Archives for the month of: October, 2008

his fingers
calloused
strong
trace intricate
delicate
designs across my palm
weaving himself
into my life line

– krista

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I have joined an truly amazing group of local artists from nearly every creative discipline – writers, poets, dancers, designers, architects, arts advocates, educators, filmmakers, body workers – for a deeply collaborative project.

The Invisible City aims to explore the ways in which we – as people, as inhabitants – interact with the spaces that we live in. The project is focused on downtown Tucson’s growth, both stunted and rapid. The project is occurring completely in public spaces and we fully welcome participation from everyone and anyone.

Sessions are Fridays from 5-7 p.m. and on Sundays from 2-6 p.m., over the next four weekends and will take place at a wide variety of locations throughout downtown Tucson.

Click here to visit The Invisible City project blog.

Click here for locations and information on how to participate.

Click here to see images and to see video.

Click here to read the work of writers and poets.

At the end of the project, a performance will be held on Sunday, Nov. 16th at 5:30 pm, (Tickets: $10). Location is the top floor of Pennington Street Parking Garage.

I participated in a very fun, unexpectedly challenging, writing exercise yesterday at work. Steph (who is a poet) led the new 110º youth staff in a writing exercise designed to highlight the difference between concrete words/thoughts and abstract words/thoughts. (As readers and listeners, we tend to remember the fine details of a story more than the abstract concepts.)

I like writing, free-writes especially. I like the challenge of facing down a blank page and working through the process of filling the page. I am always surprised at what flows from my head and heart onto the page because it rarely is where I think I’ll end up. It is an interesting experiment that points me toward what issues I need to focus on.

I wanted to share part of the exercise with ya’ll. It was an interesting experience for me…but first, the fun part. Try it! It’s actually quite a bit of fun. (feel free to post your sentences as comments!)

Complete the following sentences using highly descriptive words, based upon personal experience:

Love tastes like…

Fear smells like…

Happiness feels like…

Anger sounds like…

Depression tastes like..

The first one totally stumped me. Love tastes like… I stared at that sentence fragment for the longest time, wanting to think of something red and romantic and sweet and passionate and…well, full of love.

Bitterness. That’s the word that spilled onto the page. Love tastes like bitterness.

Ouch! What kind of hopeless romantic am I…and what the hell does that say about my current thoughts on the subject of Love? I was stumped, totally blocked, so I moved on to the other sentences.

Fear smells like….acrid smoke blown from a cheap cigarette.

Happiness feels like….sun warmed cherry tomatoes eaten straight from the vine with my grandfather on a humid late-summer day.

Anger sounds like….silence.

Depression tastes like….a promising bright orange that, after the effort of peeling, is juice-less and devoid of flavor.

I had to fix that first sentence, so I stared at it…bouncing the words between my head and heart…love…taste…love…flavor…love…taste….

Love tastes like burnt coffee served by truck-stop Margie, who can’t be bothered to remove her cigarette from her lipstick smeared lips….

that’s sad.

Love tastes like olives

I dislike olives. I’ve tried and tried to like them, but my taste buds say “nu-uh!”

Love tastes like printer toner on your fingers after you discover the last person to use to copier left a paper jam for you to solve…

come on, I can’t be this jaded! Try, try harder!…

Love tastes like Aunt Babe’s cheese and onion enchiladas after a day of canoeing down the Illinois River….YES!!! Breakthrough. There is hope for me after all (I do truly love Aunt Babe’s enchiladas)….keep going, yes…

Love tastes like homemade vanilla ice cream on a hot August night….

Love tastes like cheese…blue cheese…brie…gouda…extra sharp cheddar…yum.

Love tastes like a fuzzy summer peach that you have to eat bending over so the juice runs down your chin and onto the grass….

Love tastes like red velvet cake smothered in cream cheese frosting.

Sigh. Crisis averted. Red velvet cake smothered in cream cheese frosting…Red. Sweet. Romantic. Passionate. Ahh, the healing power of words (and food).

