little bird

Today when I came home to South Coast I happened to stop in at the Far Inn.  When I passed by the front door I looked at my feet and there was a tiny brown songbird sitting very still on the deck.  I have seen this before.  The birds think the Far Inn windows are open sky and sometimes they crash into them.  We usually keep some stickers on the window or post a piece of paper so there is a visual cue for them.  Someone must have taken them down.  They probably didn’t realize the birds sometimes do that.  I’ll probably tape something back up there.

But, this particular little bird was sitting very still, his feathers puffed up to protect him from the chill and the wind.  I bent down and picked him up gently and cradled him in my hands.  I told him I wanted to help him.  Little bird.  I sat on the bench and held him close to my chest to give him some of my warmth.  He slowly closed his eyes and I thought he must be sleeping because he feels safe.  Then I thought, oh no, maybe he’s dying and he just can’t keep his eyes open any longer.  I didn’t want him to die.  But I wanted to be with him if he did.  He was still breathing quite steadily, his tiny chest moving in and out.

I needed help.  I heard some guys down at the pool.  They were moving some machine, doing maintenance.  I brought the tiny bird to them and asked what I should do.  They said, set him down somewhere out of the way and go wash your hands.  They were just being practical.  The tiny birds can break their little necks sometimes on the window.  I’ve seen one that died that way.  But I knew this tiny bird had not broken his neck.  I sat with him in the sun by the pool for a few minutes.

I decided to take him home with me.  I am working the overnight shift tonight, so I need to take a nap, and I can’t sit outside all day in the cold and wind with this tiny bird.  We would both be more comfortable in my room.  So I walked with him to The Boneyard.  Before I stood up I pushed my index finger up toward his chest and he wrapped his tiny claws around my finger and I walked with him all the way thinking about how I felt like Snow White.  This tiny bird sitting on my finger, and then I remembered he was stunned and couldn’t escape me if he wanted.  But, I hoped he appreciated that I loved him and was trying to help.  I hoped he was happy I came along and picked him up.

When I got to my room I sat with him outside on the deck.  I tried to let him off my hand onto the wooden rail, but he preferred to stay wrapped around my finger.  I had to pick him up and put him down on the rail.  He started to close his eyes again.  He let me pet him softly.  I trailed my fingertips down his head, between his wings and down his tail feathers.  I was trying to help him integrate his trauma and reawaken his body’s instincts.  I lightly stroked the tips of his flight feathers, singing to him about his wings.  I was still worried.

A lady from the office was home around the corner.  And she has two cute little wooden birdhouses sitting outside her door, so I thought to ask her for advice.  She said she only knew about hummingbirds, but that she heard someone in the office once say she had saved a bird by putting him in a dark box with something to keep it warm.  The tiny bird needed warmth and darkness, and that sounded right.  I went back to my room and opened my desk drawer.  I pulled out the few contents and stuffed it with some fabric and made a kind of nest.  I picked up the tiny bird and placed him gently in the middle, tucking him in and closing the drawer almost all the way.  Leaving room for air and a small crack of light.  I let him rest for a while.

When I opened the draw again, the tiny bird was turning his head right and left, he was certainly happier.  I picked him up and he started to wriggle a little, like he was looking for his freedom.  I felt happy about that.  I was scared he would take off before I ushered him out the door.  I didn’t want him to be flying around my room, so I rushed for the door and took him outside and tried to set him on the wooden rail, but he clung to my finger again.

I asked him, if I throw you in the air, will you fly?  And he didn’t really respond.  I didn’t know if he would fly or fall and hurt himself all over again.  I was scared, so I moved my finger up and down a little bit and he started ruffling his wings, but he refused to fly.  I felt like he could do it if he only remembered how.  I decided to toss him just a little bit and stand close by to catch him if he didn’t take off.  I tossed him and he spread his tiny wings and landed a few feet away.  And then he started hopping up and down the railing.  I followed behind him as he hop, hop, hopped.  I wanted him to fly.  I tried to give him a little push, but this time he didn’t want to cling to my finger, he just started hopping in the opposite direction and we hopped back to my front door.

