enter the dark

For photrablogger’s Mundane Monday #133.

I took this in 2004, in the spring. My daughter and a friend are in the tent, having a tea party, with spray whipped cream and a china tea set. The tree is just budding out. There is a ladder up to the tree platform, built with the help of my daughter’s grandfather. He is 91 now.

Is this mundane? What is mundane? We are entering the dark part of the year hear, wet and cold. We hope that spring will return. Happy Halloween……


I took this in 2005. My daughter is going after our friend Sam. She is wearing glow in the dark vampire teeth. He is going along with it and playing along. Three of us are playing because they are my glow in the dark vampire teeth. I have a strong connection with that playful inner child part and so I always have some toy in my dopp kit. Glow in the dark vampire teeth. Temporary tattoos. Glue and glitter for temporary tattoo stencils. A friend once looked in my dopp kit and was very surprised. His only contains toothpaste and toothbrush and razor and practical things.

Blessing on Sam and all the adults who play when the time is right….

dopp kit: http://shop.wingtip.com/why-is-it-called-a-dopp-kit


small child

my small child was locked under rock for years

she came out shy reluctant distrustful

you are special, the first adult in whom
she recognized another small child
locked in and called you
out to play

and we played hard

now she stomps her foot at me
“He does not play fair! He won’t come to my house!
He makes all the rules! He doesn’t listen!”

yes, bear, I know

time to go home, small child
you have had your first playmate
since you were locked away
but he is still locked in a dungeon
of monsters and zombies
you unlocked him for a little while
just a tiny bit

but he has decided not to play
he is locked down

come, small child

she is in my arms, head on my shoulder
sucking her thumb, crying
until she is too tired
and falls asleep

she will always love you, you know

anything, to have someone to play with
she let you make all the rules
for a long time

but now she wants
someone who will play fair
and share the rules
and love her back



U is for ursine

U is for ursine. Have you ever felt ursine?

Ur”sine (?), a. [L. ursinus, from ursus a bear. See Ursa.]

Of or pertaining to a bear; resembling a bear.

Ursine baboon. Zool. See Chacma. — Ursine dasyure Zool., the Tasmanian devil. — Ursine howler Zool., the araguato. See Illust. under Howler. — Ursine seal. Zool. See Sea bear, and the Note under 1st Seal.

I am thinking of my sister again. My mother called me tiger and her bear. “Chris bear” was one of her names. Have you felt tigerish or ursine? We talk about a temper like a bear or hibernating when we aren’t feeling very social and then there are teddy bears and care bears and last night I saw the new Jungle Book movie.

I know the book well and loved it. I spent much less time with television. The movie is a mix of the book and the Disney version and I am considering the deviations. Sher Khan did not kill the wolf leader in the book, though he did influence some pack members. And the ending is changed and an interesting change at a time when we are afraid of the disconnect that many of us feel from nature. We are afraid that too many people and that sin of greed are destroying species and destroying the world.

And so I do feel ursine. Sometimes it feels unbearable. Sometimes I want to rear up like a grizzly bear and tear down the veneer of civilization. Sometimes I just want to sleep as deeply as a bear and dream…. dream of playing with my sister.

In my photograph, two cars have crashed in the Octoblast and one has been ejected forcibly: that is my sister bending over it…..




My sister loved to dress up in costume. She died four years ago next Tuesday and her birth day is tomorrow.

The photograph is me and her daughter, in costume, at Lake Matinenda in Ontario, Canada, in 2009. I brought a rather demented flower fairy costume. The gloves are my mother’s: crocheted, uncomfortable, romantic and impractical. The whole outfit was entirely silly and impractical for the woods. My sister would bring long ball gowns up to the woods. We played dress up at my grandmothers with our cousins, in my mother’s 1950s prom dresses, in the middle 1970s. We thought her dresses were ridiculous. So were ours, of course.

I am not sure exactly what my niece is dressed as: a boy, I think, and maybe she was being a rapper.

At any rate, it is fun to dress in costume…. miss you, sisty.




small pirate

In September at the Wooden Boat Festival I went down to look at the boats. There was a square rigger with a pirate. A 22 foot square rigger with the largest sail about the size of a baby blanket. After we had exchanged introductions, Captain Jack explained that his grandfather had built the square rigger to play with his grandchildren and he has restored it. It has an outboard in the middle, well, an inboard outboard so to speak. I asked how it sailed and he said, “Downwind.” I asked about hull speed and currents and he replied “AAARRRR, don’t talk to me about current.” A small child came by towing parents and he handed a pirate toy over from a big gold chest.
Then another small child came up. Very small with red hair. He gave her a pirate flag, which she waved. But she still looked at the boat. “You can come aboard,” he said. He told dad to bring her. Dad stepped aboard with her and Captain Jack put a black bandanna hat with a skull and crossbones on her. Then she saw the swords. Cutlasses made of foam! She reached for one. “Go ahead, you can have a sword fight with your father!” IMG_20150913_131056
She did, with me and mom laughing. “Would you like to take the wheel, matey?” said Captain Jack. She nodded. She and dad went back in the very small wheelhouse and she practiced steering the squarerigger. “Me boat has been shanghied, I’d better escape!” said Captain Jack, stepping ashore and leaving her and dad in full possession. The small pirate was very serious the whole time. This seemed to be new territory and she was concentrating on all of it.
Captain jack told me that he came to the festival last year and got invited back. He was very pleased and towed his boat from the inland lake. Hooray for Captain Jack and for all of the boat owners and contributors to the Wooden Boat Festival that encourage the children to be involved and Joey Pipia and all of the play pirates….