Saturday, July 8, 2017

Saturday's Evening Post

While I'm not big on interior decorating or the latest cutting edge fashion trends, I find great pleasure in good photography, and I admire how clever food stylists are if they're able to trick me into salivating, because if they succeed it means my guard slipped. Learning the tricks of the trade in art school was like learning how the great Masters fudged with camera obscura. It still hurts. All the pain and self-flagellation I endured because I believed those artists learned and then hid the secrets the rest of us were either born knowing, and if we weren't but wanted to be artists--well, we were doomed to grow up to become hateful little Hitlers or absinthe addicts instead . I honestly believed that had "they" given Hitler the secrets of how to become a master artist, well, he'd never have become the human stain that he ended up being. And, since he couldn't draw the human figure, it meant I had to master human anatomy or I'd be mentally unbalanced like him. And van Gogh. I cringed every time the hairdresser came near my ears with a pair of scissors. No lie. 

I am a little mental as a result of such distorted beliefs I learned from books I read when I was far too young. For real. I am temperamental; in some ways I am forever elemental; I am sentimental, and I've been ornamental--still am judgmental, non-judgmental; I often feel monumental, experimental, detrimental, firmamental--because I believe we were created from stardust; I am instrumental . . . and happy every time I see a blogger who has done well, or as we still say here:  A blogger who's done good. Such is Justina over at "The Jungalow." I like her style. I like her sass. She loves color and texture and different. Well, congrats, girl! With your bohemian self. 

I must add J. D. Vance with his "Hillbilly Elegy," and Fredrik Backman with "A Man Called Ove," which has a difficult read. The movie does the story justice though. I watched it yesterday on Amazon Prime. I rooted for Ove even when he was at his worst. He's a little bit like me, in case you didn't know or suspect; the world would be a sorrier place without rules and expectations. If I could write tickets for all the neighbors who break HOA rules, why, I'd be a ticketeer! 

Ove's heart was just too big though, and it filled to overflowing much too soon. But wait, back up. Doesn't Justina look all sassy and self-possessed? So confident and in charge? Those flowers down the front of her skirt have to go though. They remind me of Scarlet O'Hara in her drapes and tassels. Perhaps Justina is better with interiors? Or simply needs a new stylist. In my defense, you should be thankful that you cannot see what I'm wearing. But like JC might say, at least my socks match, and my shoes do too, today.

Justina's "The Jungalow" is worth writing letters about, and I've written my share. But like the song says, "Go tell it on a mountain," and so I have. I used some of my favorite stationery to do it on too. I bought yet one more box of the same notecards I fell for over a decade ago. There's something about illumination that brings me back to it . . . Here. See if you can figure out my fixation. Have a look-see:

The kit is several years old. I've dabbled. I yet hold on tight to hope, but there are so many other new-things-to- learn I've focused on that are well beyond my current scope. My desktop is clean! What? You hadn't noticed?

Newly printed postcards are dried and cut. I drew well into the night while the shiny moon kept vigil. I am a lunatic. ((lunatic:  from the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity). Lunamental? 

If this isn't love, what is?

I watched "The Girl with All the Gifts" this afternoon. My little zombie has nothing on Melanie, the girl with all the gifts, but I like her just fine. I like my girl as wholeheartedly as I like my first edible pomegranate. Believing I'd plucked it too soon, I cut it anyhow. The worst part was black and rotten. The largest and best part was sweet and tangy and delightfully delicious. Eating what you grow is one of the best truths ever passed on.

I visited every day come rain or shine. I fretted, I preened, and how I believed in this heart of mine. The dark spot grew; it spread; my heart, it did battle with dread. Yesterday, "Take it now!" filled my head. And so I did. 