I picked him up off the rail, thinking maybe it was too far off the ground and he wasn’t confident enough to try it yet.  I moved him down to the floor of the deck and sat his frail little legs down so his claws were curled over the edge, so he could feel his freedom to jump from the perch.  He just sat there.  He didn’t fly.  He looked back and forth, turned his little head to look at me.  I sang him a song about how he was the sweetest little bird in the whole world and how he was so good at flying.  He didn’t fly.  So I bent down and moved my hands gently underneath his belly, I just gave him the slightest little lift with the edge of my fingers and he spread his wings, jumped off the edge of the porch, swooped low down across the gravel driveway, curved left and flew away into the trees.

He was a very good little bird.  Now I miss him.

littlebirdpic

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Candice’s Thighs

purple cosmic tights

Candice’s thighs were like pillars to the gods
They were so strong and so sure
Like every bounce she had ever taken in her life
Had built those hips, those thighs

Every time I looked at her I saw the music
No, heard the music
No, felt it
There was nothing in between the music and her thighs
She took every beat

And sometimes she would deejay
Headphones pressed to her ears
Just on the side, her hand resting neatly on her shoulder
Her neck tweaked into a cradle
And, still those thighs
She was bouncing to the rhythm
Each beat was met by the weight of her thigh
Like a drum
Like a god damn pillar to the sky

It was as if she held all the power of the universe in those thighs
Purple lycra spandex suits
Meet exploding rhinestone chakra at the crown
The beat goes on forever and ever
And it ends up dancing its way through those thighs.

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Inspiration Squared

A friend of mine, a poetess and professor of the arts shared a link to a website with 66 Experiments for writers. As I perused the list, one of them inspired me to give it a try. The instructions were:

4. Acrostic chance: Pick a book at random and use title as acrostic key phrase. For each letter of key phrase go to page number in book that corresponds (a=1, z=26) and copy as first line of poem from the first word that begins with that letter to end of line or sentence. Continue through all key letters, leaving stanza breaks to mark each new key word. (Cf.: Jackson Mac Low’s Stanzas for Iris Lezak.) Variations include using author’s name as code for reading through her or his work, using your own or friend’s name, picking different kinds of books for this process, devising alternative acrostic procedures.

The book I’ve been reading these days is “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” by Henry Miller. I loved the result. Here it is.

Big_Sur_And_The_Oranges_Of_Hieronymus_Bosch_300_447

Built for herself
Into a dozen families
Gay in plummage, their beaks were hard and cruel

Simple life
Upon the old homestead
Reason of their thouroughgoing nonconformity

A much needed vacation
Never decide if he is a curse or a blessing
Day when the blue of the sea rivals the blue of the sky

Think of what would have happened had I been left entirely to my own resources!
Here, the redwood made its last stand
Emerald isle

Or nothing to one who is an artist
Recognized artists
A resident of California
Need of harmonious surroundings
Gold-crested hills, the marble-topped peaks
Enough to take a sunbath
So often people dream of an ideal life

Otherness made him an artist
Forbidding to the man of the pavements

Herself in the mirror of eternity
I encountered eleven years ago
Either direction
Replicas in this vast country
Ordinary fellow, he will throw everything to the winds
Nature is inviting
Yet nothing is taught or preached here
Merry-making colonies
Upon mountains of pure gold
Souls scattered over several hundred square miles

Been living on the ridge
Of a great artist
Subtlety such as I never ceased to marvel at
Call it an initiation
He rides beneath the stars

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Free Ravin

blueplanet22

 

I am an artist.  You are probably an artist too.  Anyways, one of my passions in life is supporting the arts in general and the artists in specific.  One of my beautiful friends is a fabulous designer of jewelry, clothing and whimsically eclectic things.  One of her designs is in a contest, and if she wins it will help propel her dreams forward.  I want to help her do that, so, I appeal to you the masses to go and vote for her design.  It is a beautiful blue necklace that I want to have for myself!!!  Her designs are so beautiful, after you vote for her, you should check out the rest of her offerings at freeravin.com!

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Elephant Journal

I got published on The Elephant Journal blog. Check it out here! Thanks.

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Monomyth Monday: The Seventh Continent

Once upon a time there lived a girl. She lived in Suburbia, in the United States of America. She went to school and made very good grades, she played on the basketball team, but was not very good. Most of her time was filled with school and basketball and travelling on the school bus back and forth to Suburbia. She was happy if a bit bored, but she always felt there was something more than Suburbia and even the United States of America.

