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Memoir or Autobiography?

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Some folks assume that writing a memoir or autobiography serves as a catharsis.  Not always so.

With the impetus of Nanowrimo, I wrote in earnest, every day for thirty days.  My earliest memories took me from perhaps 3 years of age until about 11 or 12 years old.  Was it cathartic?  Hardly.

There are those folks who write about their experiences to heal themselves, to expose themselves, to shock, stimulate or educate or simply to gain notoriety.  My reasons?

Partly, I would like to educate, to show that some children are capable of deep thought, are deeply sensitive and have the potential to become great healers or scientists or anything of their choosing, given the love and guidance required.

Further, looking through the eyes of a child, through that child’s point of view, or thought process gives pause to the question of nature versus nurture.  How does a child come through unscathed in the face of adversity?  How does another child come through damaged, broken?

I believe that to see the world through my eyes as a child is to learn what that, or any child thinks, how she thinks and what she was capable of.  Or not.

Writing the first draft was quite challenging.  I resisted editing as well as speaking in adult terms, with my own commentary as an adult.  I found it difficult at first to keep within my own challenge to BE the child that resides within me.

The thoughts of a child in any situation are mostly unknown.  We can all look AT our childhood experiences.  Delving more deeply into the thoughts seemed more elusive.  We have to become the child again and so the past and present meld into one.

Children don’t have the language or freedom to expose themselves fully.  Living through the experiences again, complete with thoughts, is a rare glimpse into an adult’s mind. Savvy or otherwise, adults wouldn’t have the time and shouldn’t have the inclination to expose themselves and every thought.

Quantum physicists believe that the past, present, and future all exist at once.  Though I haven’t fully grasped the concept of the future existing as I write these words – perhaps a cursory look at the idea will bring understanding – certainly I can say that writing from the perspective of the child I was and being in the present, (now past) while doing so, the past and present do exist at once.

Writing a memoir, or, a work from a specific part of one’s life seems more relevant. A work on a whole life is impossible as a whole life would include a death or the end of life.  Logically then, no once can write an autobiography as one’s death would have to be included.

I’ve let the first draft simmer for nearly a month.  I’m ready to move into a review and rewrite.  The teen years are speaking to me and my list of prompts grows every day.

Why did I write?  I had to.

Who will read?  You.  Me.  Someone.

Who’s there?

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While picking my earliest raspberries for the market on Saturday, I considered the company I keep.

The thorns, the berries, the bees and Amadeus, my little gelding, pestering me at his corral fence for a handout.

And that’s not all.  I was surprise by a number of insects, no doubt pests, and this  –

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lovely California Tree Frog, about the size of a thumb.  🙂  What beautiful camouflage!

Art-ificial Flower

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 “I’d rather view a corpse than an artificial flower.”

Decades ago, having read that quote, (author unknown) I thought it odd, glib, even morbid.

In a contest between a corpse and an artificial flower, the corpse reigns supreme?

  The meaning of the statement can be applied far beyond the simple components – ‘corpse’ and ‘artificial flower.’

Here, they serve perfectly for points of discussion.

An artificial flower:  imitation of a living flower, the essence of a natural flower, a stand-in for longevity.

  When I read the quote decades ago, flowers were plastic and wire and a poor copy of living, fragrant flowers. They looked cheap, manufactured, pitiful. They smelled like plastic and lasted for as long as the dust could be washed off if their limited colors didn’t fade.  They were placed by gravesites, in permanent arrangements at home and even in public gardens.  The artificial flowers were a small indicator of a very large lust for longevity.

Though we see the hopeful creation of real flowers essence in paper, silk, ribbon, fabrics, more delicate plastics and other materials of the art-ificial flower art-ist, there is no equal for a living or even a cut, dying, genuine flower.

The volatile components of a real flower, incomparable, the optical spectrum, brilliant.  Bees and birds dance on real flowers, our sense of touch, should we so wish to summon it, evokes delicate, unequaled perfection on our fingertips. Wind moves flowers, shuffles the leaves, immersing us in a glistening hush.

