home_and_away: (creatrix)
So, Mark and I are down at my grandparents' end of the family farm.  We come down often enough now that folk in town know us.  Kids from the highschool wave; folk stop in the middle of the road and roll down their windows to chat.  We're not quite locals yet, but give us ten years...

Talk since we've arrived this time is strange.  People say, "It's calving season," and there's this ominous tone in their voices.  Not tired or workworn, like their cows are having trouble in labour.  Wary and sad and helpless...and a little acquisitive.  Someone on the farm has started keeping a herd this year, so I'm curious what the trouble is. 

But when I ask why calving season is cause for such concern, nobody will say.  They tell me instead about local girls taking up with unreliable looking boys.  "How is that news?" I ask, "I remember a couple of unreliable boys of my own."  These are different.  They're not Ours, they're from somewhere else.  We don't know their people.  I shake my head, say, "You want to date somebody you're not related to, honey, you've GOT to look for folk from somewhere else.  My Mark isn't from around here, nor my Da, but they're alright, aren't they?"  It's different.  That's all I get.  It's different.

They tell me about an old string of runaways from the next couple of towns over.  These girls--and they're always girls--just didn't show up at school, or didn't turn up for work, or didn't come home.  Their families have been trying to find them, but... Well.  Most of those girls have been gone for something like a year, some of them have been gone for two.  The cops keep their eyes open, but at this point, they're looking for bones.  Maybe she just skipped town, ma'am, did you notice any money missing?  Stay by the phone; if she's alive, she might contact you. 

Slowly it begins to dawn on me that these folk have been answering my question all along.
"Hey Trip, you got a picture of that girl of Barbara's that's been dating that boy you don't like?"
"Yeah, sure, right here."
"Mind if I make off with this long enough to make a copy?  Here, come in and have a glass of tea, I won't be a minute."

The library at the county seat keeps the Tennesseean on microfiche; it takes finagling, but I manage to get copies of a few of the runaways' pictures.  Our little town doesn't run a newspaper.  No money in it.  But it has telephone poles and shop doors.  Flat surfaces.  At the gas station one day, I come face to face with somebody's young wife under the heading MISSING.  She looks familiar, like I knew her when she was little.  I take a picture with my phone. 

Every time I ask my folks who actually owns the herd in the barnlot, I get the runaround.  Mom complains about Da buying livestock without consulting anyone, but she does love the milk; Da and Aunty complain of my grandfather spending money he doesn't have and they're the ones hauling feed; Uncle shakes his head and says they're nobody's but he'll eat 'em since he's fed 'em for a year.  Grandda shakes his head at his kids squabbling and goes out to watch the cows mill around.  "Didn't think your mother liked cows," he says, "But she sure got a good deal.  You know every single one of them was pregnant when she got 'em?"  He puts his hand out, and one of the cows wanders up and puts her face on it, asking to be petted like a cat.  " Pity she sold the calves; they were cute little buggers.  You ever seen a cow that friendly?"

All my life, the only livestock I've ever known were deer, squirrels, and dogs.  I don't know if that's normal behaviour or not. 
But I begin going down to commune with the cows with or without Grandda.  And I take the pictures I've gathered. 

Some of them are the kind of brown you'd call auburn in a human, some are black.  Most of them have bone-white faces.  None of them are a breed I know, and I wish I'd taken a few Ag courses back in highschool, now.  I look at the girls' pictures and at the cows and I wonder whether birthmarks would turn up as spots of colour, and whether a blonde would become a white cow.  None of the girls have been blonde.  One day, I show the cow I'm talking to a picture of one of last year's runaways.  There is nearly a stampede.

"Barbara caught that girl of hers climbing out a window the other night."
"Really?  Sack on her back and everything?"
"Caught that boy waiting for her out in the woods, too.  Her husband says the kid put up a hell of a fight.  Stronger than he looks."
"Take him to the cops?"
"For as much good as it did them.  Barbara says the cop looked right through the boy, asked Jimmy why they were wasting his time.  It was like he wouldn't see the kid."
"Hunh.  So the girl's under lock and key for a while, huh?"
"And a doctor's watch; word is, she's expecting."
Silence.  What can you say to that?
"Say, Trip, you ever get unmarked cattle turning up in your herds, and nobody comes to claim them?"
"Couple of times this past year, why?"
I shake my head, then thank him for the coffee.
How in hell do you break this spell?

