Taking it to the Streets

Art in the Village

Art in the Village

Yesterday I took my cane and my girl, and went to one of my favorite New York events, the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibit.  It’s a biannual outdoor art show that’s been running as long as I can remember, Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, with a lot of amazing art and artists. This is not a street fair, no sausages, zeppoles, blow up rides or knock-off handbags. I’ve heard the original idea came from Jackson Pollack when he was broke, and took some of his paintings and sold them on the street. Something about being in the midst of creative people who are living their art, and others coming to see, appreciate, and purchase the work is inspiring.  Plus, it’s fun and free, leaves me near all the places I used to frequent when I was young–can’t beat it. I’ll share a few of the highlights here, but if you’re in or around New York this weekend, or Labor Day weekend, go!

IMG_3985 IMG_3986

As much as I’ve always loved this show, there’s an extra dimension to it for me now, attending with Art Child.  She chats with the artists and asks questions I wouldn’t think of.  She responds to this type of venue and it shows. No less than five artists commented on her style, a couple asked to take her photo for portraits. I could see her wheels turning, wondering when she can set up a booth and sell her own work.

Like Art Child, many artists use trees as subjects for their work, and we saw quite a few styles and interpretations.  We even found an artist with both paintings and sculptures of what Art Child calls “treeple,” trees with human features, and something she draws frequently in her charcoal sketches.  The artist, Anthony Santella, was lovely and patient, with work ranging from realism to surrealism to fantasy.

If I had the money and the room I would have purchased this piece.

If I had the money and the room I would have purchased this piece.

IMG_3997

One artist, Lisette P, was showcasing jewelry that was all made from New York photographs she has taken, resized and set behind glass.  How can you not love jewelry you can Windex to keep clean?

IMG_3992

We spent quite a while at her table, and I was happy to see many other people were doing the same. There’s just something about New York street photography when it doesn’t look like a cleaned up postcard.

One of the first booths we stopped at was marvelous, a mix of paintings and jewelry that we both loved, and it turned out the two artists are mother and daughter.  Olga and Daniella Bacskay. Perfect, no?  I’ll admit to being a bit envious. I appreciate art, and thrill in Art Child’s joy and accomplishments, but can’t share the experience in quite the same way.

IMG_3987

Art Child purchased a small print of this powerful mixed media painting. The original has volcanic ash in the tree limbs.

Art Child purchased a small print of this powerful mixed media painting. The original has volcanic ash in the tree limbs.

Moving on, we spent time chatting with another artist, this one with the kindest smile. I loved the work, another person displaying both paintings/prints and jewelry. Handblown, painted vases that blew me away.  Dudley Vaccianna, the scenes he paints just seemed to radiate female power. The earrings were all hand painted on brass, beads from Nigeria.

I think I could grow ten stories from his pose.

I think I could grow ten stories from his vibe.

Sadly, the show is much smaller than it used to be, but even still, my back and hip gave out before we were able to see everything.  So we walked back around the park to the west side.

So clean nowadays.

So clean nowadays!

And of course, because by then we were hungry, and so close, getting a late lunch was mandatory.

The peanut butter restaurant, simple and brilliant.

The peanut butter restaurant, simple and brilliant.

By the time we got home, I was unable to stand up straight, but completely inspired. There’s a story I’ve been playing with, building in my head for months. I now have the opening completely in focus.

 

 

Strange Days

Wake up!

Wake up!

I should have known it was going to be an odd weekend, since it appeared I woke up on Mars Friday morning.

Art Child presented her too familiar puddle on the couch interpretation–bonus of a low grade fever– so I kept her home from school and we spent the day engaged in a marathon viewing of the tv series, Once Upon a Time.

Saturday was her second to last art class for the year and the fever was gone, so she went.  I took Little Incredibly Dumb Dog for a walk, and ran into a friend I haven’t seen all winter.  She asked me if I would like to go with her on a yoga retreat, she knows somewhere reasonably priced.  After posting about never doing anything remotely like that just last week, I was intrigued.  Then she mentioned staying in dorms, something like six women to a room.  I promptly remembered why I don’t do things like that.

