Thursday, May 31, 2012

TIME...Is running out.

I've been pretty quiet these last few weeks. I haven't had the time, energy or money to gad about in my usual happy-go-lucky manner. My little Sony Cyber-Shot went bunk and I haven't been able to document my life and times in pictures as I used to do. Lord knows when I'll be able to buy a new camera. Winter was mild enough this year and now spring has quickly come and gone. All of a sudden, it's summer. The days are longer and the lights are ON! I can see everything clearly now, and I am not liking what I see. However, a long lost memory was awakened and now a little sense of it all has been made. It seems that I am one of the original Boxcar Children. Sort of. The Boxcar Children was a book I had read when I was very young...maybe seven or eight years-old. The story was so integral to my life and felt so real to me that I know that once upon a time I was a boxcar child. Today, I have grown up to become a boxcar woman.
                                             EXCERPTS FROM THE BOX CAR CHILDREN

Why did I suddenly remember reading this book by Gertrude Chandler Warner about four children who turn a boxcar into their home? How is that I remembered every little detail of the book regarding the struggle and pain of taking junk yard scraps and trying to make some beauty out it? Remembering this book, I vividly recall that the best times I ever had as a kid was decorating my private bedroom and the house around it by trash-picking or rearranging my mother's furniture! It's what brought me the greatest amount of joy...playing a weird kind of "house"! I used to go out into my parent's backyard all alone in the winter and make ice "forts", complete with rooms and windows! I really could feel a familiar presence in that cold isolation. In the warmer months, I made goofy houses out of pieces of corrugated and in the make believe "kitchen", I made "salads" out of green things I found sprouting about the yard. Once, when our dirt road was getting paved, I sat inside one of these giant sanitation sewer pipes and covered my arms with mud, pretending  I was wearing "long black gloves"! It seems I am drawn to the stories of my past lives and the wonders that should have been. I do have a longing.

                                                     GAME OF THRONES WEBSITE

  If any of you have ever watched the HBO series Game of Thrones, that show will give you an example of what one of my past lives was like; the essence of which was trying to make beauty and comfort out of the harsh climates and hostile struggles in those magical medieval days. I did not like this particular life in the least. In fact, my allergies to horses, farm animals and livestock is a direct result of the abhorrent feeling I had toward bloodshed, killing and war. I know now that I must live in peace and comfort. I cannot abide chaos anymore.

Another of my past lifetimes is the one that is giving me the most trouble of all and that was when I was an Egyptian Oracle, seer and psychic, living in great splendor and beauty. I was once a mystic goddess. I thrived in absolute cleanliness surrounded by the sea. I walked on spotless shining white marble floors covered in silk thread carpets. Pedestals filled with beautiful flowers and feather fans were placed symmetrically in the room and ornate pillars stood tall. And then there was me, in my perfect past lifetime, dressed in flowing, gossamer gowns, gold jewelry, my dark hair pulled back tight against my scalp. I am that Oracle and I want that life again. But alas, I have come back in this lifetime as a boxcar child, doomed to pay back some karmic debt by knowing of that which I miss and want so much, and knowing I'll probably never attain it. I seem to be doomed to living in a dump in a crap neighborhood surrounded by blight and despair. I don't think Grandpa Alden or anyone charming is coming to the rescue. I think it may be too late for me to even try to do it on my own.

To sum it up, every place I have ever lived has been a dump that I have moved into and made beautiful, like the kids in the boxcar. Every single place from my first apartment on Wayne State's Prentis Street to the one in "The Haight" in San Francisco, to my apartment in New York City, to a double-wide mobile home on five acres in Florida, and everywhere else  in between. I move into crummy dives and when I leave, I've improved them and turned them into mansions! Last summer when I was invited to take over this old Victorian house in Detroit, it was so dilapidated that I cried non-stop for two weeks thinking of the endless work that lay ahead of me. I spent countless hours and thousands of dollars restoring it. People raved about the befores and afters!  And so far this spring, I have redesigned the back porch deck and turned the entire courtyard into a flowered fairy world! And do you know what? Like my nomadic life in medieval days, I moved out and left every one of those places behind me to seek treasures untold, never looking back, and I am looking to get out of here as soon as possible. I cannot stay in any one place for too long. I cannot let moss grow under my feet. I am doomed to follow out this destiny for reasons I still cannot explain. I see the writing on the walls, and it's closing in on me. I promise myself that I will stick it out until I graduate from college in 2013, but beyond that I cannot predict. Until that time, I remain in my boxcar world. Waiting. Hoping. Searching for a lifetime past in a future that is almost over.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY...Nurture vs. Nature?

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Short of kidnapping, it doesn't really matter how you became a mom, or to whom or what. All that matters is that amazing feeling you have when you become responsible for another life. Take the baby bird I found yesterday. It was so tiny and alien looking that I just didn't know what to do. The hatchling did not simply fall out of a fell or was pushed out of one the nests that are in the eves of the house next door! So it was pretty much going to stay on the ground.

