Wednesday, March 30, 2011

the habits of baby birds

photo: jetheriot

The first time I heard her, I was sitting upstairs at the table in the dining room having breakfast. Me. Me. Me. Me. Some bird doing an impression of a car alarm that can’t be canceled no matter how many times the button is pushed. I went downstairs to the picture window in my studio which looks out on the back patio where I sprinkle birdseed religiously. Neighborhood birds stop by for breakfast, returning throughout the day if I keep replenishing the food. When I’m sitting at my desk working, I like to pretend the picture window is a movie screen. All day long, birds fly across the movie screen, land on the brick floor, dance for a while and leave.

Monday, March 28, 2011

lessons in acceptance

photo: jetheriot

1. Put a pot of dirt outside, but don't plant anything in it. Wait for God to blow seeds into the soil, then cultivate whatever lands and takes root.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


photo: jetheriot

the odor of ladybugs

LADYBUGS smell sweet, especially when you smush them.

Friday, March 25, 2011

one last ride

photo: jetheriot

On the twenty-fourth anniversary of the death of my sister, my mom and I went treasure hunting in Uncle Allen’s shed. We left with some old chairs in need of rejuvenation, a giant blue tricycle, rusted and flat, and the head of a plastic rocking horse with a big wooden dowel – what a kid would hold on to – still stuck through its ears. And the treasure of all treasures: a headless plastic rocking horse I pulled from beneath a stack of metal cages my mom lifted up.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

oenothera speciosa

photo: jetheriot

Monday, March 21, 2011

getting the walnut down

The impression a walnut leaves when it’s been pressed against and removed from a blob of Silly Putty is a copy of a walnut. Starting with one walnut, you end up with two: the walnut itself and the walnut-in-the-Silly Putty. The walnut, in a sense, has been duplicated. Of course, only one of the two walnuts is actually a walnut. The other one is a blob of Silly Putty indented where the walnut protrudes, concave where the walnut is convex, rubbery where the walnut is nutty. One is real and the other is fake. Likewise, a memory is a copy of something. And just as it’s impossible to make a copy of a document when the copier is empty of paper, it’s impossible to make a memory of a walnut without some substance to remember it, to reflect in its contours the contours of the walnut, to absorb on its surface the daylight the walnut scatters, to organize itself into an echo of a walnut.

on clementines

photo: jetheriot

My clementine memories are neatly arranged in a little wooden crate in my brain. When I try to grab one of them to savor and remember, they all come tumbling out – listening to Oh My Darling Clementine on a record player in second grade, savoring clementine preserves on a beach in Southern France, cupping a clementine in my hand on a balcony in San Diego, and overhearing a conversation in a park in Atlanta.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

buttercups on mirror

photo: jetheriot

Saturday, March 19, 2011

stone lozenge # 1

photo, text & concept: jetheriot
limestone sandblasting: austin stone carving
precision chair notching: ed crain

two buttercups

photo: jetheriot

permanent rose

Ancient Egyptian Fresco

Stone is not easily shaped – it is etched only with great difficulty, in fact – but given a chisel and an alphabet even stone can be made to remember. Stone is less impressionable than Silly Putty, but once stone has remembered, it is hard for stone to forget. The more durable the substance into which a memory is recorded, the longer the life of the memory. Stone will hold carved memories long after their impressions in Silly Putty have deflated. Clay is more plastic than stone, more easily shaped into memorials, but sacrifices durability for this greater malleability. Still, even the most fragile clay sculptures can hold memories for millennia. The Epic of Gilgamesh was preserved on clay tablets baked in Mesopotamia over four thousand years ago.

Monday, March 14, 2011

silly putty is a time bridge

photo: jetheriot

Say you're a setting sun. You're particularly proud of the fleeting half-second during which you appear to those who have gathered to watch you from the edge of an oceanside cliff as though you couldn’t glow any more dazzlingly, then your glow grows achingly golden. You want this moment to linger, you want to be remembered, so you find a receptive camera spooled with a photosensitive substance and your daylight presses its colors onto a small rectangle of film.

Monday, March 7, 2011

remember is the daughter of linger

photo: jetheriot

In summertime, when Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop’s fig tree was producing, so many figs would fall to the ground and rot in the hot July sun that a heavy stench of death would hover thickly above them, sickly sweet and putrid, circling with menacing wasps: the freshly plucked figs were heavenly. All living things eventually die, trailing a path of decay across the sky, some things more elegantly than others.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

ten things i learned inventing the spinning mermaid popsicle machine

photo: jackie theriot

1. A 100-year-old typewriter frozen in a big block of ice would look really cool as it melts, but my freezer isn't big enough for a typewriter.

buttercup almanac


Thursday, March 3, 2011

praying hands