Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Storm as Muse


Taken on the night of the Blue Moon 2012


Thunder echoes

the valleys shake

rain blows in

sideways

I watch the sky

light with streaks

and I hold no fear

knowing you're with me

I bow my head

to the pillow's shape

close my eyes

say my thanks

Feeling you near

I have no reason to fear

I hold your love

with the covers tight

blow out the candles

say good night

holding you dear

on a stormy night

Sunday, November 25, 2012

JOE'S TREE

It was late afternoon.  Joe sat at his desk shuffling papers as the tightness in his chest increased.  This job is going to kill me, he thought.  He turned away from his desk, away from the computer, away from the stress, and looked out the window to the huge maple tree that stood on the hill across from his window.  Every year he watched the tree as it changed into deep colors of yellow, orange, and red.  There had been times when he had taken photos because the beauty of the tree in its autumn glory had left him awestruck.

That was how Joe felt now, awestruck.  Last year the drought had muted the colors.   But this year the colors were brilliant.  Joe stood up and took the couple of steps between the desk and the window and stayed there gazing out.  The wind picked up and leaves blew away in the breeze.  With the weather turning colder, the tree would be empty soon.  Undressed as it were, for a long winter’s slumber. 

The tightness in his chest hitched up, becoming more pain than pressure.  This job is going to kill me, Joe thought again.  Maybe it was time to let go.  Maybe when the tree was completely bare, he mused, he would leave too.    Walk away from the piles of reports and forms in near-toppling piles on his desk.  Walk away from his computer where the email in-box filled with upwards of two hundred new emails daily.  Away from the constant knocks at his door with someone wanting something from him.  He could leave this job and never look back.  He imagined himself at home with a framed photo of the tree in all its glory, smiling as he showed it to his beloved wife.

Then the old fears crept up.  How to support his wife and his son, who was now in college, without this job.  Maybe he could switch to a less stressful job, he pondered. 

“The tree is so beautiful,” he said out loud, though no one was in the room.  His mind made up, he turned from the tree back to his desk but didn’t make it into the chair.  The pain seized hold of him.  He clutched his chest unable to get a full breath, unable to call out for help.  He fell, just missing the desk and chair.  It seemed the air around him turned heavy, pushing him, but he couldn’t let go.  Not until the tree is bare, he thought.  He tried to let his body relax, to lessen the pain while he waited. 

The door banged open.  A man and a woman entered.  The man walked over to the desk while the woman walked over to the window.

“I am sure I heard something this time,” she insisted.  Her office was on the other side of the wall from Joe’s desk.

“I know, “  the man said, “I heard something too, but there’s no one in here.”  He wouldn’t admit to her that this was not the first time he had heard a noise on the other side of the wall that he had shared with Joe.

“Maybe it was just the wind against the window.”  He said looking out the window as the leaves slowly flew from the tree in a colorful parade.

“I don’t like it,” she said, wrapping her arms around herself, “It just feels so weird in here.  Something just feels so off.”

He looked at her and frowned, “You’re being silly,” he declared, “You just feel  that way because no one’s been in here since Joe passed away.  Once they’re found his replacement and someone’s in here all the time, you won’t feel that way anymore.”

She dropped her gaze and rubbed her arms, letting out a long sigh.  “You’re probably right,” she said, “I guess it’s just … you know … “ she faltered, “with him passing away so suddenly it just sometimes feels like he’s still here.”

His whole face scrunched in disapproval.  “Joe had no reason to hang around here when he passed.  He’s gone to a better place.”  He looked out the window watching the leaves rustle and flutter in the wind, a few releasing into the autumnal dance before dropping from the breeze to the grown.  It was hypnotic to watch but soon, he knew, the tree would be bare.

[Short story copyright November 2012 - Lelain de Peche]




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Unsettled

I am torn and withered
the days pull at me
Hollow Tree with a hollow heart.
tangles of thorn bushes
without the color of roses
I am parched and burned
all resources torn from me
a dried river in a land
shifting into desert
I am shaken and rifted
soul shattered in tremors
earth and buildings ripped
from where they stand, tumbling
lost to time and space
forced to bow before the
unforgiving
martyrs in stone
staring cold unmoving
and bid me stand still
tongue heavy with ice
eyes on the ground
crumbling beneath me
- copyright 2012


Beautiful lone red tree surrounded by river on one side and a walking trail on the other.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beginning, Middle, or End?

Autumn Yellow

The chill is biting but I continue walking.  Not knowing where I will end, I let my feet guide the way through leaves of autumnal colors.  My mind is alive with stories.  Characters talk back and forth through dialog, describing people and places that exist only in my mind.  I know that my world is burning.  I am losing time and falling out of place.  I am desperate to finish all that I have dreamed before more is dreamt.

Squirrels run about rustling leaves under the trees and across the path.  I pause to watch them.  In distraction I lingering among them  as they gather food, climb, and play.  They are oblivious to me until I address one aloud as "Mr. Squirrel".  Then they all scurry up the trees to their hidey-holes leaving me alone again with my stories bickering with me to be told, to be spilled onto paper.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Detrius of Life

Right now, at this very minute, I have the dust and debris from the remains of someone's life stuck in my sinuses.  It is uncomfortable but I will live.  Yet my heart is breaking for this loss.

