Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bereavement and comfort

Yesterday morning I went to a good friend's mother's funeral. She had been sick for a short time and it had became apparent a few weeks ago that her end was near, so, they said, she had came into terms with her own passing.

Still, her relatives and acquaintances were in that state of shock and disbelief that often surrounds death, and of course, knew that the hard time of mourning and healing was just about to start.

I spent a moment talking to her brother in law, my friend's paternal uncle. We spoke about my friend's son, aged 5, who will be bereft of his favorite grandma and frolicking partner. We spoke about my friend's father, who passed away suddenly at age 44 more than a decade ago, and held his wife as the love of his life. We spoke about her current sentimental partner, who had found peace in their relationship after having raised three daughters on his own and now is devastated. We spoke about my friend, whom I often refer to as spartan - they do as a Prussian soldier, and how she has faced more than a fair share of weathering times. We spoke and drank mate, a symbol of friendship and communion if there ever was one, though I'm not much of a mate drinker myself.

After an hour or so I left - everyday life was calling and it was a Monday morning after all. As the bus rode to my job I felt the familiar stomach cramps I have after having some mate - too harsh for my tea accustomed loins, it seems. Still, it was good to share a mate with the uncle. In spite of those light cramps, it gave some comfort in bereavement.

Monday, July 11, 2011


Mothers have been known to, on occasion, make purchases for themselves thinly disguised as for their children, particularly their daughters. This is, buying lovely things they love in a little hope their children will too - but it's OK if they don't anyway.

Early in March I was going to mention it but it didn't seem right. Last Saturday while I went for a walk dropped by a bookstore and purchased this color book. For my 10 months old daughter, of course.

It really impressed me that this isn't a reinterpretation of sorts of the color books published during the 80's. My sister and I had a couple and loved them so much that we preferred making photocopies and coloring the same pictures over again. With watercolors, pencils, fibers, gouache even, and a time or two I think my mother joined us.

I was saying, these aren't any updated version. It's virtually the same thing.

Except for the center page, which has stickers with pictures and with spaces - ostensibly to write your name and stick on school notebooks. In my time, those were sold separately and a bit hard to find, if I'm not mistaken.

The girl in the bike was my favorite picture of all time. Thank you, girl in the bike, for coming back!


Sarah Kay was a bit of a mystery back then, and the internet shows she still is. Her biography doesn't seem to have been updated for at least 25 years and sounds tragic as ever - these depictions of a timeless and idyllic childhood were created to entertain a very sick girl, the daughter of the artist. There doesn't seem to be any new designs aside the batch published with the sticker album "I love you" by Figurine Panini, and there seems to be a lot of knockoffs and non franchised items. This book in particular, though, seems to.

A little more on Sarah Kay can be read here.

Monday, July 4, 2011

At Sabina's

It seems that I can't have enough of blogs of people documenting their daily home lives with pictures. There are many and I'm always on the outlook for more, trying to reach out for people living life in different places - so far I've located many from Scandinavian countries, some of Europe and North America, and none from the rest of the world. I'm keeping my eyes open, though.

Regardless of the geographic place where they originate, most life documenting blogs in my reading list have one outstanding thing in common. While people show scenes of their daily lives (their dining rooms, kitchens, gardens, food they've made, articles of clothing, household items), they rarely or never post a recognizable picture of themselves or their family members. I guess there are things they don't want to share and that's, of course, fine with me.

There is one person, however, who shares snippets of her daily wheres and whats focusing on people rather inanimate objects. Her photography is not about decorating and styling - or very subtly so, but about people. Presumably friends and family, of stances of life, her stimulating brain snacks (that's her own words) give a dash of color to my mornings and, interestingly, feel a lot like pieces of my own life, past or present. That's Sabina Ćudić publishing from Sarajevo, Bosnia, a place I know embarrassingly little about (so let's say I know nothing but the map location).

It's funny that I think I could be friends with Sabina, or at least, we would have many things in common to talk about. From what she shows of her apartment, I think we could bump into each other in a bookstore aisle, in a flea market stall or sitting in the next table in a restaurant. The strange familiarity from blogging images rather than words.


Here's an interesting note in Decor8, where I first heard of Sabina. Photo by Sabina Ćudić, used with permission.