I decided to hit the Goodwill up the street from the art class.  It’s the nicest one in Manhattan, and the last time I went in I scored two great dresses.  Woot, covered for Man Child’s graduation!  Yes, it’s a two day event, I needed two outfits.  When I showed them to Fatigue, he told me I was channeling Alice Kramden.  Works for me. Except for shoes, because mine are all either snow boots, flip-flops or high heels.  Flip-flops don’t seem appropriate for the occasion, and I’m not stable enough for high heels yet, so I thought I’d check for shoes.  Saw what could have been a great pair, but then I realized one of them had a thick streak of what looked like black permanent marker down the side of one.  Red shoes + black marker = no.

Then I saw a very cool skirt.  High waisted, cream linen with black appliqués. I couldn’t decide if it was a score-cool or just weird-cool, and it was $20, so I left it on the rack.  Waited for Art Child to get out of class, I chatted with a couple of the moms who are seriously skilled thrift shoppers, and they offered to go back to the store with me to give an opinion.  Me and my big mouth. It was still there, they liked it and encouraged me to try it on.  It wasn’t a skirt.  It was a strapless dress.  I don’t do strapless. A very short strapless dress. I also don’t do very short unless paired with leggings or thick tights.

No worries, the truth is I’m bored with shopping inside of fifteen minutes, and the girl needed to rest. Art Child and I went home.  I went to put my mug in the sink and I don’t know what the fuck happened, but a glass that had been sitting in there exploded. Really exploded.  Not only was the sink filled with broken glass, but shards flew across the kitchen floor into the hallway to the left, the dining area to the right, and one embedded itself in my wrist.  I had to throw away my sponges, it took me forever to clean up, and the girl was convinced my arm was going to fall off if she didn’t apply a bandaid on it immediately. Bloooooood!!!  Sigh. Seriously, it was maybe two drops, no big deal.

Last week three of the four turbo snails in my reef dropped dead.  In my experience, these snails never live long, but I haven’t had three die at once.  The blenny, however, is thrilled, since he’s made a new home inside the empty shell of one.

Yup, that's the blenny's little head sticking out.

Yup, that’s the blenny’s little head sticking out.

 

Thank you, oh mighty snail, for leaving me this beautiful new house, and thank you, evil bristle worms, for eating his remains so it would be nice and clean. 

I think these are all signs that this year should be over.  It should be beach time, don’t you think?

Mother’s Day Thoughts–Late Again

Flower District

Flower District

This past weekend was beautiful, whether you celebrated Mother’s Day or not.  I talk a lot about the not so nice parts of living in New York, but a nice part is there are always surprises, no matter how long I’ve lived here.

Art Child’s Saturday art class was invited to a small, private gallery in the afternoon.  The gallery is in an old, nondescript building on a street I’ve walked down many times, never knew it was there.  Surprise! 5 flights of stairs to climb.  Bigger, better surprise, there was an elevator.  The space itself was interesting to look at, bright, lots of windows, and enough bars and police locks to make me nostalgic for my first couple of apartments.

IMG_3899

 

The show included recent sculptures by Tyrone Mitchell and a variety of traditional African art and artifacts.  I forgot to ask if it was ok for me to post photos of Mr. Mitchell’s work, so I won’t, but I will recommend going to see an exhibition if you have the opportunity. Very thought provoking, using found, everyday objects for social commentary.  I’m not an artist, don’t know the right words, but there was a piece I didn’t want to leave.  On a wooden scaffolding, a pot set into the top, a woven, painted basket decorated with painted money cowrie shells (I have three money cowrie snails eating algae in my tank as I type) coming out of the top of the pot, and coming out of the top of the basket, a mask, a woman’s face.  I can’t say why, but something about the whole moved me, and I had a highly inappropriate urge to climb the scaffolding and pick up that basket.  No worries, I didn’t touch.

Then I saw a link on Twitter to an article in the New Yorker about the monetization of mommy blogs.  For some reason I can’t link it now, sorry.  Anyway, my first thought was, really?  I haven’t made a dime. Then I remembered, I don’t do anything to try and make money from Mrs Fringe.  Second, and more importantly, this isn’t a mommy blog. Sure, I’m the mama, most of that role is fantastic, and I sometimes talk about mama-ing, but that isn’t what Mrs Fringe is about.

