A Syncing Event

Funny life is. All these constraints we put upon it. January 1 is the day before January 2 and so on. But it’s another good excuse to have a party. And, apparently, parties are good for us. Why, one might even meet the next love of their life there because parties sync people together, they say.

Being synced would be nice but it isn’t essential. All anyone really needs is what is essential but still, being synced must be nice. Certainly there are enough opportunities for celebration worked into our culture to indicate that most of us would like a syncing event to increase our chances.

There was a year when my mother and her best friend were sitting in and telling me to not tell anyone that they didn’t have dates for New Year’s Eve. It’s hard to imagine who, being told, would have mattered. Maybe the neighbors. She was probably somewhere in her mid fifties and I was probably off to the the Airman’s Club to dance my feet off with some cute young men — maybe hoping to find a love of my life. Dancing was what we all did to meet each other then. There was a party every Friday night at the Airman’s Club with a live band and often more boys than girls — at least just as many.

For some reason the two older women were embarrassed that they were alone for New Year’s Eve. That registered something profoundly in a young impressionable mind. It wasn’t quite clear what they meant then, but the implication was that there was something wonderful about being young and something not so great about not being so young anymore. They must have said something like, “It’s hard to find dates when you get older.” The implication was also that, if you didn’t have a beau, your weren’t as valuable and should hide in shame.

It is much easier to see, once one isn’t so very young and dates for New Year’s Eve are hard to come by, that the passing of time is not a thing that can be put on hold and that as it passes, things do change.

New Year’s Eve is always a poignant reminder about time’s passing. Documenting the minute that the clock registers going from the end of one year into another is it’s express purpose. It is our worldwide culture’s inclination to make a big deal about it. It’s a little hard sometimes to understand why unless there is just a need for another party.

Most of the aspects of it are for commercial reasons — taxes, funding, appropriations, sales, bonuses, profits and losses.

But then there is the somber aspect of documenting the passing of a year in the life of an individual and the culture collectively and of accounting for accomplishments and defeats as if that should be done on a regular bases — say once a year on Dec. 31 and that the somber event should not be done while sober.

I was watching one of the two main strays that visit my yards lately. He’s a big, woolly black cat that has a full face and a fur coat — not hair. He and the other main cat got into a giant row lately and I noticed blood on him when I tried to break them up. They went off in the same direction after I shooed them and it took several days before I saw either one of them again. Both of them have eased their way back to visiting. Mr. Shire is very skittish and the black woolly one less so when he shows up — so, I’m not quite sure which one thinks he won. The black one now has a flaming pink patch near his ear and I worry that it may get infected. There is not much that I can do, because he scats the minute he hears me and goes over the fence.

What I find so soothing about watching them both is how calm they are about their daily lives. They come, eat food, lie in the sun, groom, lollygag around scouting, sniffing, scratching wood and neither one ever seems to be wondering what day of the week or what month it is. They might be thinking about getting synced and that may very well have been behind the row. Woolly shakes his head like his ear is hurting, but he takes his pain like a trooper, while soaking in the sun, curled up on the mound of sticks or a soft chair.

So cats and humans have syncing in common, but cats don’t seem to like to dance or have a party as a means to do it. They don’t care about paying taxes either. Lucky cats.

This year, as I sit in like my mother and her friend, without a date for New Year’s Eve, but as content as a happy cat — it seems more fitting to put off accounting accomplishments or defeats for another day because sitting her thinking about syncing is a lot more fun than that. And also like a cat, I don’t need to worry about paying taxes either.

Happy New Year!

 

Image credit: Safe Haven For Cats

 

 

 

So Last Year

2019 is starting to feel so last year
Happy New Year
Cheers
Let’s bring a new one in
Roaring
20 20s
Boot that old one out
Scoot
Waste no time
Bring no wine
Just the grapes
Sun drenched or sun dried
Only what is good and whole and
Grounded in the truth of
Living well
And living right
Down the road that time has showed us
What is best for
Everything
And everything is
Equally included.

