21 March 2012

fortnight :: six

Your were supposed to be my knight, my protector, someone to look up to--a replacement to my original.
You were not.
I was still a child, in transition.
You tried to tarnish my passage, fracture me.
You did not.
I took my bruised soul, my ache, my sadness, and hid them away,
told no one,
said nothing.
You left.
I felt relief--I no longer needed to be on guard.
You returned...why?
My new mantra:  never be home alone.
It took a long time--a seemingly endless time--to not feel the possibility of danger.
I no longer fear.
You are now old and broken.
I believe you live in fear.

scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day six:  write a letter to the bully, the aggressor that you always wanted to but couldn't quite.  tell them why they can't affect you anymore.

20 March 2012

fortnight :: five

idealism:  the practice of pursuing something desirable or perfect but not likely to become a reality

Adjusting it’s stride with an excellent tailwind of morality, the ever-present-for-each-generation black horse, under-dog for idealism, carries the teenager, the twenty-something-thirty-something (it is possible the forty-something here and there) forward with a cause, an injustice, a wrong that needs to be righted.  Everything seems so clear,  the formula for success just ahead, almost tangible, like the smell of the ocean in an early morning fog.
For the youngest of the riders, they know nothing of the hurdles yet to be jumped nor how many others have attempted the journey with mixed results.  Possibilities shine brightest for them, so glittering they don’t see the skeletons in the distance of past riders nor the threatening shadows.  As time passes for the riders, knowledge that the wheels of justice are at times bogged down in sludge and the rules are misrepresented by self-serving politicians, becomes a millstone, slowly grinding away at the energy, the heart.
Mine?  Environment, ocean, peace, teaching.

scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day five:  show a part of your nature you feel you have lost

19 March 2012

fortnight :: four

I shared a bedroom and bunk beds with my brother when I was little (my full brother, not my half-brother, not my step-brother--I do indeed have one of each, an all-American family of misfits, of stops and starts of old and new family units, a transformer family, a frankenstein family, made of bits and pieces).  I was on the bottom, a protective cave ceiling of metal wire and a spring-suspension ceiling, the mattress exposed between the rectangular grids, the western-style wood framing solidly pushed into a corner of the room.  It was a shared pact, he on top, me on the bottom.  I liked knowing he was up there looking over the entire room like a guardian, knowing where he was in case he wanted to be, well, a sibling, a brother, a pest.  Some days the dividing line between best-friend-brother and torment-brother was quite thin.
For a time we lived in a basement, walls of painted cinder block, floors of painted concrete (the multi-colored stripes of wall-to-wall carpet in the living room being the exception, although even that didn’t provide much shock absorption when catapulting off the end of the couch), short rectangular windows up high near the ceiling.  Our shared bedroom had a big walk-in closet, some might call it a “Harry Room”, being long and situated partly under the stairs.  No door to the closet, just a floor to ceiling opening along another cinder block wall into what was almost big enough to be another room, especially for two children.  Although clothes were hung above and games were stored on shelves in the closet, the floor was ours.  Between shoes and boots, we laid out blankets and pillows, creating our own fort under the stairs.  Dark, cozy, and secret, it was my favorite place to be.

scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day four:  talk about your childhood bedroom

16 March 2012

fortnight :: three

No sweet-sixteen, prom-night tune.  No wedding-first-dance aria.  I recoil from boxing in a song with my personal-one-of-a-kind memory.  Songs are personal, driven by the songwriter’s private emotions, from the heart, from a memory, from a wish, possibly on the back of a wet-ringed napkin, perhaps while leaning into a broken down couch, a spiral notebook perched on a knee with the once perfectly mitered edges worn and curling from hours-days-weeks of use, an abused pencil close by with such perfect dental records embedded in the soft wood as to give a forensic scientist a wet dream.   Who am I to seize that as my own?  How many dozens, hundreds, have also clutched it as their own?
Still, there are triggers.  I have triggers.  Memories, being born mercurial and woven into an elegant thorny labyrinth of electrical synapses, are indeed most vidid when fused with a sensory trigger.    Fragments of sounds (tones, really), a fragrance slipping by, a texture, a particular pigment or hue.
Church bells, marking time, putting order to the day, would ring in my home town at noon every day of the week, and again at six o’clock, reminding the residents of meal times, to be taken with their families at home (preferably).  It was a small town, not limited to, yet unquestionably crowning pieces to me during my formative years, two traffic lights, a Girl Scout lodge, a Dairy Queen (open only in summer, making ice cream cones all that more exquisite), three brothels (down by the river, and, yes, on the other side of the tracks, legal, and open all year round), and a two-story post office so cavernous inside where, I’m sure, the best of rumors were born inasmuch as personal whispers and angry mumbles exchanged were, if truth be told, not personal at all, ricocheting off the furnished walls of FBI most-wanted posters and an orderly array of brass-framed, sequentially numbered glass doors of mail boxes.  At noon, as though that time of day demanded an introduction, a fanfare--hear ye, hear ye, a roll call for families, do you know where your children are--, an abridged stanza of some obscure hymn would ring out from the church tower, the peal of bells doing their best to resonate true and on key, followed by the twelve pleasant but monotone bongs.  I loved those twelve matching individual notes, conveying the spirit of all-is-well-within-our-corner-of-the-world.  I would stand outside, suffering through the grating prelude, and count each of those twelve strikes.  Everything was as it should be.  It was lunch time.

scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day three:  talk about a memory triggered by a particular song

15 March 2012

fortnight :: two

This comes as sheer emotional trauma...that I’m labeled as a grown up (snap!).  Oh, yes, my driver’s license says so.  The candles on my cake provide enough light to read by, enough warmth to melt the frosting (if I were so inclined to have frosting on my cake), enough wax pooling at the base of each wee taper to yield my own private lava flow as though the cake were a shrine of Kilauea in her prime.  I have witnessed many rotations around the sun, to be sure.  But “grown up”?
I am an adult, have been an adult enough years that those ah-ha memories cataloging  change to adulthood are fuzzy at best.  Perhaps those moments came upon me in such small increments that I didn’t archive them as especially momentous, but rather as just another notch in the belt of life.  Perhaps in the grand overall measure of life’s many “firsts” (there were, and continue to be, many), the notion of marking an act as a benchmark to adulthood seemed narcissistic.  Who was I to stake claim of such an ordinary blink of time, calling it my own, running a screaming flag up a pole in the shape of an exclamation point?
I suppose I could recount a dinner party, an apartment agreement, an week-end trip to the coast with a boyfriend--all good as potential evidence to adulthood.  But not “grown up”.  It could just be me, but the term “grown up” is not the same as “adult.”  
I firmly believe I am not a “grown up”--adult, yes, but not a grown up.  In my book of  rules (yes, I have that imaginary book, a decidedly soft-leather-bound book, inscribed with impeccable handwriting, and made fast with a filigree silver button wrapped securely by a narrow leather cord--my husband intimately knows of this book), one becomes grown up when the inner child leaves.  That inner child leaves some folks early on, choked out by work or social pressures and (dare I mention it) television.  The door of opportunity to play shut quickly and firmly too many times, the inner child backs away, curling into a protective chrysalis, hiding, waiting for the grown up to come play seek.  A few times the title of “grown up” appeared on my forehead, red, swollen, and Helvetica-bold-ugly, the insignia glaring back at me in the mirror.  But it never stayed long, for my inner child is strong, fortified by blue skies, rolling thunderstorms, dancing leaves, the conk-a-reeeee song of the Red-winged Blackbird, warm banana bread with walnuts and cream cheese, the euphoria of learning, the feel of pencil to paper, my husband’s touch, my daughter’s smile, strings of lights, a proper cup of hot tea, mossy rocks--all representing but a fragment, a flavorful morsel of the deep, richness of enthusiasm and spark available.
Singing takes place in my vehicle (sometimes, admittedly most times, it’s likely to be children’s songs about trees, plants, fungus, nuts--don’t knock it ‘til you try it).  Knees wear out on my jeans.  Dancing and singing are common in classrooms during my instruction.  Ink and paint are always present under my fingernails.  A red RadioFlyer wagon is my preferred porter of teaching materials.  From time to time I have been known to spontaneously sing a number from a musical at home while cooking or folding laundry (there may also be a few dance steps involved).  I tend to track mud in from outside.  Sure, I’m an adult....just not a “grown up.”
“and forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair”
kahlil gibran

the scintilla project :: a fortnight of story sharing
scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day two:  when did you realize you were grown up

14 March 2012

fortnight :: one

Peeking out from behind black-out curtains and camera lens, dipping my toes briefly over the edge, taking shallow breaths...

I share a glimpse, a gander, of myself (be gentle).
I am a
Purveyor of sowing seeds:  in gardens and in children’s minds,
Keeper of laundry, two cats, and painted walls,
Whisperer to wild birds,
Believer in fairies, decorating mailing boxes, and holding hands,
Mistress of blue jeans and wool socks,
Breeder (apparently) of a thriving litter of feral dust bunnies,
Architect to wicked loaves of fresh bread,
Collector of books (Kindle has not kept my hunger at bay),
Aficionado of wool and alpaca fibers,
Fierce supporter of husband and daughter.
Hello.  Namaste.
scintilla:  a hint, a trace, a spark, a flash

day one:  who are you?  come show yourself.

12 March 2012

trekking peaks and valleys

It's been over a year since I posted.  Yikes.  Now that's not to say I just put my what-ever hand up, turned my back, and shrugged my shoulders.  Nope.  I have written oh so many entries--on napkins, on index cards, in the margins of notebooks--, taken hundreds of photos, but there are sometimes such pressing things in life that one day, one week, one month, (a year), just slips by, not always in a fast what-happened-to-the-day kind of way but some in a will-this-day-ever-come-to-a-close kind of way.

(quilt for a friend's new baby girl...sized to wrap her through to her college days)

(ocean and beach house quilt)

There's so much to tell.  Miles of yarn have been knitted--and frogged.  Yards of fabric cut, matched, and sewn.  Thousands of miles logged in travel.  A year's-plus of garden planted, harvested, and planted again.  Fences down, stone walls up.  A constant rotation of stone-laden pallets emptied and replaced with more (who needs a driveway to park anyway).  More than thirty yards of soil moved, by hand, shovel by painful shovel.  Paint peeled off floors, paint added to walls.

So I begin again, here.