The Mermaid Swims the 500+
As a new blogger I have learned some things. One thing I have learned is that I know very little of what this life has to offer. What I do think I know, I mess up, patch up, mess up….rejoice. A friend put it well in saying life is a “Certain Uncertainty.” She and I may be very different indeed. As different as the cat and dog in a well loved Alina Ehdel piece of artwork. But similar in this conclusion of deficits. I’m convinced that deficits require outreach. Can prove to be treasures in time. Victor Hugo would agree. I feel I am a factory worker in this thing. Devon’s roll in the school musical is “factory worker.” We all just keep working. Some loving and forgiving better than others. I try to hold a kinder, gentler view of people as people are kinder and gentler to me, a sinner.
I know little about this social media world. Perhaps I know enough…being most intersted in the blank canvas it provides. I am naïve. I have made mistakes. In what has felt like a limitless sky of light, I have found darkness. Sometimes words have definitions that go beyond what the dictionary has to offer as Temple Grandin has discovered. Words have social and emotional conotations. Words can break bodies, minds, hearts. Words can also break bread and pour wine.
I have learned I have limitations. Instead of resigning to frustration and staying down, I have just kept writing. More recently writing, praying, pleading. Accepted that this is a journey. I want to be the hero in this story even if that hero must be broken.
In trying to number the stars I have found purpose. In seeing new sunrises have been warmed and found relief from even the darkest hours. Have kept writing and have been written upon. Have found humbling, empathy, love. Forgiveness, and Love the most important things on my radar.
I have learned more than just blog stuff like assigning categories, and tags. More than forgetting log ons and passwords. More than commenting and editing, and reading stats. How marketing self is not the most important thing after all. Calm quiet content. The Jimmy Eat World realization that “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”
There is always more, more, more to learn and to relearn. I would still like to learn how to change my name. Sometimes in an effort to be more anonymous. More in an attempt to reclaim integrity. Sometimes in enduring. What if I could just start over with new introductions. I can.
At times I think I should learn how to “fall silent.” Silent in spending less time in this. Silent in designating a posting private, if and when I really wanted it this way. Connections are a life line. But, one can create a kind of clearing house, a screening status in which a notice is sent to you each time someone wants to view your new post. So I can choose whether to let them in or not. I know. I have been on the outside. There is something to be said for transparency though. There is also something to be said for protection. Then again, I have not been burned in the same way I may have burned others. I am sorry…but I have also learned. So I am grateful for mistakes.
Also, I would like to know how to read some of the Spam I get. This mail talks about problems with my posting photos and media. What is that all about?! Also, could someone tell be why I attract a plethora of “blogers for money?” Pirranah? Innitially this was a bit overwhelming, like an algae bloom or infestation of a non-native intrusive species. Zebra clams? Is this right? I saw a sign at the top of Rockport’s boat launch warning boaters of this risk. Hmm. I have learned to quickly click away. Wonder if there is something in this thing though. What if I am missing something in this? Decide I can not give focus to this thing.
Most of all though, I have learned what a big wide world of posibilities there is out there at my finger tips. I have found amazing writers and film makers, and survivors, and beautiful hearts. I am inspired by the stories of so many amazing people in their celebrations and in their strugglings. Sometimes in being invited into even locked places. Mostly in taking time to read Freshly Pressed. Sometimes responding. In opening my door to both trusted friends and to happen stance wanderers. I am grateful to all who graceously view or choose to follow my blog, but I think I would be okay if I were alone in this thing too. I did not feel this way at first with Simplesite. Grateful when a friend helped me to change. Grateful that she is still helping me.
Over time I became curious about other bloggers and began looking them up. Time a factor, but ended up reading and learning things meant for me in that very moment. Being present is….amazing really. I want to learn to do this thing on demand. I am so grateful for some of these “distractions.” Sometimes the distractions are the best part. With each new introduction I realize I am not alone in living and striving. Thank you.
In reading, thinking, writing, rereading, and questioning my work and the work and play of others….I can’t help but think I am living an odd life. I am odd and I suppose that I don’t mind this so much, or I would not persist where others do not. I am glad though. I have an enthusiasm for life and for people. I want to live my life large and full. I want to give and to receive much love in this. Do as little harm as possible. A Hypocratic oath in theory. In reality I sometimes fail. Fall to hypocracy. I am trying though.
I don’t look odd. I don’t have any birth defects like Augie in a favorite book called WONDER. I don’t have turrettes. I don’t grow leaves on my legs like Timothy Green in the modern Disney movie. You wouldn’t know I am odd just from seeing me in pictures, posing with my family and dogs by the haystack. You wouldn’t even know I am a mermaid and that I have webbed toes. For real.
But I have sometimes posed in searching for myself, or to learn some new curious thing, or to entertain for fun. Harmless posing, don’t get me wrong. Nothing like being a nude studio subject to be penciled or charcoaled. Nothing like assuming a false identity in crime. Nothing like stalking. This is not me. I have not done these things.
