Monday, August 31, 2009

Easy People

No graphics today. I just feel like a poem. I stole the title from my friend Nerissa Nields and I wrote this poem a while back. That's about all the back story I can add. Thanks for taking the time, xo

Easy People

What will it take
for me to see
that I'm not you
and just can't be?

You're fine when I'm not,
I understand that,
but it's a achy confusion
that's under my hat.

I'm sifting and shredding
the truth and the lie.
I get stuck in the sandbox
instead of the sky

I wish I could say
the end is alright
but lately I'm grateful
just to show up tonight.

It's odd since I'm prone
to see starfish by day;
it's not that I'm trying
to have it my way.

I want seashells in Spring
and fires in Fall.
I want pearls on my shoulder
when I’m feeling this small.

I want grace and gravity
and a night underground.
I wish those strong arms
could wrap me around.

I want faith bursting forth
like a paper thin beam.
I’m crazy to wonder
if there's a rip at the seam.

I'm too experienced
to get lost on a lark,
but awakened and stirred
my heart's in the dark.

A corner is missing--
it's chilled to the bone.
Must I forfeit best wishes
and shut down to atone?

Say yes and I'll fight you.
Say no and I'll hide.
It's a curious burden,
this landscape inside.

I believe in this path;
I believe it's all fine.
I just wish I were better
at drawing a line.

Some chilly mornings
my eyes lose their sight
and I find myself fighting
with a terrible might.

Don't bother to tell me
to take a step back.
I'm holding on to my ticket
on this one-way track.

I’m full and I'm empty.
I'm brave and I'm weak.
I can show you devotion
if it's virtue you seek.

My trip is quite far.
The end's no straight line.
Still, I'll carry the sticks--
I've made up my mind.

Seven years later
perhaps I'll look back
and measure my choices
by what I still lack.

These arms circle tightly
around the core of it all.
You can watch me soar proudly,
Watch me pray when I fall.

I'll stand firm while I falter
I'll whimper and cry,
but that’s far far better
Then failing to try.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Mom

My mother is an incredible woman
She's 93, no longer in her home of 68 years, finally adjusted and happy in a rest home where she cannot remember what happened five minutes before. But she is vibrantly in the present moment, appreciative of her life and family.
Here's a snippet of her interactions last week.
Snippet # 1: Mom calls my godmother, who is 92:
Mom: How are you?
Marie: Oh Rose, I'm fine, but I fell out of bed and hurt my knee.
Mom: It's a good thing you sleep alone, then you know no one pushed you.
Snippet # 2: My mom has made a very good friend at the rest home, she also without a working memory:
Me: You look nice, Mom.
Mom: All dressed up with no where to go.
Dorothy: Who, me?
Mom: No, me. Where would you be going?
Dorothy: I'd be following you.
Mom: Well, then, you won't be going very far!

Happy weekend everyone. If you find yourself in need of some company or terrific recipes, stop by my Potluck Supper at # 9 Blogland Lane.
And please, keep praying for Renee and her family. Our prayers count.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Animal Wednesday on Thursday: When You're Sad...

Hello everyone, it's me, Emily. I am a day late just because. This week kj is very very sad because her friend Renee has had some very very sad news about her nephew Sheldon. So I am not going to be a wise guy rabbit this week. Instead I am going to tell you what I do when I am very very sad, not counting throwing myself on the floor, whining and crying, and kicking my feet all over the place.
First, I sit in a cozy chair. This is Mr. Ryan's chair but I use it when I want to.
If I don't use Mr. Ryan's chair, I might just sit anywhere, taking my time and not letting any thing disturb me. Believe it or not, I learned this from kj. In the morning she sits on the couch and breathes for about three minutes. She looks silly but it makes her more relaxed and when I tried it it did that for me too.
This one is hard but it is worth it. Stand on your hands. You will see everything differently, plus your head gets all different too. Don't try it if you think you will fall over, unless you don't care.
And the last thing I recommend today is to grab on to someone you like and hold on tight like a lobster. Even I, little Emily who doesn't care what anyone else thinks, knows that sometimes you just have to lean on love....
This is from kj: Dearest Renee, collective hearts ache for you and your family. You have been given a burden most of us could never carry, and yet you carry it, and the people who love you near and far, with love and grace. If prayers could heal instantly, you, Sheldon, and Jacquie would be rolling down hills today and feasting on all the sweet life and love that surrounds you.
This is from Emily: Sometimes I know when to be nice.
Yours Truly,

