hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
Aside from the fact that HAL got an old Sade song running through my head, this is the kind of poem I'd like to talk about in some detail. But I also have Stuff To Do if I can find the energy, plus the return of an annoyingly frequent cough, so I'm not really going to say much of anything.

Some may think this morbid. )

(no subject)

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006 09:29 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)
This is the time of year when I start to wonder, "Why is it so dark in my room when the sun is shining so brightly?" And then I remember that the recently-bare trees are now covered with leaves and I briefly feel like an idiot.

I haven't seen any fuzzy raccoon friends around lately, but the leaves on the tree outside my window block my view of the chimney where one lived. Over the weekend I watched a robin working on her nest in that tree, though she never sat still for very long. Later, a crow landed on that branch and thoroughly investigated the area, hoping to find something to eat. Later still, the robin returned to the nest, looked around a bit, then flew away. I haven't seen her since.

Random childhood memory: Once when I found a dead bird in the backyard, my brother warned me not to touch it because "You could get lice! You don't want lice, do you?" But I didn't know the word "lice" at the time. What I thought he was saying was "You could get lifes! You don't want lifes, do you?" It seemed strange to me that a dead bird could transmit life (more than one?). It seemed even stranger to me that getting more life would be thought of as a bad thing. Wasn't it good to be alive? Maybe there was something about life given to you by a bird that made it unsafe for people. I wanted to ask my brother more questions, but he was busy and didn't want to be bothered. A long while later, I heard the expression "the birds and the bees" and thought it might be a clue.

As I was typing, the robin returned to the nest. I see her through the leaves, glowing in the dappled morning sunlight.

Memory Bingo

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006 12:12 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Kaleidoscope (purple & white))
I see the word "Bingo" and automatically think of my grandparents' basement. I'm not entirely sure why. A curve, a turn near my old home, a grassy spot with a sign announcing Bingo games at a local church reminded me of my grandmother, even though she lived too far away to have ever played there. She did take me to a Bingo game once, I think, though I don't remember details. Somehow though it reminds me of candy, the stacks and stacks of boxes and boxes of candy in my grandparents' basement. Upstairs in the dining room they kept scalloped glass jars full of M&Ms, both plain and peanut, but down in the basement was where they kept any kind of candy you could ever imagine seeing in a movie theater or in your sack at Halloween. They didn't give those candies out very often. Maybe they gave away candy like that at my grandmother's Bingo game, or maybe she gave some just to me for being good and well-behaved while they played their game. Maybe candy, boxes and boxes of candy, seemed like the perfect prize to a small child with a sweet tooth, so I couldn't imagine why anyone would ever want to win anything else when they played their games.

After my grandfather died (my grandmother had died a few years before), we survivors went through the basement to see what we wanted to use, what to count as inheritance, what to sell or give away. There wasn't very much candy left, if any. There were stacks and stacks of dried foods and canned foods, dehydrated green beans and dehydrated potatoes, "textured vegetable protein" and enough mix to make a swimming pool full of lime jello. We brought so much food out of the basement that neighbors were convinced my grandfather must have been a Mormon. He wasn't. My grandparents had simply done what they could to prepare for nuclear war, stocking their thick-walled basement with things they thought they'd need to survive.

I bet if they had had to live in the basement after some nuclear attack, they would have wished they'd stocked more candy.
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
The phone line is noisy this morning. Connection speed stinks. And still, as soon as I discovered this was online, I had to download it.

If you want to understand something about the major influences that warped my growing brain, you need to go to this page, go nearly to the bottom of the page, and download "What_is_Amway.mp3" (song file less than 2 megabytes). You need to hear this--mere description is not enough.

Yes, the Sanborn Singers recorded multiple albums. My parents owned at least two.

I said, Mister,
In this soap
There's a new life,
There is hope,
Lots of new friends
Every day,
And now we have the money for our bills to pay!

