Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 225

I'm on the ferry. It's a broad ferry and it's nearly full of passengers, including Aubrey. I see her in the distance. The driver wants exact change. There are slots in a metal bank, dark green and shining. I'm putting in quarter after quarter, every nickel or dime I can find. I reach the rough bottom of my bag. I can feel the coins, cold and scrambling away from my probing fingers. Aubrey waves and smiles. She's in a fluffy scarf and hat. I can see her breath. Hurry up, she signals. I find more coins in my pocket. These are fat with wax or glue. They won't go in the slots. The glue won't come off. I glance at the driver, who is now more porcine than human. She shakes her head. I can see her breath. There's ice on the fine hairs of her snout. It's melting. Tiny droplets fall into darkness. Her eyes are pink. I open mine.
It's not the first stress dream I've had this week. I don't mind too much. These are the dreams that work things out for me, clean my brain while I sleep. Still, I'm happy to step out of this one.
Outside the sky is grey and the light has edges. Not at all normal for 8 A. M. in July in Palm Springs. We have weather. It will be a good day. We like weather.
Orion and I have breakfast with Ben at Elmers. It's loud, nearly full of people, the noise is energetic and happy. The warm scents of coffee and pancakes evoke friendly sorts of ghosts.
Outside, the rain begins.
Goodbye to Ben. Orion and I swim in the rain. We dive under to sit at the bottom and watch the rain from underneath. It's another world sometimes, here in our back yard.
I study the pair of old yellow Adirondack chairs. They want to be red. It will take some work. It would be much easier to replace them. Once I wrote a character who found uses for nearly everything she came into contact with. Made wonders from castaways. Consumed little. Wasted nothing.
Good for the soul, not so much for society. Here, as in most things, I decide the solution lies in the creamy center.
When the weather cools, and eventually it will, then I'll paint the chairs. There's a lot of texture there, inviting me to play and study RED.
That will be a good day.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 221

On my way home I see two people on the sidewalk near the light. They're holding homemade signs. The signs ask for money.

It's two in the afternoon. It's shockingly hot, the sidewalk is blindingly white, one of them has no hat.

I have some cash but today, I need it. I have an old beach unbrella, I could give it.

They have a cart full of items I didn't get a good look at. They each hold large cups with straws.

A few yards behind them is a park area, with shade and soft grass.

I wonder why they both remain in the punishing heat? Why don't they wait for evening, for more people and cooler air? Why don't they take turns, half the sun, share the hat? I'm astounded. I'm beyond that. I'm... non-plussed.

The light changes and I drive on, having donated neither money nor unbrella. Puzzling over why they sat there on sizzling concrete. It's the desert. The air is dry. The sky is clear. The sun is a hammer.

I see snapshots of primitive life, both plant and animal, pulling back from heat. I know I'll ponder this later. These two people on the sidewalk, in the killing light with shade so close.

I see cows standing in the rain. Turkeys drowning. I'm getting a headache.

I'll think about this again, this strange behavior I saw today. But the people are ghosts.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 218

Day 190. Really? I mean really? I worked all freaking day. All day. I woke with ambition. A list of things both artistic and practical. The hours peeled away like petals. I worked steadily, but the list is still there.
I'm still in angry mode. Well, semi angry. I'm so sick of this recession. I can't blame the Christians for that one. I'm sick of worrying. Then, when I step back I feel guilty for being sick. I'm in a house with a pool in Palm fucking Springs.
I am the privileged poor. At least if I step back far enough I am. In PS, up close, not so much. Luckily I'm an artist. Artists are rarely considered poor. Artists tend to be in a class of their own. Tell that to SoCal Edison.
I'm going to make a 'really' poppet and put it on my desk, pointed at me. Perhaps I should put it on a lanyard and wear it around my neck.
Wait a minute. It's the end of July. Summer here always sucks. So far, without fail. It's oppressive. It seems more than just the heat. It always does. Cabin fever? It's too hot to go outside.
Then, I hear it's ridiculously hot in Minnesota. And to think I've considered moving there.

I'm giving it up for today. Leaving the brushes to soak. Opening a bottle of wine. Putting on a movie, setting the alarm, hitting the water first thing, before coffee. I'll get up and try this again tomorrow. You can count on me for that, at least.
I'm in the mood to make something big. And scary. Where's my patron? Gone the way of princes? No worries. I shall save myself. I'm no Cinderella.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 217

Tonight, monster movies on television, kitties curled up with me on the sofa, feet on the ottoman, drink in my hand. Yesterday was preparing Poppets for travel all day. All day.

