Wednesday, December 31, 2008

my bold new year's resolution last year hasn't yet been accomplished, so I've decided to try again this year.


a solo show. perhaps everything I make in a year, or a month, or up until now, or about a particular theme.

no sense getting too detailed at this point of the plan.

at the moment, I'm deciding between green tea and earl grey.

but, if it comes to that, I've got shows ready to hang. this isn't a difficult thing to do, when you make things out of whatever you happen to come across, for whatever odd and solitary particular reasons.

and then there's that whole conversation to be had about what constitutes a show, exactly. or solo. I'm not a rock nor an island, however hard and isolated I feel at times. and communication brushes distance and time aside, learning takes place when the teacher or the student isn't even aware of the passing back and forth of possibility.

anyway. a to-do list, then. or a might-do, could-do list.

Monday, December 29, 2008

waiting.

for snow, for christmas, for grandpa and big sister, caught in the storm. one of the last rooms at the holiday inn, a half hour and yet three long days away.

chains! two sets the right size! and a break in the weather. and my husband, the christmas hero, bringing home the best gift.

snowmen, a melting fort in the shape of a heart, icicles, seemingly endless wet boots and snowpants draped over heat registers or hung over curtain rods. decorated gingerbread from a kit. lavishly, lovingly sprinkled sugar cookies made from scratch and a nice madagascar bourbon vanilla, a tablespoon where a teaspoon was called for.

friends over, lights, candles, more baking, an unexpected parcel from faraway, and underneath it all the sweet pine sighing scent of the tree cut to fit the corner.

small house and six people plus two cats, cold nights with cheerful fires and then rain, melting the snow, and happysad goodbyes, and waiting now, again.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

so tonight I didn't tell my daughter the story of persephone.


but as she was asking once again (she loves fruit) for some pomegranate seeds, I mentioned the story, as if in passing, and she said, oh is there a story about pomegranates, how interesting.

the other day my smallest daughter passed the phone (she was talking to her oldest faraway sister) to her middle sister, saying, my sister will be speaking next. very much like an adult, in her tone, though the words made the older sister (my once only daughter) and me laugh.

I had two wire holders a friend gave me. meant to hold the lids from plastic food containers. one holds our saucepan lids and the other holds the boots upside down over the heat register, we've had a few days of snow and melting and today the girls took it into their heads to be snow cheetahs, or that's the story I got, and go barefoot in the snow. they won't do that again. I hate my feet! (screamed the younger of the bootless, sockless, silly creatures) I want them tooken off!

god help me, I laughed. but not openly until later. I expect they've learned their lesson now, and they still have all their toes. so it was a pretty full day. and now bread's been baked (not my own dough, just thawed white bread dough left to rise on the counter and bake while the grinch stole christmas again) and the house is tidy. no school again tomorrow, no school until the first week of january.

Monday, December 15, 2008

it was too cold today and tonight to spend much time in the shed.






so I didn't get to work on the coffee shrine as I'd hoped to. oh well. it's good to have projects.

my mother, quoting someone (I think), said that in order to be happy you needed to have three things: someone to love, something to do and something to look forward to.

she was often unhappy. I wish that hadn't been the case. I'd say it's to blame for a large part of my own sadness. the part I'm not responsible for, of course. because once I recognize it as a tendency, however much the getting of it was not my choice, the continuing of it certainly is.

but then again, it occurred to me earlier tonight that as I allow myself to be made uncomfortable (depair or giddiness) by the extremes, the middle becomes broader somehow, like a hammocking sort of effect. perhaps it's the wild swinging back and forth, wearing a groove in the soft middle like path, or a nest.

anyway. I took some cameraphone pictures of the coffee shrine last night. so I've posted those, in case it amuses you to see them.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

so I looked up behooved. it was sort of what I had meant.


I mean, at the time I wrote it, I thought it, so I meant it in that sense.

(though the dictionary definition - and granted I didn't dig too far for alternate definitions and did only the minimum as far as etymological research. so what I mean I suppose, or mean I thought I meant, or-

uh huh. pardon the confusion, I'm beside myself, waiting to catch another glimpse of the raccoons that showed up beside the shed around eleven or so last night. sneaky buggers, but fat with whatever croaking creatures they had stuffed themselves with, coming to top off an almost-midnight snack with a dessert of dried then rain-softened brown bread, thrown out two days ago to rest obliquely on the hunks of dirt slowly sculpting or being sculpted, the ones I had plans for but no energy to move the plans towards any sort of fruition.)

the way the word has been defined in the past didn't completely suit my use of it in the present, that's what I might have been meaning to say a paragraph ago. I choose to call that art rather than error, or impulse rather than affectation of metaphor, or simile, no, metaphor. simile uses like or as.

so anyway, I got lost in the first bit, but whatever. raccoons came last night, behooved is a cool word, I made up a poem in the shed that begins

he behooved me.

there's more, but it's not ready to type yet. phrases have been coming to me for some time, years now, I've got notebooks full. lately I've been keeping better track, writing down more, remembering more. though other times my memory is hazy. I blame that on having to do not only my own remembering, but the reminding for three other people.

so I'll probably write more poems in bits and pieces, and then when there's quiet and a need to write, or cut and glue, or rip and turn over and paint through with food colouring mixed with water and glue, and tell stories inside my head, I'll make books. seems like a good occupation for winter nights. and if I start printing (and maybe drawing/painting on) some of my photographs, and cutting and ripping up my drawings and paintings, I'll have plenty of illustrations.

so what if it takes forever, or a week and then it's on to the next thing. at the moment, I see it, this possible bookmaking future, and it seems appropriate and sensible, a good use of my time, as much as any other, unless any other becomes necessary.

tonight I lit a candle in that three legged (now no-legged) lantern a friend gave me, and hung it in the window of the shed, because the screen another friend gave me, the screen that was hung with clothespins in the window keeping out some of the wind and rain was dusty and is currently being washed by the rain that softened the bread the raccoons started to eat last night before I gently clicked and shuffled to let them know I was there, and then, when all they did was look at me and wonder what sort of odd, lumpy lumbering creature was suddenly and erroneously in their restaurant, then I shuffled louder and chucked at them, and they chose to let me walk back to the house in some privacy, while they waited almost patiently in the bamboo.

two of the houses on my quiet

(ish. there are kids all over, of course. and leafblowers and heat pumps.)

dead-end street are for sale. the one across the street that the bank is selling, and the one beside us that the man is selling, his (ex?) wife gone, the foundations on the new house barely dug.

now is the time to be who I am. I want, after all, to attract new people as good as the people I am currently blessed with. I love my little neighbourhood. I'm so glad we found it, the girls are growing up as closely as I can imagine possible to the way I did, except for the sad distance of my own family, and my husband's.

so I have to work harder to keep those connections this year. there's a family history wanting to be written, that's another thing.

but anyway. I'd love to have kind, well-mannered, free-thinking

(and my definition of free-thinking includes belief in whatever, if the belief is considered and practiced, and not just inherited and spoken)

new neighbours in the new year. in case my wants are being taken into consideration, you know.

