Thursday, December 09, 2010

Follow the Fool

The Journey of Liberation

I think back to Lake Wood and that unusually late summer’s heat. My friend and I walk down the path and down over the bank to the lake, eager for relief. Yet regardless of how much I wanted to swim in that spring feed lake, I found myself tip toeing around waters edge, barely wetting my feet,stepping slowly, cautiously, timid to move forward.

The sun has begun its descent, falling behind the tree line. I want to jump of the cliffs today, I have to jump before the warmth disappears.

I stand on the edge and look over into the deep water. My red hair illuminated by the sun, I raise my arms to embrace my choice and push off into the air. A short free fall into the unknown, I rise and take a deep breath. I treed water while I wait for my friend to jump, but that’s just the thing, some of us do and some of us don’t.

This caused me to think of the Tarot and of “The Fool,” card 0 in the Major Arcana. It pictures a man on a journey, at the top of a cliff, with a walking stick, a satchel, carefree with one foot in front of the other, just about to walk off the edge. This card represents the pure, the eternal optimist, he who takes each adventure as it comes, he who looks before he leaps, he who impulsively sets off into the unknown. This card suggests new beginnings.

I climb back up to jump another round. I stand still once more with my arms raised to embrace my choice and push off. It is truly a liberating experience to do something without delay, to move forward in an active and assertive way.

*** *** ***
The engine cuts and the plane slows, feet together, I think to myself, Matt rocks forth, one, two, and Go! Free falling for forty seconds at ten-thousand feet above the land of Mother Earth, traveling through her bright blue sky at over one hundred miles per hour. Until the parachute deploys, we are quickly jolted backward and upward.

Held together by rope, nylon and some trust we float along descending. I pull my affirmations from my sleeve and read each one by one.

“In loving memory of C. Nadeau.” I jumped in his honor. (My friend who is no longer with us, he used to jump in Pittsfield.)

“I am free.”

“I face my fears.”

“I am a risk taker.”

“My life is my own.”

“I am good and good things will come to me.”

“Let go of the past and live in the moment.”

Then I release them one by one into the aerospace and into the cosmos as we glide along. We fly in by the seat of our pants and return to Mother Earth. I shed some nervousness up there in the big blue, my first taste of liberation. I was ready, and set to go.

The universe heard me.

“I am free.”

*** *** ***
Dressed in my finest Friday night attire I stand upon the veranda, the tunes thump from the speakers, the chatter boxes continue. In shock, pissed, and clouded in the stench of cologne and body odor, alcohol and cigarette smoke, still I found clarity.

I look down at the drink in hand, take a deep haul and remove its straw. I hesitate as my heart palpitates at what I was preparing myself to do in the next moment. He is spotted seated at the doorway and he mackin’ on his next victim.

I walk right up, announced only by my heels. I interrupt his conversation by pouring coffee brandy, milk, ice and all into his lap. I bark aggressively, demanding respect and confirming he will never grope me again.

He was stunned. He just looked at me all wide eyed, his jaw hanging, and his crotch soaked, as if he didn’t know what he had done wrong. It only takes one redheaded vixen to teach a little boy a man’s lesson.

I step swiftly out the door, round back down the stairs and seek refuge at Brit’s bar. I come in invigorated, and petrified, and exhilarated. Brit pours me another drink, for the one I’d just sacrificed for my self-respect.

“I face my fears.”

*** **** ***
My left hand firmly grasps the ivory grips of “Dirty Susan” Keith’s .38 special double-action revolver. I load her up with bullets, slip my finger over the trigger, and cock the hammer back. I stare down the sights till I find the bulls-eye. Ready, I breathe in, hold my breath, aim and fire. I cock the hammer and fire again. I repeat this action with deep breaths and tight grips till the five round revolver empties. For good measure, I fire one more shot.

The pistol warm in my hand, smokes a little as I release the cylinder and expel the shells. I go down the line taking turns with my group and trying each gun of collection before us. There’s nothing like the power of a pistol in the grip of your female hand.

“I am a risk taker.”

*** *** ***
Being that I am a woman, it is often assumed I will marry and have children. The subject comes up frequently working in the public, they are a nosey bunch; older ladies especially. I explain that I don’t want such things for my life.

Their usual responses assure me that I’ll change my mind later on.

Oh yea? You think I’ll just decided that I want to stuff a pricey dress into the back of my closet, answer to Mr.’s wife and watch my female figure widen, sag and stretch with marks?