The Role of a Lifetime

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005 10:22 am
hummingwolf: Part of a julia fractal in colors of fire and smoke. (Fire-flavored fractal)
In this world, we all have our troubles. Every single one of us has moments, or months, or years, where we feel we are suffering--must suffer--will continue to suffer more than we can possibly bear. For the biblically literate, the story of Job is the obvious comparison. Poor Job! Calamity after calamity, misery upon misery, all piled on top of this innocent man! He never knew the reason--he was blamed for asking the question--and totally blameless, he endured so much. How could he stand it? He was just like meee!

Who here is familiar with Archibald MacLeish's J.B.: A Play in Verse? It's a modern retelling of the book of Job. Wait, no, that's not quite it: "my J.B. is not a reconstruction of the Book of Job--not, at least, a reconstruction of the kind presently familiar in which the discovery of the model is part of the adventure. My play is put in motion by two broken-down actors who believe, themselves, that the play is the Book of Job and that one of them is acting God and the other, Satan. When J.B. and his family appear however it is not out of the bible that they come."

When we read this play aloud in twelfth-grade English, the teacher wanted each role to be performed by a single person for consistency's sake. So she began to describe each part, great and small, and asked who in the class wanted to read it. When she came to one particular role and began to delineate it, suddenly her eyes grew wide and you could practically see the big light bulb popping on over her head as she turned to me and asked "Do you want to play this part?"

Now, for which role in the story of Job could I have been such an obvious choice?Extended Quote )
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (one)
Silty stream of consciousness spilled onto paper Monday afternoon.
Letters and Ciphers and My Cult of Personality )

(no subject)

Tuesday, March 1st, 2005 11:41 am
hummingwolf: (two)
My imaginary twin was named Lauryn. I first met her one day in school, as I sat in the classroom feeling sorry for myself and wishing I could be somebody else. She appeared to me in a glittering golden mist, standing tall and happy, strong and beautiful, graceful and popular. Lauryn looked at me with a mixture of pity and something less socially-correct, making it plain that I was a waste of good DNA and she was happy we had been separated at birth.

Lauryn followed me through school, though my friends never met her. She was always in the background of my life, though, always cool, athletic, extraverted, exuberant. She was calm in the face of danger. She never cried.

I decided one day that Lauryn must die, but she vanished from my world before I had become proficient with my imaginary weapons. I have tried not to wonder what she is doing now.

Recently I was reading about another person's imaginary twin, one who had the same first name I do. That imaginary twin was intelligent, socially-skilled enough to do well in school but quiet enough to fade into the woodwork, unnoticed except on rare occasions when she wanted to be seen. Though I don't know many details, there were other details, and that imaginary twin sounded a lot like the high-school version of me.

One of my pet peeves is people acting as if others existed only to fulfill their needs. Each individual has a right to their own existence, a right to be what they need to be whether that fits into your life or not. No sentient creature was created for the sole purpose of being used by you.

But what if? What if the imaginary twin who appeared one day in response to your desires and self-pity--what if they woke up with a life of their own? What if they were everything you thought them, with all the gifts you gave them--but felt themselves lacking in those qualities you didn't think you'd need? The person whose imaginary twin existed to do well in school never needed that twin to be healthy, to get a job, to buy groceries, to pay the rent. The imaginary girl was good at what she did, but who knows how many things she would never be able to do? And one day her creator sent her away and closed the door, neither wanting nor needing her twin in her life anymore.

And here I am.

I hope that somewhere, somehow, Lauryn has found a way to be happy.
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Does anybody know of any websites written by or about people who grew up in Amway households? Something about the family going on vacations to Ada, Michigan to see the Amway facilities or to the Nutrilite plant (whose location I'm forgetting)? Kids growing up knowing how to deliver the circles presentations and able to spout forth all the reasons why Amway is superior to all those other silly companies people compare it to? Going to summer camps run by Amway Crown Directs? Singing along with LPs and tapes of the Sanborn Singers? Hanging around patiently in Amway conventions convinced you'll soon be motivated enough to sell lots of products and become a Crown yourself when you turn eighteen?

