Quiet

In the country, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by quiet.

Sure, you hear crickets, cicadas, tree frogs, but you also notice a general hum so deep it’s almost dizzying.

It doesn’t turn off.

You tilt your head to triangulate its origin, to no use. It feels as if your ears are being pulled backwards, stretched, straining, listening from the back of your head. You hear it even where you don’t.

After a while, you start thinking again. 

But not in the regular way, not linear.

Like your ears were stretched in new directions listening, your mind is stretching, hearing its subconscious mumbling. Seemingly random, encompassing almost embarrassing extremes, you are sure it is only showboating; there is no way your stream of consciousness is that obtuse!

It is, and it’s beautiful.

Here, these sparks are your originals, your treasure chest of creative thought. These tingles of innovation, of personal discovery, of reassuring empathy. In between the crickets and cicadas and tree frogs, more than any other thing, they are who you are.

Buttercup

bright light
you’re piercing me blind
with your eyes
.
it was silent
all that’s behind
all my tries
.
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
it’s Buttercup
it’s Buttercup
.
white light
you’re piercing me deaf
with your lies
.
it was violent
all that’s behind
all my ties
.
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
it’s Buttercup
it’s Buttercup
Buttercup
.
bright light
makin’ me shine
in your eyes
.
it’s so quiet
and under lies
butterflies
.
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
all that you hold up
it’s Buttercup
it’s Buttercup
Buttercup
.
.
.
.

Copyright L.M. 2010.  (Composed while listening to “Don’t Come Down” by The Jesus and Mary Chain.).

What Do I Want To Be?

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you know, I could do it too:
hair parted, to the side
long, just long enough
maybe highlighted
face airbrushed with
foundation
concealer
powder
eyebrows darkened
plucked into perfect arches
eyes lined with dark brown
not black, that’s whorish
lashes lengthened, strengthened, darkened
teeth bleached, no gaps
posture perfect
like a ballerina
simple, elegant, regal in composure
.
and sometimes I want to be
.
but I think of everything I’d miss
if I couldn’t touch animals because they’re dirty
if I couldn’t watch bugs because they’re creepy
if I couldn’t skip in fields because I’m an adult
if I couldn’t sing aloud because I’m mature
if I couldn’t play in the sand because I’m not a child
if I couldn’t run in the sun because I’d get tanlines
if I couldn’t be who I am because it’s not who I should be
.
so I draw on my own picture a pirate’s eyepatch
a curly mustache
and a tasteful goatee
because it’s more fun
than striving for perfection
and I want people to know
that they can’t threaten me with shoulds
that people who love me
can also have fun around me
because I love when people smile
and I love even more when it’s because of me
that’s the me I want to be
.
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.
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Copyright L.M. 2008.

An Explanation of Human Chameleons

cha⋅me⋅le⋅on

[kuhmee-lee-uhn, meel-yuhn]

–noun

1. any of numerous Old World lizards of the family Chamaeleontidae, characterized by the ability to change the color of their skin, very slow locomotion, and a projectile tongue.
2. any of several American lizards capable of changing the color of the skin, esp. Anolis carolinensis (American chameleon), of the southeastern U.S.
3. a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.
4. (initial capital letter) Astronomy. Chamaeleon.

Origin:
1300–50; var. of chamaeleon < L < Gk chamailéōn, equiv. to chamaí on the ground, dwarf (akin to humus ) + léōn lion; r. ME camelion < MF < L, as above
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Please direct your attention to Definition 3.  “a changeable, fickle, or inconstant person.”
Let me tell you why I disagree with this.
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I believe human chameleons are essential in this world.  People who have multiple versions of themselves can play many roles in society, and fill many voids at once.  To be a chameleon is to adapt constantly according to the need of the situation.  What this definition is implying is that society changes them, but it’s actually quite incorrect: a chameleon changes intentionally to best suit society.
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To be a human chameleon can have its benefits, both individually, and in social groups.  If a chameleon chooses its friends wisely, they can be everything they want to be, simply by proxy.  Through the chameleon’s innate desire to change, they can actually inspire themselves through their friendships to become like the people they so admire.  Becoming better is never a bad thing.  A chameleon always knows its true colours, but will sacrifice peacocking its identity for the sake of the situation.
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Now let’s look at the word fickle, defined as:

