I’m Dibsing This

It’s pretty odd when walls are left the same color for years and years and years but it seems to mean that they have been gotten happy with — at some point, the just right color was fixed upon and settled.
When they still aren’t happy with, random colors are slathered upon them in anticipation of a new mood and left to ponder some and sometimes left with slathers of odd and varied colors for far too long — trying to ferret out what is truly wanted — appearing as a mess in someone else’s mind — possibly art to the one considering.
And when a cabinet can be looked upon and into and the doors not opened to adjust a thing and by the time the spaces the things inside have been keeping are outlined by dust, it is fairly known that some semblance of order has been achieved within the mind and soul of the starer.
Dust aside.
What kind of happy making can things be.
Spaces need filling.
The trick is in filling them with things of higher meaning and in a manner that creates a rhythm and flow that is pleasing — ups and down, highs and lows, ins and outs, texture and pattern — a depth of understanding.
Higher meaning almost universally agreed upon except when otherwise not related.
Comfort is key and tantamount to any other consideration such as aesthetics — the mind though, still does need comfort as well as body, so pretty is as pretty does some trick of comforting ethereal things like floating thoughts and arbitrary meaning.
And sound.
Leaf blowers need doors to close to block them some or curtains on the walls and windows for absorption such that high pitches seems less grating or intrusive.
Good neighbors think more kindly than to use them.
But some aren’t kind so sometimes curtains help a little — especially if they are pretty in the meantime.
When the house is the house your mother kept if how your mother kept it wasn’t pleasing or of a manner in your keeping, you might be happy to know that you can show your own way of how to keep a house if you so want to.
I think my mother would like mine.
My house still has her in it —
Her things and the way I am and unmopped floors and that dust that settled on the things that haven’t been moved because they have been gotten happy with.
Dust settles on unhappy things too, but that’s the dust that is easier to clean because it doesn’t matter if things are moved much.
My mother wouldn’t paint walls somewhat because she was afraid of landlord disapproval but mostly because it didn’t matter to her like it matters so to me.
“You do have great taste”, she’d always say and that pleased my soul to hear as she waltzed around my tiny little abode in those days that she was depressed and staying with me for some nights to help her fight it —
touching and holding all the things as she waltzed by them.
Mother’s love is better than any color.
In those days I had a landlord too and walls were all a shade of alabaster and not ever to be painted.
I keep as many of my mother’s things around me as there is any room for them, even if they are in boxes hiding in the studio.
The ceramic unicorn she gave me saying, “I’m dibsing this to you because you are unique too”.
“I’m dibsing this to you, when I conk out“, she’d always say instead of die.
A house full of meaning and rhythm and reason, a house built upon from what a mother left you — inside and out — is the house that is a home for any season.
Still, whenever I rearrange or change a color, I wonder for my mother’s approval. Would she still say, “You do have great taste” and I always wish that she could visit.

These Cool Days

On these fall days when things are cool
I miss my friend
who I would drive along with
to a food coop
in nearby Bisbee
to have some lentil soup
and bread
and coffee
and talk about politics
or conspiracies
or how corrupt our city was
or he would try to make me listen to
a piece of “real music”
he had put on his new-used computer
filled already with two thousand or more
collections
that he was so very proud of
and how much he liked to
have me with him
and how gentle he was
and tolerant of me
These cool days
Someone else has his house now
and is growing the garden I always
wanted him to plant
or for him to let me plant
I miss him being there
Sometimes he would call me to come over
just a serious little stride up a hill
and I’d sit outside on some
rickety yard sale or dumpster
chair and watch him water the pecan trees
He always aimed to please me
I miss my friend
who left me far too early
especially on
these cool days.

Don’t Stop Shopping

If it happens again
the woke know
it won’t go unnoticed
or be misunderstood
as something that it isn’t
It won’t look like a Hollywood movie that is
intended to deceive
the unwoke
And unburned or unburied passports
shouldn’t suffice to entice the wary
to be lulled into
thinking war is the right
thing to go and put others through
How shocking
how awful
that Vivienne Westwood still makes and sells
all those haute clothes
as if they are some form of
conscientious objection
instead of quitting altogether and advocating for
voluntary radical simplicity
She still likes millions
50 of them and counting
don’t stop shopping
seems to really be the mantra
And the billionaire water bottler
that gave 750 million to climate research
It might have been more effective
to agree to quit bottling
altogether
and put up millions of filtered water fountains
all over the world
As if he really cares
Everything is still used to
try to get rich quickly
or is a fund to use as a tax shelter
Nobody really wants to lose their
fortune or their status
Let’s farm they say
and let’s breed billions of domestic animals
and then kill them
and call it regeneration
How many animals had to spare their
lives for Vivienne’s fashions
Oh, yes, she plans to give up fur
As if that make a difference to
pigs and cows and lambs
Everyone complains
but everyone still flies
and drinks bottled water
and eats meat
But loves little Greta
Step up and really count
to make a difference
It’s voluntary radical simplicity
or complicity and that’s
the bottom dollar.

