Thursday, May 31, 2012

director of creative works her magic

Hey, Jess. Come on and help me out with some dress shots.

Sure, Aunt Shea.

Today I am very grateful for all the help I get in this world.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


A few shots from this weekend 'cause well, Mom. Mom and Nana and Kim and everybody were needing to see some wedding photos and if they came to this blog one more time and there were no wedding photos but rather some gibberish I have written about a Mr. Dauber then I was going to be hunted and officially removed from family/friend status. These are by no means even a good sampling of all that is contained in three days of photography last week. I am still working on them but am hoping this helps with all the anticipation.

Madalyn began crying when trying to say her vows and it was butterfly kisses on rainbows surrounded by fluffy clouds carrying smiling unicorns. All I could think was if a sister ever wanted anything for her brother it would be this. I would want him to always be loved and love like this.

I am so very grateful to be a part of these moments when even cynical me can't help but believe.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

mister dauber and the girl without internet

Once upon last week there was this little guy who worked tirelessly building his home. Nervous, yes very nervous he was as if everything around him posed some sort of threat. He warmed up to me but it did take the entire week. He was not amused by my amusement. I at times wondered if he considered me lazy and thus an annoyance. Still I sat and watched, got in his way with my presence. Seven days later I became a fixture in his world because I no longer posed a danger. This to me, as much as to him, became a particular kind of ease and I can't help but wonder if today he'll miss me.

He'll still hear the singing, some guys who've taken to begging down the road. There will still be an afternoon sun beating down making him work faster of building and building and even some more until well, I don't know. I only got seven days and they were worth every penny I never paid.

Today I am grateful to be in a place where I can write you of him.

Thank you for waiting on me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

roughing it

wherein Billy Sue practices for camping by sitting in the grass

So we're going on an adventure like camping but without the bugs and with a roof and air conditioning and a new home and a job and a swimming hole and family and I'll try to post pictures along the way if I can find internet but who knows 'cause we're gonna treat it like an adventure.

If I'm not back by next Monday we've taken to the sea.

For the next few days I am so very grateful to accept what life offers.

necessity is a mother

They became each other's excuse.

She will fight to the bitter end and the end will be bitter because of all the fighting.

Nobody should tell him he seems less happy now. He's less happy now because he realized it.

The day she couldn't find help she invented some.

He called because he was lonely.

She answered because she needed something but not that.

The cure for alone had not been invented yet, just pills for the symptoms she thought.

He laughed.

She warned.

There could have been a threat.

Maybe it was.

The conversation ended neither too soon or too late.

Perfectly timed for her to realize what she had just said.

The conclusion. She was not her biggest fan.

Today I am grateful for time and consideration.

Monday, May 21, 2012

miller road

Remember the day we got lost 'cause neither of us kept track?
The gravel met pavement and we were losing sun.
I felt the rumbling of a panic but you kept calm.
We found our way back yet it wasn't without help.
There was an old man in his yard, three dogs at his feet.
He told us to turn left at the stop, drive about a mile.
There was to be a barn to our right, a large oak on the left.
Turn there, he said, that'll take you home.

Today I am most grateful and constantly amazed by the kindness of those we call strangers.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Wow. I love everything about this.

Thank you, Elena Kalis.

only guy missing was Seasick Steve

There is a point in the day of never ending possibilities where you sit and say screw any further potential. We have set up signs requesting, Come one, come all. We invite you into our yard and one room past the door. Not only that, we set up shop. He sits on a couch and me in a chair. I set the coffee on the table in front of me, basically eat a cigarette and we wait.

I don't work well with others.
You think?

There are wood statues which stand next to the walk that leads to the door. People are drawn to them, must stop and get closer. Nobody seems to recognize they function as CD holders bought to represent a particular type of music, something wild and instinctual like what could be found in Chulahoma. The tall one looks in peace while the short has a face of called to war. I love them both the same but price them according to height, forty for the tall one and twenty for looking for a fight.

I'll give you thirty-five for both, she says.
Sold, I reply.

