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

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

that I cannot do

Tell me how
you make it look so easy
They follow you like puppy dogs
that, I cannot do
I’m the one in the corner
watching all the tails wag
If we were in Rome
they’d be your dancing harem
I’d be off in the market
flattening papyrus
or washing sand from between my ink-covered toes
head wrapForlorn
drawn today while subbing

back words

he wanted her badly
he dreamed her in his sleep
while prone on a mattress
she lay welcoming on her back
below him
far back in his subconscious

consummate boss and proper gentleman
he wished
he could take back these delirious thoughts
recant the delicious sensations

back when he was younger
there was another
he dreamed of her too
but that was back then
and this was now

in his waking hours
he didn’t understand
why he couldn’t stop hassling her
do this, do that
he bossed her badly

she often whispered under her breath
she’d never come back

but there was back pay and payback
up to this point

her life had been ‘ass backward’
God, how she craved forward

in her dreams she strode bareback on an electrifying beast
the man, Mr Boss Boss
didn’t crash her fantasies
though, she thought of him
too often

unavoidably handsome
built like a running back
that’s what the others said
she pretended he didn’t possess a well-muscled body
like she pretended she didn’t stare through his tailored shirts

but
she could never desire
someone who constantly rode her back
about this and that
though he did pay attention
in a backhanded sort of way

she often wondered about his secrets
there was always something
unspoken subtext
a lingering back story
hanging in the past

there was a time way back when
they both

might have cared to be bold
now rather than lingering intensity
they feared instantaneous back draft
painful death by raging fire
behind the next bolted
back door

M's Tears

M’s Tears

 

brushing prose

brushed my German Shepherd today
if you know the breed, you know the chore
afterward
a well-earned rest for me,
not the strapping dog

the day bordered on near perfect
cool air, light breeze, warm sun – get the picture
there I lay, on my little deck mat
following a hawk looping against oxygen blue
when they arrived
a directionless batch of dandelion seeds
destined to root

I contemplated fate
arriving at sanguine lines
for these husked creators
I grabbed pen and paper
before my poetic stamen
harkened away in the fertile air

while sowing dilettante declarations
the breeze cut out
the seeds alighted by my shoulder
this fuzzy clutch of flower eggs
was but a tuft of airborne dog fur

my fluid muse instantly shriveled
perhaps, a teachable moment if
all was not lost to hubris and
a hair clump

the sky bright
a hawk sailed
it was yet,
an unsung day of promise
and a fine-looking German Shepherd
rockyMy hairy dog–Rocky, rendered in pencil a few days ago – more crayon fun with pencil sketch beneath

The Land of Little

My Friends,

Long ago
in the land of little
a big girl smiled
she worked small movements
she moved in tight steps
she managed
to be small
in the land of little

Long ago
in the land of little
trotted a pony
the big girl smiled
life was pretty ponies
and giant dreams
stepping up
she was asked
to step down
too big
for the little pony

big enough
to hide the tears

big enough
to have
smaller dreams
in the land of little
mistyMay you dream of galloping on a prancing pony with smooth, satin grass underfoot…

Shetland Pony painted when I was little 🙂

Tackle With Love, Son

Dear Friends,
The big son decided this year he’d like to give football a try. He’s a gentle soul by nature – a pacifist at heart – but, he’s discovered a love for mannish sports. I look at him, smiling with his gigantic football gear on and pray it keeps him safe from injury. Though, I know it’s impossible to ask for such a divine favor – so I’ll just ask that he has fun and that he’ll only require a bandaid from time to time.

max footballWe can’t protect our children anymore than we can make ourselves less vulnerable to life. What we can do is arm them with self-confidence. So when their young minds are conflicted or they find themselves in a precarious situation, they can remember the mantra, “I’m better than this…”

After I took this silly-faced picture of the big son, he said, “I’ll feel bad if I hurt anyone, mom.”

I responded quite motherly, “Then tackle them with love, my son.” Then I glanced up at the sky and thought, I hope you’re tackled with love too.

Love Tackle

Love Tackle

On the way to the big son’s 5 and 1/2 hour practice today, we saw the sun’s rays peeking through. We both took this as a good sign…

sunraysThank you. May you dream this evening of the world’s children being safe from harm.

Big Son with Goofy Face photo taken August 14, 2014
Blue Footballer drawn August 18, 2014 with Prism and fingers crossed (right hand only, needed left to draw)
Sun rays taken this AM, August 19, 2014

Shaping Goo

Life is like gooey jello: add hot and cold water to something sweet then hope it solidifies into a fun shape. We view our lives in terms of taking shape. We view our bodies as changing shape (some more shapely than others). The glorious upside of aging (besides getting all jiggly), is the ability to look back with humor. Peering into our chilled jello bowls, we have the luxury of laughter as we recall our youthful lime-green messes.
jelloPerhaps that is why at 50 years of age, I can now giggle at pirates with eyepatches. I too wore an eyepatch. I was in fourth grade – my patch was pink (a bad tomboy color). My eyepatch had an elsatic band much like a costume eyepatch. The eyepatch covered my right eye ‘casue the left had astigmatism.

My adult jello bowl also allows me to chuckle at food handlers’ plastic gloves. I too wore plastic gloves. In fourth grade a weird skin rash decided to take up residence between my fingers. First thing every morning, my red-itchy hands were slathered with cream then stuffed into plastic gloves as to not smear my school mates.

Today, I can gaze deep into my jello bowl and say with confidence it’s okay to be jiggly. I can affectionately recall the lime-green messes. I remember the little chubby girl with the pink eye patch and plastic gloves and can honestly say – 4th grade really sucked.

If I can admit all this while smiling, I will not live my life shaping goo.
me with caroline