Sunday, July 29, 2012

feels like a Sunday morning

Sometimes it's nice just to play.

Today I am grateful for inspiration.

Friday, July 27, 2012

what they see

Google+ has been one of the most extraordinary places for me to go and witness what is happening in the world of photography. If you haven't seen it and you are interested in taking a look at what others may see then just take a look here and here and here and I can't forget Heidi. Too many really to mention, but I had to start somewhere. Hope you enjoy them as much as me.

I am so very grateful for the generosity of strangers.

'cause you come here for your science

There were a few years in Slater's life when the best way to have a conversation was to take a drive. Basically trap 'im in a car. Day before last this guy took about an hour to get out of his shell so I called Slater out thinking he would want to watch. He did. The jury is still out concerning Slater being trapped in fascination or the anticipation of the cicada jumping at me which admittedly could have been a fantastic but rather expensive laugh.

Today I am grateful for those little moments I can still share with my kid.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

first kiss

There is a green truck out by the barn. It's Thursday so the man pulls the garbage can down the driveway to the road. Two black dogs follow. His daughter is in the house, up in her room. She is reading a love letter. There is a concert stub she smiles when she sees.

They met at 4pm sharp under a Japanese Magnolia her Dad planted when he heard she would be born.
Then she was sixteen.

When did the world begin? The boy asks.

It hasn't yet, the girl answers.The people here, they're just the planners. This tree, she leans against it, is the center of all that will be. On the map of everything this is where it begins. 

We must be so lucky, the boy leans till his back rests on the ground, looks up into the leaves

The girl lies on her stomach. She is next to the boy and propped up on her elbows. Yes, she smiles. We are lucky. Some say blessed but no more than anyone else. 

That can't be, he looks at the girl, 'cause we have the tree

She giggles, Nobody doesn't.

You're silly, he turns to face her. What do you mean? 

That is what has been planned, she smiles. The world, it will begin with a kiss under a tree.

Today I am grateful for a stillness, a lovely little quiet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

cows is a four letter word

There have been moments when I considered she may be mad that I told. It was quite the embarrassment but I assured her we all have those. Plus there are adjustments when a city slicker comes to the country. Large animals do not scare quite as easy as those cats in town. The bottom wire of a barbed wire fence may not be detected by those who have never seen one. It's just when you run slap into it one would hope you would learn. For the astute a single incident should do.

Now I tell her the telling of the story is therapy we should say, as if the tragedy of the moment is lessened with each word given to describe it. Before long she'll be able to laugh or at least maybe smile possibly, Come on. It is funny. Surely you'll admit that. Four days later is obviously too soon since her response is to turn and walk away. All that to say just don't tell her that I told.

It was the day after I met Otis and a time when I thought she might need some extra love so I said, Load up, Billy Sue. We're going to find some cows. This is beyond anything her favorite everything so she jumps in the car and we head out. Taking a left out of the driveway it's not even a quarter of a mile when I say, Billy Sue, look at those cows. It's a pasture full.

She placed her paw on the button. The window went down. There were a few muscles spasms maybe, excited gasps of air, some type of twitching. It all happened so fast. One moment she was there in the passenger seat, the next she was gone. Had flung herself out the window of a moving car.

My response time is not the best. Thank goodness I was only going ten miles an hour, but still that is pretty fast. Though a Civic is relatively low to the ground, it's not the ground and there was a fall, a thud, a hit. When I finally stopped and looked in the rear view mirror there she was standing in the road. She looked at the cows, looked back at me. I put the car in neutral, pulled up the emergency break, got out of the car, stood beside the open door, put my hands on my hips and yelled, What was that?

That's when she ran to the car, jumped in and tried to act like nothing had happened and though I had to get some grass out of her mouth and her chin was a bit bloody I was amazed by how little she seemed to suffer. The only reminder anything ever happened is her newly discovered repulsion of the passenger side's window and door.

Also, we don't say cows anymore.

Today I am grateful for the constant comic relief living with me. That dog is funny.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Before going for the interview I tell my Mom, It is important that I focus. I am not going to get distracted. I refuse to allow anything to get in my way.  Though she lives in a historic home this interview is about the church. I shouldn't even take my camera.

