I remember when the Woolsey Fire hit our neighborhood. It was terrifying and I was so afraid. The lovely Santa Monica Mountains were raged by a wildfire to such a terrible degree. I thought it would never end but it did. Nature is slowly recovering. Our communities are still feeling the loss…. Yet holding on to our thread of life makes what we endured meaningful. One cannot deny that nature can be a powerful monster. The elements can take away our sense of balance and hope. Yet again we can not let go of the thread of life because we are part of this, and we will go on regardless of life lost and how nature is damaged. Bless us all.
Michael Meade speaks of a thread that we need to hold onto in these changing times. It is a sobering podcast that shares hope. He does not look away from our individual or collective shadow either. We must acknowledge and not deny what we are facing now during a pandemic, wildfires, and political rage…
Listening to David McCullough speak about American history is very fulfilling. He is so knowledgeable and gifted at telling history through stories. He says that the documents he studies are usually personal journals, letters, or other such material. He still only types on a typewriter and does not use the computer.
McCullough says that written letters and writing in general is becoming a lost art and feels we should continue to educate our children on the skills of writing. He feels that in the future there will be no personal journals for further historians to pull from.
I understand his perspective, but I think has underestimated the internet and computers in general. He is not looking at the work that we bloggers do. We write. Our blogs are the journals of the future. I always tell my kids that if anything happens to me here is the little black book with all my passwords. You can enjoy my writings or not. I am thinking of my grandchildren or great grandchildren and beyond as well.
So, to join Mr. McCullough’s perspective and mine I will most likely start to pull my seven years of writing and art and put them in little books. Gather it all and have them available. I was so charged with enthusiasm when he encouraged people to write and write journals. I know I will get the expected criticisms. Everyone is doing that, the good old days, what you are doing is a waste of time etc., but I enjoy it and that is what history is all about. David McCullough gives me the inspiration to be a writer and that it does matter.
“Overhead he heard the cry of what might have been a melodious owl, but it wasn’t a melodious owl. It was a flying saucer from Tralfamadore, navigating in both space and time, therefore seeming to Billy Pilgrim to have come from nowhere all at once…” Pg. 75, Kurt Vonnegut / Slaughter’ House-Five
As Billy Pilgrim I feel “unstuck in time.” Isolation is snuggling at home with my memories. It is the special moments of time when I do go out that I go back in time for memories. Such as the Napoleon pastry.
On Dumetz Road and Topanga Canyon Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley once was a small-town market. Now a Mermaid fucking coffee hole. Gary’s market had about all the produce a small community needed. When I was a kid, we walked there to fill our pillowcases up with penny candies. That was for sleep overs with my girlfriends on Friday nights before Saturday morning scary movie marathons.
At the age of 15, I remember seeing my reflection on the bakery deli window. My eyes were red, and the echo of laughter filled the market with the echo of youths, like when we use to fly kites. We were not flying kites anymore. Then we sat outside the storefront on the sidewalk eating our Napoleon. Manna per chance?
What I love about the book The Children’s Crusade or Slaughterhouse-Five is something amazingly simple. Yes, fast flying UFOs. I have had my experiences with them and this novel by Kurt Vonnegut helped me to place my memories in a creative place. The book describes many wonderful elements of so many mysteries of life, death, and war.
Light beaming down from the sky and strange, maybe, Tralfamadorian symbols being downloaded into my brain. I wondered is this an embellished fictional novel or what?
Seems like every block in West Hills, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, and the Santa Monica Mountains holds a memory waiting to unfold.
“It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string., and that once a moment is gone is it gone forever. “Pg. 27 Kurt Vonnegut / Slaughter’ House-Five
As a child I discovered that nature was my ally. Nature is mysterious, receptive, and bold enough to answer my innocent questions. The Praying Mantis is part of this story. I have learned about life, death, and rebirth from the Praying Mantis. A seasonal relationship. Big golden green mamas have come to visit me, after laying their egg sacks, before they die. Males usually live longer lives. Not all of them have their heads bit off. Then there are the exoskeletons that the Praying Mantis leaves behind many times as they go through their transmutation. If one is kind enough, they leave one upon my path. I then put it upon my hearth. I also take an illuminated picture of the exoskeleton. I have many. It tells me that change is on the way. On this full moon in Aquarius it could mean an early Autumn is approaching. This is how I celebrate my blessed trinity of the Praying Mantis. As Uranus is, so is this lovely creature…. simply brilliant. Always with antennae straight up and with an astounding frequency if you take the time to hear it.
My simple glance at America … a motif poem about human vulnerability!
ICU intensive. 4 patients sick with COVID19.
All on ventilators.
The respiratory team monitors the machines as the doctors do online visits.
Nurses attend to bodily functions as CNAs change diapers and turn patients.
Janitors and the full team wear special gear sterilizing everything. The CNAs are watching for bed sores and making sure patients are comfortable and clean.
We have a black woman who is a strong supporter and protested on the streets for Black Lives Matter. Jane is 34 a single mother with 3 children.
Next to her is Daniel. He is a southern Baptist who was attending services when his community came down with COVID19. Many are fine and only three died. He misses his grandchildren.
Tom is a single young man in his 30s and is a professional federal agent who contracted the virus at a community protest. He was called in by an underground community alert squad who asked for protection. He was only there to monitor the situation. Their city was inundated by people hanging out all hours. Graffiti all over and businesses are closed due to protests, looters, and the virus. The local business community and residents want the protesters to go home.
Dan is also extremely sick he is one of the unidentifiable vigilantes. Local small businesses raised funds to have these military people around to protect their businesses and communities. He was born in India and his family lives locally. They are also fearful and want their communities back. The protesters and media have labeled them fascists.