Just after the beginning of the year, a faculty member, our co-worker, passed away unexpectedly.  He was a wonderful person who always went out of his way to help others.  He always made time for others.  He set an amazing example for others.  He is greatly missed. His family came by his office and took some personal items away with them.  Some of the books and research files were taken from his office by other faculty members.  Then there was still a room full of materials to be dealt with.

Our supervisor called together all the clerical staff.  We all agreed that if we all went in, full blast, we could get the office cleaned out in one sitting and it would be done.  Besides the physical stress, the dust, and other allergens, we knew  there would be an emotional toll.

My back and knees are strained from lifting heavy files repeatedly (file after file - four horizontal cabinets full).  My sinuses are burning and inflamed from dust.  Worse, though, someone's life came down to all this research, files, books, and magazines that no one else wants or cares about.  I felt like we were losing him all over again.  All that he had left behind was now being washed away on a tide into huge blue recycle bins.

It sounds silly to say it outloud.  So I'll leave it at that.  I'll go now to my car, through the rain that will wash all the dust away (the last of his dust) and continue on for another day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Autumnal Colors



 


This autumn has been difficult for me as the doctors keep changing medications to prevent migraines and manage the symptoms of other ailments. There are days when I fell tempted to give up. Then poems like these come out of no where to flow from my pen onto the paper. Or I look up and my breath is taken away by the colorful landscape. I scrape myself together to move through another day.






 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Written 10/1/12
 
Autumnal stumbles
Leaves fall and fly
the harvest moon enteres
to dance int he sky
 
I join the dance
of colors and dying
prepare a warm bed
to make ready for devining
 
Let the dreams come
in the dark cold night
color my writing
with visions of delight
 
 
 
 
Written 10/18/12
 
Winter starts a slow motion descent
called Autumn
All of nature hears the approach
and prepares
We are not foolish
We see the colorful signs
We stack the wood
We gather our wools
We preserve our foods
We pack our pantry
We harken our animals come in
We do not like the shiver
We cannot abide the hunger
We snuggle in deep and wait
We wait for the sun to feel warm again
We wait for the color parade to begin again
As summer starts a slow motion ascent
called Spring
all of nature shuffles off the cold
We reawaken and emerge
into a new world
 
 
  









Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Season of the Witch

Written October 10, 2012



Dossi, Italian (1479-1542)
 
Witch's broom
is merely a metaphor
for an independent thinker
One who can travel alone
yet still be part of a whole
Witch's brew
is just an elixir
to open your eyes
open your mind
to that which you
might never have dared to dream
Witch's book
is only a haven
for knowledge of a different type
for that which sooths or excites
chase away the dragons of night
open doors of perception
to awaken dreams
or resurrect them
Open the door
to a witch's home
be invited into her heart
is to unshackle
that which teethers you

Thursday, October 4, 2012

National Poetry Day

Written 10/3/2012

Follow the Leader
The world is a silent mess
swarming 'round my head
cottoning my ears
ringing a bell unheard
and I just sit here lonely
stepping aside the crowd
huddled in masses yapping
chattering for a while
Silence is a blessing
opening the soul
calling forth the muses
to fill this empty void
They clip through the noise
the mess that silence made
they right my inner world
with the turning of a phrase
and I just sit here scribbling
thankful for the mercy steeped
upon this ravaged soul
who longs for dreaming sleep

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

What I learned in Physical Therapy

My neurologist sent me to physical therapy to try to help with my migraines.  I have found some relief (knock on wood).  I also learned a lot about myself while going through exercise routines and have the vertebrae in my neck manipulated.  These are a few of the things I've learned:

1.     I am tense even then I think I am relaxed. 

2.    I may have never been fully relaxed in my life. (People with PTSD have a hard time knowing how to relax and/or when they are not relaxed) 

3.    I suck at angles. (a request for a 45 degree angle position of my arm away from my body made me look like an idiot) 

4.   I want to please people and often get myself into trouble because of it.  (I hurt myself doing stuff I shouldn’t because I want to please someone by “getting the job done”) 

5.    For some reason I go through my exercises like I’m running a marathon (how many times did I hear, “you’re not running a race here, slow down”)

6.   I resist exercise sometimes out of fear of pain and/or exhaustion.

7.    I have a serious problem dealing with anger issues. (I get mad then I can’t seem to calm down – it’s like waiting for a storm to blow over)
 
8.   I still have a lot of issues and internal wounds to work through. 

9.   I need to set aside time daily not only to exercise (both physical therapy exercises and yoga/stretching) but to let myself relax/breathe/meditate. 

10.  I can be a happier, healthier, more productive person if I take those first steps towards taking care of myself.  More important, I don’t stop after the first steps. (A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and then another and another)  The alternative is that stress is going to continue to break down my health and eventually lead to my death.  I am not ready to die.

My therapist agreed that I should also add that my posture is problematic at best.  I'm working on it.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrity Intervention

I have met only three celebrities in my life.  I was more than awkward at every meeting.  I embarass easily, with my face and neck turning splotchy shades of red whenever I speak publically, to figures of authority, and, of course, to celebrities.