Mom nods, That's right. Stay on task.

I think it's important as a parent to pretend your children can do things they obviously can't.

A room full of books? Don't mind me, I'll just stay here.

We are to have coffee. Martha can afford me an hour of her time, and I think I did okay the first five or so minutes, but, I mean, well, just look.

You just go on about your business, Martha. After a little while I may just bring one of the books in here.

Or wait. I'm thinking this interview is going to take at least a month. Maybe I should invite a friend. We'll stay in here.

It is not a problem that Martha is also an artist. Surprise, she paints.

I was doing okay I think. I was writing in a notebook, looking at material she had copied for me as she told me this crazy, sad, inspirational, courageous story about the restoration of the home. I was trying.

I really was.

Until she mentioned Otis, and he walked into the room.

I am only human.

What church?

I think I was sore the next day from resisting the gravitational pull which was trying to get me to drop to the floor and roll around with Otis. The fact that I didn't means I will go back. I can't live with that kind of regret.

Today I am grateful for distractions and sweet cuddly surprises.

I missed you, my reader.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ummm is my favorite word lately, period

She wants it. She doesn't want it. Wait. She may still want it.


I think this is where the confusion finally sets in and I decide that it may be of good advice to temporarily exit the situation of the real estate world. If I was a doctor I would order myself to take a trip between the workers who don't want work and guys with great marketing but bad product and some type of internet behavior modification program I obviously signed up for without knowing it and preparing for Slater's move to his own apartment and do I even own a piece of clothing without a bleach stain on it, period, question mark, there is no way to correctly end this sentence.

I can't even write. I have to write. Wait. There is that story which has to be done by the end of July.


Yes. I am going away to write a story about a church and a wedding and I will learn to write again through some type of miraculous focus which will surely come from letting go of a list of chores which only grow longer as more are done and sometimes surely we must all slow down, period, exclamation point, question mark, who knows.

Last week over blueberry pancakes I asked my resident physics expert, So as the universe expands it gets faster, right?

Yes, he said.

Didn't need a book to tell me that, I replied.

Today I am grateful for the opportunity and the means and the awareness and ohmygosh I am taking a short vacation to do the work I want to do.

Of course, this right here is part of the work I want to do so I may have internet access, and, if so, I'll try to update. If not, I'll just have a nice little collection when I return next Monday. That you are still here is amazing. Thank you for your patience.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

daily bread

She said, Having an expensive camera doesn't make you a photographer.

To which he replied, But having an opinion can definitely make you a critic. All depends on what you do with either, I guess.

Today I am grateful for simplicity and a renewed awareness of the power of our words.

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Yes, Billy Sue. Things, they are changing. It is for the better, I promise.

No, Billy Sue. I will not leave you. Everything is going to be alright.

Okay, Billy Sue. You just go get in that box if it makes you feel better.

Today I am grateful for my paranoid little friend.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


We drive for an hour then take a right because narrow roads seem more appealing. Lay some gravel over some dirt, put a couple of cows in a pasture and someone feels like they are home. Make sure the sky is a baby blue and the clouds, they are all puffy. My customers are looking for a destination but I have needed this journey. Smack in the middle of eight thousand acres we find a man who takes me to another. I ask a simple question, tell him I am amazed. How silly am I to not know this is only the beginning? Soon his farmhand is taking me to the waterfall.

The waterfall? Really?

Today I am grateful to let go and allow life to happen. It can be okay that sometimes I got in my own way.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I am so very grateful to play with my camera again. yay.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I knew the first day of orientation the job was not for me. JD, the rugged and handsome symbol of recovery, announced to the room, If you came here for your own problems get up and leave. We are here for the patients.

Maybe it was a common issue, not maybe but of course that people drawn to the field of psychology had spent some time trying to contemplate their own mind. If nothing else we could at least find and give compassion in shared experience. I didn't walk out that day, and I'm glad I didn't. Some of the best friends I ever met I found in that place.

