Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Song, This Year...

I've never thought the New Year should be a time of introspection or dalliance, rather a continuance of what was and what is to come...Another year of possibilities and growth. It’s no surprise we grow weary of trying to fix ourselves on this one day of the year – instead of simply living.

If you still insist on resolutions my friends…resolve to find the beauty within us all.

This song Season of Love, sung in the musical RENT, is my heartfelt wish for you as we approach this new decade. May you make every moment count, for each leads to another and before you know it another year has passed us by. Live your lives with love, compassion, peace and beauty and you will find the rest is actually wondrously bearable.

Happy New Year dear friends, welcome, welcome, this new decade! - Indigo




Five hundred twenty five thousand
six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand
moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand
six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year

In daylight, in sunsets, in midnights,
in cups of coffee, In inches, in miles
in laughter in strife,

In Five hundred twenty five thousand
six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life

How about Love
How about love
How about love
Measure in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty five thousand
six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand
journeys to plan
Five hundred twenty five thousand
six hundred minutes
how do you measure the life of a woman
or a man

In truth that she learned
or in times that he cried
In the bridges he burned
or the way that she died

Its time now to sing out
though the story never ends
lets celebrate remember a year
in the life of friends

Remember the love
(Oh, you got to, you got to remember the love)
Remember the love
(You know that life is a gift from up above)
Remember the love
(Share love, give love, spread love)
Measure in love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Seasons of love
Seasons of love
(Measure, measure your life in love)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holiday!

Happy Holidays!

Wishing a wonderous day to friends and family from afar. However and Whatever you celebrate, may love and peace surround you.

I'll be back to posting regularly after the New Year with more adventures on writing.

Love and Peace
Indigo

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Rarely Requested Gifts

When Christmas bells are swinging above the fields of snow,
We hear sweet voices ringing from lands of long ago,
And etched on vacant places
Are half-forgotten faces
Of friends we used to cherish, and loves we used to know.
(Ella Wheeler Wilcox)

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Looking around at the throng of pushing, shoving rude customers in the store with me, I was beginning to think I had lost my mind waiting so late in the holiday season to shop for those elusive gifts under the tree. There wasn’t an ounce of holiday cheer present anywhere. Where was the ghost of Christmas past? Christmas present it seemed had lost all decorum, running amok and out of control.

A woman rudely shoves past practically knocking me off my feet to get to the display I’m standing in front of. “Sorry,” I mumble in her direction as I absently rejoin the throng of mad frenzied shoppers. Her rudeness was deserving of much more than the questioning raised eyebrow that I gave, indicated as much. However, I was determined I wasn’t going to play a part in the hostility and chaotic mayhem present around this time of the year. Somehow my moral compass would stay firmly pointed toward the positive.

“I don’t know what the hell you want from me. Why should I know any more than you do what to get our grandkids? I don’t talk to them the way you do. Send money for all I care!”

I didn’t mean to catch that last bit of conversation. Not really. I had just absently looked toward the older man thinking, I would glimpse a bit of holiday cheer in his face. After seeing the saddened expression his remarks left. I wished I hadn’t. The woman those words were meant for was close to tears and I wondered once again – What is wrong with people?

“How can we afford all this? I’m losing my job at the end of the month!”

“It’s Christmas.” Was the only reply to what I thought wasn’t an unreasonable question. Christmas wouldn’t be enough of an explanation when the heat wasn’t paid on a cold winter’s night would it?

Stop watching people’s lips I scolded myself. Do you really want to be a party to their misery?

The worst was…I was there in the midst of it all. My own arms filled as I waited in line to make my purchases and my mind wandered over Christmases past. Each year had been a race of one up man ship in lieu of the year before. I recognized that old familiar desperate need to give my daughter as many gifts as I could afford, some years finding myself in dept for gifts she no longer played with mere months afterward.