 

Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Doctor’s Office Magazines

Cold fingers aren’t much use for doing nimble tasks.
That’s a true enough sentence to get started with a story.
“1: To get started, write one true sentence.” ~ Hemingway
What are we all looking for that can’t be found by flipping through a magazine when nimble fingers come back from being frozen?
Magazines are mostly ads. They only tell what we are looking for if we are looking to be told what to look for — unless we happen to be looking for a gold watch with diamonds or a dress we might wear once to a celebration-of-something party.
There’s all kinds of leather and gold and silver and haute stuff and fast, flashy cars to lust and drool for — unless you happen to be a vegan and are living a life of voluntary radical simplicity and can only see that all as so much junk and violence and a waste of trees.
Harper’s Bazaar — doctor’s office magazines.
Jennifer Anniston sure is beautiful.
Looking high and low for what we’re looking for, we look everywhere.
Facebook feeds and other people’s lives sometimes look a little daunting — (intimidating, formidable, disconcerting, unnerving, unsettling) — and are mostly also only selling something or soliciting envy and maybe for the same basic intention — to sell clicks and clamor to get more clicks and clamor.
Perhaps daunting is not the word that’s being looked for.
Might it be boring?
It’s really all quite boring after looking for awhile trying to find the thing we’re looking for that never seems to show up.
Other people’s lives can come off as boring if what we’re looking for isn’t what they’re doing and they’re doing things we might be wishing they weren’t doing for the sake of everyone else — the right word there might not be boring but abhorrent.
Maybe we’re all really looking just to keep from really looking.
It’s clearer now that what is needed to be seen, if one is really looking, is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But that is the dilemma and why we all keep looking, looking, looking as if we’ll ever really see it.
In the meantime, magazines might convince us of a thing we think we’re looking for but really aren’t.
So much for nimble fingers.

Fall Tattered Too

So sad this frame that used to hold a beautiful picture of potential
Crooked
Sideways now
Bent
Worse for wear
Can barely stand
as the picture is released
to fall
Tattered too
to the floor
And can’t be picked back up
Mind
Can you please pick it up for me to see once more
or twice
before we
are a picture
no more

Image credit: Photo by Andrew Buchanan on Unsplash

Andrew Buchanan

Shadows And Sheen

“Writing was a dream I had when I was a kid, but then I grew up.” Tim Allen’s character in Joe Somebody said that.
I don’t remember wanting to be a writer when I was a ‘kid’. I dreamed of being an artist. That was all I wanted out of life — to be an artist. All.
My parents both had talent and dabbled. My mother drew us the most wonderful paper dolls and images to embroider. My father sat with me one time to show me how to draw in perspective.
My mother recognized the passion I had and purchased a used Jon Gnagy drawing kit from a thrift store one year as a Christmas present. She couldn’t have gotten me anything that would delight me more.
Jon Gnagy was a television personality — an artist who taught — when I was a young girl and all we had was black and white TV. He was mostly just teaching how to do perspective and make shadows and sheen — so black and white was enough.
Years later, when I was in the beginning of 20s, I had a date with a handsome young man who took me up into the mountains and we stopped at the very venue where Jon Gnagy was practicing a new color concept in front of an audience there and we sat in. He was hoping to eventually broadcast it on color TV, which was prominent by that time.
I was excited to death that I was meeting one of my heroes. He was trying to overcome having become a has-been but I didn’t register it then.
Throughout his whole presentation, I was jumpy and couldn’t concentrate because I had, just before we arrived there, found a tick on my chest and kept thinking there were more — so I was fidgety in my seat.
The handsome young man and I had just been out trekking in the shrubs and my long hair had caught one, me unawares, and I had also slid down a steep hill on my butt and had rocks and sand in my pants. After finding the one tick and being aghast, I couldn’t help but think, from then on, that every little bump was a tick.
Most of what I remember about that presentations was ticks — and shaking Jon Gnagy’s hand. I was very fascinated with the concept he was trying to accomplish though and had a feeling of great admiration as I sat there worrying about ticks.
I was still wanting to be an artist. I was probably just back from a summer art school scholarship and still thinking I could be.
Being young and wanting to be an artist, I wasn’t quite aware yet that art takes all kinds of forms — but I did know that I was dying to find a way to get something that was balled up inside of me outside of me and at that time it was through drawing and painting — though I gravitated to all things creative.
When I got too balled up, sometimes I wrote — or drove in a car — once I was old enough to drive. Before I could drive, I rode my bicycle to do what I called clear the cobwebs from my mind.
Writing was a go-to for the ultimate pressure release to try to escape overwhelming emotions — so, if bike riding or driving didn’t do the trick, I wrote. I never thought anything of it, I just simply had to do it. Things came pouring out.
I would read things over again from time to time through the years and as I got old enough, most of it went in the bin because it was pitiful. I could see though that it was definitely a way to congeal thoughts and, at the least, get them out of my head.
I would eventually take a creative writing class and begin to take it more seriously. There was still a nagging need. That was in the 80s.
The only reason we may have to give it up when we grow up is because earning a living gets in the way. I was lucky to find a way to make a living and practice art, (though many wouldn’t agree), by working in the field of interior design. It was basically selling stuff, but it still used my passion and artistic muscle throughout the practicing that was required to formulate the things I needed to sell.
As it turns out, everything is about selling — so that was good practice too.
Nothing in life is a waste.
It might be a hologram though or a computer interface. We may never know.
But in the meantime, the best we can do is to use this interface to try to make the most of what we are given.
A science fiction writer will use that interface curiosity to write a sci-fi novel. It’s way out of my league — though I am immensely curious. Curiosity is another one of the necessary ingredients to finding a way to make whatever this interface is make sense to enough of a degree to get by while we’re in it.
Jon Gnagy may never know how important he was to me when art was a dream I had when I was a kid. I tried to let him know a little the time that I met him. What an odd event that that chance encounter happened.
Not so odd if this is a game we’re in after all and we are at the controls. Now to learn better how to write the story line and draw my avatars.