Emily Rabbit

Monday, August 24, 2009

Provincetown Finale

I am winding down a summer like none I’ve ever had. Efficiently wrapped around three days of work each week, JB and I have hit the road every Wednesday afternoon and driven three and a half hours to Provincetown, a wild little peninsula where the light magically bounces off the water in pinks and oranges and Maxfield Parish blues, where we settled in until Sunday afternoons , when we headed back to work knowing we'd be feeling the salt air again in another three days.
Ah, but not just that. We stayed put in Provincetown for the last two and a half weeks. Totally. No one sick. No unpaid bills. No calls to make. Just time. Just ocean waves. Just a corner seat on a red sectional couch, laptop propped on my knees, sad words and true words and hopeful words spilling onto each other, one by one. Eating out on a whim. Sleeping late, rising early
The Wednesday to Sunday routine will take place one final time, this week, but here are some highlights of one damn good summer:
--watching my friend Gordon paint—he is a master
--getting up before dawn to take pictures of the sun rising with my great little guy friend, Cam, age 14.
--eating fresh lobsters three times
--picking up a piece of charcoal and drawing a nude (!!!) model for the first time
--spending time with Heather and Liz, Marsha, Maureen and Cheryl, Johannes and Jim, Gary and Janice--all good friends, each affirming and reminding me that I know how to be a good friend.
--hearing Mr. Ryan talk to his “Froggie” for 15 or 20 minutes before anyone else woke up
--JB and Mr. Ryan I walking barefoot at low tide in early morning, when everything was still quiet
--getting to know Baby Drew, making him laugh, smelling him, holding him for hours
--knowing my beloved Jessica is happy, spending four magnificent days with her and Mike and the kids,
--catching up with old friends who live in Ptown
--seeing the success of the Artisan Cooperative and knowing I developed it from
--having tuna sushi at the Mews, my favorite restaurant in the entire world
--drawing in my moleskine
--doing three book signings
--being introduced as a new author by Kate Clinton at her comedy show and having people clap for me
--kayaking and easily living to tell about it
--riding my bike for the first time in thirty years
--doing nothing
--doing everything
--celebrating my birthday with the people I love
--seeing Julia & Julie at the local movie theatre
--going to my favorite art supply store
--relishing two home made milk chocolate peanut butter cups from the local candy store
--eating breakfast out and easily talking to the people sitting at the next table
--finding a special shell for Renee
--going to the beach every day at 2 pm
--finding a perfect birthday present for my friend lo
And last but never ever least
--WOO HOO to my 25 year anniversary with my beloved partner JB
Dear God, let me appreciate everything around me, the people who love me, the future that awaits me. xoxo

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Look Who's Learning to Draw

It's about time.
It's just a start.
I love it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Carnival

Carnival in Provincetown is Quite Lively!

It's held once a year, always in August. This is a day when town government, neighboring municipalities, local and visiting gay and lesbian folks, tourists, all kinds of families, and the Portuguese community pick a theme, come together, make and don costumes and floats, and hold a two mile parade through the center of town. Sometimes the crowds are ten deep, thousands of people cheering, laughing, being shocked, and joining in all the fun.










The theme this year: can you guess?
(Peace, Love & GoGo Boots)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Best Friends: Part 3

