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Let's JAM

Today I spilled blueberries on my neighbors feet And what once was enough was now too much to eat

With blankets and bobbins I wound myself up Hiding in a cocoon, one hand reaching for a cup

That overflows with vermillion juices.

Let's JAM 2

With some spicy peppers, coconut and mango currently fermenting in a great big crock behind me, it is a good time to write about how much the process of fermenting food and pickling things has helped me become a better person and artist. Which is actually easily summarized in the following sentence that might sound something like:

I can’t eat a whole bush of blueberries, but I can eat the jam all year long!

The more I apply this philosophy to my life and creative work, the more tasty jams I get to enjoy. I do not want to consume five bell peppers and a bag of coconut right now. But I would like to mush it all up in a pot and take a nap and then taste a little now and then. I do not want to perform a Pigimichi music show right now and sew a dress and cook dinner for my kids and go to a late night jazz show and finish ten paintings. Not in this moment. But I would like to write a few lyrics, look at pictures of dresses I like, buy some cheese, and work on learning a new jazz standard.

I am often hard on myself for being “too much” of the things I am. Inner dialogues might reflect thoughts like, “I am too ambitious”, “I am too quirky”, “I like too many things too much”. Maybe it looks different for others - we can really think we are too much or too little of anything. I have been working to change that narrative in the past year, although it has been surprisingly difficult. In my grad school application, which didn’t end in grad school but did help me move forward on a lot of projects and ideas, I wrote about this issue in the following paragraph;

“The viewpoint from my kitchen window--often in part blocked by the wispy hairs children--has turned my creative practice into notes on my phone, sketches in my memory, dreams that I paint on napkins, and poems that I quickly text, all recorded in the too muchness of the day and in the quiet stillness of the night. Being an artist maternally and a mother artistically has dissected and disassembled me and thus put me into a state of constant deconstruction…. I have spent much of my free time organizing my creative interests and goals into a series of acronyms that exist within the phrase “too many hams”, which serves as the title for my website url. Those words reflect my relentlessly overwhelming endeavors. In my woman’s body and while wrestling with my children, I relate to “too muchness.” But the drive I feel to spend days carrying babies, baking bread, and painting small toenails is not in opposition to my desire to take risks, unearth hard truths, and perform with a guitar balanced on a pregnant stomach. Women were born to speak in transforming, colliding languages, and in the words of Hélène Cixous, “They go by, fly the coop, take pleasure in jumbling the order of space, in disorienting it, in changing around the furniture...and turning propriety upside down.””

If you are reading this, please take some time with me to carefully take your dreams and qualities to wash them, dice them up, season them, put them in a jar, and let them sit while becoming extremely delicious. Here is what my choppy recipe has been looking like...I guess it just needs some spices and time:

Making pill ows Ma king painti ngs about po emS Doing d rawings composing songs for pigimichi in newways! embracing sci fi

Taking jazzzzzzz lessons Dressing very fancy! Day dreaming Playing guitar Reading Books Writing words Going on walks F A M ILY

Let's JAM 3