Mom And Grannie

Before my mother,
I was with my grandmother
I was in the cells that made her daughter
They are both with me now
So
I am not alone
I am who I am
because they were
I thought my mother died
but I see her in a gesture that
I make
or a way I sit
The crooked lip I have like hers
and the dishes I won’t do
before I have to
She is still in me
Although I knew only little tiny
bits who Grannie was
she lived so far away but
sent birthday cards
I have her quilt
in colors that I, also
just so happen to love
Colors must transcend
and come with genes that
still remember
Did she make that quilt for me
All those who have come and gone
and didn’t stay
I will never be alone
I hope I go to where Mom and Grannie are
once my days are gone.

Image credit: Sciencing

 

Enough To Dream

His nose was long and pointy but very handsome — classic Greek-ish with no sign of a lump or hump. She kept touching his face as a way of intimately letting him know that she was with him, in all senses of the word. They seemed to be spinning around each other like butterflies as they advanced toward where they were going. They continued to talk and share their thoughts as they went ahead. They were in love. They ended up at a farmhouse as it had been advised to them that they would find a place there to lay their heads and stay the night.

Suddenly they were in a single bed together — a twin size where they just fit if they were close together — which neither of them minded. It was a plush bed with lots of loft and softness and they were under warm covers. They couldn’t quit touching each other and ended up embracing with long kisses even though the keepers of the house and their children were milling all about in proximity of their bed. Everything was in one large room with a fireplace and wooden floors and dancing children who didn’t seem to want to go to sleep yet.

The children kept trying to engage them in conversations with questions and one or two pounced on the bed and on them some too. The parents, (who by then were in a bed of their own right across from the lovers), admonished, though very softly and with smiles, for them to stop pouncing. The children smiled back at their parents and kept asking the lovers questions — smiling at them too while waiting on the answers.

The lovers didn’t seem to mind. They were in a world of their own and felt as if they were really only one and whatever they might do would be invisible to others and it didn’t feel, even the slightest, tiniest bit, any kind of wrong to be in a big open, warm room with quite a few others as they lay there feeling so much love.

She touched his beautiful face some more. It felt so wonderful to be touching his face and it made her feel just like she was now complete and all the puzzle pieces were fitted in their rightful places. She could tell that he was comforted by her behavior — not letting many minutes go by without touching his face again. That is what lovers do to stay together after all — touch each other with words and feelings and hands and feet and pointy noses that might just happen to be a little bit classic Greek-ish.

She loved to look at his profile with his chiseled nose and curly brown hair and strong jaw. He was taller than she and she fit right under his arm comfortably, whenever they needed to fit. They made excuses to fit as often as they could.

They must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew, it was cats pouncing and they were, all along probably the ones asking all the questions. Where had all the other people gone, including him? It must have been another dream and the cats were asking when their breakfast would be put in dishes for them — trying to rouse her by pouncing.

The handsome man had gone where handsome men always seem to go these days — to distant places with her dreams only to be woken again another morning just before rising with the hungry cats. It seems enough to dream these days since dreams are not much different than what happens in reality — if reality is real. At least in dreams — puzzle pieces fit and men are at their best.

 

The Little Boy

The little blonde-haired boy was squatting on the bare brown dirt, digging with one stick and planting another, like he was transplanting trees. His mother and her friend stood there above him talking.

It was nice to be talking face to face and standing outside in the sun being warmed by it.

“Are you planting sticks?” His mother’s friend asked of him.

“Yes,” the little man said and planted another one in the same hole so that now there were three planted in it. He then scooted over a few feet, still on his haunches, to rake some leaves on the sidewalk with the same stick he was using for planting. Imaginary ideas about what a stick tool can do can be more expansive than what is thought to be able to be done with ones that are bought with dollars.

“I’m raking,” he added to get more attention.

“Is that fun?” the mother’s friend asked.

“Yes.” He was hopping in his squatting so that he could move the leaves around without standing.

His hair was very long and his mother was telling her friend that he had decided to chop it all off on his upcoming birthday.

“A boy cut?” the friend inquired.

“Well,” the mother cut across her chin with her hand to indicate, “about here,” she said. “His father is tired of people asking him if he is a girl. It’s because he’s so cute that everyone thinks he’s a girl but if they would watch him for a minute, they would see that his movement expresses very much being a boy.”

