Saturday, October 22, 2016

Still i Rise

I seem to feel the pull of Earth's gravity more than ever lately. It's stronger on days when I just give in because I'm too tired to fight against it. Such lapses do not last long because the heavy load is  too much of a burden. There's no cushion between this mortal flesh and Mother Earth during those infrequent lapses, but the pull is so strong thoughts of death brush across my brain, reminding me of the seductively dangerous nuclear stress test that absorbs your very soul's attention as the technician loosens the life altering chemicals that gradually slows the body's functions as it simulates true Death. The weight of the world slowly-slowly-slowly sinks onto your chest--too enraptured by the sensations and sounds of your heart falling asleep, you don't panic--you don't even care--you are caught up in the seamless beauty of it all. It arrests and harnesses your attention. Death has its own allure . . . Still and all? Life trumps Death.

So still I rise. I rise like a plant reaches for the sun through the cold dark soil. I rise. I rise over adversity, pain, soul-wrenching disappointment, illnesses, and dark emotions. I rise. I pause, hesitate, rest . . . yet still I rise. 


Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room?

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Best Laid Plans . . .

. . . often lead us astray, and down the path of disbelief, disappointment, and a backup plan.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One Woman's Advert Is Another Woman's Inadvertent Future Fun Envelope


Its beginning to feel a lot like two months before Christmas! I'm making my lists, checking them twice. Then lo! And behold! What a nice surprise! Someone thought of me. I do like James Avery's clever-cleverness. Tis true that the best envelopes have gifts inside! Hint. Hint? You don't have to tell me twice!

Double the pleasure. Double the fun with another clever tease 'neath the interesting flap. The very best envelopes have gifts and love notes. For real! My eye and ears are tuned in to the tinkling silver tones of the Christmas bell. What's a charm bracelet without tinkly sounds? 

While I enjoy giving I still manage to get a kick out of buying an occasional gift just for me. It has to be something no one else will think of, or it has to be something I've waited for long enough to justify the act of self-giving. Knowing someone else thinks you're worth giving to, well, it makes you smile. Pretty on the outside often signals something pretty is going on inside. And the more I give the more I receive, and the prettier I act. All my smiles and hellos, my how-are-you, let-me -treat-this-time, and all the thinking of you moments come back ten-fold. One of my favorite booksellers asked why she hadn't seen me in awhile. Instead of lying I told her the truth. She said she'd missed me. Being missed is nice. It's a special, sweet, touching, make-me-cry gift all on its own. Perhaps James Avery misses me too. It's been awhile. 

I'm pretty sure I won't be sharing my choice after a # but I might show it off here. I do like a new tinkle on my wrist. 

. . . to be continued.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How to Write Out Allergy Season

Now that flu and allergy season is upon us you can bet your bottom dollar Kleenex's revenues are up. And if you're like me, you buy those cute little packets of tissues because a runny nose needs all the cuteness it can stand; we won't go into sneezes, watery eyes, and the other symptoms because they're tacit. Yes, the big boxes are for bedside, kitchen and bathroom counters and the like, but who carries one around crammed into their Dooney & Bourke? Would you use old fashioned hankies if you could? I would except I'm not sure I want to walk around with slimy wet handkerchiefs in my bag or pockets. They'd cut down on waste and save millions of trees . . . but that's not what this is about. 

Or maybe just a little seeing as how I save these plastic packets because I am not a fan of plastic and what it does to the planet. Since plastics cannot be avoided entirely, a body can make creative  contributions by recycling what won't break down and morph into something useful. Take one of your Kleenex packets, fill it with fun goodies and a letter; include a return packet and wait for fun to happen. You're taking plastic out of circulation and making someone happy to know you.

Unfolded, the packet is roughly 4 1/2 x 6 1/2 so they meet the UPSP standards. I've gotten and mailed notecards that were smaller. Use clear tape for applying labels and make sure your stamps stick.  You might use a good eraser to roughen the surface before pressing your stamps on. A little burnishing helps. Glue is a no-no. Take extra care with washi tape too. 

If you're like me and want to play it safe with bar codes, place your address label on back. That way you'll cover the small print and the bar code, plus you'll have a prettier front for your recipient. You'll also inadvertently give Kleenex a little nod as payment for some free recyclable mail goodness. Personally, I wish they'd just use a sturdy stock.

So, you know I had to send one to my bestie, Patty, seeing as how she taught me most of what I know about mail art and recycling used mail. I included a Kleenex packet for her to play around with; it's one of my prettiest. And guess what! She did me one better.

See the lovely fall colors? 

She matched them and included goodies in pockets! She learned to fold the booklets from a Pamela Gerard . . . Well, you can read for yourself. Sorry. 