One night, I'm down by the barn listening to the world go by.  I don't sleep well at Mom's, but tonight, I couldn't even stay in the house.  There's a full moon; it's not quite day-bright, but it's not the galaxy-gazing-dark we usually have, either. I don't know what's wrong, but something is.   Then a cow I don't recognise--solid brown light as tea with milk--wanders out to me.  I open my hands to her and she walks up, puts her face in my palm.  "I know you," she says, "You told me stories."
"I've told a lot of stories," I answer.  "Which ones do you remember?"
"About Socrates and hemlock, and then we looked for hemlock by the roadside.  About the mouse with the swords."
Oh gods.
"I know you, too, little sister," I say, rubbing the cow's neck.  "What're you doing so far from home so late at night?"
"I don't know.  He said we'd go somewhere and I'd never have to worry about anything or be lonely again, but then I lost him in the dark and now everything looks strange."
I hear a clatter on the barn roof and suddenly wish I'd thought to bring a gun.
home_and_away: (coyote)
A few months ago, I'd met a woman in the Publix checkout line who needed to break down and cry on someone, and I fit the bill. This is not the odd part. I apparently have one of those faces. It was okay: I held on to her and let her cry and tell me about her husband who'd fallen ill and was slowly dying. People flowed around us touching her shoulder and muttering condolences. We all thanked chance that neither of us had frozen foods in the basket. Afterward, she wiped her eyes, laughed at the absurdity, thanked me, and went on.

So there I was in Publix again, feeling restless. I'd seen a book of quotations in an impulse-buy aisle once and felt compelled to find it again. So I was slipping around folk in line, looking down the shelves to see whether it was still there. Impolite, certainly, but there was something driving me. Someone who worked there caught me by the shoulder and asked if he could help me in that tone that suggests a boot to the arse might work. I apologised and told him what I was after. He frowned at me as if I were asking for something strange, but then a woman said "Here, dear, is this it?" and handed the book to me.

Relief! "Yes ma'am, thank you, it is!" I said, taking the book and looking up at her. "OH! It's you!"
The woman from months before laughed, "And it's you! What timing we both have."

As I paid for my stuff, we talked. She was in town again buying supplies for a mask for her husband's body so the Summerland would accept him. She'd been hoping for someone to help, would I happen to be free?

Again, the pull of rightness. I'm free now, as a matter of fact. I don't know how to do what you need to do, but if you'll direct me, I have hands.

She hugged me hard and quick and gave me directions to their place in the hills.

Through all of this, a fellow who looked quite a lot like Mr. Odom stood over her shoulder, watching. I got the impression he was her son. He didn't try to stop her, so I'm guessing he was accustomed to her way of picking up strangers, but he did give me the eye.

So, still following wordless driving impulse, I ducked home long enough to pick up sinew, leather scraps, a few huge tulip poplar leaves I'd been saving, some cedar sticks, and the string of aventurine I've had since I was 12 that has yet to find a home. I waved at Mark as I went through the house gleaning, then it was back out the door for me.

They swept me in when I got to the house. The dead man's body had been washed and dressed in undyed cotton. I gave the son what I'd brought and he smiled at me before he set to work. Weaving and sewing and cutting and braiding, he made of the things I'd brought and the things they'd had to hand a mask and a cloak. I brushed his father's hair while he worked and his mother told me about the man's life. He'd been a doctor, complete with degrees and such, but up here in the hills, he did as much business with tinctures and food and bits of red string. For a while, he'd been just what the community wanted and needed. But slowly, folk stopped coming. That's alright, he'd said, things cycle. And here he was now, a doctor laid low by a creeping illness he wouldn't treat. Things cycle.

The son had finished the cloak. He lifted his father's body while his mother and I spread the leaf-and-velvet cloth below, then his mother wrapped the cloak round her husband and laid the mask over his eyes. They took my hands, then, and closed their eyes. I felt energy rise like I do when people around me pray; I opened up and added mine to the wave, wordless still because what could I say about a man I'd never met? His family love him; let there be peace.

Then the son threw a white cotton sheet over the body. For a moment the body was hidden from my sight. Then the son flapped the sheet to straighten it, and where the body had been, instead lay three acorns and some dirt.
I sat down hard.
It's one thing to believe in other worlds that lie enmeshed with but separate from this one; it's another to watch something from here physically leave.