“He’s pretty,” the friend elaborated. “He’s so pretty. Maybe he just needs to pull his hair up in a man bun? Maybe that would work?”

“We have done that. They still ask.”

He was a very pretty little man. His features were fine and beautiful. He was definitely going to stay good looking as he grew. His nose was pointy but quite little and very pretty. He was sweet but that was because his mother treated him so sweetly. The whole family was the same way — kind and soft in their demeanor and all so happy to always be together — where one went they all did. The friend was somewhat wondering what it might have been like to have had several children. Likely hers would not have ended up so kind because her edges were a little rougher even though she always would have been kind — of that she was sure.

The family was purchasing a big swath of land — 40 acres — planning for the future so that they could all stay close together as they aged.

“Darn! I was always hoping your older girls would rent my house so that I could leave and go somewhere else.”

The little boy piped up and said, “I’ll come live with you!”

She was touched. “You wouldn’t like that,” she said, “you’d miss your girls too much.”

He was the only boy with three girls older and one younger. And, he was very much loved and they were all very sweet to each other — the older ones taking such good care of the younger ones.

His mother said, “You can come and live with us. There would be room for you to build a little something.”

Yes it was very nice to think that she had a friend like that.

“When Malcolm said he’d found some land, I told him I didn’t want to more out of town. We’re a big part of taking care of Grandma and my parents are getting older and you’re getting older.”

The little boy’s mother lowered her hand, palm up and pushed it forward as if she was sending out an offer to her friend across the table — the one who was also getting older — as they were sitting at the table now still talking but out of the afternoon sun. The little boy was shelling pistachios and eating them one by one beside them.

Corners of the older woman’s mouth went up into a soft smile as her body warmed at the thought that someone cared that she was getting older.

 

** work in progress

 

image credit: Stick Fence

Old Love Letters

Should someone who advocates for everyone to get rid of all their stuff so that they can find true joy in the few things that they do keep be allowed to have a shop selling stuff? Seems like there should be a law prohibiting that kind of hypocrisy.

Marie Kondo. Should she be an exception? “Get rid of all your stuff and then come back and buy some of mine,” she might as well be saying.

Kawabon Tray

$68.00

Everything from Graf Lantz is made in their Los Angeles factory and designed to age gracefully. Their take on the classic catchall tray is made from sculpted leather and merino wool to create a soft landing for the little things you can’t live without.

What a crock. Not to mention she expects cows to die for you to have that joy and sheep to give up better living waiting to be shorn for all their wool. They might not have to live and die if no one is waiting on a Marie Kondo tray.

Did I say yet, what a crock?

Someone is always getting rich on an idea and then banking on all of our stupidity.

Keep your stuff. Keep it out of landfills. Build walls with your books. Burn the paper to keep yourself warm. Make new clothes out of all those old ones. You wouldn’t believe how many times a shirt can be something different — cut up into strips and made into a new fabric. That can’t  happen if it goes to landfill.

She, or some other Marie Kondo mimic might say, “It’s okay, once, to send your hoard of things off to your nearest dump. Feel the guilt and don’t get more stuff to ever have to feel that guilt again. If you only buy my stuff that’s designed to ‘age gracefully’, the guilt can be less frequent over time.”

One more time for the nosebleed seats, what a crock.

Humans don’t seem to like to have voids and as soon as a space is cleared, it seems like it is missing something. Hearts the same. If you send those old love letters off to sit in dumps instead of in your closet, will that really bring you any joy? There might be a day, when you are very old, that reading those old love letters will bring their biggest joy.

Wait and see, or burn them in your own old-love-letter-burning-ritual fire.

Marie might like white and black and beige and spare and empty space, but don’t be fooled if that isn’t you.

It’s still good advice to never buy new stuff once you have all you really need — especially don’t buy new stuff from someone selling getting rid of stuff.

 

 

To Go Incognito

“Now hiring” the sign read. But under it in minuscule, almost illegible print was the addition, “If you are a women, only women with large breasts that are willing to show them by wearing low-cut and clingy clothes that reveal them need apply.”

Maybe she was just imagining those minuscule words. Maybe she was reading the minds of the men doing the hiring. Do women who hire think like that too? Are there women who hire? Most of the women who hire that she had ever met were lesbians. That’s not completely true — but the women who hire that she had ever met that weren’t lesbians were women in women’s kinds of jobs — like decorating and then men who were gay were hired a lot — did small breasts play any part in that?