I have concluded this about myself: I am multidemensional. At times a graphic artist. I have been known to be somewhat exposing in topic or content in my writing from time to time. I sometimes celebrate sexuality.
Mostly though, I expose myself in recognizing blunders, and miracles. Most often praising God and looking for Jesus in all my imperfections. Trying to love my neighbor both in living life and in writing about it. And yes, in the retell of life’s stories.
I kind of pride myself in honesty almost to a fault. The stories I share of myself, friends, and family are as true as my version can be. I see through my lense, but it is fairly true north. I feel I have a pretty decent moral compass at work.
Here are a few crazy antics in my portfolio: I have been known to “criticize”…NO, to express concern for a loquacious, amicable student with an over active bladder, expressed in too many trips to the bathroom and loss of learning time. Did this while in the chair, under the hand of his increasingly irritated, waxing mother. Lucky to leave the establishment with any eyebrows at all, I think.
I have been known to gain entry through volunteering myself and my “18” year old daughter this fall at Commic Con. Devon was really only 16 when this venue set records in Salt Lake City. Wall to wall sweaty, costumed bodies. We defied the odds in getting in. Experienced the wonder of fantasy and fiction in this sub culture. Rather mind blowing for someone from Want-a-Sheep.
I have been known to go to dinner and to fake a birthday if only for a song. Mostly to see if the waiter or waitress is as good as the last guy in operatic Italian renderings. I am a bit obsessed by anything Italian these days. And I have been known to falsify my name in tagging myself with a ridiculous name at Arts Are Core classes with my partner in crime, Che’ Johnson. I renamed Che’ after the Marxist Revolutionary Che’ Guevera. A kind of pseudo power trip that she is not aware of.
My renaming….a lie, as were the other stunts. This one requiring a new and improved bio explaining how my name Xyxyx (?? spelling??) originated in my father’s strange business venture company. (My dad really a graphic artist dealing nothing medical, if but gruesome renderings of severed arms and first aid cue cards for Air Force medics) In this false, alternative reality, he was working for a pharmaceutical in Texas that also manufactures catheters with the same namesake. Um. Bogus of course. Yes, I invented the whole thing.
This left more than a few wondering, but most believing me. I thought. Satisfied and confinced spectators in being genuine right up until I took a puff from a chocolate cigarette. This had me reaching for nicorrette gum, waving at another Cheryl, (Cheryl Willoughy) and reduced Che’ to rolling on the floor. Ha ha!
And what about the original choreography in somersaulting dancers. Scarf made loinclothes. Kind of reminds me of the poloar fleece make-shift pants I designed. McGyver-like. Wore these on Timp last summer. Kept me warm and happy. Made professional development an art form for survival.
I have toned down a bit since Che’ moved to Arizona, mostly in lacking a partner in crime to egg me on. I think I would like a friend like this again. The ones I want, I can’t seem to have. Sometimes I miss those loud air horn moments of shocking lunching teachers during parent teacher conferences. Or those gutbusting moments of rolling across the courtyard outside the U of U library in fire alarms, while working the whoopie cussion. (Hey! I did not pull the pull station!) The alarm was ligitamate. I WAS being good in book making.
I am learning to “know better” other sides of me in more recent humblings. In reduction to chaff and stubble. Thought I would meet Ruth among sheaves of wheat. In this I have turned to the word. I have turned to more introspection. I have tured to God.
I do love adventure though and the natural world. I love climbing Timp. I love hiking the spillway, and running the beach at Rockport with my boys. Sometimes find photsythesizing like Timothy Green the best recharge and extention of life. Send down roots, even if it is on the pic nic blanket in front of the school friending a fire hydrant.
I love talking to animals, in Doctor Dolittle tendencies, or old Narnian telepathy. Sometimes I hear the animals reply. This is quite fun. Clamboring up the haystack. Rolling and pitching hay in a doggy photo shoot. Being jumped on and whipped in the face by happy wagging tails (tales), receiving a forced face wash by Boozer. Childlike frolickings. Laughter no less. Finding my smile again. Our dogs, Jimmer and Boozer give me plenty of practice in this thing. I thank God for them.
I push the line of questioning at times with people. It is risky to ask feeling or philosophical questions at times. I am reminded of a short film by Torr Productions called “A Walk in the Park.” In this a working class man has a long conversation with a pan handler. Making bold statements and asking deep questions takes people by surprise. Puts them on guard. Makes some uneasy.
Sometimes I get a straight answer in consent and understanding. I feel in this moment there may be an unwitten unexpressed set of rules of engagement. Other times I get a strange “Are you serious!” Sometimes an awkward silence, or “I don’t know” reply. Evacuation.
Sometimes I wonder if conversation is becoming a lost form with technology replacing human interaction to some degree. Devices are edging out some finer points of living. Like the living. Sometimes I think people are bothered that someone would even speak to them when a text, or email would suffice just the same. I get it…people are busy and all business. It’s a material world, eh Madona?! Sometimes busy is necessary to unfinished and important works. Sometimes busy is a sin. Why is it lose lose? Why not win win. Again, it is in the thinking and understanding of things. Communication in all its forms important to be done well….appropriately.
