Monday, April 30, 2012

Land of Earl Gray

Journal Entry 1- Land of Earl Gray

     My dream is to live in a fancy New York apartment, drinking in words as I sit with my legs elegantly crossed in my studio . . . a woman of fashion. In my right hand will rest in a dainty position an elegant tea-cup, which I shall place on a saucer every now and then between sips. Earl-gray tea. That sounds like some kind of tea I might have a penchant for when I am living out this grand life. The spinning thoughts of the imagination I’ll weave upon my notebook, with my pen, all day, inspired by my surroundings. It might be art-deco or . . . who knows what. Some environment with patterns and texture, vivid color that I truly find inspirational.

     Here is where I will have found my voice. My mother won’t be running up and down the stairs, forcing her hard voice upon my eardrums with the pressure a musician applies to a drum, with the sticks that push the sound out. The applied force in her estimation, requires some, well, reaction. A reaction to her insistence that I stop in my interpretive creative thread that I am weaving like the magic Charlotte the spider weaves for Wilbur. Like a drummer beats out his stretch of drum-skin to get an expected reaction, my mother always expects to punch in a certain amount of nagging so that she can receive a useful product in result of her efforts. A + B = C. That is so common. No one really fits into that equation. If the world expects us to walk within an equation, then perhaps I should put out my two-cents about this. I really don’t understand this- figuring, and the dynamics which create math, but- I must say, that truly I think the different levels of planes in math alone imply that many gravitational forces compose existence. Therefore, uniformity becomes obsolete with people. No one that I know will assume to receive a reaction from me. This is scientifically proven, my dear mother. Throw standardization out the window.

     We are treading lines of gray.

     The drumsticks beat in a rhythmical pattern dotted with the abnormal heart-murmur coming out of the individual spirit beating on the drum. As the abnormal off-note occasionally attracts scorn and- truly an unfathomable effect, gathered from the audience which seems to work directly against the law of nature, the law of math, it becomes clear that the wildly rash whisper of boldness will be at some point suppressed. The audience of the drummer does not appreciate the creative spark his own, vivid irregularity exhibits, feeling it to be too blindingly, brightly different. The people in the audience throw up their hands to shield them from the strangeness he tosses over the whole band.

     I have a heart murmur that I am told is irregular.

     I am also told that I do not see things black and white . . .
     Is this bad? My writings that I’ve bled for hold a stain, according to my professors, of my heartbeat’s irregularity. They say it is an irregularity , which, in my perspective, seems to be similar in their minds to an irregular beat of a drum. I was always told that creativeness was one of the most marvelous forms of work in the land of artistic endeavors, one which I should strive for, taking pride in the results. Not anymore. My work lacks structure, and discipline. It lacks a regular form. I am walking, they tell me, on shades of gray. I need to see things their way.

     In my dream, I sit idly in a New York apartment drinking Earl-Gray tea. What other type of tea can I drink when I am a successful writer? I wonder if my dream is meant to be a sorely shattered illusion. For after all, if my creative spark doesn’t make people dance to a regular beat . . . I wonder what I should do if that’s the case. Where will I take myself?

     Now I hear my mother calling me again. I am scribbling upon this parchment in lines that zig-zag and spread crazily across my paper. I shake my head. Too wild. I better get up and do some chores. Give my mother the measured reaction of obedience that she expects. ‘Stop the creativity,’ she says. It won’t make you any money. I’m sighing. I must conform to structure. Listen to what my instructors say. Learn the organized pattern to harness my work.
     As my pen slowly meanders to a halt in its fashion that no one will appreciate, my heart feels weighted with an anchor. I slowly arise from my chair, dragging as my pen, while my heart becomes slowly dragged to the bottom by this anchor . . . even though- I don’t know where it will go. No place exists in our society for a heart that beats irregularly, so my sad heart has nowhere to hide its shame. My entire body sags. I might as well vanish into oblivion beneath the floor, and join the unfortunates in the Underworld. But that story too was written long ago . . . I and the unfortunates have been written out of the books by structure and conformity. There’s no place here for fantasy, no place for me . . . all because I am living in this land of Earl Gray.

Thoughts ~

I usually just sit,
And wait.
Seeking the ideas,
New, and fresh,
Steadily growing,
Silently breaking.
Waiting for these
Thoughts of gooey,
Pumping, living hearts,
To enter me.

I wait for them to come.


The process
Is warm.

As these hearts flip,
They spin and twist,
Evolving with grayness,
That they gain in a
Slimy process.

Hearts in grayish globs,
Now enter me.
My physical body.

I can’t think well,
When I see a sky of madness.

Sometimes demons
Tear and scratch,
At my door.
And somehow they break through it.

