“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Night. Spring.

She is outside in the night and I don't know where she is, and that's a good thing, she hasn't done that in a long time, she's been waiting for spring, and I think it must really be here - it's 8:40 pm and I am sitting with the front door open, in bare feet and with wet hair. Mosquito hawks keep zooming in and slapping against the walls and bumping my left arm, and I can hear cicadas, how funny - no, well, at least now it is one lone cricket or grasshopper, I can't tell the difference, but they are The Insects that Come with Warm Weather, and now a cricket in the house, a very loud cricket in the house who is happy happy about something, and that is a good luck thing, a cricket in your house, but I am wrong again, it is a grasshopper, I see him hopping, funny, funny, right into a clear glass vase and then back out, and I hope he goes out the door of his own accord.

The lovely lovely Katie's cat has meandered by and her look tells me where Maggie is holed up - behind my Jeep, no doubt, she loves the night, loves any but cold nights, and to be out and about in the dark is, I think, her very favorite thing. . . . Yes, I checked on her, she's there, exactly where I'd thought, and there are pear tree blossoms scattered down the sidewalk and across the footbridge, white, white against the darkness. It comes again, this spring that I love, and summer will follow and heat will beat against me and I will rush from my air conditioned car to my air conditioned house, but I will say thank you nonetheless.

Maggie has come in and wants my lap.
I cannot refuse.

Her fur is cool against me.
nighty night

Good Morning

A windy morning, but calmer now; I open the door and it blows hard, I close the door and it stops. A cardinal in the yard is happy with the newly mowed lawn, those weeds above gone, easier for him to find food. A few sprigs of wisteria have bloomed, a pale lavender, as if their color has been lessened by that last late snow, and the forsythia is mostly green now, a few yellow roses over the once-was-Mary's porch the only spots of color against the landscape, greener now than a week ago, leaves sprouting everywhere, grass livening up at last. As I type this, however, the sun streaks across the front yard, and if I were painting this bit of my morning, I would only need yellow, it is that bright, yellow lines laid across the green, and yellow on the backside and sides of the hackberry leaves. There is a bird in the backyard singing - I still haven't learned which song belongs to which bird, but this is a familiar one - and few cars pass by; the morning is still quiet. Those stripes of sunlight have now widened, moving into the street, warming the bricks. The day begins.

good morning


The Truth of Things

The truth of things
is that there are weeds above-ankle high,
white flowery beauties,
dancing across the front lawn,
and piles of laundry in the house,
spilling across the foot of the bed,
overflowing baskets,
some to be cleaned, some to be folded,
and unread books stacked in the hallway,

The truth of things
is there's a sink full of dishes,
that's been there for days,
and grocery bags hung on doors
still holding toothpaste and Dramamine,
and somewhere in the stacks of unopened mail
are the auto registration renewal and utility bills,
ignored in favor of catalogs and movies on tv.

The truth of things is that rest is hard to come by,
and sleep is not deep unless it is late morning,
and that the floors need swept and vacuumed
and mopped,
and that strawberries are left uneaten in the refrigerator,
expensive though they were.

The truth of things is that the days are narrow
and I slide through them sideways,
scraping my heart on the edge of things to come,
and the truth of things is that anger now befriends me,
holding my hand as I move to a place of acceptance
and exhaustion,
a valley of a shadow of tears,
until it lets go
and I am on my own.


if i were . . .

more navel gazing.
an image from last year.

i found this at julochka's,
and she found it somewhere else,
and i don't know how much is wishful thinking
how much is really true.
a perfect exercise for a lazy saturday.

