Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Today I observed my house from her own point of view. She seemed to soak up the quiet of our back to school morning after I took the kids to school. I wonder what she prefers? All of us here, busy, banging, clanking, crashing, laughing. Or does she like it when we're gone and only the sound of the air conditioning cranking on and off breaks the monotony. I lay back down on my bed, wondering if she misses us and tried to hear what she hears. Subtle ticks of the clock counted the seconds and I decided that she probably likes us gone but also likes it when we're back. She and I, we work together. We both want an atmosphere that's safe for my kiddos. She is a home and she knows the large columns of connotations that come with the word. She knows what it means to greet the day and protect us from the world. She likes to bask in the morning sun as much as I do. She loves it when I make breakfast and holds the smell of pancakes and syrup just for me so when I come back from dropping off the kids I can breathe the yumminess as soon as I walk in the door. She knows my moods and patiently puts up with them.
Today I was just so glad to have my home.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Well, so much for that "February Challenge." But rather than dwell on that loss I'll divert your attention in another direction.
I wonder if anyone has the same problem as me.
Let me tell you about it. The memory-switch in my brain is connected to all my senses, but the connection between it at my nose is the strongest. Let me give a couple of examples. Today I happened to be in a room full of supplements and herbs, but the scent of it took me straight back to the age of five and an old health food store that my mom frequented. After that whiff I could almost immediately taste the Alta Dena Raspberry Frozen Yogurt that she used to let me get for a treat. That was a good memory. Then, later today, the rain poured for a good twenty minutes. When that happens, the creosote bushes around the valley unleash their fragrance into the desert. I stood outside my house watching my kids splash around but the scent in the air carried me to my sophomore year in high school when it rained for a week straight. That week also happened to be a part of my own John Hughes movie (if I may be so dramatic). Even 20 years later the distinct physical pain of a "crush unrequited" can sit in my stomach. Be it for a millisecond but the rain, the creosote, the smell of wet cement, they conspire to remind me.
What bugs me the most about this memory connection is that it seems like the bad memories hit harder than the good ones. They punch me in the gut. They pull down at my mood. And their impact lingers too long. Just last month I walked in some fresh fallen snow. And while I wondered what exactly it is that I smell in the snow, I had a flash back to real heartbreak. It was more than crush unrequited when it snowed for two weeks straight my sophomore year of college. I could smell that snow all over again. My reverie of new fallen snow was gone. That stupid memory hit me and though I knew it would pass, it bothered. It was real and tangible and I just had to walk away from the snow. Like it wasn't fresh anymore, but tainted. I went back into the house looking for better, newer scents.
So I'm in this sensory dilemma again. It's spring. Usually, I love spring in Las Vegas. It comes early and dissolves in the sun by May, but it also brings me my birthday so I'll forgive its shortness. My last two springs have been less than stellar. OK, the worst, in fact. And while I constantly remind myself that life moves forward, all it takes is a subtle breeze of desert springishness to cross my nose and then I'm jolted back in time quicker than one point twenty-one gigawatts and a DeLorean ever could. It's a shadow of a stomach ache and hint of losing my breath, but it's there and it's a killjoy. It carries me to days of loss, spent in bed watching Audrey Hepburn movies, eating chocolate ganache ice cream or to other days spent trying to hold it together for the sake of my kids.
"Time heals all wounds." That's what they say right? That's why I have it in quotation marks because "they" say it. And I agree, but I feel like my sense of smell likes to pick at the scabs.
Does anyone else have this problem? Or is it just me?
*Artwork by Mary Blair
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
It's February 1st (the first day of Love Month), and tonight I love my bed most of all.
I can flash the views of my day like a slide show in my head. Today I observed the glare of sunlight igniting stars off my little red car. I contemplated the desert valley below me after a visit to my parents' house. The valley was polluted and murky while my parents' house was quiet, quick, but also very busy. I saw the sad face of a hound eagerly peeking under a wooden fence as school children tromped by. I had two hills of laundry mounted upon the family room ottoman and lime green overstuffed chair. I reheated disgusting canned food for dinner, watched my daughter browse the treasures of Michael's Craft Store, and was reprimanded by my Cub Scout for coming to get him too early.
