Thursday, July 30, 2009

# 9 Blogland Lane

Isn't this swell? This is my new house at #9 Blogland Lane. I'm virtually moving in today along with my partner JB, my dog Stella, and I hope you'll join me there.
My place is kind of modern with a kitchen big enough for three people to cook in at one time, a living room with a large sectional couch and dozens of comfy sofa pillows, a chrome and formica kitchen table and chairs from the '50's, and a dining room with all the walls filled with the art of all my friends but also that of Provincetown artists Robert Cardinal and Chet Jones.
There are four bedrooms that provide plenty of room for guests, a sunroom overlooking a large yard that has room for a swimming pool, a patio for grilling and stretching out, a backyard hot tub, and my very shed studio and writing room, decorated in salmon colored walls and funky flowered curtains. Look at all the bookcases in that room, filled from top to bottom with all my favorite books.
I'm leaving the kitchen door open most of the time and when I'm home I'll be happy when friends stop by. I hope that lolo and Baino live next door or close by, and I want to be able to reach everyone else on Blogland Lane by riding my spiffy bycycle. I also want to be able to get to Renee for a few minutes at a time, just enough to wave a smile and get a harhar back.
Will you join me? Please! Here are the details:
Invitation To Homestead on Blogland Lane!

a wide choice of available land
including double lots,
lakeside, ocean front,
small plots, rambling acreage,
dells with forest canopies,
tree lined, flat, or hilly terrain,
whatever you want.

Just put up a picture of your home/yard
on your own blog
and the place is yours!
Provide any details and descriptions you want,
and put out the Welcome Mat
or the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign.
(Just leave a comment on my blog letting people know they can see
your house on your blog.)
This is a personal invitation from kj to move yourself and your family to Blogland Lane. Please also invite all your favorite bloggers to move along with you. We share so much already: we might as well be neighbors!
And please don't forget to come visit me at #9. I'll leave the light on.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Emily and kj's Bridge

(blow this up if you want to see kj's pictures better)
Hello everyone, it's me, sweet innocent little Emily Rabbit, here for my weekly story that kj sometimes pays me for but usually not enough because alot of people have said I should get at least $ 20 a week and I'm lucky if I even get $10. kj says rabbits do not really need money and she is trying to stop me buying my jellybeans, which is not right and I would not be surprised if I fall on the kitchen floor and kick my legs in the air and cry from my stomach like you know I do very well (boo-hoo-boo--hoo-boo-hoo-boo-boo-boo-hoo-boo-hoo: this is a reminder in case you forgot but you shouldn't forget because you should cry like this too when you need to.)
Anyhow, this week I went to this psychology class that kj goes to and it was kind of fun mostly but sometimes it was sad too. The woman who teaches it likes art and alot of times she asks kj and everyone else to draw something and this week she told them to draw a bridge, that she said could be as simple as a line. So kj drew a curve line but then she kept doodling and it turned out to be a fancier bridge.
The teacher told kj and everyone else to put a dot where they were on the bridge but kj drew herself instead. Then the teacher asked alot of questions like which direction are you facing, what's on either side of the bridge, what's underneath the bridge, is anyone else on the bridge with you? and a few more I can't remember, but anyway this is what kj drew. She told me it made her a little sad because there was one person who left the bridge and was standing far away on top of it near a banana tree and also because she did not know what would be there when she crossed the bridge (kj likes to know these things--myself, I could care less because I would just hop across the bridge and play on the other side period).
Anyway, this week is probably not very interesting because it's about kj and not about me but sometimes I just decide what I'm going to do on the spot and that is what I did this week which I think is actually fine so if you don't like it maybe next week you will enjoy what I do more (and if you don't, please don't tell me because that would not be nice).
I am hoping I get paid extra because I wrote about kj and if she gets mad at me for telling about the bridge she should pay me anyway because I was just trying to be nice.
Sincerely yours,
Emily V. V. Rabbit

Monday, July 27, 2009

Provincetown: Houses

Is anybody getting tired of Provincetown, Provincetown, Provincetown? I'm willing to say thank you for your indulgence but I must say I'm having a ball with my camera here. It's one great scene after another.
So today we're taking a quick stroll past some of the houses along this sea-shore. But be prepared for an added twist: would you consider moving along with jb and me onto Blogland Lane? And if you did move onto Blogland Lane, what would your house look like? Don't limit yourself to the houses I'm showing here. Maybe you want a big red barn or a Newport Mansion, or a cottage by the lake. I'm asking you to think about this because a couple of years ago a blogger named Caroline Smailes established a virtual neighborhood and many of us moved right in. And I, Ms. kj, am thinking very seriously of inviting you to claim your plot and settle into your new house and our wonderful neighborhood on Blogland Lane.
Meanwhile, it is my pleasure to introduce the Houses of Provincetown:

. .
It's possible one of these houses may be my choice of homes on Blogland Lane. Then again, I may decide to design my own. Stay tuned please. :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Dusk to dawn and then some
These pictures speak for themselves. I will just tell you that JB and I arrived back in Provincetown at dusk and my fourteen year old friend Cam and I got up at 5 am to watch the sun rise on the beach at Race Point and proceeded to spend the next two and a half hours in awe of the changing Cape Cod light, colors, patterns, and coastline.
This is another part of Provincetown and the Provincelands. I hope you enjoy seeing it as much
as I enjoy sharing it with you.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday 13: Another Mish Mash

This was a pretty good week. Here I am again in Provincetown, having arrived last night with dinner on the table. One of my best friends, her husband, and two great sons are here with JB and me for the rest of the week. We will all play at art much of the time.
1. What you are looking at is magical. This is a work in progress done by a nine year girl who doesn't feel very good about herself and whose greatest wish is to spend more time with her mother. She and I made two clay characters together during the school year (Bob and Lacy) and decided we would spend the summer writing a story about them. That has led us to adding some more clay "props", coloring background scenes, and planning our story, which I will photograph and somehow figure out how to put the pictures and words onto paper and into a finished book.
But here's the most important part" MOM is sitting at the kitchen table with us having as much fun as my client and me. We're creating, using our hands, and here and there sharing some feelings and fun. This is "therapy" and I couldn't be more pleased so far.
2. And speaking of MOMS, here is mine. She has been in serious-to-severe back pain for three weeks, barely out of bed. This Monday we carefully took her for an epidural. The doctor's office was freezing and there were no blankets to be had. So the nurse found an extra sized johnnie and we wrapped it around my mom. By the way, if you haven't read about my mother before, her name is Rose and she is 93, with the most charming and caring and funny personality anyone could have. She has zero memory, ZERO, but in the present moment, she is there 100%. Things weren't always easy between us, so to have and love her so much now is another piece of magic.

3. Magic # 3: this book of mine. I've just finished a book signing this morning: 30 minutes and one small sale. But it's all totally good. This week I sold 6 books and whatever happens next is safely in my hands. The more I promote, the more I'll sell. Getting this book written and published has helped me grow as a person and a writer more than I can express. And to all of you who have supported me and/or bought the book, thank you so much.

4. Some people are special. They just are. And Renee is special. This week has been awful for her and her family: her mother is hospitalized, and her beloved sister Jacquie and Jacquie's son are both undergoing sudden and emergency surgery today: both involve cancer, and this is all so unfair I could easily rip a room apart when I think of Renee's pain. Please pray for Renee. I mean really truly pray: take a moment or many moments and send her all the love and healing that is available from a benevolent God. Please.

5 & 6. Thanks to Aimee from Artsyville, I have joined a journal group and that has pushed me to draw more and rely less on words in my beloved moleskine. I don't know HOW to draw, but I am going to learn.
7. Want to visit me in Provincetown? Just walk up the brick walkway and hang a right at the patio.

8. When I lived here, I avoided Commercial Street in tourist season. But now I'm happy to stroll along and seek out my favorite images. This building is called The Little Store. I buy my newspaper here every morning, and here too I long to buy cigarettes, which I don't and won't.

9. After my book signing, JB and I had breakfast overlooking the scene and sidewalk below. I'm leaning out the window thinking, 'man, I've had an awful year. I've been sad and stuck for most of it. I'll probably have a certain hole in my heart for the rest of my life. But I don't want to be sad anymore. I want to appreciate everything I have and every wonderful person around me. '

10. This is for Mim. This is perhaps the store you and DH stood in front of during that electrical storm in Ptown. They make their own taffy in the window and tourists buy their fudge by the pounds. I hope you have another memory like this in Ptown, Mim. I actually like the idea of Lolo and me, and maybe Debra Kay and Suki and Soulbrush being part of it. And can you even imagine Emily finding a way to get Marianne here too?..........