Two of the celebrities are the writing team of Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson who have written two non-fiction books about The Body Farm at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and five mystery/detective books based around The Body Farm and the University of Tennessee.  I've actually met them a few times now at book signings at the University and at Borders (sadly defunct).  I think it was perhaps the fifth time I'd met them before I really spoke to them other than to ask for a photo.  I asked them advice about getting consent from the University to use it in their fiction books.  Jon Jefferson responded that it's easier to ask forgiveness than permission.  However, Bill Bass being a celebrity on campus I doubt that UT minded.

The other celebrity I've met was Kevin Max, then a member of dc Talk on their last tour together.  In the world of Christian rock (and to those who have a penchant for poetry), he is a super star.  I brought a copy of his first poetry book to the concert to get his autograph, which made me feel nervous enough, but I was also sent with a letter by a dear friend who asked me to hand deliever it.  I did not fair well.  The message my friend asked me to deliver turned out to be rather personal and set him off-balance from the start.  Then I studdered and stammered, feeling myself yearning for some poetic connection but leaving with an autograph and a photo of me with this person I greatly admired.  A photo I don't show to others often because of how horribly splotchy red I am in it.  (I cropped myself out of the photo to use it here.)


Aside from my shyness, nervousness, and crowd anxieties, why was I so nervous around these three celebrities?  Why are any of us?  They are just normal people who have done something we admire and/or perhaps wish to aspire to.  Bill Bass and Jon Jefferson write mystery/detective books with Bass' dry humor firmly ensconced in the details and dead bodies.  Kevin Max is an amazing poet, singer, and creative personality.  He is also extremely beautiful.  Beautiful people have made me nervous since the first grade (and my first serious rejection - Michael moved his nap mat away from mind).

So if they are pretty much like the rest of us then why all the nervousness or for some near insanity?  There is a perceived differentness that we feel sets them apart from us.  For some people this perception leads to a need to attach themselves or identify with a celebrity that goes beyond the ordinary.  These days the line between the celebrity and their fans are even more blurred by 24/7 access through news, websites, and especially Twitter which lends what feels like open access to those with fame.

I admit I am not immune to feeling overwhelmed by celebrity nearness.  I admit to having a giddy rush when my tweets are answered or retweeted by someone who has achieved more than me.  It shames me to admit that I felt like a silly giggling school girl who's just had the hot jock wink at her when Joe Hill answered my question about the necessity of napping.  It is incredibly shameful to admit that.

I find it a bit worrisome how much some people invest in following and/or pleasing their favorite celebrities.  Some people (and I admit here that I was guilty of this when I was younger) invest vast amounts of time, energy, emotions, and monies on celebrities whom they've fixated on.  I have a theory (mainly because I know it was my reason in my own youth) that it's a means of escape.  It's easier to follow the life of your favorite band members, singers, actors, writers, artists than it is sometimes to focus on your own life especially if there are a lot of problems in your own life that you can't solve or situation you can't find a way out of.

I get concerned for others, though, when  I see rants like I've seen in recent years on YouTube (which has offered another possible way to reach your fave) most recently the video that went viral after Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Patterson.  It is very unhealthy to be that emotionally invested in anyone, let alone someone you don't personally know.  There also seems to be a rise in celebrity stalking cases which is even more disturbing.

I have admitted to several things here.  Now I'll admit to one more.  When I left my abusive childhood home and thought all of it was behind me, I developed a fixation on Axl Rose after the 1992 Rolling Stone article in which he detailed his own childhood abuse.  I connected with other fans via letters (this was before the internet exploded) and swapped articles, photos, merchandise, personal accounts with the band - anything and everything to get that next "fix".  I don't use that term lightly because you get that same rush you get when that high school hottie acknowledges your existence.  You feel happy for a while then you drop lower and wait for the next fix.

I decided to get help after one of my pen pals confided in a letter that she slit her wrists after Axl broke up with Stephanie Seymour then started dating someone else.  She felt she'd missed her chance with him.  I didn't want to feel that way about anyone let alone someone I might never meet.  I entered therapy which helped me overcome some of the issues from my childhood abuse.  I still have hang ups and weirdness (seriously, office supplies are so cool) but I feel healthier now.  Celebrities are just people.  If they do something that I find cool, I may follow them on Twitter or listen to news about them if it comes on while I'm already watching the tube, but I don't have the time, energy, money, or inclination to invest any part of myself on them.  I just wish I could get a monetary refund on my Guns N Roses obsession.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Restless

I'm stuck in a bit of a rut lately.  I get up, go to work, come home, and veg.  I'm trying to get out and walk more. Doctors always tell me that I should get out more and  maybe exercise.  That usually makes everything hurt worse so I have a tendency to avoid it.  However, I have gotten out lately.  Last night I walked around the mall just looking at things.





 

I found this supremely strange.  I'm not familiar with this game but all I could think was that it was a very savage pedobear.



