She carefully wrapped a red glossy ribbon around the letters and postcards, took down the photographs and drawings, and placed them one atop another in a small satin pillowcase. She saved only the few notes and emails that would confirm her own version of reality, mostly so she would not forget. She enlarged each adobe photo, all the faces and places, the micron squiggles and palette knife paintings, and she looked closely at each one before she slowly, thoughtfully pressed delete, once, and then again and once more. She listened a final time to the reassuring song from West Side Story she'd received one stormy day when the longing had gotten the best of her, and she understood that she would not be able to listen to Fields of Gold sung by Eva Cassidy, not then, and not for a long time.
She scanned the double spaced pages of the Flight of the Heart Sob Story she began when hope was bright and moved it to a folder on the far side of her workroom, and she folded the monster illustrations and the story she had written for it in half, hoping someday it might make her smile again. She reread the final and revised words that severed and then erased who they had been together, and she pushed herself to burn a certain incense known for honoring the road behind and the path ahead.
She sat in her chair and prayed for the highest and best for both of them; then carefully put the letters and postcards and photos and folders into a sturdy small box which she tucked into a protected back corner of her bookcase.
She took a deep breath to remind herself that the love and all that came with it could not be lost because it was now part of who she was. Then she stepped away and walked into the crisp spring air and straightened her gaze.
It was moving day.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Animal Wednesday: Emily's Advice to the Lovelorn.

Hello everyone, it's me Emily, here to make sure you have fun, learn how to cry from your stomach, roll down enough hills, and stop worrying about almost everything.
Would you believe that kj offered me $ 10 NOT to write my column this week?? She is writing some 3 part story that if you ask me is too sad and why write about that but she would tell you that is not the point at all and she is writing about loving someone even though she got hurt but everyone except kj knows that is ridiculous to try to be nice about it, that the best way to handle someone who has hurt you is first, to whine for attention, then if that doesn't work threaten to sue them, and if that doesn't work you should think about making sure their jellybean supply is reduced to almost none.
Anyway, would you believe I told kj NO! I am writing my column and she should pay me $ 10 anyway. kj is now thinking about what to do, knowing I could throw frozen peas at the window at any moment if things get too bad.
So this week I am going to answer questions from the lovelorn, as a followup to kj's 3 part story.
Dear Emily.

My name is Molly Rabbit and I am sad because my boyfriend Jeremy Applegate left me for a turtle. I had no idea rabbits would even consider dating turtles. Do you think I should try to get him back?
Thank you,
Molly Rabbit.
Dear Molly,
This race between the tortoise and the hare is one you should lose as fast as you can. Jeremy is a snake, which by the way has an extra set of problems. Stop being sad and steal some radishes instead, Molly. Then roll down three hills. Then tell Jeremy to get lost.
Dear Emily Rabbit,
Do you think it's okay to spend money on dressing up and buying clothes instead of buying jellybeans? I like to look good but I don't want the lack of jellybeans to cause problems later on.
Muffy Bunny
Dear Muffy Bunny,
I can see that you are very fashionable, but what exactly do you do with that fan? Anyway, I am sorry to tell you that if you do not maintain jellybeans in your diet, you may suffer from depression sooner or later. And Muffy Bunny, has anyone told you that you kind of look like a minister or something? Why not split your money between jellybeans and buy three flamboyant hats and leave it at that?

Dear Emily,

Is it right to have to wear this silly jewelry? You should see some of the necklaces I'm expected to put on.

Paul Pug

Dear Paul Pug,

NO! You should start whining and crying right away. If that doesn't work, don't forget to kick too. Even in Provincetown you do not have to look like this unless of course you want to.
Don't forget that you can also ask me for advice if you want because for the next week I will not charge you for my answers, but you may have to agree to do what I say because otherwise I would be wasting my time and why would I want to do that?
(Oh, and kj says still pray for Renee)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best Friends: Part 2

We escalated and argued and as much as we gushed and giggled. We were passionate, and that passion came in the form of disagreement as well as affection. It was not unusual for verbal fireworks to flare without warning, brilliant in their colors and intensity, thundering overhead, emotional kaleidoscopes bursting and poppping, often about something and just as often about nothing. Still, for a long time each of us was quick to apologize, quick to reassure, quick to laugh again.
One day, in mock exasperation about something now long forgotten, I told her, “You know, you should be good to me, because best friends don't grow on trees."
"Yes, they do," she laughed. Within a day I had received her illustrated rendition of a Best Friend Tree. I cannot show you this drawing because even though I have it to share, it is not mine to share. But I will describe it for you. Doodled into life through a characteristic one dollar black pen, drawn onto 4 by 6 inch card stock, it began as a moleskine illustration of two women, both looking incredulous and impish, in their celestial pajamas, one pointing upward as if to prove a point; the other, her hands on her head in mock surprise. There is a tree between them, drawn in steady lines and strokes, large but not so much so that it could not be climbed.
But this is not a tree to climb and this is not just any tree by any standard, because between and among its leaves there are a half dozen faces growing right out of its branches.
“See,” she gloated, “I told you best friends can grow on trees.”
I don’t remember if I wrote a poem about best friends before or after I saw her lovely silly illustration. I do remember that at first I wrote 12 stanzas but when she asked for one more, a baker’s dozen, I was happy to oblige. We were collaborating, we two, and it felt wonderful.
Best Friends

