her professor

based in truth

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warm breadsticks and crimson scars

while having lunch at the Olive Garden with my daughter and son, prior to dropping them off on campus, we had the good fortune of having an amazing waitress named Joanne-who was a beautiful inspiration and reminder of why life is worth its challenges

knowledge

look there, there is a mountain with its rock sliced away to make room for the road snaking beside it
the path we are cruising across while passing by these mineral laser cuts
college winter break over and back in pursuit of a degree
to obtain a knowledgeable living beyond this education to pay for more roads to go more places and slice more rock
to learn how the mountain with its amended face, was not shaped overnight
to dissect human interest in the history behind this path and others like it
to comprehend the sheer number of minds invested to form things to this very point at this very moment
to appreciate the melding of learned people
some thanking the mountains
some thanking the machines
some thanking both
ultimately, for you to decide, through your knowledge
which sacrifices were worth this trip

Spirit Muralthis was a large wall mural I painted in my son’s room, long since painted over
horse characters from the 2002 animated film Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron from DreamWorks Studio
“…a spectacular tale about discovering the true hero inside you…”

to flourish and decide and dream

Max frown/acrylic

Max/acrylic

sixteen today
time, is his friend
an entire life
to flourish and decide and dream
he was born
with an old soul
warm and caring
those eyes of his
speak in softness
two more years
then he will fly
all that resides in him
all that is good
all that is still mystery
for now
he’s thinking pediatrician
a tender spot for babies
cares about children
while looking in the mirror
trying to see the man
he will one day become
max copy
Max portrait painted about twelve years ago
15-years-old in detail photo above (at his sister’s 2016 high school graduation)

may she sparkle

Caroline detail

Caroline detail

Didn’t think much about it. I seldom do. Heard it was difficult. It is. She’s going off to become whatever it is she wants to become. She will be a student of sustainable agriculture. I ventured into Mad Men territory while in school. We are different that way. The best way possible. She will try to effect agricultural change. Make an earthly impact. Walking our Dachshund this morning (still miss my Shepherd) gazing down at the road thinking back to those days–trying to remember lessons for her. The rocks and tar rolled out then rumbled flat. There are cracks and joint fixes. Sparkles of glass and dull-faced stones. Her life will be like this road. Combinations of things adhered together, splitting sometimes, getting fixed or not, hot in the heat, icy in the cold–dangerous at times. Her feet will walk as she destines they should–barefoot or booted. She will be smart and she will not be smart. Go off to study abroad. Maybe fall in love or at least what she thinks is. I pray she will be happy. I know to ask for ‘always’ is unrealistic. She is so much more confident than I was at that age. I’m hoping enough to keep her out of situations. When one doesn’t like who they see each morning in the glass, trouble follows. I didn’t think she would be teary-eyed. She is. But she is also excited. Imagine, it’s all shiny right now…may it glisten for a long while. This place is more raw than ever. And they all know it. Let them enjoy the sparkle in a bubble while they can pretend.
caroline largerphoto detail-Caroline, age 18
above, painting detail, from a larger portrait-Caroline is 8

locked outside my diary

Pardon the use of I and me, waxing rather sentimental these days-

I’m not one of those fortunate people who began penning prose long ago. Words floated around my little world, surfacing when needed most. I used words as I was used–to catalogue a hurt on a silent diary page. Along the way something changed on my planetary ink spec. Not sure exactly what. Or exactly when. Words began bubbling up the back of my throat, beyond my physical ability to remove them. Maybe letters were always there waiting for me to grow and meet them head on.

Today, I write in too many directions. I answer whatever settles in the back of my throat. When the words don’t make sense to me, I let them exit and fall anyway. Heavy ones hit hard. Sometimes I’m able to build better looking piles, like an over-involved Scrabble board when everyone is cheating. If I’m lucky, a rare paper maché tree blossoms. Seeds might be sown or roots might unearth and rot away.

Some spin angst in their writing bubbles with or without realizing it. I’ve never needed excessive force to let go. My brain takes me all sorts of places. It always has. Crazy–yes, a little bit–I’ve been told more often than I care to count. I’m quite the chameleon now. I suppose it’s why I’ve owned several iguanas throughout my life. I wouldn’t own chameleons for fear I’d lose them against paisley curtains or checkered floors. Writing can be this way. Putting painted words out there and occasionally losing them.

