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Archive for January 16th, 2008

A part of me wants to draw this topic, doodle it in big loops and spirals. One of my favorite doodling games as a kid was to draw an organic shape, like an amoeba or a paramecium. Then I’d scoot my notebook to Carmen Chavez and she’d have to draw a face inside my shape. What part was the nose? The mouth? Possibly a body. We laughed the most at the banana-nosed creatures.

Circles for nostrils, circles for eyes. A person’s mouth forms a circle around certain notes when singing. Thinking now of a pie hole for a mouth, a description I’ve heard when talking about old, toothless mouths. I realize now I have no idea what it means. What is a pie hole anyhow? Don’t pie crusts have slits?

I slow-walked, for once following the instructions just as they’re laid out in the post. Here’s what happens when I walk. I notice that the rug I pass over doesn’t have circles on it. Wonder, since the rug is from India, whether the circle is too sacred to put onto a rug. Which would mean, if you did, that feet would walk all over the circles.

Once I took a bus ride from Delhi to Agra, the time I bought the rug, and I took off my pink shoes, folded my legs and made myself as comfortable as I could. I rode in the cab of a luxury tour bus with four other travelers, plus the bus driver, plus the bus driver’s helper. It was a big bus, a wide cab. I got the very frontmost spot, right up against the windshield. Had the bus crashed, I would have died instantly, like an insect.

But what I want to say is that when I crossed my legs, sitting like Buddha, the bus driver and his assistant yelled at me. They motioned, NO!, the shrine!! I was showing the bottoms of my feet to the shrine, who was an exotic part-elephant-part-woman statue that sat on the dashboard of the bus, just beside me, with fresh marigolds all around her. I immediately uncrossed my legs and placed them awkwardly to the side, as if I were riding sidesaddle.

Circles. What kind of circle would I be? I remember hula hoops, my waist zipping round and round, arms out to the side, mouth open in concentration (although not like a pie hole) and the hoop going going going going until I lost my mojo and it withered slowly down my legs.

Now I see my handwriting has gotten loopy, the o’s big. I could draw little smiley faces inside them. The 1960s and 70s seemed like circle times in life. Today, the first decade of the 21st century, strikes me as angular, an edge wanting to get its circle back.

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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Circles, I’m popping circles into my mouth. I’m addicted to Trader Joe’s bucket of miniature chocolate chip cookies. I couldn’t figure out why they tasted so good. It was Liz who piped up, “Oh, it’s the butter…” when she read the label after dinner.

Circles in cubes, the rubber bottom of a stainless steel coffee cup, the “O” in coffee, the round plastic tubs of binder clips, primary colors, the paper Caribou coffee cup that holds the pens and Sharpie Accents in florescent yellows and greens. The round knob on the navy gray lighthouse on the mouse pad.

Circles connect.

Watching a show about brains. Men’s brains. Women’s brains. They said men are linear and women are circular. It was the Good Question on one of the news channels. Do men like tech gadgets better than women? Do they buy more tech gadgets than women?

It might seem like it. But that’s all changed. Women are within a few percentage points of men in their cravings for high tech. The survey asked women, “Would you rather have a diamond or a new I-Pod or Palm?” Women are choosing technology, growing up with it. And if you really think about it, technology allows them to stay better connected and that’s really what circles are all about – connection.

The metal sprinkler head with grooved sprockets above my head. The smell swiftly pouring out of the slate paint can on the floor outside the cube. You can get high from that smell. I had to walk outside; my eyes are burning.

The roundness of Sun. Moon. Mercury and Mars. The roundness and curves of a woman’s body. The spokes on my first bike, with two playing cards, Aces, hearts & spades, clothes-pinned to the wheel. Wait, how did we do that? Were they clothes-pinned to the wheel or the spoke? I can’t remember now. The picture that comes up isn’t accurate. I can’t keep typing and scrutinize the image in my mind at the same time. So I keep writing.

Labyrinths are circles. But they are not mazes. You don’t get lost in a labyrinth. It’s impossible to get lost in a labyrinth. The way in leads to center. The way out leads to an open door.

The Blistex DCT lip balm in an orangish pink container next to the keyboard. The mole above Liz’s upper lip. The underbelly of a sow. The eyes of Mr. StripeyPants; Chaco’s are slitted and green, not as round. And Kiev’s are more oval. If I think about it.

And that’s what writing topics do, force you to think about the world in circles or squares or ovals. In do’s and don’ts and what if’s.

The wrinkled trunk on the ash tree outside the deck. The number 10. The sold sign in the window. The Goodyear tires on the ancient Camry. The barrel of a loaded gun…I don’t own one. But my friend wants to go to the shooting range and try our luck on the targets.

That reminds me of the day my mother shot the glass top off of some kind of antenna outside my grandfather’s house. Geez, she must have been only 20 something. What was I? Maybe 8 or 9? The guys in the family dared her, said she couldn’t shoot. Guess what, she could. And I wonder if she remembers it? Or did I make it all up?

We drove by my grandfather’s house last time I was in Georgia. The house is in S.C., horse country. But there it stood, just the way I remembered it, but older. Round, tall pecan trees and the long porch with wrought iron rails. Houses in the fifties were long and sprawling. The more land you had to spread out on, the better. It seems like they shoot up these days. But I am drawn to the wide open sprawling spaces and simple forms of Scandinavian Design and teak and birch and cherry, all those woods that are probably endangered now.

I like sleek but comfortable. Not much frill but strong. I like a strong that is round, not a strong that is hard-bodied and inflexible. Now I’m thinking of the Buddha belly that is large and round, the stomach of a Laughing Buddha, and just at that moment, the circular clock ticks its last tock, the battery is dead.

Not to worry, I saw a Sundog in the sky yesterday, ice crystals circling the Sun, impossibly animated and frozen in time. More energy on the way.


-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – CIRCLES

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