Saturday, June 30, 2007

Small Things

I hate July because then all the June bugs die.


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Constant Adventure

I wish I could somehow show you all the marvelous wonders that are happening here at our new house out in the countryside. --One after the other like the plagues of Egypt... only... the opposite, wonder after wonder, day after day.

Well, it started with an ugly looking, pink trellis that is built over one of our courtyards (yes, we have courtyards). No colour coordination, just a random bright pink structure sticking out of the ground like a sore thumb covered with vines. Then the vines bloomed, and guess which colour the flowers were? An exact match. We began to realize that this place might have more surprises to it than immediately met the eye.

Every once in a while we will wake up in the morning and find that a new colour has burst out of the green chaos of plants and trees surrounding us, as one by one the dormant shubbery comes to life. Red has bloomed. Then a deep violet. Then orange sliced through the foliage. What will be next?


A rain storm. Blankets of rain dousing everything for miles around--including a few half naked guys running around the soccer field, screaming. The lightning couldn't scare us off! The thunder didn't dissuade us!

The hail did.

So we swept inside to regroup and a few hours later when we checked back outside, we were actually snowed in. Opening the door pushed back a swathe of hail that had piled up against it like a snowdrift. And everywhere, as far as you could see in the dark, the ground was covered with little glistening balls of ice. Think Mexico, desert, cactus! --Snow, freezing, ice! Pretty cool, huh? And it was still warm.

On further inspection, we found that, besides tons of ice cold... uh... ice... --besides that--our entire yard was peppered with millions of specks of random colours from the flower petals that the hail had taken to the ground with it. In every direction, a carpet of rainbows, a sparkling mosaic of splattered shreds of colour. Like a giant display of contemporary art, clashing hues haphazardly splashed onto a giant canvas by a Painter who knew exactly my tastes. And there was still plenty more colour in the trees for tomorrow!

The next night a another strange phenomena happened. Maybe it was just a time of year thing, like the June bug. Or maybe it was some kind of chain reaction from the storm that made the firefly larvae multiply and explode in number (the lightning that spawned the lightning bug). Now our yard is lit up from end to end with waves of flashing neon, yellow-green lights--literally like a massive Christmas tree. You've seen swarms of mosquitoes probably, maybe flies or gnats around your garbage. But have you ever seen literally hordes of lightning bugs?

We run through our soccer field like a city in the distance with a million tiny windows. The kids capture them by the hundreds and put them in jars all over the house. (They also found that if you squish one while his light is on, the light will stay on and you can rub it all over your clothes or on your face!)

I am enjoying this.

I wonder what will be next!

Love, Joe.


Friday, June 22, 2007

Fetching Fridays

Where All The Chics Are!

Look at all those beautiful colours, to match the beautiful girls.
Just look at it for a while, it gives off such a peaceful, open-air, free-spirited feeling. I am grateful for such variety!

Love, Joe.


Monday, June 18, 2007

What's Cookin'

You know those times when a beautiful woman wakes you up on a morning of a weekend and hands you a menu that she made herself, with every imaginable breakfast delicacy on it? And she's like, this is to make it easier for you to let me make you breakfast! And you're like, whoa, no way! And so you select a few things: hmm, a French Omelet, some quesadillas, banana shake, ya some orange juice, and a few tomato slices. And some apple pie to finish it off.

Oh, no you don't? Oh never mind then.

Love, Joe.


Friday, June 15, 2007

Fetching Fridays

Where All The Chics Are!

Wordstock again! What's up with this?

Charlotte says, "That chic in the middle is the hottest!"


Love, Joe.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Indigo: Chapter 4

Chapter 4.

She said, “I did hear about the conversation at breakfast,” and kissed my fingers one by one. Evening found us, just as dawn had, wrapped in each other on the indefatigable divan.

There had been a timeless moment as I lay there late, alone, when I wondered if she would come. Then she materialized in the dark corridor and slipped into my arms and I knew that whatever mistakes or misjudgments I had made in the foggy, sleepless morning were forgiven. Chances came in pairs.

Or maybe in clusters, like grapes. I needed clusters. I was accident-prone.

I said, “Art is a passion of mine too.”

“Why had you not told me?”

“Beauty tends to render me inescapably speechless. Forgetful, perhaps.”

She slapped at me playfully, but I had meant it. She ran tender fingers up my neck, “I do not know how you managed to keep me out of the conversations. I would have thought my own poor example a tempting illustration to make your point.”

