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Saturday, January 25, 2014


I read about American Indians scouting pioneers' camps.  They'd dress like animals and work themselves into some kind of different mentality and become the animals.  The pioneers saw the Indians as animals, the Indians learned about what the pioneers were doing, and the Indians won a lot of battles.

Reading this when I was a kid made me think.  I decided Indians didn't really turn into animals, they just became persuasive in some way to trick the pioneers' thinking.  I was pondering this hard in front of a brick wall at school and decided if Indians could be animals, I could be brick.

People walked past me without seeing me.  A couple of people kind of hitched their step near me and looked confused for a second, but nobody seemed to the skinny kid, even when they barely missed walking right into me.  I was pleased with my success.  I became a tree, greenly translucent as the river, and blended with flowers in the garden. 

I was hiding in the neighbor's blueberry bushes when I really thought I'd get caught by the old Nazi.  He could smell me or something, but he couldn't find me.  He kept pacing in front of me, trying to figure out what was out of place in his world, but he couldn't see me even though I had barely enough time to hide when he came to the blueberry patch.  One of my very white, bare legs was in plain sight, but he couldn't see it while I examined his big, cracked leather shoes which were inches from my face.

Breathe quiet... He did another round of the blueberry bushes and stood in front of me again.  I am grass... I am green leaves... I am an Indian in the enemy camp...  My magic is stronger than yours.

It was a powerful moment for me, and extremely liberating.  I practiced at home in the living room.  One night Dad asked, "Where's Linda?" and I raised my hand in front of him.  "She hasn't been home much lately."  Oh, I forgot to turn off my magic.  I made myself visible again and waved my hand in front of him again.  "Were you there all along?"  "Yes."  Dad kind of shook his head and pondered me for a while.  "I've been practicing being invisible like the Indians."  Dad looked kind of troubled, but he didn't make me explain too much.  "Fey."

Well, yeah, I've always been pretty fey.  Fairy-like and magical.  Sounds kind of cool, but it makes people uncomfortable.

I have to admit I still hide in view, sometimes willing people not to notice me when I'm working in my office because I need quiet time to work.  But really, I think we all do it in one way or another because everybody is putting on false faces to get the responses from people that they want.  We dress the part for work, or a date, or to hang with friends.  This is the face I want you to see, and then that's what people do see.  It's even what we start to see when we look at ourselves because we forgot we're all living in disguise.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


This feather was my first blog post.  I gave it away recently, and somehow felt like it flew to the right home at the right time.  I don't give things like this away very often because it represents two firsts.  First blog post and first art after a long break from creative things.  I like to keep firsts like this because it reminds me of my mental and emotional state at a different time in my life.

I really don't need things to remind me of the past, but sometimes a thing, or smell, or taste can bring that past up quicker and closer than just mentally trying to regrasp it.  I can imagine the sound of Grandma in the kitchen stirring cookie batter with a stainless steel spoon in a heavy glass bowl, and the metallic tink can remind me of the warm sunlight streaming through the white bordered windows in the turquoise room and the smell of vanilla...

When I was laid off, I had a lot of time to relive those kinds of moments.  I liked to write about them, and it seemed like people liked to read them to remind them of their own memories.  Since I've been working all the time lately, now I enjoy hearing about other people's happy childhood memories because it's a short-cut to my happy feelings.

Different pictures flit through my mind of crayfish hiding under algae-covered rocks, Mom's Chanel #5, Dad carving in the garage, my sisters laughing in the yard, red Kool-aid... the pictures come and go in my mind without any real pattern or story, just the bits of color in the pattern of my life.

Today, I told friends about being pushed into a 3rd grade math class when I was still in 1st grade.  I cried when I told the principal "I'm not emotionally mature enough for 3rd grade!" and surprised myself today when my eyes filled with tears again.  Maybe I'll never be emotionally mature enough for 3rd grade?

In the grand scheme of things, this was a little moment -- but it was a first moment too.  The beginnings of feelings of being out of step with the world around me.  I think everybody has them in one way or another, and we don't always get to go back to first grade and learn to adjust as I had the chance to do, with friendly, happy kids accepting me back into their flock.

I don't know how to understand "beginning".  The world is infinite, and infinity is beyond me.  I don't know where the beginning of space or time or God is.  The acorn is the beginning of a tree, but it's a bit of the tree that dropped it, so maybe the beginning of the tree isn't the acorn or the whole line of acorns and trees before it, but something that is so far beyond my sense of reality that it all blurs into... okay, this is probably why I get told to quit thinking so much?

The word for the week is "beginning".  The feather was my beginning into blogging.  'Nuff said?