I have a feeling such a website should exist, but I don't want to be the one to write it.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Cuddly plush toy)
Hershey bar, plain: S'mores, of course. Sitting with my parents and some family friends at the campsite my grandparents owned, toasting a marshmallow till it was just brown enough, putting it on top of a milk chocolate square on top of half a Graham cracker, then smushing the chocolate and marshmallow with the other cracker half. In between marshmallows, I'd put the tip of a stick into the fire and let a tiny flame grow at the end. After convincing myself the stick wouldn't burn up in my hand, I'd wave it around in the air, drawing pictures for the sole purpose of dazzling my own eyes.

Smarties (American candy, pressed sugar with artificial colorings and nominally fruitlike flavorings): The only time of year I ever had Smarties as a child was at Halloween. The next-door neighbors, an older couple who'd babysat me whenever my mother was in the hospital, always bought bunches & bunches of Smarties and I could take as many as I wanted.

In 1980, the couple's kitchen table was covered in bowls of any kind of candy a little kid could think of ; and as soon as they ran out of a kind you liked, they'd fill the bowl with more. Naturally, this was the house every kid in the neighborhood wanted to visit at Halloween. When we'd come to the door, the man would ask us, "Who are your parents voting for this year?" We'd shout, "Ronald Reagan!" and he'd let us in to the land of plenty. While I was there, a trio of high-school girls came to the door. Not being from our street, they weren't sure at first if it was safe to come in. When they decided that a horde of little ones couldn't be wrong, the man asked them, not who their parents were voting for, but who they would vote for that year. Two girls said "Ronald Reagan" and came right in. The other girl said, "I can't vote yet, but if I could, I'd vote for John Anderson!" The man told her she couldn't come in. She protested; he was adamant. She said it was a free country; he said he was free not to let her into his home. She stared longingly at the table full of candy, at her two friends laughing at her stubbornness, and finally said, "Okay, okay! I'd vote for Reagan too!" So she too got to enjoy the sweetness of the impending Morning in America.

(This wasn't my earliest political activity. Apparently in the early '70s I went around the house chanting "Nixon is a dummy! Nixon is a dummy!")
Read more... )
hummingwolf: hummingwolf in front of brick wall with flower drawn on it (Wallflower)
Me, a little kid in a bathing suit sitting in a car with my brothers and two or three of their friends. As we go down the road with a storm raging outside, one of my brothers jokes, "I guess this is our 20% chance!" Apparently the weatherman said there was just a 20% chance of showers that day, but I didn't know what "percent" meant. So my brothers & their friends explained it to me.

I don't know if that's really what the moment was like. I have a good memory, but it's never been perfect and that summer day was many years ago. But anytime I hear that there's a 20% chance of rain, that car ride comes to mind.

Years later, I'm in my early 20s at a party hosted by a college friend and his housemates. I'm there with another friend, one who often says to me that she doesn't want attention and yet attracts notice everywhere she goes. People are drawn to her like clich├ęs to a flame while I stand there with a plate of chocolate chip cookies and marvel.

A few years after that, my friend who held the party is talking to someone else about me. "You met her once--she was at that party, with her friend -----" he says, and then he goes on to describe my friend who he's sure would be remembered. The person he is talking to says that oh, of course he remembers me, but who was this other person? He can't remember her at all. One of the most noticeable people in the room isn't even a footnote in memory.

That woman is the one who showed up in my dream last night. She was a bit of a cipher there, a nonentity in a way she never managed to be in the time that I knew her. How well do I remember her now? Somewhere around I've got samples of her writing. I wonder if, when I find them, I will recognize her at all.

"She genuinely wants to be honest, but reality keeps getting in the way." From what I remember of her, that fits. She did not lie. I'm sure of that. The problem was that whatever she felt and thought at the moment was, she believed, what had always been. You could have a debate with her, perhaps, and finally convince her of a point. If you were the kind of person who gloats over minor victories, you might say, "Ha! I knew I could bring you around to my way of thinking!"

At that point, she would look at you quizzically. "What do you mean?" she'd ask. "I've always believed that. I thought that way even when I was small." And you would not be able to convince her that what she had said five minutes before was what she had said five minutes before.