Some of us know what we don’t want, as much as others know what they want. There is no shame in an independent woman, husbandless and without child.

“My life is my own.”

*** *** ***
I dreamt of my Grandmothers house, in the guest room I noticed a bookshelf, something about it made me curious, I crouched down to scan the titles and I saw one of my books there on that shelf. The title printed on the spine “Heart Throbs.” A book that my grandmother had given to me…well actually, I think that she leant it to me.

When I moved there are a lot of things that were left behind at the folks. My mother put them in boxes “up overhead” as we call it.

When I awoke, instantly I knew it must be there.

I took a trip up to the folks in search for that hundred and five year old book; and sure enough I found in packed away in a box up overhead.Even if my Grandmother leant me this book initially, the weeks following her death, she came to me in a dream and gave me this; the old gray binding, the four-hundred and sixty nine yellow pages of wholesome good cheer, humor, comfort, hope- for I needed it to make those dark days endurable and sunny days enduring, I needed those heart throbs that make us feel better.

“I am good and good things will come to me.”

*** *** ***
The room is dark as I stand at the end of the bed looking to the place I took sanctuary. I look to his pillow on his side of my bed, where he should be and where he is not, nothing is where it should be.

The bed must be striped and the sheets washed.

I stood there sopping tears from my face, the heavy kind, that roll uncontrollably from the eyes, the kind that require no blinking, the kind make your heart ache. I look to the past through those lilac sheets stained in our sleepiness and our lustfulness of seasons spent lying there. The comforter twisted and wrapped with the sheets, all of this bedrock smothered in his scent and in mine.

I climb onto the bed and bunch the blankets into a pile. I hug this bundle of fabric, bury my face into it, lay on to it and breathe in. How do I wash these lilac sheets? How do I rinse his scent from my king sized bedstead?

When the moment was right, the bed was striped and the sheets washed. Things are more or less where they should be now.

"I let go of the past and lived in the moment."

*** *** ***
I think back to that bright blue sky that beckoned that day, those affirmations: words on paper, a few things that I wanted to embrace in my life, and a few things that I wanted to let go of.The universe heard me.

It all began on the edge of Lake Wood, peering in over the water, my red hair illuminated by the sun, I raise my arms to embrace my choice and push off into the unknown.I rise and take a deep breath.

Some of us step swiftly into action, while some of us tip toe around it. I step swiftly on this path of new beginnings, on this journey of liberation, one foot in front of the other, looking and leaping, pure and optimistic, without delay, moving forward in an active and assertive way.

Lucky Bamboo

Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of directing energy. The word itself literally translates into "wind" and "water." Known to the Chinese as the two life forces that flow freely over the earth, creating the central energy known as "chi.” The bringing of natural elements to the home and directing the chi throughout the home brings its occupants harmony and balance. Feng Shui applies to houseplants, this I did not know.

I have an ivy plant, a spider plant and a baby spider plant. I have had the mother plant for about five years, very resilient. I have had a few house plants throughout the years but only these three have I managed not to kill.

The first ivy I had, I kept it out of the steps one summer, until one day my neighbors dog came running up them with her tail anxiously wagging, and knocked the poor plant down the whole flight of stairs, tumbling over, the soil down each step, till it landed at the bottom, half in the pot, half out. That was traumatic for the fragile ivy, after re-potting it died shortly there after, (clearing not my doing.)

Though the latest casualty, took a period of time. A three year old Lucky Bamboo, four stalks in all, beautiful to look at, pleasing and vibrant, then one day leaves turned yellow, followed by the stalk until it just keeled over and died. According to Feng Shui, to kill Lucky Bamboo is very unlucky.

So I thought that maybe I should do a little research to help my cause, and see how to keep houseplants alive, seems how I already know so much about killing them.

The first thing I learned was that they need to be watered. Go figure, I mean obviously this is something that I knew, but my house is so dry, especially come winter, I have failed to recognize the need to increase the frequency of watering and forgot to mist them. They suggest filtered water, or collected rainwater for bamboo rather than the tap because of the chlorine and minerals can cause the discoloration in the leaves. That was my first mistake.

Secondly, I learned about lighting; some need direct light, where others need indirect.Placement is important not only for livelihood, but also for energy flow.

Thirdly, I learned that plants also need fertilizers to be administered from time to time for nourishment to encourage growth. Bamboo have there own special liquid solution you drop into the water. I guess that was my second mistake. Where is that bottle anyway?