if i were a month i’d be august on vacation,
if i were a day i’d be spring forward,
if i were a time of day i’d be the blue hour,
if i were a font i’d be easily readable,
if i were a sea animal i’d be a starfish,
if i were a direction i’d be true north,
if i were a piece of furniture i’d be an old blue rocking chair
on a front porch,
if i were a liquid i’d be the water of a summer lake,
if i were a gemstone i’d be a pearl,
if i were a tree i’d be climbable,
if i were a tool i’d be a swiss army knife,
if i were a flower i’d be a wild one,
if i were an element of weather i’d be storm clouds rolling in,
if i were a musical instrument i’d be a cello,
if i were a color i’d be barely there blue,
if i were an emotion i’d be full-out love,
if i were a fruit i’d be a salted lemon,
if i were a sound i’d be a cat's purr
right before sleep shushes me,
if i were an element i’d be oxygen,
if i were a car i’d be an old used Army jeep
with no top & no doors & summer overhead,
if i were a food i’d be a homegrown tomato
still warm from the sun,
if i were a place i’d be the arizona desert,
if i were material i’d be worn & faded denim,
if i were a taste i’d be daiquiri ice,
if i were a scent i’d be green tea and oranges,
if i were a body part i’d be a very clear eye,
if i were a song i’d be guy clark's stuff that works,
if i were a bird i’d be a hawk,
if i were a gift i’d be a surprise wrapped in silk
tied with string,
if i were a city i’d be hot springs, arkansas,
if i were a door i’d be a screen door slamming,
if i were a pair of shoes i’d be flipflops on hot blacktop roads,
if i were a poem i wouldn't rhyme.

c'mon, play along.
see what you find when you ask what you'd be.
and ignore any comments
saying you are so self-absorbed.
or say yes, i am,
come on in.
they will


A Lamp, a Stool, a Divorce, a History Lesson, and a Compass Pointing North

see that black ribbon wrapped around the lamp? the price tag was tied on with that ribbon back when i bought that lamp, 10 or 12 years ago, in a local antique mall that had once been a department store a million years ago, and when you went in you could smell the history of old cash registers and handwritten lay-away tickets, and there were stairs that held the curve of all the footsteps they'd seen, and it had that great smell of old wooden floors and was one of my favorite places to while away an hour or two. it was only 5 minutes from my house and now it is an office complex. i never took the ribbon off because the lamp looks great with that ribbon; it's still got the knot that was tied by the woman who sold it to me, still got that history of her touch, i never did anything but slip off the price tag. i liked the way the ribbon fell back into place.

see that silver stool? that's an old photographer's posing stool, it came from a photographer up in greenville, texas, an old customer of ours, about whom i could tell you stories. like the time he couldn't find a roll of film he'd shot - he'd driven all the way down from greenville, knew he had it, couldn't possibly have forgotten it, i think it was one of the rolls of a wedding he'd photographed, it was something not re-shootable, i remember that - so he pulled his car up to the dumpster outside and started cleaning it out, and it was a big car, a big old brown car, and we watched as things flew into the dumpster - papers and cups and pens, he just started tossing - and sure enough, after a while, he found the film and in he came, sweating and tired and not in the least embarrassed or chagrined or anything, just glad that he'd found the film and probably a little glad he'd gotten his car cleaned out also. he retired a few years later and brought stuff down to see if we wanted to buy any of it or could sell it for him, and he had this stool i immediately lusted over. the ever-wonderful michael bought it along with a bunch of studio lights and stands and tripods and photography whatnots, and i immediately confiscated the stool to sit beside my desk, to hold papers. michael would sometimes steal it away and take it back to the studio, but i always stole it back and eventually i brought it home, because, like i said, i lusted over it, and there was no way around it. i still do, it's one of my favorite things in my house and sits against the wall, between the couch and a chair. i don't know what has become of the photographer, but I am reminded of him every time I see this stool.

the books are there mostly for the colors they are, although the 2 ansel adams books always make me smile because they once belonged to a friend of mine, either him or his ex-wife, both photographers - when they got married they had lots of duplicate books and cameras they thought they didn't need 2 of, so they brought them to the camera store where i used to work until michael made me an offer i couldn't refuse, and they put them for sale in our used and consignment section and i bought these 2 books and a little olympus camera. they later got divorced, and now that i think about it, i guess these books were hers because i think i've seen his on his bookshelves, and there's a lesson to be learned there somewhere; his current wife is not a photographer and they didn't have any duplicate anythings, so all's well in the marriage. the little olympus camera was stolen when someone broke into my house and took all my watches and cameras and a gun and a bunch of mexican coins in an antique purse and 80 dollars cash. i missed the purse and that camera the most and luckily my house was clean so that when the police came and dusted for prints i wasn't embarrassed or chagrined or anything.