Men can have breasts too, large enough to wear a bra. Some men change their sex to have them and to wear a bra. Others just eat too much. Who would ever want to have to wear a bra?

“It’s a man’s world,” she heard a lot when she was growing up as if it was a given and never to be changed. Implied in there somewhere was, “Therefore, you might consider having a nose job, breast implants, and quit eating so much.” Oh, and, “Be docile and pert and accommodating and submissive and…whatever a man might want.”

That was exactly why she didn’t favor women much as role models unless they were women who were very independent and cared very little what any man might think. There weren’t very many women who made that very obvious — at least when she was growing up. If they felt that way, it usually ended in divorce — so, most of them kept quiet for survival and money reasons.

What she did do was to watch what the men did and learned the skills she saw them have and do — like sawing wood, and building things, and mowing lawns and using tools and standing up to things they thought were true. They didn’t need large breasts for that and they did not have to wear a bra.

What can you do in a man’s world with large breasts when the first thing men see is them? It’s easier to be heard by a man you want to talk to if you have a double A or bind them. What they don’t know, they can’t stare at or use against you or try to fondle or back you into a corner for the privilege of trying to influence having sex. Women with unseen breasts are less likely to get into that kind of fix.

Women with large breasts seemed at a distinct disability for the things she thought she wanted — certainly not ogling and fondling attention — bah, bah humbug to that.

She would envy girls with small breasts and never rue the day she might not ever have double Ds or X, Ys or Zs.

It’s far better to be able to go incognito.

 

 

 

 

 

That Quiet Noise

It was a soft continuous rain going on all day and was very pleasing when all the other noise was eliminated. Then the trash man came around the corner and the minutes had to pass while he got finished with his work before the rain could be heard again. It took awhile because he was so loud and it’s a slow process — stopping, lifting, clanking, moving on down the length of the alley and around some corners and back up the main street parallel with the alley but in the opposite direction.

The rain might have stopped before he finished but it didn’t.

White noise is useful to cover something annoying or something that you don’t seem to notice until it stops and then it’s hard to understand how it was stood while it was going on if it’s unpleasant — like the motor of a vent fan or a hot water heater doing its thing heating up more water.

“Phew,” the mind says and the body relaxes having been unaware that it was tense while all that quiet noise was incessantly, though so vaguely and unappealingly present.

Meditation has one concentrate enough to grasp all those tiny sounds and pick them out separately from among each other — distant sounds too, like trucks on a freeway miles away — focus.

Trains are easy to pick out and a nuisance when close but somewhat pleasing at a far, far away distance. They can sound romantic that way — not so romantic if they’re far too close and continuous but intermittently unpredictable all day long.

It can be understood which way a motorcycle is heading if someone is clearly listening — with intent on hearing. “There another goes, a little closer,” it’s perceived.

The routine tick of the hot plate suggests it’s still turned on — what does someone do that cannot hear? Those tiny noises help to orient and pace and warn.

The clock goes off at 4 pm, though it was accidentally set but has been left because it’s a good reminder that things need to be sped up if they are to ever get done within that same, now shortened day — and the chime is pleasant for a midday interruption.

Quiet and/or subliminal and incessant noises are like being slightly hot, or a little too cold and putting on another blanket or taking one off — another “Phew — what was I thinking to let myself get so hot or cold?” Or, “I’m sure glad that noise is over now I’ve noticed.”

Soft, continuous rain, on the other hand, can feel like just the right blanket whether it’s too hot or too cold and be a certain kind of comfort in the middle of an otherwise annoying, subliminally noisy kind of day.

Chanting, “The rain in Spain” can be a comfort too.

What’s the difference that makes something annoying or not? Maybe it’s a matter of whatever state someone is in when the incessant thing begins.

She said, “I was afraid when I was little, to try to go to sleep upstairs unless my mother was at her sewing machine that was upstairs too. If I heard the machine going, I knew that she was up there with me. I learned to associate the sound of a sewing machine going with feeling protected. So a sewing machine is a soothing sound to me now.”

It might be possible that a water heater noise could make another someone happy — but it seems that it would always be preferable to listen to the rain.

