Friday, September 30, 2011

longitude

Perdido Key, FL






Others will only make you miss me more, he says and she knows so she nods, turns and walks away down a beach, into a horizon which never nears. Miles past swimmers and families and surfers and any form of human life she notices a tent and a loner and the sun begins to beat down. She says hi. The loner says nothing. Determined she continues but disappointed she feels she never planned on this, never thought she'd need water, didn't anticipate the heat. Her head says turn around but her heart urges her to keep going. Still she walks.



Years later they meet at a cabin in the woods and she feels his disappointment which makes her remember her own. They try to get past it, try to remember why it was important to remember. Both realize but neither mentions they never had to try before. Then they don't anymore.



Now she uses the faded memory of what it was like before the try as a deterrent to those who do not choose to sleep in tents and be loners on beaches and she smiles when she walks by my tent in the earliest of morning as the sun peaks over a distant horizon. Now she wears a wide brimmed hat to protect her from the sun. Now she always has a water bottle. She never says hi anymore. It never did her any good.


I think to myself in the story I have created for her, That looks like gratitude.





















Thursday, September 29, 2011

facets

Priscilla, Love Music Fest 2011


Almost, so close now, very very nearly a Nurse Practitioner.


Always, solid down to the very core a Hippie.


Quite lovely actually.

burning down the house

Do you want to do this?


No, I think I'll go home.


How 'bout that?


Going home now.


What if we hit a movie?


Nah. Home.


Beach? Maybe a beach trip?


Think I'll stay at home.


Hiking?


Home.


Out to eat. Let's go out to eat.


I have things to eat at home.


Okay, okay. I get it. You want to go home but how 'bout you take a different route there. Turn off on another road, get lost and find your way back home. Ya' know, just on your way home. Take the long way this time.


I think I can do that.



For any of you solid, been here forever, sweet sweet friends/readers I just have to say I hope this new format doesn't frustrate you. I hope you are okay with some change 'cause I just wanted to change something and the blog seemed like a good start. Thank you for sticking with me on this. One thing that will never change is how grateful I am for you.





Wednesday, September 28, 2011

when technology dies

The computer got sick, was feverish but still after all these years attempted with all it's might to perform it's duties. I was unaware the effort of what seemed to be the brain, the tapping of the rapid workings within, was the Kussmaul breathing of an old friend. When all my efforts of which were admittedly few failed to return us to where we had been I called the ambulance. They rushed it to the ER where it sat waiting at least twenty-four hours. I knew I couldn't disturb the surgeons, I mean they have your coworker's life in their hands. One small move and you've lost the most diligent, persistent, day in day out without complaint, no request for a raise, no bitching about the workload friend you have.

Now I know phoning to check would not have mattered.

The doctor called me today.


There will be no services. Don't worry with sending flowers. No money needs to be sent to a charity in my old computer's name. It is simply over. A friend is gone and now replaced.


Except



Oh my gosh



really?



Yes, I am grateful. Grateful for the time we had.

sky and guy

Josh, Love Music Fest 2011

Bless his heart.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

who

Garry Burnside, Love Music Fest 2011




Although he is obviously his father's son, he is also a man all himself.

Thank you for the music, Mr. Garry Burnside.

when you got ahead of yourself

Some people found you condescending.

You seemed to forget the value of all those who helped you along the way.

You became paranoid.

You needed to justify what you were doing in this world.

You were possessive.

In order to feel better about yourself you degraded others all the while knowing a superiority complex was the most cliche thing you could have. Ironic, isn't it?





I walked away from the mirror.






Not because I don't care about you. I am human. I care. It's just that those are lessons that I was taught when I was your age and later as well 'cause I am not such a quick learner. I care enough to know you'll be fine without me.



Thank you for showing me this.









Monday, September 26, 2011

a bad baseball analogy during football season

I smell desperation and trip over my feet running from my mind. The fiction contest, now known as the friction contest, left me spent without the purchase of a story. I did not submit but in the process came across the most severe form of writer's block I have ever experienced. It is the catch twenty-two. I cannot write so I force myself to write which after reading proves I cannot write which makes me write more which offers greater evidence until finally I consider landscape architecture. Then I look at my front yard and hit the whiskey.

I think this must be where I pause for applause. Way to go, self, you slid into first. So I am out and I am at the bench again watching other players take the game. It's okay. Sometimes the lessons we learn are more valuable than the win could have ever been. Or at least that is what we tell ourselves as we warm the bench, get sent back down to the minors and practice the fundamentals. Maybe, just maybe one day we find out all we needed to remember is how much we enjoyed the game.

This, this blogging thing, I enjoy it.



Thus, I am grateful.







Sunday, September 25, 2011

say


sweetness

Slater & Shelby,  Love Music Fest 2011


These two show me how calm and sweet love is.