Something Quite Unusual

Her skin was purple, the lightest shade more like a white that had been tinted, that would appear as a purple haze when lighting was just right. Her hair shone like a yellow daisy with marshmallow-colored streaks highlighting the top most layers. Her skin had a blush to it that could only be referred to as a mellow shade of lime because that was what the Sun brought out in tanning for the time spent daily planting vegetables, herbs and trees within the space that was a garden. A bright orange, bibbed and bowed apron with harvesting pockets covered a white gauze dress that was for purpose to let air and light flow freely through and it waved and fluttered as she danced about in merriment, jumping for joy as she went about her daily chores. And one could slightly see the silhouette of her tall and slender body showing through it if they looked hard at her when a light came through it from behind her. She liked to sew and garden and would very often be prancing to and fro, from one task to the other like a ballerina — bugs and bees and butterflies making sure to keep her company — and a little dog named Puggles curled up in a ball on a blanket near the door sleeping because he was old and feeble and couldn’t dance like she could any more. He just waited for her, patiently, because he knew that later they would snuggle and she would kiss him.

Mostly she just whistled or spoke in a secret language to the critters all about her. It was generally very quiet except for the preferred music of the air and tree leaves being moved by it or the rain tapping when it fell — which seemed to be quite often. Bugs spoke too softly for any other ears to hear, but she could and together they made a kind of chorus — the bugs with their sound, the birds theirs, humming bees and her harmonizing whistle accompanied her dancing. She was something quite unusual and if anyone ever saw her, they never did again because she moved about the span of space and time so freely that it was a miracle to catch her in the first place — she was hiding in a secret place that she refused to release the address of mostly because it wouldn’t be where it had been, the next time.

She didn’t like to cook much but loved to have some pretty dishes with blue daisies painted on them and a teapot that looked like a rabbit. She always thought she’d have a soiree but as she knew, she was seldom in the same place long enough and people for the most part didn’t know quite how to find her or how to keep with where she went if they ever managed to. So, instead of wasting time cooking and washing dishes, she ate raw fruit and vegetables over the sink to catch the drippings and just spent the nights snuggling Puggles and looking at her pretty dishes while reading a book with pretty pictures formed by written words.

There was another purple person she kept running into in the margins but they never seemed to be in the same space long enough to know if they could really get along. She thought she caught him dancing and for a split second she heard a whistle, but poof, he left her dimension almost as quickly as he entered. She always kept one or the other of her magenta eyes out for him just the same and was always delighted when she thought she saw his colors fading in and out or moving in the clouds above — thinking he might be on the look out, hoping to find a way to see her too and maybe they could each stay a little longer.

Puggles was ready to snuggle and she was through with her chores and the purple man had failed to show up on that day. She ate her dinner, over the sink of course, and grabbed Puggles after he ate too and they both plopped on the bed and pulled up the multi-colored patchwork quilt to warm them. Puggles wanted to be on the top because he got too hot if he got under it — so she got him made comfy and grabbed her book and turned the light just on the book so she could read it.

Tomorrow they would do the same thing for the most part over again because they liked to. There was plenty of spice and lots of things nice and all of the colors of the rainbow. They would dance and sing and garden and Puggles, of course, would sleep curled up in a ball on a blanket near the door so he could keep his sleeping eyes upon her while she floated about the garden in her white dress. There were many chores to do and all of the time in the world to do them and there was nothing to be sad about. They had everything they needed.

She kissed Puggles goodnight, patted him on his head and said she loved him and offered that they wake up happy in the morning. Puggles licked her face and closed his eyes, scrunching just a little to make himself more comfortable. She read a little and turned the light out, scrunching just a little too.

