Fear Factors

Once upon a time, an irate mother was up in arms over an elementary school teacher asking her child to read, “A Wrinkle in Time.”

She wanted the teacher fired. How dare she ask her child to read such blasphemy? The book promotes witchcraft and replaces God with a central brain called IT. She was joining an effort to have the book banned from their small, rural Ohio, public school system.

I listened to Four (sisters are labeled in birth order) rant and rave in my kitchen over the evil intent of the author. She bitterly quoted sentence fragments out of context to support why it should be banned, clearly echoing someone else’s opinion.

I asked a simple question: Have you read the book?

Oh no, of course not!

Ye gads… A Wrinkle in Time was one of my favorite childhood reads! The synchronized ball bouncing struck a rebel cord in my young mind, which lead to a tendency to question – even when I complied – all expectations for conformity.

Ironically, Four still believes the great liar will make her America great again and the little boy who was not allowed to read the book grew up to post racist bull about the Obamas on Facebook.

I have decided to explore how seemingly minor, inconsequential ¬†fear factors play into controlling human behavior for my contribution to the Brooklyn Art Library’s writing project.

Tidbits of drafts may end up here as thoughts twirl down memory lane, gathering topics to write about. Who knows? This little project may be therapeutic.

Thanks for reading!

LEEK: art therapy

Have you seen her? She looks like your onion ass all over.

WHAT?

She’s big, not like you, she don’t have a neck or nothing man, like that girl on Willy Wonka, a blueberry, like your onion ass ALL over.

MY WHAT?

You know you got that onion ass, nothing you can do about it. I know you’re losing weight but it don’t matter how skinny you get, you can’t get rid of that… you’ll always have an onion ass…

I let him dig himself into a deeper hole trying to explain why he calls my ass an “onion” when I should just consider the source and move on, like this middle aged man pronounces “vagina” as “va-jay-jay” and probably pees out of a “winky” but my mind was stuck on that onion thing. How the hell does my ass look like an onion? Onions are round and firm – he’s never touched it, never will, so I don’t understand the comparison.

I happen to like onions, buy spicy red onions to slice in thin slivers on leafy green salads (spinach is the “new lettuce” in my world) and sweet whites are good sliced. I also occassionally buy yellow spanish onions for cooking although I do prefer shallots minced for some dishes and sliced green onions for others. And, of course, we cannot forget chives with their mild onion flavor as snipped chives is a favorite garnish.

Never once, in my 52 years on this planet, has it ever crossed my mind to describe my big ol’ butt as an onion. And yes, suppose he is right in that my body type will never change, I always was and always will be “pear shape” but geez… if asses are in the onion family, I am a shallot and he is a freaking leek.

Still, it bothered me. It laid on my mind like an irritation, especially that “you will always have an onion ass” and the best way to purge my mind of irritations is with a little art therapy.

The following colored pencil drawing started out as onions until I worked over it in my typical abstract fashion. Faber-Castell Polychromos on hot pressed 100% cotton watercolour paper, 4×6 inches.

Thanks for reading today!