did I ever tell you this story
she doesn’t actually ask
if she did, I’d lie anyway
she often relives these moments
snared in an autobiographical time warp
when her smile bared genuine enamel
and her skin was fleshy seashell pink
she flashes through these moments
speaking with an age from back then
the crystal ball stops rolling
arthritis ceases its assault on her worn-down bones
her long gorgeous model’s legs take a catwalk
voted best legs in the class
did I tell you that
yes, but you don’t remember do you
lying for those legs
lying for this woman
she cartwheels back
memories are liquified Ponce de León
bottled water I would steal
regaling in moments of perfect laughter
with a doctor friend
sharing smokes, drinks
things I can’t share here
I’m driving the highway so I can’t keep looking her way
and nodding in the “newness” of this memory
I’ve heard this particular tale
don’t know if someone will be around to listen
to my stories
I’m glad her beautiful legs aren’t causing her pain now
in this crystallized moment
glossy from one of my mother-in-law’s modelling studio sessions
(can’t recall photographer’s name to give proper credit)
who is the smiling face there
she sees the lights
skimming an ever-changing landscape
mutations to earthbound patterns
the mind on the mountain
the brain in the badlands
the soul on the summit
the heart in the hollow
no one knows
of the endless slow burn beneath the ground
those monsters have whispered things to her
the crazy lady with the lopsided eyes
and those hair-brained beasts
are bound together
ocean to sand
mountain to cloud
jungle to vine
for when she loves
on this earth
she loves fiercely
and in this category
she is also a monster
I’d like to thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, viewing or just stopping by. I appreciate the kindness more then I can lamely express here. I’m sorry if I sometimes seem to read a bit darkly, making you somber is never my intent. The truth is I never know what is going to transmit until I begin writing. I’m sometimes surprised what translates between head and fingers. I’ve been called crazy from time to time and I don’t mind, because I believe this evaluation to be partially true;)
Another school year is coming to a close. Another year of substitute teaching done and over. Before the year completely ends, I’d like to share an old post written last year when some fifth grade boys were concerned that their substitute teacher was a vampire…
Interview With Miss A (Vampire)
Having blood-sucking on the brain (and not because of the Twilight saga–though I’ll admit I enjoyed), I searched my studio folders for Him. I scoured my old Prentice Hall files. When I was a new Mac user learning Illustrator, I drew everything employed old-fashioned hand-eye coordination with a mouse and a prayer.
That year I’d also read, Interview With The Vampire, by the immortal’s mortal, Anne Rice. Her words were composed of cold flesh. Blood flowed between the rivers of white on her pages. I hated Ms. Rice. I was in awe of Ms. Rice. This ‘Interview’ creeped me out like no other book… Everywhere I traveled, Lestat stalked me with his mesmerizing lost eyes, black sinewy veins and pale moon skin.
He was one of my first ventures into computer portraiture. I had no choice but to create Him. He wouldn’t leave my mind. He was a tormenting fellow. He’d bite me nightly and I suffer daily for it. He was the awesome Vampire Lestat. Once I created Him, He no longer haunted my dreams.
I was recently subbing in a fifth grade class. At lunchtime, I noticed a handful of lads with perplexed expressions staring at me. I approached the group to make sure everything was okay. One boy–the ring leader–studied me a moment before asking, “Miss A, are you a vampire?”
Before I could respond he continued, “Why do you have such sharp black eyebrows, long black hair and pointy teeth?” (my incisors are a tad sharp-looking).
I jokingly responded, “YES!” But, then quickly clarified, “Just kidding,” when they started wrapping napkins around their jugulars. The last thing I needed was for a child to go home and say, “my sub was a vampire.”
Later, I contemplated what the fifth grader had asked me. I thought about the boys’ nervous expressions–and I wasn’t sure if I should be flattered or insulted.
I promised myself when I started this blog, advertisers wouldn’t appear on it (except for that little sneaky ad WP sometimes places on your post’s bottom and you have to pay them to make it go away). I’ve stuck to my word and passed on several opportunities.
Recently, a lovely gal named Kellyn who’s involved with a realty company came across my mural post and asked me if I’d be interested in writing a post about my home. I don’t receive anything for this other than the challenge of taking halfway decent pictures and possibly being ‘twittered’ at some point. I don’t even tweet. My mom was a realtor back in the 1980’s and her hard-earned success helped put six kids through college.
Kellyn of Compass was so very gracious and took the time to answer my emails and concerns, I thought hey, a house post might be fun. So without further ado here’s looking inside my interior…
A House with a Heartbeat
Way back when I was shorter than a kitchen drawer – fun color, fuzzy slippers, comfy furniture and book-lined shelves held the magical ability to let me believe I was special. Flash forward to 2015, my belief in a home’s magical abilities hasn’t changed.
My current home was new when we moved in twelve years ago. When our colonial was rising from the dirt, there were things that bothered me like a visible outdoor meter and a small main entrance with Amazonian ceilings. With a little creative inspiration and a paintbrush, these disappointments soon became dust bunnies under the desk of life.
