Saturday, October 31, 2015

deceptive



It's true. Looks can be deceiving. This was a treat on a wet Halloween.



Today I am grateful for a hard rain and some good sleep.



And Sowashee. I'm always grateful for the kind folks at Sowashee.

Friday, October 30, 2015

character

I'm not signing up for anything. In fact, I'm not writing a novel. I can only commit to 750 words a day. That would put me at about 1,700 words a day, which, for me, seems rather hefty. Especially when I have to divide myself among them and writing is not easy for me. It can be a struggle to be original. Hasn't everyone already said everything?

But we can't stop.

Right?

So,
750 for others
200 for myself
750 for the project


November 1st is the start, and I have to see my first character. I have to see him somewhere and there has to be conflict on each page and will I want to follow him wherever he goes and what will that say about me and why would I fear?


I won't.
Working Title: The Project
Duration: 30 Days
Project Word Count: 22,500
November Word Count: 51,000


He has a thing for numbers. This character is counting out change, possibly at a convenience store, though I still have a day to truly see him there.

Tonight we are going with an oldie but goodie to celebrate Halloween, the day before I follow a guy with a thing for numbers down a road to a convenience store. I already trust him, and I think that's the key.


Today I am grateful for the month ahead, for how more than anything it is about gratitude. I am grateful for all those writers who look at 51,000 words a month and think amateur. For them, I can do this.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

favorites




app creator, photography assistant, photography director, guy whose girlfriend has actually written I have the best boyfriend in the world, one who recommends things you want to see and hear, awesome traveling partner and so sensible you can't help but think sure when he says most anything.



Today I am grateful for that guy and a surprise invitation, something I would have never dreamed and there, it is. That thing. She emailed and asked if I would stay for two nights and take photos of one of my favorite places.


And.
Well.
YES. (exclamation point)


Does grateful even cover it?




screenshot



"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." Epictetus



A good movie works, as well.



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

times like these




When you're thinking about doubling up on your blood pressure medication and you gave up drinking though even if you hadn't you couldn't afford the whiskey anymore and you don't understand why a group of people would behave the way they do then it may be a good time to pull a photo from a great weekend and play some Jack again.


Today I am grateful for family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

letting go of lyrics



I never thought there would come a day when I would say. "There's this really great piano and cello cover you need to hear."

But things change, and today I did.
It seems only fitting that the night after I said I am going to let go that I would play something called Stay With Me.




Today I am grateful for change.

screenshot



I think we're going to have to call this one a tribute to Wes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Mackey is our best friend,



but maybe, more importantly, she has become her own. I love her for that.



Today I am grateful for all those women people I thought of when I heard Sarah talk and how I got to listen to a couple of coaches today. And I did, I looked at one of them, pointed at her and said with my usual dramatic over the top but I mean every swing of the arm, "Do you know what I love about you?"

"What?"

"I love that you are brilliant and beautiful and I love that you're not perfect. I love that you just admitted to what I perceived to be a problem of my own."

She nods and smiles.

And there it is, the connection.

What if you meet best friends everywhere you go? Even on the internet. It is a crazy world.

Grateful. Yes, yes. Very.


Of course there's always science.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

photo

backcountry camping


Today I am grateful for women and a balcony and a safe distance from the storm.


Here it's raining and good to be home and I do hope and pray and wish and want everyone to be safe from the storm. Yesterday there was this moment when our eyes met and I've tried to tell myself exactly what that feeling was and I've run the gambit of simple acknowledgement, lust, loneliness, but more than anything it felt like desperation, I think.

Like this.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

gone


to the birds
to the beach
to write
to hike
to laugh
to eat
to get a good photo
to sleep



Today I am grateful for a change of scenery.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

spoiler alert #2

It was Grover. He was the monster at the end of the book. And, for Grover, it was so scary. Every page was witness to Grover's need to keep us from going any further. Wood, brick. He begged us, but we just laughed as we turned the page and saw him under the rubble of the wall he had just built. We read his pleas and watched as he became more and more desperate. If we stayed right there on the next to the last page then we would never make it to the end, and we could live happily ever after with Grover there.


But it was just a book and the huge life lessons of Sesame Street so we turned the page and looked at each other and smiled when Grover realized that his cuddly, lovable self was the only monster there.




