A Tire Swing Story is a bite-sized "imagining" inspired by an object I discover while wandering. It could be a curbside trash gem or a message sprayed on a wall. A lost mitten, or an antique store find. Anything goes. I photograph the object and post them together, the story and its inspiration. There will be a new story every Monday and Wednesday. On Fridays, I'll discuss writing, life, love, and coffee. (In no particular order and maybe all at once.)
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
As the dryers spin round with people's clothing inside, Kirby sits on a wooden stool by the cash register and listens for the tell-tale sound of change forgotten in a pocket. Tickity-tick, tickity tick. Any money left behind in the dryer belongs to Kirby. And this is what he saves.
At home, Kirby feeds the coins into a small change bank with "Happy Days" written on it. As he does this, Kirby thinks of the Happy Days to come. His sailboat will be long and white. He will name it: Lady Suzanna, after his late mother.
Whenever the Happy Days bank is full, Kirby pours the money into empty detergent jugs he gets from the shop. There are many bottles clustered together in his living room. But not enough. Not yet.
During the long afternoons at Splish Splash, when the air is warm and smells of dryer sheets, Kirby reads the newspaper. He likes to come across odd stories. There are many unexpected things happening in the world.
Will Kirby Newsom ever buy himself a sailboat using forgotten change? Stranger things have happened.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Jack Layton's recent death has brought my Dad to mind. That is not to say that my Dad and Jack Layton were the same, but they were both good men lost to cancer way before their time.
Its been really touching walking the streets of this city and seeing all of the tributes to Mr. Layton, the signs and posters, flowers and candles. Yesterday when I got on the TTC, there was a notice in the window of the subway collector booth telling people how to get to Jack Layton's office to pay their respects.
When I have to deal with a loss, for me, memories and storytelling are key. Remembering someone and how their life affected mine makes everything bigger somehow. It helps me feel better. Because lets be honest, loss hurts. Something awful.
Here's something I know my Dad would'a liked. Click here and sing with me now. Bonus points if you rock out a little bit.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
Beneath the bench were rocks, and sunning himself on those rocks was a brownish-grey lizard with a blue tail. The lizard's name was Fredrick. He arrived at that spot every day, and every day, Bea watched him. Fredrick was different than the other creatures in the backyard. He wasn't loud like the bees, or sly like the spiders. The squirrels made Bea dizzy and the German Shepherd frightened her. But Fredrick was calm and and seemed to observe the comings and goings of those in the yard thoughtfully.
As the days passed, Bea's fondness for the lizard deepened into something like love. Can a watering can love a lizard? Well, why on earth not?
For the first time in her life, Bea was happy.
And then something happened. It only took a moment, but to Bea, the seconds seemed to slow down and stretch themselves out. First, a shadow passed overhead. Then there was a screeching sound and a dark shape plummeted to the earth. Bea saw wings, and claws, and a horrible open beak.
Fredrick darted for cover, but it was too late. The crow snatched him up but then miraculously, dropped him. The lizard lay on his back, too stunned to move and the bird swooped in for a second attempt. Bea knew she had to do something.
Without hesitation, she hurled herself off the bench and shattered into a hundred pieces on the rocks. Startled by the crash, the bird flew away and Fredrick escaped to safety.
Death wasn't the way she thought it would be. Bea was in shards, but somehow she still felt whole. And the happiness she'd discovered with Fredrick was still there.
To an unremarkable watering can, that was a very remarkable thing.
Friday, August 19, 2011
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.
be on the watch.
there are ways out.
there is a light somewhere.
it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.
be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.
you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.
and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.
your life is your life.
know it while you have it.
you are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Okay, maybe I did.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Friday, August 12, 2011
|Are you a donkey?|
|Are you a donkey?|
|My sisters, Aly and Rach, post-donkey sighting.|
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Every day he goes on about how badly he wants to eat us, clicking his pincers together for emphasis. The little shrimp statue is terrified and so are the stuffed shorebirds.
And do you think he gets purchased and taken home by some lucky customer? Noooo. No one wants to buy a lobster knick-knack. No one wants to buy any of us, which is why we're going to all be here at Mr. Willard's Trading Post collecting dust for all time.
I'm a lovely china teapot with golden sheep emblazoned on my side. The lobster's not interested gobbling up a teapot, so I'm safe, though I'm sure he'd just love to nip at the heels of those dear little sheep. Brute.
Today the lobster is intimidating the crystal snail on the edge of our shelf. "You," the lobster says to him, and there goes the click clack of his claws, "will make a very fine dinner."
But then heaven almighty, Mr. Willard places a big brass seal on our shelf.
"Who wants to be eaten first?" the seal barks. And though none of us is thrilled to have another bully in our midst, we're all a little bit pleased to see the lobster tremble.
"Food chain," I want to remind him, "it's all about the food chain."
Monday, August 1, 2011
But when it came time for Darling to make a wish and blow out the candles, something happened. John starting talking. His words came out in a rush like he'd been holding his breath.
But this year, she is alone at the table. And this second cake is all hers. Darling lights each one of the candles, closes her eyes and makes a wish.