I wondered if I should regret this fact.  Would it have been smarter, more practical?  Maybe, but I don’t regret it.  Most of my life is about mama-ing, has been for a long time.  I like having this one area for myself as a whole and empty pocketed-person.  And I’m guessing the odds of actually making money from a mommy blog are almost as astronomical as any other form of profit from creative writing.

If this were a mommy blog, I would talk about the exhibition in terms of Art Child, the beautiful heartbreak of watching and listening to her experience this show; the opportunity for her to see and touch the artifacts, to speak to the curator, and the joy of seeing her get it in ways that I can’t. She has challenges navigating the everyday world, and by the artist came to speak she was wilting and we needed to leave, but in front of these sculptures she understood their power.

But this is my this-and-that, unfocused eclectic whole person blog.  So I talk about the surprise of the gallery itself, hidden in the midst of stores selling rhinestones and questionable perfumes.

Happy Belated Mother's Day

Happy Belated Mother’s Day

 

 

I Bow to You

Beginning yoga, take #432--feel free to chant along.

Beginning yoga, take #432–feel free to chant along.

I first learned about yoga when I was 11 or 12 years old.  It was a book I found in the school library, small and yellowed, shoved to the back of one of the shelves.  I don’t know what I was supposed to be searching for but I’m sure that wasn’t it. Still, being the pretentious little shit that I was, I had to borrow it once I saw the distaste on the school librarian’s face.  Or maybe it had nothing to do with the librarian or pretentiousness, maybe it was the fact that in the middle of these pages filled with sketches of purposefully twisted bodies, I saw an unveiled reference to masturbation.  C’mon, it was junior high during the year of the flood–certainly this was a book that would take me out of the armpit of Brooklyn.

My parents were no more pleased to see me with this book than the librarian had been.  They were certain it would lead straight to a love-in loving cult, tabs of acid (LSD) jumping from the pages to my tongue. Strict in so many ways, but monitoring my reading material wasn’t one of them.  Naturally this prompted in depth study and practice, and several renewals. I’ll tell you the truth, I loved it.  The meditation, mindful breathing, the light in me recognizes the light in you, mention of the “Divine Spark,” all of this with the magnificent ways I could contort my body, I found… something.  Thinking about it, I felt a similar this-is-right-for-me connection when I began blogging.

The first night of trying different poses in my room I saw a page illustrating the crow pose, and I was determined.  Umm, you’re upside down, like you’re going to do a handstand, only you balance your knees on your elbows.  Sort of, it’s been a long time, so don’t take my word as directions.  My room was tiny, and just typing the words makes my knees and elbows chafe with the imprint of the royal blue shag rug, forehead thwoked into the wooden edge of my cot-sized captain’s bed. The first time I saw a yoga mat I thought the angels were singing.  Freaking brilliant!  Took me three days, but then I did it, the crow pose. Surely this meant I had attained enlightenment.  Really, what I wish is that I had known people could train and become paid yoga teachers. Of course there were already yoga centers in the US, but not in the land of Saturday Night Fever, and I didn’t know about them.

I can’t say I stuck with it, but I have always returned to it. Never considered myself a yogi, and never had the budget or the confidence to take an official class.  All at home, just me and the sketches/videos/dvds/youtube.  Assorted dogs and babies climbing on me while I practiced through quite a few of those years, and a few years worth of beautiful mornings with Man Child doing it with me. The last several years though, different. Increasing problems with my back have limited the poses and how I do them.

Strap and block, felt like defeat.

Strap and block, felt like defeat.

And then last year I really gave up.  I’ve been in better or worse shape at different times of my life, but I had never been this limited in my movements.  If you can’t get yourself into a decent downward facing dog, what’s the point?  More than the point was the embarrassment of what I could no longer do.  Does it make sense to be embarrassed in the privacy of my living room when everyone else is asleep? Of course not, but there you have it, Fringeland. Along comes this winter, and my smack down from icy city streets resulting in assorted fractures.  And then PT.  I’m lucky, I was assigned the nicest, most supportive physical therapist I can imagine.  Until this past few weeks, the exercises were all so small I felt like there was something wrong with the whole scenario.  Despite these little baby exercises I was mocking myself for, it was hard.  Surprise, Mrs Fringe, a pelvis with multiple fractures fucks you up.