Here's a better shot of the inside pockets. There's room for lots of fun stuff and there's a little adhesive on the flap to keep the packet closed. You'll have to reinforce the outer edges to keep the postal snoops from reading your message. As if they would. (wink)

So, if allergy and flu season comes calling, and I hope you are immune to it all, instead of pretending you're not at home, do what nine out of ten doctors recommend . . . Write out the season! 

Crawl into bed with your favorite magazines, those empty Kleenex packets you saved, a glue stick, some tape, a pair of scissors, goodies galore, a pen, at least one or two sheets of sweet stationery, and stamps, and let your imagination off its leash! Wait until you see the one I'm working! 

Friday, August 26, 2016

A Letter About Jeremiah and Mud Slinging

I get to imagine what Erin's finished pieces might look like if I were allowed to color them. An olive green came to mind with this one, and the word amphora, although it does not have handles. But, if I were in the ancient days when clay was all there was, there'd be no color at all, unless I were married to a wealthy merchant. Keep in mind these are my imaginings. But do note the strong wrists. Oh, my. What I wouldn't give . . .

I'd have filled in this crossword puzzle before it ever wound up as a mat for mud-made objet d'art. Then I wouldn't mind. White for the big mouth? Yes, white. A lovely stark white meant to make peonies pop; perhaps tulips? What do you see? 

Last night she sent a video of a potter making a donut. The wheel is hypnotic. All that spinning flung inner gray energy to the far-and-away place where light comes from and dissipates anything opposite. 

I've never worked a potter's wheel but nothing prevented me from improvising. And, still being in an Olympics state of mind made this little drawing that much more fun. Note the green on the olive oil jar? I get to have so much fun! 

I wasn't sold on the highlighted text until now. Not the parts about Jeremiah; I meant the name and address. The parts excerpted from the book of Jeremiah seemed appropriate; worth reflecting on:  This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord:  Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you a message. So I went down to the potter's house . . .

. . . and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

"Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hands . . ."

This is my coolest envelope to date. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Olympics Mail Homage

Confined to bed, learning to find good in being in recovery mode, and being glued to the television because you are crazy for the Olympics Games, the idea of capturing my own versions of events seemed like a grand idea. So I'm sketching to beat the end while the games are winding down. I have sketches to color of drawings I did for the sake of needing to draw. You know what I mean. It's known as multitasking. You won't be surprised by what you can do when you feel guilty over spending so much time watching tv. 

 I had to do pole vaulting. It's about as close to flying as an athlete can get without doing an Icarus. I still remember my Greek Mythology but a quick refresher via Google has convinced me to buy yet another copy of the mythologies. What I remember of the story is Icarus wanting to fly. I forgot about the labyrinth. The story combines myth with actual facts. Did you know? Poor Icarus. He should have listened to his daddy. I wonder if his daddy waited until winter to try flying again. I mean he could have tried again on a blustery,cold, sunless day. You know. Because the was wouldn't melt? Get it? (sigh)

That commercial with kids in a backyard pool playing Maro Polo was stuck in my head, so I couldn't resist a little play on . . . Never mind. I wonder who came up with the different events for the original games. I like the story about the fire starters. Fire bearers? What happened if it rained? You know the fire had to go out a few times. Ah, myth! The stuff of dreams and blog posts. 



Too bad the gold pole doesn't show well here. In my way of thinking, anyone who clears the painted bamboo poles is a winner. Oh, wait. That's the idea of pole vaulting! But anyway . . . Mail went out today despite more rain. 



Saturday, August 13, 2016

Olympics Fever

We're watching a lot of the Olympics these days and nights. Trying to keep abreast of my incoming mail isn't as difficult as one might think since a lap desk makes writing keeping-in-touch-while-the-Games-are-on mail enjoyable interludes. Flow's letter-in-an-envelope pages are ideal for such breaks. I never imagined using them when Flow first presented them. They just seem too small for American mail. I still worry that the Mangler will turn them into confetti, so please let me know if these itty bitty letters survive. I'll try to keep a list of who gets them. I'll be much obliged for a timely response. 

Guess what! It's raining!!! There's a storm around us. It's blessing us with little driblets of rain; every drop counts here. Satellite fails--meaning there's no Olympic moments to eyeball--speaking of which, mine are dry from too much awe and too few blinks. We can use a respite. And what do I do? I write blog posts. I should be doing laundry. The house needs a good vacuum. The fridge needs cleaning. So does my work area. All in due time. 

I want to tell you about this so bad I cannot wait. The Flow letter-in-an-envelope creates a 3-D effect that's so cool you want to share. The gray shadows really do make the images, ink and stamp pop. Wow! It's pouring! I wonder if the old gray man is snoring? Gotta go catch some rain! WTYL! (write to you later!)