The Problem Is…

show details 7:31 AM (2 minutes ago)

And I slammed into the door frame with my left shoulder and I was walking fast, socks in hand, and the force of moving body against an edge of solid wood sort of spun me around. It surprised me. And the surprise was scary and I turned around and kicked the wall quite quickly. It was the continuation of impact, I was just a conduit. From left shoulder to right foot.
I was immediately ashamed. Who knew how pointed the toe of my shoe really was? How fragile the wall. The snapped lathe was sad.

I covered the hole with a sheet of paper. I am experimenting with balsa wood and tiny nails, curved like hooks. I hung some onto the sheet of paper covering the hole. I think I will try to build a honeycomb and will cover it like that. My mom suggested plaster patch, which I have. But I prefer to keep some reminder to not walk too fast, a reminder that doors are useless if you just run into their edges and that every splintered little failure is an opportunity to make something beautiful.

Now for my thoughts on Beauty as assigned by The Sun, Readers Write:

(this is re-published from hannahandfaith.wordpress, which I haven’t contributed to in a while. Friends are hard to keep up with. Too many buttons, not enough holes.) (This is really all I have to say about beauty right now.)

show details 9:34 AM (6 hours ago)

I grew up a 1/4 mile from my great-grandmother. She was born in 1894. She died in 1992, when I was sixteen.

My great-grandmother’s presentation of self was still very important to her when I was a child, an early adolescent.

She wore spectator pumps everyday, though she largely watched the world from the vantage point of her chair: a large-armed ivory throne that not only oversaw the living room, but was somehow the axis of the entire house, in immediate view no matter how you entered the room. There she was.

No afghans or housedresses for the old woman we all called Rach. No, each morning she pressed her lipstick on by clamping her mouth onto the red, waxy color. The lipstick itself was pressed into a sharp convex. The tip of the curve thin and sharp, always. She had the same tube of lipstick for years.

She powdered her face and the loose grains, orange-y beige, clung to the fine white hairs that covered her old, old face. Like the down of an owl or the fur of young mice.

She’d had a mastectomy, years before. But she wore a padded breast form even long after her body had assumed the lumpishness of the very aged.

She had her hair set every Tuesday, the thin white strands pressed into distinct tube-like curls that rose over her baby pink scalp like the loneliest looking clouds.

By the following Monday the curls would be gone, Rach’s mood slightly fouled by the tumultuous nimbus that rose from her head.

I don’t think that she really cared too much, after a while – a cancer, a stroke, a fall and then another.

Still, she maintained her routines, but not not for beauty’s sake. Putting on lipstick was just a way to stave off death another day.

Every day.

We arranged to have her hair styled at the house in between trips to “the beauty parlor” – which became rare and then gone. Her lips were still red. Her face still dusty with powder over the shine of the cream she smoothed on.

In routine, she found the beauty of a life long-lived…if you wake up everyday and set yourself in motion, you will keep living.

The other day I wore a piece of her costume jewelery to work, pinned to my vest. (On my collar I wore a rhinestone star, purchased at the Salvation Army on Patton Avenue. I am pure juxtaposition at times. In order for sometthing to be beautiful to me, they must be interesting.)

Why, I wonder, did we not save her lipstick? Her powder. Her spectator pumps. Her hairbrush. Her false breast, yellowing prosthetic decades old, sharp plastic seaming?

What became of all these things?

Why did we save the earrings, always clip-on (hard, cold metal clamps with flowers and false pearls!)

The costume jewelry?

When I am old, my brows will be well-groomed. Always. When I die, you ought to save my tweezers.

There is, I have decided, far-too much stuff in this house. I can’t even deal with it anymore. I am visually overwhelmed by the drifts of shoes, legos, and stuffed animals that seem to crowd all the corners. I had dreams last night of snow and ash and splintered strips of lathe falling through holes in the ceilings. The children were, in these dreams, calming playing with some anonymous adults (?)(Who were these people?)(I don’t recall their faces.)
What I do recall is the cold and sooty feel of things falling onto my face as I looked up at a gaping hole in the ceiling of the southeast bedroom. How had I never noticed it before?

I am sweeping up this morning. I will put the bags of soiled stuffed toys, forgotten legos, mysterious paper towel tubes…all of it will go into a garbage bag.