 

Something Quite Unusual

The Real Culprit

The tree trunks had been stripped of all their limbs — one was a Christmas tree and the other an apricot that had died of a disease. The trunks had been brought into the house for the kitties to scratch and climb on but they were starting to get in the way and the kitties were showing little to no interest in them so had been taken back outside and were leaning on a big metal tub that was placed for collecting rainwater off of the porch roof. A wind had pushed them over and they were lying on the concrete not far from the porch but had been pushed to make sure they were enough out of the way for walking on the sidewalk — or so she thought.

“It doesn’t pay to be mad”, she said under her breath after she spit out a few unladylike cuss words, was able to bear the pain of the fall and had collected her wits enough to know that nothing was broken — thank God. There they were in plain sight right to the right, those two big hunks of wood, but maybe it was just twilight enough and her vision poor, for her to not miss one of the nubs with the tip of her toe.

Somehow she went flying forward after the first step off the porch and everything she was carrying went jetting ahead, propelled by thrust. There was nothing but thin air to slow the decent and her new device went crashing, it seemed like a mile ahead. Her mind saw it in pieces or scraped like she was, but it hadn’t been affected at all. She was very happy about that. Her right knee was bloody and her left elbow the same and they were screaming from the cytokines already commissioned for war. She was so mad at herself, that she decided she’d suffer. She’d already locked the front door and didn’t want to spend any time right then to clean the abrasions — thinking she’d only be at the library for a very few minutes. All she needed to do was to post a story but it was all she could do to get through that little bit of time. “Fire in the hole!!” It felt like her skin had been blasted.

In the back of her mind, she was thinking of what a big risk it was to put off cleaning the scrapes at her ripe old age, but was just that mad enough at herself that she kept thinking she deserved whatever she’d get from it.

“You knew those trunks were there, silly old lady. And you know how detrimental a fall can be. What in the world were you thinking not to be more careful”, she was talking to herself now but no one answered.

“Your immune system must be better than you think it is, you’re healing quite nicely — even if it is pretty hard to sleep with the pain from the knee.” Still no one was listening nor would answer. That’s the thing about single living. Though if she’d said it out loud one of the kitties might meow, thinking she was directing her words at one of them. She pretty much had to stay in one position because the bad elbow was the one that was needed for leverage and the knee didn’t like very much to be bent.

Her favorite quote by Rene Dubos from the book So Human an Animal started floating through her head on a regular basis:  “To live is to struggle. A successful life is not without ordeals, failures, tragedies…”

It did seem that there was never an end to one thing after another to deal with and mostly not always good things, though there were those laced through too — just easier to feel pain over pleasure most of the time.

“…but one during which the person has made an adequate number of effective responses to the constant challenges of his physical and social environment.”

Physical environment. That was the current challenge. Effective responses? Well maybe her attitude was improving because she was not blaming the fall on Century Link because after all, it was they who had failed getting her a signal for days and days and why she was going to the library — but it was that she was storming out mad that had been the real culprit. She had just heard through the phone in an almost foreign language, “I’m sorry you’re having this trouble, ma’am. We will get the right motem out to you tomorrow, but because we are closed on the weekend, it won’t effectively be shipped until Monday.” It was Thursday.

“Hurry up and wait”, her uncle used to say.

What was really at the heart of the madness might just as well have been that she was fed up with holding on to things for so long or for not building the kitties a catio already or that at some point in the future she’d build an art installation in her yard with that wood. More of that one thing or another stuff that required “an adequate number of effective responses” that weren’t happening quite like they could have. But that was the thing — all one can do is their best. Rene Dubos said that equaled a successful life.  Maybe a better thing would be to quit being so hard on herself.

She suddenly found herself thinking about the time that her truck got stolen out of the parking lot where she was working at the time — how violated it had made her feel and mad to say the least. It was found, but when she went to retrieve it she had to pay impound fees and it was missing the camper shell and all of it contents. Whoever had taken it used it for something and dumped it leaving some of their own towels in the bed after removing the ones that she had for emergencies or an impromptu beach trip. After she’d gotten over the trauma and the feelings of her truck being contaminated and not her friend like it had seemed before, she kept those two blue towels and washed them and used them for years as an act of forgiveness, she thinks. Something to help her get over it. They were actually very good towels and it didn’t make any sense at all what was left in the back. Kids playing a prank it seemed.

“Effective responses.”

It doesn’t pay to get mad.