I've also been taking walks around the campus at lunch when I have a chance. There is this one huge Sassafras tree that I thought I'd like to share.  It's so huge that it would take three people to wrap their arms around it! It's so gnarled and aged, just so incredibly beautiful.  I love that the university put up this plaque at it's base telling about it and how the native american's used it.  It's very neat.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Calming Gardens


I've been walking in gradens recently, feeling very out of sorts really.  I am going to physical therapy to try to help control the migraines.  The doctors and technicians all say that I need to exercise more and relieve stress more.  I am able to get more accomplished both at work and at home.  My attitude is improving somewhat.  I know that it's not that I need or can reduce the amount of stress in my life but that I need to change how I react to it.

That being said, last night I started a "Mind, Body Spirit - Total Health" class.  It was an eye opener. Too often I was asked, "And how does that make you feel?" I wanted to respond, "Well, it makes me feel really fucked up."  Instead, I simply answered that I often feel stressed.  I have 7 more sessions to go. This is going to hurt me more than physical therapy.  Mental/emotional pain always hurts deeper and longer than physical pain and this class is definitely starting to dig in deep. 

Basically, this isn't how I expected my life to turn out.  Honestly, when I was a child I truly thought that if you go through the horrors that I knew as a child that the universe would balance that out later in your life with overwhelming blessings.  I'm not sure how I got that stuck in my head.  Perhaps I thought that to help me get through those very painful days and nights of my youth.  Now I begrudge the idea.  I don't feel that life has balanced out and part of me feels deeply cheated.  Another part of me is furious at myself for ever having that thought, even if it was some survival tactic.

So I walk in gardens trying to find calm and peace and some way to forgive myself ... because I cannot forgive those who hurt me as a child.


 Poem from 8-16-2012

I am stumbled
and unholy
lost in dreams
I turn to folly
I am broken
beyond repair
bumbling blindly
through despair
I wish for hope
then dare not wish
cursed from birth
with a devil's kiss
I am drawn ill
weak and blundered
I wish for peace,
sympathy, and comfort

Friday, August 24, 2012

Paper Hoarding


I have a confession to make.  I am an office supply hoarder.  Nothing makes me happier than a new notebook of paper, or a different color or texture of pen, or a box of lovely crisp stationary.  It’s a problem as it is overflowing from my desk, work table, and cabinets.  I also hate to give any of it up.  I mourn when a pen that I’ve loved to write with because of the way it smoothly flows across the page while I write suddenly runs out of ink without a way to refill it. 
 
I’ve recently thought about why I have this problem.  It started before I worked in offices so it’s not a job-related hoarding issue.  After looking through a box of some of my older writings and journals I realized how this deep-seated hoarding issue began.  My obsession with keeping pen and paper at hand started with my writing.  Not just because I was expressing my creativity but what happened when, as an impressionable child, I shared my writing with my mother.

My sisters will tell you that I have always had an active imagination.  They are all much older than me and thus did not want to be made to play with a silly little kid.  This may be what led me to make up stories for my dolls and toys to act out.  As I got older these tales for the toys became more detailed and complicated.  When I was eleven, the idea hit me to try to write one of these stories down.  It was only one loose-leaf sheet of paper, basically hitting the high points of the story I was trying to convey.  I was alive with the excitement of having created something when I looked down at the paper with all my scrawling awkward letters that bled into words and sentences.  I made this.  It came from me.  This was mine.  All mine. And I had made it.

In my deep excitement I ran into the kitchen of our early 20th century farm style house.  My mother had worked all day in a hot factory making boots.  After a 9 hour shift she came home and started making dinner for the family.  There she was at the stove hovering over a black iron skillet cooking while something else bubbled in the pot on one of the other stove eyes.  I pulled on her arm to get her attention and begged her to look at the paper in my other hand.  She stopped momentarily and read it.  If I’m being honest, she probably did it so that I’d leave her alone.  But then when she was finished, she smiled at me and told me it was pretty good as she handed it back to me.  What more could make a child’s soul sing with joy than the approval of a parent? 

Unfortunately, it was about that time that my step-father walked in the door, dirty and sweaty from working all day in a hot foundry where metal was poured to create different parts.  In my excitement I didn’t hear the heavy thunk of his steel-toed shoes coming across the threshold.  Too late I heard the screen door slam and was left without time to scurry off.  He had heard my mother telling me that what was on the paper was good.  He looked mad.  He had come in looking for trouble, looking for control of any little thing. 

“Is that homework?” he asked loudly as he walked through the living room stopping only to take off his safety hat. 

I cast my eyes down at my feet and quietly answered no. 

He snatched the paper from my hands and glanced over it.  I doubt that he really read any of it (after all he only had a 5th grade education at best and was never really a "reader").  He crumpled it up then held iit n his fist as he shook it in my face and screamed, “You better look at me!”  I looked up while flinching back.  He moved so that his face was inches from mine.  “This paper is for your school work!”  He continued, spit flying with his words, “I better not catch you wasting it on this play shit again!  You hear me?”  I was nodding and flinch and starting to cry.  “I said, did you hear me?!” He screamed so loud so close to my ear.

“Yes, sir,” I managed to squeak out as he glared at me.  Then I watch as he threw the balled up piece of paper into the woodstove that heated our small house.  Tears flowed openly down my cheeks but I knew to keep quiet.

