Friday, March 29, 2013

Oracle Cat nips me

Once upon a time there was a bunch of bananas, waiting for a bus. (This story is for Cathy, who likes the bus better than she likes bananas, but likes the idea of bananas waiting for a bus.)

The bananas didn't know the bus routes, didn't know the schedule, didn't have a destination in mind. (Have you ever tried to read the mind of a banana? Talk about a split personality -- & that's just one banana. This was a bunch.) They were just waiting, wanting to be somewhere other than here, trusting that any direction was better than no direction. They weren't new green bananas, fresh off the boat. They were seasoned, mature, ripe bananas. Maybe just a bit past their prime, a few age spots, but still firm, nicely sweetened by their time on the planet. They weren't black. They weren't ready for banana bread, that one-peel-in-the-grave last resort. They were ready to get out & see the world while they were still vital.

There is a happy ending to this story. The next five people to come to this bus stop each took one banana & a different route. The bananas saw the world, or at least the city, before their biological clocks took them to their final rendezvous at the landfill.


Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, also known as SARK, is a fountain of inspiration. One of my favorite things from her website is Jupiter, her black cat, who has a kind of "magic 8 ball" function. You think of a question (mine is always "now what, my darling?") & click on the drawing or photograph (there are many different Jupiters) & get some advice. Frequently it's very cat-centric, like "take a long nap" or "blink slowly" but I just got -- 2 days in a row -- some very good & appropriate advice:

"Don't force growth"
"Allow natural timing"

These were particularly apropos for me, because I had submitted some photos & an article via my photography group to a magazine called The Laurel of Asheville. Wouldn't it be cool, I thought, to have photos & writing in a magazine that was practically named after me?

The editorial response was:
"Say, those five photos are nearly identical. I realize that was the gist of her story. Still, from a layout standpoint, there's not enough variety. Also, four of the five were not in sharp focus."

I began a little flurry of trying to find other photos from that particular shoot that would fit in with the sharply-focused one (once I'd figured out which one that was) & after determining that the others weren't really good enough either, took a deep breath & relaxed & decided to continue to work on my photo skills & try again at some future date.

It reminded me of when I started painting & had some nice paintings & some kinda sorta pretty good paintings & took them all down to a coffee shop in Winona for a solo show. I stepped out before I was ready. I'm not sorry I did it, but there is something to be said for allowing the learning & the exploration to be just that & achieving a certain level of mastery before hiring an opening act & scheduling the world tour.

If you want to ask that wise cat some questions, here is the link.

I have had weeks of the BEST conversations. Monday alone I had 4 really good ones. Plus I talked to several people who had been having great conversations -- besides the conversations with me! -- so I am pleased to know that great conversations are lurking in both the likeliest & unlikeliest places.

Blog alternative:
254. Set yourself up for a great conversation. Say a kind word to an interesting-looking stranger or invite a good friend who may or may not live in your house to share a few words. Perhaps ask a question. Perhaps ask yourself a question & share the answer. Giggle out loud when you read something that delights you & let someone ask you what's so funny & read it to them & see where the conversation goes. (& remember, a great conversation doesn't have to be long to make it into the memory banks.)