Sunday, July 28, 2013

All God's Chillun Got Wings and Feelings and Stories

                     Changes -especially the ones that occur without one's knowledge - can be unsettling.  (Which is why it is good to find a good resolution between one's thinking and one's feelings.)  For example, last week I was not able to use my Surface tablet for a few days ". . .because we are updating".  Once 'update time had passed, I blithely resumed usage, feeling a bit smug and relieved regarding this updating process in that it requires NO input from me.
       Checking email, I was alerted - the way 'Sister Mary Elephant' may have 'alerted' me decades ago - that I had "notifications waiting for me on Facebook".  (Sister: "You're 'Rice Bank for the starving children in India was supposed to have been turned in on Friday.  Today is Monday!")  Just when your mind is moving toward a more sensitive, accepting approach, your heart can go into 'attack mode' from people like that.
       Obediently, trepedatiously, I proceeded to Facebook STAT by selecting a message from a writing group on Linked In.  Once there, that message was interrupted by a warning from Linked In regarding changes they had made in their policies which were still awaiting my approval.  Compliant by nature and the fear instilled in me by the good Sisters, I raced over to Linked In to address their policy changes
       Mind you, the only reason I turned the tablet on that day was to better understand the greeting card program I used (merrily/productively)  on my old PC so that I could make birthday cards for two of our grandpeeps and work on the photo album that is a special birthday gift for one of them.  Changes, then, had graduated from 'unsettling' - for me - to my 'bête noire'.
       (Entre nous, I'd really love to become a good writer.  They say good writers make associations where others would not.  The following could be one such association!) 
       It was with unusual comfort - if not amusement - that I witnessed an extremely dramatic response to change in the insect kingdom yesterday.  As a rule, insects rate with criminals, psychopaths and Marat de Sade on my list of heinous things that demand caution and avoidance at all costs. 
       Backing up (Called a "Flashback" in the world of real, grownup writers.  My pulse is quickening.), during one of my sporadic exercises of 're-doing', I had included painting the deck trunk, used to store cushions for wicker deck sundries I've collected at random flea market outings.  By necessity - it was the only remaining exterior paint, I first dragged my - I thought empty - victim/subject on a bald spot of the lawn.  (In that the remaining spray color was green, my husband might just mow any inadvertent 'spills'.)
       Having completed the four sides, done in that tricky 'wind-blown' style that can only be achieved by the witless practice of spraying paint while ocean breezes contrive to preclude solid coverage, I switched weaponry, snatching up my brush, a can and what seemed to be the perfect volume of metallic copper - the majority of which had transformed metal 'succulent containers' into works worthy of their majestic, miniature agape specimens..  Anxious to conclude this painting ordeal, I lifted the cushion trunk's massive lid and, armed with my metallic 'coat-of-copper-scale' outfit (that wind) and the tools of the determined artisan, I was  suddenly frozen-in-time by the miasmic drama unfolding - as on cue - before my eyes.  A farrago of fauna (in all developmental stages) was frenetically engaged in an exodus, of impressive size and  proportion.  
       These 'creatures - with and minus extremities for locomotion - were nevertheless scampering, colliding, rapidly escaping in a 'Fosse-esque, fast-forward movement OUT of/away from the unexpected, imposed confinement of their previously peaceful 'lounge-around' due to the forced, torrents of some unknown liquid substance which had not only destroyed the peace but also evacuated the very ambient air of their environment, replacing the latter with a pungent, life-sucking blanket of invisible fumes.
       Staring, copper-toned and confused at this dispersion for a minute, I finally realized that my subject had been NOT a deserted tenement but a 'compound' teeming - seconds ago - with LIFE; busy, NOT still.  Now, having succumbed to this furtive ambush, it was fleeing - drugged and disorderly - forming a diaspora of dying insects whose final actions would be akin to the final scenes on the Titanic:  "Charles, have you seen the children?", "Go, Martha.", "But Pop Harold is so old, he should go, Charles.", "Is that   you, Mummy?  Is this a game?",  "Move it, kid.  Game's over.  You lost."  "You made her cry, you, you. . .", "Like the man said, Martha.  Swim.  I'm taking my chances with old Harold, here.".
       And I laughed.  Then, feeling the scene, trying to make sense of it all, - "Why am I standing ln the lawn at dusk holding a tin lf copper paint?"  "Why am I staring at this pathetic circus of doomed bugs?  What was I doing?  Oh, yes.  Right.  Changing the colors on the deck. . ."  And then I cried.  Poor things. . .
       Change is a bitch.  But we all go through it.  I thought of how we get through what we are going to have tl get through.  Some changes are times of bloom; some of decay.  Change is.  And it is an 'it'.  Things lead up to 'it'.  Consequences follow 'it'.  The changes and lead-ins are 'its'.  But the consequences.  They can involve 'whos' - a person, a couple, a nation, a bug, even.  A WHO.  Well, a 'who' gets thought of, treated with, remembered out if respect.  Why?  "All God's Chillun Got Wings".
Later, Lorane. . . .

