wonderland

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This morning I received a wonderful email from Miss Moonspinner and she introduced me to a girl called Mindy Gledhill and in this email she paid me a really big compliment, she said this song reminds her of me, it’s called pocketful of poetry.  Holy wow, that’s a big deal.  It means number one she really, really KNOWS me.  Cause well, I’m in constant wonder? and I’m most happy when I’m writing, poetry, stories, words….just words.  I love words but simple ones not very complicated sophisticated ones.  I’m very simple you know.   I wonder what makes those glow in the dark things, glow in the dark?  How is it bubbles have the most magnificent opalescent rainbows inside?  I wonder how feathers are made perfectly to help those birds to fly?  I wonder how all those men built that big bridge that we faithfully drive  on top of to cross the water?  I’m in constant wonder?  It’s a big joke around here with motorcycle man because since I’m in constant wonder and amazement about things I will often ask him as if he has all the answers.  “Rich how come this?  How come that?  I wonder why they do it that way, do you know why?”  He will laugh and say, he doesn’t know the answers but sometimes he makes things up just to make me giggle.  We are a good team, the pair of us.  So I made up a nick name for the all-knowing motorcycle man, I will from time to time call him BOK and that stands for book of knowledge.  Long story short, I would much rather be writing and making pretty things, and taking pictures and of course hanging out with my family and friends and mostly just playing and having music constantly playing all the time like an enourmous sound track to our life…. but I do know we must work, I suppose we just must.  But I wonder what it would be like to do what I love so it wouldn’t feel like work?  People do it.  I know this to be true but could this be me?  Could I just write words and take pictures of things and make a living?  hum…. I wonder??

 

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PlsS2hdzVSw

 

In art there is healing

Ecclesiastes 3

   There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:

     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
     a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

When death happens I think of this scripture because it’s so true about having a time for everything.  This weekend was a time to build, laugh, embrace…but in having that honor…. death arrived.  And before I can talk about the happenings of our weekend I find it in my heart today to first honor my beautiful and beloved Aunt.  She is my mom’s Aunt actually, a great-aunt to me.  The last living person in  my grandpa’s generation.  She was my grandpa’s sister.  There were four children to the hard-working couple who came here from Oklahoma in hopes of a better life and to escape the dust bowl.  I just spoke of them last week in fact.  I included this image of my family history.  The sweet little girl is my Aunt.

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There was first a little girl who passed when she was just three, then there was my Aunt Louise and her real name was Berttie Louise (pronounced Birdy) She didn’t like her first given name so we all knew her as Aunt Louise. Then there was my grandpa, his name was Gerald but he went by Sandy because their last name was Sanders, then the last to be born another boy, Ronald, who went by Ron.  And my Aunt she was beautiful like a movie star.   Even in her aging she was beautiful to me.  She left us on Saturday.  She crossed over at 3:30 in the morning and I like how there are two three’s in her passing.  She was in pain, she went quickly and I’m thankful for that only I never said good-bye.  I was supposed to see her upon my return from Oregon.  I didn’t want to cancel my trip because it was a monumental trip.  A trip for growth, a trip I had to do.  I had to be brave.  And in making that choice I missed her passing and I missed my good bye.  Mourning was even addressed on our weekend trip and how it’s important to mourn.  Her viewing is this Friday, her service will be graveside Saturday.  My first cry was with Cinnamon at the top of the hill in a public restroom.  I shared with her quickly of the news.  I shared with her my confusion on how I should be, what I should feel? In that quick span of time I managed to also share how when I turned 40 it was supposed to be the best birthday of my life so far, how we had big plans to go away and my grandpa was sick again from cancer and without hesitation,  I cancelled our plans to go away so I could spend each weekend with him until his passing. It was the best decision I could have made.  I had one final conversation with him where we shared deep secrets and special thoughts with one another before he got really bad and it was on the exact weekend I was supposed to go away.  He wanted me to go.  He wanted me to enjoy my celebration but in this particular case I could not.  It was a May 3rd 2010, my 40th birthday when I got a phone call after work that he wasn’t doing well and may not make it through the night.  I left.  I just dropped everything and I left to be with him.  I wanted to be there when he took his last breath.  And I was able to hold his hand, gently talk to him, to just sit, to be near him as he took his breaths and got closer to death. It took him three days to let go. And during that time we held on tight, we stayed close.  I will never forgot my 40th birthday  it will forever be associated with his passing.  He left me roses and a hat, and plenty of memories. When I see an egret I think of him. I saw an unusual amount of them after his passing.  One on my rooftop in fact which was a first and so far a last.   I will never forgot and I mourned properly.

