Bits & Pieces In Time

Bob Good Photography Studios · Yesterday · This is La-X! — at Explore La Crosse.

Bob Good Photography Studios—La Crosse Bridge

Another photo of The Bridge(s) that span the Mississippi at La Crosse, Wisconsin. There was only the one when I grew up there, the triple-arched one, not the single arch. The two are necessary now due to all of the traffic. The population remains the same, but more people drive and more people have vehicles. Some bit of time ago I wrote an erasure and posted it on this site. It’s about crossing the bridge as we did in childhood and the sand beneath our feet, between our toes. (“For An Erasure”)

  • The trials of Lizzy Fig: Today again I thought I’d give the out-of-doors and cat harness a go. First you have to catch her, resulting in trama number 1 for the darling. Then there’s the application of the harness itself, resulting in trama number 2. When at last she uncurls herself from the frozen rock she becomes, we go outside. All goes well for some time; she watches birds, walks in the grass, crosses to the next patio. She even seems happy. I’m congratulating myself on my ability to prevail when a person comes out from an apartment door. That person walks in our direction as Lizzy Fig begins to back up, then more so, further and further. Suddenly she takes off running, tugging madly on the leash, like a fighting fish in the waters of the Florida Keys. She pulls and tugs in one direction and then another. The leash gets wrapped around a small tree, next it wraps itself around the hedgerow. After the initial ruckus I end up with a relaxed line and an empty harness. (I had wondered about that.)

I caught up with her at some point after, where she was crying behind some hedges. I did somehow coax her into letting me pick her up. We are both safely back in the house now. I have no idea where she is hiding. I’m sure she is thinking she will never come out again, certainly never trust me again. Meanwhile Tula thought it was all great fun—watching as she was from behind the patio screen door—then jumping up and down as we came back inside. The only thing better would have been for her to join in the chase after the cat.

  • When I was a freshman in high school I met a girl who might have come to be in our clique as we were forming up and learning our way along. Most of us were on the fringes then, deciding without words which of the worlds we would traverse and the ones who would walk with us. Who would sit at the lunch table with us. Which lunch table would be ours. Who would scream with us at the football games. Where we would belong in the hierarchy and tyranny of the students at the high school named for St. Thomas Aquinas.

Wags asked me if I wanted to go shopping with her on that Saturday, downtown at the J.C. Penny’s where school clothes lay in abundance. (Abundance then was nothing to compete with the sheer variety of today’s choices.)  But of course I wanted to, and why not, something to do, somewhere to be. Girl’s clothing, second floor, top of the escalator where in the not-too-distant future my daughter would catch her shoe and cause the escalator to crash, experimenting as she was with the possibility of catch and release on her own, eliminating the need (not) for a store manager and a crush of patrons. That particular day, with Wags, was schooling of a different sort.

We gathered and carried several cardigan sweaters into a fitting room, both of us together. Those days were well before the clothing limits, the alarm locks, and no more than one person to a room. We were in fact likely the cause of future precautions against department-store theft. She demonstrated to me how she could select a sweater and wear it out of there, under the top she had on, her loose jacket pulled over both.

I wore a lovely pink cardigan out of J.C. Penny’s and walked home with it on. It was soft and luscious. It did not itch. It was perfect.

When we met up I tried to tell Wags how I was not sure the fear was worth it. How all-consuming fear to the point of dizziness had become. How I thought I would scream as we walked out separately and purposefully meandered to dispel any suspicions. And she tried to tell me how that was the point of it all—to not only be able to have what you wanted and could not afford, but how it felt. The act itself, and getting away with it. That feeling was the best part. I was not at all convinced.

At home I told my mother that Wags had given me the sweater as it no longer fit her. That was surprisingly easy, and the questioning ended with that response. That weekend the parents were having people over, and those people had children with them. Why could I not entertain those young ones with sparklers we were setting aside for the fourth of July? Why not? The patio and sparklers on a cool autumn eve were no hardship, rather an easy and fun entertainment for the kids and me. Not only easy and fun, but I could wear my lovely new pink cardigan. The one Wags had given me. The one with the pearlized buttons. And in the fashion of that day, a sweater which could be worn buttoned up the back or the front.