Gratitude.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

all about the Love in Mississippi

Today is the day.

Love Music Fest in Love, MS



ComScore


It is gonna be that good.


Gratitude.


Friday, September 23, 2011

nostoryday

There was this story called Blue I wrote years ago. Then I deleted it.

It is gone.

I wish I had it back. I would revamp it and submit it to this contest that could very well be taking over my life and driving me insane. But then maybe the story wasn't as good as I remember and maybe I would still be in the predicament I am right now. You know the one. I stare at a page, write some drivel and ultimately decide I am a fool for even attempting to write.

This is hard. I don't do well with deadlines and commitments so today it no longer exists. I will not miss it. There will be no romantic thoughts of remember when I could write, no dreamy aspirations of maybe one day I will again.

Today is a photography contest, more cleaning than any one person should ever do in such a limited time, dinner with a friend and gratitude.

Yes, I just put gratitude on a list. (not my most proud moment here, folks)

After that we'll see.


Thursday, September 22, 2011

relief

Today, wait what day is it? Yesterday was my Friday although it was Wednesday which means right now is Thursday and I am in the early stages of a four day weekend. Can I just go ahead and declare a most grateful gratefulness to whomever came up with the concepts of weekends, holidays and vacation days? Those things haven't been around forever and they are genius. Thank you, whoever you are.

It is not that I don't have anything to do or I am going off on a tropical excursion or driving into the mountains although all of these things, even the doing nothing, sound extra nice. It is that I have a million things to do right here. Projects I am excited about, people around me who are interested in the same projects and this feels good. It feels like what I have been wanting, what I say I have been working towards.

This moment feels like relief.

A breath before the inner critic whispers, You're going to jinx it. You're not that good. This is just another one of your little obsessive delves into something you've created with nothing to substantiate it. You have no talent. What the hell are you doing?

So I argue, But Josh called. He told me to work to my strengths and he said I had some and he had a great idea and he thinks I can do this.

It was his idea. Not yours.

But it was his idea for me and he took the time out of all that he is doing in this world right now to read what I wrote and give what seemed like valid advice, constructive criticism and he is as close as I have found to art. Got a degree in it and everything.


Mom always said a child needed one person in their life, just one to take time and show them the way. One person to believe in another. In adulthood I think we find it necessary to believe in who is believing in us.

Tonight, today, wherever we are in this sweet time continuum I am saying I am grateful for my brother.



Josh




Dear Alabama reader,


You will get to read the story before I submit it, I promise. It is not ready for you yet. Your faith and willingness to read all these years has put you in polished status. I work on the work for you.


Much love,
Shea

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

four more days

Little Joe Ayers and Duwayne Burnside


This says this guy will be on stage at 6:00pm. Although I am a total Woodstomp tattoo my own car groupie, I do reserve a piece of my heart for Little Joe Ayers.

A day of music and friends and a beautiful place and Little Joe.

This is happy and grateful.

Monday, September 19, 2011

kindness

Morning



If we get still enough I think we see a certain kindness to this world. The sun is gentle before it becomes harsh and soon we are assured it will let us rest. All we ever need to know we learn in a day.




Gratitude.

creed



Yes, Slater has threatened this. And yes, it could be that he is the only one now viewing my photos and ramblings. He is quite savvy with computers.


connection



Family

Brothers

When I get so mad at his selfishness and the Kill Bill movies take on a new meaning and I want to find him just so I can punch him in the face and then turn him in and watch as they put him behind bars because I get so self righteous then these pictures should remind me of the fact that without him I would not even know these people.


So yes, I am grateful. Eternally grateful for this connection.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

love

Billy Sue, who loves you?

That's right. I do.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

not

Anne Lamott wrote it best. Shitty first drafts.


Responses from my shitty first draft were as follows:


I hate it when you write this episodic shit. ~ A close and loving relative.




I am not even interested in these characters. I couldn't care less what happens to them. ~ Ex-lover, wonderful friend




If you liked this enough to send this to people then you should stop writing. ~ The close and loving relative again.





And yet I continue into the second draft.



Gratitude.

sold

This is as close as I have come to a steady hum when elation and depression are found on the same line and lack the peaks and valleys of earlier years. The surge of an electrical impulse quickly disperses. I say hello to my pituitary gland, the hypothalamus does not warm my soul and the cortex only gathers the information. What I do with this becomes my own hallucination in one sense a story in the other.

Somewhere in time I had to decide what could be sold and value it enough to give it away as charity. It became the most personal of choices and my value speaks nothing of yours. This is not good or bad, better or worse. It is fleeting with judgement serving as a distraction.

Thus, it makes absolutely no sense that I would enter a competition unless in some silly small way I needed to step outside myself, throw myself among peers and be judged by experts in the field of story. Fiction even.

