Tuesday, July 31, 2012

free write # 75/ airports

i used to really like airports when i was a young girl.  i found it neat to get someone to drive out to the airport and just watch the planes coming and going.  i liked wondering about all the people and what their stories were all about.

then later, as an adult, i started traveling in planes and airports weren't so romantic anymore.  there was lost luggage and missed connections and that over night stay at o'hare.  i was leaving home for the first time...going off to be a married woman.  it was gut wrenching saying good bye to my mother. it was one of the hardest things for me emotionally, but a rite of passage i suppose.

since then airports have become associated with big drama for me.  i was always leaving, it seamed.

lindberg field, the airport in san diego.  i always cried when i arrived there even when i was happy to be going home.

i think airports have changed a lot since 911.  i haven't been flying since then.

can't things of what else to say about airports except to mention over priced food and bad coffee.

Monday, July 30, 2012

#74/ laundry

i used to love to do laundry when i had my maytag washer and my back yard where i could hang things to dry in the afternoon sun.  i did a load or two every day and i loved doing it.
not so much now that i have to stuff the wash into a cart and drag it several blocks to the laundromat where a million other people wash their clothes.  Don't even mention folding in a laundromat...the worst.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

free write #73/baskets

i have a torrey pine needle basket woven by lillian barns. the needles were dyed a deep burgundy.  it holds my "leda and the swan" chess set pieces...a gift from collier.
i have other baskets too...functional one filled with trinkets, scraps of fabric.  junk.  my stuff.
a well made basket is a wonderful thing.

free write #72/ tv

i've lived without tv for so long now i don't know what to write about.  those rare occasions where i'm around a working tv i am absolutely spellbound.  even the commercials grab my attention.

every summer barb and i watch the tv show Big Brother.  it's become a tradition now.

growing up i loved television.  there was a lot to love on tv in the late fifties and early sixties.  seventies and eighties too, i guess.  i quit watching sometime in the nineties.

my favorites are still the really old shows like "i love lucy" which still makes me laugh today despite seeing every episode a dozen times.

"at the signpost up ahead"  the twilight zone and the original star trek.  rod searling and gene rodenbury both on my list of people i've have liked the opportunity to talk with.


my current mattress is about 15 years old. the fabric is worn in the center and frayed at the edges.  There are about a thousand cat scratches; it sags in the middle.

i love pretty sheets to cover a mattress.  i remember dressing the bed as a prelude to love making.  this old mattress saw some action in its day, but nothing i want to go into here.

i've sat cross legged on this mattress and painted silks.  i've cut matboard on this bed. i've shared the space with friends and lovers.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

free write #70/ rainbows

i've only seen a handful of rainbows in my entire life time and that scarcity makes them even more special when they do form.
i love the idea of rainbows...the spectrum of light....yellow, orange, red, blue, green, violet and indigo arched over the sky.
there was talk of a rainbow coalition once awhile back.  i always thought it was a great concept.
over the rainbow a kansas tornado lands a house on a wicked witch.  a little girl's head is twisted by talking scarecrows, flying monkeys, sentimental tin men and a frightened lion.  the most famous rainbow of all is there in oz.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

free write #69/ hospitals

good places to stay away from, hospitals.  i spent some time in one recently and tho i have to say it was not the hell hole i remembered, i was glad to get out of there.
my first job out of college was in a hospital.  its was in the materials department, way in the bowels of the building.  it was far from any patients so it never felt like working in a hospital , so much as working in a warehouse.
my mother spent most of her life is hospitals...working as a nurse for over forty years; later as a patient herself.  When she was dieing i fought like hell to be able to bring her home so her last days would be in her own home.  it seemed the right thing to do at the time.  it's what i would have wanted, if it was me.  in hindsight, she may have preferred her last days at the hospital since she was so familiar with it.
i'm scared of hospitals and all the drama they hold in their walls.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

number68/free writes

writing about this project of a free write a day for a year. five, ten, fifteen or twenty minutes of undisturbed, automatic writing where no thought is given to spelling,grammar or punctuation, on a specific subject and the subject of this free write is free writes.  i guess its an attempt to explain why we thought this was a good idea in the first place.  why indeed?
"something to do" i said.  "a project"  a year of free writes.  already we've begun the countdown.   only two hundred and ninety seven days to go!