Even though they felt hard, and I hadn’t worked out in a year, none of those initial exercises actually got me stretched to where I felt muscles stretching.  Second surprise, those little make fun of myself for doing them exercises?  They weren’t nothing. They made a difference, and my body wants more.  Yoga sense memory, maybe. By the end of last week it finally clicked.  I can go back to yoga.  Not just my body, my head wants it.  Maybe not all the same sequences I practiced a few years ago, but sticking to the small workouts assigned by the PT has allowed me to regain strength and some of the flexibility I thought was permanently lost.  OK, it’s unlikely I’ll ever do a pigeon pose again, but we all know how much I hate pigeons anyway.

So, along with my new ankle weights and resistance bands, I’ve broken out the strap and block I bought over a year ago.  I even broke down and bought a thicker yoga mat, which is making a huge difference.  I was right, when I brought that book home eleventy thousand years ago, and chanted my very first om. I found something, and I can still find it.

Never got the hang of sequencing to appropriate yoga music with soothing water sounds and inspirational flutes, but old school rock takes me right there.

Insides, Outsides, and the Shit that Holds it Together

Dora the Explorer goes salt and pepper.

Dora the Explorer goes salt and pepper.

I’ve been feeling restless.  The restless that says the winter was too long, I’ve been broken for too long, I need a big change.  Since moving to Hawaii still doesn’t line up with my bank account, I got a haircut instead.

I told the hairstylist exactly what I wanted, he did exactly what he wanted, and I hate it.  I knew I didn’t like it while I was still in the chair, but he had someone else waiting, and my patience for sitting still while someone tugged on my scalp (or, yanno, touched me) was exhausted.

This is silly.  It’s a perfectly nice haircut, and 70 percent of the time I don’t bother to do my hair anyway.   And when I don’t do my hair, it doesn’t matter how it was cut, I look like a walking used q-tip.  I can’t even see into most of the mirrors in my apartment, they’re placed too high, good enough for giving the illusion of a larger space. As I type I’m wearing my favorite summer skirt, a super comfortable plain brown skirt with a streak of white on the back, from where I brushed against a freshly painted wall the first time I wore it, five years ago. But that 30 percent of the time– that’s what I cut my hair for.  This ladies-who-lunch-on-delicate-low-carb-dandelion-salads isn’t me.

I posted a photo to my personal Facebook page to whine about it, and my lovely and supportive friends all said all the right things about how nice it looked, I’ll get used to it, etc.  Quite a few of them also agreed. It just doesn’t reflect the inside me.  What does that mean, anyway, and why does someone who doesn’t bother to do her hair and regularly wishes she could stay in pajamas all day care about this?

I’m a pretty ordinary gal with a pretty ordinary life, someone who swings between stuffing all fantasies under the dirty laundry pile and dreaming about one of my word collections being available for purchase in a bookstore, all while carefully remembering to use qualifiers in personal statements.  If my 40,000 year old dreams haven’t become realities, if I’m not claiming my fantasies as possibilities, what’s wrong with looking like I’m running for office on a ticket I’d never vote for–and using run-on sentences while I’m at it?  You might say I’m average with an edge of funny, nice with an edge of bitchy, regular with an edge of  kooky, or even tired with an edge of ragged, but there’s no doubt I do have an edge.

IMG_3867

All this moaning, you’d think I wanted a mohawk.  I don’t, just a little oomph, a little oh! a woman who lives in a box but dreams outside of it–maybe even a little humor under that frizz.  But maybe not, maybe this bob is who I am, as opposed to who I thought I might be.  Which one is your hairstyle supposed to match?  Most of all, now that I’ve spent way too much time thinking about the dead cells sprouting from my head, what about you?  Do your insides match your outside?

Smells Like

Street Fair Season!

Street Fair Season!

Sunday was a beautiful day, one of those days where you feel the promise of summer. Art Child and I went for a little walk.  Or in my case, hobble. We even took Little Incredibly Dumb Dog with us so she could be appropriately traumatized. Got to the corner and the familiar, peculiar mix of zeppoles, barbecue smoke, and exhaust was unmistakeable.  Spring is peak street fair season in the city.  Some of the fairs are fabulous, with interesting crafts, unique art, live music, and an opportunity to sample great food. Small children and tourists are certain they’re scoring goods that would otherwise be here:

IMG_3821

 

But really, the booths contain a lot of what you might otherwise find here:

IMG_3825

Most seem like a collection of the various street vendors scattered throughout the city gathered in one 7-10 block radius for the day, selling the usual crap–some useful crap, most not–and added a couple dozen deep fryers and barbecues.  I have on occasion bought some great earrings, once bought a pair of gladiator sandals for $5 that lasted 4 years, and used to buy all my socks from these tables.