I sighed long and lingering somewhere inside of me. If she knew how close. “Your secrets are your own,” I whispered. My fingers were her own too and she found them and folded them in hers. Our thoughts floated for a while, hand in hand, in a calm sea of longing and prolonging. I said, “But tonight we shall not speak of art.”

She said, “We shall speak of gambling.”

And my fingertips found her chin and drew it slowly towards me. Darkness fell—closed eyelids traded for a whole new world opened to me.

Lips that were meant to meet stumbled onto each other, and a spark that had been left smoldering for too long burst into flame.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Indigo: Chapter ?

Chapter ?

The author paused before writing. His pen quivered nervously just above the paper...

"Do you truly want the great finale?" he asked, with a whimsical smile upon his shadowed face. "Is that what you want?"

He laughed softly to himself. His crooked finger pointed out the window at the drawn moon. "Tomorrow," a cracked whisper whistled from between his teeth. "Tomorrow, before the setting of the sun, you shall have it."


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Indigo: Chapter 3

Chapter 3.

I awakened slightly chilled. There was a single satin sheet over me, ruffled and waving faintly in a breeze. I lay staring at the grass through the open doors, each one with its fine smudge of dulled shadow from a clouded sun. Windy morning? Sunny afternoon? Sunny and breezy midday? A small striped bee wandered past, a blithe and harmonic outlook magnifying my gloomy one.

I just wanted it to be night again so I could stay here, where I lay.

—Bask in my chill and indolence, like I yearned for (and deserved with every pore).

I stood up slowly and let the sheet slip down my thighs to the ground. The sliding feather touch sent chills up my naked back. I reached for my clothes on the bedside table and then stood there, cold, bare, staring at nothing—the garments dangling emptily from my hand. I had held intimacy in my hand last night, the gemstone of the profound touch of another human being, and I had let it slip away. I felt the fabric slipping through my fingers and let it go to pile at my feet, together with my shattered memories.

But I was here on business mixed with pleasure, and one of the two must go on.

I sat down to a table of prepared fare and quietly said grace. I mixed well with the other diners in the dining hall, I thought, like the milk seeping into the porridge. Not quite the same thing, but swirling around, joining thought and heart until the differences became indistinguishable.

There was much to talk about; news did not travel fast and I was a treasure house full of it. I joined in quickly, happy to have my mind occupied. The diners bartered opinions and speculations, the currency of everyone, young and old, valued the same. The king was well—aging but not slowing; the crops were bountiful; the style of the minstrels was changing.

“And what of art, my good man, in your section of the world?”

My section of the world was rich in art. A passion for the subject caused investments and sacrifices which were as yet unrivalled. Many were the bold styles and colours just now becoming in vogue by the efforts of the brave. The face of art too, I believed, was changing forever.

New talent was springing up under every branch imaginable. The very newest of names were becoming household words. And yet, there were still some who created in secret—releasing their works under a pseudonym, or not at all. Such a grave, terrible loss to the enlightened world that was just beginning to emerge.

In fact—

I had just stumbled upon one of these last night. She probably would not have liked to have it spread around, but it was not a lie. An artist myself, I needed a gracefully colourful illustration to spearhead the describing of my opinionated, distasteful situation. There was no harm in the spreading of facts was there? I would take on the role of storyteller, and she was my tale.

Perhaps with a little inevitable embellishment, the story would take on a life of its own, like a bonfire dancing under the moonlight. Perhaps this way my audience would feel the grieving deep in my soul, and understand why it grieved me. Performers play to their audiences, and carry only half the fault. Without the soil could the shoot blossom and grow?

I said, “In regards to art, possibly we could begin by looking much closer than we originally thought.”

It was for her good anyway, I reasoned—the veil ripped back and the riches streaming forth. Whose was the right to conceal such beauty in the first place? The gifts of God were given to be proclaimed. I will have justice and properness, shouted the knight-errant from the rooftops, raising his standard high—

The knight—

I had seen this knight in me before.

A haughty fellow.

I paused, in deep thought. Had not the arrogant knight trampled enough flowers in his noble quest? Might not the damsels in distress be better off left alone to manage their own business? Might not God be allowed to work in His own rambling, mysterious ways? Perchance my hobbling help would only complicate things. Maybe my two-edged sword was better sheathed.

Anxious faces awaited.

