Monday, June 29, 2009

If we could have your attention please.

Something's Happening Here

What it is, ain't exactly clear.

There's a man with a gun over there 
Telling them they've got to beware 

I think it's time we stop.
Children, what's that sound?
Everybody look what's going down

We may not understand and we shouldn't interfere as a nation. But you shouldn't turn away.

Please remember all they really want is their own government to hear them, which doesn't mean they want what we think they want. That said, I think we should hear them too. And defend their capability to be heard.

If you're inclined to help them be heard, pay special attention to this.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


It is hard to admit that you are broken, but perhaps it is harder to admit that you are worn.

There is sympathy for broken, and the possibility of repair. 

But the reality of worn is that it feels like failure without cause.

And maybe I must admit to a bit of both. 

Which is crushing.

I am worn.

But I have a new brain. Perhaps it can patch up the old one and help it fly right. A Cat came along for the ride. 

I am crushed, and broken, and worn, but not invisible. 

Which is scary but it helps.  Thank you Lisa, for reminding me. 

With a Cat and a brain you could hardly disappear now could you? No? I didn't think so. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Waiting for Godot


The Most Adventurous Red and the Tiny Poppets came with me and we waited for Godot.

I'm from a city and all things being equal I prefer to be in cities. All things are of course not equal, so I'm four blocks from a city now, although it took me a while to accept it as a city since I am from Brooklyn and this is not Brooklyn.

When you live in Brooklyn "the city" is New York. There are no other cities, except Brooklyn. You can get there very easily, so frequently you do. I spent a lot of time in New York going to museums. They used to just be "suggested donation" so you could wander around and get lost in time and it was all free. 

Not so much now. 

I think I need to go back into the city every now and then. I forget that and stay away too long and then I look around at all the green and the lack of public transit and wonder why it all feels so oppressive. 

But going back to New York now sometimes feels like that feeling you get when you run into an old lover, whom you haven't seen in too long. There is a lot of history, but you've forgotten almost as much as you remember, and time has changed you both. 

You miss the familiarity, and the ease.  You awkwardly introduce the person from your past to your children, and you both pretend that the introduction isn't full of might-have-beens, and you both wonder what these children think of you. What do they see in the peice of the past they are meeting, you watch to see if they are weighing possibilities and the vagaries of chance. Are they measuring it against the now?

These little pieces of time crash into each other, showing how it passes. They etch themselves in your heart and remind you of who you are. I am a person who is more whole in cities.

I decided that I would wait for Godot, because I had never done so before. It had been too long and I needed to.

When I got there I found that there were places where I still knew my way.


While calling for the tickets I realized that I had never taken my children to the city with me. I had never shown them the museums and parks and libraries that make up the early part of my life.  And I could not see Godot without my Perfectly Normal Husband and My Dearest Friend. There might be still be a point without them there, but it wouldn't be nearly as sharp as it would be with them.

My Dearest Friend works in NYC and met us there.

Things were familiar, even if all the cabs looked like Disney had bought the rights to Bladerunner. It was as if technology had been superimposed over the city I remembered, but everything else was the same. Times Square was a bit seedier than at my last visit so perhaps it is beginning to revert to form. I could still hail a cab and walk at the right pace and tell when someone was BSing me. But the city and I had both changed as well, and I was somewhere halfway between a native and a tourist. 

I did notice that all the subtle little things that mark me as a tiny bit of an outsider everywhere else I go blended back into the city seamlessly. I had been concerned about the boots. No need, what made me odd anywhere else was a repeated motif when we arrived. I was in the height of fashion here where almost everyone was from Somewhere Else, and I was from Here. We are all halfway between native and tourist. Perhaps I blend in better now, than when I was fully from Here, but I was mildly surprised at the ubiquity of boots. 

The Most Adventurous Red and the Tiny Poppets passed the time pretending to be much bigger than the Empire State Building.

You cannot take pictures at Studio 54, not even in the lobby. So we don't have them. 

The play was excellent, I had forgotten enough of it that I did not know the ending. I had never studied it other than to read it, so I did not have all of the scholars who played with it laughing with me when I saw it. The thoughts and laughter were all our own. I shared it with my own cast of five. 