He shut the stove door and glared at me again.  “What are you still stand there for?!” he barked.  “Get your ass in there and finish your school work!  And if you don’t have any I can find something for you to be doing!”

I took my chance and scurried from the room.  I sat down on the bed and pulled out the book I had already finished the chapter assignment in.  I cried quietly to myself over this little death.  In the living room I heard him thump down on the couch after switching on the black and white tv to hear the news and begin unlacing his steel-toed shoes.

I don’t think I ever forgave him.  Not for this soul crushing scene nor the many other crimes he wrought in my childhood.  He grew up poor during the depression years.  To him if something didn’t lead to providing food on the table or making money, then it wasn’t worth the time, effort, or expense.  Even if that expense was a piece of paper and bit of ink. 

I guess somewhere within me there is still a small child wanting to scribble down my stories, my poems, my musings and there is a deeply imbedded fear that there won’t be paper for that kind of frivolousness.  An even deeper fear is that once scribbled, the words might be lost, forever destroyed, and never able to be repeated again. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quilting

When I have the chance I like to quilt.  There's something about piecing together different patterns and colors that is exciting and sparks my creativity.  It makes me happy and gives me a sense of satisfation when I complete one.  When I make a quilt it is usually as a gift.  The following quilts I made for two of my nephews.  It's my way of wrapping them in my love.




This last quilt is called "Card Trick" and it is the most recent quilt I created.  Each block has 24 triangles of different sizes.  It was difficult to create but very worth while.  My nephew who is 2 loved it and loves to search the materials for all the different animals.  Here's a close up of the block.


I hope that you enjoy this other form of my creativity.  I'll soon be back to writing.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Avoiding the Aftermath

At this point everyone and their brother has said something about the horrendous shootings in Colorado.  Part of me wants to have something to say too.  Another part of me doesn’t want to be a tag-along to such an unspeakable tragedy.  I also don’t want to bitch and moan about being ill or the things that aren’t going right in my life because – hey- at least I’m alive, my family is well, and I have a job.

I could talk about my cats.  They are as beautiful and loving as ever.  Ginger, my gold striped little huntress, is regal, demanding, and a bit haughty.  Beggar, my demure ten year old who came to my doorstep by chance, is a bit skittish but has lately been requesting love from everyone in the house.  Lucky, my black cat who rules my yard (she knows it’s hers to rule), still follows me around when I’m in the garden or watering my flowers.  I love them all.  They are my fur babies and each one gives me delight in her own way.  They are a comfort to me.

I could talk about my garden and how it is currently over-producing.  I spend most weekends lately canning or freezing the fruits of our labors. My family will not go hungry come winter.  There are few things more beautiful than a canning jar full of ruby tomatoes.


Basically I just want to focus on the positives.  There are so many things in this life to be thankful for.  There are so many reasons to not focus on the negatives - or the continuous wall to wall coverage of the savageness in Aurora.  The stories of both the brutality and of the heroism break my heart.  So I simply turn to the everyday simple things around me in my life.  My cats love me unconditionally.  My garden grows and produces calmness as well as fruits from our labors.  Life goes on in the heat of this summer.  Soon the news coverage will cool as will the weather.  And then the colors of autumn will be a new reason to smile.

P/S:  I was not trying to be cold or frivolous when I wrote this.  I had a friend who was killed in a church shoot in Knoxville, TN.  I have see the aftermath and know what family and friends go through.  I pray for them.  I just can't watch the continuous newscoverabe any more.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Cuddling up with FUR


Over the weekend I watched the movie FUR starring Nichole Kidman and Robert Downey, Jr.  This movie was made in 2006 and I didn’t remember it being advertised at that time but saw it on the shelf of the video store (my mate dragged me in there) and decided to take a chance. 

The movie is an “imaginary biography” of Diane Arbus, a groundbreaking avant-garde photographer known for taking black and white photos of people on the fringe of society - dwarfs, trans-gender people, nudists, circus performers.  However ,she didn’t start out that way. 

 As the movie opens, she is a buttoned-up frustrated housewife in the last 1950’s.  She feels confined to her life even though she sees her world differently than others.  Then a new upstairs neighbor ,Lionel Sweeney, moves in and their eyes meet through a window.  Lionel is a most non-traditional neighbor and his own differentness shows her a different way that life could be lived.  His openness during their late night travels allows her to let go of the buttoned-up “normality” that stifled her creativity and her life.

FUR is a slow motion seduction.  It gets under your skin.  It makes you a little uncomfortable but you cannot turn away.  Robert Downey, Jr. played the part well while in heavy costume and make-up.  His character was strong and moving through use of mostly his satiny voice and soulful looks .  As Lionel’s door is closing he wants desperately to open a door for Diane and this he did well.  In the end she is transformed by his love into the photographer of the freaks and more fully opened to who she really is on the inside.  She embraces herself.

The freak in me was deeply drawn into this movie.  The differentness that I just can’t seem to completely hide, opened itself up and embraced the love that poured from the movie.  As Diane Arbus was seduced by Lionel so was I.  FUR is an odd little turn on that leaves you wanting passion, wanting to make some difference in your life or touch the lives of others.  It was breathtakingly, achingly beautiful without regret. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life in Slow Motion

Written June17, 2012

It is close to sundown, that perfect part of the day when sitting out on the patio, drink in hand, as the temperature concedes to a break and all can seem right in the world for at least a little bit.

