krystale: (Default)
I always interpreted Pasqwall as well adjusted. I think maybe he's just imprinted and codependent? Yesterday, as we waiting outside during the fire alarm, he was OK, considering, until I went to use a bathroom and get coffee. When I came back he was successfully digging a hole through the carrier. He had his paw out, waving it around, then pulled it in to grab and yank more. I sat back with him and held his paw a moment and then tucked it back in. He tried once or twice more, but stopped when I said, "no, hunny, no do. You gotta stay in there and be a good boy. You're a good boy." He stopped entirely then, didn't try again the rest of the time, several hours, but he stayed plastered to whatever side of the carrier was nearest whatever part of me was nearest. Normally, he runs to the door if there's a knock. Now, he won't spend more than eating or potty time more than a few feet away from me. It's as though even though I take him where he hates, I'm the only one he trusts. Do I help him grow or accept he's pretty happy as is? No doubt he'll mellow down, but I've never seen him react with fear before and the first fire truck to go by after we were back in got a terrified reaction, although he was willing to lean against me and look out the window when I said a firm but gentle, "no, no scared, just a fire truck, look." When you're adopted and divorced, you're a bit unclear on life long loyalty, so it's a big mental experience for me to discover it's ME in particular that Pasqwall bases his security with. It didn't occur to me until today he'd try to come after me if we were separated in a crisis. It's sort of beautiful in a way, but I want him to be putting his safety tops, not me. His brother was diagnosed with Downs. I often have wondered if he has a touch of special wiring, too. He has so much in common with that brother, just doesn't have the face nearly so flattened and has been kept indoors
But as I write this a large truck goes by loudly and he moves all by himself to the window beside me to look down and see. He now automatically looks down for car related sounds, there's no more confusion from it bouncing off the opposite building. He's got a new level of curiosity. I guess that part is a good thing.
krystale: (Default)
Once upon a time, I was a subcontracted product demonstrator. Several contracts brought me to Brattleboro Co-op not long before it's renovation and some afterwards. One cannot go too many times to the coop without an awareness of the broad side of the Latchis on the opposite bank of the river. There were murals on the building. I have to admit, I have no idea what they were, these are memorized details, I cannot picture them. I may suddenly recall them one day, my brain does record visual and I can go back into the memories and look around, but it takes time and focus. I can't actually recall visual details without that conscious focus, you could google up pictures faster. I'm not even sure if they're still there or different now and I live around the corner.

There on the broad walls of Latchis, amid not unexpected windows, murals and a door are just there, there is no way, without aid, to physically get to any of them so far as I can perceive. The way the Latchis sits so snug to the water, just a few feet of stone in many spots, even overhanging the water in others, makes it look extra difficult to reach.

My AP English teacher used to say to look out for what didn't fit in. It was significant.
Also, if you ever played video games it's where all the cool stuff is.

To me, rivers seem to separate worlds, so everything beyond gets extra curiosity. A river, in its rushing by brings sound and smell of its own, displacing such things from the opposite shore like an invisible and intangible wall.

I liked painting murals. In high school I really hated the part where I was supposed to make a mock up first then replicate it, but I certainly liked painting walls for some reason. I worked paint crew summers in college. I did well enough that after my first year when they filled up the roster before I knew they were hiring they took me on anyway when I said I was interested. This let me get away with putting murals in my dorm rooms and then avoiding the repaint fee, too.

And that door.
For all my logical brain flops around when asked to imagine something it has an equal amount of fascination for what could be. I did not know what was on the other side of that door or why it was there. This, in my logical brain, made it a portal to possibility. All sorts of things could be on the other side of that door. It could be amazing.

I never checked. Sometimes I enjoy having the portal to possibility more than knowing. There's a poem about a Grecian urn that explains this, but I don't feel it about humans the way the poem suggests to me, just things like this door.

I pondered it most days I visited the coop after I'd first noticed it.

About a decade later, someone was looking for someone to lead a mural painting project to brighten a dingy hallway.
Plans began.
Pre-designs were avoided!
Here's the hall where it goes, a window looks out over the river to the co-op now remodeled.
The window is next to a unopenable door with no knob. Memories tickle, but I am focused on the project at hand and cannot load memory files now.
Work begins.
More artists stop in and work with me. I can create something alone, but my skill is in the fostering of and blending together of many ideas or styles from many sources. Collaborating was a favorite part of this project. It was so exciting to see what other folks melded visions yielded.
The second or third day I am early and alone, someone comes through the hallway with a cart of rolls, compliments the mural, then worries I'm too hot and thus opens the window a pinch.
I am grateful for the immediate airflow and say so.
As the cart squeaks away, I twist the knob that opens the window more.
The sound and smell burst through as the window opens, I'd not be surprised if it was leaded glass in the window, it had blocked so much sound.