The Boy wondered if it were even set on Earth, or if it were out of time. The Girl wondered if Lucky was a specific reference that she was missing rather than simply the allegory he presented. We waited until afterwards at the lounge to discuss it. Just the family being ourselves. 


I think the play is not about God or Man's relationship to God, as I have seen posited, I think it's about humanity's relationship to time and how to derive any form of meaning from that time. Godot is the excuse to go on, but the play would be the same with or without him. His messengers are important to mark the passage of time not the presence or absence of Godot.

The next day. I took the children, who are not really childish any more to the Metropolitan Museum and we learned that we should come again. You cannot fit a lifetime into 8 hours and you can only cover about a third of the Met in that timeframe. We marked the places we will spend more time in later. All of the symbolism of our two days overlapped with the symbolism of Didi and Gogo. I'm still processing all of the pieces of it. 

It was good for me to be back in the city, like a plant that finally got the Ph balance in the soil right. Things were a little more balanced for a bit. 

We'll always find something to give us the impression we exist. 

I believe the Poppets are thinking of playing Godot. I'll let you know if they do this to pass the time. 

There's nothing to be done.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Entropy and the Landscapers

I am overwhelmed by what I do not know.

Sometimes in the most literal sense. 

What I did not know about growth overtook me even as I took joy in the entropy of irises.

If I am not careful my planned entropy will overwhelm my order, and then there will be no irisies, entropic or otherwise. 

I grew up around concrete. There were trees that were placed to perfection every 500 feet where you walked carefully and avoided stepping on cracks out of respect for your mother's bodily integrity. But growth is ordered to it's own plan, and so concrete met entropy when I was young and roots raised the concrete and branches brushed the buildings. The trees were stronger than the sidewalk.

Inexorable branches and roots claiming my city. Declaring that some day there will only be brownstones and trees, and if you let them, the trees will claim dominance. You only get to have order if you maintain it. If you want to maintain it, then you need to know the nature of both trees and concrete.

I know concrete well. Trees and grass and flowers, I love them but still do not know their nature outside of books. 

But I am not that person and I am not willing to be the person who does only what's needed. I know the concrete and I know it's relation to the trees. Out of respect for both, and the desire for beauty, I did what I do know best, and called the people who love green things and know their souls. 

They've been here before and helped me take a step closer to knowing, but I lost the path. 

It was covered in ways I never expected were possible. The Foreman will bring my path back and try to teach me not to lose it. It's not a battle you know, it's a dance. 

I was in over my head I had to call in a Dancemaster.

I'll have my flowers and my bricks all balanced out soon.  The Foreman will help me keep the entropy in check. I wish I were the kind of person that didn't need him, but he loves the plants with his whole being. I can see it when we talk about them, when we walk around the house address each one and it's place at the House. At least I am kind of person that makes sure to bring someone like him to the Ball.

Maybe he'll teach me some more and next year I'll need him a little bit less, but this year he is a gift to the things that grow around the House and therefore a gift to those that grow inside.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Circus

When I was a little girl, I used to go to the Circus every year to celebrate my cousin's birthday.

I loved the circus. I didn't just go to any circus, I went to THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH, I even forgave it for being in Madison Square Garden, instead of someplace in Brooklyn because I didn't think there was anywhere in Brooklyn to have it.  Then my cousin got older and he probably didn't think circuses were cool anymore and we didn't go. But I always remembered them, with flashing lights and cotton candy and colors and people and animals and thrills and human beings stretching out to do the utmost types of things that human beings could do. 

And at the circus everyone was the same. There was something very universal at the circus, where ages and races and religions and even being from Brooklyn or NYC didn't matter because we were at the Circus. And that was all that mattered.

I didn't start going to the circus again because I had children, I started going to the circus again because I realized I didn't need permission. Because all of the things I was as an adult were things that needed to be at the Circus, and the Circus would still be wonderful even if I weren't all the things I thought I should be. At the Circus I could let the universe know that I was still there, and the Universe could hear me, because the Universe can hear everything at the Circus. 