Later that evening, I sat strangely detached and removed from feeling any goodwill cheer at all. My moral compass had been stomped on and grounded into the floor. When did I or anyone for that matter forget – what this season used to represent? When did we get so lost in the rush and havoc pace of buying and forget about those timely gifts of the heart.

“Send a gift – anything, what does it matter. It’s not us they want to see.”

Let me ask you dear gentle readers, what was on your Christmas list this year? What did you request? Was it love, peace, time with family? Serenity, compassion and self worth have fallen on the wayside in search of bigger, better, and more expensive pursuits haven’t they?

I didn’t like the answers I came up with either.

So this year I’m giving the biggest gift of all – to myself. I’m going to request from here on in, love me, cherish me, and spend the holiday in laughter and give of your self to me. Nothing more, nothing less – yet it far exceeds any purchased gift. It’s not about being stingy or lazy. It’s about wanting the best of what life can give me. It’s about experiencing the beauty of those wondrous human souls that share my life.

Slip a love letter in the tree branches, bring a dish to share, but most of all bring a smile and the gift of time. Promise, you will be richer for it.

Take this wondrous time of the year, leave the malls behind, the pushing and shoving and rude behavior – gather around friends and family from afar and simply enjoy the biggest gifts of all, those of the heart. So what’s on your list this year? Let’s make those rarely requested gifts that don’t cost a penny – the next best thing on everyone’s Christmas list. - Indigo

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Universally Speaking

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.” – John Barrymore

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Not Again.

Those words weren’t even worth an exclamation, just a very dismayed utterance escaping my lips as I lay prone on my back with ice prickling and stinging my skin. I was pretty sure the wet underside of my flannel pajama bottoms contained melting snow.

As I looked up at the night sky through the tree branches and falling snow, I wondered how long it would take for my hair to freeze and stick to the ice. I could just see it now – the rescue workers would be hard put to hide the laughter. The pajamas were only one part of the whole picture – add a Harley Davidson leather coat, Elmer Fudd hat, a ridiculous long scarf and duck boots. Trust me; I didn’t want to be found looking like that.

Snow coats my eyelashes, I blink and raise my head just far enough up to see where the crazy-ass pup was. Amused (she has a grin she reserves for such occasions) she sticks her nose down near my face and I feel her warm breath join mine in a foggy dance. My head falls back in the snow scrunching the hunters cap even further down on my head, leaving me barely able to see from under the brim. Pickles gives a worried nudge, before settling down beside me with one paw on my chest.

“Fine! Perfect! Now what?” I scold whoever might be listening as I pummel my legs and arms up and down throwing a fit. I’m well aware to anyone else it would seem as if I were talking to myself or having a seizure of some sort.

“What lesson do you have for me now? What’s so profound that the only way I can grasp whatever you have in store for me, is flat on my back with snow down my underwear?”

Last year at this time it was a lesson in learning to smile despite my predicament. I wasn’t smiling. This wasn’t amusing (and yes, I do know you’re probably laughing your ass off right now).

Cold, miserable and waiting impatiently for whatever epiphany the universe had in store for me, I was positive I would end up like the kid in “A Christmas Story” with his tongue stuck to the metal pole, only frozen to the ice by my long hair. It wasn’t near cold enough, but then again my backside was pretty wet. In my mind at least there had to be some kind of drastic consequences for ending up on my back, in the snow, in the middle of the night.

Snow continues to fall lazily tickling my lashes and bathing my face in feather light kisses. This was supposed to be the season of giving, good will and cheer. Lately every little thing bothered me. Where was my holiday spirit? What exactly did I expect? Was life really that miserable lately?

Pickles with her head on my shoulder, looked at me with her amber brown eyes as if I had lost my mind. Her human was confusing the heck out of her. Little did she know, I was pretty confused myself about a lot of things these days. So many little things had been niggling at me. Everyone expected me to have all the answers and be the good will ambassador. Simply put - I just wanted this moment to be a tormented brat, throwing a hissy fit in the snow.