Monday, July 23, 2012

free write 67/ pens

its important to have the right pen for a writing project.
i used to have a collection of fountain pens....well, 3 actually.  i loved filling them up with ink.  i wrote bad poetry and long, moody journal entries with those pens.

someone gave me a cross pen gift set once, but i hated the smell of the ink.  i prefer 'inky' felt tip pens which you can use for drawing too.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

freewrite 66 teachers

the teacher who influenced me most was Pat Passloff, my painting professor in college.  Also, Bob Chiles, my Religion and Psychology teacher.  Also Herb Leibowitz, with the seashell hair and love of literature.  Paul Covington for art history; Mike Cetta on the works of D.H. Lawrence.
In high school it was Miss Staus with her short skirts and straight hair -- English Lit -- a rare academic class in that fashion curriculum.
In elementary school it was Miss Handsburg with the thick legs and dark glasses.  She introduced me to words.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

freewrite 65 dreams

Those counterfeit realities which sometimes feel so real.  In many of mine I am packing too much stuff in too small a suitcase.  I wonder what that means.  Excess baggage?  Probably.
Dreams are hard to write about because they are so darned elusive, most time i can barely recall dreaming at all.  Then there are the waking dreams, those goals that propel you to excellence.  Something big to pursue -- an achievement
all that come to my head are cliches
in your dreams
if ony dreams came true

Friday, July 20, 2012

64 books

Todays subject is books, of which I have a lot.  No Kindle will ever replace the feel of a book balanced in my hand.
My shelves overflow, mostly with books I'll never read again.
Books are magic, both plot driven and abstract; poems, art book, a good novel, all providing hours of entertainment and information and escapeism.  Fine papers and fonts make reading a pleasure too.  So many books, so little time.  When I was very young I wanted to read every thing that had ever been written.  Old books of leather with fancy marbeled end pages.

freewrite 63 death

Funny to be writing about death on the eve of my birthday.  It's a big birthday, tho, and it brings me that much closer to the inevitable.  I think about death a lot as i turn 60.  not morbid thoughts per se, just a curosity about the circumstances surrounding me when my time comes.
Maybe Death comes riding along like a Bergman character -- a friendly game of chess holding one's fate.  I can't afford to die anytime soon, as I have no burial fund.
Getting stuck on the subject of death.
The Denial of Death by E. Becker, was one of my favorite books.  it attempted to explain how our characterlogical lie revolves around our fear of death and the ways in which we deny it.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

freewrite #62 dogs

I don't have a lot of direct experience with dogs, but you gotta love em.  Big and dopey is how i like them best, but i like them all.
I remember Nero the pitbull who adopted us for a month in San Diego.  I joked once that he should pack his things and move in.  He returned later with his bone.
Nero had the sweetest nature.  He whimpered at the bottom of the staircase because Bud wouldn't let him pass.  I'd have to go get him and bring him to the studio where he'd lay by my feet.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

no. 61/ sand

the sand on corondo beach has a gold flake to it, which sparkles on wet skin.  i know that sand the hotel del and i ache with familiarity.
where i grew up the sand is different....course and littered.  coney island sand burning your feet till you reached the shore or made it to the damp, dark sand underneath the boardwalk.
i remember sand in my shoes,
sand in my clothes, scratching my skin.

Monday, July 16, 2012

free write #60/ figures

polished and bronzed, the figures in museums come to life when everyone is watching
their graceful curves, the strength of a jawbone, the taut muscle captured for eternity
or as long as people appreciate the form of figures, draped in cloth...the bare body it its perfection.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

freewrite #59 bread

There's nothing in the world like the smell of fresh baked bread.  It must be a universal pleasure whether the bread is flat or round or styled into a loaf.
My friend's father was a baker who made his own bread.
A psychic once told me i was a baker's daughter, but in germany in the 17th century.  I was in love with the local ner' do well.  Not so different from this life.
Bread in all flavors, rye, pumpernickel, marbeled breads.  The bread of life. Sustanance, nourishment of body and soul.
Warm bread with butter slowly melting , a little bit of heaven for sure.
Bread tossed upon the waters.
Bread toasted golden brown -- chunks ripped from a crusty loaf.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

FREE WRITE #58/ dance

you have to be extremely comfortable in your own skin to dance...which is why i don't.

ballet is my favorite form of dance to watch..  i admire the hours and hours of practice to achieve the  effortless leap.  the flow of tulle  twirling as the ballerinas spin across the stage.

i also like the alvin ally type dance troupes with their movements so raw and primitive you feel your own limbs wanting to move too.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

no. 57/whales

massive and amazing, these creatures, singing their sad, soulful songs.

i went whale watching once.  a dozen sailboats converged on the whales as they made their way into baha.

stuck on this one, but i just keep writing about whales, their enormous bulk reminding me of a henry moore sculpture.