Everything is a little more alive at the Circus, even the Universe. Even the dark things smile at the Circus, because the Circus is for them too. The Circus wouldn't even exist if it weren't for the dark things. I knew that even when I was tiny.

She confused the children, but she made the adults wonder. It's OK, it was good for them.

This year there were Things that were different, one one of those things was a door that looked like Poppets were playing with polymer clay and Stargates. Before the circus started the door opened and let the circus people out so they could play with us.

The Door opened and out came a woman with a very large ribbon.

Marcelle then went out of her way to make new friends, Like the Strongman who appreciated her taste in clothing:
And the Acrobat who helped the Girl of the House dress up in circus clothing. Then we all had to sit down and watch.  We were only five rows from the floor. We could see the whites of their eyes and the fur of their tigers, even when they were above us we could see the rosin on their tightrope shoes. Gravity turned into a tiger right in front of us. And we had cotton candy and flashing lights and it didn't even matter that we were in Philadelphia. We were a little sad that there was no Ball of Death, but there were double barrelled female human cannonballs and a tiny woman who walked upside down on the roof. 

And then at the end, because I know some of the secrets we stopped  to watch the crew while all the other humans left to go back to their lives. And when Marcelle asked for picture with one of the dark things that stay invisible, he was surprised, but I explained that there was no Circus without him and his mates and we wanted to remember him too.  I love ALL the magic at the Circus.

And the clowns had tumbled and lights had flashed and elephants danced and disappeared and promises that I made to myself when I was a child echoed loudly on the ride home. Because that was the pact. If I remember them, then I will remember me. Sometimes it is very easy to forget yourself.  The Universe, of course, had been waiting for me. You can't fool the Universe, because we are all children at the Circus. All different kinds of children. The kind that laugh, or the kind that use math  to figure out where the tiger went, or the kind that wish they could meet the stage manager, or the kind that wish they were the lion tamer, or the ones that wonder why it can't be like it is at the Circus all the time, where everyone is fully human together sharing something real and unreal at the same time, looking for the light in every shadow to see what's there.

PT Barnum brought us to it, but he knew that the humbug makes us human and being human is tricky. Smart alec that he was, he found it's darkling core, but also found it's light. 

Marcelle and I brought Elephants home, so the Universe can hear us if we whisper in their ears. 

It's a secret. Don't let PT know, he's happier selling humbug.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Whereupon we go to Arts in the Park

I have been stuck in a spiral causing weakness and withdrawal, one feeding the other. I resisted leaving the House.

However . . .the Poppets conspired with the Perfectly Normal Husband. Today the Stripes and the Most Adventurous Red wanted to support our local artists. This is different than supporting our cross country artist. 

We have a strong Environmentalist streak in our area, almost more Victorian in nature than the modern sort. There is a park that was the site of the original High School for the township that had fallen into disrepair. Volunteers created a nonprofit and dedicated themselves to not only improve and use the lot, they made it a showcase for local flora during the year and give nature walks and such. This event is a fundraiser for that park and it's conservation work.

In this place I find things for myself and others that we use in our lives. This is the third year I have gone, but it is also the reminder that last year at this time, we had just met Poppets and discovered that Poppets loved Art Shows. So we brought them.

Every year in the fashion of old Townships with history and pride everywhere, they have an Arts Festival which generally brings out some fine arts people; watercolorists, painters, mixed media types, and some crafting artisans. Frankly there are more than their fair share of artisans who make jewelry, which is VERY popular here, but not really my cup of tea and pottery which is totally my cup of tea. Sometimes literally.

Every year something is bought and brought to the House, but this year, having fallen in love with certain people's work over the last two years I made decisions having barely set foot on the grounds. I have commissioned a work from Victoria Cox, that will live in my house as a sign of hope. It happens to be functional.  She makes Quilted Baskets.

The Most Important thing to me is the  Arts in the Park textiles. I have a philosophy that the things that I use at home should be things that support someone else living their dream. I try to make sure the things I will see everyday are also art. 

