Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Imaginary worlds

When you are working on a play, you can get so involved in the fake believe that it spreads out through your whole world.  Spending 6-12 weeks playing other people or directing other people in foreign places with accents and you can loose a little touch of reality.  Sort of like cancer.

Someone telling you you have cancer can definitely rock your reality and cause you to fly into another world, another reality, any place but where you are.

But being in plays is like good fantasy, where cancer, for most people is not really a good fantasy at all.  And so for the last year I have been living in all kinds of fantasy worlds.  But this is really not new for me.  I have always had a very vivid imagination and being a lover of stories, I have never had any problem when sitting quietly by myself, living in worlds of stories and fantasies.  I love to read, but not murder mysteries, and I am not that crazy about romance novels.  Those are both realities that often go beyond my comfort zone.  I love adventure novels, especially historical adventure stories.  Worlds that are not too evil or too overboard, but rather where good over comes evil and people pull together to make the world a better place and they accomplish this through amazing adventures.  I love the Princess Bride.  Both the book and the movie.  That is one of the very best adventure stories in that it has something for everyone: sword fights, giants, geniuses, beautiful princes and handsome pirates, bad guys and good guys, castles and wizards, oh yes, and rodents of unusual size.  It is one of the great fantasy adventure stories.

This morning my drift from reality started at 6:00 am when I got up, anxious to finish cleaning the house, make breakfast and bake brownie, take a shower and try to look my best, whatever that might be, all before 8:00 am.  Why?  Because I had a friend coming for breakfast this morning at 8.  He was passing through from Gulf Breeze to Sebring for meetings concerning his summer work as an aerial applicator.  OK, as someone who does not know how to fly either a fixed wing or helicopter, this just sounds like a wonderful fantasy to me.  You spend six months flying across the United States making pesticide applications, putting out fires, helping to rescue people, and air lifting Christmas trees off Mount St. Helene.  You work very hard and are away from home and family for half of the year, but then the other half of the year you can do whatever you fancy.  He is a very talented steel sculpture artist.  That is his fancy, and he makes beautiful fantasy with steel.  We met on the phone when he was getting his licenses across the country in all the states that he will need to fly.  I helped him with Florida's, and maybe a few others, I am not sure really how much I was involved in this.  He is the one taking the tests, filling out the forms, sending off the applications, each one different, each one asking for different things, each demanding money.  So that is how I met this person, whom I know many things about, he does not like kimchee, but he does like strong dark black coffee, but do not know the him.

Yesterday when I was talking to him as he was getting ready to head in this direction, he said, I may not be driving back home from the meetings, I might have to fly my helicopter out to Wyoming.  OK, doesn't that just sound so amazing, "Oh, I might have to fly my helicopter out to Wyoming"  Just a matter of fact statement.  Then he says, I have two bells for you that I have made plus a garden sculpture.  I love presents, as you all may know, and to have him stop for breakfast was a wonderful present for me.  To bring me bells and a sculpture for my garden additional presents.  Oh, be still my heart.    But wait, then he says the most fantastical and amazing thing anyone may ever have said to me before.  "Can I land a helicopter in your back yard?"  I mean come on.  Is that an amazing thing to say to someone?  I started to giggle.  I had never thought to ask the realtor when I bought this property if it was large enough to land a helicopter on.  So I immediately dubbed him my imaginary boyfriend.  

I don't care how juvenile that sounds, because I know many people who have imaginary relationships.  Some of them don't even have an idea that they are in an imaginary relationship.  I was in one with Larry.  I mean I imagined him to be one person and yet time and time again he showed me he was not that person, but I continued to hold my head in the sand thinking the best of him.  And that is OK too.  

Honestly, this person is better then the best imaginary boyfriend that I could ever, ever, and I mean ever imagine.  