What of the child who sees in the dandelion, flower or seed head, the love of Mother?  The child selects the living flower, crushes the stem with eager little hand and offers the gift?  The flower becomes more than a living thing, more than a dying thing, and is further saturated by love.

How, then, does a corpse become more remarkable than an artificial flower?  In all cases, the corpse, having once lived, all the fragility, beauty, strength, uniqueness and complexity of a human being parallels the simple, natural flower.   No artificial flower could be nearly as memorable as a life, of any kind.

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A Measurement of Self

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At six a.m., I woke to hear noises of splashing, thrashing in water.  As it continued, I became concerned that one of the rabbits had escaped, found her way into a large bucket of water in the bathtub.  We use the bucket to collect water while it warms, for our showers.

I didn’t interpret the sounds to be life threatening, but I decided to get up and make sure all my creatures were safe.

It’s cool in the early mornings and the horses were running, playing, as the sun had already risen.  All the little creatures were in their proper places, and the water bucket untouched.  Likely, my daughter’s cat had found an activity in the next bedroom which sounded quite the same as water play.

I went back to bed, to rest my weary back.  The price for weeks of gardening and yard work is terrible back spasms.   The warnings are waning, and for the rest of the season, I hope to be smart enough to pace myself.

Surprisingly, I fell to sleep again and dreamed a theme I’ve visited throughout life, for as long as I can remember.

I walked into a large, crowded restaurant.  For the large number of people present, it was fairly quiet.  I looked around and decided to fly above them, to show them, perhaps, that it can be done.  

I used my take-off technique –  a little bounce to get off of the ground.  I felt gravity release me and as  I moved forward, covering about 15 feet,  kept my legs bent behind me at the knees.  Successful on my first attempt, I  gained altitude and sailed above the crowd, under my own power of thought and technique.  I was aware that I could crash down at any time, and had to hold my technique in the forefront of my thoughts.  I recalled other times I had flown for long periods or could not get off the ground at all.

Most folks didn’t notice or, if they did, they remained quiet, unchanged.  Though it was a restaurant, I noticed no food on any of the tables during my flight.

Time to come down, I suppose.  I decreased my altitude and came down to the ground/gravity in a somersault position, with a slight bang. I didn’t execute the somersault, simply used it for protection upon landing.  The entire process, quite fluid. 

The restaurant continued in quiet status. 

As I was back on my feet, I felt pleased that I was able to fly, so effortlessly this time. 
I experienced a sense of peace, knowledge of self and power.

Have you ever dreamed of flying?

If so, what did your dream say about you? What was it telling you?

What do you think of my dream?

I would enjoy hearing from you!

They call me the Pusher.

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I’m a comfort pusher.  Comfort is a sense of physical or psychological ease.

While raising my children, comfort was an integral part of the unrelenting nurturing.

When I receive guests, their comfort, as well as mine, is paramount.

How do I assist folks in being comfortable, when they exhibit discomfort, squirming, tension, dis-ease or lack of peace?  Start here –

  • Take up the chatter.  Fill the empty, awkward space with friendly, softly spoken words.
  • Offer a seating position in which s/he can see everything.  Be sure there are no surprises from behind.
  • Smile a lot.  Put the twinkle in your eyes.
  • Give the person something to do with their hands and thoughts.  A beverage or snack is fine for some. Don’t ask, just give.  I may shove forth an ice-breaker, such as a polished stones or a small, framed, antique photograph from my collection.  Occupy the mind, and the dis-ease will dis-appear.
  • Keep it intimate.  By focusing on one person or small group, you can quickly build rapport.  Everyone becomes comfortable, secure.
  • Touch.  A touch on the shoulder or arm, lets ’em know you care.
  • If things seem sticky, take the spotlight off of him/her and share something of yourself.  I may offer to visit with my horses or look at the something wonderful in the garden.