I know Vicky's work because I help friends organize their houses as a bit of a hobby (although I will possibly consider it as an occupation if my current line of work dries up.) And I've had them obtain her baskets to keep their organization systems flexible and attractive. If things are pretty, I've noticed people are more likely to use them. 

-Last year Winter and Spook accompanied us, but only came out to play once or twice. This year my Poppety companions
 were interested from the very beginning. We were new to each other then. I've learned to let them wander their own way a bit more. When Vicky met the Poppets she was enthused and they were as well. She invited the Stripes to inspect her work closely as you can see in the first picture and they agreed that the work was sewn securely. It was good. They wondered if I might want to commission something to Organize the bits of Poppetropolis that were bigger on the inside. I told them that there would be more of an understanding of what might hold their world properly when it was done being constructed. 

It was agreed that the design I had ordered would serve  it's intended purpose well. The Most Adventurous Red heartily approves of the firey colors -the item is for The Girl of the House.

The Most Adventurous Red assured Vicky that we would come to visit her studio and I know the Stripes are dreaming up nefarious schemes to get some quilted baskets of their own.

Then they went and played at the Candle Gallery. We did not need candles at the house but Poppets asked politely and were welcomed to roam about much to the amusement of the Candlegal, who wanted to make sure they were enjoying themselves and arranged things to make sure they would.

Her candles remind me of the modern sculptures that I used to play around at the Brooklyn Museum when I was tiny and far more poppet-like.

Her work also reminds of circuses and crayons, or maybe circuses made of crayons that you could set on fire. 

Circuses are more fun with fire.

Then the Poppets met Bruce's Buddy.

Bruce 's Buddy was created by Nita at Re-Threads who recycles things and makes them into reminders and friends.

Bruce's Buddy was based on a pattern that Nita's grandmother had used to make her a buddy to take to college and Nita used that pattern to make one for her daughter to take to college as well. Then all of Nita's daughter's friends wanted one as well. 

Because they are happening, college-bound, artistic types, Bruce's Buddys sometimes have an assortment of piercings and tattoos. Nita told us some of their stories. Bruce's Buddy told stories too. He and his friends and the Poppets got along very well, but since he was made of scraps he admitted wasn't sure what he was made of, but he was totally certain that he was colorfast and machine washable. 

The Most Adventurous Red assured him that those were very good things to be. The Most Adventurous Red had of course attempted to be Machine Washable himself, but discovered himself to be otherwise. 

Then one of the Stripes scouted ahead and found the most wondrous things . . . .

Cascades of woven ribbons and yarns. Moveable and wearable and very much like Home. Some of the ribbons used in the work were the same ribbons the Poppets of the House had been wrapped with when they travelled here.

He quickly called the others over and they surveyed the offerings.

It was determined that they should indeed endorse the creator of these Distinctive Designs by Diane and her partner in fabric who made most excellent headbands at Tasseled Totes. She helped the Poppets while they shopped.

There is some conversation amongst the Poppets as to whether or not you could use Diane's knitting for proper walls at Poppetropolis, either inside or out. It was determined that while the scarves were about as Poppety as a human could get, it wouldn't be appropriate for the Embassy, but the other reality that is owned by Storm might well have gossamer walls that would work well. 

I didn't really catch all of the discussion since I was busy buying three of the items in question. The textures are like complex drawings. You will see them here again in future pictures, because when I brought them home many other Poppets had ideas for them as well.

We stopped earlier at Tansy Threads, a woman whose work I have admired for the last two years. She picks the most amazing fabrics and combines them in ways that echo my own mixed media work and home decor. Hers is a dangerous, dangerous place to go. And worse than that; she was having a sale.

I did not expect the Poppets to come out here,
I had bought a breadbasket earlier, but on our second trip back they chose to introduce themselves and they were met with much charm and enthusiasm. They entertained themselves while the Perfectly Normal Husband and I worked on selecting fabrics for use in our shared space. 

They enjoyed themselves so thoroughly I do not have room for the all evidence here in the Dreamtime, but perhaps a slideshow will do.