There are lots of variables to consider in the care of houseplants. Sometimes when the leaves turn brown it is caused by too much water not too little. Or Leaf drop, so they call it, when the leaves just fall off, this can be caused by lack of water or exposure to a draft. That would explain what happened to the avocado tree I sprouted from the pit, I kept it near the door, all its leaves fell off, then it just shivered and died.

Now considering all cause and effects to houseplant survival, I now am better prepared to monitor moisture, lighting levels, drafts, and the placement of my three surviving houseplants.I can better align and redirect my chi to find the harmony and the balance within my home.

The mother spider plant sits in the kitchen, its leaves yellowing, the babies wilting, just dangling there as I stand at the sink downing a class of water. Now that I know they are watching, I'll try to quench their thirst, when I quench my own. Thank goodness the mother spider plant is so patient with me.

As for the Lucky Bamboo, apparently it isn’t even bamboo at all. Its botanical name is Dracaena, a resilient member of the lily family that grows in the dark in tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia and Africa. Moreover, according to the last of my research; the number of stalks also have meaning: three stalks for happiness; five stalks for wealth; six stalks for health. Four stalks, however, are always avoided since the word "four" in Chinese sounds too similar to the Chinese word for "death!" I guess my Lucky Bamboo, wasn’t so lucky to begin with.

If you'll excuse me now I need to go water my plants.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Ask the Universe

A review of the “Tarot Bible"

I keep my deck of Tarot wrapped in white silk and protected with clear quartz. By candle light I sit shuffling the worn edges of moments past, present and future; asking questions to the universe and flipping over their answers in symbolic imagery. Studying the figures, the objects, trying to understand, connect and interpret my findings.

Some of us on this plane of existence seek more than just the superficial. We are the kind who can’t take things at face value, appearances are deceiving and we know this all to well. We are provoked to seek what is deeper beneath the surface and see what truths we can reveal.Some of us put our faith in the powers of divination and in prayer; some count rosary beads, some kneel face down, and some lay spreads.

To ask and look upon the mirrors of the universe, through the study of Tarot and practice reading of prophecies, one can seek out the image of truth. From a selection of seventy eight cards, the answers will show themselves, but that is also dependent upon the reference book used to decipher.

I would flip through the small pocket size booklet that came with my deck, a few sentences about each card and it offered a ten card spread, called The Celtic Cross. I had one other book but it didn’t speak to me in the way that Sarah Bartlett’s four hundred paged "Tarot Bible" spoke. Chalk full with knowledge, a full spectrum of information that captures an audience of beginners and experienced tarot readers.

Some believe Tarot reading to be impure and for the dark arts of the occultists, fortune tellers and gypsy folk. So she begins this introduction with the roots of Tarot and how the universal language has been understood through out the decades of time. She defines their usage through history and their coming of age story by introducing different creators and artists involved in their evolution. She addresses the rituals involved with reading,care and storage of the Tarot deck.

The first half of the book explores the descriptions of all seven-eight cards of mystic symbolism, using the Universal Rider-Waite deck;she pictures each card in full color with key words and key phrases. Each card allotted two pages, the other page a deeper interpretation of the card as well as its placement within the spread this section generous to the beginner.

She further divides the deck addressing the two categories of the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. Major, the first twenty two cards of the deck, followed by the fifty six Minor suit and court cards, all of this Sarah Bartlett describes in full detail.

What makes this book different from others I have referenced, is that is doesn’t stop there. It continues on to the second half dedicated to layouts, thirty in all. Simple to complex spreads, sectioned off by everyday, relationship, revelation and destiny spreads, some include up to fourteen cards.

She ends the book with crystal correlation, astrological pairing and numerological aspects of tarot magick and connecting with the deck. This book is a powerhouse for the study of Tarot unlike any other that I have utilized.

My suggestion would include a spiral binding to the book, so it will stay open while you lay the spreads and read the cards. I also would suggest the usage of bookmarks within the binding, like Christian bibles. It would be helpful to mark pages during a reading while you flip between the description of the spread and the cards.

As I have said some of us on this plane of existence seek more than the superficial, appearances are deceiving and we know this, so when provoked to seek the image of truth. I ask you to put some faith in divining power of the Tarot along sides its fruitful companion the “Tarot Bible” and you too could sit by candle light shuffling the worn edges of moments past, present and future, and flipping over their answers of symbolic imagery. All you have to do is ask the universe.

