Every year on my birthday my mother would call and read my horoscope to me from the daily paper. Even when she got quite elderly and could no longer manage it on her own, my brother would dial the phone and put her on. I can still hear her sweet, clear little voice, with its faint traces of New York and ever-so-slight hint of a lisp, carefully imparting my fate for the coming year. I thought it was loving, cute and funny. I will never stop missing it.
I know I haven't been nurturing my happy little corner of Bughouse Square here lately ~ the Real World has been demanding more of my time than I generally like to give it, and the myriad domestic emergencies and annoyances have not been of the even mildly interesting kind (although I did get my first speeding ticket in 23 years - good for me!) So I thought I'd throw together a cheerful, quickie collage made up of silly birthday stuff made entirely online. You know, just something to say hi to my friends and possibly kick start my lagging creative energies. For the background I photographed the darling blouse my husband had given me as a gift ~ a frothy, filmy, girly thing, so pretty and youthful I nearly wept with delight, both at the gift and what it said about his illusions about me. I didn't even mind that it was a size too small and had to be exchanged. I combined it with textures taken from collage materials a friend had given me (thanks Robbie!) and a mountain of miscellaneous doodling, noodling, cutting and pasting in Photoshop, most of which got appropriately, but painfully, tossed.
I will not embarass myself by telling you how long it took me to come up with this bit of fluff. Suffice it to say that I could have baked the cake, drunk the martinis, sewn the blouse and woven the matted background. Then probably gone off and painted a massive oil. But I do like it. It's a collage of sorts. I wish I'd done the real, tactile thing though ~ for the life of me I don't know why I thought this would be quicker. Or easier. At least at the last moment I did think to get 'Mom's' horoscope in, which makes me happy.
I suppose I will always think of my mother on my birthday, not because it is the day she gave birth to me; she did not. That was done by another woman, a stranger to me now, and on this night I look up into the black sky and wonder if she is still alive ~ if she ever remembers the day, and thinks of me. And it doesn't really matter and never has, because as soon as I see that first shining star, I know that little Ruthie does. And always will.