atop it all, a compass.
i keep it pointed north.
the books are dusty


The Passenger Seat

driving in the rain a few days ago, actually riding in the rain, left hand side of the jeep, passenger seat, not worrying or even thinking about anything at all, just moving through the rain with the radio on and then the radio off, just him & me, so many years between us making silences almost the same as conversations, feeling safe, feeling secure, feeling content and happy and watching the road and the rain, absolute trust in him on those backroads, absolute peace, knowing the roads and where they led, that sense of place, of so many years of moving through this landscape, this place called home, the driving bringing to mind another time, lost in the southern arizona desert, the two of us driving through the land of my teenage years, me getting us lost, having always been the passenger back then, never a need to pay attention to how we got to where we got, other hims driving me through that landscape and so many years ago, so lost we were, but on a road behind the mountains, seeing no one else for hours, and it was magical. we were heading northwest.

tonight in my house - how many times have i written that? - it is maggie and me and the same old same old, tv on, sound off, ginger rogers on the screen, no other noise but the sound of this computer, my fingers on the keys, and the heater, close to its last days of being needed, spring almost really here, not just in name only, and it is that same feeling - safe, secure, content, this place called home. i can walk through it in the dark; i know the roads of this house quite well, so many years between us. i can navigate the 3 a.m. yard with no light and no fear, my feet know the grass, know the sidewalk littered with pear tree blossoms, know the way to the hammock when the need to sleep under the stars is too hard to resist. home. we face north northwest.

the times i love best, the silences that are their own conversations. maggie is asleep on the stool where i have rested my feet, she is nestled against my legs, in the passenger seat.


a hint of aqua with an undertone of life

another cell phone picture,
maggie in the front yard a couple of weekends ago
when it was warm,
me sitting in a child's chair next to her,
the aqua one,
the door reflecting back other chairs inside the house
i just like this,
like the smooshed together quality,
like the memory of the sun on my arms & neck
maggie staying close.

it's a very girly-looking picture,
the lattice work on one of the inside chairs
almost lace,
the pattern of the dry ground
also feminine & lacy,
the green grass in the corner
another petticoat.
i'm not sure how much of all that I really saw
when I took the picture,
not sure how much i just sensed,
i wasn't surprised
when i saw the image on the computer screen.

and that makes me smile,
that not being surprised,
but also the not knowing exactly,
because it's how i work a painting,
having an idea where it's going,
but letting it lead me also.
not seeing all the details
until the painting is finished
then saying yes, i remember making that line,
how perfect it is right there
how perfectly it reflects that other line.

from the movie sideways:
". . . it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity . . . "

that's my goal for my paintings,
for my photographs,
to have them stay alive,
to make you wonder what was going on
the year the paint was mixed,
the day the shutter clicked.
it's a biggie, i know.
but i want it.
i didn't know that until i began to write this.
and i also want to write.
i want it all.
shouldn't i have all of this & passionate kisses?


The Weekend of Snow, The Gift of Spring

Saturday was streets filled with rainwater and pear tree blossoms, baby leaves on the hackberry tree, strawberries and cantaloupe slices shaped like hearts, a cold wind across the yellow forsythia, one after the other movies on tv, a sleeping cat in my lap and a forecast of snow for Sunday. Cardinals in the front yard, bright red against the rainy greens of spring, the feel of a long lazy day drifting into darkness, one last bright star before sleep.

Sunday was snowdusted honeysuckle, the pale pink of tulip trees lost in white icing. A colder wind than Saturday, salsa with breakfast, the light from the windows silver with the surprise of a winter day welcoming spring. Sideways flurries, The Swiss Family Robinson, toes cold through 2 pairs of socks, a quiet neighborhood. It was tacos and Pulp Fiction, honey bunny, it was a cat still sleeping in my lap while I nibbled dark dark chocolate. It was dropping my camera smack-hard onto concrete and thanking the powers that be for no damage. It was rubber boots to take out the trash and cheerios for supper.