Slater chastises me 'cause they were our draw but I just laugh at him because now they are dinner.
We are the hunters and gatherers of the twenty first century.

There is a breeze, we are in the shade and the street soon shows traffic. A few people drive by, slow up and come close to a stop. They look, we wave and they keep on going.
Rejection, I say.
He smiles.
I laugh.

A white car pulls up to the curb and stops.
Why does that car remind me of Adam? He asks.
'Cause it's like someone said pimp my ride but don't pimp it too much.
The guy gets out.
Never mind, Slater says.
Don't be too quick to dismiss. He may just be an older version.

He buys a Buddy Guy CD for a dollar and a heavy, tall candle holder for three. The candle holder, he says, will be turned into an ashtray and I smile at his imagination though I am much more interested in his choice of music. Come to find out he is a blues aficionado, once threw a party for Jessie Mae Hemphill and has his own juke joint. Good Morning America has come to his place, he was photographed by Annie Leibovitz.

Damn, I say. What's your name? The question is ridiculous. I already know.
Sherman Cooper, he answers.

On a Saturday morning in my front yard stands Sherman Cooper, a man I have been trying to meet for a year. We were conducting a trade, and I get four of his dollars. I consider this to be the perfect North Mississippi parting gift.

Today I am grateful for gifts.

And look, here's Steve.

Goodbye, angry one.

Friday, May 18, 2012

eclectic war and peace

There is a peace sign painted on her forehead yet still she is called to war.
People live or die by what she decides.
Sitting on the back porch she recounts the casualties of her last battle.
There was that guy going too slow on the road with all the tractors.
The kid crying as she tried to eat her lunch.
An hour past what she had planned.
The price of beef in the local supermarket.
Dinner ready, he was late, a white flag could not keep the food warm.

I giggle.
She cuts her eyes.
Don't shoot me, I say and hold my hands up.
She smiles.

In other news the Everything Must Go/estate/rummage/rubbish/carportnothefrontyard sale we are going to have is well, how do I say this, kinda, um. huh. eclectic. (a term once used by an artist to describe my decorating style. I took it as a compliment but I don't think she meant it that way. her paintings were very precise)

An antique wardrobe for a little boy, the only antique I ever bought. It was from a mom and pop shop on the state line road. Refinished and stained a shiny dark, nameplates for where we were supposed to put his stuff. It never worked for us. The fact we would put ties on a tie rack labelled as such in the left door makes me laugh now looking back. Seth, Slater's friend, was much more suited for that particular piece of furniture. Pricing, who knows? I gave $575 in single mother installments seventeen years ago. The act of bringing it home was more of the statement we are going to make it so I figure for $200 it is out the door.

Let's see how that works.
$375 cost
Divided by seventeen years.
$ 1.84/month
A nickel and a penny per day.

Goodbye, good buy. It was worth it.

Today, more than yesterday but maybe not as much as tomorrow, I am grateful to know we crossed some perceived battlefield where I thought I had to go to war. Living choose your battles has helped me to understand the cost of a fight.

Kim's Place

Thursday, May 17, 2012

once upon a time I was a fashion diva in a relative universe

From the depths of crap I'm trying to pawn off one thing becomes so blatantly obvious.

If we take inventory,
hang the stuff which supposedly represented who we were,

if we see how much we've changed,

how can we ever truly know who we are?

Today I am grateful for our potential, what we have yet to find.

(no, the purple pants are not for sale. Ever. you couldn't afford them anyway. I'll take nothing less than a zillion dollars for them but I will take a zillion because I'm a sellout)

If you're getting rid of the old and feel a need for something new Cory can help you out with music.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


She warns me at the gas station.
There's a murderer on the loose.
Week before there were killings too.
It is the latest facebook news.

She looks worried so I use vigilante humor.
It is what I call my jokes.
She laughs 'cause they really are that fucked up.
Still laughter can be quick breathing which fear is prone to stop.