A burst of laughter escaped my lips, startling Pickles.

“Thank you! I got it!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. A universe of misery still had room for laughter. Humans are not perfect specimens by any degree. We have our days of torment and insecurity. Sometimes we let the little things weigh too much in light of the bigger picture.

I get up and chase after Pickles. If you’re looking for me - just look for the crazed woman running around in her pajamas through the snow in the middle of the night and laugh, because sometimes there isn’t anything else left to do. - Indigo

Picture found here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Pickled Grace

“A dog is the only thing on earth that will love you more than you love yourself.” Josh Billings

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As I turn the lights on to the Christmas tree, Pickles steps up beside me and nudges my hand. I absently stroke the top of her head. There is a silent agreement between us, dog and human; it’s that time of the year again. We recognize this place, this starting point that becomes us – the working dog and the human who so desperately needed her.

In a couple weeks it will herald the third year of our beginning, our friendship and my biggest lesson in life – how to love unconditionally. December 12th is not just an ordinary day, its Pickles arrival date in my life.

In the meantime, Pickles curls up beside the tree and I sit typing this story on my laptop. Chuckling, I can’t help but think how things have come full circle, for in a way this too resembles the beginning.

This is Pickles’ story and mine…perhaps more hers.

However the actual beginning started with me. I often mistakenly say I got Pickles a year after my encroaching deafness, in reality it was two years. The first year of my silence is another story for another day. I will say this – I fought my deafness with all I was. And yes, it was a futile battle. The quiet absence of sound would be my life from then on in. When I stopped fighting and started accepting the inevitable, I became determined to find a way back to me. You see I thought I had lost far more than my hearing and had become something less than. The reality being I had not even begun to find me - until then.

In desperation I was driven to the computer exploring every little tidbit I could find on late deafened individuals. Just as I was about to give up the ghost of finding my answer, an article highlighting working dogs for the deaf, caught my eye. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I had read and how it would work to my advantage. Sadly yes, it was all about me in those days. I was lost in self pity and forlorn depreciation of life in general.

The picture above was my introduction to Pickles. I fell in love with her right then and there, more so when I discovered her story. Not only was she a Katrina survivor, she had spent the past year being passed around in shelters until the agency I obtained her from, found her. Not unlike me, Pickles was looking for a place to belong, a place to fit in.

She was the animal equivalent of me. Somehow I knew her before I ever laid eyes on her.

Pickles and I would discover all we needed to know of each other in the following two weeks after her arrival. We would be literally attached by a leash 24/7 as part of her training, to make sure she understood I was the human she would be working for. Honestly, she is a working dog with all the restrictions that come with that title and yet so much more. I no longer think it’s training but something more spirited that exist between us. Six months later I would understand that last assertion intimately.

The night before I had been sick with a lung infection, struggling to breath, weak and confined to the bed. I remember seeing Pickles pad into the room, watching me with concern in her eyes from the end of the bed before I faded off to sleep. When I awoke the next morning, Pickles was beside my bed (no small feat as there was barely enough room for her 65lb body), sitting there with her head nestled against my arm. Her bloodshot, drooping eyes signify she had been there all night, going without sleep to watch over me. I think I knew then there was much, much more to her quirky personality and me finding myself amidst the silence. She wasn’t just my working dog - she was fast becoming my teacher.

And if you’re wondering…yes, Pickles was instrumental in helping me accept my deafness. As a matter of fact, she can even be credited with me becoming a writer. How? It all began with those first few entries entailing Pickles arrival in my life.

How fitting that Pickles training with the leash ended on Christmas Eve. How perfectly she fit into my life and I hers. I get up and join Pickles staring at the tree lost in contemplation. It stands as a reminder to us of how far we’ve come. Pickled grace - indeed.