Today I am grateful for a book, for a house, a room. For how all these years later moments we try to forget seem to remain so significant.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

photographer

here

commission

Encounter



It's Nan who said I want your Mom to send me a photo.
It's me who wonders if I never get the perfect photo so he'll keep coming back.



Encounter


For me all the best shots are before the best shots. The ones when I'm telling him, "Just do whatever. I've got to adjust for light."

"Have you ever considered a light meter?"

"Yes, but I don't want one."

"Why?"

"I know it's silly but finding the right amount of light is part of what I'm doing here."



This is his "I'm trying to understand" look.


And I don't know, but I do know that picking up the camera meant he was getting ready to leave and I treat it like it's stripping off a band aid. Let's do this quick without thinking.






Well. Maybe I don't ever get the best shot but trying to get the best shot is photography. Right? I want to relax in it and enjoy it and be tormented by it. I want to look at the photos over and over again and curse myself and crop and adjust and take away and share and be scared to share and tell myself, "It's okay. You'll always have another day."



Now the commission has a name. Photography is hope.




Today I am grateful for Nan's request and Sowashee's suggestion and how the two fell together in time and place. I am grateful that he wanted to come to a show. I am grateful to be able to watch as she runs to him on the front porch, and yes, I am so grateful for the girl to whom he returns. I am grateful to realize that this was another day.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

encounter with Lucille



Encounter One

So much has happened since we heard from Lucille. 

"Little Mahalia Jackson in there. Twist, AR. The lady that started that brawl that night was named Lucille."
B.B. King




"So what did you mean?" He asks.

"What did I mean about what?"

"The title."

"You know, I was thinking when I saw it tonight that I should have changed it. It's a Ben Howard song, but it's one of those things that I should've used the present tense." 

He nods and turns and walks away.

It was the perfect night.

Like King says, "All the people with soul are in this one. I can always depend on Lucille."

Encounter Two

The closest I can get to understanding why B.B. sings is when he goes away but I prepare myself because I become thankful for the blues. I celebrate because we both got to meet our mutually favorite photographer. He did the same thing I did when he saw her photograph. Except he said out loud, "Whoa," but longer and in the same spot I was when I saw it. And then we stood there in front of it and argued like two children and I hope we always speak that way.

Encounter Three

Anyway.
She's twenty-five years old with a degree in photography and she froze that sphere to create that preservation that made us both stop and discuss and laugh at each other.


And I want to thank Sarah Dunn for being so kind, answering our questions and being a part of such an exquisite evening. It was beautiful. The whole place. Everyone's work.





Today I am grateful for those people who shell out money and time and I have no idea what it takes to put on a show, but they did it better than I could have imagined. I am grateful to finally admit during a game of chess that whatever blood flow which was supposed to surge and create strategy in my brain, trickled at best. So, I'm just grateful for Lucille, for music which fits after a weekend with my kid.



Friday, October 16, 2015

number forty-two, part five

Every now and again it will go off the rails, and we'll remember the education some kids gave us today. Those can be the best parts.





If for no other reason number forty-two came into our lives because we needed to be made aware of something. You have to figure that everything went off the rails back in 2008 when the sky began to fall and I had a reoccurring dream of belly crawling through the woods and camping with my boy until one day, maybe weeks later, we would get home to where we could work with family. Bathe in the creek, grow food, kill food, learn how to cope.


So nobody would have blamed the Mississippi decision makers for not funding something they approved back in 1997. The next year as well. So 2008 and 2009 could be excused I would say though I am not a judge in Hinds County or any other county of this state. I am only, in it's simplest form, a voter.



My one little vote is nothing in the whole scheme of whatever the heck is going on and you still have time to convince me otherwise but as of right now I am voting for number forty-two. I am darkening the first first circle and then I am darkening the second first circle.




Because our decision makers went off the rails many more years than 2008 and 2009. Some will tell you they only fully funded MAEP two years since 1997. Some will say three years, but most will agree that funding has been increased by MAEP and Mississippi is improving it's education system. You and I read that report in the same boat.

If it's paying dividends in a system where it is barely being used and if they, the people we are voting for before we vote that decision, just ignored their own law for so many years without any recourse from the people who truly care about Mississippi children then it makes sense that we would add at least the image of a judge to their future decisions.


