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I have been writing one hundred words since February 2003, obviously unposted.
I now have over three months of words adding up to over ten thousand words. Those numbers impressed me. They add up faster than I realized they could. And, gee. I wrote them. No blank page immobility; no feeling overwhelmed. Just the thought of the moment. I am writing again and feeling pleased.
100 words is do-able. Much easier to face than a whole article or story, yet I can easily develop some of those ideas into longer pieces, simply because I did them. I started. I continue.
92 degrees, humid, too damned hot. Everyone hunting cool survival spots.
Inside my refrigerator, lemonade?but staring OUT at me, a spider on a new web. Daddy Long Legs. Honestly.
We gaped at each other. Me: You dumb spider, what are you doing in THERE? Spider, defensive stance, waved threateningly at me. Or else it was laughing so hard it nearly fell off its web.
Spider said: Stupid human, where ELSE would I be on such a hot day?
Excellent point. I felt like crawling inside too. But I escorted it outside on the dustmop anyway. Some things are mine alone.
WORD-ITIS. Four-letter-words refer to commonly used vulgarities. Unimaginative. Boring. Repetitious. Make new Game of other four-letter-words. Get creative.
Find idea take risk. Taco feed. Face life, love, home. Gals plus guys lust, work, play, chow. Walk, stop. Dead lies. Blue pits. Live pink hand. Bird flies easy. Hard Four card game. Give bomb time, yuck. Hate time race. Cars zoom, fast road. Gray toad, jump into pond. Nail wood deck. Rock baby. Tell myth. Dogs bark, cats purr. Lift book. Pray loud. Hear soft.
I challenged a classroom of teens to do this. They beat me at my own Game.
Shopping at the drug store, I passed an ad poster that read: Take 10 Years Off Your Smile in 14 Days.
I stopped, considered. Mercy, it now takes only two weeks to erase smiles of our lifetimes. Pictured was a young woman with a row of teeth perfect as a piano keyboard, smiling a glowing sensuous fake grin for the customers, and their money. Offering them another fake image to present to the world.
Smiles, gifts from the heart and soul. I collected as many as I could and have the face lines to prove it. Give that up? Never.
Considering reincarnation, I wondered how I might have gone about picking which future body to experience. The choices may have been mammal, insect, fish, birds, or plant on planet earth.
Evidently I chose being a biped. My ego must have been overactive in the Great Ether, so I now have major lessons to learn. Pooh. And I thought it would be easier, so much easier. I also think that to progress to being a guardian angel next, one must first live as a human, getting a snootful of challenges, mistakes, fun, emotions, motivation.
I hope I left myself some path-markers.
About reincarnation, my friend said she wanted to return as a guardian angel.
Whatever for, I asked. How do you guard a human when it is so hard to get their attention and they do not believe you exist anyway. You offer safety hints, crisis alarms, suggestions to sniff the roses, but your human ignores you. An exercise in major frustration which seems more like penance. Hard to keep your temper.
She said: Not adults. Kids. Children love and listen. They can see you and do not cancel you. They let you help. Kids are worth me becoming a guardian angel.
Well, damn. It is Sunday evening, stores are closed and I do not have a pot to piss in. Toilet plugged, overflowed, sloshed over whole bathroom floor at a very inconvenient time. Days and tempers pass. Plumbers friend did not work, nor did pipe snake. Toilet has fatal constipation of the nether innards. Plumbers cost more than this tired old house is worth.
Stymied for the time being. Cold logical attack mode growing. War on Toilet. Why is war the first thought. Alternatives. Must be alternatives. Outhouse. Give up needing toilet. Shitty problem.
Alternative #1: cocktail hour. Consider challenging problem.
JJ was eating same restaurant as I. JJ, perfectionist, always right. Tiresome.
JJ claims rights as a citizen with freedom of speech. His current personal campaign demands that President Bush be impeached & preferably behind bars. To make public his point he had dumped a 5 ton load of manure in his driveway & stuck a USA flag on top.
Then he spotted me, shoved his printed propaganda at me. Damn. He KNEW I would read it. Kissed me, said thanks. But JJ kissing. Impossible. Next he will be kissing babies and shaking hands. Maybe sitting same cell as Bush. Arguing. Righteous.
JJ is intelligently fanatical about politics. He literally took on SF City Hall with a valid claim.
Squelched. Angry, he now insists the Mayor knew about the terrorist attack on 9-11
before>i> it happened; predicts Mayor will run for President. Says the CIA visited him & examined his documentation. The SF Chronicle wrote a story slanted against him.
I admire him for taking action, where most people only bitch. Melodramatic, but he IS speaking out, loud & clear. Folks are beginning to listen, and take part.
He is putting his life on the line. Is he after martyrdom to make his point?
Yucky-looking day, overcast. Tepid temp. Wishing I had a novel for a mental vacation. Getting wanderlust. Eyes hungry for different scenery.
Toilet unfixed; renting or buying equipment to fix it. Gophers drowning yet? Major inconvenience. Moody. Overdid activities, paid with pain. Stack of dishes from last week, growing.
