Thursday, February 14, 2013


Stripping off spandex
or toga
or laurel crowns
Laying down scepters, and walking away
A hero, the antagonist,
head shaking as words muttered

What if the hero struggled
Weighed the pros and cons
Decided superpowers were too costly
The world can't be saved today.

What if those heroes
fallen from grace
were weighted by their choice to give up
but didn't know what else to do.

What if the choice
were braver than to remain
super-human strong

Hardly chivalrous to break
fall, fail, flounder
One half-hearted shove
at marble walls,
but really just not care
to be anyone else's hero today.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Say, "Cheese!"

One of these days, I'm going to get a real camera. I've tried getting real cameras as gifts for Christmas or my birthday in the past, but these gifts are never real cameras. When I get my real camera, I'm going to do something I love doing: Taking over 70 pictures at a time and finding 4 I actually like out of the bunch. Haha!

I took this one of the boy. He's hard to photograph because he's at the age where "Smile!" means pulling his lips unnaturally over his teeth and giving a wide-eyed psychopath expression. That can be cute sometimes... just... not very artistic to have 70 pictures that look something like this:

One can easily see that the first picture has a much softer, more artistic feel to it. I like it. It captures the sparkle in his eye and the glow to his naturally brown skin. While the second picture is good for a giggle. And to save to show future dates he brings home (insert low, maniacal laughing).  

The girl is even harder to photograph. She loves posing for the camera, but her poses are a little too dramatic to translate well into pictures. That, and her facial expressions are intense and fierce, but don't include natural smiles very often. And she's two, so she moves. A lot. My best bet with her is to give her props to play with and stand back snapping picture after picture to hopefully get one good one. 

She's my little imitator. She wants to do every single thing I do. It's humbling and adorable. So I give her my high heels. 

What I really want when I take pictures though, is not to have pixilated end-products with low resolution. The blur ruins perfectly good moments. Like this one:

So I want a real camera. A good camera. A real, good camera (I dare someone to try to correct my grammar there...).

I think it would be extremely fun if at some point I could do bigger things with my photography. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The New Confidence

The scar is getting better, slowly but surely. It's still very noticeable, but I'm getting used to it.

I use helichrysum hydrosol and argan oil on it every day, but instead of the scar bothering me, I imagine all sorts of ridiculous scenarios. Like, painting my neck green and drawing on big stitch marks so that I look like Frankenstein's monster.

Or, draw eyes above it and make it a weird smiley face. This really makes me giggle.

My poor scar is so embarrassed when I blatantly ridicule it.

 Now it wants to go incognito.

If I keep this up, it might go rogue on me, and then who knows what kind of fanged beast it will turn into.

Yes, I've taken to mercilessly making fun of my own scar. I do something similar in my college developmental writing class. When I get just a little too excited about grammar, I make fun of myself for my own enthusiasm. This kind of self deprecation is a good deflection.

If I'm making fun of myself, it kind of takes the steam out of anyone else making fun of me. Laughing at myself, I'm totally brave and confident.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Please don't call Hoarders...

This is my craft table right now.

And I'm using all of that stuff.

(Except the sippy cup. I've mostly outgrown those)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


I've remembered something in the past week and a half, something that I forgot was critical to my happiness and mental health: creating brings me inner peace and focus. Creating anything, really. I remembered that the times I am not making something are the times I am the lowest.

Writing proved to be a little tricky, so throughout the last week, I've thrown myself into creating. I wasn't even that intent on the product, but the process. Sitting at the table my grandmother just gave me, I made things, immersing myself for hours in a blissed-out world of creation.

First I made flowers. And then I put those flowers in my daughter's hair.

And speaking of my daughter's hair, she finally has enough to do this:

I also made French bread. 

And then I ate French bread. I will say, making bread for two hours and eating said bread in mere minutes was one of the most satisfying pastimes I have indulged in. 

And I made preschool games for the class I'm teaching this term. 

(By the way, why in the world did I sign up to teach preschool this term? As I struggle with healing and muscle weakness and chronic fatigue, teaching 2, 3, and 4 year olds is a bewildering task for me to take on. They are most exuberant little people.)

While the finished products might not seem impressive to the casual passerby, the process of making and putting aside all the physical and emotional struggles in favor of creation has been more healing to me than medicine. 

The laundry pile can fall down around me, the kids can climb the walls, the dishes can stack on top of each other. I'm busy re-making myself during one of the most challenging times in my life. And doing random interpretive dancing in the woods, just for giggles. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Self Image

My mind is going in many directions lately. Mostly crazy directions. And fragmented like reflections off a broken mirror.

I suddenly have much more interest in my appearance. Before, make up never held my attention for long. I was ambivalent in my resignation that my hair would never be coiffed in anything resembling the latest fashions. I silently judged women who obsessed over their looks; surely they were superficial or insecure. Surely I was above all that.

And then I had my neck sliced open twice in ten days. Surgery left its mark.

I'm superficial enough to be bothered by the red raised scar at the base of my throat, insecure enough to want to compensate for its rawness in other ways. Concealer masking. Eye liner drawing attention up, away. Bronzer highlighting. Shimmers reflecting, lip gloss wet and inviting. I braid, twist, coil and curl my hair, accessorizing with flowers and ribbons and scarves.

To be honest, I'm not caring about impressing others. It is myself I am trying to distract. I don't want to look in the mirror and see the sad, scarred woman I am slowly morphing into. If I highlight the right areas, maybe the ones that shame me will be muted.

Maybe I can recreate my own self portrait. Perhaps I can twist and coil and curl the struggles with my health into something worthwhile. "Cancer survivor" sounds heroic and so much braver than I feel, but I can apply it to my list of attributes like a coat of mascara. "Survivor" is a liner I can draw all over myself, really -- depression survivor, sexual abuse survivor, drug abuse survivor. Natural, unassisted childbirth survivor. Fingernail biter survivor. Multiple body piercings survivor. Counting experiences I have come through or encountered that haven't killed me yet is almost exhilarating. Difficult situations somehow sparkle under the word "survivor."

My fragments of broken mirror can be pieced together in a Picasso-like mosaic, a girl before a looking-glass. A girl looking at all the different pieces: lines, marks, colors. I'm reading my reflection to understand who I am now.

Like make up, Picasso never held my attention before. Yet now, like bottles of powder and color and shimmer, he is relevant to my life changes.  My changes in self perception.