tiny vessels

I bruise easily.

Perhaps it is because of the pale cast of my skin - maybe I bruise at the same rate as everyone else, but it's simply more noticeable because I keep myself perpetually out of the sun. I've never been anemic, so I know that's not the cause.

When I was a child, I had so many bruises up and down my shins that some concerned teacher asked me if things were okay at home. I remember staring at her blankly, and when she indicated my bruised legs, I laughed and told her that I climbed a lot of trees and jungle gyms.

There are certain bruises I remember, can relate the stories of, even years later. The fist-sized ones in the creases of both elbows from when I first gave blood. The one on my knee during He Who Gets Slapped, acquired from the way I dropped to the stage night after night in one of our dances. The one on my inner thigh from falling on the handle bar of my bike two seconds after yelling, hands in the air, "look, Ma, no brains!"

I can make particularly good bruises with stage makeup, perhaps because I've so often studied the patterns of natural ones on my own skin.

I have one on my thigh now, just above the knee, vaguely rectangular and the dirty brown-yellow-green of an old wound. I don't know what it's from, but I've managed to bump it a couple times since I first noticed its appearance, the sudden pain shooting up my leg. If it were my daughter's, she would have no doubt poked it herself out of curiosity, coming up to me afterward and saying, "Mommy, I have a bruise, it hurts. See?"

I much prefer physical bruising to emotional. When people accidentally bump into a physical bruise and see you wince, they understand why. You can locate a physical bruise by sight, and baby that area until you heal. No one tends to question how long it's taken for a physical bruise to fade, and its cause is usually simply and quickly explained away.

Not so with the emotional bruises, which rise suddenly to the surface months after the blows were delivered, brushed by casual passersby with no intent to harm and no way to ease the shooting pain they caused.


things I like this week, vol. 34

The solitude of this quaint neighborhood
is so pleasant and yet so sad,
with its little houses
and the trees that paint shadows.

One of my favorite tangos, for the lyrics as much as for the music (both here).

. . .


. . .

I love that the wrinkles in the fabric look like waves.

. . .

Taken in Chile.

. . .

The shortest short story, written in Spanish by Augusto Monterroso:

Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba allí.
(When [s]he awoke, the dinosaur was still there.)

. . .

So wonderful and chilling.

. . . 

I saw this on Bookshelf Porn and two days later saw one in person in Minneapolis. Apparently they sell kits for them.

. . .

Oh, art jokes, how I love thee.

. . .

So much more than a map.

. . .

"After a really awful, no-good day, didn't your momma ever make you milk and cookies?"

They make everything better.

. . .

An abandoned subway station in New York. Apparently now you can ride through it . . .

. . .

A scientifically-based analysis of how much power Yoda can output.

. . . 

Number seven from Kurt Vonnegut's 8 rules of writing:

Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.



"Tell me more about your valley," she said to Moomintroll. 
"It's the most wonderful valley in the world," he answered. "There are blue-trees with pears growing on them, and chatterfinches sing from morning till night, and there are plenty of silver poplars, which are wonderful for climbing--I thought of building a house for myself in one of them. Then, at night, the moon is reflected in the river, which tinkles over the rocks with a sound like broken glass, and pappa has built a bridge that is wide enough for a wheelbarrow."
"Must you be so poetic?" said Sniff. "When we were in the valley you only talked about how wonderful other places were." 
"That was different," said Moomintroll.
"But it's true," said Snufkin. "We're all like that. You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is."

- from Comet in Moominland, by Tove Jansson