“I am going to build that art installation with those darned trunks”, she decides. “If nothing else, they need to be painted yellow or used somehow to make a catio.”

The best thing about it all was that she had been able to pick herself up and keep going. It could have been a whole lot worse.

That time that the truck was stolen, it just happened that her mother had taken a trip to visit relatives and had left her car parked in her drive. She drove that around until her truck was found and the police said that was a miracle in itself — that they seldom are.  And it was found just in the nick of time that her mother needed her car back. Funny how things work out. She needed to remember that and that “to live is to struggle”. There must be some kind of magic in that.

 

the real culprit

 

 

 

Games People Play

There isn’t much that a pound of flesh or a piece of chocolate can’t fix once an offender or a trouble has been noticed or identified. The unfortunate thing might be that pounds and pieces have their own comeuppance that tracks the secondary offending culprit who has taken it or eaten — at least or especially if their acceptably allotted measure of a pound or a piece has been exceeded.

Banks take too much, that’s for sure and seem never to have to answer — it’s hardly fair but they seem to be the ones making or shifting lines in the sand and setting all the rules for what constitutes the Games People Play:

“The interest will be 19% on that cream-colored new Toyota truck you think you want as a treat to yourself for your upcoming birthday to make up for the neglect your boyfriend is paying — unless, of course, you want to buy the extra warranty and then it can drop to 16% so I can charge you a simple, one-time fee for you to have it and at the same time give a SPIFF to me for including it.”

He wasn’t quite that honest.

“I won’t pay another dime”, she’d said so he adjusted the margins to fit the bonus he’d receive for selling her the add-on.

Interest rates. Imagine that they are that simple to manipulate. Imagine that she hadn’t refused to pay another dime, she’d have had to pay three points more over the long haul  — the truck would have just about doubled by the time she’d finished paying for it — four years down the road.

Live and learn. Life is hard. It’s often quite unfair and favors all the ones who have no conscience.

How do people have the conscience to charge three points more when they could just as easily let it slip down to three points less — what kind of people are they? The same kind that shoot wild animals?

Gamers. Thieves. Salesmen. Politicians and corporations. Profit making aparati.

There ought to be some laws.

The truth is, or so it seems, that it is best just not to be a part. There is no way to gamble for security that can’t be broken somehow.

What’s a body to do?

Tic Tac Toe

Better grab the chocolate, grow a garden and save some silver.

Matter Of Time

“It’s only a matter of time”
so ‘they’ say
whose time
anyone’s?
everyone’s?
before we realize…
that it’s too late…
not to be happy?
to bother caring?
to do something about it…
Do what?
If Dr. Sapolsky’s right
and there really is no free will
he says the best he can figure is that
the only purpose to living is to cause as little
pain as it may be human-biologically possible
Seems we all try to avoid pain
now what we need to try to do
the best that we are able
according to any markers that we are
born with
is to not cause any
in the first place
First do no harm
to anyone or anything
and animals aren’t things —
they are anyones
Does anyone really care
or can they?
That may be a question for another day.
How much time is there really anyway?
No one really knows
for sure.

With Better Thinking

Muscles atrophy all too quickly without use. Is the brain a muscle? Is there a muscle used for writing? The thing about it is that there was always a pen and paper available and those were employed some to keep from allowing total degeneration of cellular structures recently built up for the task of putting words together in some form or another — but there was no signal from which to send it out into the universe for sharing, which left the process lacking.

The pen met the paper so as not to lose full momentum toward the day the signal would return, but the stories remained shallow or incomplete because housework was engaged instead of full focus on more artistic endeavors. It was wonderful to get the abode more in order so that enjoyment of the telling could be measured more aptly somewhat later — stuff and dirt had piled up while she had previously been playing more than caring.

There was a day or two of Library signal reading but there is little way to keep from being interfered with while trying to think, with children coughing and mothers chiding or people coming and going. It’s a lonely affair, writing, but a relished one nonetheless — it often can’t be done with other’s participation.

“Hey, Picasso!” one exclaimed.
Another said, “Is the paint wet?” while running their fingers through it while it was still wet.
“Can you cut these blinds for me please?”
“There’s nobody over in plumbing.” She was working for Home Depot.

The next time they asked her to do the artwork, she said she would but on one condition: that she could do it at her own home — ALONE.
They obliged.