I said, “In regards to art… I am somewhat of an artist myself. On an amateur level, of course.”

I felt someone smiling at me—an angel perhaps—as I described passions that were my own to the dining audience.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Indigo: Chapter 2B

We explored the deep recesses of her reticent mind and stopped to marvel at the harvest of brimming jewels that it afforded. We talked of her pleasant hours and of her favoured nooks and of whether or not she sucked on her finger after dipping it into the honey jar. We dug up our hearts and placed them on our tongues and watched them beat side by side. We talked of new things and of ancient, and managed to taste one or two of the other’s secrets.
But the desert was cold at night and the cold was arrogant and unrelenting—arch-rival to fervour—and powerful. We finally took the rope ladder again, to the ground. The cold was powerful, but separate us it would not. We wandered to a giant divan in the sitting room, she wise as serpents, and I harmless as doves. We sat down at first, and somehow our fingers locked.
I do not know how I found my arms around her, but her head was lying on my chest, rising and falling with my deep breaths. My fingers pleated circles into her temples, then traced her cheeks down to her stirring lips. I felt her voice in the caverns of my lungs, rather than heard it, and her breath was the breeze on my fingertips.
Her lips were soft as ripe strawberries to my touch.
We felt comfortable, familiar, like two interlocking jewels in a necklace. Her contour fitted to mine like some work of art of perfect proportions. (The artist within me re-awakened, perhaps. The gambler pushed him away and toyed with the smooth skin of her neck.)
Then something strange happened. Somehow, perhaps telepathically, perhaps as a last desperate leap for the privilege of existence—perhaps coincidence—one of the sparks within my heart jumped to hers. She sat up, perched tenderly over me, and turned to look into my eyes. “I am an artist,” she said.
So she was an artist, was she?
So was I. Well, amateur I would say—budding artist. An early fancy of mine that came and went with the daylight. Or perhaps with the night.
“Amateur of course, you understand. I have never showed anyone my pictures,” she said.
A woman artist was a rare thing. Not that I doubted the aptitude of the gender, only the climate of the times did not smile upon it. Perhaps I had stumbled upon more rare a dainty than I had first imagined.
She must have seen the spark in my eye, or sensed its origin. At once I saw a flame ignited as if by a rush of oxygen—a flame that can only be ignited by the convergence of two like-minded souls. Perhaps she saw the malnourished artist within me. She said, “Would you like to see some?”
My artist wrestled with my gambler—the one’s lithe limbs raking at the other’s gaunt, opportunist eyes. They tumbled around inside and I tried to keep on a mask of deep immersion rather than betray the two quarreling kings.
But we were so close!
Close to what?
Close to next time.
Next time will simply fade.
I opened my mouth to say, tomorrow, but it came out, “Can I?” I hoped she could not see me kicking at myself.
She gave a little nod and jumped up. I gathered my facilities and shrugged deeply as I waited for her return.
The canvases under her arm were displayed in front of me. They were beautiful, each exquisite line made into exquisite wholes—but I could not help but think that I was simply trading one kind of beauty for another. The beauty of touch for that of expression. Was not movement a form of expression anyway?
She turned the pages absently too, and we barely took in masterpiece after breathtaking masterpiece as if they were birds passing overhead in the midst of a duel. There was something amiss, something she was suppressing, but I could not tell what.
A tiger strolled by in a meadow of long grass, seeming to leap off the pages and into reality. Every skein of fur was replicated with care and detail, but they were lost to me. Were not the actual hands that turned the pages more beautiful than the most stunning illustration of such? Why could she not see this? The melody of her creations was striking in its majestic beauty, but rarely these days did I trade sleep for art. Living beauty had become my insomnia, not a sketched sham.
The futility of the symbolism and the proxy that we were making our occupation frustrated me, throttled my senses. But even more, I frustrated myself. I longed to permanently dismiss my conflicting fascinations in favour of one or other, but again found myself at their mercy. The pages blurred and snapped at me with leaden teeth and I shrunk away, back into myself.
The dawn found us piled again on the sagging divan, but this time there was an almost tangible coldness in my body holding her body, my hand holding hers. We parted emptily and cordially, as if all the discoveries of the night—not even yet distanced by sleep—meant nothing. I collected the various things I had brought with me to the bath from the stool on which they had lain for hours, and returned through the cold, early dew to the guest room.
And I slept.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Indigo: Chapter 2

Chapter 2.