The mother went off to write thank-you notes for all the casseroles she'd been given. The son patted my shoulder and said, "You didn't know it was real, did you?"
"I had hoped. But no, not till right then, I didn't know."
"Take some time with it. But not too long. There's still work to do."

Somewhere in there, Mike and Mark showed up. The work yet to do was apparently mead-brewing. We set up with carboys and funnels and a cauldron, jugs of apple juice and of honey, packets of spice. Lit a fire in the hearth to heat things; sang over the yeast as it started. For a few minutes, there wasn't room for thought amid the flurry of measuring and mixing and pouring.

Now, in waking life, the space between the first fury of combination and the first racking is a few weeks. Here, it was about an hour. By sunset, we had a two-year-old cyser to toast the dead man with.

And to my knowledge, nobody ever exchanged names with anyone else.
home_and_away: (Skin Deep)
In dreams, I usually wind up in one of two places. Either I'm somewhere on my family's farm, or else I'm in the dream city.

The dream city's an island, I think, or a string of islands, or a spit of land that people stole from the sea by building structure upon sunken structure till something managed to stay above the waterline, or a series of repurposed and sporadically gentrified oil platforms. Or some combination of the above. I'm not sure. The only way into the city is by boat (good luck with that, by the way; the harbours are few and dingy and have miles of steps to climb before you get to street level, and nothing ever has handrails) or by causeways. Which also lack guardrails.

The causeways are straight out of a Michael Whelan painting: impossibly high and narrow, supported by slender white columns and arches, the whole confection a marble stick in the eye of the Golden Mean. They're graded like the stretch of I-24 in Monteagle and arced for no reason I know, so that it's an engine or leg-punishing grind on the way up and white-knuckled steering and braking on the way down just to get into or out of the city. And again: no guardrails. Misjudge the curve and you'll have however long it takes to fall a mile to figure out how to break loose from your vehicle and swim.

I have no idea how to swim.

Then there's the city itself. Somehow despite the mile-long fall off the causeways, the water's always right at the feet of the city. It can't decide whether it has streets or canals; sometimes one will turn into the other with no warning, like a road in waking life going from two- to one-way in the space of a block. You may be able to drive into a place, but there's no guarantee you'll be able to drive back out without breaking several traffic laws and possibly your vehicle. Ignorance of this is no excuse; the police know where the bridges are, why don't you?

There are neighbourhoods that are completely surrounded by the city and completely unmoored from it; to get in, you wait for the tide to be *just so* and then jump. Getting out involves lines strung from 5th or 6th floor windows of buildings inside the neighbourhood to 4th or 5th floor fire escapes in the city.

There are pubs and bookstores and parking garages and all the things you'd expect in a person-hive. There are places where you almost forget that at any moment, you could slip, fall, and drown.

In the middle of it all, there's an amusement park that's cotton candy & merry-go-rounds during the day and rollercoasters & fire-eaters at night. Its angles go from obtuse to acute at dusk, like the whole park exhaling to fit a corset; you can watch it happen if you're still. Just before dawn, a few of the night shift stagger out the employee exit, laughing and leaning on one another and speaking three languages among themselves. They'll stop for a croissant and glass of red at a corner cafe before crawling up iron laddersteps into their apartment to sleep the day away. Their door is a heavy wooden window shutter. They fit twelve into a space meant for maybe two. I'm guessing all you really need is a way to climb into your box in there, but I don't know and don't want to. They're sweet, affectionate people and have invited me up to visit, but I haven't gone.

Every time I'm in the city, I'm late for something, or fleeing something, or trying not to fall into the canals, or trying to get un-lost, or meeting lovely people like the park staff--fascinating, kind creatures who may want to consume me...or else like the one scrubby greasy thug of a promoter who gave me cab fare home that once. I have an apartment, but it's full of pink tulle crinolines and my dancing-girl flatmate and whatever guests she brings home. There's no space that's only mine, so I don't stay in much.

And that's the dream city. It will show me little wonders or feed me to fish and not care either way. I love it, I'm frustrated by it, I'm terrified in it, and I'm at home among its folk.

Why bring this up now?
Mike's lent me books, among them The Lies of Locke Lamorra, which I started last night because it was next in the stack.
Holy fuck.
It looks like Scott Lynch dreams in my city sometimes, too.

