For better or for worse

 “for better or for worse” is 11×14, painted with sumi ink and Japanese watercolor on paper. It is also available as a card reading, “you’re just my cup of tea.” © Annette Makino 2017

“for better or for worse” is 11×14, painted with sumi ink and Japanese watercolor on paper. It is also available as a card reading, “you’re just my cup of tea.” © Annette Makino 2017

Once upon a time, at a Halloween party in Humboldt County, a tall and lean sea captain crossed paths with a slinky black cat. He asked if they had met before. They hadn’t, but she noticed the warmth and humor in his eyes, so she teased him about the tiny slice of pie on his plate (“Are you on a diet or something?”).

That was 26 years ago this month. Since then, most everything that is good in my life has flowed from that fateful meeting: the delightful kids we’ve raised, the beautiful home we’ve built, the delicious freedom of this creative life.

Paul has such an exceptional mind that he is studying second-year Chinese, just for fun. In retirement, he has also decided to learn to play the violin. And he has such a kind heart that, after a rain, he will rescue worms stranded on the sidewalk.

Of course, sometimes he mystifies or exasperates me, and I do the same to him—this is our sacred duty as partners. When he’s out of town, the house is definitely more orderly. Logistically, things run quietly and efficiently. But everything feels flatter, less fun, less meaningful. That essential spark is missing.

 Annette and Paul in Redwood National Park, California, Halloween 2017.

Annette and Paul in Redwood National Park, California, Halloween 2017.

Former Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said of his wife Fanny, “she made my life poetry.” Happy anniversary to the man who keeps me warm at night, who makes me laugh, and who makes my life poetry.

for better or for worse
our lights and darks
tumbling together

Makino Studios News

Holiday fairs: Makino Studios will be at two fairs in December: the Humboldt Artisans Crafts & Music Festival, December 1-3 at Redwood Acres in Eureka, and the City of Arcata’s Holiday Craft Market, December 9-10 in the Arcata Community Center. In addition, some of my work is for sale at the “Made in Humboldt” event at Pierson Garden Shop now through December 24.

NEW! Boxed notecards: In response to customer requests, I am now offering five kinds of boxed notecards in my Etsy shop: two holiday designs, a thank you card, a landscape series and a floral series.

Art prints: A trail through giant redwoods and a country road are among the new print designs available for sale in the MakinoStudios Etsy shop. These are 11×14, individually signed and stamped in red with my name seal, and ready to give as a gift or frame for yourself.

2018 calendars: My mini-calendar of art and haiku is available online and in local stores. These make great holiday gifts!

Sociable: Follow me on Instagram as annettemakino. You can also get news, fresh art and haiku on my Makino Studios Facebook page and my Twitter feed.

(“for better or for worse” haiku first published in The Heron’s Nest XVI:1, March 2014;  republished in big data: The Red Moon Anthology of English-Language 2014, Ed. Jim Kacian, Red Moon Press, 2015; and in The Wonder Code, by Scott Mason, 2017.)