At about quarter to 8, my phone rings.  I am convinced that he is not going to show up.  That he is just a figment of my imagination.  But no, he was giving me a courtesy call to let me know when he would be there.  That is one of my most favorite things in the whole world for people to do for me.  Call about 15 minutes before they get here so that I can be dressed and meet them when they drive up, versus scrambling to throw some clothes on.  I always want to do twice as much as it is possible, so that is why I tend to get caught with the proverbial pants down type of situation, because I am so busy doing way more then I need to.  I thought that was so sweet and considerate, and well, courteous of him.

So when he drove into the yard, I was sort of prepared.  I think I felt a little like the author of "Venus on the half-shell", no not Vonnegut, but the fantasy author who wrote Venus on the Half Shell, Kilgore Trout.  And in Breakfast of Champions,  one of Vonnegut's books, Kilgore comes face to face with Vonnegut in a Holiday Inn lounge.  It is a wonderful read.  And as I walked, okay I literally scampered out to meet this fantasy imaginary boyfriend I hoped that it would be more comfortable for both of us then it was with Mr. Trout and Mr. Vonnegut.

And it was.  This imaginary person, who was standing right in front of me is a friend I was just meeting.  A person I would like to get to know better.  A sweet and thoughtful person who gives more of his art away then he sells, and he looked real.  Felt real as I threw my arms around his neck and hugged him and said welcome.  He calls his gifts, random acts of kindness.  And that is such an understatement for the joy he brings to people with this beautiful art.  Both of the bells are extremely heavy, have glorious clear sweet tones and drift wood pieces at the end to catch the wind and cause the clapper to ring the bell. To sing out clear and sweet.  One of the bells has a cut out that sort of kind of in a fantasy world looks like a bird head, and it rings different tones depending on which side of the bell you strike.

And the garden sculpture.  I love it.  It is called "3 Squared"  and that name fits it perfectly because it is pieces of steel welded together to form open squares that are welded together and form 3 uprights of these open squares giving a feeling of strength and gentle movement all at the same time.  We put it in my garden next to the back deck.  I walk past this garden every time I come and go from the house.  And by this summer it will be surrounded by greenery and will standout hard and flowing amongst the softness of the plants.

The bells are heavy.  They are made from steel pipes or tanks.  They are rustic and glorious and he told me he would hang them for me when he came back through, whether by car heading home or by helicopter as he heads out west.  Hello, perfect imaginary boyfriend.  

And I know that I am not ready for a real relationship.  I am too self centered.  I know we are all self centered, but with the cancer and meds I don't seem to pick up or respond as considerately as I think I should.  I am a little slow at picking things up these days, and feel so very self centered.  Not a comfortable place for me.  And he came by for an hour.  And then he was headed away.  A new friend.  A friend baring presents.  A friend I would like to get to know.  

He told me a few stories of his life as a pilot.  About jumping into frozen water to try and save another pilot.  About almost freezing to death a second time when his back prop failed and he went down into the gulf 42 miles off shore and was in the water so long and suffered hypothermia.  He seems like a very kind man.  And since he does not live here, he is very much imaginary for me.  And yet we had one hour of time together, it was real, it was sweet and then he was gone, this Birdman of Gulfbreeze.  Pilot, artist, former marine, quiet sweet soul.  

Will we ever see each other again?  Will he land his helicopter in my back yard?  Will he simply fly out of my life after leaving such beautiful and wondrous gifts?  Will I think of his bright intelligent blue eyes every time one of the bells ring?  I only know the answer to that last one.  And yes, I will think of him, and the precious gift he has to not only take steel and make it into art, but then to gift that to people, some almost total strangers like myself, gifted with a random act of kindness.

I have met so many incredible people on this journey I am on.  And I have seen the very best and sweetest sides to friends I already held close to my heart.  Here once again was an act so lovely that I sit and weep a little as I think of the one hour this morning when a gentle spirit drove into my gate and then flew away.

And Stephanie asked me about the hay bales.  I tried to comment back, but I can no longer remember how to comment on my own blog.  If you buy hay bales that have not been treated with herbicides you can plant in them immediately and use them for as long as they hold up.  I think the two I planted will probably last at least a year, if not two.  You do not have to wait for them to season, and you do not have to wait a season to use them.  These were new hay bales.  But if you have the right kind of hay bale, I don't think it would make any difference how old they are.