Camorr isn't cobble by girder the place I wander in dreams, but they're close enough kin that I'm finding myself consuming the story, not really caring whether it's As Important As Tolkein And GRRM or not. The setting and characters are familiarly unsettling. They're graceful & vulgar & kind & cruel in all the right ways.

I dig it.


Apr. 27th, 2011 11:44 am
home_and_away: (Default)
Dreamt last night of a breed of apple tree that naturally grew low and wide and more or less in a flat plane, the easier to show every flower to every passing pollinator and the easier to offer up its fruit. They also had two fairly short dormant cycles, one requiring a hard frost and the other requiring three to five days of drought and blistering heat. So they fruited twice a season and at odd times.

I remember walking between two rows of these trees in either dawn or twilight, plucking apples just as they dropped into my hand on their own, and tucking them gently into my apron. The apples were slightly larger than my fist and a shade of yellow/gold that glowed. They had thin skins and soft, syrupy sweet flesh. Machines couldn't harvest these apples without losing 3/4 of the crop; they had to be hand-picked.

I remember the joy I felt, handling the apples, and the wary concentration, too. Couldn't carry too many or the first-picked would start to bruise. It was almost time to go back to the storage buildings and put this load away, but I didn't want to leave the trees yet.

home_and_away: (Abyss)
Dreamt last night that I was the captain of a ship--not a pirate per se: we had letters of marque and reprisal, and since we were repelling folk who were trying to overtake our nation, we had the full support of what little government remained. (ah, yes, letters of marque and reprisal from a government that may or may not survive the night. Maybe we were pirates, but at least we were loyal ones. Privateers? Corsairs?)

Apparently, the East India Company--not Britainnia herself, but the EIC--was attempting to conquer the US (probably other places as well but we had all we could handle trying to defend ourselves). They'd already waged some odd shadow war that left the economy in shambles and the government as weak as termite-ridden wood, and now they were presenting themselves as our brave saviors, come to put a chicken in every pot and keep the peace in every town.

On one side? Nobody was fooled; they all knew the hand that gives was the hand that took.
On the other? Baby, it's cold outside. Accepting the EIC's deal wasn't the BEST solution, but it was the only solution that would offer stability NOW.

My crew (and probably other crews; we didn't feel unique, but we were autonomous. Privately owned, privately directed.) were there to disrupt the EIC's trade and supply lines at sea. On land, we didn't bother with pitched battle--we were sailors: our "ritual movements" involved running the ship, firing the cannons, and boarding other ships. In a fight we were on our own. Instead, we would find the homes of the "oppressor"'s commanding officers, break in while they slept, and kill them.

Then field dress them like deer or wild pigs.

Then leave the entrails where once the officers had slept and pack the meat home with us to butcher, share out, and eat.

Lather, rinse, repeat, until the local garrison was gone.

Because war was hell, our world was splintered and broken, and our relatives were hungry.

What's grimly funny is that we weren't at all quiet about this practice. We used it as intimidation.

Alright, Mr. Man, you're the EIC's official watchdog here? Great to meet you. Here's a bottle of wine from my first mate's father's vineyard. A wonderful vintage, I would drink it myself. Why don't you and your men linger over it, maybe find a nice book, and let this little hamlet run itself? You just disappear and live; the people will take you in if you behave.


I'll be having that bottle back then--we'll want it for your marinade. ~snaps teeth, knifes man~

The only flavour I can remember, though, is blood.
~headshake & shiver~

Dude. What?

Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:05 am
home_and_away: (Raven)
So I'm following some dude's Presidential campaign--actually, literally following it. I could be selling tie-dyed T-shirts in the parking lot, there are so many people following this guy, and I would be except some ex-Deadhead beat me to it. He's the second coming of Barak Obama, he's a political rockstar, he's going to save the souls of every man, woman, and tiny little child in this nation, and he's going to do it with Charisma! and his Great Plan! (which he never seems to line out for any of us...)

I'm following this guy because I'm sceptical as all hell.
I want to believe in somebody, yeah, because I'm tired of putting myself behind the lesser of a number of evils.
And this cat talks a good game.
But folk are treating him like he heals the sick and walks on water, and I distrust that deeply.
So I'm watching him, from as close as I can get.