Vet says Bitty-cat needs medicinal IVs every 3rd day, indefinitely. My new [unwanted] skill, jabbing that needle under her skin & pour the liquid medicine into her. I pour myself a glass of wine. Cocktails for two. First time I ever turned a cat into a water balloon.
Yeah, she IS worth saving.
Still overcast. Deep dreams, disturbing, made me groggy. No help from coffee. Had to take cat back to vet for another blood test.
Parked car, set my fanny pack carefully on top of her carry-cage, shut my door & went to the passenger side. Locked. Keys neatly on top of fanny pack. Bitty-cat & I stare at each other wide-eyed through the window.
Receptionist loaned me her emergency card. Rescue came 30 minutes later & I could use my card. Vet saw cat, late. With the IV treatments she will live.
In my frame of mind, I am not so sure about me.
This word originated in France,
dent de leon,
Tooth of the Lion. It is an overlooked miracle plant, often condemned as a weed. Edible, medicinal, a highly valuable herb. Seeds to greens to yellow cheery flowers and finally, the familiar white puff ball children love to giggle and poof-blow, scattering the seeds to the winds.
To me it looks like a perfect galaxy in miniature. Poof. Stars flung everywhere. A simple galaxy spun out like so many snowflakes, and poof, that is the Universe. The life cycle of this plant?soil, growth, transition. I am Dandelion.
Ah, the lessons & cautions & problems when an otherwise well-behaved toilet develops fatal constipation. Nope, still not fixed. I am so glad for all the gopher holes behind the trees. Gives me options not available in suburbia.
In keeping my temper, I reminisce pre-toilet days. Chamber pots. Pots to piss in. Hey, 1000-10000 years of doing it the way the bears do. Forests. Pre-flushers, you needed leaves. Maybe papyrus if you were wealthy.
Writing Group meets here today. I must ask them to experience what our ancient ancestors did, then write about same. Failed modern equipment threatens our basic civilized survival.
JJ and I have lived a country block apart for over 30 years. JJ is seriously different, perfection in an imperfect world. I am still trying to recall if I have ever seen him smile. No luck yet.
Yeah, same JJ who tackled Mayor W.B. in S.F. He demands his citizen right to free speech, doing it legally. But his methods are getting arrogant & I am feeling uneasy for him. His squeaking wheel is getting so loud, instead of getting oiled, it may be removed. Accidently.
An unworthy thought, but true: I am glad we live a
I miss my special friend, my Elegant Barbarian. January, his body became ashes, but the Valkyries competed heavily to escort his exuberant Spirit to the hall of Odin in Valhalla, a place he will no doubt appreciate immensely.
I loved his self-described Peter Pan mischievous self, wicked to some, angelic to others. And always, adoring women.
The world is a mess, but seems dull without him and his fierce joy in living life. Our planet cannot afford to lose people like him. I try to sense his spirit but he is gone. Fast Lane always, gotta keep moving. Out-there.
Why is it called ALARM clock? Dashed be the monster who named it such.
Dictionary: alarm means a sudden fear; apprehension of danger; a warning. It comes from an old European language expression
as in a battle. Well, you could say that about being alarmed to go to work at times.
Clock. That could be the operative word. In botany, it means the downy flower head of a dandelion that has gone to seed. Maybe put all my alarms on a fluffy pile of dandelion seeds, and call this irritating item a waker-upper-ticker-tocker-talker. I could live with that.
I hate that phrase:
to die for
. I understand the meaning, but if something is to die for, you get that treat only once.
Me, I want things to live for. Excellently prepared foods, good wines, splendid music, friends worth the caring, real love.
I do not want to die for what I wish to experience using the meaning of the current slang phrase. Do you? If we want to die for something, it needs to be important and worth offering up our lives. Many of our slang words and phrases say the opposite of what they mean.
Evening news recurrent theme: another trial of a high risk sex offender accused of molesting about 50 boys. If released, the State estimated his rehabilitation will cost taxpayers nearly a million dollars.
As this news item was aired, I thought of others ways to spend that money to help countless other humans. Homeless. Disabled. Elderly. Hungry. Education.
I wondered if there were a cheaper solution to the problem of the sex offender. There is one simple, inexpensive and time-honored tradition: make a full eunuch of him. Problem solved. That million dollars can then go where it will do some good.
Jeff bought a paper shredder. I resisted, a silly expense. I use scissors and a fireplace. Works fine. Cheap.
But curious, I tried the shredder and discovered shredding paper is FUN. It reminded me of something. I had to think what, and flashed on childhood memories of feeding the dog, the cat, assorted critters at petting zoos.
I remember how I giggled to see little bits of food disappear down huge mouths, happily asking for more, lots of tail wagging. No real danger from those big teeth. Magic. Giggly magic.
Gimme some more paper. I want to feed the shredder.
Sometimes I see better without my glasses.
Stars sparkle like fireworks. With glasses, stars are just dots on dark. Same goes for dewdrops on spider webs. You know the standard version, but without glasses I see rainbow strands of exquisite patterns decorated with dainty shimmering crystals.
Sometimes it is better to not-see too well.
