bamboo-5065_1280We were doing a very serious painting this week in sixth grade art class. Very serious. Chinese brush painting.

I meticulously set up the atmosphere for ethereal ink paintings of bamboo to  appear. With wood flute meditation music playing softly in the background, I  taught my small class of sixth graders proper brush technique. I broke down the steps to painting the bamboo stem, joints, branches and leaves. We even had real bamboo brushes, tiny wells of black India ink and bamboo pens for details.

In my best Mr. Miyagi imitation I cautioned, “Teacher say, student do.” The room was hushed as they concentrated.

Then from the left side of the room an unexpected arm jostle caused drops of ink to fly and brought this exclamation from one of my students. “Awww,you guys made me ink!”  Perfect imitation of the small octopus on Finding Nemo.

I have not laughed that hard in days. Of course we had to look up the clip on YouTube. The entire class left my room intoning “Awww,you guys made me ink!” Not exactly the cultural experience I had planned, but some of the best art comes from the unexpected.

“Awww,you guys made me ink!”- Andrew Stanton, Finding Nemo

Photo: CCO license

Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge – “Artist”






The Daily Prompt: Flow

Fridge_Outline_clip_art_mediumConsider the humble refrigerator, which in my house is a combo food storage unit and bulletin board. More than a dozen clippies cling to the white surface like mountain climbers, from whose steely grip flows the curious flotsam of my life. Menus from local restaurants, a business card for the vet, the septic service (don’t lose that one for God’s sake) and a bit of a baby shower announcement. Magnetic cards for local tradesmen join more important items, like a list of our medications. In a fit of hypochondria I’m sure I read some where that when the paramedics burst in your home to rescue you, they will stop and peruse the refrigerator offering to find a life-saving list of your medicines.  On the other hand it’s more likely that this is the only place I can put that list where I won’t lose it. It is hard to lose a refrigerator. The school calendar where I teach and the set of convoluted instructions on how to request a substitute on a computer system oddly named Aesop.We do actually post a weekly menu from time to time, when we have planned well enough to have meal options. More of a guideline than a menu.

A little bit of my life history flows down the door too. A favorite letter from my mother, who died in 2006, my sister’s address, lists of projects and honey-dos that get rewritten and covered over. An angel magnet made from shells imprinted with the word “Dad”. A list of frequently-called numbers for a city we no longer live in. A list of my makeup with a color swatch attached. It takes too darn long to have them redo it.  A heart -shaped magnet that says ” Bless Our Home” in curling letters.

You know that credit card commercial that says “What’s in your wallet?” I’m actually more curious about what flows down your refrigerator door.

The Call

“As I exclaimed ‘Jane! Jane! Jane!’ a voice- I cannot tell whence the voice came, but I know whose voice it was- replied, ‘I am coming: wait for me;’ and a moment after, went whispering on the wind the words- ‘Where are you?’ “I’ll tell you, if I can, the idea, the picture these words opened to my mind: yet it is difficult to express what I want to express. Ferndean is buried, as you see, in a heavy wood, where sound falls dull, and dies unreverberating. ‘Where are you?’ seemed spoken amongst mountains; for I heard a hill-sent echo repeat the words. Cooler and fresher at the moment the gale seemed to visit my brow: I could have deemed that in some wild, lone scene, I and Jane were meeting. In spirit, I believe we must have met. You no doubt were, at that hour, in unconscious sleep, Jane: perhaps your soul wandered from its cell to comfort mine; for those were your accents- as certain as I live- they were yours!” Reader, it was on Monday night- near midnight- that I too had received the mysterious summons: those were the very words by which I replied to it.
(Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre)”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre    

Super Moon

The Call

Over the distance, pushed into my ear by the keening wind it came. The call.

No matter the windows latched and curtained. No matter the years between.

Undeniable and elemental, like the lightning flash. The call.

The warmth of the hearth forgotten, out into the storm. The scent of the loam. Wet on my feet.

Arms extended, the moon-shot clouds light the cedar-scented hills as I run.

Soul-shaking thunder sings to my bones. The call.

How shall I answer? The question unneeded. The breath of the earth fills my chest.

I curl contented in the arms of my love. Soon shall I answer. The call.