Tag Archives: Collecting

Relocation Dreams

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Relocation Dreams

I’ve so many things that there’s no place to stack them in.
No drawers to hold them, no cupboards to pack them in.
So many things stowed away from detection.
My fireplace houses its own art collection.

My wardrobe suffers from costumes aplenty.
I’ve boxes of sizes from nine up to twenty.
My jewelry box is stuffed to the gills,
my medicine drawer is spilling out pills.

When I try to cull them, they all want to stay.
The only solution’s to just move away
to find a small island with palm trees and sky
where there is simply nothing to buy!

I’ll live in a hut with floors of swept dirt.
One pair of flip flops, a simple grass skirt.
I won’t feel that shopping should be my main duty.
I’ll look out the window if I require beauty.

No buying new paintings whenever I please.
No little nicknacks and no DVD’s.
No drawers of makeup or tea towels or spoons.
No tarot cards, horoscopes, Ouija boards, runes.

I will not need things to determine my fate,
that day I walk out, simply locking my gate,
taking one suitcase, computer and cables,
and scanner and backup drives, printers and tables,

an internet router and energy backup—
just these few items to locate and pack up.
Then I’m off to a life that’s simpler by far
if these bare necessities fit in my car.

 

The prompt today was relocate.

Simplicity

Simplicity

Simplicity is something that I rarely do.
Why have only one of something when you could have two?
It takes a lot of veggies to come up with a stew,
and we’d do a lot of limping if confined to just one shoe.

Multiples are awesome. Multiples are grand.
Look how many fingers we have upon each hand.
One finger could not do the job. Neither could two or three.
Simple cannot form a hand, did not form you or me.

Simplicity’s much touted but I think it is absurd.
Who ever heard of stories comprised of just one word?
With a single raindrop, the world could not get wetter.
Sparsity may be more chic, but I like clutter better.

I don’t get minimalism. I’m a hoarder to the core.
When I ran out of wall room, I put art upon my door.
There are no piles in hallways. Hoarding need not be a sin.
I’ve built three rooms onto my house just to store things in.

With so many lovely things in life, collecting is a joy.
With life’s manifold choices, why be niggardly or coy?
At the ice cream parlor, why does one have to choose?
You need not always limit yourself just to ones and twos.

Have a scoop of strawberry and pineapple and mint.
Green tea is delicious and tequila’s heaven sent.
Load your dish with raspberry and coconut and mango.
Why do the simple two step when you could do the fandango?

In short, I am a gatherer. I have too many things.
I like to make the choices that a complex lifestyle brings.
When it comes to writing, a stuffed-full mind is fine!
Reach into words and shake them out and string them on a line.

A solitary animal will never make a zoo.
One grain of dirt, one drop of water cannot create goo.
A single cannon fired will not execute a coup.
The world just is not simple, nor am I and nor are you!

*

I’m having a yard sale of left-over words.  Below is the “free box.” Take what you will (please note that some of these items have been recently used, but all have been laundered and are ready for a new user):

coy ploy toy bore core 
simplicity complicity duplicity felicity
ooze booze cruise who’s whose choose lose blues news pews poos cues ruse sues twos views woos youse 
doozie floozie twozie
boo  goo hue loo moo new poo queue rue sue soo sioux too to you view woo you

*

Right in line with the theme of the poem, below are way too many photos.  If you want to see the details, you know what to do, right?  If you don’t, I’ll tell you.  Just click on the first photo and click on arrows to proceed through the photo gallery.  To come back here afterwards, click on the X in the upper left corner. 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/simplicity/

Controlled Chaos

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The other day in a comment to another blogger, I said something on the order of how I think life is cyclical.  We go from the intuitive state of children to the increasingly rational world of the adult and then, as we retire and age (or age and retire, depending on how anxious we are to do so) and get on to the next stage, we start evolving back into the state we were in as children.  We perhaps start to forget details of the present in favor of remembering vividly details of our past. Our present seems to fall into an increasing sense of disorder as our past comes back with a strange clarity.  In the farther stages of dementia, this seems to be true as well.