I once told him, even wrote it in an email, we create our world. He laughed at me, was older than me, had already seen too much. If you got behind the handshakes, the super sized smiles, you could get deep behind those eyes. That's what happens with honesty. it examines our truth. Still I asked him to tell me a joke, please keep me amused. Play the guitar, don't let me watch the news. Bring out the clowns and the fancy lights. I don't want to believe some people are human. Please just stereotype.

He was given to hover over such hate while I built islands in heaven with what I shoveled.

Pour me some more coffee please.
Turn up the music.
If this were our last day it is up to us to make it lovely.


Today I am extra grateful for law enforcement and courage and people who protect because they care.
Also, I am thankful for this day, my son, our favorite music, the laughs we'll have as we get ready for our Everything Must Go Sale.
This will be fun.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

it's funny


Thank you, luckyshirt.


I don't want to talk about boys. not in that way. The conversation makes me feel weak. As if Don Draper by the third season just got too whiny for me. Here's the deal, and I hate that it's true, whenever we see something in others we don't like it's usually something in ourselves we need to tend to. Seriously, I don't like that rule.

Maybe I recognized some weakness in Don I was trying to avoid in myself. It could have been that those characters with their drama were too much to fit in such a tiny space left empty from all the drama in my head. Self awareness through television shows is just the worst (though safer than bars and drunk dialing). My therapist's name? Don Draper. He's good. I just stopped going when he started touching the hot issues. 

Oh yes, he's gorgeous when gorgeous is a commodity.
On that show the market was flooded and it soon lost it's value.

All that to say if you're still watching Mad Men I totally get it. The set design, costume, how beautiful everyone is and the writing. It's just that I needed some comedy and I may be as emotionally mature as a thirty year old which is saying something since last year I think I was about seven. It's just that it deals with relationships (men and women) without being so dramatic.

People, I was way too dramatic.
Ohmygosh capitalized with exclamation points.
You say, Dude. Tone it down. I say, I couldn't.
Until now when I finally gave up.

It's not that I don't adore the men in this new show. Zooey Deschanel is fantastic. I would love to be her and live with those three guys in that apartment. Plus, don't tell anyone. You know you come here for all the big secrets. It's free. You can watch it for free on hulu dot com.

In other news.

I went hiking yesterday with a dog who is emotionally allergic to walking.
It's okay. She lived but there were some close calls.

Today I am grateful to move forward.

Monday, May 14, 2012



There was a sigh in the mention of a suggestion. a pause then a glance.
The keys were on the table but nobody left.
Someone lit a cigarette and a box fan took the smoke.
A television rambled in a room down the hall.
A fist on the table followed a giggle in the kitchen.
The phone rang though it didn't matter.
All the switches were flipped except that one.

Heavy steps on wood floors, the boots were well worn.
A moth trapped in the light made the dog look up.
Repeat play of a song, music escaped out the door.
Two candles burned, one on the mantle.
Feet resting on a coffee table.
Why? he asked.
'Cause, she said.

Nobody knew the answer.

Music, anyone?

Today I am grateful for the steady flow of a river.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Even if I didn't think this guy was an incredible photographer (I do) I would at least think he made a great commercial (fourth row down in the second column. it makes me want to know what he knows)

it's a wonder I turned out so good

I was about seven years old when I decided to run away. The precipitating factor was a commercial on TV. It wasn't that I had a bad life by any means. It was just that there was this commercial of this little girl who felt all neglected, packed her suitcase, picked up her stuffed animal and drug everything through a kitchen where her Mom was cooking. In the commercial of some religion or another the Mom saw the girl, walked to her, knelt down beside her and asked what was up. She was running away she explained with a single tear falling from her beautiful eyes and trailing down her cheek. It was quite touching because right after that they were in a park. The little girl was swinging and smiling with the Mom pushing from behind.

It looked fun. I wanted to go to the park. Plus, let's face it, it was a hard, hard life. Sometimes my Mom was creating a meal for her family of five or working to help ends meet or cleaning up another spill or taking one of her kids for their next ER visit pleading with us to not cause a fight. There were times I would run to my room, jump into my canopy bed and just cry about how unfair life could be. I was that little girl. I obviously needed to run away.

