(Forgive lack of chronology or any sort of sense at all. Working on that. I gotta go make some new cheese biscuits…I accidentally (really.) burnt this batch. Drawing. I wonder if Target would let me design a line of shopping carts built with reusables and given characters…that’d be fun…jeez – gotta go make biscuits!
(In the end, I got distracted and burnt them. Which sucks cause now I have to make more, like NOW!)
I think it may have been a feed store, too.
show details Jun 6 (1 day ago)
The aquarium store we went to when I was a kid was in Kingsland, Georgia. It was a low slung building, sided in wood. Concrete floors. Like a busted old garage, with ports and shed hanging off of it. We would cross over the railroad tracks, bumpbumpbumpbump, and drive right off of the road to park in the grassy gravel dusty dirt beside the store.
From the outside, the building looked broken and big, sprawling and full of loose boards a tin roof quickly overlaid. It was the sheds, the ports, the bays. It is possible, now that I consider it, that the store may have once been a barn.
Inside, after the ten feet of hot ground that doesn’t give and the heavy screen door and the moment when your sun-constricted eyes fail to adjust quickly enough and everything is dark and swirling and it seems the world is full of scent: dark corners, warm grass, dry wood, cool concrete, old hay, cedar bedding, small animals, birdseed and droppings, and waterwater everywhere. The hum of the –
old aeration systems and the scratching and chirping of parakeets seemed the sound of everything you had ever heard.
When my eyes adjusted and the edges were cleared it was always surprising to me: How small the place was, even to a kid.
And then I’d remember, we were here to buy fish. “Can I look at the hamsters, first?”
And I was usually aware that there was nowhere I’d rather be, anywhere, than right where I was at and in between the sickening 12 mile ride there – in the van or the old Karman Ghia – (the smell of sunburst plastic seats and gasoline, grape bubble gum, west on HWY 40, the sun a sword in my eyes) – and the sickening ride home, at least without the sun straight ahead, with a bag of fish sloshing sloshingly between our legs, the clear plastic cool, but warming.
“We’ll need to let them adjust to the water before we put them in.”
“Will they live.”
“Oh, yeah. I’m sure they’ll be fine. We just need to let them adjust for a few minutes.”
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show details 12:41 PM (2 hours ago)
(Tinguely Self Portrait Rip Off In Style of Bad Tinguely Print.
I think, I haven’t checked.
Hardly know the guy
a pebbled backdrop that demands only a tiny bit of my attention…shadows and gradations and I can study the light I picture in my mind – a hallway with doors, a loose fist raised for knocking. A cart stocked for cleaning.
And it’s funny how much has been solved by this impasse…can’t go forward, can’t go back…
Can still write myself emails, can still be PRESENT with the kids. Tough though at times, when their interests are so…noisy. “I don’t want to get out of bed. It’s cold! I’m too cold!”
“There is really nothing I can do about that. It’s a pretty basic thing that you need to do every day – get out of bed.”
I am explaining this is in a calm voice to a seven-year old boy whose feet feel warm like sand as I rub my palm over the tops of them, feel his toes that I used to count as pigs.
The girl – feral in limbo caught not knowing who to please though no one is asking her to please them…she is still in a blanket, a burrito on the couch…the colors work: the blanket a faded tortilla, the upholstery is enchilada sauce left to sit too long.
“Get up. I am sorry you feel cold, but – really – you could go put on a shirt.”
I don’t even feel exasperated by this grinding start to the morning. Facts is facts. People get up, we feed and clean our bodies, we sleep, we brush our teeth so we don’t get trench mouth.
“Mom, what is trenched mouth?”
“Don’t worry you don’t get it unless you can’t take care of your oral hygeine, your brushing. And if you don’t have good food to eat.”
“Please get up so you’ll have time to eat breakfast.”
My children’s willfulness is undermining my attempts at functional parenting. “Come read a book with me.”
“I’m going to Pop’s.”
“Come sit out front with me.”
“Can I go see if A**** (neighbor girl) is home?”
“Come get in the bath. You are totally filthy.”
“I’ll take a bath later. I’m going to Pop’s.”
(Comes home dirty, must wrangle for hygeine and post-shower trauma snuggling on the couch with a child who smells damp and clean and who is my responsibility.)
(But, how to teach responsibility when I myself can’t even muster the wherewithall to drop off the recycle-able/re-usables at work.)
It took me years – and children – to learn not to question what would happen if I didn’t get out of bed one morning. I talk a lot about threads and unspooling. A lot.
And it is true that the tethers that bind me to realms outside this home have loosed a little…I really need a Patron Saint of Organization and Filing of Papers. Is there such a saint?
However, I know exactly what would happen if I cut the cords that pull me out of bed each morning.
I wouldn’t make anything…not breakfast, not school lunch, not certain that the girl has “2-layers of clothing between her butt and the world.”
(I hated underwear, too…
when I was kid.)
I wouldn’t draw. I wouldn’t write. I wouldn’t drain the dregs of last night’s coffee and pour water for fresh. I wouldn’t make small talk with other mothers – in khaki and pale green…
I wouldn’t pick up the thread or the pencil or the small technologies that play me songs and save me images and send words out words to people.
“I am okay.”
“I have always been clumsy and brave and that combination usually results in some sort of effect.” (recalled text I wrote to a friend, a while back…one of those strange and demolishing months.
Crumple up the paper on which my name is shakily signed and toss it in a bag with the rest of the envelopes.
