Tuesday, January 8, 2013

an eye for the peculiar.........


i come from a place where people's crazy is just below the surface, not buried deep but visible to even the most untrained eye. this is neither here nor there in terms of correctness but you must learn early, how to tread water. you must never come right out and point out the obvious.  instead you must watch and wait. the man with the wheelbarrow, the hermit with over 100 cats, the woman with the shrine to rex humbard. they were everywhere,  you couldn't swing a dead codfish and not have one pop out of hiding. i wasn't one to shy away. bring on your crazy. i'll take a look. my mother recognized early on that i could be counted on when the situation called for an audience. "let beverly go", she'd say, "she doesn't mind that sort of thing". and strangely, i didn't. i could pet imaginary cats and listen to ranting all the live long day - well the promise of a bit of lunch was always appreciated. you learned that crazy was dangerously close to the path, one misstep and you be living an entirely different life. this kind of early training has served me well. normal has became an wide expanse. sanity as odd as the alternate but in the mean time you must maneuver your way through both worlds and you must learn to live with the envy. because believe me there is a crazy so inviting, so liberating that even as a child you watched it in awe.

i had an great aunt that inhabited that kind of wonderland. i was too young to appreciate the tragedy that sent her there. i could only revel in the place she had came to rest. there was tea and mustard sandwiches. the table was always set to include Queen Elizabeth, my aunt's sister, and a long dead prime minister who had become her priest. the absent people were represented with framed photos and my aunt spoke to them. i never heard the photos speak, i never saw elizabeth drink the tea or the priest make the blessing but my aunt did. and this was enough for me.  the sheer contentment i felt would sometimes take my breath away. after the refreshments we all went to the parlor and elizabeth and the priest would watch while aunt and i did the highland jig. the same scenes were played out for nearly every visit. it was for me how happy felt.

another wondrous woman i visited was the wife of let's say, my eye doctor. this was a case of my mother volunteering me for a bit of psychiatric nurse training. my being under the age of 10 didn't seem to bother anyone.  "just sit with her for a while," they said,  "give the caretaker a break." i loved it. i was at times a wee bit scared because this gal was wildly unpredictable. she wore flowered caftans and her hair was piled high on her head in curls we called bubbles. she smoked and things sometimes caught fire. as soon as we were alone she always asked if i wanted a boiled egg and i always i did. she would put an egg in a pot, sans water and turn up the heat. smoke and or fire usually was the finale of all our visits. i would always catch hell from the returnees about not stopping her. stopping her never occurred to me. the fear i felt was tempered greatly by the anticipation of what would happen next. what would i possibly miss if i ran screaming from the room. so i happily sat next to a smouldering pillow or listened to conspiracy theories because personal danger cannot compete with entertainment. the highlight of most visits involved a tray of rings. the kind of ring you get for a successful doctor's visit. well mrs had her own large tray. we would sit like two young debutantes and try on rings. picking our favorites from each row. we discussed what situation would be best for each style. when we had exhausted our imaginations the rings were returned to the tray and she would light a cigarette and i wondered how a person could get their hands on such a large tray of rings. i always left with the idea that this was the type of life i wanted to lead.

i have always suspected i might be crazy and in my life i have attracted some pretty freaky peoplev- to be honest i've been known to campaign for them. but, i have also been very fortunate to also have attracted some really sensible people. the sort of folks who hold the balloon strings that keep me from floating off to god knows where. because sometimes i like to inhabit that place where reason is often pushed aside for something more entertaining.

and as an added value - here is my favorite poem.

first fig

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends--
It gives a lovely light!

i feel this way approximately ALL the time. it runs through my head at least once a day. a mantra if you will

so light her up
bev


59 comments:

  1. Hmmm... You from Oklahoma? LOL! That sounds like home!

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    1. hi theophanie, (god i love your name) are there codfish in oklahoma? :) thanks so much for visiting and commenting.

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  2. Wonderfully written!
    Glad to have found you through the GFC Hop. Hope you will come by and visit us as well.

