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.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
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
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
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
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
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
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.