The glass before me swung out and so did my brain, onto the sound and smell of the river and where I'd heard this particular crash and roar before. Rivers never sound or smell exactly the same, just like a living thing it changes and evolves but keeps some recognizable particularity.

I was alone, with time to spare, so I let my brain go.
I could recall myself there, eating lunch, leaned on the fence, pondering.
There, wondering.
Here, creating.
There wanting to be
here creating.

Spinning, the river washing away the decade between.
I'd waved one day, in case anyone was looking.
I waved back at myself, the decade blurred away in the spin and flow.
I wonder so many things.
Here and there as the mural grew throughout the hallway I and myself paused and wondered together.
Now and then I reload the memories, the spin, and join in the wondering.

I can't really picture the hallway in my head either.
It's not so much a mural or a hallway as a world of cooperative art you can step into and pass through.
I am friendly with all sorts of folks, so when this hallway was tied into inclusion, I went with it.
A mural is visual. If something is visual only, it is not inclusive.
Aside from being socially nice, inclusive things usually provide richer experiences as they account for more of the senses.
I wanted it to be touchable, too, to be both inclusive and immersive and simply because I like touching things. I tried. I still wish in ways I could have done, or do, more with it, but I'm still learning as I go and I couldn't stay there forever.

I did accomplish one thing for sure. I helped to make that space worth wondering about.
krystale: (Default)
Paul Simon
50 Ways to Leave Your Lover

Now and then my adoptive parents would take in other rescues. Some would become my friends for a while.

Bunny, I'll call her, twice my age then, would go out in the woods with me as I was inclined to. I'd climb rocks and often sing. I didn't realize at that age how far my voice carried. Bunny sang me 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Now and then, she and I would get away from the farm. I have no idea how she managed it, or how she got them to let her take me, but we'd wind up at restaurants with bars now and then. She'd have a drink and watch people. We'd get up suddenly now and then and go into the bathroom. Once, I heard her humming 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover on one of these bathroom trips. I asked her after why she liked it so much. She said it was a crap song, but sometimes there were folks needed to hear it. To keep me busy, she showed me how to tell who. You'll know, she'd say when I tried to clarify what it was I was noticing. Don't think about it, she would give the same weary advice, just watch. It kept me thinking about it, which may have served her just fine.

One day in a restaurant I caught myself humming it in a bathroom and stopped. I heard sniffling, so I continued, cuz... well, it's polite to not just suddenly be quiet when others are hiding in your noise.
I only knew for sure the phrase "get yourself free" in the chorus. I hummed a few times and tried to sing all the words I could, but it was all humming but my one phrase. It was quiet when I gave up.
I waited in the stall for a while before I left. I didn't want to run into the sniffler. The moment stuck with me for years. I couldn't remember the song name anymore, with Bunny gone my world was more limited. Being in a restaurant meant I'd just been to church. At home the radio was glued on classical.

Eventually I'd learn more of the verse and catch it once or twice more, but I still didn't really get it.

Today, listening through assorted songs trying to find new stuff to karaoke I came across 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover and it suddenly buzzed glaringly, like plugging in a neon light.

My visual world disorients and current perception shifts to low priority, as I consciously accept the flashbacks into the past, prompted by listening to the song. I hit replay on youtube and consciously load some memory files from the previous day.

Yesterday, our guest speaker at Inclusion Center was from the Women's Freedom Center, where the primary function is helping battered partners get out of bad relationships. I had some harsh attitudes in the discussion and some attitudes I can't yet explain.

I also still can't explain the precise details of what Bunny was showing me.

But I see a connection now.

I play the song again and accept the new flashback.
I'm older, Dalia I'll call her, has called me to visit. Two-first-names has beat her yet again, she needs something I might have for the pain. Take me an hour to drive, I tell her, can anyone else help you?
They don't want to be here when he gets back.
The same attitude playing in the memory holds the phone in the flashback and snorts. Then it says, "fuck that. I'll be there in 45. Meantime, got a cast iron pan? Put it on the stove, fill it with oil, heat it. Put something you could fry on the counter. Stand there. He comes in before I do, fling and swing. Hear me?" The attitude ran her through it, fling and swing, repeating, fling and swing, until the attitude infected her, too, adding vigor. My quiet little ex husband and I drove up, sat with her. We tied the destroyed back door shut. It's a long story, I'm not sure if the ending is happy, but it gets progressively less sad and the attitude never left me or Dalia.
That one fades and I see snapshots of other times with other folks and the infectious attitude, their eventual gratitude.

I don't know what it is.
I still can't pinpoint it.

Whatever it is, I think I'm glad to have it.
I might even be proud of it.


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