Her parents wanted her to find a nice boy from Suburbia and marry him one day. A nice boy named Mike or David or John. A nice boy who played baseball and was tall and had nice teeth and parents who came from Suburbia too. And the girl thought that that was what would happen, but she felt there was something more.

One day, the girl from Suburbia went to The City. She was looking for a college to attend that would allow her to meet a nice boy from Suburbia who would have a good job and move back to Suburbia with her after college and have more babies who lived in Suburbia. But she felt that maybe there was something more.

And then she met him. He was a man, he was eighteen. The girl saw from his skin that he was different. He was from a far off land. He had come from China. He was actually born in Brazil, his parents were from China and somehow he had made it to The United States of America to meet her. So, while the girl was in The City, the Chinese Brazilian man and her became fast friends. They spent all day talking, and one night after they had played a game of HORSE on the basketball court, he kissed her. And then she knew there was something more.

She returned to Suburbia and told her mother about kissing this man from China and Brazil combined, and her mother did not approve. The girl decided she would just have to find a nice boy from Suburbia and forget about the man from China and Brazil. But she couldn’t. The continents exploded in her head. Her first kiss had taken her to South America and Asia already. And she knew that she wouldn’t ever visit there herself. She would never see the seven continents of the world. But maybe she could get the continents to move to her.

The girl went to college and she kissed a boy from Sweden. He brought to her the gifts of Europe, and she was happy. And then there was a boy from Mexico, and he brought to her the gifts of North America. She had now over half the continents in her collection, but she wanted the complete set.

One day her friend from college gave her a gift. A tiny globe of the earth. On it, she could see all the continents. Her friend told her it was a gift, to keep track of her progress. And she marked out on the map all of the countries and continents she had discovered. China and Brazil, Sweden, Mexico and Belize. Germany. Nepal. India. Eventually she reached the African continent with Algeria and Morrocco. And she had five of the continents. But still she knew there was more.

Only Australia and Antarctica remained, and since Antarctica doesn’t have any people who were born there, she declared it conquered after she visited a penguin exhibit at a nearby sea park. And so she sat down and looked at her globe. All of the continents except for Australia. And Australia was hard because it was on the other side of the world in all ways possible. And there was only one country on the continent. But still she had hope.

But years passed by and she just kept repeating continents. China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Germany, Puerto Rico, Colombia. She could never find the man from Australia who would finish the mission. She looked at her globe, sparkling with life except for the seventh continent which eluded her.

And then she met a man from the Middle East. She met him one day and they fell in love. And he kissed her. The girl always thought he was a man without a continent. She was sure that technically it was in one or the other, but to her the Middle East lay somewhere near Europe and Africa and Asia, but still in between. A man without a continent, and they were in love and they got married. He moved back with her to Suburbia, but both of them knew they didn’t belong there. And the girl gave up on the idea of ever kissing a man from Australia. Her fate had been set.

But the man and the girl grew farther apart. He wanted to return to his home on the not continent, and the girl could not go with him. So he left and the girl was in Suburbia alone. One day she got into her car, she lived in the farthest part east of her continent and she drove all the way by herself to the other side of her continent. She wandered around the west until she found a friend. Her name was Judy and she was from Australia. Judy told the girl she would have to fly all the way across the world to go to Australia itself and then she would surely find a man to kiss her there. But the girl just knew that he would come to her.

So, she waited a while and one day, a man from Australia came to the west and he helped her plant a garden in The Woods. They didn’t meet in The City, or Suburbia. They met in The Woods, and when the first seeds started sprouting they walked in the moonlight and he kissed her. When she opened her eyes she was ecstatic, she laughed and the entire Milky Way sparkled in the sky. She told him, Thank you. The journey is complete. And she left The Woods because there was nothing left to seek.

She returned to Suburbia, her globe sparkled all the way around, upside and down and she knew that it was just the beginning. She realized that all she ever wanted was the whole world, and now that the whole world had come to her, it was time for her to return the favor. And she booked a flight to Australia first, because she knew how difficult the continent was to obtain.

