Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ATCs at the library tonight

As the year draws to a close in the Old Calendar, they say that the veils between the Worlds get very thin, allowing all of us on this side or that chances for possible contact. Some historians say that centuries ago we humans were afraid of the contact with "others". Never mind centuries ago - we are still not so great at that. Anyway, that is why all the noise and scary costumes: to scare those "others" away.

But what if we approach this as an opportunity. What if my ancestors were able to reach out in Love to offer support, companionship, or even just curiosity. I know that I'd be curious about my daughter, or my great, great granddaughter.

So this month at the Library we are going to take our imaginations on a walk over to the Veil. We are going to bring photos of ancestors - well, copies of these photos - and have a bit of conversation with those who have preceeded us. For those who don't have ancestor photos we could imagine meeting great leaders of the past: Sojourner Truth, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gandhi, the Buddha, Jesus ben Joseph, whoever seems interesting to you.

So the idea is to dress your relative in clothes or surround her/him with the accoutrements of your imagined conversation. Here is Sarah:Sarah is my great, great grandmother - my mother's father's father's mother. She was pretty intelligent and well educated, I think. She married a judge who's first wife had died and ended up having 7 children and step-children. In her photo she was wearing a pretty severe dress (as was the custom back in that day) and it occurred to me that she might like some of the dressing freedoms that we have today. I chose some light blue print for her but then seemed to hear about how she would actually like to try on this red. here she is turning this way and that in the mirror, as we will do, testing the look on her. I think that Sarah was an amazing woman and that I would have like getting to know her. Her best friend was Helen:Helen is another of my great, great grandmothers - my mother's father's mother's mother. Helen and Sarah spent some time in Logansport, Indiana befor Helen moved to Neenah, Wisconsin with her husband. They did that thing of marrying their children to one and other. Perhaps not the best of ideas for Nellie and Zach, but that's what happened. Anyway, when I started my conversation with Helen, it turned out that she was very interested with the fact that my two children were born in Asia. Helen wanted to be dresed in Chinese or Viet Namese clothes. Pretty sweet. Helen was an avid gardener and ended up moving to southern California in 1905. When my great aunt (Emma, but we called her Bob - I wish that I knew that story) was still alive I had a chance to visit that house A. Maz. Ing.

Helen also had 7 children: JohnnyNellieJimmyJessieNannyLuluBob. Like that. (John, Helen, James, Jessica, Nancy, Lucy, Mary Emma) (And I am pretty full with two!) I imagine that Helen and Sarah were great friends indeed. I wish that I had known them, but through my cards maybe I have. *Kisses to you both.*

I have 9! envelopes of ephemera, ATC, and whatever else I can stuff in there as comment-prizes for the All Hallows Blog Party post below. Leave a comment and I will put you in the hat to get a chance to be drawn for the prizes on All Hallow Eve. I will contact you by email if I can or leave a post here of the winners on November 1st to get your mailing addresses.

See you at the Library-Swap tonight!