The Amazonian entrance was cut down at the knees with sweet orange and warm yellow. Our children’s rooms became personal art pads they filled. Eventually furniture that could hold real people moved in to occupy other rooms. Above all else, shelves of books and islands of treasure were added where empty just wouldn’t do. Our house began filling with personality while my family fashioned its warm heartbeat.
Brave visitors are welcomed with warm color!
And what would a home be without sentiment – this horse is the lone survivor of a pair. It was my Nana’s. He stands sentry on the windowsill over the kitchen sink.
Off the kitchen, is my favorite place in all the world – my studio.
I adore books and the giant husband built these industrial studio shelves. Art books are heavier than Michelangelo’s David.
Music fills a home with song. Owning a baby grand, albeit an old one, was always a dream of mine. The ‘music’ room adjoins my studio – I can sing or draw. My family prefers that I draw.
The giant husband and I enjoy flea marketing. We bought this chandelier long ago at an old-fashioned market where you could buy worn baseball cards, old shoes, chipped dolls and assorted light fixtures…
The family room mantle has had more facelifts than Joan Collins. I slammed this last iteration with a loaded sponge – ecru and gold paint over turquoise for a faux ‘marblish’ look.
When the kiddies were small, I painted special little touches in their rooms. My son liked camouflage.
There are the murals I’ve painted in my children’s rooms. This one was done when they were very young. My son, now 14, won’t let me paint over it. He’s mushy like his dad.
(Horse characters from DreamWorks 2002 animated film–Spirit; Stallion of the Cimarron)
The giant husband built a frame from molding and I burnished it gold for my daughter’s dressing table.
I always wanted a fireplace in the master bedroom. The giant husband surprised me with this one. We gave it a book mantle topper. The fake fire crackles!
All rooms, even the bathroom, must be a happy place to sit!
It’s the special little things lurking around bright corners that make a house fun.
Or tigers ready to pounce from on high –
Stair squatting is the only way Mojo can see who’s approaching.
Our German Shepherd, Rocky likes waiting by a door.
And finally, before one enters a home they must feel welcome. I can’t think of a bigger hello than a bright Adirondack chair.
Hope you enjoyed the tour…
May you dream of living in a comfortable space…
A Reptilian Tale
Looking back, I remember the day well. I was skipping rocks near the water’s edge, when I spied two bulbous sockets breaking the liquid plain. Parting the waters like a submersible vessel, her massive crocodile body rose up. Her head cocked slightly as she surveyed my posture. I held the nonthreatening pose of a seaside pelican. She promised not to eat me for lunch if I promised to be a good listener. We both agreed.
I sat on a limestone shelf – one toasted by the morning sun. I leaned in close to her large triangular head. Her rows of teeth brought to mind the alien pillars of Bryce Canyon. I recalled how I’d been more enamored by Utah’s stalagmite forms than all the grandness of the Grand Canyon. I was surprised when her putrid breath hit my face. I didn’t wince, for those cold melancholy eyes kindled my reptilian compassion.
She sighed or snorted through her surface nostrils then whispered why she was brooding. Her words confounded me. She wanted – or that is – desperately needed to share her miraculous beauty secret. I didn’t know crocodiles held vanity in high regard. Expecting to pen an extensive list, I licked the tip of my blue ballpoint and flicked over the spent pages of my pocket-sized notepad. I sat pumped at the edge of my toasty rock. This astounding, fifteen-foot, two-hundred-year-old reptile appeared primed to live two-hundred more years, I suspected she must possess a powerful cosmetological recipe. I was certain, minerals and plant wraps would be involved.
Then that ancient reptile with rows of murderous teeth and callous gold eyes confessed to me that she’d been cheating death. I leaned in closer, my Bic hand sweating. She said humans had it all wrong and that crocodiles did most definitely shed tears, in fact, they shed many. It was tears that escaped her yellow eyes when her children were taken. It was fear that had frozen her ancient heart, when her bold sons and brazen daughters became pricey stilettoes and elite attaché cases.
Before sinking back into the dark water she whispered her beauty secret to me. “Beauty is submerging your body in quiet bubbles. Beauty is water changing from aqua to deep blue as the orange sun burnishes the wavy surface. Beauty is living two-hundred years and hoping to live two-hundred more.”
I watched the silent trail of delicate foam disappear along with her brown, wrinkled form. I never saw her again. I did not pen her beauty secret in my frayed notepad.
May you dream beautiful dreams when you’re two-hundred years old.
Croc rendered last week with Tombow markers, a little white acrylic paint, a touch of Prisma pencil and lots of coffee. 🙂
Give yourself the freedom to imagine. Open your mind and hear the gracious wisdom of a tree. Spend a precious moment. History is gently preserved within its wooden clock rings. Deep-etched lines of warm bark, give rise to fantastical images.
Rooted in a tree’s very heart are magnificent stories there for the listening. Magic is all around. So I must ask my friends, “When is the last time you talked to a tree?”
Thank you. May you dream of having a tree party with friends.
Tree faces created yesterday while listening to the giant husband and big son’s football ruckus 🙂 Tree Root photo taken this past summer at a Newport, Rhode Island mansion. I thought the root looked like a slumbering child.