Growing up, my mom made a lot of spaghetti.
Like a lot. And we're not Italian or anything. But weekly, at least, she'd use our old cast iron skillet and cook up a batch of mostly-from-scratch spaghetti sauce and we'd all sit together and eat. We all learned to set the table properly and couldn't get up until we asked to be excused. She and Dad would discipline our manners by referencing rules they had to follow at the dinner table as children, and would tell stories of their own growing-up meals: a gigantic strawberry shortcake for dinner, the original hamburger helper (to stretch a buck during lean times), a traditional pot-roast-on-Sunday.
That cast iron skillet gave us memories we can't keep on paper. That season of life is over and gone. It's been beautifully replaced with more generations, a family tree growing out as well as up, and we're all really happy--but we hold fast to those intangible family heirlooms, the hours we spent together learning to twirl spaghetti. And in remembering all this, a big question formed:
Could I be that cast iron skillet, but do one better?
Could I create family heirlooms AND freeze time?
Can I find, and show, poetry in the crevices of today?
We can see it when we look to the past, and we can imagine it when we look to the future, but sometimes it's hard to recognize beauty when we're sitting in it.
Spoiler alert, the answer is yes. The work of making tangible the intangible is good and right and hard. I work with folks who love each other more than any thing, who would rather laugh like dorks than not laugh at all, and who know deeply that things just aren't perfect, but they're still worth celebrating.
I’m Becca, by the way.
We all have a work to complete, or to at least make progress with—my job is to find poetry in the crevices of the ordinary, which takes time and practice.
my time is spent:
•listening to NPR
•chasing children, mostly mine
•with my family, my friends, my framily
•retreating to quiet in the name of autonomy
my practice is:
•with my husband, Jeff, who is a great dude and also a #txhsfb coach
•with my girls, Charlotte and Georgia, who are are cool as they sound
•remembering how I USED to be a high school teacher and how bittersweet those memories are
•sitting with loss, birth, anxiety, dreams deferred, adoption, and faith through it all
poetic results, to date, include:
•Beasts Get Scared Too, a book I wrote for my brother
•Cast Iron Families, a book I wrote for you
•the privilege of paying state sales tax since 2011
•boxes and boxes of negatives
•upwards of 400 individuals and families with whom I’ve had the privilege of creating heirlooms
I’m based out of Van Alstyne, Texas, and I definitely travel.
color portrait by the prodigious Abi Poe of Abi Poe Photography,
self portrait by…me…obviously.