I wander down a wooded lane, the sun touches the horizon behind me as I step into the shadows. A wooded canopy arches over the lane and cool air whispers across my cheek. I see a purple veil ahead and wonder what mysteries lie beyond it. All around, violet flowers glow, their centers shining in the deep evening. I choose one to guide me beyond the veil and into a topsy-turvy world.
I should just stop going back to abandoned places. There is nothing on this barren plot of land that even suggests a building once stood here.
May 20, 2012 | Categories: Life's Metaphors, Musings | Tags: abandoned, abandoned building, abandoned church, barren land, Carmel Arts and Design District, Carmel Arts District, Carmel Indiana | 2 Comments »
Near the Carmel Arts and Design District in wealthy Carmel, Indiana an old church deteriorates. Out of the ruins comes new growth and if left alone, the new growth will consume the ruins and reclaim it. If left alone.
A metaphor for life. Nature reclaims the neglected and forgotten. I like to think that all the old paradigms that no longer serve me are reclaimed and result in new growth.
[I took these photos in 2008 before the Carmel Arts and Design District began to flourish. I have not been back to see if the church still exists. It may. But in what state?]
May 19, 2012 | Categories: 365 Days Journey Through the Past, Life's Metaphors | Tags: 365, 365 Project, abandoned building, abandoned church, Carmel Arts and Design District, Carmel Indiana, church | 5 Comments »
I stare into the mist. I strain to hear the rumble of the train and to feel the tremble of the earth.
The lay of the tracks teases my imagination. One end takes me into the past, the other end takes me into the future. Will the train rumble from out of the frozen past, its wheels screeching steel-on-steel as it races by and disappears into the misty future? Or will the train appear out of the misty future, its whistle announcing its arrival as it rushes forward and into a frozen past? I don’t have an answer.
Today, as I contemplate this photo, I believe the train will emerge out of the future and speed towards me, bringing something. But tomorrow, when I contemplate this photo, I might believe the train comes from behind and races away from me, taking something away. I like to think that the train brings hope and takes away fear.
Droplets gather and, like tears, stream down the face of the mirror, clearing the fog to reveal her covered in lace.
Through the grasses a mystery unfolds. What do you see? A Rorschach test, indeed. Whatever it is that you perceive beyond the grasses will tell you something about yourself.
So many times I feel like I sit at a door waiting for someone else to open it for me. I am disturbed by this even as I write because I realize that I tend to wait for others to open doors for me. Why did I not learn to open my own doors?
Dear black cat, I will not wait with you until someone else opens that door. I’m going to find my own door and open it myself.
September is over. October is half gone. I have been absent. I don’t know where to begin, so I begin here, again.
My world was dark through September. I look back at it and sense the turmoil of a caterpillar liquifying, or the gestation of a human fetus immersed in amniotic fluid, growing—both becoming what they already are, though I do not claim the liquid depths of sanctification that the butterfly or baby experience. My metamorphosis is rather lame in comparison, just another walk through a difficult time. I wonder if I will ever shake these moments of darkness and I have to answer, probably not. If I haven’t by now, I doubt I ever will. And I don’t know if I want to. In moments of lightness and smiles, I lose touch with myself and I feel rather shallow. I’m not saying I don’t want moments of lightness and smiles! I do! But I don’t want them at the expense of darkness. The two make up who I am and I am learning to embrace darkness. Darkness is like the earth and I am a plant with roots growing deep into the ground where nutrients feed me and give me nourishment. I need the fecundity of darkness as much as I need the illumination of light; one feeds my soul, the other expresses it.
The myth of Persephone comes to mind.
However, I like to think that Persephone chose to eat the seeds so that she could have the depths of the underworld available to her. But she doesn’t stay there. She does return to the surface. It’s a cycle and one that makes sense to me.
Odd. This really wasn’t the direction I initially intended for this post. But here it is. And it is me.
I woke up this morning, poured my coffee, and grabbed a….oh no! What is this? My bananas! They’re TALKING TO ME!
