Oh yeah. Fabulous!
Oh yeah. Fabulous!
My fingers flutter over these keys, unsure of the words for this image, the image so much speaking for itself. It is a visual journal on one piece of canvas, the handprints full of a million stories each. Place your hand on one and you are flying an airplane that has caught fire, your head out the window trying to see through the smoke, scanning the Oklahoma highway beneath you for a place to land. Lay your hand atop another and you are standing in a hospital parking lot in the cold winter air, a cup of ice in your hand, breathing in . . . 2, 3, 4 . . . and out . . . 2, 3, 4 . . . until the trembling passes and you can make your way back into the emergency room to hold your mother's hand. Place your hand elsewhere and you are 4, wearing the first dress-up Christmas dress you will remember, and you are the beautifullest, you tell yourself, the beautifullest. Put your hand there on the far right side, right against the edge of the canvas, and you remember the death of your father at your mother's hand, she no longer able or willing to tolerate his abuse, and you remember your family torn apart, brothers & sisters separated until adulthood. Put your hand across that bottom print and you will hear music, an opera, a symphony, and you will find yourself with a cat or 2 in your lap. Pick another and you are 94, surrounded by friends heartbroken to let you go, but letting you go nonetheless.
Someone asked me recently that age-old question "If the house was on fire and you could take only one thing, and Maggie was safe, what would it be?" and I had no answer. I'd forgotten about this painting, the histories it holds. This would be it, I think. It holds the energy of every one of us who painted our palm titanium white and laid it on the square of our choosing. My mother's fingertips touch mine, and my brothers' prints lay at the base of her palm; Emma is her crown. Michael's thumb crosses mine - we are all connected.
This morning a surprise blooming of honeysuckle greeted me when I opened the door to the day, and I have been all soft & gooey & girl-like since. My heart feels full of too much - demasiado corazon, thank you Willy, R.I.P. It feels, despite the heat, like fall is coming, memsahib, and nothing I do can stop it - this water lives in Mombasa, anyway - and I want the colors of spring back, but I also want the colors of autumn - and when did that happen? How did I get to this place of acceptance, of welcoming new seasons with joy, eager to see what gifts they bring this year? This long, long year, moving too fast by me is leaving lessons in its wake. Looking for a video in youtube I misread a message, and the misreading was perfect ~ "I have too much heartgreetings". Yes.
Just sit back and listen to the swoosh.
Just you and your breath and the water.
I sure hope it's included in the health reform bill.
In the winter we cover up a bit more,
We can bring home the bacon
We say yeehaw all the time, y'all,
We spell Secession with a capital S
We will correct your kids if you don't,
If it has beans, we don't call it chili;
Come on down.
(an eye-opening answer from an Unravelling exercise)
I dance around so much in my life.
I had my astrological chart plotted a couple of years ago, and it made me angry because I recognized the truth. You will argue, it said, you will argue like the world has never seen, you will argue the rightness of things, of ways, you will grab hold of truth and not let go. I hated that. I wanted it to say you will paint fabulous flowers and tell magical stories and live in a house overlooking water, and peace will be yours. But no, it said. You have word skills, it said. Use them. My mother always said I should have been a lawyer.
Silence has been hard this summer. I feel sometimes that I stand at the door to this blog with my mouth taped shut and my hands tied behind my back; it was not accidental that I chose for my new banner a photo of me with no mouth. The Universe keeps telling me & telling me & telling me to speak, keeps sending signs & signals & wondering how long I will ignore her - I can no longer do so. So here's the deal, as the ever-wonderful Michael would say. There may be politics here on Emma Tree 2 - probably not, though I am leaving the door open. But even so, even if I never bring it up again, I want you to know me. I want you to remember when you are reading a little post about some bit of magic I have discovered that I am not a supporter of big government, that I am a conservative/Independent/almost Libertarian. It's up there in the top of this blog, under the Who I Am link, and that was something I posted last November, so most of you know that anyway. I have been appalled at the name calling this summer, ugly words hurled at people who disagree with the current administration, and then ugly words hurled back. It is inexcusable. It is time to know each other, to stop buying into the easiness of stereotypes and lies.
Someone once said to Gloria Steinem that she looked fabulous to be 50. She replied "This is what 50 looks like". A perfect response. Perfect. Preconceived notions begone. So. When you read my stories, my silly tales, my sadnesses, my poems, it is me saying to you "This is what conservatism/independence/almost-Libertarianism looks like." I want those stereotypes thrown out. We have to start somewhere. I start here.
I bow to the Universe.
Not a dream today, but a moment of reality.
This is another image from my inspiration blog, may it rest in peace.
There are so many things that go through my head when I see this sign.
This sign is from Macy's.
My second thought, and one that also made me laugh,
I published this as the first image
I thought I would find a new place for the magic I saw around me.
It makes me now laugh.
It is a dream moment, that image above.