 

Credit: Image by Markus Spiske from Pixabay

Talking To Myself

You’re not taking it seriously.
I know. But isn’t it better to do something rather than nothing?
Could be.
Building strong muscles takes endurance, doesn’t it?
I suppose.
I might get more serious when spring rolls around but it might be that the warmer weather will interfere as much as the cold.
Well, you know what so and so says, ‘Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right’ — Ford wasn’t it?
It’s not a matter of whether I can or whether I can’t — I already am. It seems to be more of a question of what others think ‘being a writer’ is. Should someone who writes think at all about what others think?
Maybe if they’re trying to make money at it?
Cold weather makes me want to cuddle and knit and warm weather makes me want to go out and mingle with the ants and birds.
Is that procrastinating or avoidance or just plain preference interfering?
Maybe it’s a matter of not wanting it enough or not wanting enough to be great? How much weight needs to be lifted to become a great weightlifter? Or a good one for that matter — not that it matters — or does it?

Do you think you do — want it?
Want what?
To be a writer?
Yes, but I’m not sure I want to be a ‘great writer’ — whatever that means. Can someone only be a ‘writer’ if they have unwieldy expectations of grandeur to become a real and great writer?
What do you mean by ‘unwieldy’?
Oh, possibly top heavy or awkward or overly stacked one way more than another such that everything else in life is balanced more toward writing. Something like that. Maybe that’s a poor choice of words but it came to mind when I was thinking about how writing every.single.day. seems to weigh so heavily on my mind and how if I don’t do it I feel a sense of guilt —  but I also know that not every day something good is written because it’s actually only done for exercise and building writing muscle so that eventually words will flow out and into a real kind of structure that might have a little more meaning and value — even to myself.
Are you talking to yourself again?
Yes, I’m talking to myself again.
Someone in the grocery store said the other day that they talk to themselves because they were only good at listening when they were listening to themselves. I said I wasn’t even good at listening to myself because I lie to me and can’t be trusted to tell myself the truth so why bother listening if I’m lying — and, I think most everybody else lies as well so why listen to them either.
Actually, I’m not that bad at listening to liars if the liar isn’t me — b
ut, I’m bored with listening now — so, can we go out and play with the ants?
I suppose except that the ants are hibernating now so we can just go out and wait for spring when they’ll all come out to play again.
That sounds good to me. Or maybe we should read?

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that. ~ Stephen King

image credit: Katherine Streeter

One And Only

“I’m so angry that we all have to die,” she said.
“I know. Me too,” her friend replied.
“People have children early enough that they don’t realize what they are doing to the poor child. Why start something that will just end? Oh, of course, life is wonderful — but that is the point I’m trying to make. You finally get going really good and feel like you have a handle on things and have figured out what you love — and boom — suddenly your body stops working right. You try to dance and bones creak and collapse without warning. Things aren’t easy. Jars are harder to open and sure, you figure out a way around it — but when will come the day you can’t even make the new way work? You start looking out for that day even though you try your best not to. You realize that chocolate and sugar can kill you. You start eliminating things that are pleasurable so you can extend life just a little while longer. And then you regret that you didn’t do it sooner and wonder if the sacrifices will really work. Where was the help for that when you needed it? Now the information is available but a little too late to use much for keeping disease at bay. DNA quits working. It’s like a thingdesigned to fail. What’s with that!! Who can get DNA to behave. Can you? Makes you want to just say fuck it all and eat the damned chocolate.”
Her friend just kept listening knowing she was sorrowful and needed a space to rant and vent.
“I know,” her friend said again.
“I used to always say, when I was young, that when I got old I would sit around in a rocking chair eating chocolates and smoking cigarettes. Now that I’m older I don’t want to sit still for a minute because it might only be a minute that is left to sit or do anything — who would know — certainly I don’t. I’m scared every night and wake up in the middle of trying to sleep thinking I’ve quit breathing. I’m surprised when I wake up in the morning. I’m afraid to eat alone for fear I’ll choke. I’ve never felt that fear before. When you’re young, you just don’t know.”
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to get things just so-so so that I would have what I need to survive and be happy. What’s the point of having everything you need when there is no more time to enjoy it? I got all the tools to garden. Now some of them are rusty and certainly battery operated things fail quickly, electrical ones too. Nothing lasts so you finally realize that it is better to just pull the darned weeds out with your bare hands and that spending money on any of those useless things was wasteful and what better things you could have done with all that money like buying hand tool that could just be sharpened. But hands aren’t much good by that time either because by the time the electric trimmer fails and you decide to do everything by hand, your hands quit working too. Then it becomes time to just let everything grow as it pleases and in the end, you come to the conclusion that that was probably the best way all along.”
“Fuck this shit!” she was really angry now. “What was the point of any of it? All these things I’ve made and all these things I’ve learned how to do. For what! For what!!? The only thing good in life is to sit and stair at ants — ants just do what they need to do and keep on marching. Do you think an ant ever worries that someone will snuff it’s life out without warning?”
“The Rockefellers and Rothschilds have it all and what do they really have? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing worth a shit because as soon as they get it all they’re just as dead as anyone else and what have they really left for anyone who comes behind them — mounds of cash too tall to scale? What was the point? Wars, senseless sickening wars so that they could have it all. Fuckers.”
Her friend didn’t like the cussing and she knew it but she needed to say it just the same.
“I guess I’m just mad because it’s hard to think about all the good times now. Especially since all the good-times-people are gone and I can’t remember any of it with them.”
She settled back and took a breath and another sip of coffee.
“I’ll feel altogether different come tomorrow, I sure hope.”
Hope. She was remembering that that is a thing you can pretend might help. Change the channel. Maybe spring will help. Maybe a move. Maybe, maybe, maybe she’ll wake up young again and will forget that she got old. Not much chance of that, she thought. What good is reincarnation if you don’t remember anything? She also thought. A dogs life. If only things could be like they are in movies. She would go and watch a movie and forget that she might not wake up again tomorrow.
“You want to have lunch tomorrow,” she asked her friend. “Let’s think of ways to cheer ourselves back up.”
Her one and only friend said, “Okay.”