I have been distracted lately, but still vigilantly drawing everyday. An endeavor that feels a little pointless amidst all this miscellaneous refuse.

show details 2:32 PM (4 hours ago)

Hooray! I am back online! Apparently, the issue was due not to difficulties of a technical nature, but financial difficulties…my payment was late, account suspended.
This relates directly to my lack of organization. All the stuff on my desk covers the bills, probably out of subconscious intent on my behalf. I’d rather look at drawing paper than a bill from a corporate media provider. Wouldn’t it be interesting to go internet free at home? I’d probably spend a lot more time at my parent’s house. The children would be disappointed. Having become quite attached to WordGirl on PBS in the morning. They know all the words but the charms of villainous old ladies are hard to resist on winter mornings.

Speaking of, I’ve been a nag and a half lately. It has been a grouchy couple of weeks. Grey grey grey…and then grey some more. Damp and rain and ice and snow. I think I can’t stand winter. I think, in fact, that it can pretty much just kiss my left foot…speaking of: I kicked a whole in a small strip of wall yesterday at approximately 7:35 am. Perhaps it was winter I was trying to kick?

Actually, after frantically re-making ALL of the girl’s valentines for her classmates because she had lost the first batch and trying to get the boy to f-o-c-u-s long enough to get dressed…I had gone upstairs to look for socks for the girl, the sun was shining brightly, the school buses were roaring by, a rarity in these days of icy roads and snowy cars.

(The end was at the beginning, so you already know what happened…)

many a slip twixt the cup and the lip…



show details Feb 11 (2 days ago)

I haven’t emailed myself ALL DAY!

I was sickish and out of work, mostly for fear of picking up some truly virulent um…virus. Whatever is scorching my bronchi is nagging but not terribly disabling. After I kicked the fever this morning, oddly correspondent to my dropping the children off at school 2-hours delayed. I debated using the stretch of hours in front of me to simply sleep the day away. Doze on the couch like the days of old. Is it possible I am weaning myself, finally, from naps?

The time just seems too valuable.

I got up, coughed and called work – said I was coming in because I had errands downtown. The errands I spoke of were a top-secret mission to place my Presents for Strangers in at least one local business. I may be picked up as a countertop sideline at Malaprops. I may also post a bird/donation exchange at Downtown Books and News. I am certain that the booklovers among us will love the notion of anonymous gifts in the form of wire birds in flight.

It is pure whimsy. Someone really ought to be filming all this.

I’m such an idiot sometimes.

I stopped in at work out of sick-weary guilt. “Well, you should’ve just stayed at home!”

“I know, but I felt guilty. And I haven’t run a fever all day.”

I was ingratiating, but I left comforted that I hadn’t completely screwed up by not taking my vitamins and occasionally chewing my nails without sanitizing my hands first. That I hadn’t left my coworkers in a hideous glitch of classes and children and too few to impart adequate knowledge upon them. I’m being ingratiating again, aren’t I?

Yes. Yes, I am.

Buoyed by reassurance of continued employment, I approached the Asheville Art Museum with Presents For Strangers in hand. The project birds are being consigned in their shop. Go buy one. The sketches are numbered and one day when I’m famous like Jonathan Brilliant, they’ll be worth at least a million dollars…right now all they are worth is a smile, just be happy that someone (me) took the time to make them.

I feel like the blanket is finally out of my brain and this, my friends, is key.

Doing things makes me feel better than doing nothing.

Notes from Left Field

If anyone else, aside from an unnamed ally, loved the seismograph in the basement hall at Portland State University, please make yourself known.

We are the same.

So finish this paragraph for me:

show details 7:59 AM (0 minutes ago)

It had been fifteen years since the seismograph. The machine, as she remembered it, was housed in a glass box and was set upon a locked wooden cabinet in an otherwise empty and poorly lit hallway in the basement of the University’s humanities building.

(the greenish light of inside-underground)

The seismograph was never, ever still.

Sometimes as she approached it, she would fail to hear the tiny scritching and scratching of the lines across the paper and…


show details Feb 12 (2 days ago)

One thought on “The Problem Is…

Is there really anything to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s