Jewels, pure and simple. Sweet rubies, just like the ones my grandmother let me eat when I was barely three, and old-girl-me finally believes in make-believe. "See?" I tell myself, "There really can be a happily ever after. You can be happy after you reap what you sow. My grandma Annie II planted the sweet magic of pomegranate dreams in a little girl's mind; "happily ever after" I planted and reaped in kind--delicious pomegranates are finally mine! Too bad Grandma couldn't have planted the seeds of a poet in a child who'd grow up to make such bad rhymes. *sigh* Perhaps in time? No, such mastery was never meant to be mine. 

In the end, two pomegranate trees have given birth to some of the sweetest fruit to grow from earth. The best of all hang over the fence and dangle just beyond reach in the neighbor's yard. This might very well be the only one I'll get to eat. I don't halfway mind sharing such a treat though. No, not really. Well, maybe just a little, but not half as much as I imagine I will if they enjoy the treasures too. 

I'll tell and re-tell the tale in letters and notes. Missing out and telling the story by mail will be a perfect antidote to whatever will be between the pomegranates and me. You've been warned.

I'm behind with my replies. Used to be I'd think my attention span was shorter than a gnat's. But a gnat is single minded, so such a slight isn't fair to the gnat.

Does white gel pen ink remind you of the white shoe polish we used for our gym sneakers? Sneakers? Oh, did I do that? Did I say sneakers? I just had a flashback to the 60s when white sneakers were for gym class only, and no one wore them for everyday wear. The word took me back to . . . I paid far too much attention to the shoes of the demonstrators in "I Am Not Your Negro." Sneakers brought that observation of me needing to observe the shoes they wore to the forefront of my memory. I wonder why I had to notice their footwear. 

The fix-it part of my brain just said, "It took your mind off the ugliness on-screen." It lied, because it didn't. I cried. So it did not take my mind off any parts of it. It made me cry. "I Am Not Your Negro" made me cry out. Then I cried hard guttural is the ugliest word that comes to mind as an apt descriptor. No! The sound was soul-wrenching--too unexpected to be tempered with a hand-over-my-mouth, or the and-at-my-throat polite kind of sound. 

I felt the blows. The punches landed on my solar plexus. The spittle was real and . . . Erin watched "I Am Not Your Negro" in a theatre. She sent a text on her way home, to tell me she'd just seen it. I asked, "How was it?" She sounded different. Polite. She said I should see it. Why didn't she warn me? We always prepare each other . . . That James Baldwin.

Write well, write truthfully, write from your heart. 

I have something else to tell you . . . 


  1. Sweet rubies ... yes ... that's the best description of pomegranates I've ever heard. When I was a youngster, we were quite poor. Pomegranates were expensive where I lived (Alaska), so it was a rare occasion we got to have one.

    I love your photos!

    1. I remember one book in particular from childhood, and the story that showed Aladdin's treasure. While opals are my most favorites because of their mysterious fire, blood red rubies seem to hold the highest degree of utmost richness for me.As results f my love for colors, I ate bits of crayon as a girl. I finally outgrew the temptation to taste, just in case they'd mysteriously changed into edible goodness overnight. LOL. Loving colorful fruits and vegetables has to be a holdover from early childhood. :)

      Having grandparents who were farmers stood me in good stead. Green pears from the trees that weren't far from the pomegranate tree that stood just outside Grandma;s kitchen door, the Granny Smith apple tree that gave me green apples to eat with salt, the peaches, plums, blackberries eaten with condensed milk and sprinkles of sugar or simply warm and unwashed, wild strawberries that grew in the pasture--such tiny little things that were more flavorful than the giant monsters in stores today, . . made us feel as rich as Aladdin. Our diet was color-rich. Everything matched the colors in my crayon boxes. :)

      You and yours were rich in other ways. I watched the Robert Duval movie again just two nights ago in which he tells his nephew, "Son, never use money to measure wealth." I felt a little poorer this week. Poorer in spirit as it turns out. The remedy was quick! Doing without, at any given time, enriches my life.

      I'd have shared my sweet rubies with you back then, but you wouldn't have even been born. :) You're a gem, Susan.

      Thank you, and I yours. Two of my favorites still hang on the wall behind me.