Tag Archives: WinterSolstice

Red Sneakers

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Many years before Prince coveted his little red Corvette, I invested hours of begging my mother for a pair of little red sneakers. I was in love.

 

 

Red Sneakers

 

In those years of the late 1950s to the early 1960s, canvas-coated feet were emboldened in a battle between Keds and PF Flyers. My mother favored Keds.

Okay.

I accepted the poverty of options. Secretly I preferred Keds also, because on close scrutiny of my friends with PF feet, I could see a deficiency in quality. The fabric was skinnier; the rubber was wobblier. From a distance, the colors and styling were eye-catching. Up close, the optical illusion gave way.

Keds had solidity. Longevity. Ankle support.

But they were poor in color palette. White, navy, and black predominated, which was a bit boring to a small girl with a big dream of being a fashionista.

Today I describe my go-to wardrobe as: black, white, and indigo. Once again demonstrating the power of the circle. The ceaseless circle of life.

I’m voluntarily back where I began.

Almost.

Against that background color trinity, though, I love accents of surprise from every pie slice of the spectrum.

But, in the post-WW II days, life was spectrally dim. Women wore quiet dresses. Men sore Obama suits. Children wore practical clothes, that is, clothes of colors that did not readily reveal dirt. Clothes that could be worn a few times without washing and still pass for respectfully clean.

Looking back, I appreciate that practicality. Fewer loads of laundry made ecological and economical sense.

But, still. I wanted a pair of red canvas sneakers. Just so my feet could shout a little. Be happy and dance a little.

And not just plain red low-riders. No, I wanted red high-tops. And that’s where the real battle began.

Not only did Mom see red canvas as a grass-stain magnet. She judged high-tops as completely inappropriate for girls.

What the heck? I never could figure it out, but, suddenly practicality became too masculine.

I was a tall, gangly kid in need of strong ankle support. So, why not high-tops?

My arguments were in vain. For six years of childhood, she denied me.

And that denial rode along with me into adulthood.

Decades later, I found myself periodically craving a pair of red high-top sneakers. This time, though: Converse. Yes. A pair of tall, red Chucks.

Somehow, every moment of zealous pursuit was foiled. My size was not available or red was not in favor with the fashion police or long shoelaces were not being manufactured. Some quirk of commerce always roadblocked.

Then.

This year.

In the midst of 2015’s final three months of holiday blitzing.

My husband surprised me with a wedding-anniversary gift:

 

RED CHUCKS!

 

 

Yes, it truly is never too late to have a happy childhood.

And today, on this Winter Solstice, may all of your sorrows be lifted. May all of your dreams come true. May a new season of happiness fill your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Days are Written; Some Days are Read

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Old books, inkstand and scrollSome days I write thousands of words and soak in their imaginary meanings like a healing hot tub.

And then some days, I have no desire to write. There is no fulfillment in either the act or the outcome.

Why this inconsistency of creativity?

It’s not writer’s block. There’s no fear.

It’s something like a shift in circadian rhythm.

My creative clock doesn’t tick according to night or day; Hallmark holidays, patriotic holidays or religious sacristy. It doesn’t bow to the lunar cycle or bend to the ocean tides. But if I examine its pattern a little more closely, it does seem to follow the four seasons – the solstices and the equinoxes.

Right now in the Northern Hemisphere – in the middle-of-nowhere desert where I live – it’s summer.

The days are warm with azure skies in the mornings and monsoon thundershowers in the afternoons.

The sky is center stage. It’s theater is spectacularly bold and diverse. Its performances are fully absorbing and keep me curious.

I’m satisfied at a core level, at a visceral, molecular stratum of being.

And I’m going to posit here that I’m not just simply lazy; I’m actually content and at peace.

When I exist in this place of balance, I’m withdrawn from the urge – or the need – to create.

Because I’m complete.

Momentarily.

For three months, perhaps.

My inner world is not having temper tantrums. It’s not needy, desperate, dwelling in its wounds, picking its soul-scabs.

It’s still.

And when stillness rests over my private cosmos, I’m not inclined to write or create in any venue.

Why?

I’ll suggest that creativity is, in part, at least, the heart’s quest for fulfillment; the ego’s cry to preach; the spirit’s hunger to bite the marrow inside the bone.

If I x-ray myself, I see a world of chaos and haze; of potholes and teardrops; of fears and muddy, gravel-less roads of quicksand.

It’s a messy tableau.

It craves order.

So it tries to collect all its stray cats and thrust them outward in an act of creation that’s volcanic. Eruptively beautiful, poignant, provocative, disturbing – an objet d’art that purges some inner pain and places it tangibly in the physical world for others to bask in.

Be moved by. Feel empathy with. Turn away in disgust at the cavernous echoes it sends back to their own hidden wreckage.

A peek at the creative process from a different angle.

This slantview: part selfish; part reverential .  .  . may be skewed.

 

Back to those summer days, though. I do find myself passively reading. Like a chipmunk gathering stock for the winter, I collect word-concepts for the burst of creative urgency that nips at the frigid hiney of every Winter Solstice.

A life-cycle that I’m unconscious of until I step back and watch myself with all the marionette strings severed.

A lightning flash of a new landscape blinks.

It’s a veil unblackened.

There’s a temptation to draw a conclusion.

But, I know the little assassin in my mind will shoot bullet holes in whatever billboard I erect. Billboard

So, I’ll hug darkness with wonderment.