I can’t sit,
And wait anymore
For the demons,
Begin their work.

First they take brushes,
And begin to paint.

Their interesting choice-
A black sky.
Then the effects.

A baby screams,
While a mother ignores the child.
A daddy tries,
And struggles,
To begin an engine.
To top their fun-
These demons,
Add an enormous, clanking
Train to the mess.
None of it makes any sense!

The grayish hearts,
Stop beating.

Like now,
I stop my waiting.

                                                    ~ My Florida~  

I was there as a child of ten. It was truly a sordid age to go anywhere, because I was on the rise- or on the side of that hump of being a teenager. Everywhere I went revealed to me the same scene, my eyes being a film with the same color continually shading them: hot. A blazing, furious red in which all the people around me, tall, languorous girls especially, wore skin-tight, grotesquely-stretched, jail-binding bikinis. Their faces were sleekly skeletal, like protruding bones wearing the latest fashion . . . fashionable women, ha! The men all looked the same.
            I digress though. When I arrived in Florida, after a sweltering, hot, clothes- sweaty, musty trip, tired, a few pounds overweight and miserable- sorry- I don’t mean to exaggerate- can’t you tell?- we rented a pastel house. To my shining, bright, excitable young vision, dulled over by years of living in the same environment, this place looked really exotic.

Yes, it really looked exotic to me.

Florida itself was an array of colors. It was a broad, robust spectrum, with a hodgepodge of spontaneity and surprises. Our backyard was fanned by splendidly-branching palm trees, their splayed large feathers above me creating a canopy beneath the sun, one of fringed creative paper. The warmth of the sun bathed my face through this lovely image. Ant-eaters roamed behind our back-porch, which surprised me, and made me squeal with absolute delight.

            Time passed, and the initial explosive of being in this wonderful place wore off-

            I should say something about the house that we stayed in, because it was unlike anything I had ever known from where I’d come, having been born and raised in Michigan. I’d never seen such splashes of pigment, or enthusiasm. To my ten-year-old mind, the architects in Florida must have really cared about their work, for they went out of their way to create structures that weren’t drab or ordinary. Our house looked like a cottage, and, boy, we must have been living extraordinarily to have such a fine abode. White, sparkling stucco doused the framework alongside a splash of varying apparel. The whole construction was wearing the garb of Jacob from the Bible, it seemed to me- well, it may not have really been a rainbow life, but, honestly, everything was so ripe! It was all so rich in color, texture, and . . . livelihood. I really applaud the bubbly character of the environment, for its painter was inspired, as well as animated. My childhood dream was created. Animals gallivanted betwixt rich vegetation, freely, in a foreign land- no more city streets!

            Now I said before that the beauty had a downside, and it’s true that my situation followed Newton’s Law- of course it had an opposite reaction.

            I went to Disney World. Now this was no ordinary trip to be true. I was just a kid and I had never been anywhere in the world, nowhere save for Tennessee and Michigan, at least as far as I could remember . . .

            When we reached the hustle and bustle of the city life, venturing out of the safe haven that was my beloved Goshen fantasy, I found myself thrown into hot tomatoes. Orlando, Florida, was teaming with folks wearing costumes of characters all across the Disney station, and, as I walked around, the heat of the day made my baggy clothes sag upon me in a sticky, wet manner. My family and I, which consisted of only four, my sister who was three, I, and my parents obviously, walked for hours along the pavement of roasted stones. I watched my steps- and looked up- skinny girls, tall, mesmerizing naked things- encompassed me. So . . .

            Orlando was a dripping treat. But it was . . . everywhere I looked tank-tops came, and more tank-tops, long legs . . . looming. I was getting nervous. Frustrated, even.

Wind blew through Orlando.

            Haven’t got much more to say about it. I needed a break. I had to move on. The sharp, scalding stones. That was Orlando.

            We went on a natural hike through lush vegetation on a hunt for an absolutely golden opportunity- we sought an alligator pond. But, before we caught up to a bed of roses, and I bet the reader won’t guess here- an enormous tortoise, which must have been one hundred years old; sat squat, flat, right in our pathway. An enormous, lump-rock that didn’t move save to cock his wrinkled head at us. Again, gasps of delight escaped me!

            And at this point a woman crossed our path who was singularly unfriendly. She didn’t cast a greeting or so much as throw her cold gaze in our direction. So much for Florida’s kindness.