What's funny is that he's got the Dalai Lama in his entourage. His Holiness, this incarnation, seems to be some twentysomething surf rat from the Valley-- perpetually barefoot, tanned, and with blond dreadlocks bouncing as he meanders through the crowds. This one has healed the sick with a slightly blank look and a "Yeah man, let yourself be free of it," and I begin to wonder whether The Candidate is keeping the Wish-fulfilling Jewel close to get some holy-by-association thing going. Guy pushes all my buttons; I go from wondering whether I can believe in this Candidate to actively wanting to put the man down before he can get to a position of power.

And I'm not sure what to make of the Dalai Lama. Is he here because he believes this politician? Can't be; when the microphones are off, the guy's a disrespectful autocrat of a man--He Alone knows how folk should live, and he will make them live that way for their own good. I just can't picture a Bhuddist holy-man getting behind that. Is it because the Candidate recognises this white kid as the actual reincarnation? Because China sure as hell doesn't--they've already appointed some nervous-looking boyo to Lama-dom--and Tibet is still debating the matter. Again, though, political games like that look like attachment to an earthly idea, and isn't attachment of that sort the kind of thing Bhuddists are supposed to grow away from? Also: it's a bit early in the Candidate's career to be making foreign policy decisions like this. China's going to be something he'll have to deal with A Lot, if he makes it in November; antagonising them is... ballsy? Suicidal?
I don't get it.

What I do get is that there's a 100-foot circle of mental quiet that centres on this kid. He's got something to him.
And he's letting himself be used.

So anyway.
Here's me. Standing round the Candidate's limo in the dark one night, waiting for his stump-speech to end and himself to come back. I've noticed that as he walks, he talks to his entourage as if the drivers and guards aren't there; if I can look like part of the local staff instead of a Potential Voter, I'll hear. And so will my wee little recording device. And as soon as I can find a willing reporter, so will they. This is a pitch I've tried to work before, and been tossed off of before; I'm relying on darkness and serenity to keep me covered this time, because they're beginning to recognise my face.

I don't remember what's said, but I do remember the flash of triumph--I've got you, you bastard. You're done! And I remember the flash of light in my eyes, and the pounding of heels as men in black suits chase me.

Then someone catches me, and I grab him, break his hold on me, punch him in the gut, and keep running. I'm diving into a car and praying it'll start when I realise--the guy I just pummelled? Blond dreads. Bare feet. I just beat down the Dalai Lama. Oh, I'm going to Hell. I'm going to reincarnate as a cockroach. I'm screwed. I'm sorry, dude, but this is important.

And off I drive into the night.

Haze of time passing; it's daylight and the soundclip I caught is playing on NPR and Fox News both. Hope there's something worthy in one of the other candidates, because this guy's ship is going down. I'm putting fuel in the car when I see a familiar blond head bobbing by. My attention on him gets his attention on me; he turns. "Hey," he says, "You found my car."

"Thought it was my car, dude."
"Attachment. Sorry about the other night. You okay?"
"Got a bruise."
"Need anything?"
"Ride to the beach? Good wave?"
"Anywhere you want to go, man. Can't do much about the waves."
"'S okay. They do enough, themselves."
"Right on."
And we get into the car and go.


Feb. 22nd, 2009 01:11 pm
home_and_away: (Default)
I was walking into an art gallery. This was the second time I'd ever been here; the first was years and years ago, when it was an experimental hangout, an odd second home for artistic misfits. There'd been a show or a party going at the time; I remembered it being full of intent and nerves and joy.

But now. Now it looked like a showroom for furniture, all staged into little sitting areas no-one was welcomed to sit in. The things hanging on the walls were things that would match the sofa, or things that would make you think but never about anything uncomfortable and not for very long. Amorphous landscapes in the Pantone Colour Of The Year. Flowers. No tension.

The woman curating/supervising the place was someone I've met in waking life--superficial, from what I can see of her, full of brittle smiles and sharp words. Worried about something. In the dream, I remember smoothing my hair back and stuffing my hands into the pockets of my leather coat, suddenly concerned I'd knock something over with my elbows. I nodded an apologetic hello.

She beamed at me and immediately began the guided tour--with an air of "if we hurry and shuffle this one out before actual paying customers get here, she might not scare them off." Hustled me through every little setting, riding on a wave of chatter. I felt sorry I'd bothered her.