(and if they're not, oh well. there's always bamboo. grows like lightning, except it's much more subtly invasive. subversive, you could say, if you wanted to. a subversion of bamboo. my collective noun of the day.)

Friday, December 12, 2008

and another. (prototype, I mean.)


I figure seeing as how I bought the thing, and used it until it was no longer functioning the way it was intended to

(though I could have managed the low-tech way we've been making coffee, my husband wanted a new coffeemaker, and I must admit that though he got one too tall to fit under the cupboard and I had to move it to another counter, it's a nice machine, very slick but easy to use and pretty, as coffeemakers go.)

and of course it'll never decompose, or at least not in my lifetime

(how long does it take metal and plastic to do that? does it ever? it must. I mean, metal will rust, and maybe the plastic will get brittle and break and turn into powder but seriously, that's got to take some time.)

it behooves me.


(I think. I'm not clear on behooving.)

it behooves me to make something out of it and what better thing to do than use the filter basket as a basket

(with some modifications, sandpaper, paint, wire or at least that's what came to mind, I haven't started it yet, might never, but I'm pretty sure I will)

and the rest of it

(for the time being. it's got parts. I love things with parts. and I have one of those little starry screwdrivers. I'm curious to see what's inside the machine.)

will become a shrine to coffee, which someone in some little coffeeshop might fall in love with. maybe I'll get free coffee out of the deal. anything's possible, in theory, even impossibility, I suppose.

just a cameraphone picture for now. the carafe part of the coffemaker is gone, I didn't act quickly enough to save it, which is a shame. I would have liked to fill it with various things and take pictures of it. oh well. so there's just a little clay bowl and candle sitting on the hotplate, a very simple sort of shrine. and the basket's still attached, that'll change, and free up some space. there are holes, of course, where the hot water used to drip through. I expect wire will go there, with something or some things hung on it. melted pieces of plastic, possibly.

dave, I hope you don't mind, but I've melted some of the light filter samples. they're quite pretty. something in between butterflies and autumn leaves. pictures of those to come at some point.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

consider it a prototype.

lightpainted alphabet on bliptv

easy to upload, anyway, and it plays, though it's giving me some sort of error message about metadata. persnickety.

tonight I might read the imovie manual and find out why my pictures were cropped. too big? some odd setting I have to adjust? no matter. I'm out of new things to read, "the week" and "the nation" won't be here for a few days, and it's either the imovie manual or the manual for the new coffeemaker.

did I mention that, that the old one stopped working? we waited until this payday to replace it, so we've been boiling water and pouring it through the swung out filter basket, with the pot sitting on the tile counter beside the non-functioning unit, the coffee cooling quickly. which has been fine, not as easy as filling the thing and flipping the switch and waiting for that throaty cheery gurgle, but still. it's not chopping wood and hauling water. and without the pot sitting on the hotplate there's not that awful (to me) old coffee smell. I turn the coffeemaker off as soon as I can, preferring to drink the stuff cold or reheated rather than cooked. but my husband has a less sensitive nose and palate for some things.

and now a nice relatively simple new white general electric digital coffeemaker sits on the counter, and the old one has been rescued from the trash bin. I don't care what he says, a shrine is what it's going to become. he just doesn't share my particular vision, and that's fine. otherwise there'd be the two of us, saving pieces of junk from the landfill as if me turning it into something else is anything other than buying it a little more time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the light-painted alphabet. my first imovie.



and I haven't worked out exactly how to use it. I have two manuals. it's possible I may consult them at some point. I've looked at a few help files, but I'd rather figure it out and occasionally dip into the manual and have the two kinds of learning intersect than click on links, I try to limit my computer time, it hurts me to type too much but oh I love seeing the words come up, I won't deny it. I wonder if a typewriter might be better? handwriting is good but not as easily shared, though I suppose I could write and take cameraphone pictures and send right to my email or right to the blog I suppose, can I do that? I must be able to do that.

not that it matters.

anyway. so some of the pictures got cropped by some other authority than my own, I don't know what happened. most of these looked more like letters. but like I said, the next batch is better. I'm really enjoying this whole experiment.

Oh! my eight year old is all excited because her class is doing a section on native american culture and today she did some weaving, and had tips for me if I ever wanted to consider trying it, and also that she learned to say a phrase that meant thank you for letting me be here.

it was a sweet mothering moment, so I'm surprising everyone with cinnamon buns in the morning. my seven year old's been rumpelstiltskin lately. but we had a good talk today (I've been rumpelstiltskin's mother, apparently, and where do you think he learned his rude and selfish behaviour from?) and I think the talk will sink in both ways and do some good. the house smells wonderful, the cinnamon buns (frozen bread dough, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, rising in the bundt pan a friend gave me) are perfuming the whole house, and in the morning I'll make a cream cheese glaze, and tomorrow's payday and I'm going to buy a bag of gravel and a can of paint and a new paintbrush, so I get to go to the hardware store and check to see if the cat is sleeping on top of the sandpaper. and they have candy, chewy sugary spearmint leaves. and it's thursday, the best day of the week, situated just perfectly between the industry of monday and the relaxation of sunday.


===

the movie will have to be a link in the next post. for some reason since switching to this mac, I don't get an add video option on my posts, just spelling and image and preview. it's inconvenient. so I'll have to figure that out, or post it elsewhere and then post that link.

(teacher, can I hand it in tomorrow?)

Friday, December 5, 2008

so I've got six pieces of art made of reclaimed materials in a show & sale in a very cool little gallery.


and even though this sounds hopelessly goofy and over-dramatic (me? histrionic? never!) I must admit that the night before I took them in, I held one of them and broke helplessly into tears, and rocked it like it was a child, which of course it is.

the broken vessel saved for anything, everything, the potter's child, his joy, his burden.

so I packed them all up carefully in a painted fruit crate, along with a couple of little gifts for the bundle of energy that curates the space, and drove them into portland.