            The alligators were a gold sparkly highlight. See, candidly now, I’ll let my readers know truthfully that I love animals, so the crawling, artfully-sculpted lizards creeping along the walls of buildings, watching them as their eyes roll back at me, like pretty Aquafina toothpaste marbles with a strip down the middle of them perhaps- their little fish-fin wings, the frogs hopping towards the pool with my own two sandals- the exotica!- make that place. Florida in my mind was a fresh river beneath the sun, as I walked along a bridge slowly, a moment in time- with a visor on, tank-top of a pink and blast of red resting upon flowered Capris which will forever stain my mind- creates my Florida. Will I ever go back? Yes, most likely. But that is the portrait of the place as I knew it from the first, when I was only a girl. Thus I will always remember that picture time-capsule . . . this pen won’t let me forget it.

Ha ha! Pros and cons, just like everything. Yet still, I loved it.
           Easter Mom~

Mouth an orange-slice,
Once a hard apple,
Faltering step,
And brass stilettos,
Now tarnished.

A mess of red hair,
Like a nest of,
Bright flowers,
Fades out of
Light, now too pale.
The hem of her dress,
Is now in tatters.

Her gait though,
Portrays irony worthy of a grand prize.
Boldly straight-backed,
Her cause of dignity,
Can be viewed finally,
As her arms open-

Two little Easter baskets rest, on their crook ~

They are so small,
That they were looked over.

In this woman’s spirit, pride even
When, beauty’s passed,
Two children in her mind.

How loved must these
Two be. They see no dilapidation in
Their mother’s appearance. And she
Knows this is deleted from their sight.

Perhaps she can’t see the change, either.
For after all, our eyes go bad
As we age. God must have
Made it so
For a reason.

Children are naturally blind.

                        Ah well.

If only we were more like them.

Schettini ~
 (an Italian food- pronunciation;  ‘skeh- tini’)

    There, beneath my feet rests, Schettini. It twists in a long, winding yellow embossed bow that a youthful cherub released from her small, tender hands. Pale peach hands of pretty, ruby-red, with glinting stones that someone I don’t want to name had given her. Who but an entity much too grand to ever be put on the scale which the human eye haughtily discerns in its own, extremely limited vision, basking in what it perceives to be analytical glory- who but one who cannot be absorbed by any manner into our finite lives could so endow? Only an angel of the highest ranking could have tossed this ribbon aside. The name of it is, ‘Schettini.’ I recognize the masterfully detailed, textured pattern upon its yellow beauty. Ruby stones splatter across the streak of yellow tossed carelessly aside at my feet. Only the hands of peach and red would have been permitted to commit such an act. The life of plenty, the cherished and the pampered down to the smallest toenail would turn their noses aside to prettier scents, their eyes to sights that should be newer and more becoming, then that they experienced mere moments ago. Only these would toss such a ribbon. More jewels on the hands, a silver comb of the grandest measure in the hair . . . always a replacement for wealth. Yet, in Heaven, I wander why the cherubs have been permitted to drop their beset rides riches here to the Earth. Could it be that the Almighty has tired of them having everything that they want? Maybe angels should not be wealthy. Perhaps these cherubs will be allowed to lose everything like the rich people here on Earth lose everything they own, because they take all of their dollars and cents for granted. They still drop a pearl, and the whole necklace . . . eventually, their entire accumulation will disappear slowly.

     Heaven’s cherubs have been protected by the grace of God because of their kindness. But what if they, after having gold in their possession, become greedy like the land of plenty we humans know? I suppose then God will take away their golden crown. The problem with people here, is that we are too greedy to keep anything we own. God always punishes us for our fallacy.
                         However, what if it happens in Heaven too?

      Slowly I picked up the yellow ribbon. Schettini was glamorously embossed with jewels of a ruby-red. I took it back to the department store. Remembering my dream of innocent white hands tainted with red, I was reminded of blood. It seemed that no one but God could endow such pretty hands so. I thrust the snake on the counter. The ruby jewels had turned into scarlett eyes of malice. Only Satin would stain something so beautiful. I left the department store. I never wanted to see the name-brand again.

The Urge

The Triscuit . . .

An Indian handmade woven basket. I examine it more carefully. Now noticing the fine, intertwined twigs composing its square, sprinkled lightly with green and white sequins, making the connection . . .  to a Christmas wreath.

Slowly I bite down.  Crunching sounds. The Triscuit on my tongue begins to dissolve . . .    

I am plunged immediately into euphoria. Flying firecrackers, in colors rosemary, light, weightless green, and tainted white inundate me. A light touch of olive oil gently drips onto the scene like some kind of heavenly water without molecules, putting out the fireworks. Dead. Then that enigmatic, frightening thing starts to grow inside me. It is growing. An enormous blob of dark, smudged blackness descends upon me. I can’t stop it. The urge has overtaken me. My hand reaches into the box for more.