Wednesday, July 01, 2015

let's keep the cray cray in our heads

~ click image to make biggerer ~

We are people. We are individuals. We are going to disagree. But why do we have to do it so violently. And I’m not talking about physical altercations.

I like diversity. It makes life interesting. I like words. They are the basis of our perceptions and reality. Nothing is real until we name it. So words matter.

I guess people haven’t see the movie, Bambi. "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all." ~ Thumper
We seem to think it’s ok to hurl insults and death threats at people we don’t like or people who disagree with us. Anyone that is different is open for target practice. There’s nothing more annoying or self-defeating as conversations that deteriorate into hate and threats. People can’t hear each other when we do this. You completely invalidate and devalue yourself and your arguments when you do this.  

You become a small person and a part of the lunatic fringe.

Yes, you can control your emotions. Take a deep breath. Don’t hit the send button. Would you act this way if the person was standing right in front of you, just the two of you alone? It’s not likely. And if you would, I’d suggest seeking out a good mental health professional.

As soon as someone starts yelling and spouting abuse, my ears stopping working, my brain shuts down and I envision corks being shoved in orifices. He may have something important to share but I don’t give a shit because he’s become unhinged. I can’t take someone with so little self control seriously.

Just because you have free speech doesn’t mean every thought in your brain should come out of your mouth or off of your finger tips.

You don’t make yourself bigger by devaluing someone else.

I couldn’t have a conversation about the pizza owners who wouldn’t cater a gay wedding because I had to listen to the whining about the death threats they had to endure. The important questions got ignored because of all of the hate being flung around. We can’t discuss the nature of marriage, civil rights, what constitutes deeply held beliefs or the fact that religious ceremonies aren’t catered affairs (the party afterwards is catered not the ceremony.)

The important questions that the popularity of the Grey books bring up can’t be discussed because of all of the negative tweeting which smacks heavily of jealousy. Do you feel all superior now because you could hurl clever insults at the author all over the internets? Lovely. We can’t discuss abusive relationships, just why these stories are so popular, the qualities of compelling story or what makes good writing good.

When you hurl insults or make threats, you cover up the craziness expressed by others. You dilute their wacky behavior so they can hide, there is no more light and dark. You can’t take the moral high ground. You’ve given up your position on the pedestal. I ignore you because you are just as cray-cray as everyone else. You’ve become boring and inconsequential and trite.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

you must be out of your friggin' mind

~ click image to make biggerer ~

The prompt today was to talking about writing: the good, the bad, the ugly.

Writing is hard. Sometimes I hate it so much. Like right now when I can’t seem to get my thoughts on paper or when it seems I have no thoughts. This happens a lot. Why, you ask. I know you do because this is important stuff we’re discussing here. I’ve lost my train of thought already.

Oh, yeah. It’s hard because all of my words suck. There they are in my brain. They seem sort of ok sitting there in my grey matter all comfy cozy and shiny bright. Then they seep out of my fingertips translated onto the page and they are weak, colorless and boring as all get out. Makes me want to barf, cry and curl into a ball in a corner somewhere. I’m pathetic, thinking this is something I can or should do. Totally pointless.

And now we’re stuck. I suck.

The cursor sat there flashing for about ten minutes while I berated myself for my inadequacies.  

Now, we’re at the part where I just put down some words just so I can say I participated in the act of writing. I read somewhere that writers are always writing even when they’re not putting anything down on paper. I’ve got that paper down. I’m writing when I watch TV, when I’m doing the dishes and when I’m driving back and forth to work. Lots and lots of really cool stuff is always being written in my brain. You aren’t going to read any of it because I struggle with the physical act of writing. The habit of writing. This part of writing isn’t very pretty. It’s hard work, really, really hard work. It makes me whine. It makes me want to drink wine.

The pressure of writing first thing in the morning before i go to work is helpful. Finite time forces me to get some words out into the world. Granted, they’re mostly not too good of words [sic] but they are physical and thus more real.

