Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Writing. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Living Free

You can make excuses for how to live or you can live.

I choose to live. It's often people disagree with my choice and quite often I remind them that it's not theirs to make. 

I wanted to be angry, last month or the month before that, when an old friend tells me that I'm imprisoned and literally the only way out is to write. It's amusing because I do write, but it's not freedom according to him, because it's everything I don't want to write. Yet I am writing so I must be free. 

We claim to be free but are we? 

I know my friend thinks he is right and I'm not free. 

"So, it's easy... just write a way out." he says. 

This is out. This is freedom. Why doesn't it feel liberating to do as he demands?

Nothing you force yourself to do is freedom. 

Freedom is an illusion. 

Yet everyone loves an illusion. 

It’s an illusion that my friend has in their mind thinking about how or why I am doing or rather not doing. 

It’s not silence or guilt... it is living, just simply living, that has created this impasse between writing what it is necessary as opposed to what I want. It isn’t a prison but I am not free in the way that his illusion needs me to be. 

Use your mind not your reaction and you’ll see there is nothing more than your imagination that you’ve let run wild.

This is something I wrote about pointing fingers...

Do you live your life or focus on how others live theirs? 


Kisses, m.


He says this word pointing his finger telling me where and when it needs to change without using any other words. 
I like when he uses words. But he’s not using them this time. 
No explanation. No request made. 
This time I’m supposed to know what’s happening with the shift of his wrist. 
One finger pointed at me. Three pointed back at him. 
All three fingers are telling him what he wants to tell me. 
I wish he would simply tell me. Ask me. Treat me like a person who he said he once cared for. 
I don’t like this. This is like walking in the dark where these actions we make aren’t any clearer. 

 He says when I tell him I can’t see any clearer than before.
Before all this when I said something to him and no one else. 
No one that mattered when I said those words for only him. They still won’t matter if I tell him again. 
Because he won’t hear my words and everyone who isn’t him can still hear them. 
They’ll listen. They’ll hear all the things he’ll never take in because he’s afraid.
And he'll use my words for him against me because he’s afraid and wants to hurt me.
Hurt and facing those who think my words are without logic.
It isn’t about them. It isn’t clearer. 

He says softly before lowering his hand.
I listen and wait for his words that have yet to come. 
Knowing full well if there’s a chance, I continue to listen.
I listen and hope that they don’t mistake their words for his and my words for them. 
Words aren’t as powerful as his actions. 
Actions that calmly tell me all I need to know before he says it once more quietly.


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Say Something

You say it best when you say nothing at all... Actions are quite often the best way to make a statement. Sometimes our actions aren't saying anything at all though. Sometimes I don't charge my phone or reply to that text before falling asleep. It’s careless but not intended to mean anything. Other times I'm really overbooked and have to cancel plans or forget to cancel plans. It’s not saying anything other than I’m probably not planning my day better when it happens. How about you? 

It's been a while for design and writing although it was not meant to be. I'd never put much energy into the timing of sharing stories or worrying about the mental health of anyone that read or interpreted my work but this year definitely had me pause before posting. Even the thought of Dream Homes or interior design this year seemed quite insensitive when so many are struggling to make their rent or mortgage.  Being aware of other people and the world changes one's perspective.. So while I wanted to share some writing, I felt the timing was not right. 

Anyhoo... this is for those people that feel I needed to say something. It's not what I wanted to share with you but it is new...

Do every one of your actions say something?

Kisses, m. 


Say Something


“Why is that people always want creatives to be saying something? Or their work must instantly be controversial?” 

When I say it, I know it was the wrong thing to say, because the young reporter instantly looks like she wants to jump back inside of her skin to hide. Her face turns sour followed by a long pause of silence that gets awkward about fifteen seconds in. Folding my hands, I offer her a lifeline. 

“Suzy, let’s move on, I’m working on a story about a…”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to strike a chord with the great D. Randall … but let’s stay with this. Is it okay if I call you D. or do you prefer Darlin?" 

