I snapped the photo outside the restaurant, after a good meal. Some light remained in the overcast sky. It's only now, several days later, that I take the time to look more carefully and more slowly at the little statue. The gnome holds onto the unicorn's mane not tightly but with trust and assurance. His free hand points onward, upward, echoing the horn. His beard echoes the white mane. Their dark eyes are lively and alert. Mushroom, grass, an old stump. Silver hooves, grey boots, a wonderful black-red cap, and we're off to save the world. Anything is possible, don't you think?
Kid in the candy shop. World is your oyster. Opportunity knocks. Sky's the limit. The stage is yours. Cash prizes. 50% off everything. Buy one get one free. Bring your own beer. One day only. One day only. One day only.
See also: raisingchildren.net.au/newborns/behaviour/common-concerns/overstimulation "A stimulating environment to play in and explore helps your child learn and grow. But sometimes too many activities add up to overstimulation, so downtime is important for your child too. It’s all about finding a balance that’s right for your child." Raising Children - The Australian Parenting Website
I wouldn't mind shrinking down to the size of a peanut, say, so this baseboard would seem like the corner of an immense room. I look up and over and around and then I set out. I tread carefully, wondering: will I meet other tiny beings like me or will most of my fellow travelers be insects, crumbs, and dust? How will I eat? What will I drink? At night, I wonder, will it be scary dark or just regular? If I'm there a while I bet I'll want to read and write a little. I hope that will be possible. I wonder about fluctuations in weather. I wonder about sounds and I wonder about vibrations. Nothing lasts forever. Eventually, I'll return to my actual size. Then I'll think about what it was like to be the size of a peanut, say, and the new insights, the new feelings, I have.
Let's just say, for the sake of argument, that it's not about the finish line, since we are all consumed one way or another in the end. Let's add that it's not about difference, exactly, either, since one way or another we do have our differences. So, accounting for individuality and mortality, what's left? Well, maybe what's left is ambition for ambition's sake. This is a very ambitious grape here. The other grapes were content to do their grape thing and leave it at that. This grape, though, this one little grape, spread its wings, puffed itself out like a bird looking for a mate, got all cushiony and fulsome, though never sacrificing ambition to symmetry or completeness. Tufted, almost complacent, yet somehow modest, too, just there with the others. To their credit, the others didn't shun this grape. They all hung together on the ends of their stems. And all, in the final moment, I'm a little ashamed to admit, were delicious. No, that's not true. They were exceedingly tart. We ate them anyway.
Sometimes I feel too big and too small at the same time. Vulnerable in my own home, and heartbroken in a way that's like an itch I can't reach. This morning, the fox grabbed one of the squirrels that comes to our door for peanuts. I can't tell yet which one because for the moment only the birds are begging. We haven't seen the fox here for a while but now he's back. For the past several days he comes bopping through. Yesterday he was already carrying a meal. Once, he stopped long enough to lift his leg and pee on the feeder pole, as if to say he's got this, life.
Swaddled by impulse
pressed in necessity
we wait, wait
then leap! – wings
(or what passes for wings)
spread as if flight
were one option
alone among many.
See also: "Immediately, Mrs. Ramsay seemed to fold herself together, one petal closed in another, and the whole fabric fell in exhaustion upon itself, so that she had only strength enough to move her finger, in exquisite abandonment to exhaustion, across the page of Grimm's fairy story, while there throbbed through her, like a pulse in a spring which has expanded to its full width and now gently ceases to beat, the rapture of successful creation." Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse
A picture is worth a thousand words. This sign is no worse for the wear. Restrooms divided by gender determine behavior. Everyone poops. The "men" is attached to the "wo" like an appendix. This looks like a fraction. The woman has no hands, no feet, and no face. The Braille is barely visible in the photo. I don't know if the sign is tilted or my hand was. The restroom was to the left of the sign if you're facing the sign. I would like to go back and paint – give her a rainbow dress, say, and some awesome shoes, gloves, maybe a hat. Eyes would be nice. Ears, too. And a nose, maybe a smallish nose, since she's so close to the bathroom. I have to think about her mouth. She could shout or smirk. She could laugh out loud. Laughter, yes. Once she's got all her parts, she's going to find so many things funny.
Spotted in the children's section of a Burlington Coat Factory. Imagining a writers' conference where this is the swag. Imagining writers in their bathtubs working until the water gets cold and all the bubbles are gone and it's time to get out, past time, but the writers don't want to. Do these implements run out? The duck-shaped yellow thing must be the eraser. How clean do writers want to be? How often do writers bathe? The kid in the photo looks uneasy. Is she afraid to see what she's just written? Why are most of the words on the box in lower case? There's math on the box, including multiplication and conversion into metric. Do writers care about math? bath writers is for ages 3 and up. That's probably a good idea, although who can say what 3 and under potential is being squelched. Who are those creatures in the container next to the box? Agents? Editors? Maybe they are the readers, hopeful that what comes from the bath writers will be wondrous and entertaining. Maybe they want to write too but can't reach the implements in the bath writers box. That would be sad.