It's been a long day.  Not because we are approaching the summer solstice but because of the depth of complication that's been felt.  I have worked off and on all day to complete the laundry, a simple task that should be taxing, but for me it is.  Each year the simple tasks of life become less easy for me. I did a bit of shopping yesterday at three different stores, which for the average person would have been no trouble at all.  However, because of those two hours of walking, standing, and carrying, my body is alive with pain.  This is what comes with the diagnosis of fibromyalgia.  Couple that with my other health issues - migraines, allergies, interstitial cystitis, IBS, PTSD, and depression - and there are days when simply functioning is near impossible.

There are days when I am beyond frustrated.  I feel so much pain that I move at a pace even a senior citizen would consider slow.  On really bad days, I am slowed not only physically but mentally as well.  Those are the days when the depression and/or the PTSD have reared their ugly heads.  (I am thankful to the Bloggess for her "Depression Lies" campaign - there are times when it's hard to remember that simple truth.)  The fibromyalgia can make bad days worse as well with its "fibro fog".  Those are days when one can't be certain that 2+2 is such an easy equation.

Somehow, though, I muddle through.  I have survived much longer than I ever thought I would.  I feel I have finally breached that plane of existence where I can look past all the obstacles and see my life's goals clearly.  It's just taking me much longer than anticipated to reach them.  It's like trying to run in water or thick mud (depending on the physical and/or mental pain level of the day).  The prize is coming into view.  Even if the day is foggy now, I have focus.  I know I will reach my dream with patience and time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Melancholia Speaks Depression



I watched the movie MELANCHOLIA recently.  This is not a movie I would recommend to just anyone.  Most people will find it tedious and annoying.  However, I saw it for its artistic merit.  It is a beautiful study on depression, its affects on a personal level, and how the family and friends of the person suffering from depression are affected.  As a person who has battled with depression for most of my life, I found it haunting.  It echoed deep within me.  At the end of the movie when all hope is lost, those who were "normal" fell apart and could not handle the idea of their eminent demise.  They fell to pieces.  However, the character, whom everyone had remained annoyed with due to her horrible bouts of depression and need for constant care, was the one who took over the caretaker role.  She embraced the moment and was able to help those who had previously cared for her through the moment of transition as all life was ending.  This film is not for everyone.  After the credits rolled, I confess I felt my own my own melancholy seep through.  Life is a beautiful fractured mess but it is not pointless.  It is given meaning when one forgets oneself and bends to help another in their time of need.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Transit of Venus

Is the Transit of Venus an omen of good or a harbinger of doom?  I have heard it argued both ways.  When linked to the end of the Mayan Calendar (December 21, 2012), it is said to be the first sign of the end of time.  however, I choose to see it more of a harbinger of change.  Or as Bob Dylan famously sang, "Oh the times, they are a changin'."

I have had a lot of changes that have already happened this year - some good and some bad - and I know that there are more changes to come.  As the planetary bodies have moved through the heavens, month by month this year, my life has had changes bit by bit.  So far I've done fair to middlin' on my New Year's resolutions - I'm counting this as a plus.  But I also lost a friend this year when the head of my department suddenly passed away.  I self-published my first book this year.  A compilation of poems entitled "Making Poe Proud" which has made me proud of the accomplishment and the lovely reviews I've received.  Then I had to have major surgery, for which I am still recovering.


The heavenly bodies move across the skies above us.  The paths can be charted mathematically and anticipated far in advance, as proven by the Mayans.  I am not convinced, as yet, that the heavenly bodies take any notice of us at all, though we have admired them for centuries.

I know that change is coming.  I didn't need a darkened spot traveling across the sun to tell me that.  But it does make us stop, momentarily, look up at the beauty with amazement, and take stock of our lives.  Perhaps this is why we decide to make changes.  As the celestial bodies dance, they inspire us to move and change our own patterns as well.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Late Night Ramblings

I have had a lot of late nights and/or sleepless nights since the surgery  in the early part of May.  That led to a lot of odd TV watching and net surfing.  This in turn led to some odd poetry and odd pieces of writing.  I hope that both of these pieces will lead to more fiction writing and a collection of poetry.

Written June 1, 2012

Wail into my world
open the doors of perception
I'll open my soul to you
with no regrets or deceptions
guide me to new landscapes
show me the path you glide
whisper me your secrets
with you I will confide
I am open and receptive
waiting for your wail
I am cloistered in uncertainity
deep within my cell



Written May 28, 2012 - This could be a great jumping off point for a sci-fi or fantasy piece of fiction!

If I have learned anything from watching "Life After People" it's that 5,000 - 10,000 years after people there will be little to no evidence that people were ever on Earth.  Even the islands of plastic waste floating in the oceans will finally disintegrate.  Monuments, cities, dams, canals, machinery, roadways - all are washed away, broken down, and destroyed.  After 10,000 years only a few things consisting of stone exist and because of plant life, climatic changes, the shifting of the Earth, the blowing of dust, and the endless flow of water, these little bits of evidence are buried or drown, making them hard to discover.

