Happy Halloween y Felix Día de los Muertos! So….I was a strange child. I dealt with bizarre happenings that were more on the para-normal side. I worried my parents sick with the things I would tell them I saw and what I felt. So much that they had me run through a battery of sleep studies and test to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating or just plain crazy. The doctor told them that I was suffering from night terrors, but he couldn’t quite tell them why I was having occurrences during the day. Chalked it up to having a vivid imagination. As a child it can be frightening, until you realize there is nothing to fear. Here’s a true story of one of my experiences I wrote back in 2003. I found the printed copy of it in my trunk and it’s pretty damaged. Sorry about that. Enjoy.
1973 in my wooden twin bed, I’d drift off to sleep. The kind of sleep, that reaches in real deep. Down, down, down I’d go. Drowning out alcohol-reeked hollering heard from the first floor below. In the depth of my slumber, my sleepy soul would awaken. Eyes wide open and full of wonder. My spirit gradually lifts away from my body. Looking down over my cocoon, I’d hover above playfully.
No need to use the door. I’d float right through the roof. And, sometimes I’d soar through the window or down the second floor staircase. Most times, punching through wooden walls of the old house my family and I lived in.
That night, I’d attempt to fly past one more street block, than I’d done the night before. But, remember our promise to meet. I swooped around in lightning speed, racing to the voice of the spirit guide calling me. No matter the route I chose each night, I’d always arrive at the same spot beside you. In my backyard we’d meet, on a round concrete picnic table with matching concrete seats. Another visit the reason unknown to me?
Mostly, we’d sit in silence barely moving – feeling the breeze blow through us like leaves, taking with it each unsure feeling, of the havoc of my waken life. I’d watch as you sit so quiet and sullen, amazed how you comforted me with your silence. We’d look up to the sky and watch the tree branches swaying back and forth, and we’d smile at the simplest things…..a bird flying by or the rustle of the trees. I remember you speaking from time to time, but I don’t remember the words.
As I looked down at my worn, hand-me-down pajamas, which were a size too small and missing a button, fourth one down, I noticed your clothes were so different than mine. You wore a plain, white, long, ankle-skirt wrapped by a white apron with occasional stains on it. Your beige colored blouse with faded flowers was button-down with a scalloped collar. You wore a bonnet, with pencil twisted white locks peeking out from underneath.
As you’d cradle my small hand in yours, I’d see all the wrinkles and feel how your hands shake. And, as you smile, your thin, small lips stay pressed tightly in between a very long nose and pointy chin. I wondered if you had grandkids of your own. I’d ask, “How old are you anyway? 90 or 100?” I tell you my birthday is next week – “I’ll be seven. I won’t have a party, but you can come anyway.”
When it was time to go you’d simply nod your head. Hesitantly, I’d traipse quickly forward, until up in the air I’d float. Back to my room, into my body, asleep for the rest of the night.
I still don’t know who you were or why I felt no fear. I never questioned or asked why you were here. I simply awaited each night, for a visit from my spirit guide who comforted my 6 year-old self.
Happy Halloween y Feliz Día de los Muertos.
Introducing my new coloring book for adults. It’s called “Journey of a Nature Girl”. Here’s a sneak peek. https://youtu.be/dgAdUrR_jnw.
How I want to protect you. How I see the storm approaching and have to make split and painful decisions, whether or not to hold back the river for you allowing you to float through on the life jacket of joy and child-like innocence and peace. Or let you slam right into it viciously, drowning in disbelief and shock. And as you struggle and eventually float to the top of the other side of the river, I will be standing there waiting for you. You both ask, “Mom, how are you so strong?”. Through my weathered eyes, wrinkles at the corners, I gleam at them and say “My Mother was on the other side of the river”. I love you.
Take a seat
amongst the trees
with Mother’s most beautiful leaves
taking a bow
in their final breeze.