Today is emerging from a cocoon, a Bollywood movie with breakfast, sunshine across the front lawn, it is warmth growing warmer, it is guilt at leaving Maggie the cat alone at home, better though she may be. It is no coat today, sunglasses instead. It is saying goodbye at last to winter, adios, adios, fly away home, it is cardinals in the yard again. It is the gift of spring, ribbons bedraggled and damp from yesterday, but it is the joy of untying them and opening the box. It is Maggie meowing at the birds.
we are through the weekend safe & sound


A Day or Two

a day or two off, i think,
maybe not,
just a day or so,
but the time of maggie not eating much has arrived.
so a picture from last fall,
and time i must spend with her,
time for us together.
she will be okay,
we are not at that time yet,
but it moves closer.

rain today.
xoxo to you all.
i'll be here soon


However Long it Takes

tonight a quiet night,
maggie asleep, asleep oh in my lap,
a siren in the distance,
life so fragile all around me.
it breaks all the time.
one night too cold
flowers don't bloom.
one night too cold
a heart doesn't open.

i have warmth in my house though,
and if something breaks,
i glue it back together;
i have friends who will hold me
until the glue dries.
however long it takes


It Ain't Hot, It's the Mosquitoes

This is how Texas looks sometimes,
a lot,
where the highway cuts through almost ranch country,
not quite there yet,
and it's not very pretty right here
but there's a pear tree in full bloom
on either side of this image,
big white round things by the side of the road,
not yet dropping any blossoms.
I just held up my camera,
driving, not looking, and fired off a round.
There's a lot of sky
and this area is gonna be hot, hot, hot
come summer,
no trees for shade,
you'll have to walk way back
to that treeline for some relief from the heat,
back where's there's probably a creek or a pond
breeding mosquitoes,
and you'll have to decide which is worse.
I will opt for unrelenting sun
over unrelenting mosquitoes
any day of the week.
And watch out for snakes.
Wear boots.
can't wait


Home. Place. Further. Place. Home.

It has just gone dark outside, almost 8 o'clock, on the tv The Prince of Tides, background for the evening, this first evening of later daylight. I spent the weekend and Friday night keeping company with all the bits and bobs of lovely sneezy stuff that waft through in the March air, a slight, slight fever, just enough to make me stay home; Maggie to the vet Saturday morning and a ride through the countryside - photo safari-ing - enough to convince me to do nothing. I was in the front door and out of my boots in 2 minutes and there they stayed until yesterday, so prettily posing. But yesterday woke me up, my very favorite day of the year, an hour of lost sleep easy payment for the joy of leaving work by sunlight instead of moonlight, for the peace of an hour on the couch with Maggie in my lap, watching the daylight slip away - easy, easy payment; I am glad to sign the check.

Awakened and energized, still a slight bit of fever, I cleaned, needing the dust of winter out the door. I guiltily rearranged unused art supplies, I moved the stereo, I found a better spot to store small paintings (apparently good feng-shui; an email awaited me this morning, a painting and a photograph sold), I vacuumed and swept and tossed out old apples, TCM on the tv, old movies passing by me, Katherine Hepburn in Venice, Where the Boys Are in Ft. Lauderdale. All in pajama bottoms and a tshirt. I sat for an hour in the late afternoon in a child's chair in the open doorway, Maggie on my lap for almost an hour and then I followed her into the yard, into the sun, and we watched an elderly couple inspect the-house-next-door-for-sale, the one with the white pillars and the red door, we watched skateboarders on the brick street, flying down from the hill, leveling off in front of the house, we watched parents with strollers stroll by, we watched 2 young girls gathering fallen tulip tree blossoms for bouquets, and a young boy picking paperwhites for his mother, his entire family out for a Sunday afternoon walk.

I have three articles to be published this year in Somerset Life. The first will be out in a couple of weeks; they are each about a sense of place, which means I have been thinking about that sense of place more than I usually do, and in fact that thinking was behind that bit of Saturday's photo safari-ing, a need to get re-acquainted with this place I call home. I felt lost - not geographically - but lost in thinking about the here where I live, realizing I am ruined, this neighborhood such a place of enchantment, as a neighbor so eloquently put it. In the springtime, my drive to work changes, I turn right right there at the corner just past that house-next-door-for-sale - I turn right to see if the owl is in his spot in the tree, and later, in the summer, I turn left, out of my way, to drive by the pale pink crepe myrtle tree I love so much, and circle around the block before heading off to work. It is hard to top a neighborhood that can entice you to drive in different directions to reach the same spot.

The sound on the tv is off but I see Nick Nolte's character moving between his southern oceanside home and New York City. Maggie is back in from the outside, looking for her place in my lap but it has been stolen by the computer, and I, who have a need to feel I will see her later, after she is gone, tell her stories of heaven I learned in childhood, but not really, it's a heaven I've evolved from those stories; I tell her she won't be lonely, that my father will be waiting, that he is much like me, that they will be friends, that she must wait for me there. In that place. Of course, the stories are for me, I cannot bear to think of her not here, not in this place. I've heard it said that for a dog, home is where you are, but for a cat, home is home, their place is home - you just happen to be there. They are both right, of course.