When I first got to know her, talking to her wasn't so confusing. Her reality was stable enough that she could tolerate and acknowledge deviations. She was living the way she wanted, on the path toward the kind of life she thought was her destiny. A few years later, though, things had fallen apart, with her having failed too many classes, having too many relationship problems, and finally holding tightly to the idea that she had never changed, that the world and all her friends had betrayed her. If anyone said that they remembered something differently, they were a liar and had always been a liar. And so she ended up with the firm belief that what she felt now was the way things had always been, and she could not remember a time when anything was any different.

At least, that's how I remember her today.

Random childhood memory

Wednesday, June 30th, 2004 01:58 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Cuddly plush toy)
Once upon a time, while eating some opaque soup (probably tomato) which had come out of a can, I bit down on something hard. Something in my soup! It turned out to be two somethings: two poodle-shaped refrigerator magnets, one black and one white. My mother said she had nothing to do with them--they must have been in the can. As far as we knew, there was no promotion featuring toy surprises in your soup. There were just two anonymous dog magnets stuck in the food for no apparent reason. Odd.

You will understand what a drastically different era that was when I tell you that we cleaned off those puppies, stuck them on the fridge, and never sued anybody at all.


In other news, I'm trying to decide whether or not to panic. Please distract me.

Special Delivery

Wednesday, July 9th, 2003 11:56 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
A conversation about tea and coffee this evening brought back memories of having tea delivered to the house when I was a child. Since tea delivery is something nobody else in the chat remembers, I'll ask you: Does anybody else out there remember Jewel Tea? While we're at it, did you get big cans of potato chips and other snacks & stuff from Charles Chips?

On Sunday mornings before church in the early '70s, when other boys were delivering newspapers, my brother had a bagel route. As far as I know, he never threw anybody's bagels in the bushes.

Mother's Day

Sunday, May 11th, 2003 08:55 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
It's been a long time since I celebrated Mother's Day. Mom died when I was fourteen years old; she was only forty-nine. She's buried in a veterans cemetery I don't remember the name of. I don't believe in sending cards and chocolates to the dead unless they ask.

I was the one blood relative available who skipped the open casket version of the funeral. I didn't want to remember her as a corpse, with far more makeup than she ever wore in life. For more than a year after she died, I could only remember what she was like in pain, raging at the illnesses that caused her such misery and the people around her alike, crying, sometimes calm and seeming resigned to her fate, sometimes hallucinating because of the drugs she was on. Even before she got lung cancer--well before, in fact, longer than I'd been alive--she was in pain much of the time, back pains and leg pains and assorted other problems I believe would be diagnosed as fibromyalgia were she alive now. She had numerous surgeries, smoked two packs of cigarettes per day, and at one point drank twenty cups of coffee each day to try to make herself feel better.

After a few years passed, I remembered more of her. I agonized for a while over the fact that I could never remember talking to her alone--there was always somebody else around, she was always playing to some kind of an audience. I tried hard to remember my real Mom, then finally realized what an idiot I was being. She was far from being an introvert like I am; of course there were always others around. If I'm half wolf and half hummingbird, she was the wolf, the pack animal; if she wasn't the alpha female, then she was the alpha female's confidante. She never quite knew what to make of me. After having two boys and raising them to adolescence, she finally had the girl she'd always wanted and the girl turned out to be the kind who dreamed of being a tomboy but was too slow and clumsy to succeed. Where she was outgoing, I was often an outcast. When I was in elementary school, the other girls preferred talking with my mother to hanging out with me.

Her father died of a heart attack when she was eight years old; for years afterward, she expected to have a heart attack too. At the age of nine, she was flirting with marines who thought she was much older. After she got married, she half fell in love with Elvis. She watched all the movie and music awards shows on TV even when she didn't go to the theaters and thought most modern rock music was evil. She made jokes I didn't understand; I'd remember them years later with a sudden shock of realization that she'd been referring to the male anatomy. She was always doing something with her hands--oil painting, watercolor, macrame, needlepoint, Hook-a-Rug, liquid embroidery, sewing machine embroidery, crochet. Thunderstorms excited her--the wilder the weather, she happier she was. She was dogmatic in her opinions and tolerant of those who disagreed with her. She was one of the small group of white people in the '60s to integrate the local black college. In one way or another, she was a teacher her whole life. I miss her.