Instead Of Floating

Even philosophers can get it wrong. Who are they but thinkers just as we.

Alain de Botton buttons up a thought that anyone who doesn’t find endearing love is not enough and love is someone loving someone outside oneself and both have been hunting and waiting and waiting and waiting and working trying to find that one specific way to be loved.

Such misfortune for the unfortunate wandering hunter missing that particular prey.

Could it be that love is for the taking all around us — in little dogs and flowers — might it well be floating in the air with arms that wrap anyone who’s waiting for a wrap. Might it be a state of mind that only vanishes with someone else because we let it. What we had in our mind is still in our mind — not left with their leaving. Love might be the same as grief. Grief might just be love that’s wrapped around itself instead of floating.

He might be wrong —  so don’t spend any time feeling sorry for yourself and who knows, as long as there is breath, one can breathe. As long as there is a breeze, floating love might come along to wrap you and if it shouldn’t, what you did instead of waiting and hunting for it might matter more.

Under The Tree

Twilight had come and gone and the emptiness of darkness was starting to pass for the morning sun to cast a Christmas opening song that she could try to hear from a reminder of a time when she was waiting opening presents.

Are there kiddies everywhere with bright eyes. Do they love it like she did when she waited at the hall door for her baby sister’s bedwet pants to be fixed. Are they all filled with anticipation at what is behind the closed door — anxieties of delight among the fragrant pine. What are they getting — roller skates or bikes — four wheel drives? Do they still believe in Santa or is Santa’s writing looking a lot like Mummy’s?

Are their mothers in the kitchen already cooking and their dads drinking beer or is everyone getting ready for church — Christ’s mass?

From where she sits she can’t see any bright lights that are multiple colors. She can’t see the blow up china dolls waving or hear their sucking motors pushing air to hold their snowman arms up. All she can see is the light coming from behind mountains and buildings that are filling what used to be beautiful, empty spaces that would let her see the mountains.

Ticktock, time moves or what’s under it does and everyone is waiting for a new president to change things again — back or forth from what another did to ruin them. Maybe if January gets here fast enough things will get better or next January or next Christmas in a package under the tree or it can all be kissed away with someone under the mistletoe.

But nothing does. Nothing ever changes other than where things are imported from that  anyone gets for Christmas.

Here comes a runner with her dog. She might not have any kiddies.  She might be like the one looking — getting old enough to know it’s good enough to move along to move along.

All the presents must be open now. It must be time for coffee.