They never have to see a judge. They only have to follow their own laws. If they don't they will go beyond a Hinds County judge right into the lap of the Mississippi Supreme Court and money will be wasted. If they don't like MAEP, if they can't fund it (though within the last year they discussed a removal of the state income tax ((seriously, that was a strange one)), then anyone who is voting on this is simply telling them to change their formula but do so in the best interest of our children.




Today I am grateful for a cello and kids and how they reminded me of what I call myself.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

screenshot


Since we're talking politics and education.

number forty-two, part four

I once said, "I want it to be easy." You know, life and parenting. I didn't want the decisions to be complicated. I didn't want to worry that the food he ate somehow compromised him, that my selfish tendencies would possibly harm him. I loved him and graded myself on a scale of I'm not perfect and Mom always said imperfections built character. Being less than perfect was helping him somehow. I think I became lazy in that.

There were the basics like making sure his pizza had vegetables on it or he knew how to laugh or please and thank you were consistent in his vocabulary. There were things that were important to me, and I considered public education to be one of them. We actually moved to a town for a school, and yes, I did join the PTO until I shamed myself at a packed meeting in a cafeteria. I'll most likely never forget the feeling in my gut as the words left my mouth, "We can't change it now. It's already gone to press,"

followed by a collective groan of all the voices in my head when yes, yes, what you're saying right now  may be the most foolish thing you've ever said,

"My name is attached to that."

Immediately that voice in my head laughed and said, Who do you think you are?



I folded when he was seven years old. Never went back to PTO. The other night he told me on the  phone, "If someone would have told me five years ago that you would be concerned with this, I wouldn't have believed them."

"I know. It seems too complicated for me. I always wanted it to be simple."


And parenting is not simple. Kids test limits. One day they may want their driver's license, and you're going to have to give in because legally and all their friends are doing it and your parents let you and well, you figure everyone is handling their own kids and you're just searching for the right answer for your child.


Now I would say that my name being attached to something is certainly less important than what I was to a kid. Thankfully what I still am.

There are parents who get that. I just found out about them in the last couple of years. I met their president, and she is unconcerned with her name. Her concern is the education of children throughout an entire state.


Today I am grateful for her. I am grateful for him and the conversations we can have now about education here.



Because we need some music around here, and well, I wouldn't know of the Gorillaz if I had not listened to my kid's music when he was a teenager, I now give you this.



And before I get back to my cushy little couch and Kelly Joe Phelps, there's this.

number forty-two, part three

This morning's reading about infrastructure seems relevant.



Of course, Seth always seems relevant to me.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

number 42, part two

What do I know about funding a school? Ask my best friend bank teller who watches me deal with my individual funding once a month. She'll tell you that I have my hands full and most the time my pockets empty. I need to eat less and turn my lights off more and stop being an idiot with money.

You don't want to ask me about funding a school.

Leonard and Box are much more worthy of the question. They gave some answers in a report in 2010. I read the whole thing and more now than before I am convinced that I should stick with questions not so much related to a Standard Pearson Correlation, but from what I could decipher in what they admitted was "This divergence of opinion certainly raises more questions than it provides answers."


What I am thinking is there is a "sweet spot" to school funding, and there are some really smart people on the job of figuring out what it takes to run a public school system with the potential of an estimated 535,940 children in it.


If you don't want to read the whole pdf I completely understand. When I reached page sixteen, and it was titled conclusions I did think to myself, Why didn't I just jump down here?

The first sentence reads, "Adoption and implementation of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program for all the political turmoil it has produced at times, is still clearly based on the results shown in this analysis, paying dividends."

Paying dividends is good. Right?

It's not perfect, but it's working and unless you tell me otherwise I am going with the funding that is currently showing an improvement in education in Mississippi.

Tonight I remembered this story I heard years ago about classroom size. The setting of the story was during a time when the prevailing thought was smaller is better. A school was established on the premise that the classes would have less students. Then, all those years later and decades of educating children in class sizes established to support a hypothesis, a study declared that optimum class size was twenty.


It really does all depend on where we get our information, but I usually try to find those beautiful nerds who analyze facts and figures. I don't guess Leonard and Box would want to take a look at my personal checking account. If they can do what they do surely I can handle it.