Sometimes people have displayed…discomfort, or offense toward me, in words, and in body language that says, ”I couldn’t give a rats a** in not wanting to talk about it,” and “I most certainly don’t want to make myself vulnerable in sharing with YOU!”…and “Who do you think you are anyway, getting off in asking personal questions?” Jason defauts to “I don’t know.” Sometimes he really doesn’t know. Sometimes he just does not want ME to know in his not trusting. This is fine. Next to LOVE and life itself, choice is the greatest gift.
One of my gifts is that I am rather uninhibited with people. I can smile and laugh with a total stranger. Strike up a conversation and maintain it fairly comfortably to it’s intended end. Did this the other night at WalMart with a honey baked ham guy. Smoked the turkey. JK. I did not. I was nic. Again with a shopper. I have attempted this experiment at the DMV.
At Walmart, I presided in standing in the extra long coffee isle watching an Indian, or Pakistani woman selecting two kinds of coffee intended for the holiday guests staying in her home. Okay, I am not a creeper. Just a student of human interaction. Maybe I am a bit exploitive.
I said, “I have often wondered how people select their coffee. I am not a coffee drinker.”
I did not mean to sound judgemental. This was not my intention. She spent a moment explaining her habit as if appologizing. Not necessary I thought. I tired to put her at ease. I perceived she was having trouble in selecting coffee. Indecisive. She herself, an admitted capacinno woman. Thought it nice she would talk with me. She did not seem to be in a hurry on this Thanksgiving Eve.
“So, how do you decide what to get?” I probed. I have often wondered this. If I were into coffee, I would want to know how to choose. Seems overwhelming to me. This abundance we experience creates problems I think.
“Well, I try to match the coffee with the personality.” she explained. “One of my guests is quite hyper. I imagine them to want a dark roast. The other company a bit more mellow, requiring a more subtle medium roasted blend with additives.”
I wouldn’t know my coffee if it bit my in the bud….but I did manage to create some delicious off the menu mistos at Starbucks a few times since summer. Once a month caffeine seems to improve my condition. Also, a coffee fix in my greatest hours of need to take the edge off. Now I notice coffee everywhere. I wonder if I could easily become addicted to this thing. Single serving coffee makers on sale. Hmm. It has not come to this yet. I do love the smell of coffee though….the taste too…a mocha misto. Thoughts of coffee makes me warm and comforted inside. Takes me back to college to TLC, to the MASA Center, to Profe’ and to loving feelings.
This whole coffee isle mingling with a total stranger was fun. Puts my teenage daughter on edge. Not much though…I see she has turned in talking on an on with a friend from school. Making movie plans. Devon is 17 years old. She is conveniently nice to me when something is required. She could easily dispense with parents and go full time in friending if we were to let her. She surprises me sometimes though with tenderness. She came home from Black Friday ventures in gifting me a dvd: The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I have more on this some other time.
So I think I lead an odd life. This living may present to some as a narcissist trying to beat the system. In thinking myself above the law. I have taught students who are this way: Malachi, Claine, Chance. Think rather, they were just hurting somehow. Learned to love them. Not always easy, but fulfilling. They are me, in misdirected confidence, selfishness. In an “I can do anything!” attitude. Sometimes in spite of others being hurt. Sad.
Maybe I do present a bit overconfident, even rude in questioning. I simply must know things. Sometimes for myself. Sometimes for others. I put on this figurative hat. Not necessary, but I do. I am learning that some things just can not be known…yet. Even the people who should know, don’t know. I must be still and patient in trusting all will unfold as it should.
Perhaps I am arrogant in resisting authority. Aunt Marrila reassured once that sometimes even authority needs to feel resisted a bit at times. That this is good for bosses. I think I am willing to risk, question, even resist for the sake of creativity and problem solving. This a step toward needed action I think. Why not? Circumventing status quo, stale and negative stagnancy, to find another, new way of doing. This can be irritating to others who are stuck, think differently, or simply content to not think, like a laminator on standby. This changing thinking can yield answers, breatkthroughs. Can also intimidate and frustrate. Side effects. Is this self grandizing?
When I start getting down on myself, it is less easy to celebrate positives. It is more difficult to appreciate my uniqueness. But I am unique and this is good. I must work on keeping focus and remember intended outcomes. I want good to come. I want to be a source of goodness. Learn to smile and enjoy the moment without losing control to becoming the clown. Clowning is quite fun at times. Timing is imperative. I can do this self control. I think.
And so it is. I guess I am a blogger. Almost jumped ship. Almost erased it all, thinking this would be the ultimate, and best sacrifice in forsaking self and making resitution. And yet I am….. it is still here on the shelf. Sitting here. Odd in the packaging of my own making. No name brand. Generic. Magnificent. No can of SPAM for sure. I always thought the tiny key the best part of those older cans. Ha ha. Keys. 🙂