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
― Dr. Seuss

Up In Bisbee

Hi Lxxxxx,
Was just looking out my living room window at the gloomy day, thinking about Txx and missing him and remembered that I’ve been wanting to wish you a Merry Christmas.
I spend most holidays alone, but some of them Txx and I were together doing something. One year for Thanksgiving, we drove all over trying to find a place to eat. We ended up in Bisbee and had Thanksgiving dinner at their hospital. Txx loved to eat at hospital cafeterias. I think all I wanted was a piece of pumpkin pie but I can only remember enjoying the day so much and mostly because of all his little and not so little quirks and just to have him with me and not be alone.
I can’t remember if we spent any Christmases together and was trying to think if he snuck somehow to share it with family in some way. He was quite sneaky when he wanted to be, which was most of the time.
I loved and still love him so.
And I’m glad to know I still have a little live connection.
Merry Christmas, Lxxxxx
Love, Sxxxx

Boughs Of Holly

Trees with tinsel
Mistletoe
Boughs of holly
Wreaths
Candy canes and eggnog
Rowdy bunches shopping
not for frankincense and myrrh
But because someone said they should
and there are holes in souls
that are looking for the meaning
Losing everything while looking
Messes everywhere they’ve been
being rowdy
It’s important to win
If Whitman’s Christmas chocolates get sold out
before you get a box
don’t worry
they’ll be replaced with Valentines
before those shelves are empty
Lost souls with holes
can’t seem to see what they are doing
Losing everything while looking for
everything they’re looking for

Popcorn And Berries

There was the year that the Christmas tree was hung from the ceiling, in the home of the man who never paid us, so that we, who were attending his house party, could spin it to trim it with the popcorn and berries that we were stringing while we were eating fudge and cookies and drinking wine and enjoying each other’s company with music and dancing.
We were all in it together and he was like our cult leader — charming and charismatic.
We scarcely noticed that we weren’t making any money all the while he took the money out of the cigar box under the counter to buy new shoes to schmooze a new client who might put more cash back in the cigar box that could, sometime later, be used to pay us. That was just the way it had to be.
His sister was worried and a member of the ones who had invested. She was as worried for us as she was for herself. She snuck us pay on a very few days and not much of it the few days she did while she apologized profusely. She was as kind as he.
He didn’t mean to. He did everything with the best of intentions but he was known around town for failing one adventure after another — though not by us.
We all wanted so much for it to all succeed because, well, because he was so handsome, charming and charismatic and we loved him and loved the work that we were doing — and each other.
He discovered me and had great hopes which, in turn, made for hopeful me. It was my first job out of high school and he called me his Girl Friday. I delivered papers all over town on my gas in my car — loving every minute.
He wanted to get me on the radio and send me out for promotional broadcast talks. He had more confidence in me than I could seem to stand — but none of it came true before he had to let us go — without any pay.
My mother kept saying, “Wait and see. He’s just getting off the ground.” My mother had found that job for me, driving by his window with a “Hiring Girl Friday” sign and she was pleased because she knew that I didn’t like peas or doing anything conventional and she saw how charming the man could be and she had great hopes for him to succeed — especially with me on board doing something she knew I’d love.
It was long before Kinkos was well known, though it had been founded, but he had a copy machine and could bind a book and made business cards and did ad copy and published ads in newsprint and hired copy-and-pasters who used press on letters and tape and cut them with X-Acto knives and he had an artist who designed logos with pen and ink and another artist who curated the gallery on the top floor that you got to by going up a flight of stairs lined with gold-veined mirrors that he left.
He had one idea after another and set about instituting all of them and everyone he knew wanted to be a part but then got nervous. If one of us came up with another idea he tried to institute it too.
I saw him years later at a bar, as charming as ever, selling something to the ones clamored about him listening to him like he was still the cult leader that he had always been except that by then he was more of a cult leader who got drunk and stammered some. I still loved him and longed for the hope that we had all had all during that Christmas in the 70s when none of us made any money to buy our families presents but had nothing but hope for the future.
Hard and soft it was a Christmas when conventional wisdom got in the way of play but satisfaction kept trying to bring it back. Waiting and hoping just the same way kids wait for Santa. I’ll never forget the Christmas with the tree hanging from the ceiling right side up instead of upside down the way they do now mocking Christmas.
If memory serves, I think his name was Walt. Thank you Walt for making Christmas 1972 as indelible as Mozart’s style of writing.

 

  • There are two missing days from the writing one-a-day commitment, (returned to drafts because they were too auto-biographically intimate), at the beginning — that started July 12, 2019 — and today is one of those days where my fingers are itchy, so it’s a dose-of-two day for filling in a missing link.