Today I am grateful for Leonard and Box and all those people in our school systems attempting to make the most of the dollars they are given to educate our children.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

forty-two, number one

This is politics. It is a proposed constitution amendment about education. It is a question on a ballot. Well, it used to be just a question. Now it's two questions.

Or wait.

These are not questions. They are declarative statements with a backstory of your opinion matters because you are an educated populous who can be trusted to make the very best decisions for your children and their future. It is tragic and full of hope all at the same time. Democracy.



VOTE FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER, 
OR AGAINST BOTH:

(insert circle to darken) FOR APPROVAL OF EITHER Initiative Measure No. 42 OR Alternative Measure No. 42A

(another circle here) AGAINST BOTH Initiative Measure No. 42 AND Alternative Measure No. 42A




Whut?
This comes off the heels of you need to vote for a list of names of people you know and who do you really know and those you don't know at all and by the time you get to the proposed constitutional amendment you could be all
Whut?


You and me, same boat.

So, we are going to take this slow.

Here, I think, is a non biased, non partisan, but still human view of Initiative Measure No. 42. The educated populous is being inundated with opinionated television ads, articles, comments, videos, buttons, stickers, even this blog which normally is just narcissistic drivel and the list goes on and on of how many ways can we be influenced to feel

scared


that a decision we make today will be detrimental to those we love the most.
And we didn't know any better. (sounds like the greatest fear of parenting or adulthood. whichever.)



Here I am going to learn. No matter how long it takes me or until November 3rd. I am going to break it down for me because I want to make the most educated, wisest owl decision for kids.


So, tell me if I'm wrong. Does the first declarative statement actually ask, "Do you want a Mississippi constitutional amendment to require that your state must provide an adequate and efficient and free public education?"


This only leads to further questions of,

Do other states require this in their constitutions? I heard today that Mississippi is the only state that does not have a right to public education in it's constitution.

Is there such a thing as free? (An Econ101 professor answered that for me on the first day of class. The answer is no.)

What is adequate and efficient? Currently Mississippi describes adequate and efficient as this.

What is the difference between 42 and Alternative 42? The word judicial. Right?




Today I am grateful for time and study and the dedication of others.
I at least owe them and the children of this state a read.



And though I am leaning, I am willing to be open to other people's opinions.



Monday, October 12, 2015

why be a boy scout

There's always a show.



It's the Dad thing and the Mom thing and the wife and friend and the employee things.
But lately I've been thinking it's the Dad thing.


Isn't that guy one of the best guys you've ever seen at the Dad thing? Just one. I know, I know, you may have seen a lot of great Dads in this world, like mine and your's I hope, but this guy, this show, it's good.



Today I am grateful to be able to go on a website and give my gratitude. And for writers and producers and actors and set designers and everyone involved in mindful entertainment. It's quite beautiful.





The scene above is one of those existential crisis moments when he looks at her and basically says, "This one is on you. If you say you're going to do something, do it. Or don't." In this scene she's going to do it.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

photographs

It's a Darin Ross photo from Nerdcon on Instagram. He is standing behind a microphone. It's a huge room. The seats are filled. Great lighting and color and focus and it looks intensely frightening.

It is affecting. It takes your breath, and you realize it makes you happy.
Because it's a great story of success, you think.

So you decide to title the photograph.
Success is scary.




In the Introductory Essay by Richard Ford in Birney Imes book entitled Juke Joint, it is written:

"As with most of us, I am not a special friend of art which requires explanation. An hour in a public place with a Calder mobile usually suits me better than an afternoon in the stacks with Joyce (James). I remember when I read "The Waste Land" in college, my professor insisted I buy three other books just to help me read that first one. And I couldn't do it. Far from understanding the poem, I did, however dimly, like it. I suppose the scholarly way to learn must've seemed too round-about for my first purposes. Possibly this is my hook into photography. Because, for all its "retinal realities," it's complicated authorship and fidgety reliance on delicate machinery, at its best a photograph is sleek and self-sufficing in its relationship with us. It doesn't require words to be itself. It is art and does not renounce complexity, but by and large it is also what it simply seems to be when we look at it - an honest medium, as Edward Weston said about it. And in us it inspires the flattering faith that our direct, most human response is probably a true one."




