Saturday, February 5, 2011

February Made Me Shiver

Rule #205: No matter how flash frozen and thawed and frozen again you feel, like an abused saran wrapped piece of meat with ice burn, forgotten in the depths of the Great Lakes freezer, you can always make yourself feel better by finding the food coloring.

Note: You must never be afraid to kneel in the snow. While you sit there kneeling in the ice, and feel the wet soak through your jeans, and the blood rush to your cheeks and the tip of your nose, remember also to feel the sun burning through the rest of you. Focus not just on one sensation, but on all the sensations, and it will be a quality package deal. You will find you have to move positions because of the sun first, because it's just too hot on the back of your calf. That's awesome by the way, to feel something burning again. That feels like someday there will be the beach again, and car trips with the windows down, and porch hang outs. That feels like some of your cells might still be alive.

Later in the day Marty mentioned how lucky we were there was no sound in space, because otherwise the noise of the constant ginormous 100 million nuclear explosions from the sun would be huge and loud and all around us all the time, growling like a huge African cat outside our window.

Spray bottles are your friend. Stencils are an essential skill. Mix your colors as bright as you can make them. Next time, we will have more tools, funnels and basters and maybe freeze the surface hard the night before and paint on the ice like stained glass.

Cause we are just 12 yr olds really, at that awkward time when you still make your dolls talk out loud, but also have to write papers for school on the constitution, and maybe start to have to try and understand algebra too. There is a part of your brain stuck there, and that's the place I want to live on all my off days. When algebra still seemed magical and murmured, when maybe you also hated it, but hate was an uncomplicated thought that didn't last long in your little head, and you didn't think about your boots being ruined or your mascara running when you went outside on the first sunny day in a month. A sunny day is too precious to waste wondering what the neighbors think of two middle aged women in their backyard painting snow.

Later we drove to Akron to see the babies. You could see that everyone was feeling the sunshine. The cars were moving faster, and people were talking more, faster, happier, like they had to talk just to hear the sound come out of their mouths unmuffled by snow.

The hospital was full of giant rocking horses and mechanical mousetrap sculptures. And yes, it's the childrens museum, I mean, hospital, but all this art was created by adults, for adults, and that's reassuring, that the best way to comfort stressed out parents is still surrounding them with bright colors and fish murals and towering toys. I like the fact that part of our brain is always there to fall back on for warmth.

The babies were all up and kicking and stretching when we got there, Rebecca in her rocking chair playing Madonna with Addy, and Evie fussing her space pod, stretching her little toes like she was swimming. It was quiet in the ward, and we had to whisper, while the nurses gathered in little groups talking and eating red foil wrapped candies.

Confession: I want to paint the babies with food coloring too.

Later, after the baby break, there were hot chocolate drinks, the kind with alcohol, slipping and laughing and not falling but sliding over sidewalks, and Pechakucha, which was packed, overpacked, at capacity. So that you saw people you knew across the room, but there was no possible way to get to them, unless you played the centipede game. Shoulder up, shift, smile bashedly at men with beers who may move to let you through. Like dancing really. And someday, here's the thing, Evie and Addy will be those well clad shoes below, all grown up, sitting through presentations about community development, and then driving to Cleveland Heights to birthday parties, picking out discounted wines and trying not to fall on the ice because they wore the cute boots with no tread. And by that time, I will be the crazy gray haired woman who paints her backyard, and they will probably think I am lame, until someday they are 30 themselves and sick of being stuck inside.


  1. *sigh* top to bottom.

    My twins were premies. Now, they're four and the biggest kids in the class. They dance and make jokes and create stories and build things. And they would really love your snow paintings.

  2. Next - food coloring painting with water guns.

  3. Bridget, you could do a years worth of posts with lines/lyrics from McLean's song. Bravo!

  4. I mean, I could.

    But I'm probably not going to :)

  5. C'mon. Think of the possibilities.

    "Oh, and there we were, all in one place
    A generation lost in space"

  6. I really love your creative mind, Bridget.

  7. I love this blog. Check out mine, it a contant work in progress:

  8. I wonder what this mamchellec thing is... I mean, if it is a real person, why troll for readers... if it is a bot, well, I can dig it...

    I spoke to Nixxie today... the pictures of the babies bring to mind looking at KT when she first made the scene...

    ... are you ever going to do a book? Some essays should sell... you are a fabulous writer...


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