I find myself sick, for the second weekend in a row. Apparently last weekend was just a warm-up exercise because this weekend I’ve gone down hard. I don’t even had the benefits of a sexy radio voice. At this moment I am enjoying a hot cup of triple-dose echinacea tea. The tag attached to tea bag is printed with this motivational statement:

Say it straight, simple and with a smile.”

Straight and simple wrapped in a smile. Maybe there is some truth to the old adage that bad news/uncomfortable situations are best delivered/endured with a smile. I have come to realize that I am an absolute pro at smiling my way through the litany of bizarre situations that life tosses my way…much too often, if you ask me. I provide the events of last Wednesday evening as an example. (I would have blogged about this that night, but my good friend Sean’s last words to me that night were “No drunk blogging!” which he cautioned is worse than drunk dialing and/or texting).

Last Wednesday evening I joined a handsome gentleman/local music aficionado and his fish-named-dog for dinner on 4th Ave. I’ve been curious about this particular gentleman since I met him many moons ago and dinner was a chance to actually talk before heading to a cd release party for the awesome local musical group Molehill Orkestrah. Dinner was good and the conversation swell and comfortable. Talk about connection points…it seems that this man and I share some crazy geographical connections – from small Ozark mountain towns to the east San Francisco Bay Area – our life paths have criss-crossed over the same small waypoints. It was fun to reminisce about the stomping grounds of my youth with someone who also stomped on the same lands.

We break after dinner – he to walk his dog home and me to run home to feed The Gertie before meeting him back at Plush for the show. On my way home, I dialed the number of my most recent romance (now defunct). I needed to stop by and pick up my things, having run out of saline solution that morning and having left a full bottle at his place. I didn’t think he’d be home, thought he’d still be working and I could slip in and out with the key that I still had on my key ring. “Yep, I’m home.”…”Is it okay if I stop by to pick up a few things?”….”Umm, sure.” he answers sounding distracted….”You’re positive?”…”Yeah. Sure…yeah.”…”Hey…are you alone?”…”Umm, no.”…”Who’s there?”…he answers with a girl’s name. Without really thinking, I say “Okay. Cool, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”

Obviously, I didn’t listen to that little voice called “Intuition”. In hindsight, that was my clue to just go to Walgreen’s. Shoulda, woulda, coulda…yadda, yadda, yadda.

The next 10 minutes are surreal and uncomfortable. Nothing like being the lone sober person walking into an already-started-party-for-two. So…we do what any normal people do in a situation like this – we make small talk like this is a completely normal every day situation. How-are-you’s? are exchanged while I’m gathering my toiletries. “Hey, I found a shirt of yours while doing laundry.”….”Thanks. I was looking for that this morning.”…”How is work going?”…”Good. Busy.”…I pause and put my things down for a moment. I slip his key off my ring and hold it out for him to take. He stares at it for a moment but makes no move to take it. I place it on his nightstand. “You want your keys back too?”…”Yes, eventually. Your grill is still at my house…”

I remind you, dear reader, that all this is happening with an audience. Yes…”The-return-of-the-key” ceremony had an audience, which is a first for me. I don’t really remember what I said as I departed. I just know that I flew out of there as fast as my wobbly legs would allow. I do remember getting into my car and saying out loud, “What the f*@% was that?!?!” before taking a deep, deep breath to ground myself before heading to Plush for the show (which was lovely, despite the beautiful belly dancer who’s be-charmed waist jingled-jangled two feet away from me and did not necessarily compliment the band’s performance).

My long-time friends know that I often find myself in some rather bizarre situations. All of these friends have agreed that this event has vaulted to the #1 spot. My mom said, “Your life is soooooo interesting!”…which I think she meant in a positive way. My sister just followed my lead and laughed at the absurdity of it all.

Say it straight, simple and with a smile.

If you hang around me long enough, you’ll learn that nothing in my life is straight, nor simple, but I certainly do know how to smile my way through it.