*If you’re looking to make a donation this Christmas, a chance to give another individual the miracle that is Pickles to someone else, you can do so by donating to the following agency:

International Hearing Dog, Inc.
5901 E. 89th Ave.
Henderson, CO 80640-8315

www.ihdi@aol.com or
www.pawsforsilence.org

Your donations help deaf individuals who might have otherwise not been able to afford a working dog, obtain one. They work exclusively with re-homing shelter dogs. Give the gift of human connection, a gift of hearing to a deaf individual this Christmas in the form of a hearing dog.

From my heart to yours - Indigo

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Time Thug

“The intoxication of anger, like that of the grape, shows us to others, but hides us from ourselves.” – John Dryden

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Sometimes I get lost in ambiance. I’m cocooned in my own safe world of oblivion and forget not all is as it seems.

As a writer I should know better. It’s there in the pages of my writing, all the malice and splendor of existential human traits. Still, some small part of me and I believe all of us knows that other world exist – the rampant ignorance and disrespect for life. We just don’t want it to touch us, stain us with its residual tar of bitter noxious taint.

Ignorance is bliss, or is it?

Wednesday evening a thug, a disreputable denizen of wanton moral standards thought it would be amusing to bust out the back window of my car. Those last sentiments are putting it lightly. I’ll bite back the curses of abject hatred I had for whoever did this.

Nothing was stolen. As horrible as it may sound, I would have perhaps understood if they had been a thief instead of a mere vandalizing thug. At least in my mind a thief would have had some purpose, given some kind of meaning to their actions. Instead I’m left to wonder at the cruelty of such an act that had to be for no other reason than malice, petty vindictiveness in a show of bravado.

I’ve run the gamut of emotions. A stranger breeched my safe haven and made me question myself and those around me. First there was inconsolable anger, foul ugly visions of what I would have loved to do to this person. Then came a sleepless night, followed the next day in the secure knowledge my insurance would cover it.

Sounds easy enough, cumbersome, bothersome, and troublesome, but easily fixed – right? Nothing in life is ever that straightforward. I was left to ponder, how was I responsible for someone else’s vulgarity in my life.

Me? How could the fault lay with me? How was this responsibility mine? Did I leave myself vulnerable?

I live on a dead end street, the only house beside the woods. There is a path that meanders through those woods which would make an easy getaway. My driveway is hidden beside the house, right before the wooded lot and it’s not visible at night. There are no motion detectors or enough light to see an intruder. So was this an open invitation to disrupt my life?

Two days later living with the inconvenience of changed plans and little to no mobility due to traveling with a busted back window, I’m no longer angry or puzzled. I recognize the vandal for what he is – a time thug.

That’s all he accomplished - earning a descriptive moniker.

The window gets replaced. I’m still able to move forward with a slight change of plans for the weekend. And I’ve decided this alone wasn’t worth any changes to my home. A motion detector would frighten off the numerous deer who visit my property (Not much to weigh there, a blinding light shining in my windows or a chance to watch a small herd of deer).

So what changed? Life. It’s too precious to waste any of it on someone hell bent on stealing my time and ambiance. Some day they too will have worked hard and given of themselves for something of worth and someone will do the same to them. We all earn our lessons at one point or another.

Thank you time thug, you succeeded in enriching my life experience to feed the muse in me. Don’t be surprised if someday you play a part in something I’ve written. Just as I have my place in the world, so do you. Objects are easily replaced. Peace of mind is for those who live fully. A reminder that ignorance was never bliss, just a postponement of the reality that surrounds us all.

Writing material comes from the most unlikely places. Amusing is it not? - Indigo

Picture derives from here

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New York State of Mind

"Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today
I want to be a part of it - new york, new york
These vagabond shoes, are longing to stray
Right through the very heart of it - new york, new york"
- Frank Sinatra

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It was bound to happen.

I spent the summer and most of autumn writing frantically with no end in sight. I was in a state of pure ecstasy as my mind emptied out on the page in a possessed frenzy. Before my first book was even on its way to an agent, I was already finishing the first draft of yet another.