Today I am grateful for photographers and writers and books and instagram and a lesson on history.










screenshot


Saturday, October 10, 2015

autumn read

It is the refuge and he is his quiet, hiking, backpack self and I don't know how we always get here.
Just that we do.




"Did you bring your camera?"

"Did I bring my camera? Of course I did."


We took the Woodpecker Trail and overlooked the place where the geese were supposed to be. There were signs, signs, everywhere signs. Hallucinations if he had not been there to verify them for me.


And we talk about how the place is built. How sturdy. How tragic. How beautiful.


"You can't shoot the eagle, Mom," is code for we come to see things being as they are without us interfering in them.

But I had to get the last words in. Not with my camera because what I saw was too precious and a simpler phrase written in black magic marker on the bench where I sat. I smiled, "Hey. Look at this."

He turned around.

I pointed, "How great is that?"

And that, right there, was the most perfect moment of this day.



Today I am grateful for graffiti though I know I shouldn't be. 



Friday, October 9, 2015

the first official conversation of the day

It was the first official conversation of the day, and it was clearly official and uniformed and he said to me, "I didn't take it seriously enough."

I don't even remember the first question, but I remember that answer.

Typically in these interviews I try to come at these kids with something shocking. Something I heard. Something I know. But I didn't come to this guy with a question. I came to him on my way to a funeral. And I told myself that me had to get out of the way of this interview.

That's all I had before he gave me that answer.

It was shocking.

"Listen. I've worked here for two years now and in those two years I've seen you in places. Noticed your face. That last thing I would have said about you is that you weren't serious enough." I said his name and then said, "Seriously? You're gonna tell me that?"

He smiles which gives us a unique moment. And I tell him, "Please continue."

Then he tells me of a time when three years ago somebody came to him. An uncle. An uncle bent down and talked to him in all the glory of this is who I am and this is how I got here.

And all of a sudden this kid got serious.



But today he smiled and he said all those things to me that I truly believe but I never wanted to believe it for myself more than I wanted to believe it for him. That guy, there has to be a way for him to be who he wants to be. For him I want there to be better than imagined. Larger than even the life he sees.

So.


I will believe.




Today I am grateful to see my brothers and uncles and aunts and cousins and sisters and mothers and friends of the family or just family, it seems. Today I am grateful for a preacher, two in fact. I am grateful for a little girl who stood next to me.



And I want her to know that if she ever needs okgo it is right here waiting for her.
And I am going to tell her to get over it. That it will be okay if for just a moment you are misunderstood. And you don't want to fully comprehend what loss means. It's okay. Because understanding, just like everything else, all the tides pushing and pulling, comes and goes.




Claim the great, child, I think we said this week.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

okay




we get it.
then we get over it.

I get it, guys.

the next room




maybe

there will come a time when you have sat in that room with Jeff Buckley for far too long and it's not that you can't go back there. He will always be there for those times when you need him. maybe. if nobody breaks the internet. (don't break the internet)


anyway.



maybe you and me need to open a door and step into the next room where these guys are waiting for us in all their blooper glory.


one.
two.
three.
and.





Today I am grateful for those guys.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

who

"Buckle up. It's the question of the day. Who do you think you are?"

"Are you asking me that like someone would when they're mad?"

"It's a question people ask when they're mad, but I'm not mad. And, you know, if you think about it it really is a great question. So who? Who do you think you are?"

She smiles. It's a car ride question, and those can be the best. Like two weeks ago when she asked, "Has anyone ever told you you talk a lot?" I hope to never forget that question because that's when we both started laughing.

"Yeah, someone may have mentioned that a time or two."

Let's stop right there to say I guess she's right. If I'm not talking I am writing. Somewhere, someday (nobody really knows why though they've thought about it a time or two) I declared myself someone who is always trying to communicate something. Only when I started writing did I realize what a complete fool I could be, but then it felt good to finally admit it.





"Daughter," she says.

We both smile and nod.

"I'm a little sister and a big sister."

"That's right. That's right. You're a granddaughter and a great granddaughter."

"And great, great, great, great, great," she says a lot of 'em.

Then continues, "I'm a girl."