fickle
adjective
1. marked by erratic changeableness in affections or attachments; “fickle friends”; “a flirt’s volatile affections”
2. liable to sudden unpredictable change; “erratic behavior”; “fickle weather”; “mercurial twists of temperament”; “a quicksilver character, cool and willful at one moment, utterly fragile the next” [syn: erratic]
(from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fickle ) by Princeton’s online dictionary, WordNet 3.0.
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Unpredictable change“?  How did chameleons suddenly become unreliable?  No, you won’t see a real chameleon change its colours when perfectly blended somewhere….. or they would no longer blend, and that’s not what a chameleon is all about.  Human chameleons are not unreliable; they will blend wherever they may go, but that can be relied upon.  You can always count on a chameleon to reflect their surroundings.
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You may wonder how someone can have a sense of identity if they are constantly changing.  This is a valid question, however, you need simply look at anyone else for your answer.  Can a child have a sense of identity and, as an adult, have the same one?  Can someone have a sense of identity, go through a life-changing moment, and it stay the same?  No, people change; identities change.  However, chameleons generally still have what I call default personalities, ones that they exemplify when they are in situations where they feel comfortable.  These default personalities might, or might not, coincide with their neutral personalities.  Neutral personalities are ones that chameleons adopt when in new situations or meeting new people.  They are the versions of themselves that they have deemed least threatening — to others, or to themselves.  Yes, certain personalities can expose the chameleon more than they would like, and therefore are not usually the same as the default ones.
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Since chameleons are able to change their moods in situations, they can often be unsure of themselves, as they can have easily avoided addressing the issue of beliefs.  Beliefs are as constant in chameleons as they are with non-chameleons; they do not change in different situations; they do not meld any more or less than anyone else’s when faced with new ideas.  As chameleons can often evade difficult confrontations and intimate questioning via distraction through other personalities, some may not be sure as to the real answers of those questions, and when trying to discover themselves, may feel lost.  “Others have already figured out their beliefs,” they may think, “why haven’t I been able to pinpoint mine?”  The solution to this is simply (and very not-so-simply) to ask themselves these very questions, to investigate how they would react in certain ethical situations if no one were around to judge or blend with.  This is a difficult process (and one that tests a chameleon’s ability to moderate their own subjectivity), as a chameleon is used to looking to others for guidance in how to act.  However, even a chameleon will refuse to blend in a situation where they feel something is wrong.  This is due to the beliefs that they have determined.  Regardless the situation, if a chameleon has a belief that is being disregarded, they will not feel comfortable blending.  This is why I feel the definition of being “fickle” is quite incorrect; chameleons do not usually demean their integrity by associating (via blending) with people or situations that are contrary to their personal spirit.
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I hope this has been somewhat informative for people who may feel like they are chameleons at heart, but maybe had previously thought it was shameful.  Chameleons play a vital ‘role of roles’ in society, and should be appreciated for the adaptable creatures they are.
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Copyright L.M. 2008.

Paris Calling

the night began without you
lilting, dreaming, reading fantasies
a time of cleansing
then you
and songbirds couldn’t sound as charming
as when our sounds reached the streets
emulating polycarbonate
or scratching anew
but it was good
and it was true
then without you
I rediscovered beauty on my own
painting with dotted lines
slips, skips, drags
loops, arcs, lags
and I watched the water
its distance shortened by snow
drifting unfalteringly down
laying my paper
that I retraced on my way home
you missed it but
maybe it missed you?
I think it was for me
when They whispered:

“Genevieve”

       

Copyright L.M. 2008.

Last Days, Love-Haters, and Jimmy Buffett

  Well, I’m back in Kingston, my vacation over.  I have a bit of a tan, the weather isn’t bad, and I get to see my friends again.  I miss Florida already, and my parents and sister too, of course.  Everything went fine over here while I was gone; my kitty was well looked-after thanks to my friend Cyndi, and my landlord.