The more I go at this writing, the more questions amass. Too many queries mounting on my traveling donkey. Should I get my challenge-load astride a mule, I’ll be but one steed step away from getting a few things figured out as I scale that ominous writing mountain. What has come to bother me most about writing, is not so much the creative part. It is how my words sometimes have the ability to hurt when they were always my healers. It amazes me, how I so often manage to be the kid locked outside of my own diary.

on the way to nostalgic-heard this song today in the car-I believe I sang this one million times when I was 13-thank you

selfie-centered society

“Go back to the healing huts,” yarps an Avatar voice. Not watching, the big son is. Every once in awhile a neat phrase escapes cartoon lips. I hear these animated words while noting black crap on the kitchen floor. The college-bound daughter and gal pals went globetrotting last night in search of charcoal. Much to the chagrin of her perplexed mom who enjoys using charcoal for paper not flesh. Activated charcoal capsules, broken then mixed with Elmer’s glue make a fab face mask. Apparently, it’s a thing. Did you know? Try telling a precocious lass “non-toxic” labels occasionally list half-truths. And don’t put glue on your face, I don’t give a shit if it’s Elmer’s.

The real sticky stuff is in the why’s of putting Cow Stick on the face. Raised in positivity all-around, peppered with lessons in humanity, unfocused on exteriors, try as one might–THEY suck impressionable minds in like the BLOB–these harbingers of “beauty.” This from a woman who was boy-banished during her formative years. These young girls are not unpopular with opposites. Nonetheless, it doesn’t matter. Pretty pressure pushes hard and fast. Worrying about flawless skin, optimal eyebrow shape, plumped lips, over-blown chests and asses…it’s sometimes too much to ‘bare’ in today’s selfie-centered society.

We are fast becoming excessively outside people. Maybe we always were. Narcissism–the ancient Greeks lived it, called it, coined it. We are a brilliant, colorful society reducing ourselves–at all ages–to so much less than who we are. Scott Westerfeld smartly uses his young adult titles to demonstrate. The Uglies live in book one. The Pretties flap inside book two. The Specials or those with wide wallets get special billing can bump to book two if they’re willing to rain money. The Extras don’t make the cut through no fault of their own. Is this anyone’s fault or all of ours.

Looking back to my teens and twenties, I regret getting caught in the very same crap. Wasted too many hours trying to buy the word “pretty.” And feel “special” for that moment.
MM super close upthis is Marilyn, you might not know her;) -created with conté crayon on paper in 1983 to decorate an empty college wall (used talented photographer, Philippe Halsman’s image as ref)-over the years she has graced my garage wall, but I fear she will eventually die again there-she has many thumbtack holes in her corners, smudges and is torn in a few places (you can see a forehead tear in this pic detail)-at some point she is going on ebay (never tried to sell anything this way) -if she doesn’t sell-she will be rolled up and placed in storage or a time capsule, not a charcoal one though;) -oh, there is one other thing about this particular lady-this drawing is 7 feet tall and 3 1/2 feet wide-why I ever did this, I can’t recall…

Westerfeld’s YA series is a tantalizing read-I read quite a bit of YA a few years back while writing YA stories. Mr. Westerfeld’s stories are much more than the titles might have you believe. I used Mr. Westerfeld’s titles in my post above just for the ‘illustrative’ wording – the books are quite different – thank you

side by side

we hope our children view the world through rose-colored glasses
shades
pray they live well, so their buckets won’t need lists
green bucket
we’ll try to respect their deep-seated thoughts
car leg
and teach them to respect those who have gone before
pray
they must always believe they’re more magical than mermaids
lil mermaid
and understand playing dress-up is fabulous, as long as they remain young at heart
money bat
we’ll tell them it’s okay to think upside down
Caro upside down
and they’re the apples of our eyes
apples
and when the world gets too big, they can hide under a blanket
eyelashes
and that same big world is full of wonderment
max laugh
we’ll let them sit in a red chair and do absolutely nothing
max red chair
and tell them they don’t have to smile all the time
painting image
as long as they keep their heads above water
max head above water
we’ll hope they love each other enough to hang out upside down
upside downand sideways
butt heads
but above all that they’ve learned–
love simply means standing side by side
carmax hugwith Caroline attending college this fall, and Max a high school junior come September, I’ve been waxing nostalgic
I published this post last year but have been thinking about it lately
damn, time wearing his ankle wings and over-priced Nikes sure does fly
xmas 2105

Spirit mural