Then, in one little cove, I thought I saw a painting with life to it. Seven feet tall. Heavy frame. A man standing, looking up. Rain implied by the brushstrokes, or else the old nervous energy from years ago. The man in the painting was wearing the same colours as the person featured in the show back then, or at least, they had the same vibe. I turned my head to study it. But as the painting progressed from Something Seen In Unfocused Periphery to Something Looked At Headon, somehow it became an armoire. French Provincial, or whatever the right name is for the style that looks too spindly to support its own weight, let alone yours. But still somehow massive. And there was a plate on the door, brass and smaller than a business card, that read "Within lie the ashes of Christopher Sebermann, beloved son and artist."

And I remembered the story. A week or so after the show, a horrible death involving rain, a motorcycle, and people being cruel to someone they were afraid of. His blood-kin fought tooth and nail to put the people who'd killed him in boxes, themselves, but I always had the feeling they were doing it to save face. They didn't grok the man any more than his killers had. He had a will (oddly enough for someone his age) and just enough personal clout--when it was learned that he wanted to be cremated and held in this artspace, that was what happened, and his bloodkin be damned.

His passing was the hole through which this place started leaking spirit; now look at it.

My guide noticed I was stopped, staring at the armoire. She came fluttering back for me. "What's this?" I asked her, mostly to hear her response.

"An artist we used to show, friend of the owner, very sad."

"Do you still have anything of his on display?"

"... Somewhere." And off she scurries to find it.

Turns out, it's in a bowl on the desk at reception. Several small, irregular stones--jasper? It's dark red with white and black striations, opaque, an oily sheen like lapis. I pick one up and look at it. It looks like a pendulum weight, but hollow inside with a ridge around the open edge, like there's another piece to fit it. My guide, softer now, says, "He called it, 'No Stragglers'. There's an even number of them in here, and they all have a mate. But none of them look like they should fit, you've got to try them all together to find the other half."

As I watch, she sifts through the collection and finds one piece that looks like a cloud and another that looks like a small branch of coral with an odd ridge; when she puts them together, they're a wing that flaps.

And we're both crying.
home_and_away: (Raven)
I don't remember how I got to be there, but I was at a gathering in a hotel lobby somewhere for a seminar or conference of artists. I was a little early, so I'd claimed a comfortable chair and was people-watching. I had the feeling of being pretty well-practised at my chosen form of art and a couple of others, but also of being a bit of an imposter--what I did, I just...did. It was like alchemy that it came out right, alchemy, magic, and hope. I was lucky that it happened as often as it did.

On a table about twelve feet away, the establishment was displaying two of my pieces, both blown glass jars. One was a simple water-jar, with pigment flowing up from the bottom in spots like champagne bubbles. No stopper. The other was a rich, glowing cobalt blue with glass so thick or else pigment so rich that it was mostly opaque. Shapewise, it was simple: think of the goddess-image that's anywhere pagan, with the sharp point for feet, wide hips, narrower waist, rounded bust and shoulders, sleek neck, and round head. This jar was like that, only condensed so that the "point" was a round base about six inches across, the "hips" flared to about 9", and the narrowness of "waist" was a fluid suggestion, a slim in-sweeping, a perfect place to put your hand to grip, or to stroke with a thumb (if you're a tactile creature like I am). The goddess's neck was the neck of the jar, about three inches in diameter; her head was the stopper, sleek, round, and serene. If you took it out and held it, it would fit in the hollow of your palm with a cool, graceful weight. There were flecks of gold leaf in the stopper, my one concession to decoration. Obviously, it was one of my favourite pieces, but I wasn't sure what anyone else would think of it, it being so simple and functional-looking. Still. My breath was in that jug. My breath and sweat and energy of spinning movement. I was proud. I tried not to stare.

And then two women moving like they had a purpose walked up. One was blonde and gave the impression of reaching for a youth she didn't quite have (but for all that, confident still; you could tell by the way she moved and the jewellery she wore.); the other was brunette and seemed to have all her companion's grace and also the youth. The way they chattered (like there was nothing else in the world but their conversation; the rest of us in the lobby and in fact, the lobby itself, were of no more or less consequence than the set of a stage.) made me think they were related somehow. My mother and I chatter like that, on good days.

So there they went, moving through the room barely seeing it. Then the brunette stops and pounces on my little goddess-jug. And she picks it up like it's a child (well she should; it's about the weight of one) and cradles it. And she puts it down and strokes it with her thumbs, cups it in her palms...