Today was a good day, it was sunny and I have not seen much of the sun, literally or metaphorically. I walked even though I've been weakened and I'm grateful to the Perfectly Normal Husband and the Poppets for insisting on the trip. Finding friendly people who make beautiful things. It is a far better method for checking where your strength is than what I had planned. 

I hope the Poppets brightened up their day as much as meeting them improved mine, turnabout being fair play. 

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Tree of Knowledge and Fake Vermeers

It's funny isn't it, how we convince ourselves that we know things. 

One of the things we pronounce with conviction, is that by simply knowing facts we can understand a period of time. But when we look backward we see with today's eyes. I used to believe that everyone tried to read history with yesterday's eyes, but I discovered we are few.

Sometimes when you borrow yesterday's eyes and breathe a bit of yesterday's air it changes today, and you begin to understand why the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge had to be forbidden.

Because Knowledge means forever questioning and while the fruit is sweet, you have to choose the discomfort of knowing. Knowing is not for those who only follow orders, we were not pushed from Eden, we earned our right to leave the nest by being more than sheep. It would be messy, but it would be real. Earned independence from Deity, not given.

Here is some fruit from the Tree, in the nature of a forgery. 

Now for me Yesterday's eyes are little sharper and Yesterday's air has a metallic tinge. Things will change for Today's eyes. 

We should revel in the Discomfort of Knowing because it is the enemy of the complacent Dark which will destroy whatever soul we might posses.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Ambassador's Cousin Arrives

Things have been going well at the Embassy. Perhaps they have been going a bit too well. Immigration ( completely legal of course) to the area had increased the Poppet based population of the city approximately 600% in a mere six months. The Ambassador had expected that he would be needed very rarely since there had been such a small population  and was looking forward to mixing with the locals. He had indeed purchased the neighboring blocks in order to fund redevelopment in the area. 

The Bilaterian Design Group was working with him to make the place a bit more like home and they had managed to make several areas bigger on the inside than the out, but it was slow and there was a great deal of math involved. Then of course there was the actual construction. Although there were many other beings from back home, he was really quite pleased when his cousin Prentice arrived.  Prentice was more of a Traveling Poppet and quite skilled in protocol and marketing. He has agreed to help the Ambassador with all of the inconvenient "putting yourself out there" decisions, and it didn't take him long to set his cousin straight.

He and the Ambassador walked around the neighborhood and took in the areas that were already in the beginning stages of being slightly more positive already. It was Poppet Friendly but still a way aways from being like Poppet Planet. Of course nothing could ever be quite like home, and one should appreciate the beauty of where one is as well. The Ambassador had said as much himself. 

Prentice delicately brought up the idea of bringing in a local to help take care of some of the Embassy's work and share in some of the hosting duties. He also suggested that maybe an Official Embassy and a different Ambassadorial residence wasn't really a showy thing to be embarrassed about but an excellent thing to help bring beings together. It would also allow the Ambassador to have a private place as well as a public one. 

The Ambassador was still not convinced on the second item but was very happy about the first. How does one go about finding an Attache locally?

Prentice however knew exactly who to ask and excused himself since he saw that very lady across the street in the park that was undergoing some temporal displacement work. 

The Ambassador went ahead to the Cafe which was also very much "in between" but had excellent sandwiches.

A quick consultation with Winter and a compliment to her dapper hat and Prentice returned to his cousin with a recommendation and a very specific name. "Alastair Lupin."

Well liked and respected in the area it seemed. The folk at the cafe shared their observations quietly with each other but the low murmmer was very positive. Mr. Lupin had a mysterious past, was a single father and spent a great deal of his free time with Spike discussing foreign policy and playing chess. 

Perhaps he had professional background as well? The Ambassador decided he would invite Mr. Lupin for a meeting to see if he was interested in the position. 

Of course he'd have to call the Stripes first. It was indeed a good thing his cousin was here. 

And also the Coffee at the Poppet Cafe was excellent. 

It was such good coffee that it almost made him more comfortable with the idea of having a staff. It wouldn't be ostentatious to have a staff if you could take your staff to the cafe. 

He did hope a staff of two would be sufficient.