(no subject)

Sunday, May 4th, 2003 10:27 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
After recuperating upstairs for a couple hours last night, I went back down to where the party was and listened to some more conversation as I munched on pizza and cookies. When people left a little while later, they called out to me things along the lines of, "It was good to meet you!" It's a common little cliche, isn't it? Tell somebody you just met that you're happy to meet them. But you never know that the first time. Unless you've got good instincts or they've got good references, you don't know if the person you just met can be trusted. You don't know that soon if they'll take all your money, break your heart, ruin your reputation, or generally be the worst thing that ever happened to you. Yet you call out to them as they leave, "It was a pleasure to meet you!"

One of my friends from college was the kind of guy who seems to know everybody, always great at networking and attracting folks from a wide variety of backgrounds (and foregrounds). After we'd been good friends for over a year, he turned to me one day at lunch and said, "It was good to meet you!" There was a sensible man.

(no subject)

Saturday, April 5th, 2003 01:50 pm
hummingwolf: (two)
Ever since the age of twelve or so I've had a secret language. This language is so secret even I don't know more than a few words or exactly what those words mean. What words I know are stealthy yet teasing, with meanings dancing behind my back or out of the corner of my eye, letting their presence be known not by knowledge they could bring but by the feelings they leave behind.

One word brings with it an aura of strong negation, something that could accompany the phrase "No way in HELL" while being more emphatic. Another word carries connotations of deepest contempt. A phrase is full of defiance, rebellion, revolution against oppression, yet the feeling is without any guarantee that those freed from oppression will behave any better than their former oppressors. And the last word brings a note of comfort and peace with melancholy overtones. This word does not imply that everything will be all right or even that present troubles can be survived. The comfort is the sort that comes from the knowledge that whatever you are suffering, you are not suffering alone.

I need more good words.


Thursday, February 27th, 2003 07:19 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
My friend Jenny wants to be famous. Oh, she's got sense enough not to want to be a superstar--who would want to be chased by paparazzi and autograph hounds while going to the grocery store? Heck, she doesn't even want a LiveJournal account of her own. No. What she wants, apparently, is to be mentioned in my LiveJournal.

So let me tell you about Jenny. We met in the fifth grade; but both of us being (shall we say?) annoying kids, we didn't become friends then. At the time, I liked her mother (an occasional substitute teacher) much better. Her mother never pulled my hair, you know. Yet for some reason, we hung around each other a lot--and by ninth grade we not only tolerated each other, we actually liked each other. Strange how these things happen.

Jenny always has been intelligent. She was one of those kids who annoyed both the sixth-grade teacher and fellow students by reading novels in class and still being able to answer the questions the teacher asked her in attempts to catch her in the act of not paying attention. We used to irritate people together, asking teachers and kids to judge which one of us could spell the word "hyperpolysyllabification" the fastest. No wonder everybody avoided us.

But we did become friends. She listened to me when my mother was dying. She was there for me when my father died as well. Jenny, with her amazingly generous spirit, still puts up with my whining about life now. We've had debates about religion, literature, philosophy, music, and television. My love of C.S. Lewis is largely due to her influence, and she is responsible for introducing me to the music of Nik Kershaw as well.

Jen is not only intelligent, she is remarkably level-headed. Okay, she's known for her obsessions with TV shows, from Remington Steele back in high school (she wanted to be Laura Holt and marry "Remmy," of course) to newer shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. She... nevermind, not going there. Erm, forget level-headed--shall we go with "creative"? Yes, she's the first person I ever met who wrote fanfic, reams and reams of Remington Steele fanfic. Some of it was even good.

Somehow too, Jenny managed to get herself one of those guys everyone wants to marry--he's cool, he's funny, he's sweet and a good father. They've got several incredibly adorable children and form the kind of family that would make you sick at their sweetness if they weren't so dang lovable. It's clear to everyone that family is the biggest priority in Jen's life.

So, that's a little bit about my friend Jenny. It's not enough, but even if I weren't so close to exhaustion I wouldn't be able to write enough. I only hope she likes her new status as a semi-famous person.