Judging by the fragmented comments made by my sister who is experiencing the journey of Alzheimer’s, she seems to be going backwards through her life.  In her mind, she was for awhile once again married to a husband from whom she had been divorced for twenty-five years.  A year later, she was talking about her high school boyfriend as though he was waiting for her; and this year, when given a baby doll, she sat rocking it and calling it Judy.  Eleven years older than me, I’m sure she was remembering me as a baby.  More proof of my theory, because she has had three children and five grandchildren since she rocked me in that long-ago rocking chair, most of whom she doesn’t remember.

All of this speculating is a roundabout method of preparing you for what I really want to talk about, and that is the topic of “chaos.”  As we age, our rational mind seems to give way to intuition–forgetting details like what we are driving to town to do or what we came from the bedroom to the living room to find. Instead, we wander from task to task as we get distracted by whatever our eye falls upon, much as we did as children.

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In a similar fashion,  objects collect on the table-like headboard of my bed and on my night tables. Have you ever seen the room of  a teenager?  A perfect example of chaos.  Dirty clothes and caked ice cream dishes are swept under the bed, dirty clothes are in piles mixed in with the clean ones delivered by mom a week earlier, magazines, electrical equipment, soccer balls and school books all seem to be placed in the same category and spread evenly over the surfaces of the room.

The bedroom or playroom of a toddler or child seems to follow the same organizational plan:  Leggos, the detached limbs of G.I. Joes or Barbies, coloring books, plastic kid-sized furniture, trikes, blocks, kiddie computer games, unmatched socks, clothes outgrown months ago, plastic trucks and assorted game pieces from kiddie games cover the floor as though organized by a tornado into the perfect organizational plan of a child: chaos.

So it was in the house of my oldest sister.  Every year, more piles appeared in her bedroom.  Her kitchen drawers were a jumble of knives, jewelry, old electrical receipts, diamond rings, half full medicine bottles, plastic lids to butter tubs, photographs, drawings her children had done twenty years before, unused postal stamps and corroded batteries.

When I visited a few months before she went into a managed care facility, hoping  I could facilitate her staying in her house for at least another year, I reorganized her house–– putting labels on all her drawers.  In the bedroom, I sorted out a tangle of necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets.  In doing so,  I discovered  23 watches–all dysfunctional.

“Betty, why do you have so many watches?”

“Oh, they all stopped working.”

“Did you exchange the batteries?”

“Oh, you can do that?”

Now I look at the boxes of slides and photos of the art work of my husband and me–sorted and condensed from four boxes  into two boxes, then abandoned unfinished when I needed to use the dining room table to entertain guests. Now the unresolved mess resides between the bed and the closet in my bedroom. Sigh.

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There are junk drawers I’ve been shoving things into for 15 years thinking one day I’ll sort them.  Boxes of miscellaneous papers I packed up 15 years ago to bring to Mexico still sit untouched in my garage.

Like the rest of the universe, having come from the chaos of childhood, I seem to be returning to it and I wonder what the solution will be.  Perhaps, as many of my friends have, I will start shedding the accumulations of a lifetime and simplify my life so there is less in it to be transformed into chaos.  Or, perhaps as has been my pattern for the past 15 years, since divesting myself of most of my possessions to move to Mexico, I will continue to collect thousands of little items for my art collages, dozens of bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings–even though I wear only a few favorites.

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Perhaps I’ll continue to buy the books of friends, the paintings of talented Mexican artists, huipiles from the market, woven purses and alebrijes from beach vendors, gelato makers from the garage sales of friends.

I have a special fondness for one basket vendor who sells the lovely baskets made by his family in Guerrero. I have them in every shape–square, obelisk, round, rectangular–as well as every size from coin purse to three feet tall.  Yet I keep buying them because I admire his perseverance.  For the fifteen years I’ve been here, he has traversed the carretera from Chapala to Jocotepec, laden front, back and to each side with these baskets.  He wears five straw hats piled neatly one on top of the other on his head.  Baskets nest within other baskets or are threaded onto a long cord and worn diagonally over his chest.

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He is a a master of organization–and to query about any basket as one sits at at table in the Ajijic plaza  will invite his ceremony as he divests himself of baskets to display them.  Soon the floor around your table will be covered in so many baskets it seems impossible that one man has been carrying them up and down the ten miles between the towns on this side of the lake–all day and for years long before I moved here.  His is an incredible sense of organization that is the opposite of chaos, and in admiration, if I am unable to persuade visiting friends to buy his baskets, I always buy something myself.