It is beautiful, I think, when our young performance artists are inspired by another's work, particularly a religious commercial. just imagine what a Time cover would have done to me, or wait, don't.

Anyway, the day finally came. It was not like there were many speaking parts, just some really cool background music to play in my head. Also I didn't plan on going anywhere so I didn't focus much on the packing. A couple of items from a drawer thrown in, I knew the important thing was to drag it like it was heavy with the clincher being the doll tucked under my arm.

Mom was cooking in the kitchen.
This was it.
I was going to the park.
Forget the brothers. She could leave them there.
I took a right out of my bedroom with the props.
Outside the kitchen I am almost sure I smiled. Then scene.
Slowly I dragged with my head down trying to think of something sad so maybe I could cry.
Slower now I tried to look at her out of the corner of my eye.
Even slower I had to bump the suitcase into one of the kitchen chairs.
Almost through the kitchen I finally had to stop and turn around, clear my throat, say, Mom!
Worst thing was I had an inkling she had already seen me.

Note to future performance artists: The hardest part in improv is when you're all mad and you have to look sad.

Obviously she had not seen the commercial but still here I was dragging a suitcase.
Didn't she care?
Finally she humored me, asked, What are you doing?
Back to scene.
I am running away.
Okay. Good luck, she went back to cooking.

We did end up getting it straight after I finally had to break down in tears and throw a complete fit about how she didn't play the part and the Mom on TV had taken the little girl to the park. No, she didn't take me to the park. She told me to go unpack my suitcase, clean up for dinner and let my brothers know it was ready.

Yes, I did then consider going to join the church where mothers were into swinging little girls. Now I'm just happy I stuck with a Mom who could keep such a straight face.

Today I am so very, very grateful for my Mom. Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

six month budgetary meeting

Writing can reveal, transform. It feels like climbing to the top of a hill every morning. Sometimes it chases you, tackles you, forces you to say. Other times it hides and stays silent until you finally scream uncle. It is everything you ever thought about yourself and all those things you want. It is struggle, evolution as you grip to a past you once thought you forgot. There are moments when you think this is it and you compose a love letter telling writing, this is it you dastardly bastard, you complete me and I love you so much. Most times not. So as a writer, I think, you must consider probability and know less is less and more is more. You have to fluff the pillows on the couch just in case it comes.

Photography is play. A million testimonies of faith. It is interaction with the world, a big fat how do you do. My favorite photographs are those that give hope. A moment, a look, a soft light sneaking through a door. It is love captured, deep wrinkles on a face, barefoot in clover and silhouettes on a sunny day. How the water crashes and watching it flow. The best I'll ever do, those times when photography becomes writing's second cousin, is when I am shown something the same time as you.

This has got to be why I do what I do.

Today I am grateful to take assessment, to tally up and find, no matter what, I don't want to stop.

Friday, May 11, 2012

when your life could serve as a warning but you keep going for the good example

Six months ago today I quit my job.

We'll go to a restaurant, listen as a violin plays some music.

happy anniversary, we'll whisper and toast each other with lemon and water. we'll giggle in a delusional state.

It wasn't six months ago when I decided to do this. It was a year and six months ago or about that time when the phones stopped working properly at the place I was employed. Small thing really, just a phone. Just that the people on the phone sounded like they were falling down a tunnel. Thinking back now I guess it's funny when you consider I ended up screaming at my customers, I don't know if you can hear me but I can hardly hear you. Please tell me your name and number. I'll try to call you back. I'd get off the phone in tears so mad at what they had done.

Now maybe we need to say, like I told Slater, the phone, it was the toothpaste in the relationship. Slater knows. We've had this talk.  One time a couple of years ago he came home mad at his Dad. Not for something which had never happened before but maybe at a time when he felt safe to open up. He got finished telling me what his Dad had done, and I, knowing this had to come, finally said, It's the toothpaste, son.

He looked at me like you're looking now. Six month anniversary and she's finally done. 