(P.S.--She's been told she looks like a stripper, too.)
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
This first account is one I sent to my favorite mailing list a couple of years ago:

1994. It was a generally rotten day to begin with--migraine coupled with exhaustion--mitigated only by my observing some amusing V-Day encounters while I was hanging around campus (people reciting lovely poetry to each other, such as "Roses are red/Violets are black/You'd look much better/with a knife in your back"), and, with my father out celebrating with his girlfriend, I was really quite relieved to get home where I could relax and listen to music in solitude.

Somewhere around 9 p.m., my closest friend called up from campus (we'd both dropped out of school by then, but still hung around the place) and started telling me about her day. Then she began giving me addresses and phone numbers and telling me what she wanted me to tell everyone she knew after she had killed herself.

So, I spent the last 3 hours of Feb. 14 trying to talk her out of suicide. It was a wide-ranging conversation, really, involving art and literature, philosophy and religion, adoption and foster care, and quite a few other things I've forgotten. Some of it would've been hysterically funny if it had been in a work of fiction--even she managed to laugh at a lot of it, in spite of everything. After she hung up on me, I called the campus police and talked to them for a while, glad that I'd heard enough of the background noise to know which bank of phone booths she'd called me from. They managed to get to her in time, got her admitted to the local hospital, where she remained for a while. Soon after she got out, she decided to stop speaking to me, reasoning that my dialing 911--when I knew how she hated the police, social workers, doctors, and everyone else who makes their living "interfering in other people's lives"--was an act of betrayal.
Read more... )
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
In the seventh grade, a friend and I had a sort of competition to see who would be first to find out the first names of all our teachers. Because certain recalcitrant respondents refused to reveal their given names, I hatched a Clever Scheme to get the information from the school itself. Yes, I wrote letters to the school posing as a newspaper reporter who needed, for purposes of a terribly important story, to find out the full names of a certain group of teachers. Despite my diabolical cleverness, when my father found the rough drafts of my letters, he laughed at me.

Alas, in spite of the extreme cleverness of my scheme, my letters never garnered a single reply. I had to find out the information the old-fashioned way--by pestering people. Fortunately, I was very good at that. Still, I wondered for some time why my Clever Scheme failed so spectacularly. Was it because the reporter happened to share (for perfectly innocent reasons, of course) the mailing address of one of the students? Or was it perhaps because he shared the full name of a character I'd made up and written about in the margins of several school assignments (a very talented creature, he'd made appearances on math homework, English essays, Spanish tests, continually exasperating teachers who wondered how the heck they could stop me from doodling)?

No, I was not a normal child.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Was looking for something else just now, and found this story I wrote for a school assignment in 7th grade. I don't think it's at all bad for a 12-year-old; in fact, in spite of the subtitle, it strikes me as rather better than any story I've completed in the last decade. See what you think...

Teevy: A Rotten Imitation of a Greek Myth )

Games People Play

Thursday, June 13th, 2002 11:28 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
After commenting last night on whether someone was losing their marbles or just playing games with them, I realized that I don't know the first thing about playing with marbles. My grandparents had a big jar full of old marbles I loved, but since nobody in my family had the patience to try to teach me how to play any of the recognized games, I'd just take the marbles out and roll them around aimlessly, oohing and aahing over how pretty they were.

What's true of my relationship with marbles is true with a lot of other things. I wasn't a popular child or a coordinated child, so I didn't learn many games other than the dull ones taught in school. I didn't get to play the reindeer games then and so I'm feeling hopelessly ignorant now.

Maybe I should try to find some kids who can teach me how to play games, see if there are any kids out there who will put up with some crazy woman who's probably got less energy than their grandmother. Then I want to find a nice boy who will teach me how to kiss. Then I ought to seek out someone who can teach me how to play the grown-up games of social interaction whose rules still elude me. Then I need someone who understands the rules of office politics and how to play with the office toys, since my ignorance of those games is one of the things keeping me from getting some money now.

But, as usual, everybody I know is too busy to play with me today. Guess I'll go back to playing Solitaire.