Business had taken me far from home, but I was not averse to mixing it with pleasure. One should always take the time. I met her at supper; our eyes tangled over the third course, and our feet over the fourth and fifth. By dessert, my mouth was watering.

I had passed this way many times; why had I not noticed before? —The twinkling eyes, cauldrons of coyness and shyness, the fire seen through them, the lips that drew me. My mind was on her throughout the activities of the evening. We watched a children’s play together, I and some friends, and she sat in a corner that held more interest to me than the play. At the end I applauded with the audience for the effort I had all but missed, and when I again looked, the alluring corner was vacant.

The hour was late though; I placed no blame. Any appeal the corner had had for her had most likely dulled with the dreariness of the slipping hours, and she was gone. I bid my friends good night and retired to the guest room.


I lay for a while, pondering, drifting.

The baths were back across the way—on the ground floor, inside the main house—and I suddenly felt unspeakably dirty. I gathered a towel and went determinedly towards them, but I must admit: this time I was nightcrawling.

But then, so was she, you see.

The blood in my veins began to tingle and race when I heard a bustle in the kitchen. I knew beyond doubt that it was her. I had to find out. If it was not her, well then, I was just a hungry lad anxious for a midnight morsel.

I paused with my hand on the door. I had come a long way that day, and though carriage was cleaner than horse by far, or foot, still the grime of the miles had accumulated. She would wait. It would be worth her while to wait.

I bathed without leisure in the hot drizzle. When I undressed, my mind was on the soap. When I rinsed, my thoughts fluttered to the towel and when I dried, my mind was in my sandals.

Finally I emerged, lathered more in steam than in the drops of water that remained on my skin. I sat on a stool and began to fiddle with my sandal straps. When I looked up, she was sitting in front of me.

She could not sleep, you see.

I knew how that felt. Racing blood forges insomniacs. It was sad that we as humans had to use excuses. But, looking into each other’s eyes, we knew that they were excuses, and necessary. We spoke for a while, each glued to the sonorous silhouette of the other. We spoke of simple and lacy things at first but quickly our minds and tongues intertwined from across the room with common vision.

She fascinated me, you see.

And talking was my nemesis of touching.

She wanted to show me the roof, so I followed her as absent-mindedly as my tingling veins permitted. The roof was reached by a thin rope ladder, which she scaled quickly. I had some difficulty at first, my legs were jellyfish in its tangles, but she told me where to step.

She came up here a lot, you see.

A fruit-laden branch from the top of a guava tree provided a kiss of shade to the roof in the desert daytime, and, though it was rooted night, was still her favourite spot. We sat underneath it, close to the edge of the roof. The tiny pebbles which often collected on rooftops burned into our backs and our feet dangled over the brink, challenging thirty feet of bone breaking space. Some unexplored chasm of darkness hung below, but, honestly, who bothers with those things when you are branding every pore of the other into your memory?


Friday, June 08, 2007

Indigo: Chapter 1



Indigo is a tale of mistakes and miscues. It comes in a rush in a few settings, as if someone is anxious to get their story out. I try to put into it the heart and era that it comes with, written in the first person. I may not expound background or setting, for you may not be ready for the truth. But perhaps you are ready for the lesson.

Chapter 1.

The first time I was accused of nightcrawling, it had not been true. I was up foolishly late—sketching by candlelight. I was not yet twenty years of age, an artist, renowned by few but my dreams were none less valuable to me. I had made a mark on a freshly beckoning paper, one of a lifetime of many that I was not completely satisfied with. The blackened and scrubbed rubber that sat beside my pencil would not do, so I tiptoed downstairs to find a clean one.

As my bare feet touched the cold, marble ground floor, a shadow slunk across the room on the opposite side and paused beside the fountain. Someone was waiting beside the fountain. I was not thirsty so I walked past and retrieved what I was looking for from a cabinet where those things were kept, then returned upstairs. I finished my canvas, scribbled a perpetually unsatisfied signature at the bottom, and slept.

The next morning rumours were ablaze. It is said that rumours are jeweled lies from the lips of Medusa, and these were no exception. I had not been waiting up for anyone. I had crossed the room as a passageway, on my way to—it was none of their business anyway.

Some had seen me pause and reach to the shadow in the corner. Some had seen us links hands or lips and melt into shadows deeper than ourselves. Some had heard noises. Could anyone have missed her weighted smile and covetous eyes at supper in the communal hall?