These are great days to be in the city, the first days of flip-flops and running into friends you haven’t seen since the first snow fell, warm enough to feel glorious but before it’s so hot all you smell is old dog piss rising from the grates as you walk down the street.

This was a pretty average fair, but the first one is always fun. Walk with me, Fringelings.

 

Logic Need Not Apply

IMG_3811

 

Don’t judge, I haven’t been able to wash the floors.

This morning, after I took Art Child to school I walked over to the grocery store.  It’s a nice day, not too far from the school, and I am healing, so I figured I should be productive.  The plan was to do this yesterday, but I was shot after physical therapy. Total win–it wasn’t crowded, I got my shopping done without falling, most people are courteous and give the lady with a cane room to maneuver.  Sure, a couple knocked into me, but I think that’s the general invisibility of middle aged with no make-up. I stuck to budget and kept in mind things that would be quick and easy to prepare.

If only I had paid attention to the weight of things I was purchasing.  Or the broken elevator (it’s Manhattan, square footage tends to be vertical instead of horizontal, larger grocery stores are broken into two floors).  I intended to take a cab home.  Well worth it under any circumstances, this store is considerably less expensive than those within a few blocks of my apartment.  At this point, my pelvis/hip still can’t handle the subway stairs or the jostling of the train, so taxi it is.  Pricey but convenient.

This particular block is always difficult for hailing a cab. There are three bus stops, an express subway stop is in the middle of the street, it’s only a block away from the exit/entrance to the highway, and two major avenues cross each other and switch places.  In other words, it’s crowded, be patient. I waited. And waited. Not one empty cab went by.  Well, maybe one did one of the six times I was blocked off by buses pulling in and out.  Ten minutes.  I should have asked for help while I was in the store, I still could have gone back inside and asked. Except I was embarrassed, because an acquaintance of mine works in there, and I had just told her how well I was doing, there was no need for me to cut the line to reach the cashier ahead of others.  Hence the title of this post, no logic. Finally, a cab at the far corner.  And a woman carrying bags sprinted ahead of me while I was trying to figure out how to pick my bags back up and got to it before the light changed.  She turned towards me when she opened the door, and I saw she had a baby strapped to her chest. Fair enough, babies first.

I kept waiting.  Now I was getting irritated, thinking about how much I just want to be home, and I didn’t even get everything I needed at the damned store.  And watching cabs with lit numbers (means they’re empty) go past on the opposite side of the avenue–the direction I actually needed to be headed.   Between the general weight of the bags, and the fact that I didn’t pay attention to how they were packed, there was no freaking way I’d make it all the way across the street.   I know, sounds crazy, but I’m broken and this is a really, really wide street.  I considered calling Fatigue and asking him to come help me, but I figured even if he didn’t have a dogwalk scheduled, there was no way he’d reach me before a cab came.  I should have called.

By the time another fifteen minutes passed,  I had gone well beyond my physical limits for the day, and was ready to start sniveling.  Then, could it be? Yes! Stopped at the light across the street but on the side of the avenue I was on, was an empty cab.  My spine crackled with the thought of a seat, not to mention needing to lift the bags again.  And then he changed lanes, to turn away from me.  Fringelings, I seriously imagined throwing my kale at that cab.

Pretty dumb, huh?  But that’s what went through my overactive imagination.  No, I didn’t throw my vegetables, and don’t believe I would. Then I thought about how many people with brown skin have empty taxis pass them by on a regular basis.  One small thing, but it’s a symptom, and that one small thing might not feel so small if it happened all the time. And I thought about the many comments I’m seeing on my Facebook feed, declaring a complete lack of understanding for why so many in poor Black communities are so frustrated during protests that some will riot. Anyone can have the type of accident I had, it happens all the time, no matter what socioeconomic status.  I’m not able to walk any dogs right now, and I cringe thinking of the bill from the orthopedist, but I was able to say I’ll skip the salt and vinegar chips, buy the store brand yogurt, and thereby pay for a cab to get groceries home. I became irate from being inconvenienced. Once. This moment, this nuisance of waiting an unusually long time for a taxi?  This is privilege.

