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Chameleon: An Interactive ExplorationPart VI -- Reminiscing Anecdotally
-- Clarence Shepard Day, Jr., once-reknowned author, poet, artist, and outspoken supporter of women's rights
"My love for you is like the ocean: vast, volatile, and potentially deadly."
"The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so."
"For you shall go out in joy/ and be led back in peace./ the mountains and hills before you/ shall burst into song./ and all the trees of the field shall/ clap their hands."
"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you."
I, A Woman
Prelude (Abbreviated Synopsis of the Synopsis of Technology and Me) -- Strophe -- Growing Up Rich (To The Manner/Manor Born) -- Manhattan! -- Music and Hippiedom -- Settling Down and Yuppiedom -- Technology and Careerism -- Wilderness Basics (Beasts and Heathens Part 1) -- Art and the Internet (Beasts and Heathens Part 2) -- Epic Coitus Interruptus -- Town/Community Life -- Frivolities -- Beasts and Heathens (Finale) -- Recoveries -- Reprise -- Joie Plaisir Eibr -- NOW (New Original Word)
II. 2008/13 -- Legionnaires: Marvel & Myth"... peeps and perps..."
Despite the 2008 market meltdown, I found myself pre-stroke with a reasonably comfortable semi-retirement income, generously excellent credit, and -- mostly thanks to a somewhat surprise late-2009 legacy from our WWII-USAF disabled veteran Freemason father to me, my California-resident half-sister (who related that their mother divorced our father as being too "boringly good") and half-brother -- supplemental funds for leisuretime adventures, and emergency expenditures. And an adored Jonesborough Tennessee-based non-profit Mountain Empire arts and culture promotional corporation, intriguingly monumental website and stylistically varied artworks. And a groovily-pleasant and amenities-convenient residence and plentifully diverse new to antique artsy-craftsy home furnishings. And an animated catform we named "!Lilliput Jobo!" -- nickname "Lily"Overall peri-stroke, the absence of effectively selfless empathy and essential assistance exhibited by a surprising few -- professional to personal -- is sadly memorable and unmentionably scurrilous for public detail but widely-known inevitably in private discourse, and near-lethally painful and malfunctionally-rippling consequence. Thankfully, there have been, throughout, equally surprising Shining Lights of enlivening individuals and enlightening happenstance.
Junior, an entertainingly in-transition erstwhile neighbor in need of pickup work, cooked and delivered hearty meals for me post-release from rehab hospital. My favorites any time of day were succulently-prepared and invitingly-displayed eggs sunnyside up, fried sliced potatoes and onions, biscuits and gravy. He drove me on request to the local grocery and got me safely into and around in a motorized cart there for shopping on my own, fresh air, and town interactions along the way.We also enjoyed Main Street Music on the Square performances, restaurant specialties, and vendor fare.
With others one evening, we dined to Lightnin' Charlie's music and tales at now-relocated Cranberry Thistle's cabaret cafe' and one impromptu day rode the back way toward Erwin's rolling-to-craggy mountain range, choosing an unfamiliar two-lane headed toward a summit. With no turnoffs it turned out, as we checked the gas gauge, until the "Welcome to North Carolina" sign at the crest -- a few miles from the nearest occcupied and commerced town.
___ Other pleasant days we drove narrow river-lined roads around his nearby backcountry childhood homeplace, stopping to chat briefly with several of his relatives and friends remaining there. Junior had traveled with one to post-Katrina Louisiana where they'd got "up close and personal" with flooded swamps and alligators, and "fast money" to throw around.
Junior's Jonesborough-native family of 15 brothers and sisters by one father and his first and second wives include a locally popular country musician who performs on guitar and sings the regional circuit with a long-time male companion.
Junior did all the "housekeeping" here, immaculately and affordably, including laundry washed and folded, which he wafted by my nose to appreciate the subtle scents he added happily. A resourceful repair person, he unclogged sinks and retrofitted appliances on the blink also. His expression of barely-submerged terror at my suggestion that he accompany a test drive for visually-impaired me in a deserted parking lot deserves a special place in memory. He never found an appropriate venue.
My female professional homecare therapists and personal assistants became caringly good friends too amongst whom we shared jokes, witty quips and instructive-to-interesting tales amidst necessary exercises and oblations. Laurie donated on an insistent unscheduled visit her "home brew" remedies of chicken soups, crackers, OTC medicines and gingerale on the occasion of one seasonal "cold."
For a quick vacation teen neighbor Angel, baby Lisa Marie, Yvonne and I stayed a night at closeby AmericaInn to avail ourselves of their jacuzzis, group-sized hot tub and heated pool. We ordered pizza delivered and provided our own "distilled spirits," finger-foods and spontaneous entertainment. There is no sweeter enchantment than awakening beside a blissy infant. A "shot of (breast-fed) Lisa" cured the blues, nearly all agreed.
I knew for sure that Lisa Marie and I are soul-mates when she threw up all over the counters at Walmart during the frantically-crowded holiday season and I provided her with distinctively celebratory ethnic clothing instead from Janet Browning's import emporium ('Hands Around The World').