On rare occasions, I might capture a breeze raising the hair on my arms, the sunlight of a perfect day making the leaves on my dogwood glow while the squirrels frolic from branch to branch. I have once or twice written something that has made a real live person exclaim out loud in surprise. I’ve even on occasion written something I have not found too hideous. There were even a couple of times when the words just flew onto the paper and an hour has gone by where I was totally out of myself in a state of pure bliss. These times are so perfectly and painfully beautiful, such immediate ecstasy that the high is embedded in my soul the way a drug addict imprints a high that has to be continually chased even though the chances of reaching that high again are minuscule.

So, there you have it: I write for the illusive, addictive high of a few perfectly strung together words. It’s a sickness.

Monday, June 29, 2015

sister of the sea

Mermaid ~ April 1995, watercolor & ink on tracing paper (c) vanessa v kilmer
~ click image to make biggerer ~

Waves of brine and froth washed over the rocks jutting out into the ocean. The sea was violent and angry, expressing a dissatisfaction with the way things were going in the world. Plastic bottles, limp cardboard and tin cans washed up on the shore, regurgitated from the bowels of the salty deep.

Darya bobbed in the roiling water, confused by the flotsam surrounding her. She hadn’t noticed any ships going down in the area. She dove under the surface to investigate. She followed the trail of garbage. At first it confined itself to a line but as she moved further away from the shore it spread out covering the entire Atlantic Ocean. This was a disaster. No wonder the bounding main was mad. She’d be angry if she were covered in filth. As a matter of fact, she was feeling kind of dirty after swimming through the dreck. She needed to find some clean space to freshen up.

After swimming south for two days, Darya went around the Cape of Good Hope and into the Indian Ocean. It was just as bad here as it was in the Atlantic. She moved on through the islands of Sumatra, Borneo and Philippines into the Pacific Ocean. She checked out the Southern Pacific Ocean: filthy. She had to go down deep into the Mariana Trench to find so fresh water. She cleaned up as best she could before visiting the fifth and final ocean, the Arctic.

She shivered her way under the ice floes and icebergs. She found bits of garbage stuck in the frozen waters.

There were times on her journey when she had to stop to help a fellow creature get out of a confusing maze of debris. Floating trash could be so confusing for creatures who used sonar to navigate. Once she had to clean out the plates of some baleen whales. None of this stuff was edible or nourishment to any of the animals or fish in the oceans. She needed to do something more to help but she had no idea how to solve such a massive catastrophe as this.

While she was helping a dolphin clean out his blow hole, she remembered something she had seen when she was dipping down deep into the Mariana Trench. She took a wad of gum out of the dolphin’s blow hole and then she took off. Time was running out.

She swam down, deeper than she’d ever gone before. The pressure was tremendous. She was getting a headache and her ears were popping. Her lungs hurt. She kept going. She was almost at the bottom. She reached the container (marked with the yellow and black rotating fan symbol) that had been dumped here a few years ago. Though it was round, it bulged out and pulsed at its circumference making it look like a living thing.

Darya pulled the plug at the top. The pressure released. The waters all over the Earth contracted and expanded and blew all of the garbage onto the land where it originally came from.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

mind dump or drunk writing on a sunday night

One prompt for today suggested I write a list; a list of anything. This is not tickling my fancy. What is making me do a happy dance - while sitting in my cushy chair with my feet up - is this lovely little G & T. It’s not really little but it sure is lovely. Ice cold gin is a joy, a gift from the gods. And with the tonic, I will forever be protected from malaria which is a clear and present danger in New Jersey. I wouldn’t lie to you. I would and you’d enjoy it.

I didn’t write first thing this morning. I was at my daughter’s house and I didn’t get my coffee in a timely fashion and I didn’t have a table to set up my iPad. All of this is bullshit because I could have worked around it all but I didn’t. So shoot me. I am writing now. It’s scintillating and well worth the wait.  