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Crowdsourcing is the New Black

I recently had a really great idea. I am at an age when many people are asking the question, “do you want to have a baby?” I am a single woman choosing a creative path, no posh job with insurance and a giant paycheck. So when I hear that question most of the time I think, are you crazy? If I had a kid I’d have to sell my soul to the company store just to be able to afford the day care that would estrange me from my new baby. No, thank you. Not a good move, not for me or a potential little being. But in the middle of a laugh filled conversation with friends I came up with the great idea that I could crowdsource the baby. I would use my blogging skills to start a website called ittakesavillage.com … a site that someone else has unfortunately claimed. My plan included setting up an Amazon.com wish list that would provide for the baby’s every need. The first item on the list would be a pregnancy test, of course. I would attach a paypal account so that people could contribute to the college fund. I would sell the naming rights for one million dollars. Only rules would be the name couldn’t be corporate, my baby could not be named Verizon Bestbuy Jones, and it couldn’t be malicious. I was imagining a rich old man buying the naming rights to honor his dearly departed aunt Hazel. And that seemed like a good plan to me. It still kind of does. We’ll cross that bridge if we get to it.

I have a great idea!

I have a great idea!

I live amongst very creative people with good hearts, so every day on my facebook feed I see appeals for me to contribute in some way or another to someone’s project. I’m equally likely to be asked to help someone create a documentary film project, or reach a fundraising goal for an ALS foundation. My friends are awesome. Sometimes I have the resources to contribute, and sometimes I don’t. But whenever I see an appeal I am inspired that there are people out in the world making things happen. And then I hit my share button and at least try to give them a little press.

My first contribution was for eleven dollars. I can’t quite remember the cause, but I think it was a film project. I am a writer with a few short films under my belt, so I like to support my fellow film makers whenever I can. In return for that eleven dollars, I received a cyberhug. My most recent contribution was thirty-three dollars that I contributed toward what looks to be an amazing short film, written by and starring my friend Sita Young. She is nothing short of fabulous (she’s the star of my most recent short film), and she compiled a kick-ass team of women film makers to create a cool project currently referred to as “The Lenny&Dahlia Project“. I can’t wait to see it just for the visuals alone. Sita is super stylish and it appears that all of the women on the team are too. In return for my thirty three dollars I will know that I supported my sisters in the arts AND … I get a Bowjie. Bowjies are another fabulous creation from Sita, she turns old fabric into new hair accessories. Stylish and eco-friendly, what more could you ask for. One of the hallmarks of today’s crowdsourcing is the giving back part. Contributions are often rewarded with small gifts. Larger contributions with larger gifts. For the Lenny&Dahlia project, one of the medium rewards is a photo shoot with a super accomplished fashion photographer. The biggest contributions could even get your name on the big screen with a producer credit to your name. Check out the project and contribute to something amazing!

Doesn't Look Cool!

Doesn’t This Look Cool!

In addition to my creative friends, I have the do-gooder friends. They are raising money to help change the world. These kind of things have been around for a while. I’ve long been asked to contribute to someone’s team in training. Runner’s raising money for cancer charities and the like by getting their butts off the couch and running a marathon. Wow, I’m so happy to stay on the couch and give a little cash. My first contribution from an online campaign was for an ALS Walk. Again, I think it was eleven dollars. I must have a thing for elevens, I think they’re the most magical number. No physical rewards with these ones, just a case of the feel goods. A friend of mine named Lynn is currently raising money for a charity called Buds to Blossoms. The organization, founded by another one of my friends, provides gentle healing massage to orphans in Cambodia, many of whom are dealing with HIV or AIDS. It is a wonderful organization, and most volunteers attempt to cover their costs by starting crowdsourcing campaigns. Many cover the cost to participate and give financial gifts above and beyond. Everyone I know who has ever participated said that it changed their life. It was hard, but it changed their life. Contributing to something like that makes me feel good. If you’re interested in helping Lynn out, check out her website!

Look at the smiles!

Look at the smiles!

What I’ve learned from watching my friends enter the crowdsourcing world is that I have awesome friends. And that there are so many ways we can help each other reach our dreams. And that crowdsourcing works. I’ve never seen a campaign fail, most of the time they get the funding they need and then the world is a better place for it. It gives me hope in the human spirit. And one day, if I should find myself knocked up, I have hope that maybe I really could crowdsource that little bundle of joy!

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