Sunday, November 27, 2016

Be Still, Be Still, Be Still

Since fast approaching my old girl stage--the eve of my crone age--while I'm outfitting my crone cave, I'm going through all the stuff I thought I needed to get through this lifetime. Sorted piles shrink and re-grow depending on my mood. I find myself wanting less stuff yet am confounded by the amount of stuff that needs being disconnected from. How in the world . . . ? Who'll want it? Not Erin. 

Once upon a time I had very little of everything. I knew better than to ask for anything early on because it was a natural part of learning to make do within the tribe called our family. We moved a lot so the less we had the easier moving was. Hand-me-downs meant I had less than my sister. I wanted books, and crayons, and construction paper, and pans of watercolor. My sister wanted none of those things, so they stayed where they were unless someone els bought them for another girl child with similar tastes. My sister got an electric typewriter when she was sixteen because typing was her thing. She went to college and became one of Houston's finest legal secretaries. We got a set of encyclopedia around the same time the typewriter came. Guess who never got to use that typewriter, but my mother pounded home "You should be a secretary like your sister. There's no such thing as an artist."  I got my first library card and my Social Security card though, knowing I'd get a babysitting job--earn my own money. Then I'd buy all the books and art supplies I needed to paint like the masters I drooled over at the library. I promised I'd have my own big coffee table art books too. Not even adults were allowed to take those darlings home from the library. I bought my own Michelangelo Time Life book at the impressionable age of sixteen. At $4.95 per month, it created my first debt. I never told my parents because I was too frightened. No babysitting jobs came. The employment agency didn't hire people like me. Someone should have told me, don't you think? It would have saved me owing $16.00 to Time Life. The guilt is still with me. Consolation lay within those tomes of Encyclopedia Britannica. I grew to be crazy for Jeopardy. "I'll take $1,00 for whatever, Alex!" Will there ever be a need for all the trivial facts stored inside my brain? But anyway . . . The three siblings that came after me had the latest toys. They eventually got  a bicycle. And we all lived happily ever after. And my cup runs over like there's no end! I have more of all the things denied me than any little girl, young girl, or any old girl could have imagined. Wow. And wow again. I realized it two nights ago. Can you believe it? But that's a whole other story. Oh, dear God! Cicely Tyson is telling me of getting her "Trip to Bountiful"as I type! I've been tripping to bountiful my whole life. Still am, too.

Yes, we all live happily ever after. After all the stuff that comes with living. Like this moment. I've been away for awhile and need more time to do the good things I'm doing, not doing, thinking of doing, and learning how to do. It isn't easy. But nothing worth doing well ever is. So, this is my be still time. It's be still or break, and there's not enough glue in all the cans at Best-Test to put a broken limner back together again, once she breaks. Nothing broken is ever the same. Wait a minute. Maybe it's not the breaking that makes us afraid, maybe it's someone forgetting some of the pieces that might get left behind on the floor--vital pieces. No one wants to be Humpty Dumpty! Who has king's horses and king's men to put us together again? Then again is that so bad? Yet, while I get to be still, sometimes I miss answering and writing letters, and making fun mail art. Truth is, I just cannot do it. Not yet. So, thanks for thinking of me now more than ever. Thank you for the loveliest surprises. 

I photographed this November 9. Chances are good it came before then, but I could be wrong. I do remember my heart going to mush when I saw Griff. He got me good! And all those stars! You see, JC and I saw some stars the night we were in the backyard looking for that super moon. Were startled by all those luminaries that overshadowed it instead. It was a rare experience, since the stars at night are not always big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas. See that moon? All those stamps of some of my favorite things? Yes! 

The balloons! Oh, the balloons! I like balloons but always, always, always wish people didn't let them go. We forget what goes up must come down, and when they do their strings too often do damage to wildlife. They entangle creatures meant to live untangled! Mylar does not disintegrate. What happens to the helium? Never mind. I am so in like with balloons! Peace. What does peace need saying for itself? It simply is.

Tucked inside the lovely envelope lay this gem. How could Kerry know? Who told her I have a weakness for such prints? Did you tell her I've been a fan of Andy English for years? And Mangle Prints? And more! How beautiful, right? So perfect, too. Kerry suggested framing it. Well, Kerry, you know me well. I'll hang it in the perfect place to gaze upon its perfection when I sit still to be still. Thank you.


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