What? He asked and then gave me one of my smiles 'cause if nothing else he could depend on his Momma to be the craziest woman in town.

Well honey, you gotta listen. I understand you have never been married before so it'll get a little over your head but stick with me on this. I think you can get it. You see some married couples get in a fight over the toothpaste. She may not roll it from the bottom and that may drive him crazy and that may then become a fight. But it's silly really. I mean, it's just toothpaste.

He smiles bigger.

The toothpaste represents so much more. It's not just what happened tonight. It's just something to focus on. The deal is you're mad and it's okay to be mad and it's okay for a moment to not like your Dad because you love your Dad. You want him to be okay. You see his potential and you see what he does. It's okay not to agree with that and it's fine tonight to admit you open the toothpaste one way and he does another. People are different but we can still love.

About a week later his Dad came to me needing some help. He didn't understand why Slater had gotten so mad at the way he had talked to his own Dad.

You want to know why? I asked.

Yes. He nodded and I was amazed he was so clueless to the answer.

Toothpaste, I said. Then I explained and we didn't talk much after that.

It was the phone but not. Now at six months we have some breadsticks with the water and walk home 'cause at six months I am not where I wanted to be. Still I am getting there. small forward steps to a goal.

Wedding in two weeks.
Published in this next month.
Potential webmaster position with one of my favorite places in the world.
Some great new friends.

And you. You who keeps coming back. you who returns when I don't even want to read my own blog. um. well. Dude, seriously. You know what I mean when I say thank you, right? I hope you do. Thank you so much. You are some of the most wonderfully tenacious and hopeful people I know and it is so good to have you in my life.

Today I am grateful for what my son has taught me.

How 'bout we let this be our picture today? Love, love, love.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

where the boys are

A. Waiting the results of the North Carolina vote.
B. Single and partying.
C. Secretly in love with the bartender.
D. Scared to go home.

There is no sense in us trying to make assumptions about the gal taking the photograph.
These guys were innocent bystanders in the lights and colors of a bar.

Grateful to know the judgments I have are only reflections of me.

In Trey's video he sees Curtis as a sentient creature. For me that sounds good enough.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

who Sarah gave

I'm noticing a pattern now. The hugs, how we embrace, it is changing. These two people I am sitting with, they are home but not a place. They are back roads and side streets and driving without brakes. Staying out late, music, just trying to find our way. They are gain and loss. Laughter you want to capture and save in a jar. Tears you already poured.

I nod, know he's right, we left the eighties.
Drove out of town so we can now meet in a city.

Jar o' Jason

This age, now more than any other, feels like age as if we turned some corner off a busy city street.
Still with them I feel the same.

I am grateful for those people with whom I always knew I'd grow old(er).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I assume she misses the purple haze when life was desperate and her desire was to escape. I watch as she is handed another camera and decide mine is better in it's bag. She tells someone to move the lighting an inch and asks the subject to look to their right. Two closings of the shutter and she shouts, Done, drops the camera into someone's hands, turns and begins walking toward the door.

I gather my stuff, try to catch up, Do you miss it?


Those early days with one camera, one lens, getting up at 6am to get the shot which always seemed to make the cover?

Her hand on the doorknob she stops and I almost run into her. That's what you came here to ask me?

Well. One of the questions.

Do you miss something about your life? Are you scared to move forward?

I don't know. Maybe. Who's interviewing who?

She smiles, opens the door. We walk into a bright sun from a dark studio. Get in the car, she says. Your answer is no.

I am grateful for others.

Monday, May 7, 2012


She calls and tells me what to write. I listen while wincing then tell her I don't know what it will be. I'm sure she'll do fine and can write whatever she'd like but she can't do it for me. I say bye without explaining this feels like one of the last freedoms.

I wonder what she would say if I told her what to paint. It's not something I would do because I don't know what she sees. The policy has to be I only study what appeals to me. Yeah, I know it is cliche to say I go where my heart leads.

It's just at times in my life I may not have listened to what was inside of me.

Today I am grateful for the luxury of practicing a freedom which feels vitally important to me.
even if I have to get a job to support that freedom.

