I’ve been experimenting with liquid acrylics the last few days and am really enjoying it. Here are some of my recent works.
It includes 108 pages of writing where I write about life as a wife, mother, and artist. I write about the natural world, the joy and struggle of motherhood and infertility, and the magic that can be found in daily living. Reflected in the words are the rage, fear, joy and grief that are all part of being human in this world.
What others have said about Ebb & Flow:
"A brilliant blend of confessional intimacy, naturalism, magic, humanism, Susan Sweetland Garay's poetry collection, Ebb & Flow, feels just as its title implies. The verse herein is life-affirming, life-giving, while carrying serious truths that devour old ideas in favor of constant renewal. Garay appears to give wholly of herself among these pages, offering something just short of a memoir, presented in vivid snapshots that bond reader and poet in unspoken friendship. This collection is about love, finding it within and without, and learning how to hold it, gently and safely, as to not break it."
- Nate Ragolia, editor of BONED: A collection of skeletal writings, author of The Retroactivist and There You Feel Free.
"Susie Sweetland Garay's Ebb & Flow is a collection steeped in the power of memory, both in your mind and in your muscles. It is a testament to nostalgia, to coming close to the things we fear and in that moment daring to keep our eyes open. Writing about the body, bones, the earth, and motherhood, she weaves a narrative of forgiveness and compassion reminding us that we are beautiful because we are temporary. These are poems about truth and mercy and the surprising hope that sprouts from death - the way a good wind can wipeus clean. Lyrical and haunting, Garay's work cuts to the core of our needs reminding us that, "So much can change when you ask the right questions."- Ally Malinenko, author of Fitting the Ocean in Your Mouth
"Tip O'Neil once said that "all politics is local"; what I have learned again from Susie Sweetland Garay is that the same can be said of poetry. While I have never been to her corner of the world I feel, through her poems, that I know the landscape of northwestern Oregon as though a friend has guided me through it: she has shown me where to pause to discover its signatures, it's indelible traits and touches. But more than this, I know her Oregon because Susie has made it a fixture of her intimate thoughts, her wishes and words of love and advice to those who matter most. But just as moving is how the verses in her book are shaped, perhaps in equal measure, by the terrestrial contours she has made a part of herself. Ebb & Flow is a voice, one which I will not forget."
- Jeremy Nathan Marks, a Canada-based American essayist and poet
I sit and watch My sweet, innocent Daughter at swimming lessons And I think of all the other Sweet innocent daughters In cages Afraid And alone The collective is heartbroken And outraged and so we do what we Know how to do, Make calls write letters Donate. Good things. But not enough. And we try to separate our small lives And emotions From the collective grief We try to still laugh Because we have that choice. The option of turning away. I sit in metal bleachers In a hot room smelling of Chlorine while young women Teach my daughter to swim. While others care for her Gently and attentively. While a lifeguard looks on Never far away. I do not worry for her well being. She looks over periodically To make sure I am there And still watching. How is it possible That we are here Instead of there.
My poem Go Softly was published last week on Leaves of Ink. Thanks so much to the editors there. Read the poem at the link below.
Thanks for reading friends!
Its been a hard week around here, but I'm trying to lean into trust and surrender, into believing that I am on path, into gratitude and being so aware how lucky I am.
Using painting as meditation these days. A prayer for the child I have, one I lost, and one I hope for.
4x6 mixed media on watercolor paper.
Meditating on motherhood and what it means to us and our children. On all the mothers who have come before us and all the ones who will come after. And on the ones who want so desperately to be mothers but are unable to be.
Spring a few years back at our old house on a vineyard. Generally I am super happy to have moved into town, but this time of year, when we have the first really nice, warm days, I always miss it a bit.
Friends, I am so happy to announce that my newest full length poetry collection Ebb & Flow was accepted for publication by Boho Books, a small press in Oregon. I am super excited to be working with them on this book and am looking forward to its release in late summer.
Updates will be posted here and on my facebook page.
Thanks for following along!
Dreaming of far off rooftops today...