Looking for Lost Friends

The internet is a wonderful thing except when it isn’t. I am not a big fan of Facebook but out of necessity I have an account. Well, I actually have 2 accounts but only because I was locked out of one and in a fit of pique I created an alternate account. But that’s another story for another time. Back to the existence of Facebook and why I have one – it is solely to keep tabs on my mother and sisters and the extended family (Sparky’s and mine). Several years ago, more like 15, I tried to find some people who had been important to me in high school and college. I searched and low and behold I located several. It was odd to see the different trajectories their lives took. I attempted to connect but it went nowhere. There had been one friend in particular that I wanted to catch-up with. After a few brief messages she disappeared from FB. As in vanished – her account was deleted. She didn’t show up in searches. We had been very close in college and for several years afterward. In fact the last time I saw her in person was at my wedding. After that we exchanged Christmas cards and birthday cards until one Christmas. That year her card was returned as “Addressee Unknown”.

Guess what? All of a sudden I got a FB friend request – she’s back. It feels different though. That easy communication is gone. I no longer anticipate her next sentence. Time and distance have made us strangers. Her life experience is completely foreign to me. Her disappearance was due to her marriage – one that involved physical and psychological abuse. She is now single and sadly estranged from her children. She is a recovering alcoholic and has only been sober for a year. Although she is my age and should be preparing for retirement, she is not financially secure and will no doubt work for many more years. It seems so sad that the ease of reconnection is not really the kind I was hoping for. I guess what I’m trying to say is that keeping in touch is made easy with the internet but unless you take advantage of it, it is no better than an old fashioned letter. And like the “pen pal” of bygone days, you have to respond to the letters on a regular basis to be able to develop a friendship. I’m much more connected to the people on WordPress and even some former Xangans than with the people I’ve located on FB.

Have you found long lost friends via the internet? Were you able to recover the feeling of comradery??

Looking at Ripples

Today is the anniversary of my daddy’s death. When something happens of great import and magnitude it sends waves through the waters of our lives. Some people get swamped by those waves, go under and drown. Others bob to the surface and continue to float along. I look at the shape of my fingers and I see my father’s hands. I remember his laugh and when I laugh I hear an echo of his mirth. When I look back I can see the ripples of his influence in my life. His death was such a tiny wave compared to the sum total of the ripples of his life.

We gathered as my father died
Telling stories reliving the past
And from our eyes tears
Streamed as he gained hard won freedom
From this world and passed into heaven

We could not stop that passage to heaven
But instead waved him on as he died
The fireworks exploded to celebrate freedom
His and our nation’s glories past
As we blinked away tears

Grief squeezed tears
From hearts set on heaven
We sang the songs he loved in the past
We sang them together as he died
In pain and in glorious freedom

His last breath a gasp of freedom
We mourn our loss with tears
Even now years after he died
We look to heaven
When pain sneaks in from the past

Soon today will be the past
The heart will leap in freedom
Trusting in heaven
Wiping away all tears
Knowing he lived well before he died

He died in the past and I’ve shed all my tears
He gave me life, freedom and confidence in heaven

This poem is a Pentina. It is a variation of the sestina but instead of six stanzas of 6 lines it has five stanzas of 5 lines with a 2 line envoi where the 5 words are distributed 3/2 or 2/3 in the same order as the first stanza…

Looking at the Flash

I used to make big ceramic pieces. And by used to I mean 20 years ago and big was the size of a soccer ball. Because I get 25 lbs. of clay with each ceramics session and I make about 6 pieces per session (maybe 1 to 2 pounds per piece), I’ve accumulated about 175 lbs. of clay on my shelf. This means that I need to use it up. It isn’t realistic to assume that I can make more orbs as they do take some time. My only option is to go bigger. So I did. This one is the size of a #3 soccer ball.

You see I was attempting to make a centerpiece for saintvi’s living room coffee table. She had purchased some lights and when they came it was a whole bag of them… She gave me one and I started musing how I thought they might work for a ceramic piece that was pierced. Next thing I know I’m coming up with all sorts of ideas (out loud even) and she gave me a second strand to experiment with. I decided that since she has seasonal pieces for spring/summer (non-descript for any specific holiday), Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, that I needed to provide an option that could fill in between times. Sadly I can’t upload the video (mp4 format) to show you all the fun effect the flashing lights produce in a darkened room. It flashes slow, fast, it strobes and twinkles or just stays on. It really makes a nice pattern on the walls and ceiling. It was my first effort and I seriously didn’t think it would work. I’m pleased and surprised! It is glazed in Royal Blue and Megan’s Blue in alternating stripes with Yellow Salt drips. When it came out of the kiln I looked at it and felt disappointed. But then my frame of reference is different than most. Everyone in the studio thought it was excellent. I thought it looked like it had been targeted by pigeons! Doesn’t matter – I still gifted it to saintvi as an early birthday present! As a bonus it matches her leather furniture perfectly!