Monthly Archives: January 2018

The moon, a gift and a purple crayon…

 

taken long ago...

taken long ago…

I am a moonchild, no doubt. I set my alarm for 5 AM and at 5:05 I was standing outside facing West looking at the moon. It was still freezing – I knew this because of the frost on my neighbor’s roof and because I was “freezing”. It was worth it, the moon was beautiful, the earth was still and the day was about to begin.

At that moment, that time where night becomes day and sleep becomes wake, I, possibly, for the first time ever realized the tangible gift I was just given, the gift of a new day. “Here you go, Pam, here is your brand new, never used day. Take care of it, do right by it, for this gift is finite, this gift will one day expire.” Oh my, that sounds so sad and negative; it is not! It is important that we all know that things will change, this knowledge puts meaning on the present, it makes us aware that the here and now are available but fleeting, cherish it.

haroldI pulled William’s favorite childhood book, Harold and the Purple Crayon, off of the shelf as I waited (inside) for the eclipse. For some reason, I made this association with Harold’s moon and the  moon I was watching. Anyway, I read it. It was written in 1955, but the book I have has “1982” stamped on the back cover, the year William was born…I love little “connections” like this. Harold and his purple crayon create a world, his unique world, which begins with a moon, one to provide moonlight for a walk, and ends with a moon, one to help him find his way back home. This little book is fun to read with its simple drawings and chronological wanderings of this 4 year old boy but, as in all good stories, Crockett Johnson is ultimately highlighting the power and importance of imagination with his chosen words and purple lines, all centered around a moon – the theme of this very early morning, hence, the link, I suppose.

The moon has set and the mighty sun has taken its stoic spot in the sky; it’s time to begin the day. I will take with me that moment, when day broke, to remember the gift I was given and I will bring along my “purple crayon” to help with its design.

 b u

p s

I don’t know

bird feeder

I started tossing and turning at 5 this morning and finally gave in to the sleeplessness a little after 6:00. I got up and made coffee. I suppose I am practicing for tomorrow morning’s moon event. Anyway, here I am in a very quiet and early morning place just pecking on my keyboard trying to find words worth writing.

I read something yesterday about a woman who has made an ambitious exit; she turned off all of her social media, she unplugged from this virtual world we may be trapped in.

Before dawn, I thought about this. I thought about the good and the not so good and I continue to think but have not found my answer. How did all of this happen? Here I was doing my life, taking breaks throughout the day and evening but these breaks were not spent here at this computer and I did not carry a smart phone with me everywhere I went. I fed the birds, I read a magazine or a few pages in a book, I sat on the swing and watched our black cat romp, I hung my clothes on the line or called a friend or just sat with coffee in a curled up corner of stillness. So now, I take more breaks, usually at this computer – I look up recipes, read someone’s blog, read things of interest on FB and get my blood boiling over other things on FB, check the weather, etc. Necessary? No, but… I do love hearing from people who I might not hear from if not for social media and like a lot of moms, I enjoy being able to tell my kids something immediately without feeling like I am bothering them – calling can be precarious, messaging is almost always timely. But, on the other hand, there are no more letters in the mail, not as much face to face visiting, and the worst thing – so much comparing, especially damaging for the young and the insecure.

I conclude with, “I don’t know”…I suppose, like most things in life, moderation is the key and with everything in life, there are pros and cons. I am reading a book about Picasso – written by Francoise Guilot, a partner for 10 years of his life, a woman 40 years his junior and mother of 2 of his children; they met when she was 21 and he was 61 – within the book are many of Picasso’s notable quotes.

So far, what follows is my favorite bit of wisdom he shared with Francois. Coincidently, his words are on topic, even though it was spoken decades ago…great art is timeless.

He said, “You must realize that there is a price on everything in life. Anything of great value – creation, a new idea – carries its shadow zone with it. You have to accept it that way. Otherwise there is only the stagnation of inaction. But every action has an implicit share of negativity. There is no escaping it. Every positive value has its price in terms and you never are anything very great which is not, at the same time, horrible in some respect. THE GENIUS OF EINSTEIN LEADS TO HIROSHIMA.”

After all of this, I write something meaningful and useful, with no known negative consequence…

it is the dead of winter now, 

please feed the birds…

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b u

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Vanishing

NYC

I just read James Edmunds FB post about, yet, another cultural closure in Manhattan. I don’t know if I am going to be successful with expressing my feelings about news like this, but I am determined to try…I do not classify myself as a “traveler” but I do travel somewhat. I make extensive drives, both north and west, to see some of my adult children. I mostly drive because I love the freedom of the road and hate the hassle at the airport and consequent car rental places. Anyway, on my journeys, I have come to notice how vanilla this country is becoming; we are being defined by corporate and are losing “our soul”, to quote someone unknown to me; we are vanishing.

When I leave the Deep South, I take the interstate, I10 takes me to my connection and/or destination. I do understand that the interstate is mottled with corporate and by passes the towns and cities along the way, but I have seen what all of that corporate coverage on the outskirts of town does to the inside, the place that is (was) different, the place where the character once lived. I can easily see how the local shops are diminishing and being absorbed by the national chains that are on a monetary mission to rob each of our towns and cities of their identity and, sadly, we are letting it happen.

I see it first hand in our little southern towns. It is ironic that the culture in south Louisiana is what interest people and encourages travel and tourism; it is who we are, but it is slowly being dissolved by corporate moving in to feed off of these tourists and newcomers that our individuality brings in, and so began the “vicious circle”.

I remember the small towns and villages of Acadiana from my youth, each had its own uniqueness and were distinguished. They did not run together on the interstates and highways, they did not bleed of corporate spillage that connects each small town; they all had a unique character. Now, when I try to find them, they are spattered with the same familiar signs that “introduce” every other town. I worry, that soon, there will be nothing to identify them but the signs. Their interior, their soul, continues to shrink as they are being surrounded by suburban chains that cheaply replicate art and iconic establishments that were meant to be exclusive and original. Instead, there is now hundreds of cookie cutter sameness littering our countryside.

I wonder what happens next. When corporate is finished with these towns and cities it greedily absorbs, and we all look the same, what happens then?

This is nothing but an emotional post with not much academic input or substance and certainly no solution, but I  wanted to say it; that is why I have this little piece of real estate on the internet, my humble blog, so I can say “it”. Sadly, I doubt that anything or anyone will stop this huge machine that is taking our identity, our uniqueness, and in some cases, our livelihood, away from us.

Unfortunately, I will shop at the big box stores (I doubt that I eat at the chain restaurants, however) and I will feed into this corporate mountain of greed, all the while mourning the loss of our originality.

Thanks James for, at the very least, bringing this modern movement to light…that is what good art does, it makes people “see”.

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