Bad news on the internet. Bombing in Norway, continued fighting in the desert. Humans behaving badly.

There may be other causes for this behavior but mostly, I blame religion.

Sam Harris:

"We can no longer ignore the fact that billions of our neighbors believe in the metaphysics of martyrdom, or in the literal truth of the book of Revelation, or any of the other fantastical notions that have lurked in the minds of the faithful for millennia--because our neighbors are now armed with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons...words like 'God' and 'Allah' must go the way of 'Apollo' and 'Baal,' or they will unmake our world."

I was sure George W. Bush was going to end the world. I think he may have come closer than we know. When I feel most powerless, I remind myself that the best I can do is my bit. To work well and sincerely, be kind to others, teach my children to think for themselves and to stop giving power to religion by 'respecting' it. Why should I respect religion? I respect certain individuals. I've met one or two people in my life who were devout, reasonable persons. But on the whole, I'm sick of being polite. Who respects my request to be free of religion? I want it out of the White House and off American currency.

That said. I will swim, think, gather up calm and energy for a day in the studio. Maybe I'll work out some of this frustration in the work.

I hope you have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 214

As of yesterday, our adoptable kittens are all adopted.

Maggie went with a lovely lady named Karen to Desert Hot Springs.

Frodo and Beverly went together, to join a nice family of four in Banning. We'll miss them and hope to hear from them from time to time. Now we have Bilbo, Mystro and Shonni, who are as different from each other, it seems, as three kittens could be.

I kept things as simple as possible today. Sometimes we have to do this to keep focused, especially when things seem most complex.

It's become a good tool, to focus on the practical issues of the day.

Some call this 'soldiering on.'

I haven't really thought it through yet, but it seems to me that emoticons are one more indication of how simple things are, once we can stop long enough to sort them and throw out irrelevant details.

These poppets make me want M&M's.

Life has certainly seemed complex these last months. Breakups seem extremely complicated things until they get sorted out. And that takes time. This is likely true of all sorts of changes, but the interactions of human beings can get really, really tangled. It's a consequence of brain size, for one thing. After all, it's the size of our brains that allow us to be 'bigger inside than out' for one thing, and gives us our myriad perspectives. Perspective apparently operates outside of the space-time continuum. Hmm, that explains a lot. It also makes communication between humans very difficult.

It seems that even though we can hone emotions down to simple representations of complex facial expressions, we can't count on two human beings to be in agreement about any particular thing.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day 211

I'm slicing through the water at dusk. It's cool silk and I'm traveling on the bottom, the little squares of blue passing fast beneath me.
I'm on my own. I swim up to a grey sky already claimed by darting bats. The crows fly slow and steady toward their night nests. The wind picks up.
It's the shift change up there and down here, I'm on my own.

It'll take some getting used to, this. The usual suspects, though I've already waded through most of the stages on the way. It became a hard choice. It became a call of will and a set jaw. It hurt. It cost.
I could think lots of thoughts. I could try to shape this breakup into a piece that would fit the whole. I could speculate on the curriculum. On silver linings and better days.

But I don't. I don't need to. I've been here before, and then some. It is what it is. And it is done. I have no desire to look past now.

So I swim, as I have every day for about a month. I feel strength returning. My strokes are firmer, they take me farther. My breath lasts longer. Today is a clean day with sharp edges.
I'm focused on practical things. Mostly. the back of my mind an idea moves closer, silently on cat feet. I slide through the water, it's a tiger keeping pace through the tall grass, seen only in glimpses.
I tell myself I'm okay. I'm on my own.
And the grass whispers of freedom.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Day 209

If the world is reeling and everyone is against you and not a thing is going your way, you're probably hungry, or your shoes pinch, or you're worried about a bill,or something like that.

Sometimes things are astonishingly simple.

Tonight was for taking Aubrey and Orion out for Harry Potter's last adventure.

Now for sleep, kittens allowing. They are full-blown crazy tonight.

It seems to be going around. Must be the moon.

Yet another astonishingly simple thing.

