Monday, November 21, 2011

Salty Grace

Wired for sound
he finds it is easy
to publicly sprinkle
benevolent grace
like rare finishing
salt over every plate
but mine. My tears turn
into twin waterfalls,
divinity's way of
providing a salty cure
for the incongruence
trying to flatten me.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hamon's Head

came to dinner twice
heady with plans
of power. No 
disastrous premonition
 warned him that it was
 his head
that would hang on 
the waiting gallows
he had built for
another. How long 
did it take for his
smirk to drop at the
corners? Did his eyes
reflect rage
when dispatched plans 
 planned destruction,
turning the table on
his legacy
 of hatred, 
and lies?

This land might
blossom now with 
grace. Flourish with 
love. Stretch 
its borders with 
 has a chance

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cultural Surprises

I found a unique thing today in the equivalent of a Japanese dollar store. When I saw the vast variety of a never before seen item on the shelf, it piqued my interest. Shellacked. Bamboo. Plastic. Disposable. Fancy. Simple. They all had tops to fit the style.

If the back of the package hadn't explained their usage, it would have been a lifelong mystery.

  • Use only for intended purpose
  • Never let children use alone and keep away from reach of children
  • Avoid picking too deep and giving too much stimulus or impact to an ear 
  • Should you feel any discomfort during use, please consult a doctor. 
I could not believe what I saw in tiny English. Un earpick. There were two in each package. Isn't un singular? Somehow it tickled my funny bone - I couldn't stop laughing. Very bad of me. When I could breathe and see again, I picked out two packages of two. Great stocking stuffers for $2.00....

They look like miniature back scratchers - only instead of a tiny claw it has a tiny spoonish end. Just google it, won't you? A picture IS worth a thousand words. :) 

Who needs to keep buying and wasting those trees and cotton in Q-tips anyways? I'm going green. Finally. 

Just think how it would take care of itchy ear syndrome? Or worse. Happy ear picking thoughts aren't coming as quickly as I thought they would. I think Jane's gorillas would be fascinated by this tool. They would probably eat the treasure they mined....even consider it a delicacy. 

I'd better stop now, it will only go downhill from here. As @katdish says, "I crack myself up".    

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ode to Twitter Bird

Two years ago my world expanded 
exponentially. Because of Twitter,
and you. Twitter seemed scary back
then-a different world speaking a 
new language. The learning curve 
at middle age gets fierce, but you
 all were patient. My eyes opened 
to new conversations and new ways
 of thinking. The cravings and
 tenderest desires of my heart found
 a path, easy to follow on my 
timeline page day after day. 
My curiosity was aroused, satisfied, 
and whetted again, only to be 
satiated once more. My favorite
 thing, the thing that has stimulated
 me more than anything else has 
been observing the 
 creative creative pursuits of
 people from all over the world. 
Being exposed to artist in all 
mediums, writers, and poets 
has lit my fire too. I'm compelled 
to try what others are brave 
enough to try. It gives me 
courage to face my own 
blank piece of white space. 
Following behind the @ were 
names of strangers who now have 
become friends. Someday, I wish 
we all could sit around a big table 
together. I could finally hug you, 
feed you, see your eyes sparkle 
or tears run. We aren't strangers 
any more. Thanks for not  following
 your mama's advice. I want you 
to know that your words, links,
 shares, mentions, RT's and @replies 
have held me up when life became 
to heavy to bear alone. This is my thanks.
 This is what community looks like from 
my point of view. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our Moth Eaten World

Yesterday on Facebook,  Jeff Keuss posted this.
    •  From the C.S. Lewis's The Silver Chair chapter 12 - Puddlegum says:

      "One word, Ma'am," he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things - trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's a small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."

      Our world's wintery, moth eaten darkness can smother us with hopelessness and despair.  Hearing Puddlegum's declaration prompted a flood of tears, an infusion of fresh courage, and new resolve. It also prompted a thought.

      I don't know for sure exactly what's true, but I can believe something is true. The truth is......I want to believe in an after life in a place where there aren't any moth's or rust to destroy Narnia's beauty, its eternal spring. 

      I want to believe that someday Aslan will breathe new life into me, making me fully alive forever. I like to think that I, like Steve Jobs will also will be saying with my last earthly breath, "Wow. Wow. Wow." 

      PS. Jeff has a new book out called Your Neighbor's Hymnal. Music lovers
      and those who practice thinking outside the box will love it. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Making Pretty

Collecting vintage ephemera, books, fabric, and lace has a problematic side. Finding space for it all and keeping it organized is a tremendous ordeal. When I go junking, possibility pieces attach themselves to me like steel shavings to a magnet. I keep the pile down by sharing the bounty and limiting how often I go foraging. The present messy disaster is a necessary part of the artistical inspiration later.