"Darlin is fine but you'll still call me D." I say with a laugh as she nods but continues on scribbling shorthand notes as if she wasn't really asking so much as telling. With bit of snark I continue, “All acquaintances, fans and journalists call me D., even after I tell them to call me Darlin.”

"Uh-huh,” she’s mostly ignored what I’ve said and puts her pen down, “Now let's continue," she smiles, adjusts her recorder and pauses before starting in again, "Isn’t the juxtaposition of your characters in Leaf + Tree saying something about…?” 

“Look, it’s just a story. It’s lightness. I’m a writer and… I’m trying to keep my work light. I’ve moved away from…” I can feel myself getting nervous and starting to be defensive. 

“The darkness.” She finishes my sentence. “I read the transcript of the unreleased podcast piece for Marigolds and Make Believe with Shosh you did a few months ago before you released Leaf + Tree.”

“How did you…?” 

“Get it? Shosh is a friend from school. I chatted with him and he wouldn’t let me hear it, but… anyway this is how I started the piece on you. I was intrigued about your departure from the darker elements in your writing and the Great Pause.”

I exhale a deep breath to keep from laughing because she’s half lying about Shosh. He has a decade plus on her and she was his former student. I only took the interview because she’s his current sidepiece and I owe him a favor. 

“Actually, I was going to say: How did you like it?” I’m more concerned that she’s about to start questioning my absence than her lying. Since the release of Leaf + Tree, every journalist segues into asking about my hiatus from writing. This so-called Great Pause as the fans labeled it, as if it was a performative piece making a silent statement about the current state of the world. When it’s nothing like that it all. I didn’t even pause; I just didn’t give myself to the world. I still wrote and there was still darkness. However, the fans, they took it as a great sign that I was symbolically protesting civil unrest in the world and used it as a platform for their movement. 

“Can you comment on the social impact of your Great Pause or… let me guess, you weren’t saying anything at all?” 

“I truly am moved by it, but I can’t speak to the impact of my absence. Leaf + Tree has been out for a few months now so I’m no longer on pause. What do you make of the consequences of my hiatus?” 

“Are you really going to treat me the same as every other journalist? How can you say something significant in your work and backpedal your actions? Your last work, Days//Ages was about the power of stillness in the connection of society. What is the explanation for the parallels and timing of your hiatus?”

“Do you think you are special because you know Shosh? Did he tell you what happened? Let me guess… he didn’t. What do you think this so-called Great Pause really symbolizes?”

“I can only guess its significance is explained through the controversial nature of the sub-plot that binds your characters in Leaf +Tree. It further builds upon the theme in your last book and speaks to the very nature of humanity, our collective identity and how people relate to each other.”

“Hahaha,” I can’t stop myself from laughing at her. “Shosh redacted parts of the transcript, didn’t he? You thought you’d uncover this great truth by coming here for an interview.”

“You’re just going to blow smoke and try to pretend you aren’t saying something. It’s pure spinelessness to pretend you… I’m proud to read your work because it stands for something.”

“Fuck Days//Ages. Fuck Leaf + Tree. Take them off the table for a moment.”

"Is FUCK off the record or on the record?” 

“You decide what you want to say when we’re done. Now get Shosh on the phone. On speaker.”

I get up, walk to the window, and open it. Next to the window seat, Shosh left me a package of CBD gummies. I sit and eat one. 

 “Shosh is on the line,” she waves her phone from across the room. 

“Shosh, can you hear me?” I raise my voice but not enough to yell.

“Yes, Darlin! Go ahead.” 

“Tell her about the Great Pause the same way I told you.”

“Are you sure?” I can hear the anxiousness in his voice. 

“Go ahead; you can even play her the podcast when she gets back to your place.”

“Suzy, I love you and we can talk about this when you come by later.” He hesitates but continues gently, “Suzy, there was no pause or silence. She has work but it’s been released under a pseudonym.” 