For the record, I gave it one more shot and waved my cane–the cab driver who had changed lanes? He changed back and picked me up.

Cost of a Nickel

IMG_3809

Here we are. Again.  I debated whether or not to post about the current protests in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray.  It’s all over the news and social media, lots of people with a better grasp of the nuances than I are already covering it.  It’s exhausting, it’s embarrassing, and it’s too important to ignore.

Once again, we are consumed with the death of a young Black man who died while in police custody.  This is not new.  I’d say we’re drowning in it, but we aren’t–and we should be.  Mr. Gray saw the police cruising by, reportedly made eye contact, and he ran.  He was arrested, dragged into the back of a police vehicle, and then while handcuffed, in between the arrest and arriving at the police station–some 45 minutes later– somehow his spine was broken and he was paralyzed, a week after that he was dead from those injuries.

It’s known as a “nickel ride,” when handcuffed suspects in custody are thrown into the back of a police van, not secured/seatbelted (itself against the law), and then the vehicle is driven in a particularly rough manner, so the person is thrown around with no way to brace themselves.  We know this isn’t new because of the name for it, a reference to when a ride on a creaky wooden roller coaster was five cents.  To ride the Cyclone in Coney Island now costs $9.00.  When the Cyclone opened in 1927, a ride cost twenty-five cents.  So yeah, not new.

The news and social media is currently filled with photos and video clips of rioting in Baltimore.  As telling and mysterious as Freddie Gray’s broken spinal cord is that the news wasn’t filled with photos and videos of the protests before the violence began, and isn’t filled with photos and videos of the thousands who are protesting peacefully.

This isolated incident isn’t isolated.  We, as members of a greater community that purports itself to be vested in equality–equal opportunity–need to look at why and how violence continues to erupt. Violence in these arrests from those charged with keeping the peace, and violence born from frustration with generations of inequality, lack of opportunity, and lack of response to peaceful protests.  And fear.  Lots of fear from all angles.  Judgements, proposed solutions, and decisions made from fear are never going to offer true progress and resolution. Instead of tsk tsking the anger shown in these clips and mindlessly accepting all that’s shown as all there is, we, as consumers of media, need to look more closely at what hasn’t been highlighted, what isn’t being shown.

Like most others I know, I don’t agree with or condone rioting.  I can’t help but wonder, if no one condones it, no one wants it, and we’re all filled with mourning and solidarity and the Kumbayahness of peaceful protest, how come no more than a few in the mainstream were speaking out and airing videos before there was footage of flames?

Irrelevance: Evolution on the Fringe

IMG_3599

The other day I received an email from a friend that was so en pointe it was a bit frightening.  Why? Because she used the word I’ve been thinking (feeling?), but afraid to say out loud–or on paper,–irrelevant.  Sure, the thought has crystalized in reference to my fiction, but as important as writing has always been to my sense of me, it is only one part. I was thinking it walking dogs, thinking it more these past weeks as I’ve been unable to walk. Thinking it as I speak with my kiddos, as there are fewer issues that I can actually help them with.  (Mom, you can’t help, you never took calculus.) Thinking about it as Man Child approaches his college graduation.

Besides the obvious pride and general the world-is-waiting-for-you momstuff, I’ve also been excited about his graduation because one of my feminist heroes will be speaking, and I wondered if I might have a chance to meet her and say hello.  Then I thought, what would I actually say?  “Thank you for being brave and paving the way. Thank you for remaining active and relevant so young women can see the possibilities of who they can be.”

And if that imaginary conversation moment occurred, then what?  “Who me?  No one.”  Not the representation of possibilities, but the caricature of women of a certain age, right down to the busted pelvis from a simple slip on the ice. Irrelevant.

No, hon, I never took calculus.  In fact, when I graduated from high school, my father commented on his surprise, they didn’t think I’d do it.  He wasn’t being snide, it was just a fact. My school experiences left me at a bit of a loss dealing with my children’s school experiences.  I never wanted to make a big deal about grades, I was afraid they would interpret it to mean that was all I cared about.  Now I’m afraid they think I don’t care about their efforts. I try, and tried, to stress learning, and school as a tool for a better life. I don’t think I’ve been as successful as I hoped, but no doubt my boys are in a much better position than I was at their ages.  I want Art Child to continue finding success through her art.  I want them to have enough, to feel they are enough.  I hope none of them will feel irrelevant when they’re forty thousand years old.

