Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thoughts in clear form."
-- Albert Einstein

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eli's Tea Party

Eli's Tea Party
"Hello friend." It was, what I would like to call, his "signature line."
Every weekend it was the same. Sunday afternoon, 2 PM, the low-chimed doorbell would bellow throughout Eli Grey's mansion. Other than the ticking of the imposing grandfather clock in the entrance and the slight shuffle of my own footsteps it was the only sound that would be heard throughout the duration of the week, at least until Sunday afternoon.
Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.
"Hello friend."
Tuesday afternoon a person with a package arrives at the door.
"Have a good day, friend."
Ding. Dong. Ding. Dong.
Friday morning another package would arrive.
Every week it was relatively the same. Shift Tuesday for Wednesday on occasion but on Friday morning there was always a package waiting. I had been interested as to what the packages contained but I had yet to find out.
Eli Grey was a curious man, but I had never really spoken to him, with the exception of, "Your tea, sir." and, "Is there anything I can get for you, sir?" For as much as he had paid me, he required very little of my services.
"Good afternoon, my darling!" And it began. Mrs. Darjeeling came bursting through the door dressed entirely in red, just as she always had. And just as she always had, she grabbed Eli by the shoulders and aggressively kiss each of his cheeks, left then right.
Behind her, a full montage of eccentrics awaited their turn to greet The Eli Grey, always in the same order and always wearing the same identifying attire. Each had their own way of greeting the tall, withered man that I had yet to understand what made him so great. As soon as the last had entered, Mr. Oolong in his usual blue leisure suit, I progressed to the kitchen to begin making tea as they made their way over to the lounge room.
By the time I would finish and deliver the tea and biscuits, the room would already be thick with pipe smoke. I would then assume my position by the doorway and wait until they needed anything. Sometimes it would be more sugar, playing cards, or even Brandywine perhaps. It was the most I ever got to do all week.
Generally, I wouldn't even listen to their conversations merely for the fact that they were so exclusive in their hashing of the past and the good ol' days that were simply beyond my comprehension. However, one detail I never failed to observe was just how little Mr. Grey would speak.
I often wondered why these boisterous individuals would enjoy the company of someone so quiet, so reserved, so grim really. The man looked completely sleep deprived and even though he always carried a smile while these people were around, there was something completely unnerving about it.
"Mr. Black, my dear. Would you be so kind as to brew us another pot?" Mrs. Darjeeling beamed a smile.
"Of course." I responded, bowed, then exited.
When I returned with a new pot of tea, everyone was moving quietly around the room, seemingly collecting their belongings.
"It appears that one of us has expired for the evening." Mrs. Darjeeling whispered.
I walked over to the coffee table, placing the pot of tea and looked over to Mr. Grey who was asleep in the chair..
"Be sure to tell him it was a pleasure as always." One of them commented from behind.
They all showed themselves out as they usually did and I sat down in the chair next to Mr. Grey, waiting for them to fully leave.
Once they were gone and the sounds of their vehicles could no longer be heard, all that was left was the ticking of the clock.
"Mr. Grey."
Tick. Tick. Tick...
"Mr. Grey, it is unlike you to sleep downstairs. Would you like for me to prepare a bed for you down here?"
Tick. Tick. Tick...
I looked over to Mr. Grey once more. He was still. I looked over to the pot of tea and poured myself a cup, sitting with the stillness and the grandfather clock.

Christine Karamol

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Village of Delta

In Bowling Green, it's cold and it's windy. The temperature is not nearly what it should be nor what it needs to be for this time of year. It's depressing and it's stressful. Overall, the people here don't expect much. Life progresses in what seems a standardized pattern and any deviations from that pattern generally leads to an upheaval of some sort. It's also surrounded by corn fields and it's an amazing surprise that there are a few stores on main street that aren't part of some recognizable franchise or chain.

That very same description fits the town I grew up in... minus the fact that it's not a town, it's a village and everything that was stated above is in fact true, only intensified. In Bowling Green, it's windy; In Delta, it's windier. In Bowling Green it's cold, depressing... In Delta...
So what's the difference? 45 miles? I hardly think that's enough to constitute a whole lot of anything. There's more people here, less there... a few more buildings here to block the wind...

To be honest, I don't think there is a damned difference.