This contest.

The only way I can write the first word is to say it doesn't matter. That's when writing gets fun for me.

Do you like to write? If so, you do it too.


Otherwise, I am humbled you are here reading my ramblings. Have I said thank you? Not enough I haven't.




To: You
From: Me

Thank you. I can't tell you enough, thank you.





In celebration of stories and music I think we could listen to Tom.

Friday, September 16, 2011

within the ellipsis...





A fill in the blank of you tell me...

Ya' know...

I enjoyed the...

If only we could have...

Till we meet again...

How the mind will wonder...

What could not have been...

If the ellipsis never existed.



Hello, Friday. I am so very grateful...






Post Script. Life lesson learned from football last night is you can't win a game with a scared quarterback. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

fight





We reorganize the relationship into how far we can be pushed and step back into our corners. I play the music you hate not because you hate it (like you think) but because I love it and it soothes me but it infuriates you. Right now it is all about you, about how you need me to understand and I say there are no exceptions to this rule. Always exceptions, you become the exception and I feel passion rise.

If this is all we ever had, this fight, this ongoing play of ideas and words and who we are and who we are not as we try and hide the smiles then in the end I would have to say this was all I ever needed, ever required without exception.

You can't hide your smile, a lovely distraction.



Gratitude as I kiss my hand and blow that kiss your way.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

well, well, well, what do we have here?

I think this is what is called some North Mississippi Hill Country Blues.

Yes sir, this makes me smile.


contained

Back it on up, Mr. Mister

Tonight I complained I was bored and then looked around myself in shame at all there was to do. Shame on me. Now that we have that out of the way I am grateful for this time and this music and this opportunity and these family and friends and this life and your kindness and patience and the fact my kid hasn't had me committed yet and I have a million things to do if for no other reason but to show my gratitude for all that this is.

burst



Do you think humans use their full potential? he asks.

She shrugs her shoulders, I think you can't speak of human potential without considering desire. The capacity of potential is best measured in what one wants.

He bends down and picks up a fallen limb and then another. The yard is covered with the aftermath of the storm. She too begins gathering branches till neither grasp can hold another, walking to the wheelbarrow and adding to a pile which grows until it needs to be emptied at the end of the drive. They work in silence, a steady pace of gathering and placing the discard.

What do I want, she wonders for only a moment before she smiles and thinks, This.



Gratitude.




Monday, September 12, 2011

home

Chestnut

Last Signs of Summer



Pine


Magnolia

Wyatt's Woody


Stumped



Susie's Smile

Driveway


Muscadine

Possum Grapes

Crime

Suspect


Inspired gratitude.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

what they said

You wanna know if it was a great time. It was. You wanna know if you broke my heart. You did.




It doesn't matter anymore.




You were the one.




You weren't.




Great dialogue. Mad Men, Season 3, Episode 11.




Gratitude.

worm shit

Thursday I got some pants in the mail. Not only pants but two shirts and a beautiful wonderful oh my gosh is there a better piece of clothing than a hoodie. I got a hoodie but this post is not about a hoodie. Although I can't wait to wear it. I am so excited about hoodie weather.

Back to the pants. Focus.

I don't like to shop. In fact if I had known then what I know now I would have ordered one hundred pair of the purple pants Priscilla got me last year. She got me purple pants to replace the other purple pants which with their holes and bleach stains began to become a family disgrace and although I don't still carry the family name someone may connect me to them and well, they don't want to be associated with those purple pants. The color purple doesn't even want to be associated with them anymore. It left. I think their color is not even a named color. Bed. Bed is the only place I am allowed to wear them so they are the color bed.

Focus.

The new pants are red. Bright, Santa got a new suit red. Not your typical me red. Not blend in with your surroundings red. Not don't look at me red. These pants are all hey, look at me, I'm red. Yes, I just gave dialogue to pants which means I should maybe not mention where I got the pants. Does a store want a person who gives dialogue to pants talking about their pants talking? Maybe they would pay me not to talk about their pants. Have I discovered a new way to generate income? Please Shea, do not mention us. Take this money and forget you ever knew us.

Think of the market out there. It is huge, so much hush money to be had.

Focus.

Sorry Bamboosa, you didn't send the check and I the antifashionista love your pants, love every piece of bamboo clothing you have. I love the way you wrap it, I love the way you send it, I love the way it feels, I love that it only gets better with each washing, I love it, love it, love it. Bamboosa, I love your American made self. You are my heart Bamboosa. Please don't sue me 'cause I have a story about your clothing.