Then Ms Moon helped me to get to Syd's blog where last week he had a list of behaviors of children of alcoholics.  Neither of my parents were alcoholics.  My father has never drank, my mother was a very light social drinker, but I fit all but one of the behaviors listed.  I have no idea why.  But it was almost like Syd was sitting across from my place watching me night and day with binoculars and making a list of my behaviors.  I know that it is not true.  And Ms Moon also fits very well into the list.  Her Daddy was an alcoholic, but I am not sure what is my excuse.

Finally Kathleen Scott asked me to post pictures of the baby chicks.  I have not taken pictures of them as of yet.  I have a beautiful camera.  Actually the same one that Mr. Moon bought that Ms Moon takes all the gorgeous pictures on her blog.  But I just don't seem to take many pictures these days.  I am not sure why.  Is it because my perception of reality has changed so much in the last year?  I know when I look at myself in the mirror I still see an alien where I used to be.  And I admit to being a ludite and consider myself pushing it just to post on this blog.  I am quite adept at using the programs at work, and can find my way around a computer adequately.  Computers will never be my best friend, but they are a very useful tool.  So I will have to learn how to insert photos.

And there, my first picture uploaded on to my blog.  Blue Belle is the one standing in the back, right next to the red bunny house door.  I have to say that she has not acted insane in anyway since I told the world about her bizzarre behavior.  Now if I could simply wish all the roosters into hens by telling everyone about them, that would be real magic.

I have not named all the chickens because I am not sure who is a rooster or a hen.  But in this picture, Blue Belle is standing with her backside to us.  it is not a great picture, color wise because she has a lot more blue in her then shows.  The two white ones in the back of the picture are Gardenia and Lily.  The little head just stepping into the picture is Rose, the two in the front are not named yet, based on their behavior and the one in the back behind Belle is Pansy, and you can barely see Camelia, a barred rock and then the butt in between Camelia and Rose is Iris, another Blue Andalusian like Belle.

So, thank you Kathleen for pushing me to try and put in some pictures.  It was actually so easy.  I feel a little foolish.

So here is a picture of 3 Squared:

And here are the 2 bells:

You can see the bird head on the bottom of this second bell.

And so now back to finish Thugee's robe.  It is not that long of a job, I just keep getting interrupted with other things and so have not got it finished.  But it will be done before rehearsal on Monday.  

And I feel a little melachonly, maybe how Kilgore Trout felt after meeting his creator.  In my case, just an imaginary person who has been a voice on the phone up until 8 am this morning.  And now he is an email, or maybe a call, and maybe another visit when I can find out more about the him, and he can find out more about the me, instead of just things about each other.  A friendship, not unlike pen pals of old.  But this imaginary friend came baring gifts, and put a smile on my face and then a tear to my heart as he flew away.  But wouldn't it be the best fantasy ever, if he dropped out of the sky in a flying machine right into my back yard?  It could happen.  And that is what is the most amazing thing about this kind and unknown stranger, anything could happen.


  1. A perfect post with pictures and everything! Your baby chicks are growing so fast. Your bells and sculpture are wonderful. Your imaginary boyfriend- perfect!

  2. What a charming story to read to start my day off on a good foot :) Love the pictures!

  3. When i first began reading this blog I thought about when i read a novel..i get so engrossed in the characters that sometimes i want to share information about them with my real life friends, then i realize that it's a novel and nobody cares but me.
    i also get sad when i finish a novel because it's like i'm loosing some friends.

  4. Thank you Kathleen! Your chicks have that teenager look, don't they, a little tall for the girth, with promise of filling out.

    Lovely thoughts, beautifully written. I especially liked your comparisons with cancer, all true.

  5. I am glad that you met with your friend. That is really nice that he brought those great gifts.
    Regarding the children of alcoholics, I think that we pick up dysfunction even if our grandparents were. It is a generational thing with the dysfunction passed along. But thankfully, there is a solution.