Wednesday, October 31, 2012

we whisper at night

It could be that in order to find my own voice I need to get alone and be still and

struggle and begin to hear those thoughts of you can't do it and

miss you and hope this will end soon and then

look up and calm down and relax and know

this is but a single speck of dust in time.

If I had kept worrying I would have missed it.

Who was it that said, Stop acting like you're Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. It will keep turning with or without you.

Today I am grateful for the sky and the night and the moon and the time and the eyes to notice them.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

rest softly

Hunter S. Thompson's search for a voice is a recurring thought.

Not as much what I say but how I say it.

Josh comes over and I finally turn on the heat. Nine hours to upload twenty-three photos and lack of sleep. I haven't eaten.

Less color and less contrast.
The brain is foggy.
It feels like futility.

Until I remember it is all in how I see it.

Today I am so very grateful for a good sleep.

Monday, October 29, 2012

story done comma

Ms. Molly is one of the nicest, most beautiful people you'll ever meet. 

I still have to finish the photos and upload them to a sky drive and email the editor of eat.drink.Mississippi, but congratulations, we are all still alive and the story has been saved as a final draft.

It was a close call and anytime you start your day writing about death then you get all nervous. It's one of those stories, you've heard it before, just that morning she wrote about death and then died that day like she knew or something. I was having to chase that thought out of my mind as I drove to and away from my third photo location for the second time.

Some people make this job look easy.
I make it look difficult.
I keep chasing a cover shot.

Those last shots didn't make it, but the story will tell you someone somewhere thought maybe I had gotten enough shots.



The Chickasawhay River in Quitman, MS is at least a minor character in the story so when I was passing by it/over it I thought I needed to try for a river shot. And like a sign from above a quick right turn put me at a boat ramp which looked like a small park. Not far from where I stopped the car the incline got pretty steep. This is favorable if you want to avoid flooding but not so much if you're there with an outrageously expensive lens attached to a crazy, how much money did you pay for that, look at what my cell phone can do, camera.

I wasn't getting a shot from the top and I didn't want to change lenses. Because of it's range I don't use it much but love the photos it gets when the right distance permits. I started climbing down the bank for the potential of that lens which seems funny ironic now and I'll take funny ironic over serious ironic any day.

Where were we?

Oh yeah, me dressed as nice as I get with black flats to complete the outfit and careful knowing I don't have much grip.

Climbing down the bank of a river.

You just smiled.
Didn't you?

I got within eight feet of the river and saw where I was stepping. People of this area, I'm not sure what they call it but Dad says it's slick as owl shit which I think is great 'cause when the bottom of my right shoe touched it with only the weight of my foot and maybe my ankle what happened next was quick and landed me on my back right smack in the center of what could have been the excrement of a protected animal.

I now feel at one with the owl.

You may ask.
What happened to the camera, the lens?

It's like I told Daddy.
Daddy, you woulda thought I was like a drunk Uncle Fred at the family reunion. He's gonna fall, take out three cousins and a banana pudding but that cup. He dudn't spill a drop.

Dad smiled.

Then I added, That lens and that camera never got within two feet of the ground. I laid there and took pictures before I took off my shoes and used my toes to claw my way back up to the top.

Today I am grateful to hear my Dad laughing.

Sunday, October 28, 2012



Do we have to call it a dead line? Doesn't that sound slightly, yes it does    morbid.
Does someone really have to die for this?

There is this story.
A couple of months and photos and people and food and it wasn't the only thing happening in the making.

It's due tomorrow.

Let's all pause a moment for the screams of terror in my head.


Maybe tomorrow I won't be here.
It could be that I will be late.
It's not that I don't love you.
It's just that I have to turn off the internet and the phone and curl up in the fetal position and sob because I have a deadline which means obviously someone is dying.

It'll be fine.
I'm sure of it.
Faith. Right?

Today I am grateful for the opportunity to complete something in my life.
How else would I make room for all those other great things knocking at the door?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

moonrise kingdom

Wes Anderson is not one of those people I would like to sit with on a patio, on a spring afternoon, sharing a pitcher of margaritas, munching on chips dipped in fresh salsa.

I do not take airplanes because
1. Air travel is not economically feasible for me at this time in my life.
2. I'm not all that interested in visiting other places right now.
3. Wes Anderson might be on the plane. He could be sitting next to me.
Reason three is why if I do choose to fly I will wear a parachute for the just in case.

