Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Reason for Art

Today I saw a box of bright markers lying on the hutch in our dining room. Immediately I felt a compulsion to draw something with them. I found some white paper and started drawing. It was simple. A large purple flower with a green stem, a river running past it towards the horizon with a field of red poppies on the other side, and the sun setting beneath a yellow, orange, pink, purple and blue sky. That’s the basic description. Nothing great, but I finished it, and left it on the table as I went off to do something else. Later I came back to that table and saw my sister drawing a picture with the same box of markers.

“You inspired me,” she said. She created two pictures.

Even later, I entered the same room and saw my two brothers painting pictures at the table, an old plastic plate being used as a paint palette and everything set on top of newspapers.

I guess I started a chain of creativity….

I didn’t have a purpose for creating art. I just felt like drawing something colorful and somehow inspired everyone else to do the same. My sister put all our pictures up on the refrigerator to brighten up our kitchen. It is quite effective in splashing the room with colors that we won’t see on this white, snowy day or for many months to come.

How about you? Have you done anything lately that has inspired someone else?

Monday, December 6, 2010

To the Squirrel in my Basement

Hello in there. How are you this fine winter morning?

You look lonely in that cage, hiding beneath that huge bushy tail with nothing to accompany you but a half-eaten, dried corn cob. (Perhaps, it's only another form of hibernation?) At least you aren't outside with the snow and ice and coldness. Well, until you're set free again.

It was the snow that chased you down our chimney, wasn't it? Or maybe you were frolicking along our roof and out of curiosity decided to peek into that tall brick thing up there.

It took a while for us to catch you, to leer you into this squirrel trap. I didn't like the idea of you starving in a dark forgotten corner among spiders and cockroaches and broken appliances and things we just didn't know what to do with.

So, here is a song to cheer you up...

Rock a bye baby in the treetops,
When the wind blows the cradle will rock...


3 hours later:

Mom: The officer from Animal Control came to pick up the squirrel.
Me: What?! Why?!!!
Mom:(with some hesitation) Apparently, the squirrel hung itself. On the string attached to the corn cob. It got wrapped around the squirrel's head somehow.
Me: Noooooooo!!!!!

I'm really sad right now.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

All About Me: Things You Didn't Know and I Didn't Know I Would Say

Awesome thanks to Dan at Sanguine Musings for awarding me The Versatile Blogger! Mucho gracias, arigato, thank you, etc! (The only languages I know "thank you" in, I think).

Which compels me to share seven facts about myself (Even though Dan said I didn't have to). However, I am probably more interested than anyone to see what seven facts I choose. I have a feeling that randomness might possibly here it goes.

1) I am living back in my parent's house with my 16 year old sister, my 14 year old brother, and my 4 year old brother. Just yesterday, I checked out an apartment an hour away, thinking that I might want to move sometime in the near future. But the sheer bleakness mixed with the gray, snowy day and the shady looking streets and huge strange houses made the warmth and life of my family's home more appealing than I had previously considered. I suddenly saw a picture of me in this small, barren, lonely place, and I didn't like it. Not to mention the scrawny, strange looking guy who came outside shirtless, only a pair of shorts on, and no shoes. Gave me the creeps.

2) My sister is my best friend. She is six years younger than me, but it's like we are on the same wave lengths. Plus, it's nice to have someone that I don't have to censor myself around. We pretty much say anything we want, and we don't take it personally. Not that we are always mean to each other or anything. We're just truthful. Yesterday, we were voting together for People's Choice Awards. Here's how the scene went:
We came to the "Web Celeb" category. Everything that follows, we said exactly simultaneously:
"Web Celeb?"
"What's that?"

The fact that we even said "Woah" at the same time and did the same kind of laugh afterward was crazy funny. At least to me.

3)I sub for pre-school more than anything else so far. That's where I was today. Not too many people are psyched about filling in for the crazy (but cute) pre-schoolers who don't care about consequences and are liable to drive you up the wall on a good day. I'm their go-to person, I guess.

4)I just recently got a new job, but I haven't started yet. It's a data entry position at a doctor's office where I'm helping out a plastic surgeon. The day he interviewed me, he had seen 66 patients.

5) Apparently I move my head a lot when I sing. I just video recorded myself. It was worse than John Mayer on PBS! I told my sister, "I hope I don't move my head all the time like that." She said, "Yeahhh, it's sooo annoying." "What??!"

6) My two favorite TV shows right now are Dark Angel and How I Met Your Mother. I really need to stop watching so much tv. When I lived on my own, I never watched. Well, because I didn't have a TV! But now, it's a different story...

7)I won third place in the poetry contest at my college. At a recent interview for a job I didn't get, I used this as an example of an accomplishment I was proud of...perhaps I should have picked something else??? That interview was doomed anyway. It seriously felt like fate was intervening and making words that I didn't mean come out of my mouth. At the end, the interviewer asked where I wanted to be in 5 years, you know, career wise. I said a bunch of non-committal mumbo jumbo at becoming a manager! That is the last thing I want to do!! So why did I say it? Universe???

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I Wrote a Song!

Yesterday, I wrote part of a poem, and suddenly I wondered what it would sound like if I put it to music. Then it hit me...I should write a song!

For a long time I had ignored my guitar hanging out in the corner of my room. I had gotten bored with it. I never felt like playing, and when I did play, I just wanted to stop.

I think I know why. All I ever do is play other peoples' songs. I never write my own. The other day, I had picked up my guitar and was flipping through my binder filled with songs and playing several here and there when I started thinking about the musicians who created them. I highly doubt any of them play mostly songs by other musicians. I'm willing to bet that they play mostly their own.

Instruments were made for playing songs, but in the beginning, when music was just getting started, when minstrels traveled from town to town, when cavemen sat around their fires, when David played his harp, before the era of pop music and cds and youtube and all that, people wrote and played their own stuff. It was an expression of themselves and their times, it was entertainment to cure the boredom and the blues and to give birth to creative sparks.

So yesterday I was frustrated that I hardly ever wrote poetry anymore and when I did write it, it felt forced, contrived. So I started writing one off the top of my head that had rhymes in it because I never write with rhymes. My poems usually are completely freestyle. Yet the thing is, by using rhymes, I used words that I never ordinarily would use, and suddenly meanings that I had never intended starting showing up, meanings that felt right and were much better than anything I could have planned. And then I picked up my guitar and put the words to music. If only I knew a cello player and a violinist, it would be amazing... I love songs with those two instruments in it, and they would definitely enhance this song.

Anyway, I've been having fun! I never pegged myself as a song writer, but I think I'm going to break out of the box and give it a try, even if I'm only writing songs for myself. Maybe that's the best reason to write them after all.