Monday, November 29, 2010

They Come Just As They Go

“Welcome to Vacationland, the way life should be,” is a slogan that lures strangers from afar to this northern state of New England, to explore the great outdoors, the rugged coastline and what Maine has to offer.

The season for a coastal-tourist-town is short lived; it begins early May and ends late October. The town thrives and makes it's livelihood off these tourists. The peaks of the season come in waves.

The spring breathes life back into the village; the shops open their doors and streets fill. They come by road and by see, in car or tour bus, on boats or cruise ship.The official kickoff begins the Fourth of July and continues straight on through, till Labor Day weekend. Autumn dawns the season of the leaf peepers, the newlyweds, and the nearly deads. Harvest season begins, the cruise ships come to port almost everyday, two by two.

All season long they come all on their own adventures, with hopes of catching a glimpse of a moose or a whale, maybe to go hiking and biking, or to shop the streets of an old coastal town. Whatever their adventures may be, all these vacationers will soon grow hungry.


At some tables you can’t even get the words, “Good Morning” out of your mouth, and the transient diner barks for coffee. In the restaurant business, you just close your mouth, bow your head, and go fetch. But let it be know, servers are more than just vehicles to the nectar of the bean.

There are two creatures of the dining world:one
“I want two eggs, and toast.” The woman confirms. These are the kind you must pry for information.

Then there are the others:

“I want coffee black and my wife’s with cream and sugar. She will have blueberry pancakes, real maple syrup and bacon well done. I a spinach and goat cheese omelet, wheat toast dry, home fries crispy. Oh and we are on your bus tour of the park, and we need to board in thirty minutes.”

Meanwhile your standing there with one pot regular and one decafe and all you asked was, "Would ya like coffee?"

Transient diners also think that you are their tour guide as well as their server.They, too, will pry you for information, and lots of it.

They want to know, “Where is the closest Starbucks?”

Your answer, “Sixty miles inland.” (You came to Maine to go to Starbucks?)

“Inland? We’re on an island?”

Your answer, “Do you remember the bridge with the water on both sides?”

They want to know why they can’t check their email on their super-duper phones. “Don’t tell me you don’t have a 3G network?”

Your answer, “A 3 G, what? Welcome to Maine!”

This happens all amongst the clamoring and clanging of dishes, and those god damn coffee cups half empty begging to be warmed, the plates grow hotter the longer they sit there dying in the window,and then there is Andy cussing behind the line at all the orders that came in all at once.

When breakfast is all said and done, the upstairs dining room opens for lunch. They sit in the dining room and answer their cell phones and yell into the receiver, telling how they spent their day in Arcadia as they look over the menu. (When in fact they are in Acadia,on the other side of the country.) They see we offer a "Taste of Maine Special:" A boiled lobster dinner.

They want to know, “Well can’t I just have the tail?”

Your answer, “You’re in Maine maim, it’s a pound and a quarter lobster,shell and all!”

“I have to pick it myself?” Some say with disgust.

Your answer, “We offer a lazy man’s lobster, fresh picked lobster meat sautéed in butter or white wine.” (For an extra charge.)

They view of the bay can be seen through the dining room windows; the sand bar exposed at low tide, the Porcupine Islands, and the boats bobbing along in the water. They then want to know,

“What’s the name of the lake out there?”

Your answer, “The Atlantic.”

Then they want to know, “How do they get all the boats to park in the same

Your answer, “Harbor Master, Charlie does valet parking.”

Interactions with the transient diners like this continue relentlessly throughout the day. The turning and burning of tables, passing dialogue, filled with questions on each side, repeated questions and repeated answers, and inflection in tone as patience thins either mine or theirs.

The kitchen doors swing open once more. Rushing around through all the chatter, the checks that need printing, the printer that needs paper, the voids, the separate checks, and the ten percenters.

Not all your comments got you as far as you wanted; the directions you gave, the full “Taste of Maine” you just served them, the big smile and flashy eyes. No, still they want more from you; they will pry you for personal information, like those old biddies bugging about babies.After clearing the plates and presenting the check, they want to know,

“What you do in the winter?”

Your answer: “Hibernate, and wait for spring.”


The season for a coastal tourist town is short lived; autumn exhales the life out of the town. The shops board up their fronts for winter, and the streets empty.The leaf peepers, the newlyweds and the nearly deads have all gone back to where they came from. They have explored this great northern state of New England with it's great outdoors and rugged coastline.