– Y. Zepeda
She laughs every time she sees them. Fishermen who try to come too close to her spot on the river. Trying to throw her a line. “Look at him” she says to herself. “He doesn’t even have the right equipment. This is a rough, stony and choppy river. That line and bait is not made for this type of water”. They ask if she needs help…… “A pole, some line, some bait, some tips. It won’t cost her anything they say, just some conversation”. Over and over they try and she snaps back “do you see a tackle box with fishing supplies next to me!? I’m not fishing today.” Eventually, they stumble back to where they came from, tripping and slipping over giant rocks and left with broken fishing supplies. Then there are the guys trying to get to this side of the river with a boat. No kidding! Ohhhh, these are the best. She says “No, I don’t wanna know how big your boat is. And no, I don’t care how much it cost. And no, I don’t wanna go for a ride. What they don’t realize is that she’s already made her “river bed” and lay-ing in it….ALONE. No she’s not fishing. She, the stones, the river…..they’re all just fine. She’s only needs this little carved out spot that she’s been comfortable in, for a while. One day…..the strange one comes along. He’s large and bald. He’s barefoot, without a T-shirt and just wearing shorts. And he’s jumping from rock to rock in the middle of the river. Looks like he’s having fun. She’s curious, but really just wants to tell him to go find his own damn river. He jumps so carefully not to trip and fall and he seems to be coming closer to her. She doesn’t see any fishing gear? And she doesn’t see a boat or party of any kind? Where did he come from and what does he want? She notices that there’s something hanging from his chest. As he gets closer, she notices that he has a brown and silver rosary hanging from his neck. Stunned, she looks down at her own chest at her own “rosewood rosary” that hangs from her neck. Finally after fighting the rough river and slippery rocks, he lands right in front of her. He stares her down with hazel-green eyes and doesn’t say a word. She’s nervous and doesn’t speak to him. He plops himself right next to her on the river bank. Just sitting silently, they watch the river. Her gut tells her that she’s safe. Something very kind about him. She says to herself……”I guess he can stay”.
**** To properly understand this story, you should read the first of this sequel. Go to the Archive for January, 2015 to read “Stones Belong in the River” and then after that go to Archive for April, 2015, to read “Back to the River”.
Finding relaxation and teaching others how to be “child-like” again. Presenting Adult Coloring Classes!! Yes, you heard that right. For people in the Houston and surrounding areas. Email me at Tintedpage@gmail.com to plan your next event.
Her eyes jolt open between moonlight and sun-up. More nightmares. Her head still in the same spot on his shoulder where she drifted off to sleep several hours earlier. Her left hand in the middle of his chest peeking out from under his large warm hand. She takes a deep breath. With the first flush of morning light coming through the window, he is staring at her with soft brown/green eyes. He says, “your hand always twitches like crazy when you’re having nightmares. Sometimes I feel like waking you, but I don’t wanna startle you more”. He kisses the inside of her hand and she drifts back to sleep.
My first love in art was drawing. So, I’m super stoked to be using this medium again. I told the story to my boyfriend the other day about how hard it was to be a young person of 9 or 10 years old in a family that just couldn’t afford to buy art supplies and how I would draw with just the simplest of materials. Any kind of paper I could find would do. Receipts, napkins and sometimes typing paper that my Mom would share with me. I also had to use whatever #2 pencil I could find in the house. A few years later, I got my first clerical job at age 15 1/2 and every day as I walked in downtown Houston to the bus stop to make my way home, I passed by an art store. I never went in. I just swooned through the glass windows and looked at all the stuff I wanted to buy. When I got my first paycheck, I ran straight after work to that dang art store! LOL. I took $10 and bought 4 really nice Faber-Castell drawing pencils. An H, a B, a 4B and a white pencil. I also bought an 8 1/2×11″ sketch book and a small white rubber eraser. Yesssss…..believe it or not, I was able to get all that with $10 back in the year 1980. I look now at the many, many art supplies of every medium you can think of, in every shape and color, that I have and realize how blessed I am to be able to create any kind of art I want at any moments notice. Just a couple of months ago, I delivered 3 boxes of art supplies as a donation to the local cultural art center for kids in my old neighborhood where many poor and middle class children go to learn and create art. I think of them often and hope they are enjoying creating art as much as I did as a child. Here’s a piece from my new series of work called “Tattooed Beauties”. I hope you all like it. Prints are available for this piece starting at $50. Much Love.