1. They grow in the garden
Where forget-me-nots remember

2. They grow around two hearts
Willing to be tamed

3. They grow toward the sun
Pouring light in quiet corners

4. They grow under unspoken secrets
Finally whispered out loud

5. They grow on top of trouble--
An umbrella in the wind

6. They grow beside what’s possible
Rallying and inching it forward

7. They grow in special moments
Roots that aren't overturned

8. They grow around tender wounds
Healing tears on the horizon

9. They might even grow apart
But even then they grow together

10. They grow through the thickets of laughter
And the blossoms of being known

11. They grow over time
And in the flash of a moment

12. They even grow in darkness,
When it's all you can see

13. Best friends grow ever strong and forever tight
But they most assuredly do not grow on trees.
Different cultures, different politics, different life styles, different geography, different experiences, different perceptions, different needs. We were two women who found each other one August day with no idea then that in that instant everything would be changed, at least for one of us; everything would be formed and reformed into colors and words that nourished and exalted but could not sustain. Every day, for hours, we talked and walked into the night, shared our silly secrets and haunting hopes, and we laughed together like there was no tomorrow. But there was one problem, and it never went away.

Very near the end, she told me the problem was that I was selfish and she was callous. Weeks or months or years from now, I will understand more, and when I do it may be that she was right about that.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Best Friends: Part 1

It's been just about a year since a relationship I very much valued fell apart. I can't explain it all, and I wouldn't if I could, but I've been imprisoned by my own sadness. My loss of trust and caring has been quite painful.
For my own sake, I think it's time I began to step out of the shadow. I had a relationship and it was good and now it isn't and I need to accept that and, finally, fully, move on. So this is Part I of a 3 part series. I hope you don't mind walking this road with me. If you do mind, that's okay too: come back mid week and we'll be silly again. Until then:
February 2007
How does a best and blessed connection develop, expand, grow, sustain over the months and years? I can't rightly answer that, but I can tell you that if a friend is a gift you give yourself, I have been very lavish in my wonderful good fortune with this special friend. This piece is for her, with thanks for a wicked good time this weekend!
It’s a February day when the sky finally assumes its rightful chilling brilliant blue and the sun is confident enough to bounce off the gleaming crusted snow and across the tiny fully white hills that make up this park. Two solid black shadows stretch four feet before us on this frigid day. We are arm in arm, walking in silence and noticing every sign that the world is right today, that this day alone will right everything that could be wrong--today, this day, when fortune permits two best friends to steal and share three days to catch up and wind down, to begin at dawn in the little green and salmon room off the kitchen for a fiesta cup of coffee, and then to linger, to hold hands, to notice nuances, to retell stories that are so long and so much that afterwards, neither can recall or retrace a single word or a single moment
In this hour, the teacher teaches and the extinguisher lies down the hose. The sun approaches noon and everywhere, in between the glossy iced over pebbles and the boundaries of the mostly frozen stream, even ten stories up where the sun breaks through those thin proud pines-- there is the serentity of friendship and the absence of foreboding. This is stolen time when one moment falls and folds into another, telling a story that is all too real, and all too rare, to be remembered on common days.
This is a day when the torch is put to rest and the brilliant light of friendship shines forth anyway. This happens in the presence of grace, which is the way that love works best. This happens when two people who know every petty detail instead look across to one another and whisper a prayer of thank you.
This is a day when no words, no deed, no correction or diversion or direction is needed. This is a day when two friends walk arm in arm in the park and remember there is a reason they are safe in the world.