Sunday, June 30, 2013
Things I have woken up in the middle of the night to write down, thinking they were GENIUS, only to be baffled by them in the morning, Part 2.
In my dreamworld, these were all killer ideas.
Read the original.
- Last night I dreamt that pinterest was not called pinterest, it was called Corinthians. It was pretty much the same, except we all referred to it with verse numbers. “Did you see that DIY chair makeover on Corinthians 4:13?”
- I should write a story about a boy who wants to hide his candy, so he decides to bury it like he’s heard a dog will do to have his bone all to himself. But when he goes back to get his candy it’s been mostly eaten away by ants, and he goes on this whole educational journey to learn how the micro ecosystem of undersoil insects and bacterias functions. It’ll be a bit like Magic School Bus, except fueled by revenge.
- In the blurry, confused state of 6am this morning, I looked outside and saw cloud cover; rather than even a hint of blue or gray, the sky seemed rather white. My sleep-brained-self concocted a story in which the sky went entirely white one day, and all of the various communities within humanity’s reactions to it were noted. The end-timers decrying their doomsdays; the scientists working hard to discern the nature of the change while the fear mongers pointed to global warming or alien invasion in rants and raves; the conspiracy theorists with their political assumptions and, “Dude. Glitch in the Matrix!” philosophies, and so on. It was actually more stressful than you'd think.
- Dreamed there was a dance show and one day the director announced, “Seal up the doors, we’re adding sharks!” then proceeded to add two feet of water, and several small breeds of shark to the room backstage, and one of the performers yelled, “So we’re just supposed to sit here while sharks punch our legs?”
Read the original.
Monday, June 3, 2013
First of all, my apologies on the tardiness! Sadly, small electronics seem to be capable of a lot more trouble than you'd expect. I'm going to need some professional help to dredge all the iced tea out of my macbook (resultant of my sweet toddler trying to bring a glass to me, but tripping and spilling all over my lap, and, well, laptop), but in the meantime, here are some stories.
Being an incredibly social creature by nature (and growing up with a reputation for clowning, animated story-telling, performing, and bringing the fun energy to gatherings), meant that for most of my developing and adult life, it just didn't occur to me that not everyone had to, or should, have the same level of access to me - that I was allowed to decide, nay, that it was beneficial to decide who could hear what was inside my heart, and when. Before this revelation, personal details of triumphs and failures were dropped into any conversation by whomever asked, regardless and without much consideration. Just about any acquaintance, old friend, or newish friend could find out the details of how my day truly was going. While I can remember feeling like it was a bit uncomfortable at times, I considered myself more 'unabashed' than an over-sharer, and shrugged it off.
There is no real defining moment I can gloriously detail about how I began to change my way of thinking on this. I can say, that at one point, that the first time a trusted adviser told me that not everyone had to know the ongoing struggles of my family's finances, I felt like I had caught my first deep breath after an asthma attack. "Yes, that feels better," I remember thinking. The rest though, has just been a slow changeover to a new way of thinking, and beginning to understand that throwing something you value (or just yourself) before the mercy of just anyone and hoping it all works out is haphazard and foolhardy at best.
It's been nearly a decade of practicing life with boundaries in place. Before, I was the 'my life is an open book' girl, and I thought that was just the way I was built, no two ways about it. The problem was that even though it always felt true, it didn't feel, for lack of a better term, safe.
I'm a big fan of the word 'intent.' Not insomuch as it has come to be known (somehow synonymous with intend), but in the classic sense. With intent, and with purpose, I take this life of mine and point it, with my love, my skills, passions, talents, and whatever I have to offer, toward my targets. I care for myself by letting only proven, trustworthy friends have access to the deep things in my life and heart.
I'm not going to go into a great deal of specifics about what that means, because realistically, it will be completely different for you. A good place to start, though, is to define what's non-negotiable for you, and move from there. Anyone who tramples on one of your non-negotiables is the first to be placed at a distance, while you see if they react well to your asking them to adjust their hurtful behavior.
If they can not, or if you're meeting someone new, remember that your inner circle and your outer circles have different levels of access to you and no one is going to take care of those boundaries for you. It's my own job to carefully guard my fences.
So, if you see me at a party and may be confused, because I seem bubbly and warm while entertaining or making people laugh, but my arms are still crossed, it's just because I'm holding my sleeves in close to my heart.
Want to make one of your own? Check back for more prompts after our Summer break.
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Gains And Losses
Gains And Losses
As ancients we, along our plain and path
hath traveled long and weary. Reaching on,
in sound and light, in ether and in song,
now back to you with hopeful messages
intended for your journey. Do take heed.
A little older than you am I, Dear,
as are my sisters, too. Colder, wiser,
thinner we have grown, so trust our warnings
Darling, do. We are not yet near our death,
Beloved, but less afraid of it than you.
Sweet Erde, moving farther from innocence
with each revolution, into a kind
of a sophistication. Sometimes grand,
sometimes sad. Adding riches, robbing wealth.
Always knowing, never comprehending.
Abrasive adolescence was never
the design, but here we are, emerging
as from a chrysalis, fighting toward
the debut of your brilliance. We blinked; you're
as blinding as the moment we first saw.
You were glorious then. So favored and
full. Surely as blessed as our year is long.
The skies danced in anticipation for
what you would reveal. We didn't know how
dark, Lovely, and how bright your days would prove.
We see now the turmoil. Your soul reeling,
the swelling chaos state, building behind
swirling blue. Struggle surely lies ahead,
but we plead - do not despair. Banish the
thought that you are lost from your ever-fixed mark.
Let not your aching burdens blister deep.
The gravity was lain in place by hand
for you. Flounder as you may under the weight of
the course, yet remain ever true. Oh, that
you could see yourself from Ganymede's view!
