Ay Marieke: Like Wings

Hello, everyone! My name is Marika. I am delighted to write this guest post for Jen while she’s in New York (thanks, Jen!).

I live in Portland, OR, where I work at local curiosity shops Flutter and Eden, spend time in my studio making jewelry (some of which you can see here) and keep the blog Ay Marieke. The process of coming up with a list of what I love (via Jen’s prompt) left me feeling wonderfully floaty for days, buoyed by a reminder of how many really lovely, lovable things there are in the world. While the topic here is love, if I had to name a more specific common thread, I suppose it would be, “that which makes my heart swell”.

Unearthing unexpected family heirlooms.
I felt so lucky to come across a collection of several hundred family photos while home for the holidays – a treasury of Grandma Emerson’s relatives starting with her childhood and going back over six generations. These are a few of my favorite images. Although looking through these photos makes my heart swell, it’s simultaneously disheartening to know that I’ll never get to meet any of the subjects. I see in certain expressions, dress or manner qualities that I think I would enjoy a lot, were we to all be able to get together. (All photos by me, Marika Emerson.)

Paintings by Thomas Cole
Childhood trips to the Denver Art Museum (I’m from Colorado) always included a visit to the European Art Gallery. Once we got to the sixth floor, I would make a beeline towards my favorite piece at the museum, “Dream of Arcadia” by Thomas Cole. I guess I can attribute some of my tastes to my inner Victorian, but I find classical paintings like these are among my favorite pieces of art. Here are a few that I especially love. Titles clockwise from top left: “The Picnic,” “The Voyage of Life: Youth,” “Distant View of Niagara Falls, 1930,” “Dream of Arcadia,” “The Present,” “Autumn Landscape: Mount Chocorua.”

Missed Connections
I met my boyfriend through a Missed Connection (it happens!) so I have a soft spot for these ads, which can range from the weird to the sad, but often fall under the category of disarmingly sweet. I recommend checking out I Saw You…, an anthology of comics all about missed connections. Especially dear to me are Sophie Blackall’s illustrations of NYC missed connections. Blackall’s book of missed connections illustrations was released last fall and these (from here) are my favorites. Side note: I also really love the way she decorated her apartment.

Surreal, breathtaking European films
I wish I could say I was better educated about foreign films! If I had to condense a short list from the few I’ve seen which made deep and long-lasting impressions on me, (and which I like to re-watch whenever I’m in the mood for something fluid, strange and beautiful) it would be comprised of Wings of Desire, La Nuit Fantasitque, and Last Year At Marienbad. They all require some level of patience but are incredibly rewarding to watch and a must if you’ve never seen before!

Like Wings
The title of this post is also the title of one of my favorite poems–from the book Like Wings by Philip Schultz. In college, I studied English, and my degree is heavy on the poetry side. This poem, while not perfect, has always been quite special to me. It’s a long poem (too long to print here,) but I’ll include a little excerpt and if you like it, I encourage you to check out the book!

I cannot leave myself like a house frozen in the background.
I am this body & the weather all year round.
I think of the light that opened over you our first morning,
how the glass in my lungs turned to sound
& I saw you woman & child & couldn’t breathe, for love.
Fear is the edge of the risk that is loving.
It stinks of blood, draws sharks.
The nights you waltzed naked round our bed,
myself holding the chair I’d painted blue again,
the cats flowing in the wings of your good yellow hair.
There is much men don’t know about women,
how your hands work the air to water, the seed to life,
why the salt at the tips of your breasts glows
& tastes of mollusk.
There are hours when the future gives up all hope
& stops in the middle of busy streets
& doesn’t care. But think of the distance we have come,
the hands which have wound us.
There will be others.

{above image credit: Love by Martin Creed.}


Thanks, Marika! Find Marika on her blog, in her shop and on Twitter.

2 Responses to “Ay Marieke: Like Wings”
  1. Camille says:

    Thank you Marika for the really interesting and lovely post! I am officially obsessed with Sophie Blackall. Really inspiring stuff!

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