After he says it, she’s quiet. Slowly her face pales and twists in thought, but she remains still. 

“Thanks, Shosh!” I say to break the silence. 

“I’ll catch up with you later Darlin!” Shosh hollers and then laughs as he hangs up. 

“But I stopped recording!” she wails and pauses. After a few moments, she composes herself and quietly continues, “D., I just wanted the truth.”

“I get that. Oh, but now, you have the truth. All creatives create your so-called controversy.” 

“I don’t understand. You’re a phony! A fraud!” 

“Actually, you see, fans like you, perpetuated this legend of silence, this make-believe performative piece and iconic debate because you needed something to stand on to support your reason for pursuing social action. I didn’t create it, I just went along with it, instead of working under my name. You have to understand, being a reclusive voice of great social impact happens to sell a lot of books.”

“You don’t care.”  

“I do care. I think I cared too much. Or I would have ended this sooner.” I scold her. As I watch her eyes fill with tears, I calm my voice. “I am glad my work speaks to so many, affects and inspires people to live louder and stronger but I’m just a writer. Sometimes I’m not saying anything at all. Sometimes I am.” 

“Now what do I do? What’s the plan?” She bawls and looks like the fragile late 20-something woman that she is, rather than the confident journalist trying to be Woodward and Bernstein, like she saw Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford playing on the silver screen.

“Well, you can go ahead, publish the truth destroying this mass delusion and ruin the social movement built around my hiatus or, like my friend Shosh, refrain from saying something. Now, do you want to say something?”



Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Hiatus. Taking a break or pressing pause on one part of your life means you are on hiatus. Once I forced myself to take a year off from blogging but did not stop writing, photographing or drawing. There is probably still more unpublished work in that year than anything I had written prior.

Currently, I am still creative but I have put blogging on pause and intermittently been using social media. It has been a long unplanned pause. It definitely was unplanned. Let us get this in the open: I did not take a break, hit pause or go on hiatus for mental or physical health issues. I am all right and did not step back intentionally. However, my life required that I prioritize my daily responsibilities differently to deal with circumstances beyond my control.

This has kept me away from friends, sometimes checking in with friends and oh, so many things I was accustomed to being a part of my routine. I take many blessings for granted that I am involved with and there are many people that I miss seeing. Sometimes you have to accept that the universe has other plans and let it all happen… so I let go and paused. There was no force, it was just quiet and felt completely natural to focus on other things.

This has all been weird because it is hard to be restrictive with my life. Typically, I am transparent with myself; I reach out, pester and cannot help myself when it comes to people in my life.

Tbh, I cannot say I will or will not be posting regularly again, but I am not on a hiatus and the plan is just to go with the flow. It has been very Zen. Highly recommend taking breaks from all the unnecessary things you think you need to do. 

Do you ever take social media breaks? On purpose? Here is an old story that is a bit dark from the D Men about a person that wanted to get away from his life and someone gave him exactly what he wanted. 



Kisses, m.




Jackson Slater you’re an irrelevant bastard. You are going straight to hell. And no one will notice you’re gone.” says Haller Thomson.

Those are the final words Haller has chosen before we leave the shore. I keep telling myself this isn’t happening but that doesn’t change the circumstances at all. I can’t quite place the location of the boat with my eyes blindfolded. But north of the docks is as good as any guess.

What you have to understand is that I pretty much deserve to be in this position. A position that I created for myself. Although I wouldn’t have admitted it before now. Which is about 15 minutes after I should have admitted it.

I wasn’t particularly a great man or a man of character. On the whole I was a terribly shallow man with a talent for avoiding the obvious. Avoiding was a brilliant art that I mastered; especially when it came to people.  People can be so incredibly co-dependent that you might say avoiding them helps them. One might say I wrote the chapter on avoidance and I would have corrected them by handing them an autographed copy of the book.