  Before I forget, I should add a belated final list from the beach:

  • 1 octopus.  Not kidding!  I think he was less than a foot in length, including tentacles, but it’s very strange to see one on the beach there.
  • 1 perfect sand dollar.  Considering the lack of seashells this year, and the lack even on that last day, this was a veritable Beautiful Blue, if you know what I mean.  It was gorgeous, and absolutely perfect.  I ended up accidentally breaking it (ahh, how beauty is fragile….. take note, boys  haha), replacing batteries in my camera to capture my last sunset of the vacation….. but I got to enjoy its beauty while it lasted so I’m still happy about it.  Plus, I have no idea how I would have transported it back home.  haha.
  • many ex-horseshoe crabs
  • a lot of seaweed (the tubular kind as well) as it’d been windy for a couple days by then
  • a few regular crabs including a tiny tiny one….. all ex-crabs, but still.
  • 1 gorgeous setting Sun

  Now that I’m home again, I’m trying to keep myself positive, but it’s a little hard when you’ve just gotten used to spending time with a family that keeps you constantly busy.  I’m having to clean this place up as I’ve let it become a mess, I’m having to sort myself out for classes, and I’m having to finish my grad school applications….. none of which is that happy-making.  I mean, I should be happy to further my education, but it’s a big change….. and though I’m a fan of new things, big changes are still a bit nerve-wracking.  I’m also not looking forward to moving away from so many good friends I’ve made here.  I’m not being all doomsdayish or anything; I doubt I’ll be a loner when I get there or anything, it just will be sad saying goodbye to people I’ve come to know so well.  It’s not like high school, where there were maybe 4 or 5 close friends, and the rest merely casual friends.  I’ve always been very selective about people I spend time with, and I guess my coming here happened to introduce me to people with more in common with me than back then.  Okay, I’m being sappy, someone smack me upside the head.  At least I’m being honest.  This is the main reason I was a bit sad tonight.  Much like my friend Andrew said, “I’m tired and a little sad, but not unhappy.”  I agree, though for much different reasons.  I hope you’re feeling better too, Andrew, if you’re reading this…..

  Well, I’m just along for the ride.  To quote a role model of mine, Jimmy Buffett, “If it doesn’t work out there’ll never be any doubt, that the pleasure was worth all the pain.”  I was just searching for a good Jimmy quote to put in there (as I’m sure many of his would do just as well), and I found a quotations site that suggests other quotes you might like based on other people’s tastes….. anyway I just read this one and it made me laugh, but it’s true:

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life…You give them a piece of you. They didn’t ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn’t your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like ‘maybe we should be just friends’ turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It’s a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
— Neil Gaiman (English born American Novelist, Journalist, Screenwriter, Children’s author and Comics writer of American Gods, amongst many others, b.1960)

(http://thinkexist.com/quotation/if-it-doesn-t-work-out-there-will-never-be-any/348480.html)

  Anyway, funny how that was recommended for a Jimmy Buffett quote fan….. !

  Something tells me to keep writing, so I guess I will.  I’m not sure what I’m trying to get at here, and maybe I’m just rambling.  Maybe I’ll explain why I’m such a fan of Jimmy Buffett.

  Some call Jimmy a hedonist.  Some call him a country singer in a perpetual midlife crisis.  Some just call him Bubba.  I call him inspiration.  See, Jimmy lives the life a lot of us dream of living, and he somehow got there without unrivalled vocal talent — at least not like others in the business who don’t get 1/100th of the fame he does.  It gives people like me hope.  His two biggest talents (that I can tell), are as a businessman and a storyteller.  If you’ve read any of his books, you’ll understand what I mean.  The characters are typically searching for a way to a new life — to skirt conformity and glide along on the waves life created for us to surf on.  There are a variety of social rejects met along the way, or “fruitcakes” as Jimmy affectionately calls them, who serve as reminders that life can be enjoyed in more ways that the typical.  In fact, it’s clear he prefers this sort of company, since he, himself, is one of them.  He’s the type to get mad at cinema concession stands for carrying jumbo-sized everything, but not his precious Junior Mints.  He’s the type to give kudos to the guy rollerskating naked through a crosswalk in the middle of the week.  Living life to the fullest seems to be his motto.  He’s done quite well with his message; he’s a multi-millionaire, constantly one of the highest-grossing entertainers, and he’s got a fanbase quite possibly as devoted and passionate as the Rolling Stones’.  It seems people like his message.  Live life to the fullest.  And hey, “if it doesn’t work out there’ll never be any doubt, that the pleasure was worth all the pain.”

Parrotheads unite!

 For more on Jimmy:

(For anyone interested, the Jimmy quote I used is from the song “The Weather Is Here, Wish You Were Beautiful”….. hehe)…..