This past weekend, the weather finally broke (only to damn us with its predictable let-down). I spent a good portion of Sunday driving around the places I'm most familiar... walking in those places. It's going to be one of the last times I'll ever get to. Some of it I enjoyed... the parts where I was surrounded by trees and not another soul was in sight. Some of it I completely detested. Most of it, actually. The wide open spaces of nothing. The stale lingering of nothing in the air. The great nothing as you looked out into the nothing and thought about nothing.

I don't think initially you can really comprehend how profound that is coming from me.

There's something to the abyss, to the quiet moments. Much can be said with nothing at all. I find the flatness of this place to be stunning, the shifting of the corn stalks to be one of the quietest, most beautiful songs that most will never hear. Whirling of the wind, seen only looking over the wheat fields, and the golden finches that I relentlessly tease with my mimicry calls for food. I will miss it. I'll miss the beautiful rural sunsets and the violent, mesmerizing storms that you can see in a way that you can't see anywhere else. I'll probably miss that most of all.

I'll miss the smell of dead leaves and an autumn that truly is magical to me. Hell, I'll even miss the hicks on their four-wheelers and getting stuck behind farm equipment so large and bizarre looking, that after 22 years of living around it, I still couldn't tell you what it is. I always wondering if I could drive under that one that sits really super high... you know the one...

So why is it that driving around these places I feel so... disgusted?? I almost feel irritated and angry. Living in Bowling Green for some reason, I feel like I'm encased in a bubble that is just enough rose-colored that I don't lose my mind. I think by now you must have some sort of an inkling.

Don't get me wrong, there's something I truly admire about the simplistic nature of the lives that have molded and shaped me. Actually, I strive for a greater state of simplicity. I will admit that my life is far too convoluted and insane right now. I hardly have a minute to take anything in, let alone enjoy a shower or a book or a TV show. However, I believe what I seek is a more complete state of simplicity that can only come from venturing out of it to begin with. See where I'm going with this? Not to overgeneralize but Delta is a small town (*cough* village *cough*) with small people (some wonderful people too)... and don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being small... we're all small in the long run but I think it's good to know that and truly understand it. For me Delta (or just NW Ohio, or maybe Ohio in general... and probably Indiana and Michigan too) represents failed dreams and mediocre desires. As one of my favorite songs state, "I want more, more than just okay." And I mean so much more. (Oh, and it also means unacceptably cold and LONG winters that put me into a depression so bad every year that sometimes I honestly want to die, and I'm not being melodramatic.)

It's not about money (I am an artist after all), it's not about fame, or proving that "I did it. I got out." (okay maybe that a little bit.)

And to be honest, I'm already fairly aware of the fact that places really don't change that much, but what does change is our experiences. It's been said plenty of times before in numerous amounts of ways but you really don't realize how much you don't know until you know just a little bit more. And when you know just a little bit more, you want to know a little bit more after that... it's probably the most brilliant perpetual motion machine with increasing velocity... the problem is, getting it started... and you won't even know until you've come to the point that I have. Perhaps not even the same point, but it's the point where you look around and you realize that there's always something to gain no matter where you are, but it's time to move on... whether that's a state of mind, a very literal action, or a little of both. It's just time to move on.

You know, when that time comes... and it'll be here real soon (not soon enough), I'll cry. I'll cry probably on and off the whole way down to Florida. I'll cry because I'll miss my family. I'll cry because I'll miss other people. I'll cry because I'll miss the fall, and apples, and country boys, and lower IQs, and lilacs, and lake Erie, and Cedar Point, and Hocking Hills, and small town festivals for every fruit and vegetable and boring parades, and damn... I'll miss Delta. I'll also cry because I'm scared and because I'm excited. I'll cry for what I've already lost, what I've gained. I'm sure I'll miss both of my grandmothers because those things have a way of lurking into your mind when you're upset about irrelevant matters. Most of all, I'll just miss Ohio. I can see myself in so many places, but when you get down to it, I'll always be from here and even though I'm leaving, Ohio will never leave me (and right now that sounds a little depressing maybe even scary... but in the end, I think it's positive lol).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Look at what I'm getting!!

So, guess what that means!! I'm getting ready to be all about Alunae here REAL SOON! I'm so excited! I feel like I'm returning to myself.

Monday, April 4, 2011

My Little Kaiser

Evil is Magic