My own sense of vanity ran deeper than any river. The great Jackson Slater renowned for his looks. And I was. My personal routine involved several hours a day before many mirrors in a grooming ritual that would make a cat’s look amateur. For the most part I had lived my entire life pretending that nothing was happening around me. I hadn’t worried about such things.

And I couldn’t be more wrong. There was plenty happening all around me, I just didn’t care about it. Besides everything went away if you threw enough money at the problem.  And if it didn’t, ignoring it often worked for me.

Jackson, I want you to know this isn’t about the money. It’s a matter of my word. My integrity. I promised to come through on my end of things.” Haller tells me softly as the boat shimmies a little faster.

Unlike most people I was hardly the kind of fellow to be drawn in. As a matter of my own personal character I felt it was my duty to be exactly the opposite. I’m the type of man who would fervently deny that a building was on fire to save myself the trouble of becoming involved. It meant caring and that would not do. People want a piece of you and then that is one less piece you have for yourself.

And lack of involvement is exactly where I find myself this windy April evening.  Somewhere in the bay I’m free of the mask and looking at the man…

Haller Thomson came into my life exactly the same way a freight train mows down your car when the engine stalls on the tracks. With the fury of an uncontainable beast, Haller came forth. And it wasn’t something I could have seen coming before it happened. It wasn’t money that he was after when he came. It was so much more.

A man with an offer only a shallow man wouldn’t refuse…

If you help me, I will help you. Give a little of this for a little of that. And I went along for it. Including the part where I had planned to double-cross the man. Because I only thought of what he could offer me.  

Except it never works out the way we plan.

Plan? I bet the great Jackson Slater wants to know. Don’t you? Well, Jack I don’t have a plan. Except for tying you up and gagging you. That. That’s a plan. Don’t struggle. We’re almost there.”

Haller wanted someone to help with a situation. It was a matter of vanity; as any man can attest to his own level of vanity. Haller was a bit different. He was concerned and wanted no more than a bit of help becoming more involved with others despite his own shortcomings.

You see, Haller wasn’t a good looking man. In fact, you might call him unattractive after he’s left the room. And for what it’s worth, I thought I did him a favor after I pocketed most of his money. At the time I thought there was nothing I could have done to draw flies to that level of hideous. But I did what I thought worked best… for me.

Haller took a new name, a new lifestyle, and a new set of bills thanks to me. He lived and breathed my routine of shallow and I gladly introduced him to the right people at the right places. And with a little less than luck he fell right into it. Haller took to it like a fish takes to toxic waste waters and grows a third eye. It wasn’t a gradual mutation either. Overnight there was a new fresh uninvolved man and it wasn’t me.

Haller began to see me, the great Jackson Slater as direct competition to his new persona. A person with an agenda that no longer matched his own. You have to wonder where the struggle began. Exactly right after he decided that he could do it without me. And for a lot cheaper. Once he realized I was taking him for a pretty penny, Haller Thomson decided that it was time to fulfill his end of things.

An eye for an eye.

And what was my request? I was tired of all that was happening around me. I wanted to escape from all of it; being Jackson Slater with the people, their nonsense, and their involvement. I simply asked this man to help to put me in a place where I would never have to deal with these kinds of situations ever again. And now much to my dismay, Haller is holding up his end of the arrangement.

Jackson, it’s been fun. Now… get off my boat.” With the bottom of his boot, Haller shoves me out into the dark water. Despite what I expect, I don’t sink. As his tiny boat moves away from me, I watch without control as the cold water splashes against me.

This isn’t exactly the escape I’d hope for but I didn’t specify when I asked. I only wanted out.

Now I am.

Completely out. Out to sea. Adrift. Letting the waves wash over me.

Careful what you ask for. Even now as I sink slowly and my eyes watch the emergency buoy float further away from me I know that pretending that nothing else exists will be the thing that seals my fate. Because not one person will notice. I was so busy avoiding it all that it wouldn’t make any difference.