Unfounded, without warning or reasoning my flood of words trickled down to a slow siphoning stream.

My mind was still creating and building, writing away as if nothing had changed. My fingers however weren’t exactly moving across the keyboard in a race against time. It was obvious in varying degrees of distracted bedlam.

Distracted bedlam consisted of being frightened by the fur covered cat toy mistakenly thrown in the dishwater instead of the bin with the other toys. Misplacing things so often; I doubt a well trained blood hound could help. The worse however, is the food I wrapped and put back in the oven instead of its desired designation the refrigerator. Take it from me, two days later the pungent smell coming from the oven leaves something to be desired.

In the midst of all this came an invitation to get together with a friend in the city. And thus begins my journey into a New York State of Mind.

For anyone who has ever lived and breathed the city at one point or another - I can't help but ask, if you have ever experienced the silence.

From the moment I emerged from Port Authority, the writer in me surged to the forefront as NYC came alive in a visual palette. I found myself turning down an offer of an umbrella in lieu of constantly turning my face upward to take in the majesty of the buildings and colorful lit backdrop. Even through the light drizzle of rain an unmistakable milieu of grandiose presented itself.

It was a miasma of bodies and cars swimming in every direction possible. I couldn’t take in enough and wanted for more. My eyes explored architecture juxtapositions and details. I took in the merging ethnicity, the heart of New York – rich and poor weaving amongst one another to the pulse of the city that throbbed from every crevice possible.

And I smiled; submerged in my silence, my deafness…I saw the city in all its visual interpretation that was possible. I imagine if the traffic and all the various voices, construction and noise that reverberate from NYC had intruded in my thoughts, I might have paused in my overwhelming wonderment. The writer in me thinks not. It would have been just one more descriptive nuance to chip away at the dam that had been holding back my words.

Therein was the hidden mystery. There is no such thing as writer’s block. It’s a simple matter of changing things up. Stalemate is nothing more than boredom or lack of tenacity.
Life has too much too offer – if you’re willing to keep yourself open to the possibilities.

NYC was the nectar in which I was able to sup for inspiration.

My muse was still operating overtime; she just needed to be visually stimulated into movement - From imagination and reality, to fingers tapping out the storyline one word after another.

I live in upstate NY. I have a feeling I’ll be making quite a few excursions into the city that literally breathes life into this writer’s mind and helped kick start my prose back into overdrive. - Indigo

Picture can be found here

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From a Writers Heart

“Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much a heart can hold.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

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I’m a writer.

But it’s not all I am.

I’m also someone who rescues animals; strays to be specific.

Tonight I just want to be the writer. Because I don’t really know how much more my heart can take - how much more compassion, endurance or fortitude, I have left to watch another life slip out of my hands. Only to realize too little, too late and wonder was it enough?

I didn’t ask for this. Never in my wildest dreams did I foresee this for myself. Yet here I am, sitting with a heavy heart and trying my damndest to make some sense out of it all.

Counting slowly back through my memories, names and personalities remind me of the ones that survived, the strays I did manage to make a difference for.

I’m only one person.

They all had homes before me, a place where they lived and learned to be domesticated. The question remains, what happened to those homes?

They come to me broken and unsure if I’m trustworthy. Will I chase them away, kick them or scream at them? “Don’t come any closer,” their stance says, betraying the fear they have of humans.

Patience slowly wins them over.

I can’t describe the joy as unique personalities emerge and most importantly trust is gained. Eyes lit up in expectation and excitement to see you, until finally the one moment that gives way to all your patience, the rub. The classic don’t hurt me; I’m going to try to let you close enough to pet me move. And I melt.

Why?

Because the evidence of the road they traveled to get to me is there for all the world to see in each scar, the missing hair, the bug bites and the skinny frame from lack of food.

Yet for one moment they dared to trust and I was worthy.