"Yes."

"I'll be a mother one day."

"Give me a couple of decades. Back it on up, child."

Again with the smile.

"I am a friend."

"Yes, a friend. You are a student."

"I am a student."

"You are an athlete."

"I am an athlete," she glows.

"You are a musician."

It's becoming a party, a party of nods and grins and we don't need the radio.

"I am a gueeetar player. That's how Tyler says it."

"I love it."

"I am smart.Wait.  "

"What?"

All of a sudden the party ended. Our music stopped.

"I don't want to compare myself to others."

"Hold up, girl who is all those other things. You didn't say smarter. You just said smart. I see no reason for you not to claim that."

"Okay. I am smart."

"There you go. It's funny, I think."

"What?"

"How so much of who we say we are is who we are to others."

She smiles and nods again.

"But every once in a while it might not be a bad idea to ask that of ourselves. Claim the great, child."




Today I am grateful for a car ride dialogue when we laugh and ponder all the greatness. I am grateful for the counseling I receive from children. I am grateful for the who, who by all accounts left us tonight.
I am grateful to now better understand that the who she was will remain. I am grateful for a daughter, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother, a crazy aunt, a friend to everyone she met, a storyteller, a woman who needed help and who would give anything to anyone.


I am grateful for legends and legacies, of how my connection to her means she'll never leave us.
I am grateful to be who she was to me.






(but for tonight. just for tonight I turned off the music.)

music

It's a Coldplay morning.

this



Because every now and again a girl needs a reason to get gussied up a little.


I need to ask someone if they'll come with me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

spoiler alert

"For one person, the treasure of Masquerade was a piece of gold. For hundreds of thousands of others, the treasure was meaning - the belief that, for a little while, within specific boundaries, everything could make sense. And while the hare could only be found in one place, meaning could be found in many. You'll probably have to put it there yourself, of course, but then again, that's easy. That's what we do."

Source. (thanks to someone named cornchak)






What if this is why he is apologizing?

He doesn't see what you see, but he loves to watch.





Is this his intention when he is creating this?


If so, I agree with him and I have to admit that my curiosity makes me want to have of a piece of it, but the writer of the article mentions hallucinations and cornchak has already titled Chapter 3.


The addictive thrill of apophany. (which this program does not recognize as a word)


I guess we'll see. Huh?

I'll let you tell me if I'm going too far with this.



Today I am grateful for a book and people and what else are you gonna do when you have watched everything on Netflix.


(you're gonna write. that's what you're gonna do.)

screenshot



ohgoodgosh. Twin Peaks.

Monday, October 5, 2015

lesser than

You've been here before. You know how smart I want to be.

Today I failed.

Someone asked me a simple question, and I didn't answer. I cut with a sarcastic tone of I can't take this anymore. If you had been there you would've crossed your arms, shook your head, and said, "Chic, you're not the only one living here."


In my head was screaming, "You have tackled an issue which is too big for you. You can't do this. You can't make this happen. You are over your head, girl. Stay on the shallow end, lady."

I could say it was because it was Monday but don't a lot of people use a day of the week as an excuse. Did I want to play victim to a particular twenty-four hours on a calendar? No. I long ago said I was smarter than that.

So why? Why did I act like a fool today?

My only excuse is that doubt in my head. The only pressure I felt is what I put on myself.


At some point something or someone within may have suggested that I couldn't do what I had planned.




List of things to do today:

1. Publish nine photos. The best of which have ever entered your email.
2. Tell that person that you are amazed by her.
3. Think to yourself, "What a gift you've been given!"
4. You need to give back something equally as stunning.
5. Plan to write an article explaining math.
6. Understand that you know very little about math.
7. Panic because you begin to tell yourself that you will not meet your self imposed deadline.
8. Remember how much you used to detest the word deadline.
9. Forget that you have already proven to yourself that you can handle it.
10. Totally freak out.
11. Don't drink enough water.
12. Feel gross and bloated.
13. Snap at someone who asks you a simple question.





11. Get the article in eight hours late.






12. Write a blog post on how you were lesser than today.




13. Plan to do greater than tomorrow.




Today I am grateful for second grade math when on that one test I got greater than and lesser than backwards. I am grateful for the smile on Mrs. Smith's face when I saw that zero and then started explaining every mistake away.