The peaks of the season come in waves. The harvest is over. That’s just the thing about Vacationland and the way life should be;
They go just as they came.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Heart Throbs"

Book Intro

Last fall I lost both my Grandmothers, five weeks from one another;

Weeks into November I dreamt of Grammie’s house when I was a child.

I dreamt I was staying the night in the old guest room, the blankets, the crisp sheets just as they always were. The bed made just like a nurse, the bottom and corners tucked in tight and taught so the toes cannot hang out from the edge of the bed. The only thing about this dream that wasn’t accurate was the built in bookshelf at the footboard.

Something about it made me curious, I crouched down to scan the titles and I saw one of my books there on this shelf. The title printed on the spine “Heart Throbs.”

A book that my grandmother had given to me….well actually, I think that she leant it to me.


(When I moved Downeast from up North, there are a lot of things that were left behind at the folks in between. My mother sorted and packed many of my things and put them “up overhead” as we call it. (The space built in the peaks of the garage.) )

When I awoke I instantly knew it must be there.


The first pages are about ready to free them-selves from the old binding. It was a gift given to my grandmother from her friend Olivia Beal. It was given to Olivia by Lynwood Foss, January 1, 1912. I know this for it is written and dated in cursive on the first blank page.

The next page, the title page reads:

Heart Throbs-The Old Scrap Book –
In prose and verse
Dear to the American People and by them contributed in the $10,000 Prize Contest initiated by the National Magazine 1904-1905
Grossett & Dunlap New York

And on the back of that page reads:

Limited copyright, 1905
The Chapple Publishing Company LTD. Boston, Mass.

All these words squarely margined inside text boxes, the pages yellow and consistent with it’s age, the font tiny, all enveloped in that old book smell.

The next pages include the foreword written by the editor of National Magazine describing the break down of the cash prizes and the content he expected to receive:

“Wholesome good cheer, humor, comfort, hope-those things that make dark days endurable and sunny days enduring. In this way I hope to get those priceless little gems which you have always looked for in your favorite periodical. –Heart throbs-yes, heart throbs of happiness, heart throbs of courage, heart throbs that make us feel better. “

Words like this continue for the next following page until Joe Mitchell Chapple ends this foreword by saying:

“It is certain that such sentiment and humor are dear to all Americans and that these heart throbs of the sons and the daughters of the people are the pulse of the nation.”

The next four-hundred and sixty nine pages are just that, moments that make the heart throb.

At the end of the book on the inside cover, written in cursive is my grandmother’s given name.


I took a trip up to the folks in search for that hundred and five year old book; and sure enough I found in packed away in a box up overhead.

The cover gray with dark blue lettering across the front and the spine, it’s ripped and tattered covering you can see right down to the binding, the gray cloth on the top layer, the second layer brown paper and the third looks almost like gauze.

Come to my surprise, I had booked marked a page with a piece of paper. On that paper I had marked all the pieces from the book with titles or relation to Mothers. Imagine that.


I keep it close now, sifting through its pages carefully, seeking out what she wants me to discover from this vintage scrap book. It rests on the bookshelf next to my grandfather’s New Testament Pocket Bible, a gift for me when he died many years before. Now they rest side by side, aged and sentimental, together as they should be.

Even if my Grandmother leant this book to me initially, the weeks following her death, she came to me in a dream and gave me this book; the old gray binding, the four-hundred and sixty nine yellow pages of wholesome good cheer, humor, comfort, hope- for I needed it to make those dark days endurable and sunny days enduring, I needed those heart throbs that make us feel better.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Assumption

You’ve just finished dinner with your darling, the dishes you washed up together, two cups, two plates, and two sets of silver, he washed, you dried. The pans left to soak as things get hotter in the kitchen over the last sips of wine you had saved for some special occasion. This quickly leads hands up skirts and upstairs bedroom. You’ve strip teased each others clothes off he lay on top of you and just about to…

“Knock knock knock” You hear on your bedroom door.
“Mommmmy…Daaaddddy……...I peed the bed.” Great! Your romantic evening with your darling is interrupted once again.


I don’t understand “The American Dream.”

Being a woman it is often assumed I will marry and have children. The subject comes up frequently working in the public, they are a nosey bunch; older ladies especially. I explain that I don’t want such things for my life.

Their usual responses assure me that I’ll change my mind later on. I am frowned upon; it be shameful to be a woman who ends up husbandless and without child.

