Cara Benson is a writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, Boston Review, and Best American Poetry. A New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Literature, she's at work on her second book. www.carabensonwriter.com
I’m putting together a notebook of all the amazing notes my guy left for me on the kitchen island over the years. I love these artifacts of his wit and generosity of spirit. One of my favorite things to experience on this planet was to come down in the morning to a square of post-it goodness from him. They often began with: “G’mornin sunshine!”. Sometimes they were more involved.
See exhibit A below. This one Jon designed to let me know a few things, chiefly that the foot rug that’s normally in front of the door was in the washer so I might want to put it in the dryer. At the time, we were caring for one of our kitties who was in his end of life stage, and that meant cleaning up urine from where urine wasn’t meant to go. This cat was “my” cat. We each came with one to our relationship. Jon poured his love toward this creature fully. Of course he did.
Aka Jon’s delight. There’s a patch of turtlehead flowers that grows in front of what became his defacto parking spot in our driveway. When these were in bloom, Jon took great pleasure in watching the bumblebees climb laden with pollen in and out of the blossoms. I’m so happy to know and to have witnessed his perennial joy.
Here’s a video snip he took of one bee in the act. I hope you enjoy it even half as much as he did.
Jon was multi-talented – an autodidact – and I do not use that word lightly. If ever voracious applied to someone’s reading habits, it’s his. It was a daily sight to see him holding a book with one hand while stirring a pot, brushing his teeth, doing pretty much anything. He taught himself how to design buildings on construction sites without ever going to school for it. Last year, he passed all six parts of the NYS architectural exam.
But it’s his artistic talents I want to highlight here, hence the ‘text’ in architextural.
Above is a photo from an exhibit he and I (Cara) collaborated on in 2010. It started when he gave me the absolutely most inventive present I have ever received. He took the words from a poem in my first book and put them into an architectural drawing. It wasn’t long before a gallery full of these amazing works were on display at The Arts Center in Troy. You can read poet Geof Huth’s write-up of the show here. I am so grateful this documentation exists.
As in our artist statement for the show, we hoped for integrity at the intersection of our collaboration. I believe we had it.
Jon might bristle at this endeavor, not being one to jump in front of a camera too often, but we so adore him that we want to have his beautiful visage out there for all to see. Here are just a few photos.
This site was born of a desire to extend into the maw of the internet the language we wish to see describing the man we so love. There is much more to come, including, of course, pictures! For now, welcome.