I'd been to this space once before to volunteer as a greeter for an open studio time. I joked that I did more gritting my teeth than greeting, but I'd also brought one of my daughters with me and when I'm mother I have a hard time being myself, or no, that's not it exactly. I have a hard time not being my mother-self. which is different than my shara-self or my artist-self or whatever. so between the drive that first time (I got slightly lost, had to call my husband for alternate directions once I figured out where I was exactly, and this made me anxious) and then the fact that I was feeling my way around a new place and this always gives me some moments of having to make accommodations in my brain-map for how I fit into it, and not knowing exactly what was expected of me, and being somewhat naturally shy (except when I'm naturally social) and keeping an eye on my daughter to make sure she didn't make unplanned alterations to anyone's art, well. it was a good experience, but wearying. even though the space is lovely, the people are amazing, and I was doing it whole-heartedly because I wanted to help out, it depleted me. this was because, while my heart was fully engaged, my brain was split between self and mother. and mother almost always wins. or when it doesn't, it makes for disjointed thinking/action just by diverting energy.

does any of this make sense? I suspect not. no matter.

anyway.

so this time I went alone. and got lost. and called for directions. and got lost again. and was driving, panicking, and talked myself out of that panic, telling myself (out loud) that it wouldn't do any good to panic, what I needed to do was breathe and calm down, and find a place to stop where I wouldn't get myself any more turned around, and figure out on my own where I was and how to get back across the river and find the place I needed to be.

and so I did.

and I hauled my fruit crate up a few flights of stairs and then magic happened, the pieces flew out of my arms and onto the walls and onto the white pillars or plinths (plinths was the name in my head when I saw them, however incorrect it may be, I don't know at the moment and don't feel inclined to stop now to check) that the curator brought out, and then there they were, my found and cosseted darlings, all cardboard and cheap paint and wire. and I felt free of them, and longing for them, and proud of them and then I swept the floors and straightened other people's art and helped adjust lighting and chatted and took a few pictures and hugged the curator goodbye and walked lightly and surely down the stairs, smiling, and stood by the car in the parking lot eating a crisp sweet pink lady apple and a piece of gouda cheese with my arms bare in the cool afternoon and a seagull crying overhead and then I went home, with no getting lost at all.

and made supper, and helped with homework, and sent an email saying thank you, and now here I am, the girls gone to school, my night-shift husband sleeping, breakfast dishes waiting and the sun shining on the shed, two cats lazing around, the laundry caught up and the whole day gleaming, mine to make anything that comes to visit.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

so for a good part of the day I was sweet, kind and patient.


but finally, in the home stretch I snapped, and yelled.

sigh.

wednesday. my least favourite day of the week, for various reasons too persnickety to go into.

but it was a minor outburst, more frustration than anger, and all it says is I let myself get too low, and so it's early to bed for me tonight. a busy end of the week and weekend ahead.

first, though, a cup of green tea with honey. and some time and quiet to make something, or unmake it, whichever best works through whatever it is that's troubling me. sometimes that doesn't become clear until I forget that I'm bothered at all, which I suppose is perspective working its magic, or magic working its perspective, I don't know which. it could, of course, be both.

and no-one seems in the slightest bit put out by my childish display (I stamped my foot, like a petulant, pouting child) so I suppose it's not that big a deal. I do tend to give things more weight than is necessary sometimes.

I feel old today, and tired, heavy with possibilities curled and fluid, pushing everything else out of the way in their unthinking need to grow bigger than the confines of a temporary and insufficient home.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I've decided that in 2009 I will find myself a studio.


even if that means I have to rent a storage space somewhere, or gather materials to build something closer to home. I suppose if I was digging and drilling holes in the yard and in some nice 4x4s my husband at some point would say oh no, honey, you're doing that all wrong, and maybe a new shed would appear, with no holes in the roof and no rotting plywood floor, someplace with light and space to work. because I keep bumping into things, and twice now the sleeve of my shed coat has gotten singed by candles. I don't need a fancy space to work, but safe and warm would be nice.

I love my shed, there's no question about that. and I work outside of it, as often as I can, on the bigger pieces of plywood and so on. at the moment I'm painting a bamboo screen, it's coming along nicely, it's the cut-off bottom of the bamboo blind that's in our bedroom.

so I think I need to open my own bank account, and start selling some of the things I've made and don't need anymore now that I've learned whatever I needed to learn from the making/unmaking/remaking of them, unless of course I can give them away as gifts. I much prefer that. but I've been invited to put up some art for sale next week and who knows, someone might take a shine to something I've made and the more I let things go, the more room I make for something new.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

my mind's a blank at the moment. but I suppose if that were true I wouldn't be posting.



so perhaps it's more accurate to say my mind's a blur rather than a blank. I attribute this to the macy's thanksgiving day parade, or the little we managed to watch of it, the bloated shiny spectacle, the idle chatter, the endless stream of interchangeable overwrought singers.

bleh. it all leaves a bad taste in the mouth, or mine anyway. and a corresponding dullness in the brain. this is why I only watch tv three or four times a year. I'd much rather go paint something.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the cat smiles, not because his belly is full of food, but because his mouth is full of song.




what does this have to do with anything? I have no idea. it just popped into my head.

and whatever it has to do with something, it certainly has nothing to do with this poor dog.

though it did make us smile, the costume. and the dog suffered the delight of the crowd with calm disregard. and perhaps he even enjoyed the whole charade, the obvious pun, the clowning.

after all, who even vaguely recalls the man leading him down the street? but the dog is immortal now, as far as I'm concerned. anonymous as he is, as we all are.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I got a thing or two accomplished today.



as much as anything's ever accomplished. made some prints from carved/waxed/painted pieces of salvaged plywood. my husband says one of them looks like a cardinal's head, or an eye and a beak anyway. I didn't have a cardinal (or even a bird) in mind when I was carving them, but then again I do most things in a trance half the time anyway, lulled by the soothing repetive motions of the carving knife scooping out long curls of wood, or the sandpaper rasping away, smoothing the edges, the leftover bits of dollar store candles scraping softly back and forth aross the wood, and then a soft rag or the sleeve of my poor tattered spattered shed coat polishing.

power tools and faster, more efficient ways of doing things have a particular appeal. but you can't really lose yourself in birdsong when you're plugged in to something and you've got sharp loud machines going.

anyway. some groups of threes, stacked up in the basement the spools are still hanging in. these have nothing to do with birds either. (though the little niches in the bricks make me think of nests. or that hole in the concrete wall on ivy street with the moss coming out of it, the one I put that egg-shaped rock in one time.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

the whole day I thought in black and white. well, with occasional flashes of colour.




and it was a quiet, noisy day. I strung film spools on wire and hung it on a pillar in a basement and called it an installation of art. I went to two new places, met four new people and a very nice dog. didn't get lost, or flustered by exits or traffic. followed through on promises made, made more. came home, sat with a cup of coffee for twenty minutes and then made roast beef and mashed potatoes and diced carrots and gravy for supper, and chocolate chip cookies for a bedtime snack.

