Friday, November 29, 2013

"Black Heart"

What does it mean when the center is black, rotten?  When the lines of infection crawl from the center?  The figures cavorting about the heart suggest that the joy is there, still.  Are they summoning long dead affection?  Is there a feverish dream sequence depicted?  I have to confess that this image is not one of my favorites.  The figures seem to be archetypal;  they are doing expected things in expected ways.  And yet, until just this moment, I have not stopped to contemplate why the coven (my word) is worshiping the infection.  Maybe there is a deeper truth to be gleaned here: sometimes we chase that which is most unhealthy for us.  

I'm a puritan.  A grasper.  A Tracy Flick-like grinder.  There is no genius in me, merely a willingness to hold tight to what I want with both hands, and not let go.  I see so much talent and ability wasted because of inertia, laziness, a lust for just that one thing that is worst for us (echoes of "the best minds of my generation, starving, hysterical, naked").  I can be exhausting in my doggedness.  Others exhaust me when they dance around the infection, worship it, ignore that which is healthy and good just around the way.  What's wrong with trying to do the right thing?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Freedom by GRPArt

I'm beginning a new series of posts on my husband's works, featuring the oldest works chronologically.  A link to his shop can be found here.  


It is an interesting life, being married to an artist.  Sometimes, I see scenes of our lives together represented as paintings with key details changed, and that is the background story of Freedom.  He modeled this painting on a "selfie" of he and I, taking a picture of ourselves in a mirror.  We had just been married that day, and were in a hotel room (a honeymoon suite present from his mother) admiring the large tub and feeling happy.  Feeling relatively carefree.
What I like most about this painting is how warm the eyes of the man are.  He looks protective, and as if he is ready to be there for the long haul.  I could discuss how the style of this painting reminds me of street art found in major cities;  intrinsically urban.  What I really want to convey, though, is how the warm eyes are enough to carry someone through a lot of cold days and nights.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

This is a story idea that may or may not flesh out into something larger.  Would love to know what you think, if anyone reads this thing accepting myself, of course.

There was a strange pain like an increasing ache in my lower back.  I moved around the small apartment that had a moldy, wet quality to it.  The pain continued, not increasing but not going away either as I fried rice and ate it for lunch, as I drank Kool-Aid, as I attempted to forget it was happening.  Around 11:00 AM, I woke him up.

"It's time."
"Are you sure?"
"No.  But I want to go anyway."

Entering the hospital felt intimidating.  We entered through the ER and sat at a booth to get registered.  They put me in a wheelchair when I told them why I was there.  I felt small and short in the wheelchair, and out of control.  I was wheeled into a small room that the staff had attempted to make pleasant, with a rocker, wall paper, soft cushions.  The attendant came in and asked me to change into a gown, an examination would be given.  They take your clothes from you when you go to prison as well;  it's like becoming a patient in a hospital steals your identity, a bit.

He peered at me anxiously while the nurse violated me with rubber gloved hands.  I grimaced and twisted.

"When was your last doctor's appointment?"
"Wednesday."  Today was Friday.
"What were you dilated to at that time?"
"3".  I didn't remember this at all, but it seemed like she expected me to know this information.  I plucked a number from the thin air.

"You are still at 3.  We are going to keep you here and watch you for awhile.  Can I get you anything to make you comfortable?".

"No, I think I am OK."

She looked at me with eyes that were measured, honest, a bit cold.

"If you go into labor, it will be a long time before you can eat.  Are you sure I can't get you anything?".

"I'm sure."

My body didn't want food.  My body wanted to get this over with.  I watched television with him and waited.  We made cautious jokes and worried together;  the benefit of a companion.  The hours passed and the nurse came to examine me again.  My body began to open, wider and wider to prepare for what was coming.

"I think we are going to have a baby today".  Her cheeriness felt strange, out of place, in this context.  I could tell she wasn't comfortable with caring for me, having to forgo her usual cheer.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Us Skinny Bitches Need to Stick Together

It's almost time to say Happy New Year...almost, but not quite.  2012 has only 4 hours left, and I for one am happy to see it go.  So happy, I am seeing it out with a drink (a Skinny Bitch).  To make:

  • One part Vanilla or Cherry Vodka, very cold
  • 3 parts diet cola of your choice (I like Coke Zero)
  • Ice
Mix and drink.  