Friday, July 19, 2013


Looking for Answes
       Must admit.  These - as ? Thomas Paine put it - "Are the times that try men's souls".  If we fast-forward to today's 'modernity', we find different but ever ubiquitous 'trials'.
       The nation's ability to keep its red, white and blue head bobbing - like a good buoy - above the grasp of Neptune's 'financial disaster chamber' stands out as an impressive leader;  is citizens are trying - with the stamina and urgency of the swimmer maintaining a distance that will keep him above the 'quick' - to find and keep a job, or at least enough 'work-for-pay, to pay th bills and feed the kids.
       The media, vis-à-vis its public, is on trial by this very audience - the charge morphing by a variety of lables, all of which focus on 'putting the em-pha'-sis on the right syl-la'-ble.  Ar the really important issues being followed?  Dos journalism 'play favorites? Can we believe what we read, hear, see?
       (Re: "trials", for example, Martin v. Zimmerman has ben addressed, redressed, undressed with the fervor and persistence that - were it channeled properly, could provide heat and light energy to the entire Midwest.  What price exposure?  Prominence? Or asparagus, for that matter?  Perhaps this last query tips my head, uh hand, as to my own reflections on this 'carnival'.)
       Our own little Ed Snowden-with-top-security-clearance, has provoked a tad of political friction in the international community, the interrelationships of which can and are 'center stage trying' in these complicated, competitive times.  Way to be American, Eddie.
       Capitol Hill is a-whisper with what some have dubbed 'scandals':  whether the lofty/lefty IRS has incurred something of a miss-step in its 'dance macabre' by causing costly, inequitable and frequent 'trials' for certain conservative groups as they applied for tax-exempt status, having met the requirements for same.
       Another, flirting with the classification "Fairly Recent History" in your college syllabus, so long has it been in its 'investigatory stage' of development, asks the burning question, "Who was/is responsible for the deaths of four Americans - one f whom an American ambassador p on 9-11-12 in Benghazi, Libya?"
       That nagging matter of our nation's borders' integrity, the drama that keeps opening (like Groundhog Day) both on the road an on the "Great White Way" with desultory timing - 'The Season', Summer Stock - and titling - "Border Safety on Trial", "Scholarships for Illegal Aliens - the Jury is Out", "Lady Liberty Found to be Maintaining Posh Condo on Ellis Island Printing Food Stamps in a Trick Door-Accessible Basement Sweat Shop".
       Theater critics successfully lobbied Congress and a bill has been passed absolving them from any obligation all versions of these productions.
       Having so recently and noticeably failed at sharing my experience of Solitude Nirvana-warm-sand-between-toes plus the dashing of the entire experience (AC in.  Nature-in-all-of-her-majesty out.) by a cooling system installation, I feel I must persist and give you 'side' one of that Main Course.  Had it been published this 'side' was an accurate and academic glimpse into my personality.
       (I daresay Congress would have passed a bill in a New York minute repressing if not urging against any commentary on the post.)  You would have learned that, according to Dr. C.G. Jung, mine is an Introverted attitude, making my primary interest, "What is happening to me as a result of the impact of the (psychological) environment?"
       Secondly, my most developed function is Intuition.  (I  receive perceptions at a subconscious level so they seem - to the verage observer - to emerge 'full grown'.  (No 'step 1 followed by step 2, etc., until, 'Voila!', 'I get it!'.  Nope. Rather, oblivious to th world of practical reality, you'll hear me blurt, "I just know we'll bid and successfully purchase this house."  Most likely, everyone else in the room is discussing public vesus private education at the time.)
       The foregoing "sharing"  would have explained th oddly non-perfect beach respite.  (Not to worry.  Totally remediable.  Just wanted to put the maybe one reader who cared at ease.)  More to today's point - if you'd just for a sec stop plucking those by now gray hairs from your chin - trials. Rest assured (continue plucking) these are trying times.  But. "The Man" will come up (and impose) the fix.  This because, regarding our current White House occjpant, his 'ability-to-lead' power is as effective as his 'ability-to-claim' power.  nd the latter renders Sherman's march through Atlanta a mere 'tip-toe' performance.
       No doubt, even as I write (no doubt a al, because I justheard a 'breaking news', unscheduled press conference is being held by Himself.) he speaks.  The words promise to b prelude to an evolving resolution to all ills - be they of the trials, scandal or legislative category.
       The bear is getting ready to bite.  It will be a snack that is good, healing, resolving and wrapped up/tied with a red, white and blue, silver-sprinkled bow for the commonweal and its citizenry.  History - as it did for Mr. ?Paine - will bear this out.  There were trials.  A jury was selected by The Peer.  Men's souls - as evidence for the State and the accused - were found 'not guilty' - indeed vindicated, violative of nary one jot or tittle of the Constitution.
       All's well.  And with the Queen of Hearts by his side, 'tea is served' by servers in crisp, white jackets and - oh, that's another story, uh, scandal.
Lager, Lorane. . . .

Monday, July 15, 2013

But SOMETHING Was Missing. . .