Image: Grannies ~ by Banksy

Instead Of Shoes

Slippers and shoes.
Slippers are supposed to stay inside the house and shoes put on to go outside but sometimes it’s forgot and slippers go outside and get themselves stuck full of little stickers before it’s realized that slippers went outside instead of shoes.
By then it’s too late to bother changing.
The slippers full of stickers full of seeds get taken all around to be dispersed for growing more new weeds that then turn into stickers to get stuck in another pair of slippers that forget to stay inside.
Then the shoes by the door where the slippers forgot to stay are considered to wear again inside even though they are full of little pebbles in their treads. It’s either that or a new pair of slippers that will try to remember for once to stay inside.
Pebbles or new slippers? It’s a toss up.
Of course, the third option would be to go ahead and wear the stickered slippers in the house. It’s not very likely they will drop and grow as weeds in concrete floors. All that might be required would be to sweep.
The question then is whether to sweep stickers or pebbles.
Of course another option would be to go barefoot to the sink and wash the pebbles out of the treads of the shoes because there’s certainly no point in washing the slippers since stickers in slippers will never come out again unless someone sits and picks them out by hand.

Trying To Laugh

Kit the cat kept laughing at Bog the dog because Bog kept trying to laugh too but nothing came out but a bark.

Kit really wasn’t laughing as far as any humans knew, but Kit didn’t speak Bog’s language so thought that laughing sounded like meow and kept meowing wildly thinking it was laughing coming out and that sooner or later Bog would get the clue that chiming in meowing was in order.

Whatever was still funny Bog didn’t know but kept on trying to ask Kit what they were trying so hard to laugh at since Kit’s belly was heaving in and out leading Bog to believe that Kit was still trying to laugh.

It started out with Bill the bird getting out of his cage and Kit and Bog thought Bill was quite the star for getting free and started laughing out of nervousness that Bill would get found out and put back in his cage.

But then Kit couldn’t quit because once laughing gets started it’s something that goes on and on until enough yelling from a human puts the kibosh on it.

“Bark”, “Meow” went on and on until Kit and Bog were starting to strain their voices and then Morris the horse came whinnying into the conversation.

Bill was shrilling, Morris was whinnying and Kit and Bog were, by that time, getting laryngitis — so laughing stopped being funny and everybody settled down.

Kit curled up and started purring.

Bog tossed the ball off the wall while ignoring Bill the bird sitting on the curtain rod and Morris returned to the barnyard stall.

No humans had to intervene and everyone had fun for just a little while.