Negativa

Unknown artist.

It felt like jumping off a bridge. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach after finding yourself in free fall. Aware of the physical lack of control that soon permeates into your mind. A mind still using logic and reason to fight off the universe’s tendency toward chaos. Muscles contracting and releasing like an orchestra unaware of itself. Parts moving and shaking in no real rhythm. The mind, terrified at the prospect of losing itself, starts to scold. To fight back with harsh assistances that this cease. By now, the body and mind find a perverted synchronicity within this chaos. When one lets up, the other takes over. Relentless. And then, it’s over. You don’t know how it ended, you’re just grateful that it did. The prospect of ‘next time’ weighs heavily on your mind now. Glad for the peace to rest. Hoping another panic attack doesn’t settle in.

What to know

This is a piece of fiction about a real life problem. I’ve found meditation has helped a lot – especially for those out there without access to a therapist. A friend recommended the Headspace app and it’s been a real help when the mind starts to wander.

Not My President’s Day

Mike Luckovich - Atlanta Journal Constitution

Mike Luckovich – Atlanta Journal Constitution

The silence began with a crash. The earth-shattering rumble resonated with a deep bass first, followed quickly by a sharp pitch so piercing it almost sounded like dying. As soon as the orchestral chaos unfolded, there was nothing left to hear…or perhaps, no one left to hear it. The bright orange swirling fire, surrounded by thick, black smoke, danced to its own silence. Filling the void left behind. The charred hand that reached out touched a landscape altered by the madness. Familiar objects now unrecognizable. The shuffling of debris heard in echos. Speech rendered unless for the mind cannot speak. Stillness. Removing the self from the body in an attempt to grasp what happened.

What is happening?

What to Know

Donate to the ACLU to help protect civil liberties. Our courts are going to have a busy four years (hopefully less).

Repose – Hard Work

Shoes

The bones of my feet ache from the pressure of holding my body up all day.

The arch of each foot throbs as though they’ve been looking for a way to relieve the pressure.

The bones discomfort is contagious. The tiny muscles that wrap around each toe inflame to show their displeasure.

My shoes took their job of securing my feet too seriously. Now, they cling on for dear life; digging into the heels and hanging on tightly to the top of the foot. The stains covering their surface a peek into the work they’ve pushed through.

The trail of steps up to the front door seem endless. The whole drive home, I dreamt of the sweet relief of being upstairs, finally able to remove the bondage of these sneakers. The car ride was brutal on my idle feet, still trapped by the tight control of the canvas that could not leave until the act of being home gave it permission.

The bed a stiff pillow, like a cloud that has swallowed a thousand other clouds. Firm and comforting. To sit on the bed, to feel the first pull into its gravity, a welcome sensation.

The pull of the laces, unlocking their grasp. Grabbing the back block of the shoe and pulling it off each heel. Each foot throbbing with the newfound freedom. Each toe articulating up and down, cracking and stretching.

Laying down fully on the bed, aware of every ache and pain, glad for the relief that was soon to come. Dreaming, dreaming, dreaming.

 

Right?

637661060165

The world is all around you, but all you see is your reflection. Somehow it’s all happening to you and nothing happens for you. You, you, you. Them, them, them. Over there. Not here. Why don’t they get it?

No one gets it. You shouldn’t have to talk about it. Everyone knows what you know, right? Even if you tried, they’d never get it.

Right?

The world is harsh and you have to hold your own. Protect yourself atop the moral high ground. Your morals. Not theirs. Yours are better.

Right?

Unforgiving. That’s what they are. Why should you extend forgiveness? If they’re wrong, what’s the point in forgiving?

Right?

Everyone around you agrees with you. Thank God. The nuts over there don’t make much noise over here. You’re so loud, you can’t hear them anyway. Better this way.

Right?

Then why does it feel so bad?

Blue Door

img_1698

I always have the end in mind.

That blue door out a ways in the distance.

Fisher Price blue. True blue. Blue blue.

Carved wood texture. Paint so rich in color it pops.

You can see it from where ever you are.

Close enough to always be seen, but just far enough away that you can’t be sure of it’s details. What it really looks like. What it really is.

Just that it’s there. Always present.

The uncertainty of what it is and where it leads always clouding present experiences.

Who am I talking to now? What are they saying?

The door. That blue door.

Curved brass handle, like someone practicing cursive.

Or so it seems from here.

A brass latch just beneath the top of the curve. One press of the index finger would do it.

Would tip the seesaw and unlatch the barrier between here and there.

But I’m not close enough yet.

It’s still elusive. Too far away to understand what it is and where it leads.

The curiosity of it too overwhelming sometimes.

What to know

Art project! Submissions welcome! I’ve never actually seen the door that I wrote about If anyone out there has an artistic rendering of the Blue Door they’d like to submit – send it to me by way of mecobbblog@gmail.com and I may feature it here.