Monday, November 4, 2019


You are the only one responsible for your healing because you are the only one who can heal you. People can help but ultimately you are the band-aid for your feelings & capable of healing your body, soul and mind. Much like bandages giving support and protecting your wound to keep out things to harm it is your job to keep yourself safe so your emotional state can heal. Take care of yourself dolls and kens. Here’s a old story...

Do you place healing in your own self? 


Kisses, m.



Trust your heart.” He tells me. “Your eyes won’t always see the truth.” 

There are times when people may seem friendly but they threaten all you hold dear. But he wasn’t one of them. From the moment we met he has been the best teacher I’ve known. His heart was open to mine without expectations or worry of what I should be. 

Tonight as he inists that I do not owe him my heart, the rain pounds outside the windows and winds shake the trees reminding me of how we met…

A dark rainy evening brought me into his company.  Escaping the pain of another, I was making my way through a rainstorm. His bookstore had a light on, so I entered without hesitation. The rain masked my tears as I collected myself in the entry. He was in the back of the shop with another customer watching me shake the rain from my stockings and pull back my hair. I could see his pale blue eyes from where I stood and they were watching me. His stare wasn’t unpleasant or harsh. It was greeted with a smile before turning back to his business.  I could hear him give his pleasantries and turn back toward me. As he moved, it was as if time stopped as he walked toward me. My heart knew then before I did that I was in love with this man.  

Several special book orders later, he became my teacher giving me fiction I’d never heard of. Voraciously my appetite for knowledge was eager for more. Often I worried my hunger for more was too much for him but always he obliged my requests without question. Eventually he curiously asked to know of the hole in my heart that left me hungry.  When I told him of my wounded heart, the man that lied and left me empty, he shared his wisdom and past. Months grew to years as these things do and his words led to his hands that slowly did their work to mend my mind and soon enough my heart. 

Times are hardest when you don’t know what to trust. My heart nearly whole by his healing hands and soul wants to belong to him, but there’s hesitation. It’s when I find myself doubtful that he tells me… “Trust your heart, my love” and I know with certainty that he already has mine.


Saturday, July 20, 2019


There are lines you say because you are trying to say what is right according to everyone and the rules of society around you. Then of course, there is "the line" which is the thing you always wanted to say or do and it's the most authentic thing because you sincerely mean it, even if it's just something cheesy you say to break the ice. There's a lot of things people don't say when they get the chance. Someone asks me why? I don't know.  Human nature is really an interesting thing.

A quick digression...  I heard a story many years ago about a man that spent many years almost saying something to a woman he adored, but he would back out every time it would look as though he might. The man was someone rarely at a loss for words, yet he would get tongue tied and walk away. I'm not sure what he was afraid of. But I always wondered if he'd say the words. In my imagination she adored the man and felt the same so just maybe he'd say how he felt. Well when I began this idea, it started very differently and remained unwritten for quite a while... until now.

Yes, I've been writing and editing again, in character, which is really crazy & fun because there is a lot of light-hearted in addition to a lot of darkness. I'd like to release some books this summer and more this year. Maybe even this one, it's from Unwritten...

Kisses, m.

“You are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen,” he says. After waiting nearly an hour from across the midsummer garden, he managed the courage to approach me.

With a smile and giggle, I nod encouraging him to speak but he seems discouraged.

“That didn’t work, did it?” Putting his head down, he starts to leave.

“Oh, but it did. You have my attention." I smile and reach for him to stay.

“You have no idea how long I've wanted to say that to you.”

“Really. Were you were afraid?”

“Yes, I was afraid.”

“Afraid of me? Or what I might say?”

“Afraid of us and what we could become. Or that you’d laugh at me because you’d think it was just a line to get to you.”

“I did laugh. What does it matter if I think it is a line? Maybe I do.”

“You think I’m being insincere.”