The drive to her house or back to mine takes about one and a half hours. She lives in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area. I live in New Jersey across the Delaware River from North East Philadelphia. I always want to fall asleep if I’m on a drive of more than a half hour. I’m prone to daydreaming, too, which makes me sleepy. The sky was full of big poofy clouds. I wanted to crawl up into them and cuddle and snuggle like in my grandmother’s feather beds. We used to sleep with the windows wide open in winter; it made sleeping under the down comforters comforting. I felt safe and warm.

It’s Sunday afternoon. Weekends are never long enough. Sometimes they are too long. Have you ever noticed how life is so full of noise. There’s no quiet anywhere. The only sounds that calm me down are either rain on the windows or a breeze in the trees. These sounds are a soothing white noise that help me feel at peace. They’re like someone petting my brain. I can see the sparking along my synapses dampening like a gas burner being turned down. The heat never goes away completely but it becomes manageable.

I’ve made it a whole week, seven days of writing every day. All I have to do is keep doing it. So easy, yet so hard. Mostly its the voices, those voices that badger me with thoughts of “why bother?” The voices peck at me like black birds ignoring a scare crow. Whose fooled by this bull shit? Not me because I want to give up every single moment of every single day. I really, this dream I have is laughable. Believe me, no one laughs hard than I do. And then I have a panic attack. Time is running out. I can’t die without doing this. I just can’t. I hyperventilate. I can’t see straight. The voices peck me raw and yet I can’t allow myself to die without making the attempt. I just fucking can’t.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

fickle finger of fairy fate

~ click image to make biggerer ~

Once upon a time (actually just last week), there lived a pointy fairy named Molly Sweet. She was pink and smelled like cotton candy. The pointy part comes in because she gelled her hair up in sharp peaks that shot off in all directions from her head. She didn’t speak.

The other fairies badgered her day and night with questions.

Simple questions:

“What’s your name?” They didn’t know her name was Molly Sweet. Only I know which is why I was able to tell you.

“Can I lick you?” She smelled like cotton candy, remember? I hope you’re paying attention ‘cus this shit is important.

Difficult questions:

“Why is the sky green?” Yes, the sky is green. You’re just color-blind.

“Why do you taste like cotton candy?” One fairy actually got close enough to lick Molly Sweet. He just barely got out the fact that Molly Sweet not only smelled like cotton candy but did indeed also taste like cotton candy just before he died of the injuries Molly Sweet inflicted on him.

No matter what they threw at her, she remained quiet.

No one knew why she didn’t speak. They didn’t know if she was incapable or if she choose not to. She showed up one day (actually just last week) and never said a word. The other fairies were naturally curious.

Fairies are big talkers. They like to share. They like to overshare. They like to fill the air with their jibber jabber. You know that chattering sound you hear that you attribute to grasshoppers rubbing their legs together? That’s really a plague of fairies all talking over one another. From the minute they open their eyes each night they start: their glossy purple stockings, the nectar they supped, flying through the dogwood blossoms, outwitting fireflies, kidnapping babies, disrupting the regimented lives of worker bees and army ants, the smell coming from between a dragon’s toes. On and on, from moonrise to sunset, they produce a ceaseless amount of noise.

The other big thing about fairies is that they want what they want when they want it which is usually like now or sooner. So when Molly Sweet didn’t give them any indication of what was up with her, they began a systematic attempt to force a response from her. This wasn’t planned. It’s just how fairies are. You know, the nature of the beast.

They tried everything: banana peels on the pathway she took to the brook, pulling her wings, hiding her hair gel. This lasted about seven minutes. Fairies have short attention spans. Next thing you know, a squirrel ran through their glade and they were off hiding his nuts from him.

Molly Sweet stamped her tiny foot. The jewel encrusted rings on her toes sparkled in the star light.

“Hey,” she screamed out at the disappearing fairies. But it was too late. They were off on new adventures and she was no longer the center of their attention. Her moment of fame had passed.