Art...

..... years ago when I was just a child, I once found a terrapin lumbering across the lawn......

..... our home was a mere blip of civilization in thousands of acres of woodland, but my brother and I still sparkled with glee each time some wandering woodsy creature would make its way onto our Little Domain..... but this little terrapin was different......

.... we'd caught mud turtles, snapping turtles, and terrapins for years before we ever came across one like this little fellow.... and unlike his predecessors, he was easy to catch..... he moved slowly as he crossed the lawn....... I watched him as he exited the brush, crossed the road, and ambled under the cross-tie fence that my dad had put up years before that marked the border of our property...

..... my brother and I raced each other to see which would snatch him up first.... I remember looking back at my dad as he eyed us from his squatted position in the flower bed where he was spending his weekend grooming it for planting..... He was away from home all week working on the railroad, but when he was home on the weekends his focus was on house, lawn, and two stringy sons..... and mom, when we were outside playing.....

... my little brother caught the beast first, and he ran to me as hard as he could to show me his prize....

..... instead of closing up, like most tortoises do, this one lagged and sagged....... and even in the jangling hands of my spastic little brother, the little reptile never withdrew into its shell...... and after a few moments, my brother smelled the stench and sat the little box tortoise down by the edge of the house where the water hose connected........

..... it was only after a close inspection that I realized that the poor tortoise had a crack in the center of its shell..... and worse, there was a steady stream of piss ants making their way up and down his legs and back and then disappearing back down into the inky crater in his shell...... I was horrified...... the ants were actually living in the space between the reptile's body and its shell..... I cried for my father to come and help the poor thing, and he came to me as quick as he could..... he, too, stood there for many minutes not believing what he was seeing...... he was mesmerized and dejectedly sickened by what he was seeing..... I watched as this man who had been in War took pity on the poor creature......

..... my father snatched me up by the arm and told me to run inside and fetch the peroxide that mom kept under the bathroom cabinet.... and I did as I was told....... and as soon as I returned, he coaxed the bottle from my traumatized hands and dribbled some of the liquid into the hole in the back of the tortoise's shell....

..... the entire scene then erupted in chaos and horror...... as he held the little beast in his hand and applied the medicine, it stretched out its neck and clawed the air with its hang nailed feet........ it wanted to get away, but he held it firmly aloft..... and another pour.... and another..... and soon the ants were piling out of the cracked crevice with little while balls clamped in their jaws....... their babies....... the eggs of the ants yet to come....... they were abandoning their movable feast and seeking to survive themselves......

..... you will not believe me when I say this, but it is true....... that tortoise stayed in my front yard for three days and never moved more than two feet from the space where my father sat it down... on the morning of the fourth day, we found that it was gone...... and we spent a lot of time that year wondering if it had recovered, if it was happy, and if it appreciated what our dad had done for it.........

.... in the years that have followed, I have begun to feel more and more like that little tortoise that my brother and I found in the lawn on that long ago summer day.....

..... we all have those things that are eating at us..... figuratively or literally....... and we all need someone to step in and take care of us from time to time........ me?....... I probably need a little bit of both........ as for the blog, which has lasted almost 9 years now, I feel that it is limping along...... and it may limp for some time to come........ in a way, I think I lost the heart to blog about sunrises, sunsets, and fancy meals when The Missus was diagnosed with cancer two years ago next month......... and I found that the color of the World changed from vibrant to grey when reality set in........ the birds singing their songs didn't sound the same...... sunlight on my face and coffee on my tongue were equally repellant........

..... and this month sees me in University for the second year in a row......... Art Appreciation, no less......... hey, who would have thought that I would be writing an essay tomorrow entitled "What Is Art?"......

.... for, what is art, indeed........ is a blog art?.... is a life art?...... is love art?....... what is art, indeed........ perhaps a broken terrapin?...... fuck, I am so screwed when I finish this essay tomorrow.........

by Eric on January 29, 2013 | Bullshit (4) | TrackBack (0) | Blogging
Bullshit So Far

SWG... Your words bring pictures. Surely writing is art. I too, am on blog hiatus, With me, it seems that being happy, mark that content, seems to preclude my personal need to write. This story reminded me of a Spescial moment.

I took my young Bride back home to Tucson to visit the Sar'Major in his waning days when he was 90.....

After flirting with her...heh, he never lost that, he said,"Come with me, young Lady. I want to show you something."

We proceeded to the back yard, he whistled as well Ashe could, and whispered,"Shhh....watch."

Five minutes we waited, and then, from under one of the garden sheds , emerged a huge old Tortoise. Dad said,"Pick him up, Wollf, he's the one you raised!"

Sure enough, that Totoise had a "D'S" carved on his shell. I had found two eggs in the desert when I was nine years old. The Old Man had taught me about incubating, they hatched, I fed and cared for them like my own.

And there he was, almost Fifty years old, meeting my young Wife.......

I hope that your Box Turtle is doing as well.

Good to have met you, my invisible Jarhead Friend.......

Bullshitted by Wollf on January 30, 2013 12:10 AM

There is a place about 20 minutes from us, where they take ocean dwelling turtles if they've been hit by a boat or gotten severely injured in some way. All of us mothers take our children there from the time they are toddlers, schools take field trips, and teenagers do their volunteer service hours. I just call it, 'The Turtle Hospital'. Big tanks are in the back where each has its own, even the tiniest, the size of the palm of your hand at times.

It's educational. I don't do any blogging on the philanthorpies my husband and I support, but that is one. We go every year to a big gala at The Turtle Hospital and we take a tour and talk to the guides. It is never enough information.

There is an orthodontist in town that works with them now and he has developed these braces that they can put on the back of these cracked/damaged shells to help pull the shells together as the scar tissues rises up to heal it. It is absolutely fascinating and I'm always in awe that a man, minding his own business, was taking the tour one day and thought, 'I think I can help these creatures'.

Turtles have an amazing pull on our hearts. It's crazy isn't it? I don't know what it is, but I have Turtle art hanging on my back porch, I collect these stuffed turtles, and there is just... a draw.

And your post was about life and art, but I felt compelled to put about the braces for closing shells. I just find it fascinating.

I hope you post your essay. It's always interesting to see your take on things, vibrant or grey. Maybe love itself isn't art, but how you write about it is. I think there are not many people in this world who have been blessed enough to be loved as you write of your love for your wife.

Bullshitted by Bou on January 30, 2013 07:18 AM

Your writing may be less frequent these days - who really blogs anymore, anyway? - but I keep dropping by for the occasional gem. Like this post.

Is writing art? Is that a rhetorical question? Of course it is. Ask Robert W. Service, or Robert Frost, or Neil Gaiman... or Shakespeare.

And are we sometimes weighted down with worry about our health, our loved ones, and the million slings and arrows that are always aimed at us in this life? Sure we are. Sometimes that burden makes it more difficult to write (what's the point of it all?), but writing can also be a means of catharsis. Do what feels right to you, and know that your writing - frequent or rare - has its admirers.

Bullshitted by Elisson on January 30, 2013 09:27 AM

Hey I love reading you you paint pictures with your words. I picked up a snapping turtle one day like to got one of my kindergarten bit. Turned him lose. Ialso likednthe way you linked to rb good luck on your paper. I sure it will be good. Or should I say great.

Bullshitted by Georgia on January 30, 2013 12:00 PM