Archive | April, 2012

This Land is Your Land

29 Apr

*Sigh.*  I had a pretty good week last week, that was unfortunately ended with an interaction that left me feeling hurt and bewildered.  I do not like the way people end up treating each other in offices.

I want to be in a place where everybody stands on the same level of ground.  Where the talk is personal with more of an attitude of “lets get this done together” rather than “these are the rules.”  I understand that rules are made to create order above all, and for the most part I strive to stay within the boundaries.  However, a better way to approach me rather than “you broke a rule,” is “hey, this is causing a problem, what can we do to fix this?”  (I understand the first approach if I was wandering around nude in the office or something, which thank goodness for everybody I was not!)

And so, still feeling hurt and bewildered by all this, I have been drawn to This Land is Your Land–the campfire song originally written by Woody Guthrie about having mutual respect.  That this space is for everybody, and there is beauty in that sharing, It’s funny, how many people try to get away from being common, when in my mind, being common is the best thing a person can be.  To say the truth in the clearest and simplest way possible.  To say your thoughts and your feelings and to not pretend one exists without the other. To never be cold or unkind.  I want a place that welcomes that sort of talk.

Ah but I’m rambling–obviously I’m reading WAY more into the song than is there.  Perhaps I could find the same meaning in Merzy Doats in the mood I’m in.  As I said, feeling bewildered and hurt, and if I were a true professional I would admit to neither.


26 Apr

I don’t generally enjoy parties.  This has caused a bunch of navel gazing because many people around me LOVE parties and me not enjoying parties would be saying something like I don’t like presents or I don’t like laughter.  They look at me like some awful thing happened to me or something and they will show me how to enjoy parties and the scales will fall off my eyes and I will exist in a happy party universe.

I have been people’s special project many times over in this regard.

I still don’t like parties.

The reason I don’t like parties is because I am not one who is naturally inclined to fall into the groove of a group.  If I could be in the corner with an invisible barrier that keeps people from talking to me, and I could have my journal  and I could just watch–THEN I could enjoy parties, but I always get cornered by the WRONG party people:

1)  Tragic Mary.  Tragic Mary will corner me and tell me everything that has gone wrong in her life.  The boyfriend who cheated on her.  The other boyfriend who just wanted her to cook for him.  The boss who is just MEAN.  Any conversation topic that I introduce will just feed into some other story (if I say “These tangerines are really juicy”  “I HAD A DRESS THAT COLOR THE DAY I FOUND OUT MY FATHER WAS SLEEPING WITH OUR NEIGHBOR.” Soon I leave for the bathroom but for the rest of the party I have to stay on my toes because Tragic Mary is wandering around ready to latch on at a moment’s notice.

2)  Mr. Non-conversation.  He’ll talk about the weather, what kinds of cars there are, who he knows at the party–but it will never get into a real conversation–the rhythm is awkward—comment, pause, completely unrelated comment.  One hand is always on a glass, the other in a pocket (he’s always wearing khakis).  I always end up pretending to sip from an empty glass trying to think of things to say.

3)  The Storyteller–at least with her you don’t have to think of what to say.  The storyteller wants an audience to just say oooh, mmmmm, huh, wow at the right times.  If they didn’t try to force me to laugh I would be better with it.

4)  The squealers:  Usually girls, I am always the next table over, the next seats from, always nearby–and they squeal and scream about EVERYTHING.  I wouldn’t mind it so much if it didn’t seem more like a bad habit than any real attempt at emotion.

I guess I was a born wallflower.  However much I don’t like parties, I love small gatherings, one-on-one, quiet talks, secret letters, all sorts of things!  


23 Apr

Leaves, always the flashy jewelry for trees. I bet they get resentful always being identified by the leaves that they wear, and that sometimes the oak and the maple trees switch clothes just to see if people notice.

Leaves leave tracks in the snow and mud, as completely as any other forest animal. You can track them–each tree throwing her leaves down like a drunken millionaire on a spree. When it gets windy though, the trees are miserly, holding to each leaf with a skeleton grasp so the wind has to rip it away.

Leaves have lines, just like the palm of the hand. Futures can be read here, though they tend to be of more whimsical sorts, the future lives of the inchworm, that sort of thing.

I always found it funny that Walt Whitman called his books Leaves of Grass, simply because I don’t think of grass as a leaf–or maybe its all leaf–the most economical tree ever made, a Picasso tree in miniature, simplified to point zero, sucked out of all dimension.

Leaves socialize and congregate, in corners, in drains, at the feet of trees. They like mixing together to see what happens. They are made to be one of a thousand others, meant to wander in flocks, made to pile up and accumulate, and stick together, and hold together, and never let go.

Even when they are postage stamp sized crumbles grey and formless–they will never let go.

A memory

22 Apr

I was sitting at some family’s house, the rooms were very dark and I was a small child.  I was standing over my older cousin who was drawing for us.  She asked what we wanted to draw (my other cousin, the spoiled one was there too), and I said a rainbow.  She drew one.  I showed her my yankees jacket that I was very proud of and she said it was very nice.  I sang to her too.  I thought she was the most wonderful person in the whole world.


21 Apr

I love puppets. Everything from the sock on the hand to the Popsicle stick variety, to the incredibly beautiful marionettes that are works of art.