free write 56/ sunsets

my friend Barbara does the most glorious photographs of sunsets.  Big swooping clouds; or a golden sky that looks like something out of africa.  check her out over at Reading the Sky.
sunsets are all about color.  as a painter, i'm intimidated by the sky and mother earth's rich palette...and that fragile glow that i can never capture.
i struggle with this subject; sunsets are so visual how do you ever describe them in words.
kinda like fire behind an object.

free write #55/ fireflies

i always called them lightening bugs and i associate them with childhood at my grandmother's or cousin robbie's place in long island.
someone would puncture a jar lid with holes and we kids would pass the evening catching fireflies and collecting them in the jars.  it was fun watching a bunch of them light up together..like some strange glass torch.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

freewrite 54/ signs

we did a photowalk on the subject of signs,all along 5th avenue.  i mostly took pictures of store signs.

street signs were more interesting before they were generic green and white. 
Road signs are cool "burma shave" comes to mind.
signs warning us, careful danger ahead, merging traffic.  keep out. keep off. keep going.
caution signs alerting us to deer crossings and curves in the road.

Monday, July 9, 2012

free write #53 shamanism

Michael Harner's book started it off,  The Way of The Shaman.  shortly after i met my own teacher Grey Owl.

i remember once we were paddling a canoe; going deep, getting darker.  i started to panic and woke myself to my regular reality.

the vision quest in the mountains is what i remember most.  collecting items in my power pouch that later disappeared, or perhaps were never there

4 blue jays circled my head 4 times.
that's all i remember; that and driving down the mountain while the sun was setting.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

free write #52/Watercolor

i started doing watercolor after my first back operation.  it was easier on my body than batiking which required some lifting of dye baths.  watercolor was a lot like painting silks...brushes loading with pigment; color spreading out in the wet on wet technique.  using salt for texture was also something i learned painting silks.
i sometimes have a heavy hand when it comes to watercolor. i like my pigments thick.  glaze upon glaze to achieve rich color, but sometimes the colors go all muddy.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

free write 51/incense

the lighting of incense is a ritual in some religions.

smokey tendrils of fragrance, heavy and permeating.

long slender wands or short stout triangles.

i've used incense to mask the smell of marijuana, cat pee or too much cigarette smoke.

my favorite fragrance is rainwater.

Friday, July 6, 2012


this topic brings me to national city,california, to wilbur bradley's gourd farm.  There i washed gourds with peter shapiro who would later cut and fashion them into kalimbas...thumb pianos....with notes reverberating.  he could play that kalimba like it was a steel drum.

gourds are amazing things. they come in all shapes and sizes.  painted, wood burned, carved or natural, gourds possess a quiet dignity and timelessness.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

free write 49/ coney island

one of my favorite subjects to paint, coney island fascinates me.   the big bold machinery of the rides intrigue me.  they are like the bones of prehistoric beasts rising above you, then swinging and sweeping your body down mountainous hills and curves that make you lean first to one side and then the other.

i should stick to painting.

every generation thinks that their coney island was the best. back to dreamland, luna park, steeplechase, astroland.The ornate carvings of merry go round figures and the steeplechase horses that rode independently arriving at the finish line.

coney island, where the garrish and the freakish and the sensational meet.

i had my first crush in coney island.  bryant wallman of the tilt a whirl.  he flirted with me and gave me free rides.
I must've road the tilt a whirl a hundred times that summer.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

free write 48/ Independence day

i remember watching "Yankee Doodle Dandy" each 4th of july.  The story of george m. cohen,as portrayed by james cagney.  "top of the world, ma"  but that's an entirely different story.

i remember writing in journals on july 4th as i struggled to declare my personal Independence.

4th of july fireworks at coney island, or more often from the roof where we would "oh and ah" at each new blast of color and light.   tenants knew each other back then.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

free wrote # 47/ ice

cubes of frozen water
good, on a hot night
like this

ice melts in a glass.

glaciers deep at sea
deep transparent blue
bitter cold and clear
as ice
in a frosty glass

gliding on ice
the skaters fly by
and with such grace.

Monday, July 2, 2012

free write # 46/senses

what can ya say about senses except that it would be a dull life without them.

the exquisite visual, the pungent taste, the sweetest sounds, sensual touches, the fragrance of freesias.

the senses open the proverbial gates
of pleasure and pain...
the bitter and the divine.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

free write $45/candles

i remember making candles back in the 70's.  i would fill the mold with ice cubes to get that swiss cheese, filagree look.

a good scented candle is the best...like the one lynnie gave me last we met.  lilac.  actually smelled like lilac.  a product that told the truth.

candles on cakes and candles to celebrate a romantic evening.

i once lit a dozen candles for a lover that never arrived.

how long is this free write?
there is an end even to candles.