One of the things that stood out in the movie about Jackson Pollock was that he invited people in to watch him paint. Hard to imagine how he could. Trying to get into any kind of zone takes discipline and people interfering simply isn’t very simpatico with that — as Stephan Halpern ‘music’ plays in the background all the while she is typing.
Spectrum Suite 
Her teacher way back then said that that was the only thing that one should ever try to write with — no imbibing or drugs —  though a candle or two might help and almost always Mr. Halpern’s sounds would.

While she was taking the waiting-for-a-signal break, a hundred or so pages were read in the Chaos book and even though he, (Robert Sapolsky in his required reading for his lecture about it), had said it had been known to change one person’s life in a profound way while making another stupefied that they had had to read it, it was all she could do to get ten pages in at first, but once she picked up on the momentum and knowledge compounded upon knowledge in a fractal-kind-of method — she was starting to see what he had meant that it would be impossible to see the world in the same way, ever again — it wasn’t at all what she thought it would be though — but she looks forward to reading some each night before she goes to insomnia.

Oh, how she wishes she were smarter so she could look into some of the math and other disciplines mentioned with some kind of actual understanding — thank goodness for intuition — and that is mentioned largely in the book as well.

Another book read a little too was Reader’s Digest — Great Short Stories Of The World — a book published in 1972 that showed up while she was tidying. There was a lot of he said, she said  with plenty of narrative description, but she found them all sounding a little bit too common or simple even though she liked them and knows she has a lot to learn and is more than willing — about how to write a real story.

So with the signal back and the house almost in proper order, her neighbor’s going to teach her how to make Kombucha and she’s planning to produce enough, (writing, not Kombucha), to fill in the blanks that will account for the original one-a-day commitment and the two-hours-a-day minimum practice that she previously promised a teacher.

It always helps to make things up when there is ever and ever more knowledge — so the break was a good thing after all. Perhaps she should thank Century Link instead of complaining. It’s always a better thing to have a little gratitude — the world is a better place in all its cracks and crevices, to infinity and beyond, with better thinking.

measuring a coastline

The Coastline Paradox — to get a gist, imagine you are a beetle crawling over every pebble with a ruler that is the size that fits you — it gets longer the smaller the measurements, ad infinitum

Well, I’m Sure

Are you sure?

Yes I’m sure.

Sure about what?

Sure about being sure.

Sure about being sure about what?

What?

What what?

What are you asking what about?

What are you saying yes about being sure of?

Well, I’m sure.

You sure are being elusive.

Elusive about what?

Elusive about what you’re sure of.

Really. What are you sure of?

What do you mean, “What are you sure of?” I’m the one asking the questions.

Are you?

“Are you” what?

What, what?

Are you asking the questions or am I?

Who are you?

I’m the one you’re asking questions.

Okay. What are you really sure of?

I’m sure there is a well around here somewhere.

 

 

 

Moping About Mopping

It’s too easy not to live your own life with all the possibilities for envy floating around in the countless images of other’s lives that seem more fulfilling. But, truth be told, most of them are hoaxes.
I certainly don’t often show my worst sides to the public but occasionally do on purpose to make it well known that I’m aiming for improvement and there are real stages being engaged in for getting there.
My house right now has just, finally, had the floors mopped by none other than the only human occupant, moi — because I’m hoping to let my good neighbor in to see if his tool can detect any electricity getting to the hot water heater — and I won’t let him in until the worst messes have been abated.
(There seems to be an inordinate amount of talk about mopping here and it’s because it’s very hard to do and gets put off — but constantly nags — because there are always so many things that need to be put away or moved first, occupying the areas that need mopping the most.)
He keeps asking, “How’s your housecleaning going”, because gasps flew out of my mouth when he offered to help and he was subsequently told immediately that he could only be let in as soon as things that were on the list to get done, finally got done.
He said, “I don’t mind.”
To which I replied, “Oh, you would if you could see it but you will never because it will never be that you will be let through this door before it can be achieved that the person living here doesn’t appear to need social services.”
Actually, I probably just said, “It would be better another day.”
I hide and create hoaxes too.
Anyway, things are getting done rapidly, not so much because of my good neighbor but more because I’m getting older and want to get to the bucket list of fun things before they get eaten through by mopping time.
No more moping about mopping or any of the lives that seem better than mine either.
It sure feels good to have clean floors to walk on.

(P.S. This post is dated back to fill a gap for the one-a-day commitment that was missed while I was waiting for a signal)

Moping About Mopping