not all who wander…

photo(3)

one of those self portraits i see my girl doing, with the phone held out at a flattering angle…

HOLY SH*T! I don’t even know what to say… I saw the door open just a few inches, and without thinking, I followed her out.  I follow her everywhere.

And all the sudden, the door was shut… And she was inside…and I was alone, outside.  I haven’t been outside in years…

I was FREEZING…snow all over the porch, and dark…no good…just cuz I followed her out the open door.

…an open door.  She opens the door often.  When we lived in the apartment, it was muzzy out there…i didn’t need to go out, i could tell what and who was nearby when she opened the door, even from my safety of the bookshelf alcove.  There was that loud crying baby next door whose parents were often angry because they couldn’t understand him…we talked once. His mother left him in his seat, in the hallway while she carried in groceries, while I, of course, was safe, on the other side of the door.  And the old people who lived next to us…old smells.  Upstairs the alarm went off at 6:47 every morning, and she hit the snooze 3 times…every morning.  I could hear her going to the shower, her step sometimes stumbling as she went into the bathroom above ours.  The woman downstairs liked to do her laundry late at night, and I could hear the buttons of her clothing rattling in the dryer, long after my girl was asleep.

now we live in a house. i like the house.  it  has warm air coming out of the floor, and lots of photo(4)places to sleep. The sun comes thru the living room window in the afternoon and makes a fleeting zone of love on the ottoman.  The smells are different here, of course.  And the smells that come from that open door…some make me dizzy, some frighten me, and some want to pull me right out the door.

and so it was…i was trapped outside, and she locked the door- she always does.  So i yelled…and called… and made as much noise as I could.  Finally, after about 3 hours (note: in cat years- 3 hours equals 25 seconds), she opened the door again, and called for me- “Grisham…are you out here?!…Grisham!??” She went down off of the porch into the yard and driveway, calling into the night, her voice panicked. I rushed in the open door and as I sat looking out at her calling for me, washing, and wondering what all the fuss was, i thought i might close the door on her, but I can’t reach the doorknob.

Kitty remix

photo(2)When I moved, I brought a big collage I had done many years ago. It is of my kitty at the time, Catrick (I know, cute, huh? :)) sleeping in the sun in an old wicker rocker I have. It was a monster of a project- made the whole thing out of torn paper- the rocker was grocery sack paper that I fashioned into the intricacy of the rocker. I used kids’ construction paper to make the pillows, newspaper for the floor, and some watercolor paper for the spindles and background- very low budget project, but turned out pretty dang cool.

I have always liked it, maybe because it reminded me of simpler times, of the importance of sleeping in the sun sometimes, or maybe just because it was a big project with found materials and it turned out. Its been years since I made it, and the newspaper has yellowed, the construction paper pillows faded to dull ugly greys, and Catrick crossed the rainbow bridge some time ago. I got it out of the frame last year, took it apart and contemplated it for…oh…9 months or so…and couldn’t figure out how to change it, update it, make it different. I just looked at it over there in the corner, all torn apart- gutted, so to speak- and had no answers.

When I got to this new abode, the walls were turquoise and browns, with great light- and I knew it needed to be hung here. Last week, in a crazy surge of spring fever creativity, I redid it…with new pillows and with Grisham as the sleeper 🙂 and updated the floor as well.

Can I just take a moment to say that my gray tabby cat isn’t gray at all!? I bought every shade of gray paper that Hobby Lobby possessed, only to get them home and find that not one of them matched this cat! He isn’t gray…he is actually this buff sort of tan, with dark brown, black and gray hairs over the top, arranged in tiger stripes with white patches artfully placed hither and yon.

As I put the finishing touches on Grisham’s likeness and placed him on the pillow, I was stunned at how much my life has changed since the first time I put that piece together, how much I have learned, about myself and my path, and about the necessity of sleeping in the sunshine sometimes…