Let’s Just Hug It Out

The Cuddlesome Kraken

You think that I’m all hands, my love,

Controlling, holding tightly so?

Don’t wriggle, struggle, push and shove;

This is the only way I know!Digital illustration: Cool Kraken

I love you, darling, s’truth I do,

So let’s just cut right to the chase—

Let me wrap all my arms ’round you—

Embrace, embrace, embrace, embrace!Digital illustration: Kraken is Warm for Your Form

Let’s be a Toothsome Twosome

digital illustrationInssssssinuations

Don’t worry, Dear; take no alarm—
I’m just designed this way!
If my appearance threatens harm,
Don’t suffer such dismay!
You sense I’m glaring hate, perhaps?
Just something in my eye
That irritates me between naps—
Not meant to make you cry!
This whiplash tail so menacing
Waves only out of habit—
It really doesn’t mean a thing,
You silly rabbit—grab it!
Fear not my hiss or venom’s kiss:
They’re breath and smiling, merely—
There is no threat in all of this—
I would embrace you dearly!
Ignore my hard, ignoble sneer—
It’s just coincidental
That my dentition’s pinking shear
Does not appear more gentle!
So snuggle up among my curves
And let me hug you closely
And cuddle you to soothe your nerves—
You have misjudged me grossly!

The Curvature of the Earth

You know, and I know, that if one can see far enough to and across the horizon, one can see the curvature of the earth. It’s also common knowledge that this is a perspective hard for the ordinary earthling to achieve.

photoWhat is perhaps a little less often considered is how difficult it can be to find and maintain the smaller perspective of the magical and beautiful in our world and our lives. I think I am fortunate both to realize how incredibly beyond-microscopic I am relative to the broad arc of my home planet and, oddly, how this same unfathomably huge place can hold me in the crook of its metaphorical arm, embracing me with such delicate kindness and comfort and generosity.photoWhen I think on this, I begin to see echoes of the vast rim of the third planet from the sun in smaller and smaller graces curving up right in the heart of the everyday.

Another Good Thing about Waving One’s Arms

 

Waving my arms is something I may think about more than the average person does. From when I was pretty young I was conscious of arm movement as being mighty significant in a seriously diverse series of ways. First of all, there was that childhood training we all enjoy, if we’re well inducted, in the art of waving hello and farewell. I have almost always preferred the former to the latter, but in either case, whenever the occasion was deemed genuinely worthy of such a gesture, I knew that it was a sign of love or affection, and that made it pretty darn worthwhile.

Then again, I also had an early fondness for wagging my crayon-gripping fist over a piece of paper (or whatever flattish surface was convenient) to make squiggly lines and, if I got lucky, get them to coalesce into picture-like concoctions. I  might be sitting off in a cozy corner at Grandma and Grandpa W’s, scribbling away, with the faint sounds in the background of parental and grand-parental chatter as they sat drinking their coffee intermingled with the slight chattering sound of Grandpa’s cup doing a little jitterbug against the saucer, because he had a mild tremor in his hand. Of course, his arm-waving was hardly dramatic, but it was one of those delicate underpinnings of my early memory that became part of the whole subtle weave of my perceptions.

Sometime in my early teens or thereabout, I found that the family resemblance extended to my having my own familial tremors, occasionally in my head and neck but mostly in my hands and arms. There have been times when it was more pronounced than was entirely convenient for a person wanting to draw, but fortunately it’s rarely been at problematic extremes, more often merely requiring that I find ways to compensate for or control or use the tremors to advantage in my art-making. In any event, keeping my hand in (no pun intended) as an artist has tended to keep the inevitable interactions of these two kinds of arm-waving present in my attentions. Meanwhile, my other grandmother had her own kind of arm-waving to lend to the family skill-set: Parkinson’s Disease.

Typically, Granny had the wit and will to battle her Parkinsonism not only with great tenacity in staving off the ravages of the illness for many more years than is typical but also with a lot of good-natured humor, because that was her style. So whenever we had a family gathering, she was the first to offer her services for tossing salads and making milkshakes. That my mother has followed in the Parkinsonian lineage would make her forms of arm-waving far worse to behold, knowing that the same sort of insidious progression lay ahead for her, and to be fair, including the knowledge that the odds are a bit higher for me than for some that I will eventually join the parade, but she too has maintained a bright attitude about it all. Besides that, I am very slightly suspicious that her particular skillfulness when it comes to shaking the dice gives her a unique edge in the evening board games.

But the top of the list when it comes to magnificent ways and reasons to wave one’s arms has surely got to be the one I’ve been witnessing so much now that the concert season is well underway again: conducting. Bands, orchestras, operatic performances, choirs. No matter what the form of the musical art, if there is a conductor up there waving his, her (or, particularly, my beloved husband’s) arms, the love that fills the air is what makes all of the arm-waving a worthy and beautiful thing. It brings hearts and minds into focus and, often, into community, and it makes the world a more wonderful place to be.

And that makes me want to stop waving my arms altogether, just opening them wide enough to embrace that better world and anyone I can in it.digital image from an acrylic painting on canvas