And then? She spins it like a top.

One middle finger in the groove, one palm well-anchored on the wall of the jug, she steals that hand away to set the jug spinning. And it does. It dances in her hands.

I'm trying not to stare, but I know my face has the same look of composed horror it used to wear when Adam or anyone else would hurl Dae into the air and catch him. "Oh, God, woman, I'll have your hide if you break that," is warring, in my head, with "Well. She enjoys it. Maybe she'll buy it."

But underneath all thought of commerce or protection? There's the same kind of childlike joy that's on the brunette's face as she spins my jar. Because I'd suspected it would do that, but I had never been brave enough to try it.

The blonde walks up to me with a knowing look on her face as the brunette catches the jar and sets it right, wipes her fingerprints off with a handkerchief. "They're yours, aren't they?"

"Well, yes," I answer, rising to shake her hand.

The blonde makes some gesture as if handing me a business card, but no card can I find (and I begin to realise this is where the awkward lesson of dreams begins). And she says her name, but with the noise that has built in the room, I can't hear her and it's short enough that it's gone from her lips before I can read them.

"I'm sorry, could you repeat that?" I ask, pencil and paper in hand.
She gives me a puzzled look, and says something else to identify her that is NOT her name or the name of her business and is also inaudible, then continues, "I'm rather particular about what is shown in my gallery--it's got to have a certain spark. Anything can be decorative, any art piece can be formidable and technically amazing...but decorative things don't always encourage you to see the world differently, and technically amazing art objects don't always invite interaction. I'm looking for things that bridge the gap. And that piece does it. I would love to see what else you've done, and possibly put a few things on display."

The way her eyes move as she talks about things-created--alighting on this piece that's hung in the room, or that one, coming to rest, finally, on a painting of a birch-forest with such a shadow and rose/golden glow that I look out the window across from the painting to see whether it's art or whether it's nature making the colour. She smiles. "You understand. So. Call me; we'll set up a time. Please?"

"Thank you, ma'am, it'd be my pleasure," I answer, thinking, now if only I can find or divine her name and number....


Today, no more excuses. I have three pairs of boxers and one rayon shirt tied and bound and waiting to dye. I have a plan for them (more or less; I'm not to the point of being scientific about weight of fabric to amount of dye and ratios of what to whatelse to yield a specific colour. Right now, it's still alchemy and magic and hope, with enough practice to have an idea how the colours will move.). I even have a tub to soak them in that won't leak caustic water all over my kitchen. (And also a small jar in which to save some caustic water for the next time I dye my hair! Huzzah for principles that carry from one textile to another! Although if there are beauticians in the audience, I can hear them wincing...)

Today, I dye.
Tomorrow, it will batch.
Sunday, my husband will have gaudy underwear and a loud shirt.

And then I can set about making charms and knotting a bracelet.

Life is good.
home_and_away: (Raven)
Spent most of the night last night and early morning this morning trying to sneak out of my boarding school/government office/apartment and across disputed and nearly vertical territory so that I could stand in the place where Joan of Arc or Brigid or the Blessed Virgin once stood to look out over the land so I could scatter someone's ashes properly. Sometimes it was my mother; sometimes it was my dearest friend; sometimes it was a total and complete stranger to whom I owed a great debt. Sometimes it was the lot of them at once.

Whoever it was, she was in a tin pail in my hand being rained on until I could get to a place where the rain wasn't and the winds were strong enough to send the ashes dancing. Because she always did love to travel, and stowing her in one spot in this godsforsaken bucket is the purest form of insult.

I had friends with me. Friends who were at once the four Musketeers (headed by Michael York and Oliver Reed) and my pack of boys from highschool. One by one, they're picked off by men in suits trying to keep us off the high and holy ground, until at the last, the only one beside me is Chris, my old DM and ex-beau. And he's trying to convince me just to bury my ward or else dump her behind a hedge. She's dead; she'll never notice.

I shove him to go rolling down the hill.
She's dead. She'll notice everything. And anyway, I promised.

So up and up I climb, through rain and mud and thrown rocks, until I reach the overlook.
And there's a ceiling over it.
No wind.
Beyond it, a world...but no wind and no room to stand.

Sheer frustration.

~sigh~ Here's hoping this week doesn't see more of the same.


home_and_away: (Default)

April 2017

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