Meanwhile alleys are filled with human waste and trash from endless nights where people ignore curfew.
The news is showing statistics as we view a monitor as the COVID19 rates are increasing day by day.
A child of 12 views this same video with her father as they are sheltering safe at home. He lost his job as a chef at a local restaurant.
Together they both try and understand why the virus is spreading as the doctors’ state clearly.
“Don’t hang out in groups or clusters of people, if you must go out wear a mask. Don’t pull it down to scream.”
The 12-year-old thought that was funny but was told by her parents that she will not be going to school this semester. She wants to go swimming at the local beach because she sees so many there on the TV monitor. Her mother says,
” lets run through the sprinklers in our backyard where we are safe.”
The 12 year old is learning about responsibility and caring for others. Her mother is a journalist and works online.
Her parents are struggling as many are, yet they are doing their part not to spread the virus.
They wear masks and practice social distancing! They will not be given their tax break for having a K-12 school age child this year because they refuse to let their child go to school.
A tent is arched under a freeway. A homeless man watches as protesters take over his town. He does not care what their political persuasion is.
Even he wonders about the situation. No one is leaving coins in his cup. He wears a mask and practices social distancing. As he always has. He is hungry.
Outside in my garden enjoying the afternoon I heard children swimming next door over the fence. I enjoy the sound of children playing. It is a sound that always continues as the sound of the summer birds singing or the crickets that come out at night. Suddenly, a chorus of young children sang this song loudly,
” Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.”
~ Common American version: Delamar (2001), pp. 38-9.
It was a wake-up call to me out of my summer daze. As if ancestors were singing the rhyme as a memory of a time long gone by. A time of the Great Plague. I find this ironical that here and now in our modern times we are experiencing a similar plague or pandemic. I wonder if the dead are still grieving. As our generation will be grieving for a long time after the Coronavirus disease has passed. How this all came together as innocent children were playing is not so strange. Yet it felt as if the Realm of the Fay opened and superimposed their song around these children and through them. Dancing fairies swimming through the air as Puck grabbed the moment in a soft breeze.
“The invariable sneezing and falling in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, and posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and “all fall down” was exactly what happened.”
~[ Opie and Opie (1985), pp. 221–222.. ~Opie and Opie (1951), p. 365.
“Ring a Ring o’ Roses” or “Ring a Ring o’ Rosie” is an English nursery rhyme or folksong and playground singing game. It first appeared in print in 1881, but it is reported that a version was already being sung to the current tune in the 1790s and similar rhymes are known from across Europe. It has a Roud Folk Song Index number of 7925.”
~ Delamar, Gloria T.
Delamar, Gloria T. (2001) . Mother Goose, From Nursery to Literature. Lincoln, Nebraska. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0595185771.
Opie, Iona; Opie, Peter (1997) . The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes (2nd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press (Nabu Press). pp. 364–365. ISBN 978-0198600886.
Fuck, fuck, fuck the old hippie dude gave me the two fingers up peace sigh. How did he fucking know what I was think’ in!?
OK I turned right and headed down to Topanga Canyon Blvd… down the wormhole towards a holograph of memories…. Think’ in,
“I bet I am the oldest person driving down Topanga to Dumetz Rd now?”
A flash of images came to mind…. Lynn, horse, boyfriends, ditch class go to beach, walking home in the rain, hippies hitchhiking.
The cars were racing as well as I in my little number, a green Fiat.
“Yes, I have the most memories here too… from being in my mom’s womb to now… fucking so much to think upon.”
Making a left turn on Burbank I held on to these wild assumptions of honest to goodness old lady punk truth that I was the oldest and had the most memories.
When I reached Shoup Ave., I raised and went with the bump and about flew away. Landing with a loud car zoom… it was bitchin’ too. Then as I raced my little number to the right of me was an old hippie dude with a grey beard looking at me near his car.
He walked toward an old house . He was fucking reading my mind. His eyes gave me a knowing transcendental slowed down pot look…
“Often, we rode barefoot. When cold we had our parents’ go shopping to buy us moccasins. We read about the history of the Medicine Wheel and experimented with our innocent religiosity.”
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley as a wild teenager was all about being close to nature. It is about the freedom to jump on one’s horse and ride like a native. It is a short time frame within the life of three girls and their horses. A subtle echo of music that inspired them. A fiction novella with a voice that is all-natural prose
This is a year celebration of my publication of this paperback. Writing a memoir is selective in what the focus may be. Moments of time, days, or a feeling that one inspires as perfume towards the readers mind. It may be the smell of wild sage and eucalyptus trees, or the feel of a horse’s breath on one’s shoulder.
My Paperback Books for sale on Amazon. Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine Ten Year Anniversary Issue # 54 (replica) Paperback,
1979 – 1989 punk & fanzine publisher memoir. A complementary book meant to read along side the Los Angeles Flipside Fanzine # 54 Ten Year Anniversary Issue (replica). Novel, honest and engaging. A unique story by a woman journalist who wrote about the punk rock scene. Now celebrating 40 plus years of punk rock.
The Semianry Of Praying Mantis Publishing, Non-fiction novella.
Faerie Story By Hudley Flipside
The Seminary Of Praying Mantis Poems by Hudley Flipside An Underground Bard
The Praying Mantis Watercolor Gallery By Hudley Flipside
Welcome to The Seminary Of Praying Mantis.
Praying mantis shows me her story of life, death, and rebirth. For me she is an image or symbol of the divine in all things. I watch the praying mantis in my garden and have taken her image as my logo. She is an amazing little creature, and I relate to her connection to nature. We are both wild and part of this strange world. She is a part of my mythology as I am part of hers.