sunglassesThese are my mom’s purple sunglasses. She bought them last January at Buffalo Exchange in Denver. She didn’t get to wear them for very long because by mid-February she didn’t leave the house again.

I like wearing her things. Her boots, sweaters, jackets, pants. I like clothes that mean something, that are special, that have a story, and I was with her when she bought most of these things. She was my favorite shopping partner. She was my favorite person to get an opinion from about anything. If she were still alive she’d be giving me advice on what to pack for my trip to Chile to visit my sister.

I’ll be away until the end of January, and will bring back photos, drawings, comics and stories to tell. Stay safe and warm, guys.