You had to watch Lucille when she got that smirk. It was always a result of her having had enough of pain, of grief, of worry. Sometimes life just got too much. We'd smoke cigarettes in the break area because her humor would not be for the majority. It was those moments it seemed when she had it all figured out in that nobody really did. I enjoyed her lapses into absurdity when laughter was coping and truth, no matter how relative, felt like freedom.

Today I am grateful for however we cope, whatever we need to take that next step, to go to work, to somehow manage to keep giving of ourselves 'cause I think that is what we are supposed to do.

but at least partly because of Lucille I am okay with someone saying, what the fuck do you know?

Monday, July 9, 2012

other people's words

I've taken to reading Kerouac again, his words the gift of a much needed rain and the loss of communication with the outside world. I've always loved the following passage. It is as if Jack found some small sweet appeal to limbo and in his way told us to be on the lookout for strange red afternoons.

I woke up as the sun was reddening and that was the one distinct time in my life, the strangest moment of all, when I didn't know who I was - I was far away from home, haunted and tired with travel, in a cheap hotel room I'd never seen, hearing the hiss of steam outside, and the the creak of the old wood of the hotel, and footsteps upstairs, and all the sad sounds, and I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn't know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn't scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that's why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.
On the Road, Jack Kerouac

Today I am grateful for writers and how the really great ones can get us out of our own head to show us where we are.

Friday, July 6, 2012


There are papers and a pen and rattling off of numbers and this is the way we do this and this is the way we do that. Sign here, put the date there.

What year is it? 

Oh yeah, fifteen years ago is now fifteen years later.
I think of writing her a letter, the young woman who will own this house.
Except for whatever reason I am having problems writing.

Denying a piece of us died doesn't make us any more alive. Maybe lately I've just been grieving.

Today I am grateful to be able to tell myself there are cycles to this life and with death comes birth and it is my choice on which to focus.

It's just taking me a moment. Thank you, my dear sweet, you must think I have lost it, reader.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Abigail and John's son

Then shall the most distant regions of the earth be approximated by the gentle attraction of a liberal intercourse.

Then shall the fair fabric of universal liberty rise upon the durable foundation of social equality and the long expected era of human felicity which has been announced by prophetic inspiration and described in the most enraptured language of the Muses shall commence it's splendid progress. Visions of bliss!

With every breath to heaven we speed an ejaculation that the time may hasten, when your reality shall be no longer the ground of votive supplication, but the theme of grateful acknowledgement.

When the choral gratulations of the liberated myriads of the elder world in symphony sweeter than the music of the spheres shall hail your country, Americans! as the youngest daughter of Nature and the first-born offspring of Freedom.

July 4, 1793

Today I am grateful for large ideas and grand passions.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


We are delving into a series of portraiture exploring the boundaries of what used to be. I ask a question and she answers with you're the artist which results in a loss of credibility.

First question of the test is how much sleep do you need?
If you answer the question in essay form of that all depends you fail the test and go to the assembly line.

I phone Josh, You're the artist.
Yes. Yes, he is.
I am simply the sibling of an artist who believes in what she sees.

Second question of the test is do you want to be a star?
If you answer the question by writing new lyrics to twinkle, twinkle little star then we may want to read more.

There are things I know, a truth to what he painted, not to please you and me but to tell a story by capturing a moment when nobody else was looking. One breath of not pandering for applause. I always found his work to be refreshing, intimate in the most you never had to take your clothes off kinda way. More intimate than naked when the shoulders could be slumped and we're not sucking in a gut. When we are talking to our pet, laughing with a friend, looking at a spouse or lost in our head.

I think when an individual opens our eyes to see something we may have not noticed and in the process of seeing it we become art as well is as close as we can come to knowing the artist.

Today I am grateful to know the artist.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


Stress levels rise in a perpetual feel of you can do better. This is not enough.

Moon Hollow Farm

Then you remember stress kills and you look up to find the people you are meeting, they are laughing at themselves.

Then you realize you've been taking yourself way too seriously so you begin to breathe in spasms 'cause it's just so damn funny.

Today I am grateful for the smiles and the laughter happening all around me. It is wonderfully insane, and I realize how much I need it.