It was an autumn night with a rose-colored sky, matches and sparklers on the picnic table, excited children, and me in my lovely pink cardigan. Ah, the trailing arches and figure eights and ribbons of shooting stars. How they sparkled and shone, and how they set up tiny burns on the flesh where they lightly struck the hands and face. And then burned little holes all over that pink cardigan.

I thought it was punishment for my sins. God acts swiftly for the guilty to prove you cannot escape though you might not be caught. I later made several “acts of contrition,” and buried the sweater in the sand underneath the bridge.

Revolutionary Blood

Americans are fond of saying that we have a history of protest. From the American Revolution to the Vietnam War, we have staged protests from one credo group to another as the Revolutionary Blood has run hot through our veins. We have said accept our voices, we are not violent. It is our history, it is in our blood.

What we have not noted is the American—as in U.S. Government—response. That has not been a voice, loud or silent. It has been one of violence. The U.S. Government has not ever been one of quiet patronage and a “there, there, loud child,” posture. From behind-the-scenes investigations of Eugene Debs voters and followers to the overthrow of foreign governments, the U.S. government has spilled blood. Including that of its own citizens.

Today is an important reminder. Today is May 4. It matters. This is a reminder of how the U.S. Government shot down students. Students. Young people in peaceful protest. Remember the children who placed flowers in rifles which were pointed at them? Those kids. That’s who the U.S. Government killed and wounded. The nation should go dark and mourn. But it doesn’t.

Not many people recall or were there. The American Revolutionary Blood that has been spilled, not by another factious group, not by a foreign government, but by the U.S. Government. Some people still wear the scars.

KentState

CSU Archives/Everett Collection

Sadness And Beauty

Old Moss Woman’s Secret Garden

An earth nest reflected empty as a future without bees, all swirling around the great galactic cosmic nothing, stretched between the prime pillars on high.

Art in the eyes of the beholder observing life’s weave of tomorrow’s dreamscape.

~Unknown artist.

Quote and photo posted from Moss Woman’s site. New illustrator, artist to me—Superleuk. Thoughts brought from the memories of Colorado: The time the major highway through the state was closed in Colorado Springs due to the tumble weeds blocking the road. (There had been a great windstorm that day, and the one before.) I loved it. Where else? The straw or vine dried weaves of lean-tos, bridges, huts, and tunnels, laid out on the uni campus lawn like the photo shows, or more intricately expressed, as on Superleuk’s site. Memories that came like the wind and fog, swirling and breathing, all brought on the feathers of a bluejay’s call… Other states, other dreams, other rivers, a sudden transport in time. Only a whisper left to wonder in amazement with a scent of jasmine lingering there. Returned, the body first, then the spirit slow, reluctant to be so earth bound.

Of Biped Mutterings And Mumblings

When I was younger, if anyone said, “The Church,” the meaning was The Catholic Church as in, The Holy Roman Church. I wonder if it is the same today. At that time in the past the Church was the primary mode of communication, certainly of news for RCs (Roman Catholics). It was the 50s, and it was the Church which delivered the news through its own filters and dogma. At least that which was disseminated by the local parishes. It was The Church which gave us our social norms, and in turn to some of us, the difficulties leading to an ultimate tearing away from the robes of Catholicism.