California is scarier than Mississippi because you are more likely to pass by Wes Anderson on the sidewalk in California. He could go to the same gym as you. What if you saw him in the grocery store? Please. no. say it isn't so.

I hope nobody wears a Wes Anderson costume for Halloween because it is possible that I would open the door, see the costume, scream and slam the door without giving away any candy even though I bought the candy for the purpose of giving it away. Wes Anderson could ruin Halloween for a kid who simply liked his movies.

If Wes Anderson called me on the phone I would hang up immediately and start screening my calls. This would be sad since I sometimes enjoy having interesting conversations with telemarketers.

I am here to say I love Wes Anderson too much. I couldn't talk around him. I would transform into a catatonic but drooling version of my former trying to do better than that self. Why? Because he is genius at wrapping a world in brown parchment paper and leaving it at your door. Always, it seems, there is the sweetest note penned by his hand and taped underneath. What he sees is inspiration to me, and the only thing wrong with watching Moonrise Kingdom is knowing now you have to wait till he creates his next masterpiece.

Today I am grateful for people who so generously share what they see.

Friday, October 26, 2012

week in word


Him: Now you're just making excuses.
Me: But I' 
Him: It's what you're doing.
Me: But listen I know what you're saying. I have a defense.
Him: Excuse.

Space filled with low growl.

Private Caller: Hello. Is Lisa there?

Me: No. Lisa doesn't live here.

Private Caller: I have to talk to her about her medication.

Me: Well. I.   I hope she gets it.   but I'm the only one who lives here.

Private Caller: Lisa doesn't?

Me: No.

Private Caller: What about your medication?

Me: I don't take medicine.

Private Caller: No?

Me: No.Wait.      Can you get me medication?

Private Caller: Yes.

Me: Really?

Private Caller: Yes. 

Me: Huh. What about ______? (popular pain medication I know because Slater wants to be a pharmacist)

Private Caller: Yes.

Me: Wait. You can get me _______? (we'll call it Illegal)

Private Caller: With a discount.

Me: With a discount?

Private Caller: Yes.

Me: Do I need a prescription?

Private Caller: No.

Me: I don't need a prescription?

Private Caller: No. I can do that.

Me: There's no way.

Private Caller: I can deliver them to your door.

Me: Deliver them to my door?

Private Caller: Yes.

Me: Okay. Let's get this straight. Here on my home phone I can order Illegal from you. You will take care of the prescription and the delivery and give me a discount as well. Is that what you're saying?

Private Caller: What milligram do you need?

Me: Wait. I need to be honest with you. I mean. I'm sorry. I was sorta messing with you. I don't take Illegal. I may take an ibuprofen once a month, ya' know menstrual cramps and my brother. My brother is a pain but I don't take Illegal. (the brother thing added since Josh is listening to the conversation)

Private Caller: Let's just price it. What milligrams do you need?

Me: I don't know. I don't even know what milligrams it comes in. Look. You need to find Lisa. You got the wrong girl.

Private Caller: I can get you medication.

Me: I'm good with buying my ibuprofen from the store.

Private Caller: No?

Me: Listen. I hope you have a nice life and I wish ya' all the luck in the world but take me off the list.

Private Caller: But I'

Me: Goooodbyyyye (said as if falling down a hole)

Private Caller: Bye.

Jesse doesn't believe I want to get a dance class wig from Pearl's.

Jesse: And a leotard?
Me: Yes.
Jesse: Nuh Uh.
Me: Uh huh.
Jesse: What else?
Me: A tutu if I want.
Jesse: Nuh Uh.
Me: Uh huh.

She turns to the woman sitting on the other side of her. Grammie, Aunt Shea says she's gonna wear a tutu to dance class.

My Mom blows her mind, Why not? She can if she wants to.

When she turns back to me her mouth is wide open and those eyes. She just can't believe it.
I don't say anything but give her my best Told ja' smug look.

Today I am especially grateful for my Mom. Jesse is too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

when happiness coincides

First shot without light meter.
Pushed to the outer limits in i Photo.
Christy's Fine Dining in Stonewall.

