Open Up and Say…Ahh!

There’s this thing called March Ensemble going on. It’s a prompt every day for the month of March (duh). You get 24h to make a piece of art. The organizers are two Finnish women, one of whom I used to know long ago. Some of my friends (or, I don’t know, people I used to be friends with?) are in the “extended ensemble” which is like featured artists I guess? But anyone is welcome to make and join and use the hashtag #marchensemble. On Instagram they have 222 followers which feels auspicious. I had a dream last night about what the prompt would be. I can’t remember exactly, but it was something like



Groundbreaking, I know. I also dreamed about scraping the dregs of my collagen powder, and killing time with my two daughters, waiting for a friend to make plans with me. I was dressing my baby in a sweater, but also making the sweater. I was cutting it to fit her body perfectly, while she lay on a wooden deck of some restaurant. I was looking up at my friend, nodding and “m-hmm”ing every so often, while dressing my baby and keeping my toddler in my periphery. This is second nature to me now. Keeping all these pieces moving and still at the same time. Trying to give as much attention as I can to the adult I’m dealing with, while making sure nobody wanders off or is hungry or needs to pee or needs a diaper or needs a nap or needs a sweater cut to their form and hemmed up and buttoned.

My friend canceled on me, even though we were together. I had waited and waited with two small children only for her to say we should get together another day. I wanted to cry but I didn’t. I said today was the only day that would work and that this took tremendous effort to put together (I had the sense we were about an hour from home). So I took my children and began to walk down a path to a beach. It was long and felt like California. We got closer to some houses and then it felt like Maine. Goose Rocks Beach. A woman and her son were grilling or doing something outside, and everything was grey and misty. I asked if we could come inside, maybe to use the bathroom, or warm up, or make a phone call, I can’t remember. She was aloof and I could tell she did not trust us, or think us worthy of entering. There were other people inside, maybe other kids, having a party. She said we weren’t pretty enough.

I wake up and check the prompt for March Ensemble.


I immediately think of the line from a Guns N’ Roses song, “just like every cowboy sings his sad, sad song”, and then I imagine if the line was sick sad song. And then I think of sad songs I know, and Casimir Pulaski Day by Sufjan Stevens is the first one that pops into my head. And then I think of Sibylle Baier and how sad and haunting her music is. I google the lyrics of that Guns N’ Roses song just to be sure, and so that I don’t make a mistake while typing. And then I realize what someone reading this probably already knows; it’s not Guns N’ Roses at all, it’s Poison. To be fair, it’s still Bret Michaels. So then I google Bret Michaels, and realize his birthday is tomorrow, March 15. The Ides of March. He’s a Pisces. My baby will be 10 months old tomorrow. She was born on May 15. She’s a Taurus.

Dee Snider and Mark McGrath also have birthdays March 15. This feels significant.

Do you think Bret Michaels is always warding off the evil eye, or just doing your standard heavy metal hand gesture?

Shut the door baby, don’t say a word.

I make so that I can make more. I write so that I can write more. It’s all an experiment in coincidence. I submitted this to March Ensemble despite feelings of unworthiness. I scrolled through all the wonderful posts and listened to songs. I thought, “I am not an artist, I just like to write and make.” Regardless, I submitted. On the verge of 30 it’s time to take myself less seriously and lean into any creative path that excites me.

A Dream Woman may tell you you are unworthy, not pretty. Do not listen to the Dream Woman.

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