I’ve seen this same scenario play out over and over. I don’t get it. I don’t understand how someone could cruelly pull up in a car and toss them out, or one day suddenly decide they weren’t worth the time and lock them out of the only home they ever knew. I don’t understand how someone can simply stop caring.

As a writer, I take my writing seriously. As a pet owner, I take their lives into account from beginning to end. There is no, I changed my mind they’re too much work. There is no, I don’t have time or patience for this.

Kittens and Puppies don’t stay that way forever, they grow up, they get old and they need to be taken care of every single day of their lives.

So the writer in me is using the biggest tool I have available to me – my words, to ask, please be responsible pet owners. Know what you’re getting into before taking that leap and falling for a pet that will be the recipient of whatever decisions you make.

If you think you have what it takes to go the distance, please consider a shelter or abandoned animal. All they want is to be loved. They never asked to be thrown away.

Maybe someday everyone who owns an animal will take that responsibility seriously and I won’t feel the need to make a heartfelt plea like this. I don’t know if my heart can take losing another stray, wondering if they had enough time to know someone cared. I’m only one person, one writer, one human being. Stop and think before you give a pet for a gift this holiday or any day and make sure you understand what that new puppy or kitten entails. Please…

(This is dedicated to “the old man - Orange”, as I so fondly called him. I had to have him put to sleep today. He had FIV – Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. He came to us too late to save.)

*Update: And the dance begins again. There was a gray long haired cat studying me from the woods. Will it stick around? Time will tell. Where one life ended, another just might have a chance.


Watercolor painting can be found here

Friday, October 2, 2009

Her Restless Elegance

“My sorrow, when she's here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane.” – Robert Frost

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A few weeks before October turned the corner, I felt her cold ethereal fingers linger along my neck. Her whispered breath echoed: “Soon. Watch for me,” leaving a gentle breeze across my skin. I knew then. The crisp air with foretold promise would soon warrant the warmth of long sleeves and overcoats.

My lungs breathe heavy of the damp cold, spewing forth a telltale misted breath. The flames dance in delight as the pellet stove alights to chase the cold back outside where it belongs. I wrap myself in Indian blankets adorning the couch. Ensconsed in comforting layers, bundled warmly I smile. My tea is held between clasped hands with hot steam vapor rising. The tree limbs bow and wave outside the window, nodding as the wind and rain dance in merriment at autumn’s restless arrival.

Watch the leaves whisper, shaking in tandem with the limbs of the tree. Watch as the sun's muted days turn us umber, marigold, and burgundy, shades of orange, purple and red. Watch the wind echoes in whispers against my window pane.

Warm food becomes the norm in the form of stews, chili, and baked pies. Autumnal aromas rise from apples, pumpkins, and spiced cakes. Blazing leaves piled high, fires burning in the hearth, my coat adorned with a scarf, a happy pups delight, dance in the Autumn Equinox of my mind.

It's time to welcome her elegance, the majesty of her season, I tell my dog as we make our way outside.

Autumn whispers unbidden, tracing ethereal windblown fingers along my face again, “I am here! See me! Feel me! Smell me! Hear me!"

My step quickens along the wooded path. In a somber moment, I bend and pick up a withered leaf, crisp and burnished by autumn's chill and crumble it in between my fingers.

I finally whisper back, my voice carried on the wind. “Yes I see, smell and feel you my majestic autumn, but I can’t hear you. You can’t change it all.”

Images of the child I was crunching through the piles of leaves along the sidewalk, that sound of long ago haunts this moment. A silent reminder that some things don’t change with the season. A wet nose is suddenly in my hand, sniffing at the remnants of fallen leaf. With amber brown eyes of innocence she looks up at me as if begging to know my heart.

It is nothing more than a moment, I whisper, just enough to remember that some things change and some remain, through winter, spring, summer and now fall. And some of those changes come with a price to be paid and some, like Autumn come free and beautiful.