Rather than a card I mail the words on torn notebook paper. very uncivilized I know. It gets the job done. just maybe not as pretty. I don't know what it is but there's something in me which has always pushed the boundaries of what's limited. In some cases this could be good but in others you may hear,

why does she do what she does?

Proof I talk too much. Should have focused more on the shot.

hell if I know.
though I do know what you're talking about.

Remember when I wanted a wig?

Pearl would be the person I'd get it from.
Shouldn't I get one to wear to Renee's dance class?
That and some ballet slippers.

Remember when we used to dress up?

You gotta meet Pearl. She remembers.
Pearl's Fashions, Quitman, MS

It's just that we grow, we mature and what may have been a law of physics turns into a hypocritical one. If you're like me we've picked the flowers we needed. Most times this means I like freedom wherein someone within respect of our laws pursues happiness or doesn't.

I think we all have our journey.

Today I am so very grateful for our freedoms and those people who continue to protect them.
They are everywhere, and they are you and me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the there report

Down there.

The things we threw out the window were ones we deemed unnecessary but sometimes it can be hard to choose so we held onto the things we believed could not get any better. but then there was always better. right? I don't know. It began not to matter.

I think that is when it started.

It is not easy spending time with some   one in a confined space.
We already had ourselves for whom we had to contend.
That can keep some    one rather busy.

I am sitting on his steps, my knees pulled up close.
It is Autumn,
one of those after summer redeeming mornings.

I hear the door open.


You are close, standing behind me.
I say nothing and wait to see what will happen.
You bend down.
I think maybe you'll kiss the top of my head,
give me a hug.


Then I feel it.

My upper right shoulder,
then across the back.
I hear it too so I look not knowing exactly what you're doing.

Then I laugh.

It is one of those tape roller lint thingies and you explain I have dog hair on my shirt.

What a sweetie.

Today I am grateful for those things that make you        you. They are nice.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

postcards from a date

Dear Jesse and Marlee, I spy everything.

Today I am grateful for our date.

Monday, October 22, 2012

pants, the give up

Here we are on the one week anniversary of me losing my pants.
Jesse, this is for you.

I am nothing but dutiful in the taking out of garbage. Each Monday is a celebration of living in a society where not only can you pick up a phone to say help and soon see professionals at your door but also here you can expect to have a couple of guys stop at the end of your drive in order to put your trash in their truck. Things like this make me feel fancy.

So I was feeling all fancy last Monday at five thirty in the morning when I loaded up the garbage and stuck it in the trunk of my car. So fancy and responsible and kind and generous and look how great I am I'll drive to the camp and get all that was thrown away at the gumbo party.

Billy Sue went with me 'cause she's fancy too and we enjoy listening to music and driving on slow, spooky dirt roads before daylight.

At the camp Billy Sue looked at me, looked at the car's bright lights shining on the door. I never can tell if she is really concerned, she always looks that way. Still I constantly try to calm her. Thus my response to her asking, Whatchu doing? was, It's alright. Just stay. I'll be right back. It was the answer she was looking for since she's not a huge fan of the dark.

The two big black bags in the camp, they were easy. One was already tied, the other simple to do. I popped the trunk, put them in, looked at Billy Sue and said, Just one more and then we're gone.

I'm saying within two minutes she heard the screams and within five more I was throwing a bag in the trunk. Getting back in the car, looking a tad bit concerned myself when she looked at me and asked, Where's your pants?

It's a long story, Billy Sue. We just have to go.
Later she overheard me tell Mom on the phone.

She answered the phone with Mornin'.
Good morning, Mom. How are you?
Good. And you?
Well other than the snake in my pants I'm fine. I mean I had to leave the pants at the camp with the snake but sometimes maybe you just have to give up the pants to the snake. I mean goodgosh.

Well you know how I like to take out the garbage and I was feeling all garbage happy and I knew it would be a whole 'nuther week before the garbage men came and we had all that garbage down at the camp.

Well I got the two bags inside and that was no problem but then when I tied off, picked up and carried the one off the back porch. Well Mom, it wasn't even within two steps I felt something long and round and thin above my left knee, crossways my leg.

Yes, Mom. I did a dance.

I know. I know. I might not can handle this country life.

What happened?
Well I danced crazy and slapped and screamed and I thought surely nothing could live through that. It was a wonder I did.

When I stopped I didn't see it but figured I better grab that bag and go. Times like that, ya' know it's time to leave.

