Friday, May 14, 2004

Bumbling idiot

My soles of my feet itch, probably from going barefoot outside, first time this year. Last night sweetie rubbed them the way I like, lightly running his fingers over my skin and sometimes up toward my ankles, never too long in any one spot. I swear it was as good as sex. He would want me to add "almost" to that sentence, but for last night, "almost" wasn't needed.

My head is sprouting a few little wavy white hairs. If these little hairs are replacing good old straight hairs, I will looking like Einstein one of these days.

When the sun rose, I was ready to go. My crate was packed with clay and pasta machines and Bic pens, ready for afternoon activities for a group of students who didn't have a clue what they were getting into.

Since this is my first year teaching at this school, many students don't know my passion for polymer clay, and most have never even heard of it. When the sign-up sheets went around last week for the various classes the elementary students could choose for this afternoon, only ten signed up for my class in decorating pens with polymer clay. I was surprised, because usually three times as many want it than I have room for, but then I realized this bunch hasn't been initiated.

I told the principal that if any students had somehow slipped through the registration crack, I'd take the extras. That gave me five more, who straggled in a few minutes late.

After making two pudgy pens, pudgy Brian said to me -- so earnest it made me smile -- "Teacher, this is the best class I've ever had. I had fun this year, and I never have fun in these classes. I'm going to take it next year and the year after that."

They all seemed to have fun. My favorite pen was the one topped with a hula dancer, complete with grass skirt and coconut bra.

At times I've thought I might like to be a Program Specialist, so today when I was having lunch with Janet, our Program Specialist and a gal I really love, I asked her how she likes her job.

"Not very much," she said. She started writing in her datebook, her head down. "No, I don't like it much." Her head went down further, and in retrospect I think she was having a tough time staying even keeled (I know; I've been there). "In fact, I don't like it at all."

She was probably near tears, and there I blew it by switching to a slightly different subject. I don't know how to deal with people who need to be comforted or heard. I wish I had that skill. What do I do? Any questions seem nosey, back rubs and hand pats seem too intimate, and I'm awkward at anything mentioned in this sentence. (I come from matter-of-fact parents, and I have no role model at all for close friendships and overtly intimate caring. Sweetie thinks I'm tough and unemotional, but that's only the skin I wear. It's only a skin that's been grafted onto me that seems to be fusing into my bones with each year that passes and nothing changes, especially the marrow and the heart within which is not so hard after all.)

I appreciate Janet so much. She does a difficult job very well, and there I acted like I didn't care at all. I want to do something special for her, to show her how much I appreciate her. Ideas are starting to spout. Off I go. . .

©LDN 2008

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This looks like craziness

I am blocked, I am locked, I am a prisoner of my stuff. My collections of things to use in creations cover the flat surfaces of my creation room and in it I can't think. I can't walk into my craft room, just climb over boxes, closed, heaped, open, spilled. It looks like a room belonging to someone who is very sick in the head, someone who collects dozens of cats and then dies in a back room to be found only when the smell notifies passersby and the media comes in to take pictures.

I want to paint, I want to throw pots, I want to make mosaics, I want to scrapbook, I want to sew, I want to sculpt, I want to make paper and books, I want to write, I want to live long enough to do all these things well.

This evening I've been packing girls' things into boxes and labeling them. Perhaps one day they'll look at these things, old diaries that are closed to me (I fear to read them), mementos of another life, and either write of them or wonder why they saved them. It would be good if they saved them, the art, the words. Once the words are gone, the past is filtered, and without the past one can't learn for the future.

Was it yesterday? I think it was yesterday afternoon. The phone in the classroom rang, the secretary said, "Your husband called to say he's in the emergency room at the hospital."

I immediately sent my students back to their regular classes and drove to the hospital. Sweetie would not be in the hospital unless he were very sick. Being sick is a weakness that can be overcome by the mind. Hasn't worked for him recently, but that's an anomaly he says. I call the hospital on my cell phone on the way. No one seems to have heard of him. I go to the ER. He's not there. I walk all over thinking I'll find him, or hear his deep voice rumbling down the hallway. I feel lost and frantic. Why would he call and then there be no word?

"No news is good news," I keep telling myself. After much time I head home, and there he is, in bed, coughing. I was so glad to see him.

"I felt like I was dying," he said. "I couldn't breathe, my heart was irregular. One of the doctors squeezed me into her schedule. She gave me some antibiotics and ordered a chest x-ray to see if I have pneumonia."

Since the doctor sent him home, he feels better. They wouldn't send him home if he were dying.

Back to the heaps.

©LDN 2008

Saturday, May 1, 2004


I'm desperate to create handmade paper.

I'm desperate to make handbound books.

Sweetie is making plans to build me a studio, isn’t that sweet? I'm rejoicing. I can do all this space-intensive stuff, and leave it out overnight and for days and days, and my house will maintain some semblance of normalcy.

Dreams sometimes come true.

©LDN 2008