I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell – mine sell out!

Friday, August 3, 2012

"Bounce"

When we’re kids, we hear old people saying things like “In my day…” and we roll our eyes and think they’re just old people who aren’t adapting to inevitable changes in the world.  So sad for them, but old people aren’t going to hold us back from embracing the future… and then we become old people too.  I feel an overwhelming urge to tell some young snot about how life was like in the olden days, before handheld gaming devices, when Super Balls were a cool, new thing.

My childhood was an era of optimism, and contrasts.  Hippies painted flowers on themselves and made love while politicians and ministers and older brother soldiers got killed in industrial numbers.  Disney had a weekly tv show with talking animals, and Jim on Wild Kingdom wrestled alligators.  Things were simple.  I laughed at my mom’s post WWII compulsion of thrift to collect twisties… and then I realize I have somehow become an adult with a stash of twisties too.  Something feels seriously wrong.

I often write about growing up in “The Glen” as idyllic.  In a lot of ways it was.  It was an isolated neighborhood in the woods, and my fellow “River Rats” knew everybody else’s business in an extended, dysfunctional family.  One of my old ladies used to play her own version of 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon by explaining how almost everyone was in some way related to the Noonans, either by genetics or marriage.  I have Noonan nephews, so I’ve even been sucked into that vortex.  It’s inescapable, like collecting twisties.

I meet a group of friends once a month at a local restaurant.  Sometimes new people come, and the new people get absorbed into our group in such a seamless way that I forget about how or when they showed up originally.  It’s a “now” group.  We talk about stuff going on in the world, and what’s going on in our lives now.  Ed talked about working on his boat > canoeing the river > used to live in the Glen… say what?!!  Suddenly my past and present slammed together in a way I hadn’t expected.  It was like finding out I was friends with a cousin I didn’t know I had.  A distant image of an older boy running across his front yard popped into my head, drinking lemonade with an old woman sitting next to a stone fireplace, a periscope in the yard…

One thought races after another, and I felt the river calling me this week.  I watched minnows and found a sucker under a rock (that’s a fish), who let me examine its stripes and colors and details before I gently covered it with the slab of shale again.  There’s nothing like watching the ripples of the water for making me realize that my now life is stressing me out and I need to take time to breathe and be quiet.  I sat on the front porch of the old homestead with my brother and counted all of 2 cars go by in an hour.  Bro is going to live at that house forever, so in some ways I’ll always be able to go home again.  Someday maybe I’ll sit on that porch and tell a kid how everyone is in some way related to the Noonans.

In the meantime, I think I need a Super Ball.

I had a more brilliant idea for art this week, but it didn’t work out.  Sometimes that happens, and usually, I pitch my Quasimodos without anyone knowing, but maybe the world looks a little too perfect and unattainable if we only see the best people can produce?  That doesn’t mean I’m going to actually show you my hideously ugly mistake, but hey, it happens to all of us.  I kind of like the simplicity of a single bouncing ball.  I made the blue ball in penance :)

17 comments:

  1. A great post, Linda! Love the bouncing ball(s) and imagery of words. I have a collection of twist ties as well. But when I go to look for one I can never find any. Someone obviously has discovered my stash.

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  2. Gosh I remember super balls Linda, my brother and I would try to reach the upstairs window sill from the yard below. There was always more bounce in them in the summer or is that just my rose tinted glasses ;-)
    Jane x

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  3. Nice little visual series...and I really like the swirly SUPER ball illo! Penance can be good ;)

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  4. Cool how you painted the series of balls. Like clues leading us to a resolution, or bread crumbs showing us the way out of a forest, maybe? Yes, I so remember super balls.

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  5. Thanks everybody! I think maybe Super Balls did bounce higher in summer? We've come a long way from the time when kids could amuse themselves with little ball, haven't we? Keep playing!

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  6. I like the simplicity of your red ball and the swirly cool ball as well. It looks like an optical illusion in the making. We're going back to my farm this weekend. We'll be driving in the slow lane for awhile as well.

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  7. When my wife was a kid, she would lock herself in a windowless, tiled bathroom and turn off the lights and throw a bucket filled with hundreds of Super Balls in the air. They would bounce endlessly in the darkened room. It was exciting!

    Super Balls were the shit!

    Terrific post, sister!

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  8. Now hold on just a minute. What's wrong with a stash of twisties! It only makes sense and anyway, that's one of the items that extra kitchen drawer is for!

    I like the red ball series, too. It's really cool in its simplicity. I post things I think are lacking sometimes too. Helps everyone learn from each other. :)

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  9. A post I can really relate to. Isn't it almost strange how each generation seem always to be "worse" than the previous one. I guess we all stop embracing the future at some point - although we think not or don't want to. Simplicity is sometimes wonderful - as in this case. Love your bouncing balls - as well as the more elaborate penance.

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  10. Thanks everybody! I love reading comments. I can't help but smile at the thought of Josh's wife with hundreds of Super Balls bouncing off the walls!

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  11. How dreadful is it when you start taking 'In my day...' before the age of 50? Linda, should I do a bit of penance for that too?
    I vote for the simple, red bouncing ball.

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  12. Linda, I love the "blue ball" illustration...somehow, that felt weird saying that...LOL!

    Although, I don't say "back in my time" out loud, often, I think it daily! I fully appreciate being able to make that statement and although it wasn't all good, it does shape who we are. I think back in the old days, they did a great job with you! :)

    Happy mid-week! :)

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  13. I like the contrast of styles between your two balls, Linda. Also, the effect you've created of a simple animation with the first. The simplicity and looseness of the red ball has a liveliness that rivals the sophisticated, computer-rendered version.

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  14. Okay, now I'm laughing about blue balls. Funny where the unexpected takes us, isn't it? Thanks for the comments!!

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  15. My kids are grown up, but I'm still finding super balls in out of the way places--like the air intake vent, behind the filing cabinet, under the porch. They both got super balls every year in their stockings, and played with them endlessly, and usually has to be confiscated

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  16. Ack.... Tis stupid iPad is not working. I wan't done. Super balls are the best toys in the world. We had the dining room table pushed back, and the boys bounced them against the wall all winter long.

    I like your simple ball drawing, and your depiction on the world of the Glen.

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  17. (and the autocorrect is making lots of typos--my apologies)

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