Yes, my majestic Autumn, I see you laid out in visual splendor! Yes, my majestic Autumn, I welcome, welcome these restless changes of your seasonal heart!

- Indigo

Picture Found Here

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Writer Writes

"The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense." - Tom Clancy

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I’m looking up at the rust colored seam, the stigmata left from the rain that poured down my living room ceiling last night. I wasn’t going to post about that ceiling.

Today’s post was supposed to be about my side kick and writing partner – Pickles. I had proof in hand on my digital camera to show just how helpful she can be.

With my deafness, visual is the next best thing to listening. Visuals freeze and save moments, settings, movements, expressions. I can take my time studying images. Images call forth words, words that I use, words that comfort, words that show, words that tell a story.

But I can’t upload the pictures.

Who would have thought dropping the gadget in the dog’s water bowl by mistake would be a problem?

So what does a writer (specifically me) do when she gets in a foul mood? I write.

Bits of angst drip on the page. Words boil. Distress is fuel. I use words instead of visuals to describe what I want you to see:

A silly grin from a canine friend lets me know that under no circumstance do I dare settle down until I’ve paid her fee, her due, her right. A wet nose sits wedged between my laptop and my lap, making sure I don’t forget. She’s there if I need her and I am to be there should she need me. That’s the pact. Working dog, time piece, companion, a warm body that takes up 2/3rds of everything, leaving me the rest. Reach out at any given moment, she says, and feel the movement of my breathing. Standing on all four legs on the couch she tells me it’s time. She reminds. It’s time. Her breathing allows life to move beneath my fingers before words move from fingertips to key strokes to screen. She breathes life. That’s her story. That’s what she writes. Compared to her, no foul mood, no rusted ceiling, no busted camera is much, in comparison - at all.

A writer writes.

-Indigo

Friday, September 11, 2009

Today...

9/11


In light of today, in quiet remembrance:

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places." -Ernest Hemingway

Let us also remember:

"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind." -Gandhi

Peace today, tomorrow, and always - it's the only solution that makes sense. May today find you safe and loved.

-Indigo

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's all in your Mind

"Nothing happens unless first we dream.” – Carl Sandburg
 
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Walking up the stairs today was akin to stepping into an inferno. How is it we think of hell as being down, not up? (Heat rises.) Makes you wonder if there wasn’t a major blunder made somewhere along the line. At the top of the stairs, I delicately step over furry bodies spread-eagle across doorways, floors, any place that might offer up a slight hint of a breeze. Downstairs is cooler, yet every animal I own is upstairs with its tongue hanging out, playing dead. (Once again, I’m wondering about the insanity of nature.) So where am I? Where else? I’m upstairs with the rest of the insane posse getting ready to take a shower.

“It’s hot,” I whine pitifully.

A human body rounds the corner and I start in with another pitiful, “It’s roasting up here!”

"It's not that hot," he says, so that I can read his lips. "You’re not dying, it’s been worse.”

“It was ninety-eight degrees downtown!" I yell. "I’m DYING!”

I imagine myself as the melodramatic Stanley Kowalski yelling "Stella!" in A Street Car Named Desire, with my hand thrown across my forehead for effect.

The other half of the conversation walks back downstairs chuckling, probably mumbling something in the way of "You're nuts!"

I never said I didn’t have a touch of melodrama in me, now did I? Truth of the matter is, I used to deal with the heat quite well. Nine years of living in Florida with a half-broken-down-fan, which squealed in protest more than cooled, taught me all about what HOT was. Growing up poor, never away from my small town, the local library and free books were my escape. I could travel to cooler worlds I would never have imagined possible. Books taught me to dream, to remove myself from whatever was going on in my life, to wish and hope for things that were only real in my imagination. Books are like that.