I tend not to get into the details of why not. I mean I don’t go around asking strangers if they have children and why they do. So I politely change the topic.


But if I were to respond to that loaded question of why not:

Firstly, it would begin with the simple fact that it is assumed that because I am a woman, that these are the things I should strive for in my life. There is more to life than having babies and husbands and minivans. Little girls are conditioned to believe in such things.

They are given dolls to take care of, they are taught how to hold them and feed them. They watch stories that tell tall tales about princes and happily ever afters. They are given Barbie dolls to play with. They make Ken kiss Barbie at their wedding and then rub their parts together, thinking it will make a baby.

There are approximately 490,000 babies born everyday around the world. Aren’t there plenty of babies on this planet by now, plenty of birth control methods and education on the subject?

Secondly, I would address marriage.

Back in the day a marriage was a way to gain something from the union of daughters to sons, the blending of families to gain wealth, status, or materials. Women were commodities and marriages were arranged in logical fashions based upon social hierarchies. Husbands picked by fathers with the best for the majority in mind.

“Marriage” in the cultural understanding of the twenty first century means
“wedding,” And a ring.

When a woman gets engaged the first thing she does is flaunt her rock; her honey probably couldn’t afford and bought it anyhow. The first question asked to her:

“When’s the wedding?”

So the bride to be proceeds booking the caterers, the church, the reception and the honeymoon. Then first purchase, the dress; to worn one day, then stuffed in the closet as a souvenir that never returns on the investment.

A marriage only requires a license, a notary public and a witness. None of the fan-fair is needed to pronounce the union of man and wife.

Nowadays marriages gain debt. They are licenses, financial contracts, and ways to get tax cuts, (as are children.) Most newlyweds begin their life as husband and wife in debt.

A married woman no longer addresses her self as a woman or an individual, but as Mr. and Mrs. Or as Mr.’s Wife, her identity now associates her with a man. Not to mention that she drops the name of one man for another, and wears his ring to signify her ownership; for some resembles collar.

Thirdly, I would address the duties of a mother and the effects on a couple.

It starts at the crack of dawn, and ends past bedtime more or less. I hate to imagine spending my days listening to it all. The crying, the tantrums, and the toys relatives gave as gifts unapproved by you that flash and zing and rattle with noise. The screaming in the car as you pass the fake-food restaurant running errands in town, driving around in that god damn minivan.

I dread the thought of the cleaning; the spit up and the drool, the dirty diapers and the wippie dipes, the messes in the bedrooms and the bathrooms. The piles of laundry covered in who knows what. Is that poop?

The dishes in the sink and the milk crusted inside the straw attached to the bowl. How much time will it take to clean that out of there? Or the permanent marker Mr. Clean won’t take of the wall.

Think of the money on education, sports, extra curricular activities, Friday nights at the mall, the gas for the minivan. Birthdays, Christmas’, graduations.They say raising a child from birth to adulthood will cost 140,000. Think about that. Sounds like a farm house with a studio to me.

Think of the worry,on the mother, on the baby, on the father involved. The pregnancy,the doctors visits, the delivery room, the labor.

The changing of the body, the female figure widens, sags and is stretched with marks. The poor vagina no longer just a receiver, for it has given. They say most women are "less pleased" with their vagina's a year after giving birth.


“The American Dream?” It sounds like a nightmare to me.

Not really a response you can give while warming cups coffees for older ladies.

Which brings me back to hot nights in the kitchen long after dinner was over, those love birds could have just pounced on each other right there at the kitchen sink, if it weren’t for those kids tucked away peeing in their beds. I assure you, there is much more to life than babies and husbands and minivans.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Vanishing Point

The distinct scent of oil paint lingers throughout the studio, my hands and forearms smeared in various color, with pallet and brush still in hand, I step back from the easel and stare with the deepest feelings of content at the freshly painted canvas.
The walls decorated in the frames of my life, the vivid images of painted seascapes, and landscapes, florals and plant life hang throughout the room.

We all have something that we are passionate about. Something that we use to express who we are, something we could not live without. What would happen to us if it were taken from us?

For me that would be my art and my ability to create. I often wondered what would happen if I lost my ability to use my left hand. So with that fear I have practiced for many years painting with the right was well. Some paintings I purposefully painted it’s entirety with the right hand. Then I wondered well what if I lost both hands? Well there are art societies of people who paint primarily with their mouth and with their feet.