Back home, I fill one with outgrown underwear, another with scarves, another with old keys and padlocks I may one day need.  It is as though his organization rubs off on me as I fill baskets, instilling some order into a life potentially chaotic–but at the moment held within the confines of normalcy.

Ten years ago, my other sister opened my junk drawer in my kitchen and declared, “There is no excuse for anyone to have a drawer like this.”  Because I know of no one who does not have a drawer like that, I was somewhat surprised, and was especially surprised because before her visit I had more or less organized my junk drawer.

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But now I look around and realize I have a number of those drawers.  In spite of the basket vendor’s good example, my sense or organization seems to be veering toward having a special drawer to thrust categories of things into: batteries, items of clothing, kitchen tools, jewelry.  Controlled chaos––the way of the universe and certainly the seeming course of our lives. For some of us, at least.

(If you are dying to make out exactly what is in these drawers, clicking on the photos will enlarge your view.  Snoopy!)

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/chaos/

Freshly “Found”

Here are a few of the found art wall pieces I’ve just completed.  They are all constructed of material collected on the beach of La Manzanilla during morning walks.

(Click on first photo to enlarge all, then click on arrows to see next photo.)

 

Leavings

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Photo by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Leavings

Do I walk the long kilometers of beach
to look for the next shell
or stand stable, like that woman
casting and recasting her hook,
patiently waiting to pull her world
in to her?

I’m gathering things
that I’ll collect into stories–pinning them down
to use like words.
Nothing wrong in finding meaning
through a piece of driftwood, a stone or shell.
Objects are only things
we cast our minds against
like images against a screen–
a shadow glimpsed crossing a window shade.

My shadow cast in front of me
is such a different thing
from one I cast behind.
In the first, I am constantly hurrying
to catch up to what I’ll never catch up to.
In the other, I am leaving behind
what I can only keep by walking away from it.

I take this place along with me
in clear images–
not as they were,
but as my mind has cast them;
so every picture
taken of the same moment
is different,
each of us seeing it through our unique lens.

We cast these things in bronze or silver-gelatin,
stone, clay
or poetry.

A grandma
holds out pictures of her children
and her grandchildren.
See? Her life’s work.
And then this and this,
without further effort on her part.

I share stories of children I don’t know
who gently unwind fishing line from a struggling gull,
hearts found on the beach
or other treasures
nestled in a pile of kelp.
I find my world in both these findings and departings;
the leaving each morning to go in search of them
the part I find most exhilarating–
perhaps teaching this
woman of the death-themed night-terrors
not to worry.
That longer leaving is just a new adventure.

People who do not remember
let me slip away
when I would have held on,
given any encouragement.
Yet fingers, letting go, flex
for that next adventure.

Life is
all of us letting go
constantly–
taking that next step
away from
and to.

A white shell.
I have left it there
turned over
to the brown side,
so someone else
can discover it, too.

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt: Image Search—Pick a random word and do Google image search on it. Check out the eleventh picture it brings up. Write about whatever that image brings to mind. (Although the eleventh image was of a shadow on a beach, I’ve elected to reproduce my own photo here.)

Gather

Today’s prompt: Verbal Confirmation—To be, to have, to think, to move — which of these verbs is the one you feel most connected to? Or is there another verb that characterizes you better?

Gather

We gather a new world
as we collect marks
in straight black lines
on white paper.

And yes, it is a new world
every time
and we have the power
of each world
we pull around us.

I may have called this poem
“Utter Sovereignty,”
but I did not, for rulers are
sad folks, and lonely.

We are the gatherers and so
we draw to us what we need
and are never alone.
There is nothing we lack for
in this storehouse where
the shelves hold words
the bins ideas
and the walls are covered
by imagination.

We gather to set free again.
This is the pattern of the world
that no one has ever broken.

Everything flying apart,
every moment of the day,
and all of us
gathering
it back together
again.

The Collector

The prompt: Digging Up Your Digs—500 years from now, an archaeologist accidentally stumbles on the ruins of your home, long buried underground. What will she learn about early-21st-century humans by going through (what remains of) your stuff?

The Collector

Tools, pictures, clothes, shoes,
too much food and too much booze.
Too many games and too much fun
for a house of only one.
A mystery why this big collector
didn’t have the proper vector
directing her away from things:
(potions, lotions, bracelets, rings)
directing to another track—
something that could love her back.

But, for the rest of the story about living alone, go here