But my pillows, my sheets, so soft and blue, are the best view today.
I thought about my first entry, even brought my camera and pinned mental notes to the bulletin board in my brain.
But I'm so stinking tired.
What was your view today?
Monday, January 30, 2012
I'll be doing this...
...during the month of February. But not only will I be posting a picture, I'll write something with each photo. This will be my inspiration. In my boring day to day life, I will find the inspiration, I'll awaken myself to the details, the things I overlook each day.
I'm working my writing muscles here.
This is my way of forcing myself into the practice. Prose, dialogue, poetry, personal essay, a freakin' haiku. This is my daily exercise for the next month. And I'll let the words of Ray Bradbury linger in my mind as I go:
“What can we writers learn from lizards, lift from birds? In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.”
Would you like to join me?
Sunday, January 8, 2012
in a new notebook
run, even and fine
like telephone wires across a snowy landscape.
With wet, black strokes
the alphabet settles between them,
comfortable as a flock of crows.
This poem makes me want to get some ink and learn calligraphy so I can make my letters look like little black birds that squawk at you on cold winter days.
*Photo Credit: Jeff Archibald
Friday, January 6, 2012
This is my writing blog.
It is the second of my blogsites in my old blogging career and my new space dedicated to improving my writing. You see, writing can get messy, and there is no need to drag my children, husband, or any other family members through this endeavor (I’ll just continue to exploit them on the other blog).
I first thought of creating My Blue Bungalow over a year ago. In fact, a year ago I was on a writing rampage-- scribbling out my life, my moods, my favorite words.
I moved forward on my "manuscript" (yes it's still at the stage where I feel the need to put quotes around it).
I wrote through a miscarriage and let the words flow equal with my tears.
I wrote through memories that came up like air bubbles.
I was a writing fool.
But then other stinky life scenarios kept presenting themselves, sucking my writing juices, draining my bucket, until all that was left was a shallow slop sloshing at the bottom. By September I had officially declared 2011 the worst year ever (but even then she wasn’t done with me, the bully).
But now it’s over.
I’m all about new beginnings. I’ll create them out of any situation.
Take today for example. I had an appointment this morning and now it’s over. The rest of the day is my all mine. Mine! New beginning. What wasn’t mine (I had to share with my appointment) is now, well, mine. Can I say that enough? Anywho, a new year is the best new beginning. 2011 is gone. Thank you for the lessons, I will now turn everything up-side-down (or is it right-side-up?) in 2012. Thanks and goodbye [insert slight kick of the leg and slamming of the door].
Welcome to My Blue Bungalow.
I actually live in a very blue house. Blue! Soooooo blue it may shock your senses (but I adore it). Now, the structure probably doesn’t fully qualify as a bungalow since “Bungalow” connotes “Beach.” Mine sits among asphalt and desert landscaping (and was once surrounded by palm trees…alas we took them out). But it is as comfy as a bungalow.
This house and I have history. We’ve had our fights and I’m sure I’ve declared out loud on far too many occasions that it is my greatest enemy, but I suppose that’s part of the process of making a home (a home that has gone through an enormous transformation. Enormous). It has our personality, it has our love and it has its glitches that may be our own fault, but it is cozy and full of laughter. As the Danes say it’s “hyggelig”.
(Hyggelig. Store that word in your brain file for later. It’s a lovely word. It says a lot in so little, and, perhaps I’ll attempt to define it in a later post. Having never lived in Denmark, like my husband, I don’t know if it’s even my place to do so….but I digress.)
And so it is with my writing (But perhaps minus the “Hyggelig”…or maybe not). It needs work. Big time. But I love it enough to invite you in. Sit with me in this pretend house of writing. Tell me what you think. I’m constructing and reconstructing and, though the frustration is there, the result is worthwhile.
My Blue Bungalow is a work in progress (ooooooh of which Blue Bungalow do I speak? Which?!) and so it only fits to give my space of writing the same name (ok, I was talking about the house…but you get it right? My house and my writing -- Work in progress? Full of love? Cozy? Frustrating? Full of potential? I’ve beat the dead metaphor.)
(I have a hard time ending my pieces. You see that? My first blog post of my writing blog and I just couldn’t wing it.)