Should I paint my face and pick up a sword? Our country declares war on odd things.

Concept wars cannot be won as there is no clearly defined enemy, no nation to defeat, no land to seize. War on Terrorism, for example, broadly covers all aspects of terrorism instead of a specific terrorist and their organization, therefore it becomes never-ending as there is always someone or something else to add to the list. War on Drugs, War on Crime, War on Poverty… all noble endeavors to seek an end to, but war is specifically a human thing. People align, side with their cause, take up arms, battle to the death, pillage, bomb and blast each other to rumbles. War is an awful thing.

It bothers me to hear the leaders of this country describe COVID-19 as the enemy in this so-called “War” on a virus because the people are taking up sides against each other instead of working together for the common good.

On one side, we have the obnoxiously loud minority who use intimidation tactics to achieve their objectives, be it silencing other people by drowning out their voices on social media, verbally attacking people in public, or attending protests against health regulations fully armed. These are the guys carrying signs and military grade weapons at state capitals. Some are just ordinary people, but some of them are freaking nuts… their fringe element is prone to violence. One nut killed the security guard at a Michigan dollar store, another shot the cook at a restaurant, just because the businesses required customers to wear face masks.

Does intimidation work? Yes… people are afraid of those guys. They avoid the bullies, don’t engage in conversations, don’t dare leave a comment on a Facebook post lest you be attacked, ripped to shreds and called a sheep or whatever.

Wolves and sheep… the sheep side, or rather just the OTHER side, are more scared of the wolves than they are of the declared “enemy” in this “war” on a virus. These are the people who take the crisis seriously, practice social distancing, and cover their faces because they care deeply about others and are willing to do whatever it takes to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We know fabric masks do little to protect our own selves. We wear them just in case we, our own selves, may have contracted the virus and don’t yet know, may never know, because if we should happen to catch it, we want to reduce the odds of passing it on to someone else. Wearing a mask says, “I care.”

Yes, I am a sheep… dyed blue my wool, paint my face, the pen is my sword.

It’s not such a bad thing to be a sheep, to care about others, to be a humanitarian. Wolves who cry, “I don’t need a mask, God will protect me” forgot that the Shepherd tends the sheep. Psalms 23.

It is a bit ironic when wolves claim the sheep are too scared to stand up to “tyranny” as if state health guidelines and orders given to slow the spread of COVID-19 will lead to an authoritarian form of government. Most of those wolves support the current POTUS, echo his tweeted words, while sheep tend to believe the current administration is the greatest threat to our democracy.

Thanks for reading!

FULL DISCLOSURE: I not only practice social distancing and wear masks while in public, I also sew fabric masks for friends and quiet donations. Yes, some are available for purchase. I’m just trying to recoup some of the cost, not profit off a plague. Odds are, I still won’t break even, but that’s okay… if you want to see photos of what I’ve been sewing, visit Mice4Mars.com. That’s my other WordPress blog, launched just for my art before all this started.


Odd Dream

Remember children, if you steal where you land, you’ll never get far.

Such an odd thing to say… last spoken line in a movie-like dream.

It was an odd dream, like watching child versions of myself and an old friend from afar. We were playing in the shallow end of a pool on a warm day, with sunlight dancing off the water. The speaker was woman dressed in a 1950’s bathing suit. We were young and she was minding us. Then the dream flipped to the end scene in the movie, shot in the same location at a later time. All three of us appear to be sleeping, still in our bathing suits, still in the water. We are sitting together, leaning on each other, with our heads tilted different ways. For a moment, I’m confused because it is snowing. Are we sleeping? Are we dead? Are we under the water? No, there is snow on our heads and shoulders, snow dusting the thin layer of ice on the water. We look transparent in the blur of swirling snow, as if faded shells of ourselves. Then Rodney’s shell breaks and there is nothing there. He’s gone.

I woke up wondering who she was, definitely not my mother and too thin to be his… but, I don’t know what she looked like then as we did not know each other as children. Then I wondered if he died. He always vanishes, one way or another, just before I wake up from a haunting dream. Why he still sneaks into my dreams now and then is beyond me… we haven’t spoke one word in over five years. When was the last time I saw him? 2005? Why use the land instead rhyming far with are? “If you steal where you are, you’ll never get far” would be easier for children to remember.

The whole thing is odd… bit bizarre, as we’re not thieves.

I don’t steal because my experience of being wrongfully accused of stealing as a young child got drilled deep into my soul. I got whooped, had to apologize and everything, so humiliated over a stupid little Santa soap. Aunt Donna had a whole dish full of personal use size novelty soaps. She told me that I could keep the one I had used. I asked if I could take it home and she said YES, but she sure as hell didn’t have my back when mother marched me over there to return it. Maybe that’s why I have a hard time asking anyone for anything… to this day, I’d rather not.