Oh, silly humans all.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 207

Here are two kittens, in a blur of motion, as usual.

And Orion, learning to balance his punch, with Sensei John.

Soosi, nursing Beverly, who begins to look just like her.

A new Poppet, "Cat and Mice."

Mystro, his magnificent whiskers, and all his white parts dirty because he got into the fireplace.

Clever, naughty boy.

And proceeded to make enough dirty prints on the white tiles for at least a dozen cats.

And these poppet 'friends.'

I'm working on books, between Poppet Planet, Mom stuff, kitten stuff and...

I are tired.

Aubrey was here until 9:30, took great photos and kept STNG running all day. Netflix, you bastards. We are addicted.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Day 205

Tonight in this quiet house, my son sleeps surrounded by kittens. I lie here in the soft darkness, not sleeping, thinking of things to eat, of the pain in my shoulders, of love lost and love gained and of everything we can imagine hurtling by in a great arc, and bits of understanding tucked away like pressed petals in the folds of my pillow.


Saturday, July 09, 2011

Day 203

Ever look at a word long enough that it becomes alien?

I arrive at a familiar intersection somewhere late in the golden hour. It's the peak of dusk, just before the day clatters down the track to night. In this shadowless moment, any corner could be north. Things look strange.
This town has changed over time. I realize that usually, I see this corner as a mosiac of all the times I've seen it. Back to when there was more sand and tumbleweed than anything else.

For the rest of the drive I look with that 'new' view. Interesting, for sure.

We see people that way too. As mosiacs. As collections of experiences.
Humans don't function well without context. Still, moments without it allow vision and presence.

It's a good exercise to stop and look at something familiar as though seeing it for the first time. ith effort, humans are capable of doing just that. Filmmakers and other creatives must have this vision.

If we take another look at things, I wonder what we'll see?

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Day 201

just photos today. tired, hungry, feet tell me we're done.


Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Day 199

Twisting wire to make wings.

Learning to roll better. With punches, I mean. Last minute changes could've thrown me off today but didn't. Had a great night swim. Played with kittens. Now I'm twisting and bending wire to make wings for a creature who wants them.

Orion is visiting away tonight. I feel his absence and the house is extra quiet. But the fan is going and I have loads of SNL--am I a total grandma if Ithink Helen Mirren is amazingly sexy?---anyway. making wings and making notes.

Aubrey will be here tomorrow, with camera. The kitties are little fuzzy springs. I'm an artist and a woman about to forage for chocolate, apparently.


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Day 197

It's morning. No alarm clock. Summer has its good points. The light is strange. I look outside to see the mountains have vanished and the sky is a solid pale grey. All of it. It fills me with contentment. I don't know why. It's extremely humid, which is, well, weird for the desert.

Ah. I get it. It feels like home. The other home. This is coastal weather. South Carolina-ish.

But not quite.

It's supposed to be 113 today and humid. A sauna then. In here, it's cool and dark.

Last night we're finally into The Two Towers. We've followed our heroes a long way now, and have longer to go. We press on. Just when I think Orion is asleep, he asks a question. He's really into this adventure. He always knows just where we left our heros. And now, the Company has broken. I looked up during the reading to see six pairs of little eyes lined up at the foot of the bed, watching attentively.

Today I must finish a wedding cake sculpture. It's for Natasha, whose wedding dress I painted. Here's the sculpted pair. Will post pictures later tonight. Until then, I'll enjoy this strange light, and being with Orion in it.

Hope your day is especially good.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Day 196

The greenhouse with the roof ripped away--still. This happened a month ago. It's on the list. This can be the 'before' picture.

The pool drained low for repairs. The skimmer was leaking. The motor growled like a bear then died.

It's still about 5 feet at the deep end. I can stand on the drain. Orion and I 'swam' anyway.

The birdhouses are neglected. The lizards are mostly the same as always.

It's too hot to think about working outside. Still, it was nice outside tonight, in the way only nights in the hot desert air can be. I've been buried in the studio.

Today I stopped at 4 and closed the door. If I do this more often, I might start to pick the place up a bit.

And inside, there are kittens. Only six now. One has been adopted.

It's after midnight. I should sleep, but I want some down time first.

So a bit of television and tomorrow is another day.

Nothing profound today. I'm okay with that.

I'm headed east, to the refrigerator, then north, to the sofa.