I have aprons, slips, hankies, hooked pieces, and quilts from the turn of the century. They were well used, washed often, and mended. Repeat. Linen and batiste fabrics become as fragile as onion skin ~ I am able to save only the lace.

Several plain white workaday aprons have tatted lace sewn laboriously not only around the hem, but also along the tie ends.

Even the plainest of the used hankies have a touch of delicate hand work in a corner. 

This silk pocket for storing delicacies has french knots arranged in a design on the inside.  

We go to artist retreats to find the serenity, space, and teachers who give us inspiration and license to create. I love these places and dream of going myself. I want to support them and encourage their vision, but it isn't the only way. It isn't only somewhere else that making pretty happens. It's right here with our own needles, box of crayons, or ball of yarn. Moments grabbed whenever it is now, in the muddle of every day, using what we have handy.

I want to be a brilliant entrepreneur, have the hottest Etsy space. I'm envious of the artists and bloggers featured in high quality creative living magazines like Somerset's, Kinfolk, and Uppercase. I want to print copious amounts of business cards and have people begging me for one. I long to hang a shingle which will make me real. When I get published, then I will be an author. It would be amazing for someone to not only want what I make, but pay to own it. 

The truth is I don't sign up for an Etsy account, nor do I take the risk of submitting an article. I haven't gone to the printer's with print ready graphics for a card. I haven't cut out that shingle. Why? Maybe because I'm terrified of both success and failure. Maybe I'm content, not wanting the bother? 

Motivated and rewarded extrinsically is one option, but in the cultural flurry outside, I don't want to miss the slow, warm glow growing inside of me. 

It could simply be putting a sweater on a candle, making a paper box for it to nestle in, then giving it away. 

These pieces of intricate work made by an unknown woman's hand, cause me to pause. I want her results. It feels like she was the lucky one, making pretty for pretty's sake alone. She used the resources at hand to satisfy her creative urges, bringing texture to her workaday life and pleasure to the ones who received these gifts. 

My favorite pieces are ones like this apron. Thankfully, it was tenderly mended instead of discarded. 

It seems like they made pretty for themselves ~ intrinsic motivation and reward. Often, the very tools they used are works of fine art in themselves, made with precious material like bone or exotic wood. It must have been a pleasure to use them. 

The lady who labored over these tiny stitches might have lived and died in obscurity, yet her artful life was the best kind, the everyday kind. The most useful kind. She did what she could with what she had to let beauty surround her, then drip on her family and friends. 

This is a tribute to my artistical girlfriends. You have hospitable homes, hearts, and art. You have quietly gifted those of us who walk through your door. You are the bravest of the brave girls who make pretty, finding great peace and satisfaction in doing so. You give me courage. You know who you are. Thank you.  

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ironing the Wrinkles Out

Advertising couldn't convince mom we needed a toy ironing board and iron that wouldn't work. We couldn't afford to waste money on an Easy Bake Oven. We used her real tools of the trade. I'm thankful for this.

Mom had a huge pile of unending ironing. It was before permanent press and wrinkles don't go away when clothes are hung on a line. When she got the courage to face that mound, I loved watching her sprinkle each piece by flicking water with her hand, then rolling them up to keep the moisture in until she was ready to iron it. If the budget allowed her the luxury, a can of spray starch was sparingly used.

The best part was when the last piece was hung up in the door frame and she put the ironing board down to its lowest notch just right for my height. Dad's white hankies were mine to finish. If there was spray starch left for me to crisp them it was heaven. It was serious work. Important work. Loving work. It seemed necessary and I was chosen and entrusted with it. I found great pleasure in it.

I don't remember any catastrophes. I do remember hours of playing house with the real stuff of life.

When I want to take it down a notch and let my mind have a complete rest, I plug in the iron and pull out the ironing board. It feels like recess, not a chore. I find a pile of clean vintage napkins, aprons, or hankies, a hot iron, and a $1.89 bottle of spray starch. The spray starch still feels like an extravagance....

The wrinkles in my head are smoothed with each finished piece. My brain becomes more orderly as the stack of folded pieces gets higher. It's like my mind becomes a kaleidoscope of new visions and colorful thoughts. When I do this peaceful activity, it feels like I have the freedom, authority, and permission to rename things ~ like I could be chosen next time to give paint and crayons their colorful names.