Wondering what brought this on?

While at the Farmer’s Market, I noticed that half the vendors don’t acknowledge my presence, look me in the eye, seem interested in a sale, or even know I exist!  I wonder if the problem is their discomfort with me, or some kind of misplaced uneasiness with the selling process!

If the mood strikes me, I test, or play little games.  I’ll stand at the booth to see how long it will take for the vendor to acknowledge me, or even make eye contact with me. Some never do!

If I really want something, I’ll wave their vegetables around in the air – “HELLO!!”  No one can ignore a crazy lady.

Mind you, I’m not uncomfortable when someone ignores me, and it’s kind of amusing when I get ignored for more than 30 seconds.  That may not seem like a long time, if we two are the only ones standing there! Tick-tock, tick-tock…  I’m staring at you!!

Did I say I was big on comfort?  I’m also big on entertainment.

I’m planning on becoming a vendor at our local Farmer’s Market next year and everyone who takes the time to stop by will be comfortable. I’ll have a chair ready for those that need it, recipes, smiles, clean food, and cool stuff and someone who cares about the customer’s comfort.

Come on in!  We’re open!

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…

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English: Woman sewing on old treadle machine

English: Woman sewing on old treadle machine (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Miss me?

I missed you.  I’m due to write my monthly blog post about writing, and feel a bit lost without you.

Being active in the non-GMO movement takes time, as if I had any extra to begin with.

The garden has kept me very busy, and I’m working on saving my neighbor’s old greenhouse.   It’s a small one, will need new fiberglass panels, but I’ve cleaned it out and it’ll make a great seed starter for next season and many more.

We haven’t moved it to our place, yet.  Dry summers push us outside most every day, wet and soaking winters, indoors.  Today, it’s about 68° and sunny, with humidity around 80%.  It’s a fine day, though very windy. I wouldn’t mind a bit of rain, though.

I’ve started practicing hand quilting again, and though I’m no master, I find it quite relaxing and challenging.  Quilting and sewing are both hobbies I’ve learned on my own.  With my new vintage sewing machines, I’ve figured out that each one is good at something, much like people.

I’m ready to start on my genealogy again, a month long break is enough.  My mind is fresh and my shovel is ready to dig.

See you soon!

Destiny

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THE TICK

Passing the Envelope

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Surely,  I mean to say Pushing the (edge of) the Envelope.  It’s a fine idiom, useful and odd enough for a periodic injection into my repertoire, but not today.

Passing the Envelope – what’s that about? Sit down, relax, consider the following passing situations.

→For months, a co-worker’s family member has been sick and has a likelihood of dying in the near future.  Does anyone offer to do much?  Come over, make a meal, provide respite care, bring flowers to brighten the day?

Hardly.  We pass the envelope!  With family member going, going, gone, SOLD! to bidder NUMBER ONE,  lighten that pesky grief by passing the damn envelope, stuff money into it!

Why not just cough in my face – it the same kind of annoying.

→Hey, there’s an event coming up for my sister’s brother’s cousin-in-law, three times removed!  Pass the envelope!  What is wrong with me?  Do I really need to pitch in?  Will my money be noticed, mixed in with all the other money?  If I compose a clever ditty, would that better than money?  Does anyone remember anything that isn’t countable?  Ditties are countable, as in beats, per measure!  Good enough.

→The State of California magically passes an envelope when I visit a state park.  I imagine a park ranger, partially hidden behind an old growth redwood tree, with high powered binoculars, just itching to watch me drive in without passing a fin into the locked box. Seriously?  The boxes are perfect suggestion boxes, and Abe Lincoln could use some help these days.

Recently, an  OLD GROWTH redwood tree was cut down and hauled out of a nearby state park.  No one heard or saw anything. I now know the answer to the question, “If a tree falls in a forest, and no one is around to hear it fall, does it make a sound?”  I wonder who’s left holding this envelope.