No one is ever going to confuse me with Hillary Clinton or Sandra Sotomayor; Arianna Huffington or Maya Angelou. Why do I even want to meet this woman at Man Child’s graduation, when I have nothing to offer? No degrees, no pedigrees, no byline or book jacket or contract. I’m a reefer who’s never been snorkeling or scuba diving, a self-proclaimed feminist without a career. Ridiculous. Then I remembered.  This isn’t new.  Mrs Fringe, a peripheral life.  There’s a reason I don’t blog as Ms Important. I thought about my first post, almost three years ago.  My space to be me, not “just” a mom, and not “just” someone trying to get published, either. The blog has evolved, I have evolved–hell, we even got that three bedroom apartment–but I am who I am, and life is what it is.

Regardless of how much Virginia Woolf I read I don’t have a room of my own, but I now have a desk, something I didn’t think was possible a few years ago.  From it I see my beautiful reef, where I watch the interactions of all the critters, and remember how important even the simplest ones are to maintain the balance of the system as a whole.  I’m not writing the Great American Novel, calculating royalties, or reading fan mail when I sit at this desk, I work on the occasional story and post some silliness or a rant here on the blog.  Sometimes, just when I’m devolving into thoughts about my lack of success, moaning about not knowing the best way to encourage my kids, and ready to break out a tape measure to torture myself with how much I’ve sagged; I get a note from someone out there in cyberland, telling me one of my posts resonated with them, or made them laugh.  That is pretty excellent, and fucking relevant.

Turbo snail eating algae off the glass.

Turbo snail eating algae off the glass.

Cleaning the sand under the plate coral.

An unlikely pair, but the turbo and the plate coral stayed snuggled together for two days.

Pocket Full of

Heads up!

Heads up!

Not enough days have felt like it, but it is spring.  Not the prettiest one I’ve seen here in the city. With so many cold days, and then several stormy ones, quit a few trees and flowers lost their blossoms before they fully bloomed.  Still, if you look, there they are.

I love flowers.  Hokey, I know.  Spring always tempts me with the flower arrays in front of bodegas everywhere.  Tulips, hyacinths, daisies, or carnations, they all look beautiful and hopeful. Speaking of hope, it looks like at least a few of the things I planted will survive.  I know I’m not ever going to be serious about gardening because I’ve reached the point where I have to remind myself to check and water the things–as opposed to checking four times a day.  It’s exciting when the first bits of green poke through the dirt.

IMG_3806

Now let me know when there’s something lovely to smell.

I’ve had cut flowers on my table the past several weeks.  First, Fatigue bought me a bouquet.  When those died I bought tulips and hyacinths.  The other day, I dragged Husband to the grocery store, so he could drag me up and down the aisles (yup, still limping along, not always steady). He headed straight for the olive bar and I said, ooh, look at the flowers! Maybe they have something on sale–we were at Whole Paycheck, the cut flowers are more than pricey. “Why do you buy those things? They just die.”

I know, he isn’t the only one with that philosophy.  And it is a line of thinking I usually agree with.  Flowers on the table are silly, frivolous. In general, I’m a practical old broad. But, much like the tank, it makes me smile to look over and see a burst of living color–and yes, I’ll be frank, they smell better.

Yah, yah, I can walk a couple of blocks and see this:

IMG_3802

In front of the hospital where I’m going for PT I see this:

IMG_3795

 

But having them in the house, I feel this:

IMG_3798

 

I didn’t buy any flowers in the grocery store, there were none in budget.  My plan was to pick some up later on.  It didn’t happen, but that’s ok, because Fatigue came over later that evening with a bottle of wine and

Spider mums!

Spider mums!

The other day, I was wondering if I’m blogged out.  I’ve done a lot of rambling here in Fringeland, ruminating and ranting. Is it time for a hiatus?  Nope.  Good or bad, the silly short-sweet life of flowers or angst about the world we live in, I still have quite a bit to say.