the girls are sleeping on the futon in the living room, a friday night tradition that's been going on for a few months now. they're watching a movie, in their pink pajamas, happy on blue sky flannel sheets with clouds and smiling suns on them. two cats are purring, there are crayons and playdoh all over the table and a basket of laundry to fold. and the weekend to look forward to, and next week, and all the days past that to whenever the days stop.

it was a good day. I'm thankful for it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I've been told on many occasions that I think too much.



but then again, I berate myself for thoughtlessness and cluelessness often. so I suppose it all balances out. what must it be like to think just enough, I wonder.

you think too much. you worry too much. you feel too much.

you get the picture. it's the excess, and then the veering back madly (blissfully, regretfully) to the not enough, the feast a famine of moderation, the plenty stretched thin and transparent.


oh blah blah blah. the words, always, waiting, tumbling over each other. pick me, pick me! the ideas, jostling for attention, all elbows and promises.

she's a bright and creative child, but I wish she'd work harder, apply herself, she shows such potential, she daydreams too much. she's too shy. she talks too much.

never enough, or too loud, feelings like ripe bright nerves, glistening, electric.


a cartoon I saw once and wish I'd kept. or kept and lost. or still have, but where? an artist, stereotypically french beret-wearing mustached man about to sit on a chair with a big obvious nail poking up on it.

the wife (?) and the horrified child, no pierre, don't sit. (seet, they say, in that cartoon text french.)

but I must, he says.

of course he must. I'd much rather have this purpose and clarity burning than the other, colder kind of away.

dr. jones is hanging on the screen door, cross-eyed with concentration.



so I suppose I should stop searching in vain for something interesting or so dull it fascinates and just let him in, go to the store, and buy something or other for supper. it's a beautiful day, for november. the fallen leaves are wet from the rain of the last few days, and bright, especially the cherry leaves. I've started gathering them in bowls to perfume the shed, and the other night we had a nice fire outside and at the end when it was down to glowing coals, I piled wet cherry leaves on top and oh the sweet scent that floated up, in clouds, like the souls of leaves.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

well I had to leave that last post, it made me laugh.


apparently my fingers, cold and clumsy from painting in and on the shed, decided to hit some keys without letting me know about it and there you go, post done just like that, mid-sentence. mid-title even.

my fingers are clever editors.

it's cool and rainy. but it

Thursday, November 6, 2008

so tonight we had the sex talk, or this bit of it anyway.



but this was the big one, with the mechanics of coition and reproduction tastefully and briefly described. apparently a helpful friend who's one grade ahead and oh so worldly decided to share some misinformation.

I handled it well, it was really no big deal. we've already talked openly about death, and profound doubts about divine plans and so on.

anyway. it's been an exhausting day, what with driving into the big city in the rain and missing an exit on the way home because of fuzzy thinking and the resulting 15 minute detour while I tried to figure out how to turn around and get going in the right direction. and then homework, supper, laundry, bathtime, more homework, cuddling, dishes and oh finally, lights out, and the dishes and clothes drying, the girls and cats sleeping, my husband at work and the house briefly still.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

my first post composed on a mac.


not that I imagine it looks any different.

no pictures on this computer yet, but I've got 717 (the last couple weeks' worth) being unloaded from the camera right now. and then there's another card full, waiting.

believe it or not, I take fewer pictures these days. wait longer to click the button. but I still take far too many.

stayed up last night to watch the election results. sounds of joy are still echoing in our little brown house.

Friday, October 24, 2008

so every moment I possibly can, I'm working on this piece of furniture.



though it's not really furniture at the moment, it's in pieces, and I haven't even decided which of the pieces will be part of this particular thing and which will be made into something else, or even if any of these table/cabinet/shelf things I'm in the process of making will stay together once they're made. they're old and new bits and pieces, some of which I've been working on for a couple of years now, some since texas. it's for a one-day installation in a very cool place, and I still can't quite believe my good fortune.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I've decided that I'm quite undeserving of such a rich and full life, and need to stop complaining and be grateful.


because it's bad enough to be undeserving. ingratitude only compounds the problem.

this isn't to say I haven't done right in my life. but I have done wrong as well. life's not fair at all; that's what I tell the girls when something doesn't work out the way they want it to. sometimes you get less than you want and sometimes you're overwhelmed with the sort of abundance that numbers don't apply to. maybe there's a balance somewhere, but good things happen to bad people and vice versa all the time.

I hear about gratitude journals and so on, and at one point I was thinking of three things every day that I was grateful for and sending them off in an email. often it felt forced, like a false positivity, a grim sort of cheerfulness. but I think I just wasn't doing it the way that made sense to me.

video

does it all mean something? nothing? planned, random, a little of both? who knows? I don't. but I'm here, and there are beautiful reasons to say thank you, everywhere you look, and often in the places you forget completely.

Friday, October 17, 2008

just stopping in to say hello.



it's been a good but long day and it's not over yet, but that's fine. I was told I was a very calming person to work beside. I was quite pleased with the compliment and felt useful and capable, it was a nice mix of internal and external validation.

after school, the girls ran off with their friends to play outside in the meadow at the end of the street. and when I went out to call them home for supper they saw me, before I said a word, and called out mama! and came running, smiling.

now they're watching old cartoons I used to watch when I was a kid, and I'm explaining the references and addressing any sorts of questionable bits. if every generation was a filter removing impurities of thought, just think of the world, the way it could end up to be.

and impurities of thought sounds so uncompromising, doesn't it. oh well. I'm a curious mixture of flexibility and rigidity, a prude flirting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

sometimes I'm overwhelmed by feelings of insignificance.



but other times the slightest thing seems not at all hesitant, and the trembling of the bamboo is a perfect container for the song that small grey-brown bird sings.

I don't have much at all on my mind at the moment.


so I'll just post this. I don't know who drew it or where I found it, but seeing as how I'm only posting it in order to pass the message along I don't expect the artist who created it would mind so much.


I imagine there'll be a longer post later. we'll see what shed epiphanies bubble up today.