Add that to the claims of "Ancient Aliens" and one begins to wonder if perhaps there was once a thriving advanced civilization on Earth that met with a great disaster leaving few survivors.  These survivors would not be able to maintain the advance systems and would move out of the cities, which would become dangerous, and into the countryside.  They would pass down to any descendants stories of what their lives had been like BEFORE.  Over time, after the original survivors had died out, their descendants would pass on stories of things they had never seen or experienced on their own.  These stories from the original survivors would get distored as they were handed down by word of mouth.

Within our own recorded history, when the Roman Empire fell, much knowledge was lost and had to be rediscovered.  Even some monuments and buildings were lost and are only now being rediscovered by people, usually due to our need for expansion.  Perhaps there have been several cycles of civilizations building up and then being obliterated with few survivors to rebuild.  Perhaps even several settlements of different species or evolutions over time from both this planet or from the stars.

When one lets one's mind wander to these ancient ruins for which no one knows the history, one could conceive of many alternate explanations and histories for this planet and its many varied conquerers and inhabitants.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Hysterectomy for Mother's Day

Here's a little bit about me:  I've been married for 23 years and I have two children.  My Twitter account was an attempt at being anonymous.  However, my "housemates" really are as odd as I've described them.

After I turned 30 it's like the warranty on my bod expired.  A laundry list of things started to go wrong.  I began having migraines. I was diagnosed with fibromylagia.  I received a back injury in a car accident.  My gall bladder had to be removed.  My spastic colon was upgraded to full blown IBS.  It was discovered that I had interstitial cystitis that required 8 weeks of treatment.  It was confirmed that I suffered from PTSD (a story for another time).

Most recently my baby making equipment began failing me.  I had a D&C then a uterine oblation to try to repair the problems with my cycle and out of control bleeding.  That seemed to work for a couple of years.  I'd been having some pain recently along with some odd bleeding.  When I went to my OBGYN I was told that there were fibroids in my uterus (one of which was pushing on my bladder and exacerbating the interstitial cystitis) and a cyst on my left ovary.  In a whirlwind the surgery was scheduled for the Wednesday before Mother's Day.

When I came out of the surgery I was told that the left ovary had to be removed as well because the area where the cyst was removed would not stop bleeding.  So I now have only one ovary to keep my hormones circulating normally.  This should be interesting.

Since the surgery I've been kitten weak, in pain, and sleeping quite a bit.  I'm told this is normal.  I have urges to do something since I'm home but I've been fended off from doing much of anything by my family.  Even if I'm just sitting up for a while watching TV or typing on my laptop I become fatigued.

My family is trying to make it up to me though.  I have roses on my bedside table along with a charming Mother's Day card.  A cake was baked for me along with chocolate muffins.  Delicious food has been provided for me whenever I am hungry.  I have much for which to be thankful.

I need only continue to rest and heal then I can begin to move to the next phase of my life.  One door closes and another one opens.

Sleep
let dreams guide the body healing
Sleep
let the body release pain through dreams
Sleep
let the gods whisper into wounds
Sleep
let wounds be knitted by whispers
Sleep
let red ribbons wind wounds close
Sleep
let wounds be healed in whispered dreams
Sleep
let healing and strength be gained
Sleep
let the body be made whole
Whispered ribbons kitted in dreams
Healing of the gods bring relief
Sleep, an enchantment deep and sweet,
Vivid magic pure and complete

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Junkman's Daughter - Reuse Renew Recycle

I was an environmentalist like Ian Somerhalder before it was cool.  Well, not Quite.  When I was growing up my family picked up scrap metal. sorted it by type, and sold it to the scrap yards in Nashville, Tennessee.  We didn't do this because of a love for the environment.  We did it because we needed the extra money it provided to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads.

This early form of recycling/environmentalism wasn't appreciated by my fellow classmates.  It was, instead, something that furthered me as an outcast at school.  it was already looked down on for being poor, for being a weird withdrawn kid; but then to be seen by classmates while picking up metal on the side of the road was a death note to any chance I might have ever had of being accepted by my peers.

Our yard didn't help matters.  Some times my step-father would get permission to collect scrap metal from demolition sites, or where someone had moved out of a rental leaving a mess, and once from a burned out store.  We'd bring it all home to sort out, after enough had been collected we'd take a ton-truck load to the scrap yard that was paying the most on that day.  Until enough had been collected of of tin or iron or aluminum or copper or steel or brass, it would be there in our yard in piles.  We received complaint letter on a few occasions from the city demanding that the mess be cleaned up or we'd be fined.  This only gave further ammunition to my peers and their families.  Parents definitely didn't want some some child from THAT squalor  to visit their children.  That kind of parental rejection of my family was all that some kids needed to initiate tormenting ridicule that followed me throughout my formative years.