I know what I will write for that 3rd article, I know how it will go, it is just a matter of putting the words in the right place, so to speak.
i could never live in an orange place


The Concrete Under my Feet

One of my very favorite things.
Concrete under my feet.
This little bit painted with the drugstore's neon light.

I see the top as a child's sky,
the bottom as a flower,
and is that the wind flying across the middle?
Right there under the sun?

So many layers,
so much like a painting.
These images only work for me
if they are cell phone images,
and no, I don't have an iPhone.

I love the not quite sharpness,
the unimportance of the subject,
elevated to a story.
I see so many things.
A kissing fish,
an arrow,
I always see arrows,
an elephant wearing glasses,
a balloon.

I walked over this on my way in,
and on my way out,
and almost didn't take the picture,
my phone still in the Jeep,
but it was beautiful,
all curves and lacy feeling,
surely a little girl drew it,
and it called me back.
It spoke my name.
Whispered in my ear.


Trees in the Mirror

From the in the car, in the rain photo shoot 2 or 3 days ago.

I used it yesterday as part of my sad-for-myself/art post, and never even talked about it. Never said a word about how much I fell in love with those hazy, rainy, skeleton trees in the sideview mirror, the only shot where the trees appeared; it's all raindrops in the other images. It's that moment I strive to paint, so still, but a deceptive stillness, there's movement all around, I sense it, but those trees seem part of a different landscape, quite ghostlike, removed from the rain. I continue to work on bringing my painting aesthetic into my photos; the less I worry about it, the easier it becomes, or perhaps I've just grown more comfortable with the camera. Whatever the reason, however I am getting there, I am getting there.
short & sweet


Picture Me As The Cook

Who my self pitying reminds me of.

I deleted the post where I moaned & whined & complained
& cried & felt sorry for myself. Pitied myself.
It was not who I want to be,
even if it is who I am today.
i want to grow

Self Pity + Art = Me, Today.

Sometimes you wonder why you do it all, what you have to say, what you have to show, you ask yourself just what is this artist business, and why is it all those other people know what their artist statement is, and all you know is that yours is about "the stillness surrounding movement", whatever on Earth that really means, today it means nothing, you feel you're just making up something because you have to. You feel like a damned artist on these days, one that's really struggling to stay true to this feeling inside, but is skirting around it, and you think you should take down the pretty pictures of the pretty trees, because that has nothing to do with your grand artistic vision, don'tcha know, it's just girly stuff and daily life and you feel that you should be serious, should buckle down and only talk about art, art, art, although dear God, how tiresome that would be. You flit across the internet and you are amazed, disheartened, jealous at the things people call art, when it's not, it's not even close, and you know it, but they're selling it and they're selling a lot of it, and you show it to your ever-wonderful boyfriend and you say this! this is why I am poor, why I will never be a successful artist, because it's not art, people don't want art, they want this, and I can't do this, oh I can do it, but I can't do it and pretend it is art, pretend it is something special, can't put my name on it and be proud. And you have the same discussion with a close friend, both of you in the midst of discovering the truth about others, her career not art, but still the same, full of people who call themselves professionals but who are not, not really, stories leak out, and neither you nor your friend can understand this, this all show thing, it's all show, it's all a great facade, a great building, a great website, and all this time you've thought they were better than you, knew more than you, after all, look at their image, their business, it looks so good, and she despairs not quite as much, but despairs nonetheless. And the questioning begins, those questions, you know them, should I just do that easy stuff, pretend it is what it isn't and hope none of my old art professors ever see it?, can I live with myself?, because you are exhausted with trying to make an actual living as yourself, but deep inside, actually not all that deep, it's an easy call, you know you won't, you know you will stay true to yourself, and you vow only serious artistic stuff on your blog from now on, although you know that's not about to happen, so you vow you will work more, and you know right now that's not going to happen, your days and nights already filled with obligations you will not turn away from, you will not turn a cat whose days are dwindling from the comfort of your lap to work on a painting, and the truth is that there are days those pieces of pink flowers on your blog are a comfort to you, and it breaks your heart, you feel silly and pathetic and self-pitying, you feel ridiculous. But that's the truth of the matter, you know it, you've known it from the moment you started typing this, it is just a day of jealousy and pettiness, and a day of wishing you were easier, that you were someone else with less artist in her, and you don't even care how vain that sounds because it feels so true. You remember you have that first sentence of a book that appeared from nowhere, thrown into your lap by your muse - there is room next to the cat for a sentence or two. And you breathe out, you are almost finished here, typing all this feeling-sorry-for-myself, and you know it will be okay, you know you are okay, you remember what that artist statement is all about, and you accept the fact that you are who you are. And that you are just fine.