Friday, October 10, 2008

some peonies from this past may.



nothing to say, as usual, and I won't ramble on for paragraphs about nothing.

this time, anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

it's a good day for painting.

as good a day as any, I imagine. my husband's sleeping, the girls have gone to school and we've got a three day weekend full of activities and trips ahead. the laundry's caught up, supper's planned, the garbage has been taken out and all that's left to do is make some coffee and go to the shed, write a bit, paint, take pictures. I might be moved to do some yard work, it happened yesterday and it could conceivably happen again.


for the moment, though, it's the thought of paint (lids left off, colours a bit mixed together, and the paint almost at a nice sort of pudding-like consistency, very nice for building up texture) that's pulling at me. so despite the fact that I could do so many more useful things, I've decided to go ahead and indulge myself while I'm able to.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

apparently I'm in the feast stage as far as writing goes.



interests and impulses come and go as they will, and for the most part I'm happy to follow them. this isn't to say that following tangents where they lead is necessarily a good thing as far as self-development goes; I suppose the imposition of some structure, some discipline, would prove useful. I'm in the lucky and not-so-lucky position to have my days free and little demands placed on me, while my husband goes to work to support the family and my little daughters go to school. so I keep the house (but barely, lately) and amuse myself with painting or writing, reading or singing. I'm "living the dream", I've been told. I'm a kept woman, a lady of leisure.



we're not well-off and sometimes we eat lean the days before payday but we have a nice little brown house and a lovely little hybrid that gets good gas mileage and we have simple tastes for the most part. I buy my clothes at the thrift store and own two inexpensive pairs of shoes. I have a small personal allowance that goes on treats for the girls and sometimes paint for me, but I don't buy much. I have books I love but not enough to fill more than a few shelves on the bookshelf I still don't have but will break down and buy someday.


don't worry about the money, says my husband. you don't have to go to work unless you want to. it pleases his masculine pride to support us. and it feels right to him, his father having done the same. it suits his conception of what it means to be a man, to be a father and husband. just make your art and be happy.

so sometimes I do, and I am.

and sometimes I don't, and I'm not.

and there's a lesson there, don't you think?

Monday, October 6, 2008

it's grey today but not unpleasantly so.

it's possible there may be sun at some point.

I have no idea why I'm sitting here writing this, choosing pictures at random to post. but no, that's not true, I do know why I'm writing this, however pointless and rambling it might be. because I can, because it helps me.


one of the things I love most about my camera is that I miss so much the first time I see something, or I see it in such fine detail or from a overwhelming blur of distance that the pictures inside the pictures are lost to me. and it's only later, upon reflection, that I can see clearly.



I delete more now than I save. but I still save too many, for what purpose I don't know. my eight year old tells me to print some pictures, asks me why I don't print any. I don't know why, and again as I'm saying I don't know, I do. because I don't think the cost of the printing (the money, the paper, the ink, the chemicals, the time, the electricity, the gas) is worth another piece of something that won't last. so that it can end up in a plastic storage box somewhere, more clutter to burden the world with.

you can see how I limit myself, with all this heaviness of thought. it's a guilt and an unworthiness I caught from somewhere, a disease that winds itself around my spirit as artlessly as the ivy in the alder tree. wrapping around it with the softest and greenest of fingers and then hardening into what looks like a support or a cage, depending on your perspective.



but even with everything I've done badly or half-heartedly or wrong I know that three beautiful things have grown in and beyond me. so I suppose the pointlessness I so often struggle with is nothing more lasting than any other sort of light, or shadow.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I seem to be caught in something. quicksand comes to mind.


except I keep thinking I'm making progress, pulling myself out of it and then it surprises me all over again and I'm sobbing, like there's an endless and inescapable well of whatever it is that I feel as if I'm wading through, swimming in, drowning in. but then the next day I get up and it's better, or it's not, and the day stretches ahead like something I won't ever be able to see the end of, and no, it's not that I want the end to come. I'm not at that point of despair.

yes it's the month of my mother's birthday, the month she should be turning 71. and she should be calling me, asking me how the girls are doing, celebrating with me because I have pieces of what I suppose is some kind of art tied to a wall in portland, and another piece to be hung next month, and there's no joy there, no feeling of any sort of pride or accomplishment. what does it matter, if I can't call her and tell her? and I know it's been six years. and I should be over this, I'm lacking in some kind of moral fortitude apparently.

whatever it is that's broken in me it always seems to come up around her, my mother, my mother. ecstasies of grieving, and then sandwiches to make, and tears to hold back until my head aches, and sharp unloving words to anyone who moves towards me to help.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

yesterday by the lake I piled up some stones.



I was walking by a rockpile and what else could I do? they didn't need to be rearranged, they were fine as they were. but for a few blissful minutes I lost not the world but myself, and the walk around the lake was full of significances, because I chose to see them as such.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the other night we sat around the fire with the neighbours.


and of course I had my camera. battered and worn though it is, it is my almost constant companion. the first ten pictures or so were taken by my eight year old daughter, who's seen me doing similar things before; she slung the camera around her neck and painted with it, her face glowing, happy to be sitting up at night with the grownups.

video

I have the idea to print out some of these pictures and combine them somehow. when I see them one after another I see the places they could fit together, and if they were printed on paper that I could draw on, well. imagine what could result.

and if after all that time spent, nothing of any use or beauty was realized, well again. it's the pursuit of the idea that thrills. any product along the way is just encouragement to continue searching for an ultimate meaning and my own small purpose, whatever it might be, whatever I might choose it to be.

a friend is coming by to take me for a walk around the lake.




and it's a good thing, too, because I've been so housebound lately. this is entirely my own fault/choice, the smallness of my days. I've been so sad the last little while, feeling pointless and disconnected from the people who love me.

Monday, September 29, 2008

more about titles, possibly. or the post could go in another direction entirely.


because they do that, the posts. at the best of times they write themselves. if I was a religious sort of person I'd say sometimes I had visions; but I'm not, so what are my options then? what explains the feeling of being only a door something else passes through? and it's not that I believe these are pearls of wisdom -

see, pauline? now here I am, pondering pearls of wisdom. thinking of the nature of pearls, the few I've seen (natural and not), the way they're made, the levels of symbolism there, the meaning. that's the stumbling block, the meanings of things, or the lack of meaning but oh here we go again, merrily or not so merrily off on another tangent, dizzy and lost somewhere between the clouds and the dirt.

video

visions, though. that's what I was going on about. or magical thinking or madness or who knows what? I don't know. I decided the other day that I preferred to believe that life has meaning, that the pointlessness I feel sometimes or the significance I feel other times are both just part of something I will never fully understand. so I'm going to go pet the cat and listen to the birds and write down sentences and pictures that come unbidden into my head and just not worry so much about the state of my mind for the moment. all this self-awareness is exhausting, however still the outside of the container might look. today I will be an empty pot and whatever gets put in there will just have to be good enough.

Monday, September 22, 2008

titles. sometimes they come to me, sometimes not.


so after writing and deleting three, I thought oh to hell with it. what's a title but a bit of a sentence stuck up there by itself. how important is it, really. and it occurs to me that the unnecessary nature of what I do makes it even less important what my posts are titled, and even if they're titled at all.

it's a good morning for deleting.