“That’s not what I said. There is nothing wrong with telling a girl a line. It's as though you are knocking on her door or calling on the phone.”

Leaning in, he curiously asks, “Well, are you inviting me in? Or taking my call?”

Whispering in his ear, “I haven’t hung up or sent you away. Sit with me.” I motion him to sit with me on a bench.

“You’ve given me more than I could have expected.” He says blissfully as he sits next to me.

“Is this how you hoped it would go?”

“I couldn’t hope. To have any would have been to assume there was a possibility. I could only dream of such a thing.”

“To dream of possibility can be risky...” I wink and touch his hand.

Touching my hand back, he looks into my eyes and pauses before starting again. “The only danger in my dreams was that you might break my heart. These dreams I have are filled with a world where your eyes are the stars that guide me through the darkness and the people worship nightly when they twinkle.”

"My devoted admirer, you must be careful of placing me on a pedestal too high. You may never be able to reach me."

“You have my heart and you are my stars. I’ll find a way to reach you; Learn how to fly to be with you. What do you say?”

“Stay, I’ve always felt the same about you. Please tell me more.”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Love Songs

Writing love based things seems so far removed from who and where I currently am... although I’m sure that there’s more in me. I’m currently writing something new and quite dark between editing. It’s been a minute but from what I recall, relationships are tricky things.

I love to see love and do my best to avoid seeing cheap imitations of it, as opposed to wishing it could be unseen. I’m happy for my favorite kens & dolls who are involved as much as when I’m involved. Typically I’m very protective of love affairs because it takes a small amount of interference to break things apart. Quite possibly there’s always a different plan for your life if you don’t end up with a certain person... there are other things to focus on that may lead you to the right person, if you let it happen. 

Do you ever assume your story or a chapter in your life is over when ends up different than you imagined? It’s a foreign concept because it’s not something I ever pondered. It would require never moving on to learn or have new experiences. To me, life is Unwritten... Which is oddly enough the title of my next series/book. 

Its been a couple years and I still don’t miss the musicians but I do miss my friends, the music & finding more time to create with words... so I wrote something about sharing those songs we love. 

Kisses, m. 

The Mixtape 

Click, wiss, whir, whinChipmunk voices. Click. Repeat.

don’t how the cassette deck in this car still works but it does. 

It doesn’t sound like the most humane thing but somewhere between the desert and the San Jacinto Mountains we lost the radio and phone signals. 

“Can you believe they still make these?” he says pulling the cassette out of the cars deck. The label is pulling off the corner and I can just make out the words ‘Day Mix’ before he sets it down.

“I can’t believe you kept some mixtapes. I thought they were…”

All playlists or mix CDs. Nah, some of these had the best night music.” 

Quickly rifling through the tape case he grabs one labeled ‘love songs’ and shakes it at me, before pushing it into the deck. “This one here is the best for driving at night.”

The otherworldly falsetto of an Antony and the Johnsons track fills the warm air of the night. Our two headlights are the brightest thing on the horizon while the color blue blankets the hills around our small car. 

“So you still…”

“Make mixtapes? I was waiting for you to catch that. Mostly mix CDs and transfer them to cassette sometimes. It gets harder to find the tapes.”

“It’s nice to be here, with you like this. The last time we were together...”

I’m always too busy. I’d apologize but…”

“You don’t have to, we’re here now. Do you have that one song on here?” 

“You remember?”

“Yes. You stuck it on all your “love mixes.” 

Click, wiss, whir, whinClick. wiss, whir, whin. Click.

“Crying… over you…” Roy Orbison echoes out into the night. 

“We don’t have to listen to this.” 

“Oh we have to listen to something.”

Shaking the case, I tell him, “Dealer’s Choice.”

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Do Nothing

Ever just live? Enjoy the moment? Do absolutely nothing? To be just be in the moment with your thoughts or engaging others for no other purpose than to enjoy their company can be incredibly therapeutic for the mind, body and soul.

