7/23/2020 1 Comment
The Auditorium Where I Grew
This is the entrance to the auditorium at Redford Union High School in Redford Charter Township, Michigan. I attended RUHS from 1966 through 1970. Long time ago. I don't think this entrance has changed much, although I don't remember the stylized drama masks wall art. It might have been there, but I don't know. I do know I like it.
I remember many happy hours in this auditorium. Its where I studied Humanities and Drama with Mr. Mestas. It's where study hall and detention was held. To the right of the doors was where I had Geometry. It was kind of my sanctuary during some very dark and tumultuous days in the rough world of adolescents.
Just to the left of this entrance is where the manual arts were taught. I actually took woodshop, driver's ed, and auto maintenance there. Hadn't thought about those classes in a long time.
I found this picture scrolling through some pictures I took during my last visit to Michigan in 2014. It revived an interest in writing about those days when I wasn't quite sure I would make it to adulthood...wasn't even sure I wanted to make it adulthood. I wonder how many others were feeling the same way? Interesting how I thought I was the only one to have those feelings.
So this is a very significant picture for me. It is one I hadn't realized how much personal history had happened here, like when one very cold winter evening I came our of rehearsals for our production of My Sister Eileen only to find my '65 Corvair encased in ice from a sudden freeze after a light rain. Those were the days.
Memories, I think I'll keep 'em.
I was watching CBS Sunday Morning a bit ago. I always DVR it and watch later. That's just how I control my viewing habits, I guess. There is so little that I can control these days, that, is just one I cling to.
Anyway, one of the stories was about a little Indian restaurant at a truck stop in Laramie, Wyoming*. An Indian restaurant. Laramie, Wyoming. Truck stop. Who knew it would be a hit? It's worth checking out the story at the link below. Seems different cultures can find ways to co-exist.
What I'm musing on though is the afterward for me. Suddenly I was hungry for, you guessed it, Indian food. I thought, well, I can just run out closer to dinner time and grab some Indian food at one of my favorite Indian food places nearby. My tongue could taste it. I even began to salivate. Yumm!
I googled the restaurants near me. Ghandi. Namaste. Both I like a lot. Then I realized I hadn't been to either in months, not since before the Great Pandemic. Yes, they were open, though. But no dine-in. Online orders only. Pick up or delivery. Convenient. But somehow second best. Not the same as being in the restaurant, smelling the variety of aromas. The smiling staff. Sharing with friends.
Suddenly I was very sad. Tears began to form in my eyes. Even if there was in store dining, its six feet apart, face masks, hand sanitizers, etc. The new way of life. The New Normal. (Insert expletive here).
I will probably check with my neighbor and see if they are interested in Indian food tonight. I'll make the run. But I don't know what I want. And usually you share dishes at the table while sipping wine and passing the naan.
It's not the same to bring it home in a box and take it to your house and eat it in front of the TV. Thanks to those who failed to protect us, to act and protect us from this thing called the New Normal.
Maybe I'll just have some leftover spaghetti again tonight.
*Here's a link to the story: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-taste-of-india-at-a-wyoming-truck-stop/
7/13/2020 0 Comments
Writing Like a Will of the Wisp
Prelude to this Post
These posts are basically somewhat like wills of the wisp: something that is impossible to get or achieve.* Or maybe a delusive or elusive goal.** I particularly like the legend described below at part of MW's description of the terms origins.
The will-o'-the-wisp is a flame-like phosphorescence caused by gases from decaying plants in marshy areas. In olden days, it was personified as "Will with the wisp," a sprite who carried a fleeting "wisp" of light. Foolish travelers were said to try to follow the light and were then led astray into the marsh. (An 18th-century fairy tale described Will as one "who bears the wispy fire to trail the swains among the mire.") The light was first known, and still also is, as ignis fatuus, which in Latin means "foolish fire." Eventually, the name will-o’-the-wisp was extended to any impractical or unattainable goal.
I can admit to it: I might be lazy. But in reality it is not just laziness, but I think my first draft should be it. It should just be perfect and just what it is. Editing? Bleh. No stinking editing for me. Publish and let the chips fall where they may...even if it is cliche riddled. When I "save" it and close it and add a picture or catchy title, I'm done. I don't want to think about it again. I lose interest. What's next? Good enough is good enough.
So I would like to think. I do to my chagrin still believe in magic.
Inevitably, though, I ask someone's opinion. Oh, dear, that can be the kiss of death or you might think so as I recoil and am devastated when the reader or reviewer says something like, "With some work, you might have something." I sigh, (to myself of course), and wish I hadn't asked. Oh that they could just say, "That is was good and they enjoyed it and they wouldn't change a thing?" Magical thinking again.
Dreamer. Lazy me. What, me work on it some more? Sigh. They're right of course. No first draft is ever perfect. This is a only first draft, far from perfect.
I like to think of myself as speaking from the heart, a free-spirited whimsical storyteller. After all, these things are basically ephemeral moments in the lives of the reader...aren't they? Great literature? I think not.
Quirky thoughts and musings come to mind. I write them down. I'm do that now. But I think often amusing and maybe even thought provoking.
Anyway, and that is my go to shrug off, whatever expression. I know really I do have some work to do. I might have something. I am not really lazy, just reluctant to wait. That bedeviling urge called "instant gratification" gets me every time. Like now. Like when I hit save and send this out. Most likely unproofed.
7/12/2020 0 Comments
Someone Else's Memories
This image is from the home of someone who passed away sometime ago. I captured it when I was taking pictures for as estate sale, something I do as a sort of strange hobby. Anyway, it struck me when I was looking at it today that sometimes this is what happens to our memories, our souvenirs, or cherished trinkets.
My great aunt died years ago. Before she passed, she asked me to make sure all the family photos she possessed didn't end up in some antique store. That would break her heart. And it would mean that no one treasured those memories just as she had for all her 90 years. And, saddest of all, few of them were annotated, so no one would know who they were. Not until the people in these pictures shown here.
This picture evokes for me a peek into the lives of someone I never knew, never hope to know. I can only imagine their stories. That, I believe, is something good. I would only hope that my odd little treasures bring the same curiosity and perhaps inspiration to someone someday.
Someone else's memories are now in an odd way, mine.
7/11/2020 1 Comment
Hot My Ass
This herd of burros were taking a pause in the heat on the ridge behind a ranch in Reche Canyon the other day. Donkeys are very social and usually live in a group called a herd. The herd is usually lead by one jack and consists of several jennies in the wild. https://www.livescience.com/54258-donkeys.html They are also called donkeys or asses.
The burros of Reche Canyon, halfway between Riverside and San Bernardino are well known to locals. As the canyon has become more and more populated, they have become more and more endangered. Yet they continue living much as they have since they were introduced to the area in the way back when.
I wondered as I watched them making their way along how they felt about the 100 degree heat we have here during the summer. I imagine them complaining just like we humans do. And I always am somewhat amused that we, as humans, are always surprised or caught off guard during the first days of high temps. Are the burro surprised?
Anyway, summer is here. Burros carry on. We retreat to our air conditioned cars and houses. And the summer does what the summer does: heat us up and drive us slightly mad. Just like mad dogs and Englishmen, we continue to go out in the noonday sun....or not.