Puppets bring out good sides of people, I still remember the old Sesame Street bits where kids are talking to the puppets, and they certainly believe that they are their own beings. Also the funny bit is those children thought of the puppets as peers, not as animals or adults, and so you could get them to say and do things they wouldn’t normally.

Also puppets, usually because they are cute and small, are allowed to act out parts of ourselves that we would never dream of doing. Think of Punch and Judy–how violent they are, but it doesn’t matter because they’re puppets. Cookie monster eats constantly in pure gluttony in a way we would never show a real person doing. That’s the secret, they’re not supposed to be real–and in the end they become realer than we could ever get.


19 Apr

Today I’m feeling rather aimless and drifty, so I’m gonna freewrite this one, see what’s going on, maybe I’ll clean out some cobwebs.

An open window with white curtains hanging down, slightly blowing out. They’re a little too long for the window, but nice and sheer. Outside the window is a bright green day with hummingbirds and trees with flowers on them, and the sun bright in a manner that makes the room seem dim. Wooden floors with parallel planks. This is a nice place.

A safe place–this place can hold all my messiness, it can absorb the splattered paints, the ricocheting thoughts, the little mental storms that pass through, the curtains will still sway, the hummingbirds will still hover around the trees, the wood will still be wood. I can make all the noise in the world and it won’t matter. Also this is a place where not everything has to make sense.

How the world wants everything to make sense–to go from point A to point B. For explanations to be very clear and orderly. For every I to be dotted and every t to be crossed. For some, life should be as orderly as a ledger.

However, I’m not that way. My thoughts zoom and ping–they careen from place to place like an untethered blimp. Cats and geese. Winter naps. Elvis Presley. Gold teeth. Jug ears. Just moving along, wandering, leaving a shadow at times, drifting half-cocked.

Messiness is good. From messes come all sorts of things as long as I don’t just stand there and wring my hands and go OOOH a mess!!!! Well I can do that but after, comes the sorting, the cutting out of pieces, the arranging, the cabinet with baby’s breath and an assortment of keys, and paper trees, and open tubs of mentholatum opened like incense to some stuffy nosed god. Orange rinds and turkeys made from hand prints and lemonade glasses.

A broken kazoo, peach leaves, a rusted railroad tie, a canful of gravel.

Yes, things can be messy, I must learn the dance, to have these things around, to know them, to let them find their own alphabet. To dance.

Is there even a line between fiction and reality?

18 Apr

Is there even a line between fiction and reality?.

A Word I Don’t Like

17 Apr

One word I don’t like is networking.  It’s one of those words that just leaves me cold.  Why?  Because it’s so corporate, impersonal, going on a hand-shaking contest, trying to find people for their uses, phoniness, pre-planned conversations, trying to move up.  OOOH! And it also reminds me of those super-social networkers that wander around like sharks looking over the shoulder of the person their talking to to see who is next on their “it list.”

Here’s what I want instead–connections, warmth, caring, kindness, creativity, humor, gentleness, a sense of liking, comfortable clothes, play, drawing, equality, a democratic group, music, belief.


16 Apr

I like to believe that every emotion exists for a reason. I like to.

But crankiness–GAH! That over-the-top late afternoon crankiness where every little thing just gets under my skin and I just want to lay down on the ground and kick and holler like a three year old after a sugar binge. It’s not pointed at anything in particular, but there it is, this ultra-crankiness, ready to turn me into the incredible hulk and glare at every gum-snapping teenager and loud breather and annoying drink sucker in existence.

It’s me, I know it is, in my normal rather happy days, I know drink-suckers, gum-snappers, and loud-breathers are around me continuously, but my brain is going la-ti-dah-doo-doo-dum and is really thinking about what I’d name my pony (Gumption by the way) or would I really want a water dragon-pond built on my wonderful imaginary house. BUT TODAY–on the elevator it was a symphony of mouth noises–I felt like I was swallowed down the building and spat out on the bottom.

Everybody gets this way sometimes, I know. Today was just my turn. I breathed, and listened to my feelings, and they now seem to have subsided.

Completists and Geniuses

15 Apr

There’s a part of me that tends to be completist.  By what I mean, there’s some part of my ego that would love to have read all the books of an author IN ORDER and can quote them at will (it doesn’t have to be a fancy author either, even if it was Jackie Collins, I could pop out a Collins quote at will–GREAT AT PARTIES.)    To watch every movie that a certain director made.  To know year by year everything that happened in a small town over a century.  

The problem is Everything is boring.  I don’t mean all things are boring, I mean the ENTIRETY of a thing is boring.  Think of a collection where every piece has been acquired.  What’s left to do but put it on some shelf and dust it every once in a while.  Also think of the person who you’d most like to follow day by day as a fly on the wall.  Even the most fascinating people in the world spend 90 percent of their time doing everyday ordinary tasks that everybody on earth does in their own way.  Think about it, no matter what, 90 percent of your day is spent doing the same things that Albert Einstein, Bob Dylan, Napoleon, George Sand, or whatever genius you want to name does.  And yes I’m counting your job, because all the things you do in your job are common activities–reading, writing, communicating with others, going to meetings, speaking, listening, getting stressed, calming down–your goals are different, the tools are different, but they’re exactly the same. From the jailyard to the mansion, there is no difference.