(no subject)

Wednesday, May 15th, 2002 12:05 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
I could be wrong, but I think May 15 is the day my father officially died. Not that he hadn't had the sense to leave his body a few days earlier, but his heart was stubborn and kept beating beyond the point it had any reason for its work.

After each of my parents died, there were plenty of people around I could spill out my grief to, people willing to listen when I needed an ear and people willing to be quiet when I needed silence. But even when someone says they'll listen to anything, there are things you're not supposed to say.

Things I'm not supposed to say. )

(no subject)

Saturday, March 9th, 2002 08:00 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
When I was a child, I would spend hours in the bathtub acquainting myself with the worlds in the soap bubbles. I rubbed a little soap and a little water between my little fingers and blew cautiously, taking care that the bubble would grow as big as it could but not so big it would burst. Then I would watch, mesmerized by the swirling iridescent colors before me. Each band of color was a different civilization. Each tiny speck was a person with a fascinating life and many stories to tell that I would never be able to hear. Red, green, or blue, I loved them all.

I would breathe on the world, ever so gently, trying to get the different cultures to mingle, trying to help them get to know one another. When a bubble popped, I would mourn. And then, so that the people could be reborn, I would create a new bubble, cupping the world gently in my palm, praying that it would never break.

(no subject)

Sunday, February 3rd, 2002 12:12 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Searching the net for poems on a specific subject, I was reminded of this post I made to a mailing list last month:

Subject: Sleep-deprived thought

I've been reading a bit recently about dreams and the effect they have had on human culture--religion, literature, music, all arts--and my reading sparked this memory:

Once when I was a small child I had this dream. I dreamt that I opened the back door one night to see two people before me. At least one of them was a woman; possibly they both were. They were tall (at least compared to the little person I was at the time), quite slender yet giving the impression of great power. It is possible that they were not human.

They said to me:
"Cold imperiousness, do not belie
The sacred treasures where thy origins lie."

Horrific. At such a tender age, even my dreams were forcing rotten verse upon me. You just can't shelter a child enough when it comes to bad poetry.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
I have in my possession a coin made for me some years ago at the local Renaissance festival. On one side is the Raven, described in the mint's catalogue as "Magical Trickster Spirit Being; embodiment of the Creator and emissary for the Great Spirit." On the other side is the Unicorn, "Symbol of innocence; the horn representing Reason of Intellect that can be used for defending the innocent or punishing the guilty." When I first held my coin, my friend who was with me--someone who has known me too well for too long--said, "Innocent Trickster? Yeah, that's you." And so it seems.

Once in a waking dream I walked into a shop, one filled with books and musical instruments and all manner of good and beautiful things. The old shopkeeper asked me how I would pay, and so I handed her my coin.

"Are you here as the Messenger or as the other?" she asked. One or the other of us flipped the coin, which landed Raven-side up.

"You are the Messenger. What is the Message?"

"I don't know."

"Come back when you find it."

Some while later, I saw someone who had been a friend but who would no longer speak to me. She had once called me to tell me she would kill herself. I had called the police, and she never forgave me for the betrayal.

I went back to the shopkeeper and pointed to the woman who had been my friend. "The Message is: She must live."

"Are you certain? That is the Message?"

"Yes, I am certain."

"You know she will hate you?"


I wonder where she is now. I wonder if she can forgive me yet.

Imaginary friends

Tuesday, January 15th, 2002 09:53 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
When I was little, I had two imaginary friends named Dorothy and Mino.

Well, "friends" may be too strong a word. See, Mino, Dorothy, and I almost never saw each other, as we lived in completely different countries and always did exactly the same things. So if I went to Dorothy's home, Dorothy went to Mino's while Mino went to mine. We would only see each other briefly, at the corner where all three countries intersected. (I didn't know anything about geography at that age.)

Aside from having different names and different native languages, we were exactly the same in every way. If Dorothy was in my home, everyone thought she was me unless she told them otherwise. So of course if my parents were upset with something I had done, I would tell them, "It wasn't me! It was Dorothy! I was in Mino's house!" And of course my parents would reply, "But if the three of you always do exactly the same thing, then you deserve to be punished too." And so I would be.

I had the most useless imaginary friends in the whole wide world.


hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)

August 2017



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