Want to make one of your own? Next week's prompt is NON-FICTION.
Write a short essay from the starting point, "Party Personality."
Friday, May 17, 2013
Mary, Mary, quite prepare-y, what all does your bag hold?
Lamps and plants and hatstands and at least two mirrors, we know.
Shoes and a coat, and measuring tape, with some unusual markings, though.
My own bag keeps some items similar in purpose and practicality, and some nothing at all like our wide-traveling Mary's.
When I find a pair of perfect jeans or favorite shoes, it stores a lifetime's supply of them, so when one pair runs out, there's no need to panic. If I don't find something I like well enough to replace them, I'll just use the next backup.
It carries cures for the hangries (so hungry you're angry = hangry). A wide variety of snacks to fit any mood, with recommendations, for those times when you're so starving you just can't think well enough to know what you want. "Madam, you seem cranky. May I offer you a taco?"
Whenever I need art supplies, or don't quite have the right shade of colored pencil or decorative masking tape, I can find it in my bag. Furniture, too, for regular abode rearrangings, as the fancy strikes.
Books. So. Many. Books.
Every single drawing my daughters have ever made can be found sorted, dated, and filed neatly in there. I never have to feel the wrenching debate of which to keep and which to toss. I know they're always there, to enjoy those precious details of their developing talents and love for creation, but not in a stack as high as the Chrysler Building threatening to overtake my living space. The first and subsequent 400 sketches of mermaids or fairies (pronounced 'veries,' at the moment) or princess frogs, all with curly-que eyelashes and tutu skirts, are all in there. Not a single one has had to be tossed, not ever.
Their first outfits and hats and baby blankets and lost teeth, and every time they picked weeds to bring me a bouquet. All there, forever.
Brilliantly, this bag also holds all the subtle, nuanced, precious memories associated with each item it stores. It's got the post-beach trip grains of sand I cleaned out of the carseat from the day my baby first called me Mama, and all the overwhelming love she and I shared in that moment. It keeps the blue maternity tanktop I reached for and clutched tightly to, the moment I realized, "I can't get dressed for the hospital... this baby is coming here and now." It keeps these things so I can feel my history.
The quirky, clever lines and ideas I've thought or dreamt up, and mourned at discovering they were forgotten before I'd had a chance to record them--that sadness doesn't happen anymore. I whisper into my bag constantly, while it safely tucks my musings away.
Everything I want to have convenient, and all that I treasure and hope never to lose; it's my bag's job to hold safe and ready. It's really quite a clever thing.
Want to make one of your own? Next week's prompt is FLASH FICTION.
Write a short story from the starting point, "A Room with a View."
Friday, May 10, 2013
This one's in honor of Mother's Day, and all the ridiculously awesome moms in my life.
"Tommy! Shut it off; it's time for bed!"
"Mom! Noooo, please can I just get to the next save point?!"
"And how much longer do you suppose that will take?"
"Like two minutes!"
"So if you're not done in two minutes, you will be happy if I come over and unplug the TV?"
"So are you sure it's going to take two minutes?"
"But Mom you can't! I just got it from Jamie like ten minutes ago!"
She took a deep breath and began again.
"Buddy, did you save at the last save point?"
"Yeah of course!"
"Then it won't be too hard for you to redo the next section."
She would not budge tonight.
He huffed a bit as he put down the controller and clicked off the TV, but she hugged him anyway.
"Come back when your teeth are brushed so I can kiss you," she teased in her usual way. Like always, he tried to kiss her then, while she acted disgusted at his breath.
9:12pm. A bit later than she hoped, but they were in bed. She smiled as she shut their door and said goodnight for the fourth and final time.
The screen blipped back to life and glowed brightly on her face as she strapped on her headset.
Want to make one of your own? Next week's prompt is NON-FICTION.
Write a short essay from the starting point, "If I had a Mary Poppins Bag."
Friday, May 3, 2013
The smallish silvery-purple letters aren't very distinct against sage tone of the shampoo and conditioner bottles resting side by side in the alcove of my shower. They have very similar labels, this pair, and are nearly indistinguishable, the one from the other, unless you pull them close. Then you'll find that one the one marked shampoo has a slightly more purple font on that word alone.
I went to the store to replenish my supply and accidentally bought two conditioners, once. That's how alike these look. That even from the unimpeded view of the store, where I had not the excuse of the shower's steam, water and lather in my eyes, and general sense of rush I experience, I still mistook them. Since then, I've learned never to trust them when shopping, and also developed a strategy.
After I bring my products home, having ensured that what I bought was correct, I open the tops and peel off the safety seals (because trying to pry that sucker away while you're already slippery and soapy is its own special kind of hell) and when I replace the flip-top lids (not screw-ons), I reverse the lid of the conditioner bottle, so that it opens in the opposite direction of its counterpart. This way, when I'm feeling for my shampoo bottle, my eyes barely opened and peeking through the lathery layers of face wash, I'll be able to discern by feeling the tops which bottle I need. Tricky little demons that they are have been outsmarted by my cunning and no longer defeat me, forcing me to send that $.70 handful down the literal drain.
I do this with old age in mind.
My children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and in general, any caretakers responsible for my well-being, will never have to help me discern the difference between my shampoo and conditioner. My thoughtfulness in these matters will lend to my continued independence. I train myself to handle these little difficulties with grace.
I am certain they (being the grandchildren and the caretakers) will discuss this amongst themselves. "Batty old lady," they'll muse, "needs a million things a day, but refuses to call for help in the shower, even while muttering about how she prevails when the bottles conspire against her."
Why do I write about this?
So that after my death, my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to find this commentary and say, "Well, we were right about one thing. But it looks like she was batty long before she was old."