Treasures Of The Farmer’s and Artist’s Market In Marquette
Native Sisters Soap
Hello again my Friends.
Yesterday, as I mentioned on my show, I went to the Marquette Farmer’s and Artist’s Market. Up until yesterday my hectic schedule had interfered with me visiting. However something magical and mysterious happened this Friday, I was given the weekend off at my other job! And so the plotting for a fulfilling weekend began; and visiting the Farmer’s and Artist’s Market in the Marquette Commons was número uno! So off I went following the soft scent of freshly cut flowers and ripe veggies down to the market (I live like a couple blocks away). It was even cooler than I had thought it would be! So many venders with eccentric wares! Copper jewelry with polished crystals and stones caught my eye immediately! Hey, I’m a woman, what did you expect really??
The individual running the stand was a sweet older man that I was sure could be half blind, but he was soft in manner and I’m sure his temperament matched the smooth lines of his excellent jewel patterns. I must have stood at his stand for ten minutes, unheard of in Lizzy Ann time as I can barely focus for thirty seconds!
Next to the Copper booth was a woman dressed in a cute bee suit dipping plastic spoons into jars of honey allowing people to taste her recently collected treat. And her honey was not just any honey. It was thick and light in its melting flavor. Raw as it was it held none of the bitter lingering aftertaste that some raw honey can. It was so silky in flavor and texture that it seemed almost processed. She has some talented bees!
I realized crossly I was running out of time however, and quickly flitted here and there checking out produce, and fresh flowers, wax carvings smelling of lemons, and handmade leather journals. The herb growing section pulled me in like a magnet! I looked at the delicate spreading leaves of sage and the powder soft plant body of fox glove wondering if I could make them live longer than the last group of plants I couldn’t keep alive. I decided that these plants didn’t look as though they wanted to die; so I settled on buying some freshly cut flowers and walked away, living and letting live as it were.
Bright vivid colors blinded me for a moment before I realized what I was looking at as I walked along the sidewalk between venders. Light reflected sharply from glass baubles and painted, drilled decorated lantern gourds. This woman had talent! Her art was surprising and passionate with a wide variety of style and technique. Her mind must have been effectively bursting with different competing personalities all shoving their way to the forefront of her artistic design. Pink sequins and feathers conquering the subtle and light lines of the gourd underneath, making me want to escape slightly. But then a bold creation of tiny drilled holes and native design in red pulled my panicking feet to a slamming halt. It was solid and strong yet brittle and delicate connecting to a sensitive piece of my soul. I stood analyzing and studying the pattern of holes intently as though entranced much like staring at the stitches in a baseball and following them around the rounded surface. I want this piece. I want to have it in my home where I can look at it and study the light patterns burnt into my walls from all the delicate holes. It was a dull ache of desire to have this piece. A look at the price tag had my heart thumping irregularly in my now hollow chest. My wallet would not match the numbers hand written on the small square tag. Said soul retching item would not be mine. I walked slowly away from the intensity of art with a sense of loss in my chest. That artist was good.
I made myself unhurriedly through the rest of the venders selling carved walking sticks with beautiful and creative crystal adornments, candles and homeopathic remedies stopping to buy a fragrance here and a watchful gaze there.
In this world there is nothing as calming to me as moving from vender to vender appeasing my greedy curiosity and watching people moving, slaving as well to appease their own masters.
Making it finally to the end of the seemingly unending tables and tents was a woman in a puffy coat. Long salt and pepper hair pulled away from a gentle, lined face pulling into deep, soul thawing, brown, knowing eyes. She was the epitome of every grandmother in existence, wisdom and experience carved into her softly weathered face. Callused hands moved calmly and efficiently over her soaps and display directing my unknowing gaze from one brightly colored organic soap to the next. Her grounded yet springy energy was intoxicating to participate with and I found myself asking her all manner of questions just to hear the answers. It was like visiting with my own family and so I stayed and bought up her soaps and scents only leaving finally when my occupational obligations were a present concern. I promised I would see her the following weekend and strolled contentedly to my car passing the now emptying and scurrying vendors packing as the rolling energy of a promised storm rode on the quivering air. I stopped to smell my soaps again and was pleased by the deep and calming fragrances. I love soap, what can I say?
Next weekend I expect to see you there. Maybe we can buy soap together.