I was just reading (after posting a reply to the kind comments made on the last post) about handwriting, the benefits of it, the way the typewriter and computer have pushed it aside. a lost art, I suppose, or almost lost, like making homemade jam or any manner of things people used to do by hand and now can do by machine. can do so easily by machine that the process loses all its joy, all its purpose in the push to have a finished and easily digestible product.



I have bread baking at the moment, but it's a loaf of frozen dough bought from the grocery store, so it gives the illusion of being made by hand. I've made bread from scratch before (I keep meaning to look that expression up, every time I use it) but it didn't turn out so well, more doorstop than delicate. maybe this winter I'll try again.

the sky's lightening now, but very slowly, softly, like veils being drawn away. I don't expect we'll see the sun today, but the rain is making the moss sparkle, and I'm quite fond of moss. it's so unassuming and quiet, growing slowly and completely capable of bearing long periods of inattention. I'd carpet the house with it, if I could.


video

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I downloaded a podcast from npr about bobolinks.

so of course it just happened to be the right thing to go with these pictures, even if it isn't exactly right. I'd do it quite differently if I was to do it again, and it's possible I will do it again, or a million times, and sometimes it won't look a bit different. the pictures weren't even about birds, they were about leaves, but then again, there you go. the two go together, birds and leaves.

but what I meant to say was that it was used quite without permission. I'd send the birds an apology for violating their copyright but they're flighty things. no idea where the bobolinks in question are now.


video

and I've decided just today how obvious it is, the pattern I've been looking for. at the time, anyway. it's nests, birds. I'll explain it all later, unless I get off on some other topic. I do that. I've decided to consider it part of my charm, the same way I have decided to refer to all future difficult days as just part of the romantic and melancholy legend that will grow up around me someday. of course I'm not serious, life's too uncertain for too much of that, and oh but it's such a relief, just to write. and not to worry so much about whether it makes sense or not, is right or realistic or connects enough dots to make a recognizable picture because someday it will all wind itself together into one big thing or it won't. and then, what then, who knows? but now.

today I painted and wrote poetry in the shed, with the sunshine and breeze perfect for a late summer early fall day, and the girls were at school so everything was quiet but the sound of the quiet itself, full of birds and grasses drying, dying, moving, the traffic down the road softened through the trees, and power tools somewhere, and old jazz on cheap speakers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

sitting down to write with no particular subject or inspiration in mind.


but you know sometimes you just can't wait for inspiration to strike. strike, what a funny choice of words, like the gift (gift? curse? both I suspect) of that flash of idea, like the

oh whatever. I was going to go on about the way the fish were jumping at the riverbeach the other day at sunset, and almost everyone had gone home but we were still there building a castle or something anyway. right at the edge of the water where the waves kept washing away everything we built but that didn't deter us any. it's all a matter of perspective, the dissolution of the made thing, distance and time but what lasts forever? certainly not a sandcastle.


I won a prize once, building, at a different beach in another country entirely. I don't remember the castle or the prize or the day, really, but the sand I remember, and the lake so many years ago, and the way we used to have to take a boat over to the other side of the lake to get to the sand dunes and how they were like another world. now there's a wide mowed path through the reeds, and it makes it easier to get there but it's not the same. and of course it's not the same, why should it be, why would you want it to be, just for comfort I suppose, for the illusion of permanence.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

firelightpainting.


it's been a fascination for some time, drawing with the camera while the fireworks setting is on. traffic lights, candlelight, firelight, anything at all. the illuminated gauges in the car, the full moon, the lit tip of an incense stick. once you click the button and start waving the camera around, the oddest things can happen, and while the fire didn't give up any secrets, it did sing for a few minutes.


video

Thursday, August 28, 2008

it's been forever, I know.


but you know sometimes how you just get caught up in something and all your effort goes into walking down that particular path?

I get distracted. and I've been trying to figure out how to do some things I said I'd do, without understanding exactly what I was saying yes to, and it's just five days now until I'm supposed to be doing what I said I could do - and can, and more, it's just a matter of confidence. some days I have it, some days, well.


so anyway. I've been painting a lot. not writing so much. not on the computer much at all except to check email now and then. deleting old pictures. getting rid of things, making room for new things, or nothing, I suppose. making room for nothing. going to carnivals.


the shed has a new cat. the black one is chasing mice on some farm somewhere. neither of them was ever mine, if cats are ever anyone's anyway. but for some reason the shed collects cats. and moths. the moths flutter out at dusk, or I find them sleeping and surprised when I turn over some forgotten half-finished project. sometimes they sleep in the folds of my shed coat.

I don't mean to speak in riddles, really, but it's my first language, incoherence. so anything understandable is a rough and incomplete translation. some days it doesn't seem worth the effort, to make the leap from the unruly stream of thought to the discipline of sentences.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

one of the ways I amuse myself in the shed.


video

hush. I know it looks like play.

(but it's research, honestly.)

ha. play's all it is, plain and simple. or play masquerading as work. Work, if you want to be precious about it.

I could dress it up some. I could go on for paragraphs about birds and fish and how they'd use glass and water as intermediary sorts of media for translating each other's esoteric and arcane languages, and how this informs my Art.

art-speak. I might not have the particular education for it, but I can spit it out finely if I need to.

I choose not to need to. it's not a taste that appeals to me, that's all. it's neither good nor bad, it's just a language that isn't mine.

by the way. the birds say rain, definitely. the fish I don't know. I haven't been to the river in a while. and the shed says hello.

(it's all different now, inside and out. the doors are off, flipped upside down and backwards, being painted and repainted, being used as impromptu easels. clothespins hold the papers in place.)

Monday, July 28, 2008

resting, sort of. preparing. for what I'm not entirely certain.



but there's no sense worrying too much about these things. culminations, convergences, coincidences, whatever they might lead to or away from, for the most part I'm contented and when I'm not I'm consoled and very lucky to be well-loved.

the nests I've been making (woven painted spoken sung thought dreamed) have been becoming larger; it's difficult for the shed to contain them, so they find other places to go. this suits me well enough.

black and white appeals to me more. I take fewer pictures, but like them better. delete more, at first with the bliss of purging. now, with the calm of understanding there is nothing that needs keeping, nothing that can't be found again. paint for the sake of painting, but with sometimes the tiniest inkling, like an itch maybe, of what the larger pattern could be.

anyway. I'll be back from time to time. right now it's time to wake up the girls and get ready to walk down the hill to sit on the curb in the cool summer morning and play hangman with the girls while we wait to meet the morning bus. summer school for them, and mornings to myself, serene and purposeful, slowly productive.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

several days during which I've seen the sun, and nights lit by the moon and other incandescences.