On another note…

The women’s art show scheduled for this summer will be a “virtual” event, details to come… not sure if they intend to hang it or just post images sent with entries online somewhere. I hope not, mainly because photos for my entries were snapped with an old cell phone camera and they’re not the best… here’s a comparison.

Opportunity, snapped with old cell phone camera.
Opportunity, quick snap with new phone’s camera.

Maybe just my opinion, but the colors look dulled in the submitted photo. Maybe it is just my eyes… cropped images look flat. They lack the depth of background, shadows on walls and such, so I’m hoping they hang the art and do a virtual tour with a video camera.

Odds are, Opportunity won’t be accepted anyway. I just want to get my fave piece in… that’s My Aura. If you want to see it, it’s on Mice4Mars.com (my relatively new art blog). It’s a WordPress blog, recently upgraded to a paid plan to go “ad-free” as I really do NOT want ads for flabby arm ointment or political bull stuck in between art photos. Someday, this blog will be ad-free, too. I’m waiting a bit to stagger the annual renewals so the payments won’t hit the bank at the same time.

Thanks for reading… peace be with you, wherever you land.

Odd Mugs

It has been awhile, months… and so much has changed. Goldie girl (the feral cat living in my house, a.k.a. “Baby Boo” in my last post) still avoids humans. We are making progress… she nudged my hand once. Mostly, she just watches me, meows long stories now and then, and chases balls all around the house. She loves the balls with jingle bells. Max is king cat now that KiKi, ye gath ddu (the black cat) is gone.

Long story short: the bee across the street got pissed off at me because I couldn’t keep her cat inside my house 24/7. The whole saga boils down to my neighbor asking me to adopt a stray cat and then, over a year later, tells me that she’s going to take my cat to the vet to get it fixed (thought it already was) and find it a new home. Like, who does that? Can I re-home her dogs? Come to find out, she was just using me to foster her pet. We went round and round… like whose cat is it, mine or hers?

Well, ask the cat… it hates being indoors, wants to live life on it’s own terms, come and go as it pleases… so, where does it go when it goes out? Right across the street. It goes HOME, where she would give it treats and love all over it when she wanted it there and then, if it showed up on her porch in the wee hours, she’d slam me with nasty text messages about keeping it in the house.

I watched the cat and I watched her… if the cat didn’t run over when she came home from work, she’d come out with a pack of tuna to lure it over, sometimes crossing the street and walking up my driveway calling for the cat. So, I told her okay, I’m done… that’s your cat, you take care of it.

That should have settled it, but she had to call me about a month later to scold me like a child, so I’m done with her, too. We’re neighbors, but we don’t have to speak or anything.

I got a new phone with a new number… a Galaxy s10, then designed my own case for it on Zazzle using the image of “My Aura, a self pour-trait” to play on words, since the art is a recent acrylic pour painting.

Yeah, I’ve been making art again… entered four pieces in a juried show scheduled for this summer. Still writing, but mostly just my morning pages now. Blink Poetry is out in paperback, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, as well as other major online book sellers.

What else is new?

Oh yeah… the frikkin plague. I might not survive this. That’s just a quiet knowing, like an understanding, not a fear or panic. I keep busy sewing masks. The ones photographed in baggies are for children.

My cremation is on layaway… set that up before COVID-19, much to the demise of my reputation as that nibby bee across the street saw “strange men coming and going” and jumped to the wrong conclusion.

Yes, most funeral parlors offer appointments in the comfort of your home to discuss pre-paid plans for final arrangements. It pays to shop around when you can do so with a clear head as they send out sales reps who will try to play on your emotions and the cost for similar plans do vary greatly from one funeral home to the next. You also might want to inform neighbors before setting up several home appointments so odd mugs and Gladys Kravitz types won’t think you’ve taken up prostitution.

Odd mugs… perhaps I should mention odd mugs in my obituary as I’ve always had an odd assortment of coffee mugs and most of them hold memories, some hold pencils or brushes, too. In some ways, odd mugs define my life.

It started in my 20’s. I had a rack on the wall filled with odd mugs, some belonged to neighbors and friends… suppose my place was the closest thing to a neighborhood coffee shop. Then people started gifting me mugs, usually just one, sometimes filled with sweets. It’s become a thing… not a year passes without a new mug from someone. It’s a good thing since I break a lot of cups, being blind in one eye and dim in the other. Those spacial relations can be tricky.

Maybe that’s my life… a mosaic of broken cups.