If you haven’t, why not? It’s counter productive to always be going. It leads to higher risk of burnout and failure. Which often leads back to... doing nothing. There’s zen and stillness in enjoying “doing nothing”

It took many years to realize for myself that from all the "going going going," I must do nothing to maintain emotional and physical equilibrium with proper self-care. Between the periods of busy try a little bit of nothing. 

Not to mention, theres a great deal of joy in missing out on things you'd rather not do and places you'd rather not be. It's not unkind to decline or to support yourself before supporting others.

Here’s an old story about doing nothing but enjoying the universe around us. 

Kisses, m.

What do you see?

What do you see?” He asks.
“I’ll tell you what I see if you tell me first,” he insists.

He tells me to go first to see what I’ll say. Always like a challenge wanting to be answered. It was his version of a psychologist’s test to gauge the mental processes with the imaginings of the eye. There was nothing analytical about it.

 “It’s a clipper ship,” I say and smile while running my hand through his hair. “With great white sails that dance in the wind.”

“Really, I think that it’s just smoke.” He points to a line breaking across the horizon and through the middle of the mast of the ship and smirks with a hint of laughter. The funny part is that he always says the same thing. Even though he knows it’s not true it’s always the same thing.

“No there, look it’s a handful of feathers pouring out of an overstuffed pillow.” His eyes light up when I contradict him.

“And above the pillow there’s a head of hair waving.” He joins in.

“How about there?” I motion toward a new formation.

“It’s white gloved fingers pointing in the direction of the wind.”

“No, it’s a cat with a wide-toothed smile larger than the top of his head.”

The birds are dancing through the teeth of the great big cat that knows a secret he refuses to share and I know this just one of those games that we love to play. It’s never just smoke in the sky. Clouds are but a dream away from the touch of a hand as we lay back and watch the sky.

“Is this a dream?” I ask him.
“But what is a dream?”
“Something the mind sees and makes real.”

“Clouds are a dream.” He tells me while reaching over and brushing the leaves from my hair. “That’s what my mother used to tell me when I was a child.” It’s a conversation that we had a thousand times and the same story never grew old. He tells me about this story with a small smile in his eyes. After the story it’s always the same.

“What were the clouds like when you were growing up?”
“They were big and fluffy and had the most beautiful colors.”
“What kind of clouds were they?”
“Big white ones like today, sometimes small streaking ones, and occasionally there were the rainclouds.”
“Tell me about the rainclouds.”
“Oh, the rainclouds brought the most amazing thunderstorms with them. The grays and purples among the colors of the breaking daylight…”
“The most amazing storms came and went. Reaching across the landscape. Those Arizona plains slightly dampened. Like hands dropping water through them upon a dry scene. It is nothing like today. ”

Today is different. The transition of colors moves and shifts against the clear blue backdrop. Slowly grows the grays and purples mixing in with the white. Creating a multicolored oversized version of a Rorschach puzzle that awaits our interpretation.

“How so? How is it different?”
“The clouds aren’t one, they are many and look there’s a man with a hat holding a dagger made of cotton sticking out of it.”
“You’re right the sky is different. But he isn’t holding a dagger it’s a pair of scissors with a feather in the hat.”

The colors are growing darker and the shapes keep intensifying deeper and fuller. He asks me “What do you see?” again and again and I tell him there’s a million things that are creeping across the newly coated blanket of gray against blue. He tells me that its not a million things. I tell him its now a slow climbing a black balloon with a white diamond in its eye that watches our movements. He laughs and agrees that it’s rising and rising to overcome it all. The birds are still dancing through the white upon blue, in and out of the gray-black in the corners.

“Maybe it’s just smoke.” I tell him.
“Is that what you think?”
“Maybe I’m inclined to agree?”
“Then smoke it is?”
“You don’t sound convinced.”
“It’s not just smoke.”
“Well, before it starts raining and the clouds lose their shapes and colors, tell me…What do you see?”