Could I have?

I had not. The thought had crossed my mind at supper but I dismissed it prematurely as the kind of intent-less seduction that you take with a pinch of salt. I had not connected it later with the fountain and the darkness.

I denied it vigorously, and laughed with them at her. I ignored her deepened smoldering and held to my position, a knight-errant for the truth. The wanderer in search of light—for was not the truth to be told of more importance than a passing smile? She was not the most beautiful flower in the garden, which she already sensed, only now more profoundly as I engraved it into the minds of all around. I meant no harm, it was simply a means to clear my name, for did not a knight’s standard have to be raised high?

I could not help but think though—had she been ready to give me the world, and was I now tossing it back into her face? Had it been me—the object of the shadow’s affection? Would not I have been proud to have been what she waited for? Whether it was I or not, I will never know for sure. But I do know that if a figment had stopped and danced in the dark that night with her, it was likely a sprite of dark and fanciful colours, for I had slept well. Her tear-stained face, turned quickly away when she next saw me, was evidence enough to me of that, but I read nothing else into it.

She withered after that. They said she stepped into the street one day and a carriage took her to a hospital bed. She would recover, but the road would be long. When they had found her, her face had been washed with tears and pale. —Stained with the pain of her last moments, they said, but I knew better. Yes, last moments, but not the very final ones.

The first time I was accused of nightcrawling, it had not been true. But, oh! what a missed opportunity.

I had been young and intrepid, speciously single-minded. Was that not inevitable in the beginning half of every life? How could we escape it? How could we loathe it? Still, I did begin to loathe the artist which had spurred me on past her that night, and the arrogance on my lips in the morning. I began to determine a future of colourful seizure of the golden trophy of opportunity—moments lived to the full and emptied cups with moist lips. The proud artist within me faded as the gambler rose.

The next time the rumours burned, they would be true.

I would ensure it.

The sky became bluer and the roses a deeper shade of crimson. I played with passion in the morning and intensity in the afternoon. I guarded my lips from nothing but issuing malice, and I learned to care.

That was when I met—

We will call her Indigo.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Smile, dang it!

(Jacinth Elerian speaking:) The freedom of the Spirit is such a beautiful, powerful thing. It is like an unobstructed channel of Heaven's richest goodness flowing down to you there on Earth. It is one of the most beautiful things that could ever happen, when one of you decides to let go of more of his Earthly restraints and accept a bit more of Heaven into his life.
You are so beautiful when you fill yourself with Heaven through being freer in the Spirit. You know what I need you to focus on in these days to become freer in the Spirit, and more powerful and useful on Earth? --Smile! That's right! Simply making a conscious effort to be one of those people who are always smiling. They light up the room, did you know that? That is the power they have. They channel directly the awesome floodlights of the love of God, straight from Heaven, into the livingroom--and I want you to become one of those people. Make it a point to always look happy, always be smiling and giving off love and joy vibes.
That will be a great victory if you can change your focus fully to this right now at this point in your life. Because you are a very happy person, you almost always feel at least content inside and are secretly loving it, whatever "it" is. The only problem is that you can walk around and people can have no clue because you are thinking hard or anticipating or focusing, they don't see that joy on your face and they miss the beautiful experience they could be having of being vicariously inspired to life and joy through someone else's countenance.
Well, I want you to give out that experience for free! And wholesale! Never withhold a smile from the people you walk past or sit with or are with. Make sure you are always smiling, or as much as humanly possible, when around others. And even when you are by yourself, you can still go out of your way to internalize this principle by smiling even if it doesn't look necessary. When you have fully made this point a major part of you, your fruit will be multiplied by many fold. I love you! Smile! (End of message)


Saturday, June 02, 2007

Lucky Number

That makes 12 mes-iversaries.

June the Second. Again.
Lucky me.

Love, Joe.


Friday, June 01, 2007

Fetching Fridays

Where All The Chics Are!

Well, Wordstock, for one.
There is at least one secret that's out in this picture, which shouldn't be, and no I am not ashamed to still be talking about Wordstock. Just wait till I get to my review on STEM's performance--complete with an exclusive live video that you DO NOT want to miss. Oops, I'd better not write that or my secret will be out.

Go into all the world.

Love, Joe.

Yes, I am aware that most of the women in this picture have moved and are no longer at the Wordstock site. --Thank you though.