 A few days before we stumbled onto this little creature flopping around in the low grass next to our deck, we found two other dead birds that were really young. Regarding those two, I just figured the mom had abandoned them due to their being sick or something. I didn't feel any less motherly then either. I felt sad. However, this little guy looked a bit older and seemed pretty spunky! Before I picked it up though, I looked on the internet to find out about orphaned baby birds, just to be sure I was doing the right's a tough call.

He got bigger overnight!
According the articles I read, sometimes mother birds shove the birds out the nest early and "fledge" them on the ground. Sometimes the nest is just too small for them after a certain point. I also learned that a mother bird can hear the sound of her young from as far as two blocks away! Another really good point I learned  is that human scent on a bird does NOT cause the mother bird to hurt or abandon her young. So that's good to know. Also, baby birds really only have an 85% rate of survival! With or without our help! Oh yeah, and you need to feed them CAT FOOD! Ironic!

                                                  WHAT TO DO WITH A BABY BIRD!

All of the above factors are pretty similar to raising a baby human. You just have to love them, no matter what, and sometimes you even have to kick them out of the nest! But unlike baby birds, human children have a habit of returning BACK to the nest! Warm, dry, comfortable, mommy shoving food down their throats all day...what human kid wouldn't want THAT! So today on MOTHER'S DAY 2012, I am loving the baby bird as if it were human, and I am loving my human as if it were a baby bird! Love is love, no matter WHAT the species! Go figure.

My little hatchling! Cara! xoxo Mommy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

PERIGEE MOON OF MINE...Keep on Shining!

Funny story! Last year there was a Super Moon scheduled to rise on March 19, 2011. I have no idea what possessed me to want to go out in the dead of winter to look for a moon, but maybe it was a night that was warmer than usual. I can't remember. However, I was so excited because as old as I am, I had never really paid any attention to the rising of the Super Moon. I thought this would be a good time to run out and see what it was all about! I made plans with my husband, Carl, to be in a really interesting place on the evening when the moon was supposed to rise in the eastern part of the United States. With my puny Sony Cybershot camera in hand, we ventured out into the evening air! I wanted to be near The Detroit River, so we headed over to a little street that runs parallel to the water to scout out a location. Just east of the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit there is a place called Milliken State Park, and the park even has a pretty good sized man-made hill. Or maybe it's a land fill dump site. I don't know, but I thought it was the perfect place to sit and wait for the moon to come up. I say perfect because about ten other photographers with professional cameras and gear were already camped out there as well! 

This is the actual hill! Isn't it great?
So me and Carl and the other shutterbugs politely acknowledged each other from a distance, and kept our eyes glued to the sky. And we waited for our perigee moon to make its nocturnal debut. And we waited...and we waited some more. It must have been a fairly cold night because I remember scurrying back and forth and up and down the hill to sit in the truck with the heater on, all the while making Carl stay on the hill with other guys. I asked him to keep looking up to the heavens and call me if he saw the moon creeping over the horizon! Carl kept trying to convince me that the sky was too cloudy and that we were never going to see the moon anyway! I think, by now, it was getting pretty late. Even I was starting to wonder what was going on. But I wanted to see that darn moon and we weren't going anywhere until I did!

As much as I wanted to stay, I'll admit that I was getting bored with waiting for the moon to rise and Carl was getting hungry. The other photographers on the hill seemed to be giving up as well. One by one, they started to pack up their equipment and climb down the hill. We all kept looking furtively upward from time to to time, but still no sign of the big event! I could sense the dejection in all of us as we communicated our disappointment with an occasional glance to one another. So, when it was time to call it a night,  Carl and I made our way over to our favorite, really crappy and dangerous, I-94 Service Drive all night diner, Clay Super Coney Island. 

The only thing SUPER about THAT night was this!

When we arrived at the diner, there was a bunch of thugs sitting in a car next to us, waiting to pick up their food. I had my Blackberry in my hand as I started to get out of the truck. I still wasn't giving up on seeing that moon. I took a few steps toward the door and as I walked, I looked up to the sky once more. Then, me and my dumb self tripped over a huge, yellow parking curbstone! Ouch!

                                                              CLAY SUPER CONEY!
Oh jeez! I had broken my arm several months before and I was just starting to heal. I threw my body into broken arm defense mode and I wiped out on my knee and the palm of my hand! The cell phone went flying! Carl was still getting out on the other side of the truck and as I lay on the filthy glass-strewn concrete, my pants torn and my knee and hand scraped, the guy with the food came out of diner and he was eyeballing my phone! I could see that the thugs in the car were laughing at me and I'm thinking, "WHERE IS MY HUSBAND"! Carl finally 'rounded the front of the truck and exclaimed, "Oh! There you are! I wondered where you went!" I am all bloodied up and in pain laying in a pile of rubble surrounded by "gangstas" and  don't 'cha know it, but at that exact moment the divine Miss Luna peeked out from behind The Russel Industrial Center, as if to mock me!


And now, here it is May 5,2012, and the Perigee Super Moon is waiting in the wings for the curtain of night to open, once again! What am I doing? Don't laugh! I am making plans to go sit on another hill and freeze my butt off, maybe to be taunted with another possible moon no show! Only this year I'm going to be more careful...unless I am a little drunk because after all,  it is Cinco de Mayo!

I am a bonafide MOON-A-TIC!