I was never worried that I could lose my ability to see color, but I do have a slight fear that I could possible develop a degenerative eye condition through my family blood and go blind all together.

My grandmother on my mother’s side had this condition for most of her old age. She had to wear sunglasses inside, she wouldn’t recognize you, but would squint and follow your voice to try to identify the silhouette that she could see before her. She couldn’t sew, or nit, read recipes or her watch.

What if this happens to me? What about my paintings? If you go blind, does your memory keep that imagery for reference? Do you still dream in color?
How would I paint? Does muscle memory apply to painting blind, could you paint a flower by memory?

How would I measure my struggle to mastery? What means would I have to experiment, and discover? How would I reflect and share myself?

Then there’s the poor studio, the easels would stand purposeless with nothing to rest upon them. The pallets and brushes abandoned unused, the canvas’ still wrapped in their plastic. The scents of oils, acrylics and gesso no longer linger. The dust from the pastels swept away. How could I childishly make a mess, with nothing to play with? What would I get my hands dirty with?

My studio, my artistic nature hollowed out and emptied by a black abyss, left barren in a colorless world.

Or what if I continued to create art, but color didn’t matter. What if I began an art collection of abstract objects? Three dimensional sculptures or two dimensions paintings based upon texture. What if I then revolutionized the blind art world and opened a museum of touch? You could walk through and feel the pieces and do what you can not do at other museums.

Maybe being blind could enhance the spirituality by heightening the other senses; no longer distracted by the visual. Perhaps it would teach lessons in superficiality and could remove judgment from the mind and expand and transform the artistic nature into something else.

We all have something that we are passionate about, something that we use to express who we are. Let us take a moment, and celebrate those somethings we cherish, and let us hope that we never meet its vanishing point.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Nothing Is Where It Should Be.

The bedroom cluttered with clothes of dance parties and summer days. Coat hangers all about and the mirrors glazed in dust. Short skirts and high heels, bikinis and flip flops strewn about the bedroom; outfits I wore for me, but also for him.

The room is dark as I stand at the end of the bed looking to the place I took sanctuary. I look to his pillow on his side of my bed, where he should be and where he is not.

Nothing is where it should be.

I look to the past through those lilac sheets stained in our sleepiness and our lustfulness and our passions of seasons spent lying there. The comforter blue and flowered twisted and wrapped with the fleece blanket, all of this bedrock smothered in his scent and in mine.

The bed must be striped and the sheets washed.


I look to the days before, it took place at the kitchen table, I sat in his lap kissing him, so happy he was there; but something was off, I knew it.I stiffened, and rose from his lap and sat in the other kitchen chair facing him. Calm and quiet, I conversed with him as the tears fell and my heart sunk further into my stomach. It was so sudden, so saddening and shocking. My chin quivered as I spoke.

“How could this be?”

“Differences.” He says.

He kissed me and those same tears that rolled before began again; his mind was made and he left me.

For most of the day I sopped tears from my face. The heavy kind, that roll uncontrollably from the eyes, the kind that require no blinking, the kind make your heart ache.

The reasons he gave me I can not accept. They are ludicrous and irrelevant to us.

My heart stayed in my stomach aching and nauseating as I began the torture of mulling over the moments of where things may have gone wrong, and began questioning myself and what I may have done to spoil the happiness.

Was it because I wanted to spend so much of my time with him? I was finally in love with a man that was good to me.

Could it be the little weight I gained over the winter and couldn’t fit into my size tiny anymore?

The things I have questioned about myself have expanded and been mulled over and over in my mind; till my thoughts extended from me, to him.

Is he a fool?

Is there another girl?

I didn’t want my head to wander with such thoughts, but it did.


I rose from the kitchen chair and headed to the closet with my swollen eyes and running nose to the shelf of his clothes; but the shelf was empty, all his shirts and shorts, boxers and puma socks, gone.

He knew this was coming.

There is nothing of his left for me to wrap myself in.


An explanation I have not.

Things are not what they seem.

Love is tricky; it gives just as it takes.


I climb onto the bed, tears fall continuously from my face. I begin to bunch the blankets into a pile, and pull at the fitted sheet. I hug this bundle of fabric, bury my face into it, lay on to it and breathe in his scent as I cry.

How do I wash these lilac sheets?

How do I rinse his scent from my king sized bedstead?

How do I let go of what was, and embrace what is now?

The bed must be striped and the sheets washed.

Nothing is where it should be.