But then Mom I picked up that bag, fixin' to head out to the car and within one step, one step I felt it again the same place I felt it before.

Yes, Mom and when I looked down at my pants I saw it wasn't on the outside of them.

Oh. Shea.
I know, I know. Mom, I grabbed that snake, held it in the leg of my pants stretched it away from my leg and thought now what do I do.

What did you do?
I left my pants on that back porch. Just sayin' if Dad goes down there and sees my pants I want to keep them. They are the purple ones.

Today I am grateful for our stories.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Where did I listen/read the story of the Grecian woman working for free?
Was she working for the government?
The Germans had come in and said, Yo.Greece. Look. You've been lying. You gotta get real. You're in bad shape financially, your investments are shot to hell, you suck at budgets, spending like crazy. Let us show you how.

Not only did Greece have to let people from the European Union come in to write and then read them their books, they also had to finally concede to reality.

Was that This American Life?

We are in a library with shelves of toys.
You are at a desk next to me reading about collapse.
This blog has advertisements, look how many comments.
I smile. It's okay. We all have our jobs, in the good ones we sell our souls. Sometimes for nothing.
You look at me like I have no idea what I am doing. You're most likely right.
It's okay. It's what we had to give.

That's a beautiful kitchen.
No. no, it's not.
You look at me.

It needs food, flour on the counter, fresh fruits and vegetables and onion and garlic. It needs music.

Your million dollar truck sits in the yard.

You finally leave the room at three something.
Kelly Joe Phelps is singing Wandering Away, familiarity in a strange place.
I       miss      you. and I love you and I don't know why this doesn't work and we're both confused. Me, shamed by earlier need. you, you wishing you could feel something.

You know I get lost.

To David Rakoff in the hopes he gets rest however he needs it.
In a world I dream
     people like that can never be gone forever.

Today I am grateful for all the time we gave each other to think. I appreciate the careful us.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

object permanence

A small white seal sits on my desk, a knockoff from the era of animals stuffed with tiny, tiny pellets of I don't know what. It was Slater's favorite and I asked him if he wanted to take it to college. No, he said but me, I couldn't give it up.

It was something he loved and one of those things we pack after fifteen years in the same place. what was junk? what was permanent?

Hobbies came and went. There is still a scout shirt around here. Then there's the box, the box of course. The one I refuse to open. It contains the Whale Tales diploma meaning he graduated from a swim class when he was just a baby. A photo of him and his Dad, the one he took at school with Nan and Paw. Tom is in there, a peace sign patch from that decade party. The group of friends he had when he was just six years old. Seth, a letter from Shelby. A gold medal, a button in black and white telling, Ask me if I care?

They almost seem more precious here 'cause they made it.

Today I am so very grateful for who and what made it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

ebb and flow

I shake my head, No. I don't understand.

He was hoping I would define him. 
or no. 
he wasn't.

under the bridge in Perdido Key, FL

The games we played in our head.
He was never looking for anyone to understand.
or wait.
maybe he was.

downtown Meridian, MS

I stood barefoot in dirt and cried.
got mad at myself for crying.
dropped to my knees.
looked to the ground and said,

I became submissive.
to what?

gumbo by way of toll Orange Beach, AL

I thought I needed to understand us.
He said, Care less.
It's not that I don't love you.

Meridian Museum of Art




It's just that you are always going to be who you are, whoever that is you decide it.

Mathis Farms. Clarke County, MS

Now sit back, relax.
Let me look in my bag of goodies.
I think I found it.
Performance started.

Renee's School of Dance Quitman, MS

Today I am grateful we are here.
though a day may not turn into what we thought.
                  we still had it.

what we started. oh. yeah. that was me. sorry.

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Country Road by Josh Miller

Today I am grateful for long dirt roads taken slowly.
Your favorite music blowing in the air coming through the window.
A porch with tiny white lights.
The clearest sky we've ever seen.
I turn to you, lean in and whisper, Did you ever see so many stars in your life? Who knew?
You tilt your head into mine and say, Yes. Me.

Then and there I realize how much I want, no. wait. need, I need to believe you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

making of an article, Mathis Produce photos

I got to see the sun rise on Mathis Farms. Yesterday they planted the strawberries.

Today I am grateful for tutelage, for people who are patient and kind and generous with their knowledge.