When it comes to human behavior, sharp literal vision can lead to criticism, cynicism, condemnation and disillusion. Softer vision allows for human error and going the extra mile with someone instead of kicking him off the road.
Grandparents do this, where parents must see clearly.
I read where someone asked the Dalai Lama, what is the meaning of life?
The reputed answer:
What does one make of that. Professors could go on for centuries about those two words, delving deeply, questioning whether such a statement is simple or profound, nothing and everything. Clerics would turn it inside out. They could all write encyclopedic tomes about it. They will argue, get upset.
If I want to go straight to the point the easy way, I shall ask a little kid, what is the meaning of life. I will bet the kid says:
Changing, changing. The world, the community, me. I am changing. Small motions, big lateral moves, zigzag & straightline scratchings, helixes, circles in flux. Time feels skittish, flinging moments like gusty winds buffeting and wickedly tossing me off center.
I am in a dual contest with my unruly self slithering around inside me, snaking and squeezing to death my orderly self. Time. Time to go on Walkabout, to gain space for the self-self battle. An energizing to see results. Tepid compromise, or clear return of balance, or discovery. Changing from, changing into. Consciously.
Open. Flux. Insight. This moment is future present. Mine.
I just?unwillingly?shared a shower with a Daddy Longlegs. I can respect critters without wanting to make pets of them, or kill them from my own fears, so I shooed it out. It stomped back, determined to get a drink.
Saving it once was enough, so I watched. It spun web ropes to get to the shower head, slipped, skid half down the wet wall like Indiana Jones dangling over a cliff. Three tries and it finally went back to its corner, lapping the dangerous water off its hairy legs.
Why does that remind me of how I often live life?
I called Aunt Tchoo. She said: I was wondering when you would surface......
I treasure her, my friend and sometimes advisor. At 82, almost totally blind, able to move only in severe pain, she retains all of her clear mind and sharp wit. She wonders why she is still alive, what good is she, irritated to be dependent on friends for almost every need. Depression attacks her, she battles with it. Wins.
I tell her she is alive to help people like me. You in need of a dose of hope and realism, and a good laugh. Call Aunt Tchoo.
I started today with dozens of ideas for 100 words, but the day turned hectic. Saw an adventure film in a theater with sound so loud I came out dazed, confused, & with a headache. Most of the movie featured special effects, and only about 8-percent was to-think-about stuff.
Came home, cooked, tried some new food prep methods, good results. Tired. Too much input, loud, need sleep. Probably will not?movie special effects still echoing in my mind, hunting the reasons for. Want to process, sift, process, find balance.
What is the worth, a film that blinds my mind & senses? Sleeplessness.
104-degrees, humid. Heat squeezes life water out of everyone. Plants seem to flourish, but not critters. Sizzles several days before the blessing of coastal fog eases dehydration & tempers. Rough on young, old, critters, and anyone not in an air-conditioned place.100 hot empty words. Blank mind. Stultifying. Dusty-gray day. Skin flakes, dry.
Ice water with fresh lemon & newly cut spearmint. Tastes like what the Creator would demand if cruising through here as a tourist. Too hot to drink in the scenery and good wines.
The grapes shall produce wonderfully in such weather. Come winter, we will drink and remember.
When I was very little, Grandma gave me a wonderful extra special dessert. This was about a million years ago. Icy cold sweet fruit. I knew I was eating something splendid, heavenly, pink and happy-making. I think she was bribing me to say Big Words. She told me this stuff was called SHERRR-BRRRRRT.
Now, a million years later, I know what that stuff was, and ask for it by what Grandma called it. It is worth the odd looks I get from adults, especially in pricey restaurants. But kids, Hah, no problem. They know exactly what I am talking about.
We arrived at the hot air balloon festival in Windsor, CA at a ridiculously early hour to watch the Dawn Patrol balloons lighting up in unison. Simultaneously they rise, brilliant against the night sky. Magnificent, impossible. Silence of awe, perhaps reverence, from the crowd. Classical dawn symphony played the background.
They continued to rise as the sun crested the hills in an expanding orange-red halo, then suddenly pierced through the oak trees as though hunting more beautiful balloons. Success for the sun. Thirty balloons and hundreds of folks cheered, and the party of the dancing
Carnival In The Air
The hot air balloon festival ran two days. I went again, mingled with the crowds watching the teams getting ready. I discovered that balloonists come from so far, they look for locals to help them set up, and to be in the chase vehicles when the balloons descend. Find, catch the balloon, fold and stow it.
I joined the Flame Buoyant team. What good fun! I rediscovered that while I enjoy being a spectator, my fun is tripled when I can help to put on an entertaining show. I love to be part of events that cause people to smile.
Festivals guarantee vendors. Me, I like to eat my way through events like this, sample here, taste there. But popcorn is top of my list. So was breakfast, but the volunteers had shut down that booth by the time I got back from working with the balloon team.
I have a special liking for Kettle Korn. Slightly salty, with a heated sprinkling of sugar, made while I watched. Looked like breakfast to me, sniffing the fragrance, salivating, stomach rumbling. I bought the huge bag. All mine. No share-sies when it comes to popcorn. I am gonna eat it all, grinning.
The Tip Jar