    Julie @ Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk
    www.heymommychocolatemilk.blogspot.com

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    1. hello julie, i follow you already. but i'm so glad you came to call. thanks for the follow and the lovely comment.

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  3. What a fabulous story. You've improved my rather stressful day no end! Mustard sandwiches.....mmmm.

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    1. dear em, why is your day stressful? this can be an advice blog as well. thanks for the visit and comment. i posted a link to a blog i think you would like on your blog.

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  4. You had me at "Place where people's crazy is just below the surface." What a wonderful post.

    Your comment about attracting freaky people...I think that is a wonderful thing that people that others might think of as "different" realize how open and approachable you are. I find people that are unique are fascinating.

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    1. hi cheryl, thank you so much for saying nice things. you made my day. happy new year and thanks for visiting.

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  5. Interesting story. I hope I can expect more!

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    1. dear sarina, i hope i can write more. thanks for coming to visit and following.

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  6. What a beautiful post! You should write short stories! Truly! Have you read "Winesberg, Ohio" by Sherwood Anderson? It's a short story collection, but given how you've rendered these characters, I think you might really dig it. You have such an eye for people, Bev! And a heart for them as well! The poem was also lovely. Think about short stories, though! It's what I write, primarily, and I LOVE them.

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    1. gee kate, you're making me blush. thank you so much you sweet girl. i will look up the book pronto. i think i would have to write short, short stories.xxxxx

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    2. Flash Fiction! 500 words or less! It's awesomely challenging. :-)

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  7. oh what an excellent way to start my day. delightful!

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    1. oh my god, a famous person named doris just commented on my blog. i'm in heaven for the rest of the day. thank you so much for coming to call.

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  8. Thanks so much for the follow. I'm excited to follow your blog as well!

    RebeccawithanR

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    1. hello rebecca, thank you for the follow and the comment. happy new year

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  9. What an interesting childhood! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog :)

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    1. yes, i had one of those childhoods. it's a wonder i lived to tell the tale. thanks for following and taking the time to comment.

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  10. I have no intention of swinging a codfish around. Ever.

    I grew up with crazy. And in the last few years I've been running with a crew of pretty normal friends. I don't say much about it, and still feel kind of different sometimes.

    Love your descriptions, Bev. A fantastic post, as always.

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    1. fine, if we're together and there's codfish to be swung, i'll swing it. i think early childhood, crazy training is a must.

      thanks so much june for the support, it means a lot. xx

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  11. Hi Bev, just discovered your blog while hopping around and had to stop to follow. Most entertaining reading I've had all day. Visit me if you get a chance. Thanks for the laughs! Meryl
    http://www.mclendonblog.blogspot.hu/

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    1. hello meryl, you are very pretty people and you live in budapest. how cool is that. i'm glad you were entertained. thanks so much for visiting, following and commenting. i'll return the favor.

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  12. I love your writing style! Thanks for the follow! I think I'm going to enjoy reading this blog!

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    1. is your name social? that's very unusual but we'll go with it. thanks for stopping by and following.

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  13. Another incredible and fabulous post Bev!! Thank you for reminding me that the world is often a better place when viewed through these wonderful minds - you could write best-sellers with your experiences!! xoxox cindy

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    1. dear cindy. you'll turn my head with all this lovely praise. thank you so much. my parcel arrived yesterday and i spent this evening crafting. i'm a very happy girl.

      thanks for taking the time to visit. xx

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  14. Lovely story. Now it makes sense why you like me.

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    1. I wish you could see me smiling in a self-deprecating way. Here's a better way of saying it: You, my dear, are an excellent storyteller. That is a rare skill in blogland. You have a unique voice and I'd love to see you self publish a little Book of Bevisms. But, yes, it does make sense now why you like me. (smile)

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    2. oh my god, my heart was breaking. but now ahhh. yes, i can see your little smile. if you keep saying such nice things you'll have to marry me. and you had me at your first sentence. xxx

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    3. I'm glad but now I've probably offended all of your other commentators. XXX

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  15. Hi Bev! Thanks for stopping by Seriously Kate. Your pictures are so beautiful! I love them. Am now a follower!