The funny thing I have realized is that perhaps I am more consistent than I may appear. In my heart of hearts, my aquarium heart, I am thesameasihavealwaysbee
n=me, I am my own sample space…
It is true that I have waxed and waned between all the points on this spectrum…I have experimented with a lot of different ways of being. Some required an immense amount of energy. It was during those years that I didn’t draw or listen to music. I did, however, make things. Beautiful meals, a garden, two early childhoods that I hopehopehope are remembered only as bright and dim and strange and lovely and Mom was always there. I was – always. Am always. Here.
My children slept with me when they were small. The girl still does. She will be six soon, but the top of her head smells younger. It was never about the politics and sleeping arrangements of leftist families…it was knowing, as a mammal, that I needed to stay close to my children.
It was never me kowtowing to their ‘bratty whining’ –
it was a mother trying to protect her young from the fear in the dark that they are small and cannot protect themselves.
I know this story is confused. It confuses me, too. However, it seems that we humans spend an awful lot of time trying to forget our stories. We spend millions of dollars just trying to polish our mind to an ordinary lustre – with no nicks or scratches beyond those needed to give the patina the slightest character.
Me, I’ve always liked the truth of things made earnestly and then fallen to ruin by lack of regard for their craftmanship. I grew up surrounded by old boards and walking over old bricks.
I am sick to death of trying to kill my story. Yeah, I need help…I need help believing that there is goodness and that there is value in the imperfections. I have never made sense, because my life has not made sense to me..because I was writing myself for other people.
“It’s like you decide: ‘Okay, this is what I am going to be and then you try to be that thing. What would happen if you were just yourself?”
I am sitting in an office with my allied therapist C. Brackett (sorry I haven’t seen you – I can’t afford to, even with insurance:) (I’m okay – getting good at going without)
and the Dr. Newes – who did my psychological evaluation in November. (Was it November?) I left a message with the Dr. Newes on Friday, I want my report. All of my records.
Probably impossible to get them all. The private institution I went to at ages 13 and 17 (Charter By The Goddam Sea, St. Simon’s Island, Georgia) well – the managing corporation was closed down some time back. I’d really like to see how well they documented the intake interview – during which I said I had never smoked marijuana (true, then…) and had never engaged in sexual intercourse (true, then…)
and during which the admitting Dr.
(Martelli, first name and middle initial edited for anonymity…because I am trying to be gracious.)
Stated, quite plainly: “I don’t believe you.”
And the physical examination proved him wrong on one count, the blood and urine tests on the other.
“See!” I told him. And I have never felt so righteous in my life.
“Yes…” He rubs his chin and smirks, “it appears you were telling the truth.”
And then he walked away and I was struck dumb, couldn’t say a word.
But, then: who was I, anyway?
I remember exactly who I was…the same person I am now. Except I think I’ll stop trying to convince the people that don’t believe in me that I am true in my being.
Here is a quote from Paul Collins:
“The only problem with trying to fit a square peg into a round hole is that…(sic)…you end up ruining the peg.”
(Quoted from memory, sorry Mr. Collins.)
and crochet really neat little fish (coming soon: tiny crochet)
I can talk to my kids in a way not peculiar, but – a few exceptions (!) – the rest of you seem somewhat alarming to me.
So…here I am. My name is Faith.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
show details 2:10 PM (1 hour ago)
Can a link to this site sent by emails from the sweet college-age neighbors:
“Hey! This isn’t like a chainmail or anything. Please check out this site. This lady is our neighbor.”
The girl neighbor is going to come over and take a picture of my back for me. I’ve never really seen it. Whoa! That’s intense. I have a tattoo that goes from my neck to the very base of my spine and I have never really seen what it looks like. Only a few people have: the guy who finished it (maker and taker), my ex-husband (taker), and my kids – I guess they’ve seen it? They do tend to barge into rooms. Probably they don’t even notice such things. I’m just Mom. They are definitely makers. Also, takers – but, they’re young – still learning that energy spent making is better than energy spent taking. Curiosity vs. Want. More fun, to me – anyway. They have plenty of people to teach them the fine art of having fun shopping. I am teaching them to buy the cheapest cereal and to spot a good deal, ’cause the for profit businesses who sell us things are takers, for sure.
I feel shaky and scared, like I am getting on the bus. Tomorrow is June 9…I was – ten years ago – just getting off the bus in Oregon, again. Brave and certain of how I wanted to live. Determined.
Loneliness got the best of me then. It won’t happen again. If nothing else, I can imagine that all the people in the world who have ever felt the ghost hand on their heart and who have ever felt as if somehow, their life was inconceivable.
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground. Hmmm, maybe I should try to email David Byrne. Really. If only to tell him I have always respected his ability to wear a white suit well.
Okay: back to work.
Today: finish small crochet fish. Starch fish. Mount on worn T-11 w/ peeling seafoam green paint using mig wire.
Draw some thing involving a hall, doors, a person knocking, a cart full of keys. Ignore all the statements about cliche symbolism. Focus on the light.
Remind self to do paperwork…ain’t happening. Needs to happen. Okay.
Continue to seek help in surviving via stories.
Drop off recyclables for camp at the museum. Urgh.
Get children, go to End of the Year Potluck at Carrier Park. For the girl’s class. Have fun. Perhaps bring frisbee. I hate frisbee. Maybe I will just be cheerful and witty. It’s the sort of day when that sort of thing seems manageable.
I am, afterall, okay. If you think you know someone who can help me make sense of it all, to organize and tell it in a way that people will appreciate…please help.