"I did the opposite. I was unsure so I just went with a way. Can I do it again? Give me the test and I'll make a hundred."

"No," she said.

It was one of the greatest lessons I learned, which way those symbols went. Since I was only seven years old I have remembered that.


Until today when I obviously forgot what those symbols meant.


(and there is at least one why of math)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

the taker

He says, "This is not for you to take. It's for you to give."

Then there's the typical guilt of I'm always making note of what I take like the ride there and the ride home and how I love waiting for her at the end of the drive. I already know these are precious moments, and I get distracted by gratitude for what is.



Tonight I give you, like I know I've done before, Jeff Buckley's broken Hallelujah.


I know it's not mine to give. Nothing is, and there's something quite beautiful and incredibly tragic about not holding onto anything. Just appreciating it.


Today may have been the last time I ever saw her so I rubbed her hands and feet with the lotion on the table beside her bed and I held her hand to my head and I didn't pray because this is not about what I want. This is what is.


I am grateful for the lotion and the heartbreak. I am grateful for what it taught me about the ride tonight that her sister gave me.

within the ellipses







I don't fit in the hall or the parlour and I don't want to ask any questions, but here maybe I can contribute my little take which is worth absolutely nothing. (and I'm comfortable with that)


The title is scary brilliant. Who doesn't look for light? Those looking for light would walk towards it, right? They'd at least follow the story of someone's search for it. I mean, if we're not brave enough to do it ourself.



So the title gets you.





Chapter one.
I got lost. I didn't want to spend my time learning a game that could have taken my everything. There is much shame in the fact that my kid took minesweeper off my computer at some point. (let's file this under the things you never should admit or you should and then say you're sorry)



Break.
This is significant.
This is the writer, the artist. The bleed of all the characters of the story.
And he is complex and empathetic and mysterious and brilliant and talented and funny and there's one key thing about him. A saving grace of sorts. That guy is a great dad. Maybe. Seriously, what do I know?




Anyway.



Chapter two.
The second photo.




The people who are really working on this can be found in the community. Coins and astrological prints and here is NASA and the number 88 and I respect their work. They are incredibly smart.



But heartbreak. Nobody wants that so you think about not reading anymore.


But that title.
The damn title.
You want to believe that someone you believe in will find the light they are searching for.



Right?
Yes.





You hope it for Doug at least.





Or that guy or everybody or yes, I keep reading his book.
(or d. all of the above)







untitled

How do you say this? What is the one word to describe what the following is?




This is the second hallucination, weird thought I saw you there moment, when I thought I saw him there. You know. Similar. A is that him moment. Familiar.


This time he seemed kinder. Last time angry.



And if we're going with the former or the latter I would say that this guy could teach me a thing or two. And what does it matter if he's real or I'm just crazy to see a man I think I love two aisles over in a parking lot.





I think we'll call this that one thing you were unwilling to say out loud to her on the phone but willing to put on a blog. That at some point I became private with a world rather than private with a friend. And it's confusing.



Anyway, I thought I saw him again today. And yes, I could have waved. And he could have waved back because his Mama taught him right. And I could have mimed the question, "Can I talk to you for a moment?"



And that would have been a cool dance before he didn't
(a) jump in his car and speed away
(b) humor the elderly




If he humored the elderly (which hey, don't knock it till you try it).


If he humored me he would nod and I would do the most spastic walk two aisles over and then try to explain to him or ask him questions or I don't even know so I did what any person who does not need to be placed in a padded room would,


I stopped. I think our eyes met and then I quickly turned away, closed my door and almost skipped into the store. Because if I'm crazy I'm going with it and all of a sudden I felt like I needed to pay back the world.




Today I am grateful for a haircut and groceries, for a guy who made me actually even consider acting like such a fool and then my need to smile at everyone in the store, hold doors open, buy things that are good for me. Sometimes I don't know what to call myself so I just call myself lucky.



(because yeah, that's a good story)

Friday, October 2, 2015

movie night




Again, other people's stories. I am grateful for them.

nothing new



"Space is invisible mind dust and stars are but wishes." Beth Gaga Shaggy

(also, it's Friday)



Today I am grateful for the familiar.