    Kate

    http://seriouslykateblog.blogspot.com

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    1. seriously kate, thank you for stopping in here and following.

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  16. Well, I must jump on the praise wagon, Bev: beautiful post. It takes a special person like you to see the beauty and wonder in people so many fear and disrespect. I love your descriptions and that photo is surreally gorgeous. Bravo.

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    1. dearest amy, i love that photo. if i close my eyes i can hear them talking. thanks so much for saying nice things. i think i was always too nosey to be shy of anyone.

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  17. Who needs "normal" and what is that anyway? In my family we pride ourselves on being "not normal". Light 'er up! :O)

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    1. hello luann braley, what a great name, it just rolls off your tongue. i have already imagined a complete life for you. thanks so much for stopping in

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  18. "Crazy" and "Creative" ...say it 3 times fast and they belong together.

    My favourite ring from a dentist appointment was a ruby set in yellow gold that stopped at the first knuckle on my baby finger. Tragically it fell off and was lost shortly after leaving his office.

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    1. dentist, you said dentist. i started the paragraph "let's say the wife of my EYE doctor.

      ah, the ruby ring, perfect for that special occasion but plain enough to wear everyday. love ya xx

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  19. This was great I really enjoyed reading this and always thought some people are just meant to be a little crazy well they are only crazy to others not in their own mind.......

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    1. dear jo-anne, yes we're all sane in our own minds. thank you for visiting and for saying pleasant things. i appreciate it and you.

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  20. I am your newest follower and was hopin' that you'd pop on by my blog (which is currently under construction so don't mind the missing photo, etc), hang around and follow me back!


    Have a lovely day!

    Sarah

    www.enjoyingtheepiphany.com

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    1. hello sarah, thank you popping in. i would love to hope on over. thank you for the follow and the comment. and a lovely day to you too.

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  21. Sitting here grinning from ear to ear... I can only imagine what my co-worker must think I'm looking at. Have I mentioned yet how truly gifted you are??

    Happy weekend,

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    1. hi jenn. where did you fancy name thingy go? happy new year. thank you very much for all your pretty talk. i'm glad you came to call.

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    2. ha! can't do it from my mobile, next time :)


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  22. hi, just following you back! i love how you've styled your blog. i really love the white and black and white photos. great little poem, it kind of describes my life right new perfectly :)looking forward to reading more!
    -richelle

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    1. dearest richelle, my style represents my life - plain and without colour. thank you so much for following and commenting. happy new year.

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  23. If ever we meet, we shall don flowered kaftans, see if we can make an egg explode by heating it in an empty pot, and I'll chain smoke and see if I can catch somthing on fire for you!
    All I can say, my dear friend, is I love you and the way you think! I'd be a POOR choice to hold your string, but a hell of a chick to float off with. *hugs*

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  24. I found your email. It was buried. I wrote back. Hugs.

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  25. Bev as a dyed in the wool bluenoser, I have eaten cods cheeks, dined too on their sounds and even kissed the cod, but have never swung one around before. You are a writer of firsts! Your blog beats all, and i have more productive time than throwing (or swinging) monkeys at the pope. Chimps, marmosets, howlers and orangutans all work well though :)

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    1. i'd throw a monkey at the pope. i am from a village so small that the only thing we had to swing was codfish.
      thank you so much for your kind words. i see that em found your blog.

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  26. Hi Bev. I popped back after receiving your email last week to check out your craft blog, but I haven't been able to find it. Thanks.

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  27. Hi Bev~ You stopped by my blog Turnips 2 Tangerines and I am so glad you did! What a wonderful story! When I started reading, I thought for a minute I was sitting in my Great Aunt Jo's living room with my Grandma..waiting to see if she was going to set herself or something else on fire:) (Which she had a tendency to do) She was a little "out there" but I loved every minute I spent with her~

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  28. This blog is beautiful! V creative :)

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