→My letter carrier frequently passes a bright orange envelope into my mail box.  She’s asking for money, too!  Stamps from the convenience of my mailbox?  I’ve started a small collection of these envelopes, and in case I go blind, I’ve put some braille dots on them for future reference.  I don’t think the USPS likes me anymore. I’m not sensitive about it, though.  I’ll be standing in line over there soon, as there’s a comedian who works behind the counter, waiting for 15 years more for his retirement pension. I’ll bet he can come up with a lot of jokes in that time.  Maybe he’ll become another Craig Ferguson.

→Speaking of entertainment,  move up to the box office ticket booth. I get to leave my money outside of the envelope!  What a novel idea!  However, I get an envelope passed back to me, with a present inside.  What’s going to happen to all the little envelopes?  Good for used gum, loose coins, secret messages or an inspirational quote to stuff into the money envelope.  I know I’ll think of something.

→Those fancy envelopes passed over the counter when I buy a gift card?  I lose control – as if I had any to start with.  Buying a gift card forces me to pass the envelope and the envelopes seem to be as visually inviting as the gift cards.  I think I’ll keep the envelope for my paper artworks and throw the gift card like a skipping stone.  There’s an unparalleled gift card delivery. Hiya kid!  Go fetch!

Sheesh.  I remember the time my stepfather asked me if I wanted to play fifty-two pick-up. I said, “Yes.”  What a nice man.  😦

→For a week before my first award nomination here on WordPress, I intended to post a big NO AWARDS, PLEASE.  I stalled.  Maybe I was busy writing.   I appreciate folks who offer the awards, but I’d rather just mention you in my blog – saves envelopes and time. All you have to do is ask, I’m easy going.  Here’s the link to the one response I made to an award nomination.  https://seapunk2.wordpress.com/2012/05/30/is-it-hot-in-here-or-is-it-just-me/

→At the top of the envelope passing mountain of opportunities, is the cash envelope system of managing money.  The short explanation is to put your funds in little envelopes so you can see where the money is going.  Are you kidding me?  It’s going OUT! You can’t read a bank statement, or make a simple balance sheet?  Has the ATM card paralyzed your weak mathematical capabilities?  Add, subtract, simple as that!    Pass the envelope labeled “discretionary” and I’ll help you see something disappear.

I’ve been collecting and saving security envelopes.  On the inside are fabulous patterns and colors, and I’m planning an art project, using them exclusively.  Anyone have red or other less modern patterns hanging around? I’m trying to have a good attitude toward envelopes, so please pass one to me, if it’s unusual enough.

When we pass the envelope, we’re sharing an experience with other envelope passers.  Passing the envelope eases our consciences, soothes our thoughts, allows us to move away from the lingering powerlessness which caused us to take action and then pass the envelope to another.

Now passing the envelope.  Whew, what a relief.

Weighing in at a TON. Or more.

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Lately, TONS of people are following my blog.  That’s it. Following.

No likes, no comments, no reading of much.  Following.

Every day, a TON of new people read  https://seapunk2.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/lets-do-lunch/, written nearly one year ago.

a ton

Frankly, I’m puzzled, and that’s saying a lot. What are they following?  The Lunch Menu?

Does the TON expect more humorous posts about lunchtime?  Are they expecting recipes? Are they waiting for a heavenly sign to lift their spirits?

waiting

What directs the TON to click the follow button?  Where are they coming from?

Have I lost my marvels, I mean, marbles on the way to the kitchen?

way to kitchen

Is the post THAT funny?  Is it published somewhere and the TONS stumble upon it?

I heard a family member attempt to read it aloud.  I couldn’t shrink small enough, it was thoroughly embarrassing.  If I wrote what I heard, then I demand to be exiled from the planet, or the very least, the word factory in my head.

keep left

It’s okay, the right side works just as well as the left.

Do I have to feed the TONS?

