Archive for August 2011
The sun was shining, the wind was blowing briskly, a warm, hair moving wind. I went outside earlier than my meeting time and sat on the bench under the tree to wait.
As I looked down the street to the west, there sat 2 young men; teens that I have known since they were in elementary school. They sat on the stoop of a house on the block, not in school. They both know me, as I know them, not by name, but by sight. The shorter, chubbier boy saw me first. He tried to be subtle while telling the other, getting skinnier boy, that I was sitting on the bench.
I thought about averting my eyes letting them have their public privacy, maybe going inside my house, so as not to imprint this scene, unfolding before my eyes on my brain, but I watched. They looked up often, to see me watch them. The chubby boy, said something to the getting skinnier boy, he glanced at me and shrugged.
I wished to see just one of the women that I know is attached to or that knows these young men. I imagined I would motion to her with my head, while looking into her eyes, as we sometimes do, acknowledging each other without words; I would motion towards the young men. I imagined she, the woman would see what I was seeing and say something to them loudly, take them home, get their mothers, do something. No woman came by and I watched decisions being made.
They finished doing what they were doing and walked away from me, I watched them turn the corner.
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was in 7th grade, and then much later, a mosaic artist. I went through many artful incarnations, but always I’ve liked making or ‘riggging’ things, now they call it re-purposing . I like the physical part of my art, the labor. This nagging question of ‘is writing doing nothing’ is related to not being physical.
I’ve been wondering if now that life is happening to me and my time is not my own, and I don’t feel up to actually building my Ansel Adams Wilderness, all colors of white, topographical, mosaic map; I’m wondering if writing about my Ansel Adams Wilderness, all colors of white, topographical , mosaic map, art? Or, is writing doing nothing?
On a walk with my dog and it’s gone, The Purple Chair is gone!
There is so much I don’t want to write about right now, but this is still a happening story and I can see it from my front room window.
On the walk my dog and I went on, that I didn’t want to go on? Some of you readers may remember this? I saw this purple chair sitting on the sidewalk, it was there for a while. Who doesn’t need free chairs? and I could see that there was a note on it, maybe a free sign, its not that far from my house, so I walked over.
The note said, ‘don’t take this chair, it is Really not free” or something to that effect, so I didn’t take the chair, it was in Spanish also. I thought, someone must have taken a chair or something from them, the taker not realizing it was to be packed or loaned or, you get it, so they put the note on this purple chair.
Later in the week the purple chair and the note was still there. No one had taken it. Kind of like the front yard garden and how I have to tell people to Take the food.
This week the chair was still there and I was walking to my home with my people, my friends. I told them my purple chair theory, an experiment, and such a great idea, a way for many of us to interact without talking. I love it!
We crossed the street to read the sign, which was weathering well, still readable. My friend who’s Birth Day it was and who is bi-lingual, said she thought maybe we’d be in a film or whoever took the chair might be in a film. I hope not! It was a good chair, a great purple color, and it’s still there today and her Birth Day was yesterday.
My neighborhood is Urban and for over a week the purple chair and the note have not been taken. I love my neighborhood, but I hope someone takes the chair soon, before it is ruined by the elements. “It’s still a good chair”.
The season is changing in the City. The washington hawthorn tree in the front yard garden has berries on it now. They are first, a small, short lasting white flower, then a green berry that hangs like a pendulum with many berries attached at a same location and then as Fall arrives they begin to turn red. They are beginning to turn red.
Speaking of the seasons changing, I read Chris Hedges article, “The Election March of the Trolls”, published by Truthdig and read on Reader Supported News. I believe he is correct and that we as citizens need to acknowledge the way the wind is blowing in the U. S.
You don’t need to be a weatherman or woman to see the way the wind is blowing, you just need to wake up and see that it is not about You working hard enough, but it is about the government not working hard enough for the people, all people.
I haven’t written in a few days because my elderly mother called me screaming early in the morning; she had broken her ankle in 3 places and had to be transported to the hospital. I am still tired and she is still in the hospital.
This story though is not about that, that story hasn’t ended.
This story is about ‘not’ wanting to walk my dog, because life is happening to me. This story is about walking my dog so she would be happy to be my dog and about having so many good experiences in my neighborhood, just because I walked my fabulous little dog.
I decided to water my urban front yard to put off walking my dog who waited patiently for me while I watered plants that really did need to be watered. And as I was watering I found someone had left seed, amaranth and some other seed, maybe watermelon. It seems late for watermelon, and then I think, “maybe it was for the birds?” No, I think, someone left it for me, I’m sure they left it for me. I was so happy to see it; how could it not be for me? There it was next to the bench in a cute neat little pile. I wonder if my cool friend left them for me. This friend would not know my mom was injured and she did leave me a green egg, buried in my front yard garden just the other week. Could have left the seed for me also? Either way I am happy, I hosed them right into the soil around the tree. I look forward to seeing what grows up.
I then, instead of walking on with my dog, visited with the neighbor friend that I share the front yard garden with. She offered me a ride to see my mother anytime after taking her daughter to school and before picking her up. She’s sweet, she likes my mom and like hers. I asked her if she would also help out with my dog and of course she would let her in or out and take her for walks if needed.
Before I had even left the front of my house a woman in the neighborhood walked by and said to me, “the roses are beautiful”. As she was talking she casually bent down and picked a tomato from our garden, popping it into her mouth she walked on. How much better can it get, sharing food with people you know only by sight?
These moments remind me that I am not alone, and that others are having their lives and that though none of us ‘know’ what goes on with the ‘Others’, we are not alone.
Recently, in the Bay area we have had multiple earthquakes. This is nothing to get worried about, but it is a hint to get prepared. Here are some easy things anyone reading this should be able to do.
Pack a backpack with medications you need, an extra pair of walking shoes and socks, an entire walking outfit, a filled water bottle and single dollar bills, in case the electricity is down and you need to buy something, but no in is giving change for $20 bills. This should be kept at your work place or wherever you go regularly.
Because none of us is sure where we will be when “the Big one ” happens, you should leave your route to and from wherever you go most often, and phone numbers for you and your family, so your people can look for you, just in case. Canned goods are important in an earthquake. Store the not lined in plastic canned goods, again ‘just in case’ in your closet or somewhere you think will be safe in an earthquake. Sleeping bags and a good coat can be stuffed into a plastic bin or bag and stored in the backyard or under your bed, a piece of charcoal in a paper bag will help keep the moldy smell away if you put them outside.
In your house you should have candles, matches, and a flashlight. Of course you should have water, those big blue plastic jugs are perfect for this, each person should have their own 5 gallon blue jug.
At your house you should know where your gas shut off valve is and have a wrench to turn it off if you smell gas. This tool is found easily at hardware stores. You should have a land line phone, so when cell phone lines are down, you might be able to use your land line.
And for senior citizens the Red Cross Use to give free backpacks, so if you are a senior citizen I would give them a call now, find out and get yours ordered. For more information contact the Red Cross.