But now, now I was away and I wasn’t sure.  So it went like this, one moment in the bathroom with Cinnamon where I shared my heart quickly and I began to cry and she embraced me.  And right there at the top of the hill in that public restroom I had a moment.  And now I will never forget my monumental trip, the one I took alone when Aunt Louise left us.

So today I just want to honor and respect her with a few images from a few years back.  My mom and I with littlest and only girl went to help her clean her house.  She always kept a very tidy and clean house and in her older age and deteriorating health she couldn’t clean like she used to.  So we cleaned for her.  We polished her salt and pepper shaker collection, we washed windows and sorted through old mail.  But we also just sat and visited and for me, I had my camera with me.  I document the details, the moments so that’s what I did 5 years ago when we helped her clean her house.  And I saw her a few times after this and sadly in the busy life of being a working mom, I didn’t see her as much as I could have.  She didn’t live too incredibly far away.  And to be honest I feel not so good about that part.  Why does death do that to us?  I should learn from this.  I should learn.

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Here are the images from that day.  Not all the images but the ones I find special.  She didn’t want me to take her photo because she didn’t think she was beautiful any more but trust me she was.  And I just had to respect her wishes so the two photo’s I have are from the back.  One my little girl took for me.  I asked little Abbie to go behind us and click a picture.  I wanted a picture where I was next to her without her getting upset that her image was being taken.

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And I realize now in art there is healing.  I also had my camera with me in my grandpa’s passing.  I photographed his hand in my sisters, I photographed the roses in his garden, the ones we gathered to place by his bed, the guardian angel coin, the times my mom stood next to him and put cool cloths on his head.  I photographed it all, even the clock and the rocks, and the sky.  I had to.  It helped. So at least I have learned in art there is healing.  

releasing – believing – repeat

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Innocence of a child

whose been raised in love,

enormous, enormous love

They bleed sunshine and wonder

You ask them to express themselves in art

They draw rainbows

hearts

sunshine

happy faces

and pure hearts

because

They trust

They fear not

They are open

as life increases

hour to hour

day-to-day

year after year

That tiny innocent child changes

metamorphosis

They have been let down

They have had their heart

BROKEN

They felt sorrow

They have been betrayed

and some in the most

dreadful ways

And no more are they

drawing sunshine, happy faces and pure hearts

They tell a different story

 pray

we pray

they will

  be  stronger

  be lighter

in enormous faith

they love harder

because their journey

has taught them how to

understand

to empathize

patience

while the days pass

hoping, believing

releasing

to what is bigger than us

hoping, believing

releasing

repeat

what if

what if

every single day

i only

just

took a picture of this plant

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this potted plant

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who sits on the shiny white tile

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by the sink

in the kitchen

just this plant

i photographed her

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i wrote about her

i admired her

i tracked her growth

24 hours

each light different

with each hour

she would change

don’t you want to see her bloom?

what if she bloomed when I wasn’t looking?

what if

every single day

I ONLY

just

did this?

Would you still be interested?

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sometimes its all I need

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sometimes its all I need

just this

watching a potted plant grow

each day

its different

its new

its reaching towards the light

its opening up

its skin is soft

this is what I love about nature

plants

birds

insects

animals

all constant reminders

of the cycle

the hope

the life

the death

sometimes its all I need

(taken with 20D so different from the 70, nice and grainy and soft, not nearly as vibrant)

Sun Daisy and Moon Rose, their story condensed

39 of my 43 years have been blessed with a one of a kind forever sort of friendship.  I moved into this little condominium complex when I was just 4.  We were unloading our furniture when a little girl with the biggest most expressive brown eyes ran up to me and said “I haven’t seen you in such a long day!”  She apparently had been waiting for me to show up.  And this is why mama Georgia believes we were friends in another life. The little girl’s name was Ronda Lee…no H in this Ronda!

little usI had to hold the kitty cause according to me…she didn’t know how to properly do it

