Monthly Archives: June 2008

Mmmm… chillin’ on a balmy Wednesday eve…

It’s warm here tonight… the day was semi-sunny and positively balmy. “June gloom” seems to have come earlier these last few years, and so by the time June comes ’round, the gloom has mostly passed and it’s only slightly hazy ’til about midday. I’m glad I’m not back in the northeast this time of year, where the mosquitos could eat you alive over a period of a few weeks. That and the black flies, the higher up in the mountains or the further away from the city you went. Amazing how those little bugs could take such big chunks out of your tender parts, like around your ankles or the nape of your neck.

I’m sipping a lovely glass of Cab tonight, hailing from the 337 Wine Cellars winery from Lodi, which I purchased at World Market last Sunday… I couldn’t resist the promise of “hints of chocolate and berries” … it’s very good, too… glad I splurged, though when I open a bottle of wine it often turns before I am able to finish it, seeing that no one else in my household enjoys it much besides me.

My son graduated from elementary school today. I remember when I was done with sixth grade and heading into seventh. I’d spent the last six years in a Catholic school (back in Quebec in the ’70s, the school system was divided by religious affiliation, so there was the Catholic school board and the Protestant (non-denominational) school board). I was baptized Catholic, but my mother was Protestant, so when it came time to send me to the very big Catholic highschool, my parents balked and sent me to a much smaller, and slightly more local, Protestant school by virtue of my mom’s religious affiliation. Unfortunately, only about a handful of other parents of the kids in my graduating sixth grade class felt similarly, and we were a few very little fish released into a very big sea of already established relationships. I found that quite difficult (especially since most of the other refugees were boys). It took me several years to feel comfortable with the new group of people, and I never really quite fit in.

My teenage years were awkward times, and though many think back fondly to those days, I personally do not. I was not particularly outgoing, nor did I excel in sports… or academics. I was very middle of the road, really, and looked rather unremarkable, too. Not unattractive… nor particularly pretty… pretty average, would be a good way to put it. Art was where my heart was, even then, and I would spend as much time in the art room as I could. Besides art, and reading, boys were what occupied what was left of my imagination. I’d get a crush and it would go nowhere and I’d be crushed, and then the whole process would start over again with a different boy. My parents were so strict that they never allowed me to date. The first time I even went out with a boy was in 10th grade, with a boy who invited me to his graduation prom. Oh and how shocking it was to our parents… he was black, and I was white, and neither my dad (nor his grandmother) liked the idea of us going to the prom together, but we did, and we weren’t the worse for wear. He was a handsome devil, too, though nothing much came of us after the party was over (indeed, nothing much happened before; we were merely friends). I had news about him not all that long ago… he’s an accountant at a firm in New York City. It’s odd when I hear snippets about people I knew back then. It seems so long ago, and yet the memories are still floating along the top of my consciousness… my feelings of awkwardness and self-consciousness and yearning just as acute in my recollection as they were then.

I marvel at the passage of time, so fluid in a way, and yet I can’t imagine how different I’ll be, that life will be, in another twenty years… or another forty (should I live that long). I hope so, with all faculties and my health intact, give or take a few aches and pains. At the moment it seems all about toil… working my days away and not a whole lot of enjoyment at the end of it. Weekends hold promise, but I’m usually so exhausted that I feel like a steamed zucchini… wet, soggy, relatively tasteless, too.

More books have arrived from Amazon (my admitted addiction)… Sybil MacBeth’s Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God… Karla M. Kincannon’s Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection… Richard Gordon’s Quantum Touch: The Power to Heal… and Lark Books’ 500 Handmade Books: Inspiring Interpretations of a Timeless Form. All now neatly stacked in a pile on my desk, awaiting further perusal.

I’m about to head over to the table to work on the last two color postcards I’ve still got to make… last month’s (which should have been mailed out at the beginning of this one)… it’s been slow going with these… always the last few that straggle along and hold up the others that are already completed. I really need to make art for myself… for the sake of my own need and desire to create, as opposed to creating it for others, which is mostly what I do. Someday I hope to sell my work, but I’ll never get there from here if I keep giving it away, and what little time I have to invest is usually spent on creating projects that do not work toward my long term goals. But at least it gets me to the table and has me putting down marks of color onto paper, which if I didn’t have this incentive would probably not occur with any sort of regularity otherwise. Discipline has never been my strong suit, I’m afraid, though I keep trying and working on it. Perhaps in the next twenty years I’ll have it figured out.

Blessings and wishes for a lovely summer solstice, no matter where you are…

Summer rengas… mind bytes…

Random flow of thoughts this morning…

Starting with a summer renga whose first haiku I wrote:

Birds, chirping their song
of summer’s immanence —
joy flutters my heart

as leaves rustle in the wind
like a spirit taking form.

I learned to ice skate as a child,
but my ankles were too weak.
I was always envious of the Langes
boys got to wear, with ankle support
and plenty of toe room.

Another day… another week. Gabriel “graduates” from sixth grade this week.

I remember my sixth grade dance. I was only just becoming part of the pack, and Richard Poitras, the most popular boy in our grade, had turned his eye on me. Not because I was excruciatingly beautiful or brilliant, but because, I suspect, of a grudging respect. I was good at dodge ball, and one of the few in my class that would repeatedly catch his throws. And I kicked him in the balls, once (it was not intentional), and while he was rolling around on the ground, cupping his precious testes and writhing in pain, he was like a wounded beast, angry and wild (wanting to inflict pain in turn, but could not). Trepidatiously, I crept closer, repeating how sorry I was that he hurt (wounding his balls was certainly the *last* thing I had in mind). I wanted him so fiercely that I could taste it. The most I got, eventually, was a kiss. He was like a wild animal… beautiful, sleek, temperamental, primal. We parted ways at the end of the year, going on to different schools but I had news of him occasionally. In the end I lost touch entirely, the last rumor I’d heard was that his sharp instincts had finally failed him, and that he was crushed on his motorcycle while trying to pass a big rig on the right side in the Lafontaine Tunnel. Caught between a rock and a hard place. I’d always hoped that it was untrue.

Creative urges…

I’ve been circling my art supply laden dining room table like a dog on a walk, looking for the right spot to relieve himself. It’s a strange analogy but certainly reflective of how I feel lately. I’ve been slow in getting going, rooting around in my imagining, sniffing out the root of that creative kernel… that ah-ha moment when you hit pay dirt… there it is! So fleeting, though… if it’s not immediately captured, it shifts in the sand and requires more digging, more sniffing.

I’ve been so busy lately… with work… with a whole new project that I brought forth into the world by virtue of my indignation at being shut down so completely that I was made mute. I’m not good with mute. To summarily remove my ability to express myself brings about a sort of rage, an all-consuming force that propels me into motion. So out of chaos was borne cohesion… and a re-ignited community of phenomenal beings.

I am resentful of the days moving too fast, though too slowly as well. I live for the freedom of the weekends, but even those seem to be overladen with responsibilities that I can barely scratch off the top of my to-do list without adding them again to the bottom. I used to be so organized… what happened? I had this whole chore thing down to a science. Somewhere along the way I lost my oomph. Now I just sit and stare at the list and short circuit, and wonder how I will get all of that done and still have time to do what I really want to, which inevitably involves the creative process in some way. But when I sit down to create, I am unable to dig deep enough into the silence of myself to pull anything out. Frustration ensues… they say that sometimes the act of lovemaking is enough, even without coitus. Perhaps I need to apply this same concept to my creative efforts. Just showing up is sometimes enough.