I was having breakfast with Mom and Dad last year when Priscilla gave me the pair of Bamboosa purple pants all nicely wrapped with the sweetest card not so much saying throw away those other purple pants but more like I love you enough and care about our family's image enough to give you a new pair of purple pants. When I opened the gift and pulled the pants out and then up to my cheek to feel their softness my Mom said, Aren't those cool? They are made out of bamboo. Isn't that wild? How do you think they do that? 

I don't know, I said.

They are just so soft, she took them out of my hand.

We admired them together talking about what a perfect gift it was, how sweet Priscilla was to do something so thoughtful and bamboo, who would have known bamboo could get so soft.

Dad who had been quietly eating his breakfast suddenly blurted out, Worm shit.

These are the moments I live for so I smiled, turned and looked at him, Worm shit, Daddy?

The worm eats the bamboo and shits out the silk. Worm shit. The pants are made of worm shit.

I laugh, Daddy, I kinda like the fact my pants are made from worm shit. Nice.

Dear Bamboosa, you should have sent the check. Nonetheless, I love your worm shit pants, both the purple and the red colors, and am eternally grateful for your ability to offer them to me at a very reasonable price.

Dear reader, road trip for me. Be back Sunday or Monday with photographs.

Friday, September 9, 2011

control

Every morning she wakes up in a state of learned helplessness. If it wasn't for bad luck she'd have no luck at all. When I finally decided she was right it seemed we struggled less. You're right. Your life does suck.

Why not?






The professor posed the question, Why in 1954 were more people killed by tornadoes in the state of Alabama although there were a greater number of tornadoes in the state of Oklahoma?

Nobody in the class had done the reading but several students took a stab at the answer. None of them were correct.

Supposedly a study had been done and the results were quite interesting. It seemed the most marked difference between those people residing in Alabama and those of Oklahoma were their locus of control.

In Alabama more people were apt to believe that what would happen would happen. Fate. God. Their control was more external than those in Oklahoma who built storm shelters, took precaution and heeded warnings.

Of course I always heard that God helped those who helped themselves.


Who knows? I just know it's Friday and I am so incredibly grateful for this day.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

conflict



Every page must contain conflict. When he first said it I thought surely not, not every page. I walked to the bookshelf, picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and thumbed through it. He was right.

The drink spills, someone takes a wrong turn, she leaves and he turns away. A forgotten returns to remind us why we must forget while our hearts long to remember. He is late and she burns dinner. We learn to laugh at clumsy and a cut heals. Broken bones mend and this too shall pass but not before we feel it. The thrill of victory could have never existed without the agony of defeat.

Every single page.

Every damn day.





So much gratitude.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

nightcrawlers

I fall asleep reading articles on the necessity of sleep.

Maya Angelou helps me with the Christmas lights but Jeff Bridges keeps telling me we need to go for a ride. What a great night, he says. Let's do it. Maya can handle Christmas.


Maya raises an eyebrow and Jeff picks up a tangled strand of lights, waits till she is not looking and then winks at me.

The phone rings and I leave the room.

Now I am going back to sleep to see if I can find that room again.

Sweet dreams and gratitude.

Monday, September 5, 2011

wanderlust

Slater was twelve years old when he floated away. Mom and I were holding onto a pier off the intracoastal waterway. One moment he was there and the next he was being sucked into a vicious line of boat traffic. I watched him drift, hollered out his name and began walking toward him in the shallow. I dove in and began swimming even before it was required thinking it would be easy to catch him and the swimming would do me good. A few breaths into it and I began realizing the tide had more of a pull than I had breath. He was getting further away.

I caught him but not before I felt like I had almost died and a boat had pulled up to us to ask if we were okay. I could hardly speak the yes but did and then pulled him back with what little strength I didn't even know I had. Everyone survived that day but what I remember most now is the pull of that current and the risk we both took.

At times I am grateful for this current moving deep within me and at others I give thanks for the still, shallow waters which seem to hold little risk.

Still the current remains strong and now I know more than ever what brought me here to you.

event









I know. I know. Beautiful, beautiful Coldwater River morning shots were supposed to be up by yesterday in the grand showing in this here gallery. I am most obviously a procrastinator and extremely lazy. Hopefully to partially, kinda maybe make up for that I am displaying photos here of an event which it was my honor to shoot yesterday.

I can't truly express what it meant for Slater to take part in our local Boy Scouts program. Let's just say it helped, and I am grateful for the help and these boys and their leaders and a certain lady named Debi who watched her fourth son ceremonially obtain the rank of Eagle yesterday.

And whadayaknow, Seth gives us something to ponder. Of course he does.


Complete gratitude.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

today

Did you ever wake up and think I just want to create?

Again, this video 'cause it feels like today.




Quite nice to think we all have the ability and ultimately the choice to create or destroy. Today feels like creation and I am grateful not only for that truth but also this creator.





And you. I am grateful for you as well.




show













Gratitude.