It was impossible to shoot a picture, however,
I have been feeling lost here on this blog lately, a different person than the woman who was here last year. And I guess the truth is that I am a different person - things have happened this year to change me; I have felt that my poetry left with Mary, that my paintings were too exhausting, and so I have done nothing. Perhaps nothing is too strong a word - I have thought lots of thoughts. I have been taking myself too seriously and yet not seriously enough. I have not picked up a paintbrush since June, since my show. Enough is enough. So more changes are coming, good ones, or perhaps really I am just simplifying my life, returning here to my home, to Emma Tree - I've felt for so long that I have been just going through the motions, looking so hard for magic, when I know you can't find it that way, when I know magic is like a cat, and as you call & call, will just hide in the bushes, watching you, smirking at your frustration. Where to begin? With the little things. I am closing my gallery blog, and I am closing my inspiration blog. I am moving everything back here and I will figure it out as I go. Emma Tree may expand a bit, the site may change neighborhoods, but there will only be one site.
thank you hope
Tightrope walking through the early evening sky,
If it fell, no net to catch it, it would just plummet to earth, flinging moonbeams far & wide as it hurtled our way, and if lucky, we would catch one, and then what would we do? You can't tame a moonbeam, you know. Would we search for a cage and try to keep it still, try to contain it? And can't you just see that little bit of hilarity, the moonbeam shooting between the bars as we rushed after it, arms close together as we tried to catch its tail, hands slapping shut on nothing, on emptiness, as it zipped through our grasp? No, no, we couldn't cage it, and if we put it in a box with holes punched in the top, it would escape through those holes. The same with a jar; it would find its way out.
Lucky for us it didn't fall.
I sit here and laugh at myself for writing such silliness about the moon - such absurdities - thinking to understand it, when the truth of the moon is that it was just there when I walked out my door, shimmering white against all that blue, just like I said, just there, and I stood for a moment, balanced between it and the sun, which had not yet set. No poetry can come close to the realness of that sky, the magic of those few moments - the birds were not yet in for the night & I imagined the woodpecker on the hackberry tree to be joining me in this bit of dreamy reverie, I pretended the mockingbirds' songs were summertime carols for the sky. In just minutes the sun was gone & the sky was dark & stars joined the moon & the birds fell silent, asleep in their nests. The cicadas took up their song and another Texas night surrounded me, the heat of the night so much different than the daytime heat. Such a small piece of time, such small moments, but the best. The best. This feeling of the night.
Then off to the stores.
Actually, as it turned out, only one store.
Kinda cute. But . . . nope.
Thinking maybe a real wedding dress.
Liking this floaty little thing. But no.
Wow! But this wedding is a bit more casual.
So loving this softness, but no again.
Needing something shorter.
2nd try-on. Oh. Yes. Maybe. Yes. Maybe?
How about shoes while she ponders & dances around in this piece of loveliness?
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!
And the dress? Almost the one, but as we were leaving the store, there was a whispered tug from another dress we'd not seen. It, however, had seen Katie, and knew the right bride when it saw her. Back to the dressing room while the wonderful saleswoman - whose wedding anniversary just happens to be the exact day Katie's wedding is taking place; coincidence? no such thing; serendipity, more likely - found the dress in the right size, thinking it would be too small, but no. No. Katie walked out of the dressing room transformed. It was perfect. (She said the expression on my face totally changed and laughed about that over bruschetta & salad later.) Truly perfect. No alterations needed. Perfect. And I'd like to show you, but then her wonderful husband-to-be might see it, and you know that's a no-no, so it will have to wait. I will give you a peek at Katie's happiness however.
what's that song? a heavenly day?
Until then, then.
I ran around quick like the bunny
Back when postage was 41 cents
I am busy unravelling,
It is August 4th.
This white one Wednesday evening, 2 of them late yesterday afternoon - brown & black, 4 or so blocks from my house, sitting at the curb, eating grass, no doubt someone's lost pets, or descendants of someone's pets, but nonetheless, rabbits. I stopped the car for this one, phone camera in hand, and off he hopped into a yard, me behind him, feeling more than a little like Alice, wishing he would stop - let me get closer, but he would only tease and hop farther into the yard as I approached, eating his way through the lawn. He eventually stopped in the rear side yard, next to the trash cans, close to the back French doors, so I snapped one close-up and headed back to the street, afraid to be mistaken for a prowler. I like this image of the chase best.
August begins. Wonderland.
The summer begins its slow march into the fall under cloudy skies, rain threatening, humidity standing invisible guard, almost-a-breeze flittering through the front doors. I am like Alice,
the dream-child moving through a land
moving through this land called my neighborhood, for it is daily full of wonders wild and new - though the rabbits may not be wild, they are certainly new, and if left to their own nature & wanderings, it is only a matter of time before they work their way closer, before there are more of them. I watched an opossum waddle past the door the other night, crossing the yard and then the street, down into the creek next to Mary's house, and such a waddle it was that I laughed aloud. I watched a giant limb fall from a tree next to Mary's driveway - a first time for me, a wonder wild and new; usually I hear the thud first - thankfully no one was hurt, no cars injured (by a miracle of inches), so I could appreciate the wonder of that fall, happy I saw it, awed by its power & speed, by the sound of branches breaking under its weight as it tumbled to Earth, humbled by the powerlessness of us mere mortals here on the ground who could do nothing but watch.
The Outside has become silent, no birdsong, no birds in sight - rain must truly be close. The greens of grasses & trees & vines is almost overwhelming under the gray skies; A.C.'s back yard looks like ankle-deep velvet as it winds its way across my sight, bumping into Mary's front yard, her green house almost disappearing behind ginkgo & catawba leaves. But here comes the sun as I type those thoughts, shadows appear on our front lawn, and then leave as clouds cover the brightness, but back again immediately, hinting of a breeze in the sky, and yes, there it is, a bit of movement across the tall grasses next to the creek. August. Wonderland.
The noise begins. Cicadas quite loud. A few birds. The humidity moves in through the open doors, Dan from up on the corner walks by.
There are even mushrooms in the yard.
next month, through the looking glass