I didn't do much today, a bit of shopping and movie watching (Winter's Bone, with Jennifer Lawrence).  A  good film, realistic.  While I didn't grow up exactly like that, there were parts of the movie that felt familiar.  It was filmed near Branson, Missouri and some of you may know that I live in Southeastern Missouri.  The geography of the movie felt like home.

There is something about the landscape of Missouri that feels iconic.  Sides of the highway are covered in brush and trees.  There are rocky outcroppings or places where the original roads were carved through the rock (granite, quartz, galena, limestone, etc).  This time of year, where we've had hard freezes and even snow, the landscape looks bleak and barren, just like in the movie.  The trees that crowd the side of the road are primarily cedars, oaks, pines if you drive south.  Lots of redbud and dogwood.  Various maples and poplars.  This time of year, the trees are either gray with furrowed barks or patches of white on the birches and sycamores.  Green-gray patches of lichen cover the trees and provide muted color against a gray white sky.

If you went into the woods (and you might), you would see places where the moss was cushiony and had little red hairs on it.  Places near water where there were leathery ferns growing.  You would smell the leaves of years rotting beneath you and it would be a good smell.  There are other places that are more beautiful than this place, but I find the rolling hills, woods, and streams infinitely interesting.  And near the side of every major highway, if you looked up, you would see a red-tailed hawk perched up in the highest branches of the trees.

MacRae, Ted C. “Mini-review of the Cicindelidia abdominalis species-group,” Beetles in the Bush. Published September 14, 2011, accessed August 10, 2012. [Chicago Style]

The problem with Missouri, as Jennifer Lawrence's character tried to tell us, is all the meth labs.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I've been up to...

So it's been more than a year since I've written in here, but I'm thinking it's time to get back at it. What has the last year been about for me?  Well, for starters:

  • I've lost nearly 60 pounds on Medifast.  I'm not being paid by them, and it is not the cheapest diet, but it is so worth it.  Never been a size six before.
  • Work, work, and more work.
  • Travel.  Plan to do more of that.
  • Gardening (of course).  Since I am prepping myself to make a move, I am focusing my gardening efforts on houseplants for now.  Having fun with African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) among others.
  • Pinterest.  If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend you do so.
  • I did LOTS of canning, freezing, and preserving this past summer, and was pleased with the result.  I even tried my hand at this.  
  • Stumbleupon.  Perhaps you have been under a rock, or dead, or have been in a vampiric sleep.  Otherwise, you've probably heard of this one already, but it is a ton of fun.  
  • A semi-serious project that I hope to share with you soon regarding Healthcare Reform.  I am trying to break down the act into manageable  bite-sized pieces for the end consumer.  Lots of work left to do on that one yet.
Regardless, it's time for me to spend a little more effort on this blog, even though probably no one reads it.  I'd like to start writing in it daily, if at all possible.  Remember LiveJournal?  It's probably still around, but I'd like to use this blog just like that, a place to empty out my head every day.  We will see what 2013 bring us, then, as we document.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Apocolypse Flower

In the end of days there is no role for a flower, even a religious one.  Perhaps that is why the cultivation of said blossoms seems an irrelevant past time for a culture caught up in a waiting game for the end that doesn’t know about the beginning or the middle, the other parts.
If the principle is:  we are all connected, then I argue that the flower does matter, as does the stem and the root.  And certainly, the earth beneath is of grave importance, even though it is forgotten by many and seen as background for a life led unconsciously.  Houses are bought and sold, cars driven off cliffs of desperation all carried out on the earth that is always grinding, working, responding with the grace of a lover to the ministrations of few.  But, but…what about me? cries humanity.  What about you?
Do you matter, do you exist?  From the persepective of a bee or flower or brilliantly speckeled bug chewing a leaf in the sacred light of morning, you only matter in that you interact with the slim white spire of the lily.  You are not good or evil, you merely are—mindless.  How can we feel connected to one another when we can’t feel connected to the soil, or the leaf, or the flower?
And in the background of the world nature continues to shape, strive, leap, clinging to the next branch in calm contemplation of the current state.