candles, solar lanterns, the light of my ipod. or my camera, used as a flashlight to find something or other the other night, to the amazement of my girls. oh yes, I said, I use it all the time as a flashlight. they thought it was quite sensible. I've used the ipod light to take pictures by, and taken pictures of the ipod by candlelight; I don't discriminate between analog and digital, or maybe I do. maybe I use discriminate in the way I've always (well. not always, but you know, in my remembered history) thought of it, as a bad thing, as a preferring of one over the other.

but - and here I'm not entirely clear - I think it may (might) just mean to be aware of the differences between. which is not necessarily a bad thing, is it? compare and contrast, that old familiar question on all those long ago tests and essays, all that late night early morning coffee, and no word processors then, handwritten words and then typed on an (ooh!) electronic typewriter, with a magic erasing ribbon, or that awkward flaking tape, or the bad/good smelling liquid paper. and the cutting and pasting with scissors and glue, papers stuck together in long accordions of thought, the patterns, the paths, becoming evident.

my daughters, the little ones, had their last days of grade one and grade two today. the fierce youngest one was edgy all day and fell asleep like a light turning off, the way she does, and the older one cried in the dark, and cuddled against me sobbing at how she loved her teacher and wanted to stay in second grade forever. how she'd never forget her. how she was worried she would forget her when she was in sixth grade, sixth grade being so far and so grown up away. and the new teacher, would she be mean? all this gently eased out of her and none of it hushed away.

yes they hurt, the changes, and that's okay. and no it won't always hurt this bad, and that's okay too. and then the unspoken words, the unnecessary ones grieving the utter failure, no matter how strong the instinct, at being able to ever take the bitter cup away, no amount of motherlove strong enough to have dominion there. rocking, though, and arms like a nest to be safe in again. small comforts.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

okay, I give up. I'll never figure out why it's like a writing desk.



or what, precisely, is the equidistant word for shell and relic.

but I resolve not to let that dissuade me in my attempt.

(find that jung quote about irreplaceable idea? or no, what is it again. look it up.)

I told the girls they weren't tall enough to ride the make your own rules ride yet, and that they had to step out of that particular line, it wouldn't do any good to stretch up on their toes, the peas they planted that morning hadn't sprouted.

they didn't seem very upset. but it's a sunny day and I took them to an outdoor festival even though I really didn't want to go, and told them so. but I told them when you're a grownup you often put your own needs aside, and so they might as well suck it up - we were only going to do so many and no more of these sorts of things this summer and chances were it was going to be me picking them, and there was no sense making a fuss about it, after all, I am the queen and I do make the rules and it's true, you can't always get what you want, so saith the stones.

humpty dumpty. he's the one you want to talk to. all that fuss about the words meaning the right thing. that was the first book I ever bought with my own money and I still love it. I hope my daughters do too, one of them already does. I've been blessed with clever and beautiful girls, all three. but that wasn't the raven riddle, it was the tea party where that flew out of someone's mouth. not the march hare, certainly. must have been the mad hatter. the dormouse was so sleepy and all, but then again, my memory's bad today, lots of noise and oh! they had a reptile show there! at the carnival I mean. and a sleeping dormouse can rise up and surprise you, and did you know a rattlesnake can be dead and still bite you? and that I saw the most beautiful snake today, and I can't for the life of me remember his name but I will never forget that pattern, and his little cousin, rattling in his cereal box, afraid and ready to strike out at anything that moved too close.

I don't overuse exclamation points as a general rule. I don't care too much when I see them all over, and everything! is! said! breathlessly! like that. but then again, in a world where ur is accepted for your, anything goes, so sayeth mr. porter. but the snakes, well, I can't help it. I made purring noises when I saw them, I could have helped myself, I think, but didn't care to, they were gorgeous and they knew it.

anything goes:cole porter is the link in my head, is that right. I think it is and what does it matter in a larger sense anyway if I am or not, or know or don't because just because I'm right doesn't mean I'm sure about it, any more than just because I'm sure means I'm right, right? anyway. like I said, the memory is going. but that's fine. I liked learning these things the first time around, and if there is no such thing as an original sin - thank you, elvis, with your red shoes - then won't they be even sweeter when their time comes around again?

aging to perfection, baby, that's the name of my particular game. or at least it is today. these things have a tendency to change. springtimes come and go in the garden.

Friday, June 13, 2008

dave's filters, and the fireworks setting on my camera.



and tonight, after singing and the calm comes back, the shed, and a combination of the filters and the fireworks. if my fingers are quick enough, I can draw with the camera as well as vary the filters in front of the lens to colour the tealights, and that just sounds like fun, no matter how pointless and meandering.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I don't expect you recall the chili pepper light roses.


or the crystal potpourri bowl that surprised me, hiding a sunflower the way it did. that was the night setting, I think, on the last camera, or possibly the one before, back in texas when I was painting help me on the fence but using different words. sometimes it's hard to know what I mean until I say the wrong things a few times. and maybe it's not even the wrong thing so much as just an unclear translation of the idea struggling inside.

back when I was vague and cynical I wrote a poem about the words struggling out of our mouths (the ubiquitous our, I suppose, the our of they say) and hanging in the air, waiting, like smoke. I was an english major. it was expected, and even encouraged, the cynicism, handed out with black sleeveless turtleneck shirts and diet pills.

it was entertaining for awhile, but then the eye-rolling and sighing got to be such a drag, darling, so I switched to drama briefly and imagined other lives. but that only suited part of me, so I switched to education, thinking that it would be a good solid career choice. the diploma's somewhere in the garage. I'd make a most unsuitable teacher, ignoring deadlines and fudging numbers.

lightpainting, though, that's what I was going on about. the fireworks setting on the digital camera, tealights, drawing upside down and backwards, lefthanded with the camera, completely and blissfully unaware of the passing of time.

if time indeed existed in the shed last night, or in those moments this afternoon while the sun shone for the first time in what seemed like forever and you could almost feel the bite of it, and hear the bamboo crick-cracking as it dried and straightened. and then one glass of sort of sangria with two swizzle sticks, a neon yellow palm tree and a flamingo almost frighteningly pink. and three peach slices at the bottom of the glass like fish, slipping down my throat at the end for dessert.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

how could I resist the wild roses & the poppies?


video

I had to stop, the smell of the roses almost made the car park itself. so despite the thorns and the curious stares, I did indeed stop to smell the roses (and I sang the song while I breathed in the sun-soaked perfume) and pulled off an armful of blossoms and only pricked myself a few times, all those scratches are gone now. the ditch poppies, roots, dirt and all, will bloom happily in my yard this year and for years to come, I expect. though some sun might be helpful. it's raining here again.

oh well. doldrums, I'm told, that's what I'm in. it seems as good a diagnosis as any. but I'm promised some clear skies and smooth sailing, by a friend who knows whereof he speaks, having navigated similar waters in times past. I've enjoyed his wise and foolish counsel for over two years now, and all I have to say about that is thank you.