Today I am still a bit haunted by the taunting I received from my peers.  although I am past my days of regular scrapyard visits, i am not beyond the habits those early experiences taught me.  I recycle everything I can - paper, plastic, metals, glass, yard wastes.  I never throw out something that can be used by another.  I sell it or donate it to charity.  I'm also a proponent of repairing/renewing/upcycling items instead of trashing them.  Not only has this habit saved me money, it's kept items out of the landfills.  Lastly, my early education taught me to reuse items in unconventional ways.   Mom loved her flowers but didn't have the money for expensive planters or landscaping.  She used found items and made it work.  I have used an old rusted through bucket as a planter for my porch.  It looked fabulous with the blooming flowers.  I've done the same with an old piece of gutter, using it as a hanging (vertical) garden.  Old clothes, torn bedding, and frayed towels have even been re-imagined as altered clothing items, scrap quilts, rag rugs, and all purpose bags/purses.  Old wooden windows have become picture frames.

My days as the junkman's daughter were financially poor but rich in training to be environmentally smart.  There's much  about my childhood that I do not look back on fondly or with pride.  These are stories for another day.  I'll leave you with this :  If I had the opportunity to own that 2 acre plot of land that used to be my own private junkyard hell, I'd plant a tree farm on it.  That way the piece of land that used to be ridiculed could again be involved in environmentalism.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Out of Focus

I wrote this poem today because I found it hard to focus on anything at work.  I thought that maybe if I could take the cacophony from within and place it on the page - make it solid with pen and ink - then I could free myself of it.    The jury is still out on how effective the exercise was.

My mind is like a trap
it holds me deep inside
a buzzing organic prison
busy as a hive
How can I even focus
when thoughts are jungle thick
my responses slow as honey
instead of panther quick
Yet this is where I lanquish
progress slowly made
within my mental prison
I linger in a haze


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trying to Find Myself

I have to admit that I feel lost.  I've written poetry and short fiction for so long - since I was 11.  It was a way to escape from the life I felt trapped in.  I'm way into adulthood but I still feel trapped.  Sometimes it's situations that you want to escape.  Sometimes it's yourself.  For me I think it's always been both.  As I get older I become more comfortable in my own skin.  Then there are weekends like this when I just feel lost in my own skin again.  I am deeply uncomfortable with my body and I feel like it's betraying me.  It's breaking down and in need of repair.  I'm going in for sugery on May 9th.  Part of me is extremely hopeful at the thought of a positive life-changing event.  Another part of me is very fearful.  It's a door closing.  What door will be opening for me?  I desperately need my life to be so much better than it is now.  In the end I have simple wants.  I want to be safe, healthy, happy, creative, and productive.  I'm not sure that I feel or am any of those things right now.  I pray for these things daily.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Weekend Finds

While out running errands yesterday I came across a large yardsale.  It looked as though someone was closing out an estate or two.  There were large pieces of furniture, books, artwork, linens, jewelry, electronics, home improvement items.  There were even doors and sinks!  I found a couple of lovely framed prints, a pair of shorts, and oddly, some really nice old jewelry.  I'm very happy with my finds and all I was charged was $3 for everything!  There was a strand of pearls that I mainly bought because of the lovely clasp that had rhinestones.  The strand had come loose from the clasp but I was able to repair it.  It's beautiful!  I'm spending the afternoon doing the laundry and cleaning the rhinetone, enamel, and gold tone pins and necklaces.  Some of these I'll keep and some of these I'll sell or give as gifts.  It'll little things like this that makes me happy despite the enormous amount of pain that I'm constantly in.

This the group - all this for $3!

It's actually Dogwood season right now in East Tennessee.  This one will stay in my collection.

Beautiful two strand bracelet will soon be going on sale at Ebay.

I LOVE this curved leaf!  This one is definitely staying with me.

This chain is super long, even after being doubled to go around the neck. The crystal insets are fushia, pink, and purple. This one ended up staying with me. Nice flapper length with gorgeous sparkles.

I adore vintage pins made of different colored crystals!  The lovely cocoa and amber shades with the aurora borealis stones are just fabulous!

This beautiful mid-century enamal and crystal pin comes from Coro. I love it. It's beautiful and unflawed.  But it's going on sale soon at either eBay.  (This has sold on eBay!)

This string of pearls has some weight to it.  They aren't real but they are very good imitations.  It was the clasp that caught my attention though.  It's silver with little diamond-like crystals in it. Just gorgeous.  The pearls had detached from the clasp and I repaired it.  It will be going on sale soon. (This has sold on eBay!)

The pendant almost looks like an outward explosion.  Or maybe the sun.  In this picture it almost looks like a comet with a tail.  I did a little cleaning and it was good to go.  I'll be putting it on Ebay soon. (This has sold on eBay!)

This lovely pair of clip on earrings will be in the mail soon, on their way to a new home with one of my sisters.  I hope she'll like them!

I love finding beauty and beautiful things.  Sometimes all I have to do is walk out the door or take a chance at an out of the way sale.  Beauty, simplicity, harmony, syncronicity - these make me happy!

In other news, we also planted the garden (before running errands).  In a few weeks we'll have 2 different kinds of  tomatoes, 3 kinds of peppers, squash, eggplants, basil, oregano, sage, cilantro, rosemary, parsley, strawberries, and blueberries.   I foresee a lot of canning and freezing in my future.  I hope it all won't slow my writing down.