Advice on Puppyhood

fullsizerender-8

You’re new here. There’s a lot you’re gonna need to know. Good thing is, you’ve got the best people around. Remember, they chose you. They had the pick of the litter, and you’re the one they came home with. Rest assured that you’re gonna make mistakes, but that’s what happens when you’re a puppy. Don’t take anything too seriously, and know that mistakes happen so that you can learn from them. I’m here to help you with the in and outs of Puppyhood.

fullsizerender-7

sammichlubath

Puppy hygiene is something you’ve probably never thought of. It’s not enough to just romp in the rain, or get your face wet when you’re drinking out of a big dog bowl of water. No, your people expect a certainly level of cleanliness from you. Now, this is not in your nature, so you’ll probably find a lot of what they do unpleasant. The thing to remember is that change is good, and once you’re dry being clean is THE BEST. The grown ups are gonna wanna cuddle with you and they’ll even think about letting you sleep on the bed now.

sammichandlu

sammich

Here’s the hard part; pedicures. No, this doesn’t mean you’ll get pet over and over again like you dreamed during nap time today. Pedicures are freaky. Your puppy nails are almost as sharp as your puppy teeth and they’ll keep growing if you let ’em. Problem is, hardwood floors are gonna be impossible. The only option you have is to accept any and all treats while your person starts clipping away. It’s a weird sensation…like the crack of a small bone but without the pain. Who can stay still during all that? You! Because you must. If you move, there will be a lot of blood and even though you’ll be ok, it’ll freak your people out and they’ll take you to the puppy doc.

sammichonherback

Remember, your people are here to help you succeed. Be still when they ask and kiss their face any time you see the opportunity.

fullsizerender-9

What to Know

Sammich the Beagle is the best, worst dog on the planet. She makes a lot of mistakes and learns a lot of lessons.

Circus – Women in Film

707937106405

She was in the makeup chair all morning. There was a 7am call time which was particularly difficult for her. She was cranky in the mornings. She was always short with people until after her first cup of coffee. Having an early call time was more daunting the night before. Like Christmas, she found she didn’t have a problem getting up so early at all. Booking acting gigs came few and far between these days so the prospect of getting up early to go act all day seemed like a good one.

Make up and hair trailer first. This was her favorite part of the morning; getting to sit in a chair while professionals do their very best to make you as attractive as possible. She tried to ignore the fact that it took all morning to make her look so good. In that chair, she caught up on all the set gossip….who yelled at who and was about to get fired, who was hooking up, who was shorter than they thought he’d be. On set, everyone operated on a hierarchy. Professionalism was key. In the make up trailer, though, everyone was down to earth and without pretensions. If she had to start ‘doing’ mornings, she wished they could always start like this.

She came prepared to set. Lines fully memorized. Consistency in delivery. She’d done this before and she was determined to let everyone know they hired the right girl for the role. She loved acting, but at the end of the fourteen hour day, she couldn’t say she felt proud. She played a slutty girl. Again. These seemed to be the only roles available for women; the Madonnas or the whores. She used her studio education and tried to bring more depth to the character, but ultimately, it wouldn’t matter. The editor would make sure she was as one-dimensional as possible.

She hated playing caricatures of women. She wished for parts that were complex and didn’t lead with sexuality or taking care of a family. She was starting to internalize these stereotypes. Playing these parts well made her feel like she was losing her own complexity. Maybe someday down the line, she’ll finally get around to writing the roles she’s always wanted to play rather than waiting for someone else to do it.

Concrete Jungle

885285718365

The city landscape gave way to the puzzle of buildings stacking up block by block. The familiar rays of the sun shine less bright, having to fight crevasses to break through. Rain drops seem to love the challenge and come down in torrents when they’re ready. The wind whips up in the urban tunnels. The city of dreams and the city of lost souls. ‘If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.’ For those seeking discovery, this urban maze becomes whatever challenge you least expected. Highs as tall as these buildings, and lows further beneath the surface than the subway tunnels. The hard concrete a clue into the struggle it takes to survive here. The majesty of her architecture a symbol of what inspiration can do when met with struggle and opportunity. People packed into subway cars, buildings, city streets and never meeting. On their way to something they should have taken care of yesterday. The only thing that does stand out here are the eyes of the novice. The overwhelmed girl trusting a bit too much in the sincerity of others. “You’re so nice” they say. “Just wait until you’ve been here long enough.”

img_0086 img_0085 756938227765 718174021545 653549155295 653549055495  637296251245 636104344835

The Hills

The HillIt’s almost impossible to envision these hills on fire more than 24 years ago. Sitting exposed to the burning heat of the Northern California sun, a calming effect. A welcome burn. The columns of cyprus tress stand tall; a trifecta of green reaching for the clear warm sky. A sky that seems close enough to touch from high atop this Oakland Hill. The tropical green leaves of the lemon and grapefruit trees seem yellow as the sun pairs with the gentle breeze to enliven their dance.

The carefully placed earthen rocks weave a parameter around the rosemary and mulberry bushes. Dry. Thirsting for water to bring their majesty into full display. The dirt paths that carpet this outdoor oasis, leading you up to the wooden, weathered bench that sits atop the hill – it’s perch.

The squawks of the blue jays demanding their presence be known, lead your eyes up to the almost cloud-less sky, just in time to catch the golden red tail of the resident hawk riding the wave of the breeze up, up, up…approaching the heavens.

The sparkling lights of the city below reflect the flashing movement of the cars – specks – like shooting stars. The thick, low-billowing cloud of smoke below evaporating into thickened air as a fire burns in the distance. At peace in this space. Damaged and reborn.