10. Just before the candy store, just to the right of the Town Hall, the town face painter left this note on her table. Help yourself to paper and paint until I get back, it said. That is Provincetown, and it's what I love best about being here.
11 & 12. Our friend Gordon is a wonderful painter. He started this painting this week when he and his family arrived at our place. He, like me, says he creates here so effortlessly it's as though some unknown force pushes his brushes. That's how I feel when I am writing here: effortless.

13. No thirteen. Does that mean I'm supposed to tell don't show instead of show don't tell?
Well, okay, here's my final mish mash today. Tomorrow Gordon and JB and I are paying $ 10 each to draw a nude model at the local art museum. I have never ever done anything like this before, but I am going to bring my micron pen and colored pencils and see what happens.
Somehow art is coloring my life. Artists and Writers surround me like never before. And want to know why? It's this blog. It's a life that includes blogging. It's YOU.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Animal Wednesday: How to Handle a Scary Dragon

Hello everyone, it's me Emily. Since kj wrote about cat hairs, I am going to follow the same theme and write about dragons. If you don't understand the connection, all i can say is they are both animals and that's why.
So here's my story this week:

When kj sees a dragon, which if you don't know this either is just another way of saying she has to face something scary, she either:
freezes, and says "I can't handle this", or
fights, and gets mad and tries to defend herself, or
takes flight, which is when she runs away and puts a pillow over her head and then covers her ears.
My father, Mr. Robert Richard Rabbit, works for the National Institute of Health (the NIH) and he told me that this freeze, fight, flight is what people do when they get very scared. It makes me glad that I am a rabbit not a person, because I do it totally different way.
I just hop on the back of the dragon and say
gitty-up dragon!
Tell the truth: don't you think my way makes better sense?
Oh, and maybe one day I will tell you about my father's job at the NIH. My mother and I don't like it.
So far kj has paid me a total of $ 25 and I have bought guess how many pounds of jellybeans?

Yours truly for this week and probably for next week too,

Emily V. V. Rabbit

Monday, July 20, 2009

What's the Cat Hair?

A few months ago I began a weekly clinical group that meets for 90 minutes each Monday and focuses on how to help children and families who have been traumatized.
This week I am readily sharing information that I think is both helpful and fascinating. It's about play.
Almost all young mammals, including humans, play. Why is that? In a nutshell, most social scientists believe that play is a way to feel joy and is very very important in how well young mammals evolve.
So in 1998 a neuroscientist named Jaak Pansepp conducted in depth studies on young rat pups at play in their cages. He observed them initiating rough and tumble and clearly enjoyable play with each other for four days straight.
On the fifth day, he introduced a minimally threatening stimulus into their environment: a hair from a cat. He left the hair in the cage for only 24 hours and then removed it.
Guess what happened to the rat pups' play after the cat hair was introduced and then removed?
It is important to realize that these experiments were conducted with lab rats. They had never actually seen a cat. So here's the scene: the young rats are happily playing for four days. On the day the cat hair is introduced, play completely stops. Even after the cat hair is removed, play never returns to the level where it was before the time the hair was introduced.
Here's the question: what happens when a signal of danger is introduced, even briefly, into their environment?
Here's the answer: it changes everything. And like these rat pups, if you happen to be really young or really vulnerable, it can mean that life is never the same again.
What an interesting question: "What's the cat hair?" Because if there is a single cat hair in a person's environment and it is not addressed, nothing else is important until it is no longer a threat. It makes no sense to try to fix anything else or expect someone to attend to anything else if there is a signal in the environment that represents a threat. The actual cat hair may be long gone, but unless you know you're safe, any number of events or "triggers" can simply and fully get in the way of play--get in the way of joy.
So in difficult times, it makes sense to ask, "What's the cat hair?"
For me, this is an easy question to remember, an apt way perhaps of thinking about what gets in the way of living a happy playful life.
So how about it: What's the cat hair?

What Time Is It?

What time is it?
The time is now.
Time to take care, have faith, give thanks,
remember fondly.
Time to welcome home a good friend,
comfort another,
dance the jitterbug in the wet sand.
Time to let love do the heavy lifting.
And why not?
It's time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Sometimes words shine a guiding light
(I love poetry. I wrote this some time ago, and it guides me still)
Kansas City Hope
We planned that stolen trip
to Kansas City when the dogwoods
readied to open wide,
the pinks of the universe
reassuring that some things deliver.
I thought about strolling in that promenade,
reaching for the wild roots--
trusted jubilant hands
washing secrets clean
and steadying those fickle fears.

