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Friday, June 24, 2011

"Midsummer Night"

Happy birthday to all of my Cancers! I have to admit that I’ve never been able to find your constellation in the night sky, but after finding the Big Dipper, all the other stars look like a jumbled mess to me. My mind wanders when I’m looking at the dark and I often end up watching lightning bugs instead.

I used to live at a place that was buried in 120 acres of woods. There was a pool in a clearing, and I floated around on my back looking at the sky. The crickets sang, the breeze rustled the grass and leaves, and the frogs chirped and bellowed in the distance. Bliss. That’s the kind of noisy quiet I love best, and there are so many more stars when we get away from city lights.

I think of all those childhood camping trips where the adults talked in low voices around the campfire while I was supposed to be sleeping inside the tent. The closeness and distance was a lullaby of things that had nothing to do with me while the parents sang, and drank beer and told each other stories. I could smell the dew dropping and the dampness of the tent and hear my siblings’ soft breathing while I snuggled inside my warm sleeping bag which was strategically placed over the sharpest rock in the forest.

I can also think of wild nights of underage drinking, dancing in city water fountains, parties in the alley, intimate moments, and stomping home in high heels after a particularly bad date. Not everything that happens at night is a good thing.

The world is different at night. There are different animals, different sounds, different smells, and everything seems closer and farther away at the same time. It’s a time for reflection and thinking and hoping. Our nighttime thoughts and dreams are what make our daytime realities come true.

I’m losing myself in a cloud of memories while trying to write something worth reading. My memories of good things bump against my tragic memories of people dying in the dark. Do people ever die in the daytime? Or do people just let go when the night brings the other side so close to our consciousness? If I get my pick, I’d like to die in my sleep in a gentle drifting from one world to the next.

I made this crab art this week when I was thinking bright, happy thoughts for my Cancer people, but “Midsummer Night” has sent me down an unexpected path of memories. Maybe I should let my mind wander to nights spent with Cancers Jennifer and Harry looking for melon heads? Or discussing fission with Phil? Or drinking wine coolers with Phyllis? Or debating politics with Jerry? Or, or, or… there are a lot of Cancer moments to choose from because I seem to have an unerring ability to find them. Slow learner or destiny? I’m feeling a desire to go looking for melon heads tonight :)

38 comments:

  1. Hey, I'm right behind you today lady. At illo/Friday anyway. Wine coolers. I remember drinking lots of Sun Country in the big jugs back in college.

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  2. Clinking glasses with you Sharon!

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  3. Dear Abby; my poor friend Linda evidently not only has several cancers but has names for them all and celebrates their birthdays. Would it be impolite for me talk with her about it? Signed, Bewildered

    Dear Bewildered; Stupid git, she's talking about the astrological sign. And friends that were born under that sign. Get a grip! Signed, Dear Abby

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  4. LOL Rand! I think you must've gotten into the wine coolers??

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  5. Sorry Linda, didn't mean to be glib. Your stream of consciousness remembrances from childhood nights to sensory experiences to thoughts of sharing the night with friends is a wonderful read... and a gift worth reading, indeed, a number of times. Kudos, bud.

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  6. Thanks Rand! I laughed at your Dear Abby letter, so no harm :)

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  7. I'm related to a bunch of Cancers, so I can relate ;) The colors in this are gorgeous, and the execution so perfect. It's great!

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  8. Linda! Your crab is gorgeous! Wonderful nautilus-like patterns throughout. And the colors!

    I wish I had more nighttime memories like yours.

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  9. Unique approach to IF theme, cool! I like your memories even more than the illustration.

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  10. I seem to be in a pink and blue mood lately. I go through phases. It makes me happy to strike something for others with my memories too. Thanks everybody!