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I can't find the battery charger for my camera.  I've searched all over my house and my office at work multiple times without success.  I'd like to blame someone else for this, or blame my recent housekeeping activities, but deep in the back of my mind I know I put it someplace "safe".  It's probably behind the butter in the refrigerator or someplace equally stupid.

The missing charger has become something of a Holy Grail for me.  I pop out of bed in the middle of the night when I think of some other place it could possibly be hiding.  I've been reading The Once and Future King by T. H. White because my brother insisted that it's a necessary part of my literary education, and I feel just as idiotic as King Pellinore searching for his beast.

Sometime after I give up and get a new charger I'm sure I'll find the missing gizmo.  It's the law of the universe.  It's right up there with finding a boy/girlfriend when you've given up looking -- when the universe might laugh at you by providing 2 likely candidates, which confuses things so much that you call Bill Mike or vice versa and both prospects disappear leaving you wishing for a partner -- but you can't find one (or 2) until you languish a while and eventually give up again.

The thing is, we're all searching for something all the time.  We always seem to want something we don't have.  It can be a job, romance, fulfillment... Whatever it is that we don't have, we want to go up a step on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.  Once we get something we thought we wanted, it doesn't matter any more.  Now we need ______.  It's a fatal flaw in the human condition.

I wanted a job when I didn't have one, now I want some peace and quiet and time off, especially after working another solid weekend and my laundry for tomorrow still isn't done.  Why is it always all or nothing?  My phone can sit quiet so long that I wonder why I pay the monthly bill, and then 3 people call at the same time.

I had lunch with someone recently who's upset she got passed over for a promotion.  Her BF says she ought to be happy with her current job, and after listening to the details, I think I agree.  She makes close to what I earn with a lot fewer headaches and a whole lot more benefits -- which makes me wonder if I should find a different job, which all goes back to the original premise -- we're never happy enough with what we've got that it stops us from searching for more.  I suppose it's why my ancestors left Europe and following generations decided to walk over mountains with all their stuff.  Something better simply had to be beyond the next hill.

I'm working on feeling happy with wherever I am and with whatever I've got, but if anyone finds my battery charger, I'm sure I could be even happier yet!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I've often thought that 2013 was one of the longest years of my life.  I did a lot, but all I did was work.  My 20s went like that too, and sometimes I regret spending those late hours when I had all that youth and energy.

Time is relative, no matter how much some scientists want to tell us that falling out of an airplane takes the same amount of time on a clock as sharpening a pencil.  One of the things that I've known acutely through my life is that my life is finite.  There's only so much time to do the things I'm here to do.  Of course it would help a lot if I actually knew what I'm here to do, but I have an internal fury when someone wastes my time because none of us have a lot of it.

I knew all this when I was a kid, but 50 was a really long ways away, and catching crayfish seemed pretty important right then.  It looks different this side of 50.  I see old people hobbling into the Shrine where I work and think old age doesn't seem that far away any more.  How much longer can I run up steps?  Or eat stuff old people can't digest?  Or write the world's greatest novel or paint my greatest masterpiece?  Or maybe have that love affair that lasts forever?

Some of the things I wanted in my life didn't happen.  I wanted the white picket fence and children and the happy husband.  Somewhere along the line I noticed that white picket fences need painted, and I sure don't feel like doing that.  Kids make unnecessary noise and don't always turn out well.  Or the happy husband is sleeping around.  What do I really want, what can I achieve, and what is my real life purpose?  Somehow, spending the day catching crayfish seems like a most excellent use of my time.

I had a coworker who used to tell me that I was difficult, oh okay, she'd call me a pain in the ass.  I'd smile at her and say "and yet, there are people who love me!"  She'd sputter and I'd laugh, but sometimes I think being loved is the only thing that matters.  Sometimes I think hippies and the Beatles were idiots and I'd better get around to painting that masterpiece because that's the only thing that's going to be here after I'm gone.  It's a new year and I have a blank canvas.  I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, but maybe this is the year I'll start exercising, eat right, and paint for real?

Looking over my posts for 2013, I do feel a certain sense of accomplishment.  I'm amazed with myself that I've been able to keep posting even with all the current job demands.  I hung up thumbnails of all my posts since I started blogging, and sometimes I stop and study them.  It makes me feel like I have done something, with plenty of room to do more somethings before I go.

My brother and I were talking last night about love and time, and he contributed this drawing of his perception of things.  I thought about adding colors and messing around with it, but decided I like it the way he did it.  "Send steaks" is what happens creatives use whatever paper is handy, and maybe since it's been immortalized in art I'll send those steaks?  I did the time doodles on the sudoku page