Today, I let my imagination loose on the page in front of me, creating an alternate reality that comes into being with each word, each sentence, each paragraph. Give me a place, a time, an object, and my mind will create and shape something. I can imagine the best or the worst of any given situation, build on it, and make it into a story. Like real life, my characters will fail or beat the odds. Depends on what side of the field my imagination is plowing that day. My character can be in a deep dank forest and hear screams coming from all directions or take that first step from friendship to the first kiss. (Or am I talking about the same story?) Anything is possible in the imagination. In my imagination, I can be eccentric, or a jokester, or take life too seriously.

Insert the topic of heat into my mind and what happens? I find myself imagining I’m in the sticky hot Louisiana Bayou. I can even smell the dark loamy dirt, the damp musky smell of the water as a splash is heard and a gator goes after something on the silt shore. Tiny gnats buzz in droves around my head, up my nose, in my ears, and I’m batting them away furiously, desperate for some relief, prose blasting like a heat wave through my mind.

(I can even imagine myself as a superhero! If only I could create a rainstorm. No jokes about my being native and a rain dance:
Hero Factory)


-Indigo

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Words Fail, Music Speaks

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent”-Victor Hugo




"Words fail. Music Speaks." That phrase resounds in me, reverberating, carving a space in my head. "Words fail. Music speaks." A strange sentiment for a deaf woman to have emblazoned on a small painting above her desk. There are days when I read about yet another writer’s soundtrack, the musical inspiration that played in the background as they fed the Muse within them and penned thought to keyboard, imagination to monitor backlit in soft white. For a moment I envy them, I ache for that backdrop, that cadence of music, vocalizing emotions while I weave words. It’s folly to lose myself in the "what if’s", and more folly to believe that expressing emotions is based soley on what one is able to hear.

When all else fails, the lid of my laptop closes and I hit the open road by car. There, I have a venue to by-pass my inept hearing. I can crank the stereo and feel the music, jumping off door to windshield, floorboard to dash, thumping, vibrating. The very air hums, the pulse bathing my skin and kissing my fingertips. I’m ensconced in the music, a passenger in the tempo, feeling the road move beneath the tires, the dips and cracks in the road dance with the rumba, the boogie, the foxtrot, the tango, the salsa heart of me. It’s all there, every echo and nuance of the music. I almost hear it more than I feel it.

Now, a few hours of sound vibrations can wash over me. Never enough. The need to write gets its hooks in my psyche, pulling me back to the keyboard, to play prose with my fingers....What is that in the background? Silence. Memory recalls pieces of song and music, lyrics come to me like broken bits of poetry. My brain fights to remember, pushing fragments of songs to the front burner and hoping it will suffice as a snack to entice my mind enough to enter the story, struggling for dominance in a brain soon overwhelmed. It’s a rarity to have the whole tune I want to soothe and inspire my senses for the dish I wish to serve. Sometimes frustration wins and the lid to the laptop closes once more. Out the door with a hyper-vigilant friend on a leash I go, to the woods I go, whispering a prayer to whatever deity favors a writer: "Please, let this trek feed my prose...."

Feather light wisps of breeze, varying hues of green thread in and out of my visual perception. The canopy overhead cools and heats up as we go beneath shaded trees. Silence. The light plays a simmering dance across a black gloss of canine hair. The wind bends the stalks of the bamboo. The grass plays with my feet, not unlike a maestro’s baton, as an opal butterfly flitters from leaf to leaf, orchestrating the woodland chorus. A cat prowls in the underbrush. My laughter echoes, pulsating beneath my heartbeat, a chuff from the wonder dog Pickles, the vibrato of life around me. Thump-thump-ratta-thump-thump-shhwick-shhwick-tumthrum-tumthrum-wee-whip-snap! Breathe in, breathe out. It is the new soundtrack that plays in my life, perhaps more enriched. The world has gone quiet, and now, because silence was never meant to be so silent, I hear and feel and see and express a different kind of music.

Peace and Love.

-Indigo


Lyrics to 1000 Beautiful Things by Annie Lennox