I’m so excited to finally get to the keyboard with my big nagging question of the week. What’s the Story of the Stump? There’s big tree stump that projects beyond the metal guard rails on Westfield Boulevard. It is the hewn end,separated by slightly unparallel swaths of a good sized chain saw. It has the shattered irregular shards of the wood dividing its center, a jagged path of near a foot and half.
The peculiar part that piques my interest is that the stump is decorated. I don’t mean memorialized, accident site decorated. Its more face- painted. Today’s version hosts a five point white star with two bull’s eye rings of red and blue. Last month it was a flower, an umbrella before that.
Each month or holiday features a different painted image. For example, in the year plus I’ve traveled this route I’ve seen a shamrock, heart, ornament, turkey and pumpkin. I almost always notice, even when I try not to. Continue reading
My writing life is evolving, pulsating, ebbing, and waning. Scratching the surface, scattering seed like chickens in a pen. Millet, cracked corn, husks and occasional bits of meat poured upon the page.
With the discipline of assignments and the cracked sash of a window of opportunity causes me to scribble with increased frequency and with fewer inhibitions. Words, usually in fragments, assault the page. They are a rash of thoughts, recollections, free of the architecture, more concerned with sensation and painting with language.
Exploration, surprise and confidence building is this practice. Sometimes it takes on a life of its own anything from a gentle to a persistent nagging to tell a story. I write to seek meaning, to explain. Explain away. Explain why. Explain or justify a reason for the story to be told.
Perhaps it’s another form of bulimia, purging the overindulgence and collection of thought, emotions that must be spewed out in relief. No, that’s not it. It was being heard, understood that made the process important. Witnessing the reflex, the response, reaction to the memory, the picture imprinted in some other’s brain that fueled this action.
The writing process has eradicated some of the outer layers of protection. It’s become a forum to account for my years on this earth. It may be a place of purpose – right words – right times. Right or wrong the words however are true to the times.
My writing is a flirtation, a seduction that courts fantasies, memories and myths of old tales. It is a process of word spew, rambling thought, emotional fetid air, sour milk, or a belch. Sometimes writing is a sudden gasp and cramp of memory. Reading the words on the page diminish the importance of a many stories in my psyche. It’s a mental de-clutter and sometimes resolution.
When I ask myself, what would I do if I were brave?
I would write and write again, edit, seek feedback and edit 10x. I would seek guidance to go deep and write long. To hone, carve, craft and deliver a message worth sharing.
The Pope Francis Fan is a promotional item that can be customized on the back panel. I suggested a relative who works for the Archdiocese. She passed on the idea. I simply couldn’t give up on the idea so I ordered some samples. Admittedly I did approach this with a little fun in mind, but after witnessing my cousins’ reaction upon receiving one and the competitive response from those who did NOT. I knew it was a winner. Continue reading
At 23, I was certain that I was all grown up, a full-fledged adult. Less than a year out of nursing school with a disappointing love life and more confidence than deserved I was convinced that a professional adult destiny was to strike out and leave home. Life loomed, an uncharted future required action. I snatched pieces and parts of others’ stories of travel, sport, adventure and position. Snow skiing was on my list. I planned, persuaded and cajoled trying to create a ski vacation.
It was a time (30 years before the internet)when there existed “travel bureaus” and talent experts called agents to provide ample color pamphlets about every kind of travel, often with personal testimonials or industry spin. Sometimes travel incentives were included in low seasons like an extra night’s stay, a meal or welcome reception. Amenities like this screamed elegant! Continue reading