UPDATE - Please see the next post. :)
I should take this post down, I really should,
but will leave it as a reminder to myself.
i am such a baby


A Springtime Dance with Trees

Twirling under the tulip tree.

We were serenaded by a mockingbird at lunch,
and another mockingbird sang the sun down.

And yes, this is exactly the kind of day it was today,
full of sunshine and a blue blue sky,
my thirsty skin guzzling the vitamin D,
mid 70s on the thermometer making it delicious
downright pleasant to sit away from the shade,
following the sun like a cat.
Rain tomorrow they say,
but today there was none
today makes it all okay.
Pear trees are popping out white all over town
it is just spring, y'all,
no waiting anymore,
even though it's not yet official
another 10 degrees would be perfection.
Maggie the cat has been outside all day
is outside still;
Lily the cat also,
though not all day.
I opened the back door at work
to let her spend a few moments basking,
and found myself keeping her company for a bit,
leaning a chair against a wall
just sitting with no thoughts,
not even those of spring.
just sitting with the sun


Painting with the Rain

We got gorgeous beautiful rain today,
and the opportunity to drive our way through it.

And magic fell my way, via too loud music at the taqueria where we'd stopped to eat, me having bad juju when it comes to too loud music at restaurants, but really, this was way way too loud, Hispanic music y rap videos on the tv in the corner, booming, boomdiddy doomdiddy BOOM and we the only English speakers there, me unable to even hear the Spanish speaking waitress, much less perform my Mexican to Texican interpretation in my head. And lately I am being kind to my belly, knew it was not gonna be a happy belly in such atmosphere, despite the fabulous (and it is fabulous) food - if you stop there at night it is quieter, we had no idea that today would be boomdiddy doomdiddy BOOM - so we ordered to go and I decided to wait in the Jeep. And sat there and shot gorgeous pictures, I am in love with them all, with the blurry rainy tree shots, with the rain on the window shots, with the sideview mirror shot reflecting barely there trees against the gray sky - in love with them all.

You cannot convince me
the Universe didn't make sure
there was a building next door
just that perfect shade of old fading teal-going-gray.
A gift for me.
And I took it.
Held out my hand and let it fall right in.

My photographic vision is changing,
I feel it when I hold the camera to my eye
and see a painting.
a slow navigation, but I am moving


Selfishness, Sleep & Keeping Secrets Secret

Oh. It's going to be one of those posts, where I thought I was going to talk about sleep and in fact, did talk about sleep for about 4 lines before deleting them all, talked about how babies sleep anywhere and anyhow, and suddenly I was talking about self-nurturing, yes, in 4 lines, all of that, and when I read it back to myself - I do that, you know, read everything out loud back to myself or Maggie, which is reason enough to share space with a cat or dog or bird or just any pet in general because then you're not talking to yourself, and I bet you read everything back out loud to yourself also, just to feel the rhythm of the lines, and I bet you do just like me and sway to that rhythm and you can just feel when it's right. I have a friend who teaches grammatical things to college students and she tells me that some writers and poets have a certain number of thises and thats, something besides syllables, I really stopped listening part way through our conversation, truth be told, because it was all academics, and apologies to teachers and professors everywhere, but truly, nothing bores me more than rules for writing or how it's done in the academic world, which isn't how it's done in the real world ever about anything, and I swear that's all they talk about, all those rules, and really, I also don't particularly care how some famous writer did it or maybe still does it, even if I like that writer - even if I love that writer - because it will ruin it for me, it will break the spell, it will be like knowing the magician's secrets. And I don't want to know the magician's secrets, I want it to stay magic, and I want it to stay theirs, and I want mine to stay mine, there's plenty enough to go around, and you see? This isn't about sleep or self-nurturing at all, I knew it was wrong when I began to read it out loud, but also because I knew the self-nurturing I was talking about was really selfishness, it really was, and yes, I believe it is perfectly okay to be selfish sometimes, but I think you should call it that and not pretend it is just self-nurturing. Do you think cats are apologetic about being selfish? Do you think Miss Maggie up there on that blue chair she has claimed for her own cares one whit that it used to be a place to put your drink? Do you think she even bats a sly green eye at the fact that she's been in my lap for 2 hours while I watch a movie, that I do this with no bathroom break, that my back begins to ache from staying in one position? No, no, she knows she is worth it, and she is, and it is up to me to accept it or not.