Ronda and Tracie basically grew up together and basically know about everything there is to know about each other, its border line scary.  They can just look at each other and know what the other one is thinking. Really it’s true!

streetOh and the stories there are so many stories about these two.  So many I can’t possibly list them all here or it would be a mini novel.  I wish I could tell you all the details of how Tracie saved Ronda’s life one day as they sat up on the trunk portion of the big convertible drinking their Icee’s and enjoying the wind on their faces when Ronda nearly fell off the back of the car, so Tracie naturally pulled her to safety…only their cherry red Icee’s ended up all over the back seat of the pretty white car and it wasn’t so much about the heroic act as it was about the mess they made in the back seat.  They were always in trouble for something, like the time they broke the glass music box and snuck it to Mama Georgia’s house so they could have her glue it back together so Mama Linda wouldn’t “know any better”  or the time they were eating those suckers they weren’t supposed to have when Tracie’s cap broke off and Ronda thought Elmer’s glue would do the trick, or the time they decided they had had enough and packed the red wagon to run away but only made it to the swimming pool at the complex before deciding to return home, or the time Ronda cleaned up the oil spot on the garage floor with mama Linda’s new designer white jeans.  Yep. Those are just a few of the things that went on in those days. rtIn those days it was okay to send your little people off to school, to walk through the vacant field and climb under the fence to get to class, or take the alternate longer route that passed a 7-11 where the little redhead and girl with the brown eyes would peel old already chewed gum off the sidewalk and chew gravel filled gum on their way to school. Or the arguments the girls would get into with boys like Tony Baloney and Brad who insisted babies come out of their mom’s vaginas while Ronda and Tracie were insistent that girls pooped babies out.  Like what do boys know anyways!

red blackRonda and Tracie didn’t really like their given names so Tracie insisted that Ronda call her Rose and so Ronda decided on Daisy for herself.  These same girls had a heated argument from across the street from each other (Daisy lived on one side of the street while Rose lived on the other) Oh Rose was so mad, she had to call Miss Daisy anything but Ronda or Daisy, so she shouted something like “I hate you Pee Pee Head!”  Miss Rose started that fight but Miss Daisy won the fight when her comeback was “I hate you Poo Poo head!”  This stopped Rose in her tracks, she couldn’t think of one more word worse than that!

outside hangingLater on when these two little girls grew up they still stayed friends, even when Daisy’s parents moved her all the way to San Diego where Rose had to take the train to visits during the summer months or Daisy’s Dad would pick her up on his way home from his job so the two girls could spend some time together. Ronda’s dad always referred to them as the beatnik and hippie.   And even later when Daisy moved in with her grandparents on Rose’s side of town where they were thrilled to be so close again.

renneAnd even later than that when they decided they should be roommates and live in the same complex Daisy’s Italian grandparents managed.  Where Grandma Della would sneak in and leave them homemade pizza on their kitchen counter to make sure they were being fed.  And just like when they were little and would watch Lavern and Shirley and Ronda would say, “I’m Shirley and you’re Lavern” and Tracie would say “okay, I’m alright with that” and when they lived together…Ronda was Shirley and Tracie was Lavern and Tracie was more than okay with it but Ronda had a lot of picking up to do for the both of them.

mobileThese two knew each other so well yet they were kind of different.  Ronda decided that she was the sun and Tracie was the moon because that’s how different they were from each other.  Ronda was full of sunshine while Tracie was a little more gloomy.  Ronda wrote poems about happy things while Tracie wrote poems about sad things. Ronda loved her Moody Blues, Grateful Dead and John Denver while Tracie loved Led Zeppelin,  the Cure and  John Lennon but they both agreed fully on the Doors of course. Sometimes they would sit for hours on end at the tops of parking structures reading philosophy and talking about life’s purpose making short films (lost films) Ronda loved to sing and dance, while Tracie liked to take it all in.

pizza makingThere is so much more to say about these two but it’s already far too long for most people to want to keep reading.  They are grown-ups now, they both are still very different and at the same time very much alike.  Somewhere along the way Ronda taught Tracie to not be so gloomy and even though she is the moon, she is a big bright full moon now!  One thing that hasn’t change that will never change is the love they have for on another.  There is nothing quite like it.

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