  I hope not, I already feed over a TON a day here at home.

tons

What are you all doing here, anyway?  Doesn’t look like much…

boring

I’m wondering if it’s some new kind of spam, or a way to direct me to their lunch menus or even a rouse for a sales pitch.  If that’s it, I eat organically. Further, having sold cars in a former life, I’m not an easy sell, because I’m fully aware of all the automated crap that spews from your face, or fingertips.

sales pitch

I went back and read the blog post.  It’s amusing.

I suppose some would find it funny, like ha ha kind of funny, and some, entertaining, and some may write their own funny stuff, with my post as a jumping off point.

Some may even find it thoroughly unacceptable.

boring

If I average out 200 people at 180 pounds each,

I am carrying an extra 36000 pounds of followers,

and that easily quantifies the TONS.

Maybe they should follow me to the moon.

There, the 200 and I will weigh a mere 6000 pounds.

I think I can handle three TONS who say nothing,

in place of the eighteen who say the same.  Ready?

weightless dog

I know I am!

imagesmoon

Treasures and Counterpoint

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Thrift store shopping yesterday!

I greatly respect those who work with their hands, make something of very little,

and in sweet detail.  So, I could not resist the tiny slippers, all made by Chinese hands.

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I imagine the playful, colorful shoes on the child’s feet, soft, delicate, and full of life.

 On the shoes above are little ladybugs with swastika symbol on their wings.

I didn’t notice that detail until I came home.

Surely, the maker had no idea of the 20th century connotation.

Instead, it is the symbol of life, good luck and prosperity, meant to protect the child.

It’s time to reclaim the symbol, remove the grip of evil from this ancient symbol.

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Another pair, even smaller.

  The bottoms made less slippery with tiny stitches.

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A third and different pair.

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This pair reminds me of an old song!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%27ve_Got_Rings_On_My_Fingers

The score, introduced in “The Yankee Girl,” and interestingly enough, my handle on http://www.ancestry.com   (YankeeGirl210)

I bought two wonderful pieces of copper, which I plan to make into a sunflower seed feeder for the Stellar’s Jays and little squirrel who visit home.

I love the verdigris on copper pieces!

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One cup teapots are small, fun to collect.  When I get tired of them, I’ll sell the lot.

Out with the old and in with more old!!

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The child below and her sister called to me, their eyes speak.

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Excuse the bad photo, please?

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There is surely something more to this photo, it’s very emotive,

and the sisters are not only posing, but thinking.

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Unfortunately, the girls are not identified on the reverse.

For years, I’ve collected photos of children blowing bubbles, finding the activity a precious, innocent and joyful thing that children and even adults do.  The magic in making a bubble!

Occasionally, I enjoy a photo of a child with a precious toy, bicycle.

Two favorites are of a little boy with his rubber boots on,

splashing in a puddle, and a tiny girl, sitting on ‘the pot.’

I purchased the sisters above, because I could not leave them there.

Of course, I hunted down some high quality cotton sweaters for raveling.

Where’s the counterpoint?  Conflict?

Some couples have ugly disagreements, and sadly, it’s a waste of life and energy.

I feel deeply about hearing this sort of thing, hurting inside, so I spent some hours alone.

 I’ve had enough hurts in life, and peace is my mantra.  Always the diplomat, I tried to diffuse and soothe.  I don’t know if anyone ‘heard’ me.

Regardless, I’m comfortable alone, and am reading good books, thinking good thoughts.

I purchased Jeannette Walls second book, Half Broke Horses.

When I began reading her first book, The Glass Castle, I found it difficult, even ridiculous – the claim to have such vivid recall at age three of being burned at the front of the stove. I continued, and with skepticism, waited for the next claim,

to which I found none other so easy to disbelieve.

I enjoy her writing style, and if I may be so bold, similar to my own, ultimately.

So with all my treasures and all the counterpoint, I know.

Today’s a new day! I’m happy in it.

Love,

Darylann

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