She was in this position when I finally got up this morning - she'd been meowing at me for a couple of hours, but I was selfish from pure mental exhaustion, and after seeing that she was okay, just wanting me up, I crawled back under the covers and slept and slept and I am supposed to be at work in 25 minutes but never mind, I am almost on schedule there except for the cleaning, and so here I sit typing away, cat now fed and outside in the springtime, selfish, selfish me. I will show up to work with hair that needs a shampoo and legs that need shaving but I will show up at work with some sleep under my belt. And it feels good.


Things Are Blooming ~ CRESCENDOh Opens with Spring

We have pink!

Spring is really coming, she really is.


Today, however,
I will point you not outside,
but inside even further.
Trust me,
you will like it.
You will love it!

A new website.
Jenny Doh's new adventure.
It's like a fabulous store
where you're allowed,
even encouraged,
to look and wander
and sip drinks and nibble cookies
and yes,
there are even things to buy if you want.

As Jenny puts it,
there are stories of inspiration,
totally hot products,
and help for those in need.
Each week there are new guest curators
readers sharing their personal "Art Saves" stories.
Because that's the theme of the whole extravaganza.
Art Saves.
It does, you know.
Well, of course you do.
It's an amazing place,
totally hot!,
and today there is even a link to me.
To Emma Tree.
How cool is that?

So go.
(You won't be able to help yourself.)

UPDATE: LK Ludwig talks about CRESCENDOh here.
A much better explanation.
You'll love her also.
thank you jenny


Life Imitates Life: Broken is as Broken Does.

A broken day, ending with me thinking I just can't take any more, people needing images in file types I know nothing about, the ever-wonderful Michael hoarse, trying to explain it to me, this morning a rush to the bank to make a deposit, 41 cents all there was in my account, but a fabulous 41 cents, like a finger in a dyke, preventing a flood of overdraft fees. Like I said it was a day broken from the get-go, and by 5 pm I really couldn't take it any more and closed my office doors, lights off, and lay down on the floor to just breathe, just breathe, just breeaatheee, then up for another round, taking out trash, trying my very best Forrest Gump daggers-stare on the computer, the stare by the bus in DC, saying bye to Jenny once again, her terrible boyfriend on the bus with her, but computers have better stares than people, and it was useless, so I called it a day, time to come home anyway.

And opened my office door to find I'd crushed the silver Christmas ball that hangs from my crappy old doorknob. The doorknob we can't figure out how to remove, and so I'd painted around it 3 or 4 years ago, disgusted, disheartened that I couldn't have a new pretty doorknob, and I'd left the masking tape on it and just walked away, forgot about it. There's always stuff hanging from it anyway and that's how/why I opened the door to find pieces of silver scattered all over the floor. And that's when I knew to just stop. Put down my jacket, put down my camera, my tote bag, my purse, my cell phone, the grocery sack of cat food, my keys - just put it all down and stop. And I knelt there in my doorway and picked up each little shard, each little broken piece, took the time it took to check the carpet, and breathed into the picking up of those remnants of a broken day.

I'm keeping the broken piece still tied to the ribbon. What better reminder? And I'm taking the tape off the doorknob, scraping any paint that's there - it can't be good feng shui.


What I See When Michael Drives

It's probably a gang thing,
it's got that little devil tail,
and it resembles a lot of gang graffiti around town,
especially here downtown.
It probably means something totally different
than what it says.
But I don't care.
I'll take it at its word.

It's probably been there forever,
it's just a couple blocks down the road,
but usually I drive when we go to lunch,
and when I drive I miss everything.
the ever-wonderful Michael's been behind the wheel.
Amazing what I now see.
yesterday, in the rain