I thought along the streets
we’d find some stones,
lying there like easy promises,
different in pattern and size
but rock solid, like the sound

Of running water at midnight.
I wanted to hear you turn the faucets--
your impulsive hand guiding
the steady flow
of this surprising outcome.

I didn’t dare tell you
about the questions
lying at the curb
tucked under hidden trash,
safely protected by petrified answers--
not the kind that cause rigor mortis
but the kind that strengthen
even when they bend.

I wanted to tell you I felt safe
that day In Kansas City.
I told myself that I could
let the roots and water and questions
wash over me
until I was soaked in my own security.

I wanted you to know
about foundations built on sand
but fortified through grace and gravity--
strengthened when muscle and movement form,
and skin that protects—
and even glistens—
from the August place where we began.

I wanted to tell you we are both safe here,
that whatever happens hope will float around us.
I wanted you to know this.
I thought we should both know.
So when the itinerary changed
I was not prepared.

I wondered how long it will take
for the obvious to settle,
until Kansas City is Chicago
and Chicago is Newark
and the curbside trash
Is worth every stretch and every risk.
I didn’t know this then, I didn’t:
I thought the things that matter
were formed strictly in the place
where roots and unspoken hope
converge in one cemented spot.

I thought we could walk on this one promenade
and resolve our differences in only this one way. .
I didn’t know until the very moment
when you changed the plan
and the opportunity was gone

That even in the years ahead—
even through disappointments
too quickly frozen in place
we will still be here and there,
slip sliding straight into
the destiny of a sunny day,
looking down, and then around,
comfortable in our common ground.

I didn’t know
that we can walk through any promenade—
the ones in little cities and the ones in the Arizona desert--
and we will still find every missing piece
safely, solemnly, soulfully tucked beneath
our best intentions.

Redundancy: Thursday 13 Revisited

I was not happy with the photos I posted yesterday. I stubbornly wanted two side-by-side and in order to do that I had to shrink them which is fine, except because I am barely computer literate, they got distorted in the process. So I am giving myself permission to recreate the reality of Thursday 13, this time focusing a bit on the houses and buildings of Provincetown.

Okay, so this isn't a house. But isn't she beautiful? The flower accessory is temporary, placed by the ghost of Michael Jackson for all I know, and actually, she's most stunning all by her naked self.

The town has a new library, a massive and historic renovation on Commercial Street. For almost a year (my estimate only) the massive steeple sat on the ground. I wish I had been around to witness it being hoisted up the equivalent of four or five stories. The renovation continues, including magnificent scaffolding. I love scaffolds. I don't know why, but they make me want to fly.

This is the hardware store. I've taken this photo strictly to brag that Provincetown has an artistically and historically appropriate hardware store. No blatant chains or signage for this coastal town.

This is JB walking in front of me, heading home, probably wondering why the hell I stop so often and/or take so long with my camera.

Oh...did I mention that I will never hear the end of this? We are on the Cape, stop for pizza, and I can hear her squealing from the back seat. "Look! Look!" she screams. "It's a relative!"
"Oh, Emily, " I say, "I'll be damned...."

It's back of an ordinary building, which happens to have a first class view of this:

And here we have the single family house JB and I watched being restored for the better part of a season and wished it was ours...

Liz and JB and I sat at a picnic table outside this bakery on a brisk sunny day and shared our soups, sandwiches, and three and a half chocolate macaroons. I will remember this because this might be the moment in time, looking back, when I understood I had to move forward, that I could not continue to mourn the loss of someone I've loved, that my inability to understand was best served by choosing acceptance and forgiveness for both of us.

Ta Da! Witness the facelift of the Town Hall. I made the mistake of attributing so many beautiful gardens to the high numbers of the gay, lesbian and art community, and my sweet forever friend Baino nailed me on it. So I will tread lightly here: most town halls are white, at least that has been my experience. And until this year, this town hall was white. But in Provincetown, with "so many residents having a natural flair for color and good taste" (how's that, Baino?), these new colors are simply awesome.

And finally, for years I've bought magazines, newspapers, gum, candy, postcards and suntan lotion in this little convenience store. But the truth is every time I step inside I want in the worse way to buy a pack of Marlboro Lights. It's been years since I smoked my two packs a day, and God help me if I ever fall to that addiction again, but sometimes, looking across the bay or feeling my toes in the wet sand, I just want to blow a smoke ring or two straight up in the air, that is, after a long deep orgasmic inhale......

Tis the weekend. Here's wishing you a good one. And here's a special smooch to Sonia...