After fourteen and a half years together, my husband only just realized the other day that the general store where I grew up literally sold gold pans, pick axes, tools, animal feed, various sundries, and livestock (mostly chicks and ducklings and goslings) underneath. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, the nearest city, Placerville, was 45 minutes away. These are pictures I took on a drive to my house chronicling the extreme vast nothingness of Mt. Aukum Road in El Dorado County, Northern California. Trees have lives of their own and are magical here, and the extreme poverty allows structures (mostly barns) to become severely decayed like a watercolor painting. These pictures are from 2008 when I went back for one afternoon after moving away 8 years earlier. Nothing had changed. In fact, businesses had closed down since I had left, so the area, in fact, devolved. This is my California.
Shackleford and his pups from “The Endurance: Shackleford’s Legendary Anarctic Expedition”
There is no love as unconditional as that from a dog. Before I met my dog I had never had someone who was always glad to see me when I came home. No one who was always overjoyed when I woke every morning. No one who was ecstatic to sigh next to me on my pillow each night. I don’t like admitting it, but in many senses, I didn’t discover a joy for life until I had a dog. I didn’t really know why people wanted to live before him. Sometimes I worry that if something happened to him I will go back to how I was BD. Before Dog. Back when I was sad. Through him I discovered that in the morning the streets are empty and the leaves are covered with dew and that time, morning time, is the best time for all things. That time is also the best time because my people, dog people, are the only people out on the street. My tribe, my new tribe, stumble about with plastic bags in hand, along the sidewalks, offering cursory greetings. It is not true that we, the dog people, are actually friendlier, more outgoingier. We’re just in a constant state of mild dog bemusement. I went to a talk given by Neil Gaiman a few weeks ago and my one take away from the whole talk was that he said that all writers need a dog. I totally agree. Adopt a dog. He or she will make your life better. Lovelier.
This week I’m choosing a symbol, because this one shape is universal and has many meanings/words that can be associated with it. For example, courage, solitued, pulsate, life, give, change, vulnerable. The actual symbol is that of a heart. I started a project for myself three years ago that became something I carry on to this day and have been evolving and would love to ask you to partake in a few extra little details for this week. 1. Make a <3, or two or three and give away one of them (either to a person, or hang it some where in public, or take a photo and send it to people that remind you of it, or any other action the enacts a sharing. 2. In your writting you can substitute the ❤ where ever the word may apply or reign in connection to whatever you associate with it, but of course that is optional and I thought it might be interesting to see what we all get from/interpret within each others piece.
I hope this is okay with all of you, can’t wait to see it spread.
When death strikes, we often feel as if the life of the deceased simply washes down the drain.
Death is just as important as life. We live every day, but die only once…yet we greet it with fear. We mourn death’s very existence with ceremony, in place of celebration.
Here is my ode to such emotion.
The most iconic shadow of all time, the first vampire ever put on motion picture, Count Orlok, the Nosferatu
Perfect day I cannot forget
cracked skin, dried lake
side by side one last time
my heart you made ache
shadows loved, shadows buried deep inside now between these holes so deep water, mud, new I make
thurst fill this dried lake
This is my shadow. He watches my back when I follow the light, and preceeds me as we head into the darkness.
I have been racking my brain pretty hard on this theme…which is weird, because usually my work tends to be darker, borderline macabre even. anyways, I decided to focus on my own shadow….my mental illness. When it hits me, I feel like a dark creature has wrapped it’s long clawed fingers around my entire being and plunged me into a state of insanity fueled completely by despair. This is her, crawling up the back of my neck, reaching in my mind to take away all sense of joy, and leave me in complete madness.