People are afraid of bananas and I get that. Bananas hang out in gangs. They wear near bullet-proof outer layers. And when you get wild and bite into them without peeling them, they are nasty. But I’m not afraid of them. I don’t care how much they’ve had to drink. I don’t care how threatening they become. Bananas are really very yellow. Keep that in mind the next time you walk into their ‘hood in the grocery store. Then pick a bunch. And grab some “peeches” while you’re at it because peaches don’t talk back. At least, not that I know of. I’ll find out tomorrow….
(Banana idea inspired by The Bloggess.)
Sometimes I sign my emails
“I look forward to hearing from you.”
But that’s like saying “I see your voice.”
Can I also say, I smell the color of your eyes?
Or, let me taste your laugh?
I would love to touch the scintillating thought of numbers
But don’t know if I have eaten enough rainbows.
But I do know
I look forward to hearing from you.
Life is a process of growth. The urge to add value must at some stage come to fruition. A seedling receives nourishment in its shell and is acted upon as it germinates. Then one day the pressure to burst and grow is too strong and suddenly the seed sprouts and gives itself to the essence of itself and becomes itself.
It’s time to crack the shell and discover what I have to give.
We both have the same vision; the bell pepper is smooth, perfectly-shaped with rounded hills and soft valleys. But I see a fiery-orange bell pepper and you see a summer-yellow bell pepper. I didn’t see your soft, summer-yellow pepper with hopes of spring and a new beginning. But you didn’t see my fiery-orange pepper in full blaze, excited to be in the moment. Decisions.
On the corner the grass is covered in yellow dandelions. I see them going to seed and hundreds of airborn weeds head my way. I turn to my six-year-old son and with an exasperated gesture, exclaim, “Look at that!”
He responds in awe, “Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?”
Humbled, I look again at the stunning golden carpet and say, “yes, it is indeed beautiful.”
Where I see weeds, he sees beauty.
Small uprisings tip iceburgs.
People frozen in fear below will sink the stately ship.
X…SLAMS into glass, shatters
a waterfall of rippling pieces splashes over the ground
I…brought up short
S…serrated knife slices
I…stumbles a brief moment
protects her tenderness within
so that when she cries crystal tears
no one knows
Up until Christmas, I was a woman who hated cooking and didn’t know the first thing about what even tasted good. I’m fast changing that recipe!
I remember daffodils. I remember their lovely blooms and how they love to congregate in groups with their faces towards the sun. I remember them and smile as I glance over my frozen balcony to the cold whiteness beyond while the heater kicks on. Yes. Daffodils
I thought it might be fun to show the process I went through when composing my seedling metaphor. I keep notecards beside my comfy chair at home for those instant, elusive ideas that need capturing. The original idea that flowed onto the notecard was:
nourished by the warm blanket of earth, the seedling shudders and sheds its protective shell
she uncurls through earth mother’s embrace to face the warmth of the sun
her roots grow deep in her beginnings
My first change was to personify the seedling by making it a “her,” thereby subtly suggesting that this is not about a literal seed. My second change was to add “mother” in the first stanza. I liked how it mirrored “earth mother’s” in the second stanza. A little later I realized that “nourish” and “blanket” are mixed metaphors. Do I want to keep the nourish metaphor or the blanket metaphor? Even though my current interest is in the culinary arts, I decided upon blanket because it went with the metaphor of “waking up,” which is what this felt like to me.
With that decided, I searched for a word that felt like it wrapped me up in a blanket, all warm and cozy. I liked how enfold sounded. I played around with using folded vs enfolded and decided that folded had nourishing connotations and I wasn’t going with nourishing.
I removed “and” and replaced it with “then.” The sense is more abrupt and I wanted to imply that the shudder caused the shedding. I also loved the softness of the alliteration…sh…. sh…. sh…………(she’s waking up).
The final consideration came when I decided it was too wordy. Even though I like the mirror effect of mother-earth earth-mother, I needed a stronger statement. When I took out the extraneous words in the second stanza, I knew I had it exactly where I wanted it. She uncurls to face the sun…. This indicates that she’s turning towards something bright. But it also indicates that she’s squaring off with the sun. She’s in charge.
It was nearly a two-day process looking for the right words and syntax. Writing is not easy. But it is nourishing.