Alone, on three occasions I stumbled, lost my balance, fell to the floor, crawled to the nearest steady appurtenance for grabbing to elevate my still partially-paralyzed body into upright functioning. Another time, I soft-landed into the bathtub to await corrective company while ever-watchfully concerned Lilliput The Catform comforted me helplessly and encouragingly. Throughout these challengingly frightening times, I reminded myself that my great-aunt, NJ's Mary Elizabeth Harris, swam to the top of a New England hurricane-induced tidal wave to survive and become one of the two first successful businesswomen on Wall Street. The other was her sister. Their Freemason brother out in Denver "read for the bar" and invested his energies and expertise also in copper mining ventures. Copper became the family "gold."
Left to my own devices and with Lily sitting inquisitively intent guard duty at the doorway, we faced weekly the dauntingly exhausting -- and dubiously efficacious -- task of self-bathing via "sponge baths" and side-saddle shampoos, followed by spatially disjointed dressing routines. I am blessed now with a sturdily comfortable bathtub seat for resumed regular homecare showering again.
Retired neighbor Margaret, who was bored with life post-employment and now cares daily for her very active toddler great-grandson while the mother works, visits chattily to catch up on news and views. A younger neighbor shares regularly colorfully arty hardcover magazines I treasure. Another provides regular cyberworld assistance. In exchange, I offer mounted collages and book loans.
Scottie (who wanted me to ride around on his motorcycle! noooo-oo, I don't think so ;), another in-transition source of humorous company and essential homecare assistance along with his newish female companion, is also a native Franklinite. Like many, she is predominantly of Cherokee heritage by blood. His now-elderly father is called to walk the streets telling spontaneous Jesus stories from the Bible to receptive passersby. An uncle has been a major World War II-era builder and developer. Scottie's high school sweetheart recently died of complications from childhood diabetes leaving her bereftly disconsolate widower to raise two tween daughters on his own. Unfortunately, in a too-common instance of these times' familial failings and financial exigencies, Scottie stole large sums from my bank accounts by debit fraud and forgeries that I was able to get reimbursed because he told me, weepingly, what he'd done immediately so I could file timely necessary forms for repayment.
The collateral damage from multiplicitous forged checks included exponentially compounded and exorbitant bank overdraft fees, dangerously exaggerated post-stroke stress-related physical disabilities, inconvenience to assistive and also over-burdened neighbors, and unanticipated malfunctions in my autopays of essential utilities -- all of which necessitated ameliorative correction as quickly as possible. At several times, I had no accounts on which checks could be written, although funds were there, as the banks blocked access unilaterally in an expansive financial freakout. The caringly concerned Risk Assesment Manager at my favorite locally-owned and -operated bank insisted I switch financial institutions for transactions that had become nightmareish to her also. My credit accounts had become inoperable somewhat simultaneously for similar reasons.
The first spate of forgeries totaled around $4,000; the second hailstorm (hell-storm) well over $8,000, only half bank-reimbursed. Later, I joked with friends that I'd not realized I was well enough off to be grand-larcened so often and to such an extent. Enter the entertainingly cordial individual I reference as ACR, Inc.'s "Angel Investor," whose family also owns some of my traditional-media artwork.
Throughout the marauding monetary and material maelstrom, ACR content updates from Christmas 2010 (assembled and coded in-hospital primarily) to the current 2012/13 installation online continued with cooperatively encouraging input from its present consortium of participants and pan-planet contributors.
___ Rebecca accompanied a functionally-distraught me into the two local banks affected adversely to assist in explanatory conversations I find tediously difficult due to stroke-related speech/throat impediments. Thankfully, their investigators approved full reimbursements and cordially polite Jonesborough police, and soon thereafter Tennessee Adult Protective Services, took charge.
Prior to their arrangement of my receiving delightfully designed and sweetly delivered --including members' fresh seasonal flowers and fruits --five-day-a-week Jonesborough Senior Center Meal-On-Wheels, I sampled monthly the array of healthy frozen microwave market meals, most of which are surprisingly and tastily, and affordably, excellent. And quickly easy to "prepare." Kinda predictably, a favorite brand is Boston Market. And Marie Callender.
I have still my stock of Assorted Emergency Apocalypse Dried Beans stored inside the covered enamel pot of the antique wooden potty chair in the Museum of the Butler's Panty off the kitchen. There's a dizzying display of other dried and canned foods secreted within the cabinetry also for that oft-forecast day. And jugs of clean water.
To distract my attention healthily and productively, and inexpensively, from what I term to be post-operative fibromyalgia nerve-pain, I intently and delightedly have discovered possibilities and opportunities in digital folk art "paintings" created with Windows Paint graphic software, which I've taught exploratory tricks it didn't know that it knew or could do. Disabled, this has the advantage over acrylics and other traditional media of being clean and requiring no special clothing or aftercare pickup.
2010 -- Tanasi: The Spirit of Freedom
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"Home -- that blessed word, which opens to the human heart the most perfect glimpse of Heaven."
-- Lydia M. Child (1802-1880), abolishionist, activitist, novelist, journalist, and poet who wrote extensively on justice issues for Native Americans, African Americans, and women
"Our life is frittered away by detail.... Simplify, simplify."
Meditations/prayers from Silent Unity's 2008 On Sacred Ground calendar:
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