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  11. I think your post had an effect on me Linda, I read it late last night and decided to comment today...I went to bed and had a nightmare about a garden with a HUGE snake in a burrow and it was coloured pink and blue just like your crab! I think my brain had been arranging my thoughts..how weird are dreams eh! BTW I do love your crab, glad its friendly ;0)
    Have a great weekend,
    Jane x

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  12. Oh that's cool. I don't know if anybody can interpret dreams except for the dreamer, but I started wondering if maybe the snake is your creativity and you're afraid of really letting it out? Or maybe I'm heavily influenced by a show I just watched about how women are suppressed in their creative expression and success? Keep dreaming, keep doing!

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  13. Lovely image. There is something about the night that makes you feel like you are in a whole different world. I miss having fire flies in California , having grown up with them in the midwest.

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  14. Thanks Patti! I'll try to appreciate the fire flies more, but it's hard when they're hanging out with the mosquitoes!

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  15. Heisann!
    Great, Linda... wonderful colors ;:OD)

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  16. Hello Auntie Linda :)

    Ahh, the "Return of the Pink Claw".

    Well you know i n 'art, the word beautiful is used so very often ... but this pink resonates with me, I don't know why, I think it reminds me of a surfboard spray job that I fell in love with in the seventies :)

    It's such a good design this, you know your artist's eye really pumps your work into a wonderful level

    I haven't even read your text :) In fact I am not here till tomorrow, don't tell anyone!

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  17. I have to admit I fussed over that pink a lot, so glad I finally picked the right color :) Thanks for the comments!

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  18. Beautiful serene colors! So lovely...

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  19. The subtle shifts from blues to red~violets make this piece. The textures come in a close second...It's your own visual 'noisy~quiet' and the balance of the composition matches the stability of most Cancer folk, so there you have it. A very tidily designed illustration.
    ....now about that "underage drinking, dancing in city water fountains, (and) parties in the alley" ...
    hmmmm~~sounds more Asymmetrical than the crabs symmetry here...

    .

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  20. Thanks Richard! Maybe Cancers are more symmetrical than Scorpios? I can't say I regret my youthful adventures (mostly).

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  21. this is awesome! i like all the colors and textures going on is such a small space. great work!

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  22. This is fabulous! I loved reading your recollections of summer and they evoked my own. I grew up near the Chesapeake Bay where the blue crab lives and we ate them in the summer. Sitting down to a table full of steamed crabs was summer :)

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  23. "I can also think of wild nights of underage drinking, dancing in city water fountains, parties in the alley, intimate moments, and stomping home in high heels after a particularly bad date. Not everything that happens at night is a good thing."

    you ROCK at bringing back memories, linda!

    i tried to have a CRAB WHACK with my hubbie on the shore last year and he didn't like all the gushy parts. but me? a mallet a few hoppy beers and a bucket o crabs....SUMMER!

    a gorgeous illio, too! love the gentle pinks w/ the blues!

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  24. Beautiful drawing! And I loved the tail in your previous post - so detailled!

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  25. Beautiful crab, the colours are stunning. Yes, summertime parties are my best memory and swimming in the sea.

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  26. I've never whacked a crab, but I like eating them! I like swimming in the ocean and summer parties too. Thanks for the comments!

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  27. Always fun to see how you'll interpret the IF challenge each week! Ahh, the summer memories! And stargazing...We were just visiting with friends and doing just that. It seemed so much like the leisurely good old days! If only the constellations were as colorfully designed as your crab- We'd find 'em faster, and it might be a lot easier on the neck! :o)

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  28. Beautiful job, Linda! Doesn't summertime evoke a lot of memories??

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  29. Some of my fondest memories were at night and so were some of my darkest.... until I tuned the light on. Great post Linda. Brought back a few memories of my own. Love the crab/cancer... you should do a whole series in this style. So beautiful!

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  30. Great post and great illustration

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  31. Thanks everybody! You might be onto something Jack. I've been thinking maybe a series. I hope everybody has wonderful summer nights!

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  32. Beautiful pcture, great wrting. Let me know when you illustrate Pisces :)

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  33. Thanks Jordan! I already did a Pisces. Look here: http://lindahensley.blogspot.com/2011/03/stir.html

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