(the daisies were here already when I moved in. and the small pot of mint is from the hardware store. ours has a resident cat, and a fine selection of paint, overalls, birdseed and candy. and really, what more could a girl want?)

Friday, June 6, 2008

so I've been reading again. I took some time off, needing to find my own words.



because I'm a mimic, I'm afraid. or maybe it's more accurate to say I have a talent for mimicry. I'm aware this might have come about as some sort of evolutionary development, a bulwark against something.

bulwark. now there's a word. so awkward. I must confess I have only the slightest idea of the meaning of it. is it something like a dam? a berm? and how closely does my idea of the meaning of berm correspond to the dictionary's meaning of it, and again, as always, what does it matter, bulwarks and berms meaningless sounds, as conjured out of nothing as the hands on a clock and the illusion of control that clocks provide, or threaten.

I haven't been to the shed for a day now, a day and a half. but I was at a school carnival tonight, quite the opposite sort of sensory experience, chaos as opposed to calm. yet somehow I floated above the noise and commotion of hundreds of children and their indulgent bleached abercrombied parents, the women chattering in a language I hoped to understand once. what lifted me - and I don't mean it to sound so dismissive, or so haughty - was nothing more than the faces of my girls, and the sound of them saying excuse me and thank you and no, please, go ahead, I'm waiting for my sister, and oh mama, look all the prizes are gone.

and when I said that the experience was the prize they nodded and turned away, satisfied with the beanbag toss and no lollipop for the impermanent perfect arc, happy with the thump of the sand or the beans inside, settling into whatever shape beanbags dream of as they sail through the air.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

in the end it all comes back to the beginning, that goes without saying, she said.



unnecessary, all of it. the words, the pictures, or the lack of them.

yeah, it's raining again. as my dad would say, aw shit.

but then he'd turn away from the back door and go do something, to keep busy. I don't call him near as often as I should, and not even near as often as near as often. I'm a very lost and wandering daughter, and lacking in so many ways.

it's not that love isn't there, and respect. it's just me, tangled up in myself and sometimes trying so hard not to slip away from everything that I keep myself away from it, in a perverse sort of self-defense. sometimes it's hard to connect, with the disconnection-to-come weighing so heavy.

and again, that's no excuse. it's just one of those days when lack is most evident, and loss is everywhere, but it wouldn't hurt so badly if I didn't hold it so tightly and let it bite into me the way it so suddenly does.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

three of the pictures the camera imprinted its own ideas onto.


video

now, apparently, it's all back to normal, except for the splotch on the lens, which shows up now and then (often at the most inopportune times) and has to be lived with, or hidden, either in a murky spot in the photograph, or obliterated by the light, if you hold the camera at just the right angle and the light is just right.

I suppose if I took a fabulous picture I loved, I could photoshop the blotch away. I may do that, at some point. editing. all I do with the pictures at this point is rotate them clockwise, so that they aren't sideways. I take almost everything portrait instead of the landscape the camera is built for.

though lately, I don't know why, laziness maybe, a desire not to spend any more time clicking the mouse than I must, lately I've been seeing things landscape.

and in gorgeous colours! dave's filters arrived in the mail and oh the girls and I are thrilled. my eight year old has chosen her favourite colour to view the world through (rose pink, no surprise there, she does see the world that way) and my seven year old has chosen steel blue, no. 254 or something. she's already hard at work memorizing the colour names and numbers, for no reason other than because she loves to know those sorts of things.

and my oldest daughter has colours of her own, inside. this year they start coming out. call it mother's intuition, or magic, patient observation or just optimism.

yes, I can be optimistic. I might look a long time before I leap, or leap all too impulsively. but this year I'm more sensible than selfish, or selfless. and much happier because of it. I've almost got myself sorted out. amazing how that happens, when you stop cutting off parts of yourself to squeeze into slippers that don't quite fit.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

well now. the last oddest thing that happened? it just unhappened.



I'm not really sure what that means, but I'm sure it's significant some way.

wouldn't you say so?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I've been deleting things today.


believe it or not. and a friend tells me it's because I'm learning valuable lessons about non-attachment and ephemerality and (wait. is that a word? I'm getting the red squiggly line.

hmm. none of the suggested words seems to fit, so ephemerality it is, red squiggly line be damned.

well all I have to say is that non-attachment and ephemerality both suck. this is not a profound sort of statement, I know. apparently the oracle left the building and don't look at me, I'm just here to sweep up the place. I don't know what the hell I'm talking about.


if I was younger and in better shape I'd probably be dancing circles around things, and traveling from town to town with the gypsy puppet circus or something. I think I'd be a fine cabaret act. or burlesque even, if the lighting was kind, and there was enough artfully draped fabric around.

sometimes I think it's scripts I'm writing, pieces of dialogues that haven't happened but then again may have, I just might not know it, or know of it obliquely, having overheard it sometime around the middle of next week.


ha. that'd be rich. finally putting that drama class to some good use. and I have to say, on a slightly related note, that yes okay. math did occasionally come in handy. but never once has the principal export of any country come up in conversation. and don't ask me where that came from, I'm pretty much done holding back. I'll just edit later, I'm writing too many books at one time to bother with sorting things out now. I surrender to the way I am and the way my mind works and every day I'll just get up again and remember not to give myself such a hard time for being someone who prefers quiet to loud (but can enjoy a party on occasion) and old-fashioned to whatever the latest version of original is on television. I haven't watched in months, the last time was a football game, and even then I could only bear part of it, and that was done for love. not that I couldn't love television, I used to watch Coronation Street and St. Elsewhere. Hill St. Blues. oh I loved that one.


but now I've lost myself. thinking of the joy of watching television, and what it was that I really enjoyed was the cleverness of the dialogue, the art of it. and the images, the way they said more than they were saying, the subtext living in the pauses and the shadows. or the characters, very painfully and beautifully flawed. and the losing myself, I suppose. now I just do it with paint, that's another surrender. I may not ever sell a single painting. I may, in fact, paint over and over the same canvas (well. I gave it away. but the next one.) and just the act of painting is enough to pull me up and I'm lost and I come back down and wonder what was all the fuss about and why couldn't I see what was so plainly and irrevocably in front of me and that fact is that nothing lasts forever and of course, there it is. the moment of decision. do I admit my big epiphany is just plain common sense, or do I dress it up and make it into the next way to divide people according to what they believe and what they don't.


it's all spin, I suppose. and I know that's an over-used word but I like it. though I'd probably have called it slant. but that's me. I'm kind of picky about words.