Witness the “wait-a-minutes” caused by the the Monsignors of old. Those who spoke from the ornate dais above us during Mass, symbolizing that they too, were above us. Thus the burning and chaffing from the chastity belts of youth:

  • It is wrong to read the comic books with Superman in them. No creature on earth could be greater than God or comparable to Him. “Stop it, child!” A terrible sin in the making. *Gasp* I was not stopped. I did not believe that Super was greater than God. After all, he wasn’t real. He was a creation of both a human being, and God. (An easily assignable hierarchy—from a child.)
  • We should not go to softball games where the men or boys take off their shirts. Ah, to gaze upon that muscularity of sex would certainly lead to longing and desire. (Hadn’t occurred to me.)
  • To question is to doubt. Especially if it is an unanswerable issue of dogma. And yet it was a mind, a God-given mind which led to that train of thought. No room for discussion. That was a real toughie and led to yet more puzzling streams of consciousness. (Did that foster the meaning-assigned fabrication of answers—those not necessarily accurate—or was that an attribution of personality?)
  • The song lyrics, and therefor song—along with others unacceptable for listening—is “Love’s no good unless somebody loves you/ all the way…” I was so naive that I did not understand the intent. For me this went into the realm of the Spirit, not sex. *Sigh* (It took years to catch unto this one.)
  • The best of the least was anything touching upon knowledge or curiosity. A child of the X list for movies and books, my catalogue of forbiddens only increased yearly. This led to a varied and expansive platform for life. (The mind thing again.)

It seems to me I learned the difference between exports and imports of tariffs was not only in the coming and going, but also in who paid the tariff. Incoming tariffs were to be paid by the importer. Ergo, if the U.S. imported, the U.S. paid—not China.

How is it I can drink two vodkas and it’s okay, but it’s not okay to drink two diet colas in succession? The latter would be over indulgence, gluttony.

What puts us at odds with such expressions as “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” is the cognitive bias of others. So, the literal idiot—one whose plans include being a company G.M.—who does not know she cannot accomplish such, has an inability to recognize her lack of ability. She lacks a self-awareness meta-cognition. She belongs to a large group of people who cannot objectively evaluate their own competence or incompetence.

There is not an equal distribution between the knowledge of a quoted line and the author. Many people know “A little learning is a dangerous thing,” but few know that A. Pope wrote it within an essay. Especially when credit is not given to one who is deceased. Think “The center cannot hold,” by Yeats.

I have only recently come to understand the importance of Intention in an action. Not legally, but morally. Although I’ve not thought through how intention might be applied to breaking the law.

TTFN. A lovely expression, or abbreviation, but not an acronym.

Recovery Part Deux

Saturday night was devoted to pain pills and anti inflammatories for both Tula and me. Tula could barely walk and I was just sore, from all of the places I’d bumped and scraped against as I was bobbing down the pier side. I was also wrapped in a heating pad. (They are marvelous things, by the way.) And there was a bit of anxiety traveling through the rooms where we were, considering the lost phone, credit cards, driver license, insurance IDs, etc.

And the kid kept saying there was nothing to worry about—she was sure we were going to be able to rescue all. In the morning—Sunday, she went to the hardware store to get some pole extensions and advice on how to make poles longer, attach nets, grabbers, and so on. She came home loaded with search equipment to put together and a huge roll of duct tape. And off we went to the evil-event pier. I was feeling much better—to everyone’s surprise—and was so able to assist in the search. Poles extended into the water and nets dragged along the bottom.

We did the poling for some time, and then some time more. I pulled against the lake water and poked back and forth. I did that for some more time. The kid netted several things, including a nice rod and reel. But no wallet. She netted for yet some time more. And more. Until the futility quite set in, or had set in some time previously. Even though the found rod and reel had encouraged us to continue hoping.

We then made our way to a cell phone store and purchased a new phone for me. Even if I had or would have gotten my phone back, it could not possibly work. And then we went home to talk about guns and shooting. (seriously)

The kid, as notoriously persistent as her mother, was able to get a hold of a scuba diver who would meet her Tuesday morning at the pier. On Monday we went to our respective homes and workplaces. I drove well within the speed limits along the way, not wanting to get pulled over.

Tuesday morning came and went to great success! Yes indeed, the diver eventually found the wallet but could not recover the dog leash. Regardless, we considered that a wrap. Tula will recover and I have recovered. The wallet arrived on Thursday and my kitchen smells like rotten fish—but the cards dried nicely. Oh, and I continued to walk while balancing on a rolling pier for two days.