If ever you get lonely.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

groceries plus

Everyone is happy here just some more serious than others. Studies show a smile is more apt to take your money. I hear a guy tell someone he's happy to talk to people who are concerned with our food supply. All I had said was, Oh. Homegrown tomatoes. Heck yeah.


Can I get some white bread with that, please?

My favorite of the day is this one lady who says she hasn't had her coffee yet. I stand in amazement and request that nobody give her any form of caffeine. She about has me convinced that something is wrong with what I use. I just can't quite go there, make the leap to think the people who make my Gain laundry detergent are somehow out to give me a case of eczema and the toxins emitted from my clothing are affecting my breathing. It's probably the cigarettes.

Kim buys it and now I question myself every time I get an itch.

The fact is I love a farmer's market if for no other reason my cousins and I sold watermelons out of the back of a green pickup truck. Already I love these people and admire their hard work and guts. It feels good to buy from your neighbor and hear that if you run out and order online you don't have to pay for shipping 'cause all you have to do is meet up.

The one in Hernando, MS is on a beautiful square. Not as big as I expected but you know these things, they grow. I do recommend it.

Today I am grateful for good soil and local produce.

Also, if you know Nick, the Army Ranger from Out of the Wild: Venezula on Netflix, could you tell him that he's as sexy as a tomato? How my heart flutters.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

ten steps to nothing

Josh by Josh

Step one. Stare into a blank space.

Step two. Blink five thousand three hundred eighty-two times.

Step three. Try not to blink.

Step four. Get frustrated that you didn't turn on the dishwasher last night. It's sound is drowning out your music.

Step five. Reject at least nine of your ideas. Don't be sweet. Punish yourself. They were idiotic.

Step six. Go to a mirror to stare at yourself disapprovingly.

Step seven. Check your teeth. Commit to a rigid exercise program. Laugh.

Step eight. Read this Hunter S Thompson article and decide to buy a can of Mace. (thank you, Adam)

Step nine. Check your bank account. You can't afford the Mace. Embrace the envy.

Step ten. Tell yourself it's okay. Maybe tomorrow.

Today I am grateful for this space.

Friday, May 4, 2012

a momentary cease of worry

He used to say you can't partake of the Lord's Supper if you're not in the right frame of mind. Even then I knew I needed a calm soul, a mind willing to trust and receive. It was so much easier then. Now the how should I, what will they think, is this right, is that wrong, stop looking at me that way, the thoughts do somersaults in my brain. On one hand I need to be accepted but on the other I can't care. I know worry never got me anywhere.

I am losing light but think I have the shot. A few more just in case then I can get in my car and go home. I can do this, won't blow this, so close now, get in the car and drive. Walking past a group of people congregated outside I am not rude. I return the normal, hi. Ten feet away, almost away, almost there I hear a man say my name.

On one hand I could run, take off, they're not going to chase me. It could provide some humor for the group, something they could talk about later. You remember that night down in Como when we were standing outside and we saw Shea and we said her name and she took off all crazy running down main street?

Yeah, that girl. She's nuts.

On the other hand I turn around, see the face of someone I know I am supposed to know. I pick the wrong hand, I should have run. He doesn't help me one bit. Instead he walks toward me with a tell me who I am look on his face. This is the worst, a nightmare of the brain running over to a file cabinet and attempting to retrieve a file but this office never had a good secretary and everything is such a mess. It gives up and tells me to fuck off.

He is getting closer.

I stand there and raise my hands in defeat, How do I know you?

He smiles and now stands in front of me. Nothing, he is giving me absolutely nothing.

From the hospital?

He smiles and shakes his head.

I could still run.

He says his name. I recognize the who, the where.
The brain finds the file located in the ten years ago cabinet, the one I had tried to burn.

Today I am grateful to take a break from all the worry to look at where the worry got me before so maybe for a moment I'll stop worrying.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

America's Next Top Scientist

After meeting her all I could think was that kid is going to cure cancer one day.
Today I am grateful for Peyton and her wonderfully curious brain.