The Farewell Sunset
       Last evening, I had to bid farewell to what has been a brief but exquisitely peaceful time at our old (36 years) family cottage.  I've been there in solitude but in no way lonely.  (My apologies to Bridie, our beagle, who shared this respite with me.  To be fair, she was far more interested in crab-hunting than spending 'quality time' with me.)  Do Tell, of course, was with us and was indeed an imposing presence.  In fact, for a colorful metal sculpture, it imposes to the point of distraction.
       Over the years, several reputable personality profiles have consistently labeled my personality as a "predominant Introvert" - in the Jungian sense where I react to what is happening in my environment.  (By contrast, Jung's Extravert impresses itself on its surroundings.)  Additionally, my dominant thinking function is intuition.  This aspect of my typology repeatedly emerges in my writing.  Those of you who've read my ramblings would agree that 'rational, linear thinker' would never sjrface in a revue of my work.
       No, I live, write, think - reside - 'out-of-the-box' and am quite comfy out here.  There's a weird solace that accompanies spontanaety, abnormal organization and overall communication 'individuality'.  Just as love means never having to say I'm sorry, metaphoric thinking means never having to say,"what I mean is. . ."

Friday, July 5, 2013

Who Woulda Thunk it. . .

       Day late but always de rigeuer, we always re-enforce the importance of "Lady Liberty" to the grandpeeps.  Indeed, just today, I was browsing in an all-import, recherché shoppe that carries olive oils, vinegars and derivative items (they exist, and smell good, too) from far lands to ole Virginny.
       The proprietress - a very sweet, chatty, knowledgeable (secondary to the first two attributes, to be sure) lady was going on about the variety and enhancements of one of her products.  Having a somewhat shallow command of exotic oils, I am always reliant on my personal, necessarily narrow exposure.  My maternal grandparents hail from Bari, Italy and earned their dubious 'fortune' in olives (the intensely laborious, weather/pest-invasion dependent growing/nurturing/harvesting thereof).
       Our "Savor the Olive" shoppe owner, by contrast, is passionately involved in the procurement/dissemination of all things olive/vinegar/derivatives and equally eager to share this body of knowledge.  What I find most enjoyable when chatting with her - in addition to her unbridled ebullience which, if she could 'vat' that quality, would put half the pharmaceutical industry out of business - is her deeply sincere interest in what her 'chat partner' is saying. 
       This is becoming a sadly lost quality, a non-existent stroke or strum in the 'Art' of conversation.  By way of example, in response to her queries about my ancestry and personal history, she found it a boon to have been born into a culture as rich as that of Italy and yet learn of it via lore, story-sharing, a recollection of an ageing Aunt, proudly sporting several white hair stubs on her wrinkled chin, an accidentally found, faded photo taken in 'the Old Country'.  That this 'education' took place while I was physically growing up in Brooklyn, New York when the monthly rent for a five-room railroad apartment was $26.00/month just trebled the 'story's' charm.
       Her merriment truly eclipsed when I recalled the utter confusion on the cherub faces of my daughters when I took them to see "where Mommy grew up".  As I prattled on about the concept of several families living in one building, they stared, glassy-eyed, at the black, iron stairwells attached and climbing up these same buildings to the roof.  Finally realizing their minds wete elsewhere engaged, and following their sight lines, I said, "Oh.  Do you know wbat the black stairwells are for?"  To the negative, slow nods I explained fire escapes.
        "Imagine," I shared with my now-mesmerized shoppe-keeper, "I take them to Broadway, The Statue of Liberty, the actual Chrysler Building 'shining at night' (They'd both been in Annie), Central Park and Wall Street and they are fascinated with fire escapes!"  My dear lady friend looked at me, somewhat expectantly.  Well I could only give her the same tutorial, adding, "As a matter of fact, they were in the back of our apartment building.  The only memorable thing about them for me - well, there were two."
       (She was really leaning in toward me now, for) "Well, when Granpa made - by grating - horseradish, he was banished tl the fire escape landing."  That is one pungent odor!  "And, it was the most convenient and safest playpen for me when Mom was busy."  The landing was about 4 x 6 feet, iron-bar enclosed, lots of fresh air and sunshine and easilh heard/observed with the window open.  "Of  course there was that unfortunate day."
       (You've heard the expression, 'eating out of your hand'.  My palms felt gnawed on at this point.)  "I actually got my head stuck between twl of the bars!  Mom had to call the Fire Department!  They roared up, crowds immediately jammed our front stoop and they barreled up the five flights only to find my embarrassed Mother, pointing feebly at the window.  I, as ordered, was perfectly still and quiet, captive actually."
       Muttering, these gentle giants produced crow bars and I was a free baby bird in short order.  They chatted with Mom about the wisdom  - albeit practicality - of het decision-making and wre soon gl e, dispersing a no-longer-interested crowd.  (What?  Nobody dead or even fighting?)  By contrast, our shoppe lady thought that the dandiest tale she'd heard - in any culture - in quite a personal history of tale-telling.  Ya just never know, do you, what makes for a 'good story'.
Later, Lorane. . . .