Objects Around

Objects around

are not mundane

Each one is unique

Handmade by someone

I purchased them

Their provenance forgotten

Their creator unknown

Undocumented

The objects are here

Surround me

Everyday

Do I see them?

Do I overlook them?

The strange polka-dotted beast

from South Africa

A gift from Gabriel

The soft sculpture of a woman

Diddy-wa-diddy

A craft shop visit with Pilar

in the Midwest USA

Once my best friend and confidante

who years later rejected our friendship

The horse and carriage

from recycled bits of metal

Made in Pakistan

The Kansas City ceramic cow

The Kibera 8 collage, a slum in Nairobi

The beachside print by Sheila

inspired by Tucacas

Emerald Suites Venezuela

The camel train oil painting

from a door-to-door salesman artist

in Islamabad Pakistan

The Faberge glass cat

from my aunt in Florida

How did it get to me?

Muddled past

All are here now

Objects around me

Re-reading the Heart’s Garden

Rereading The Heart’s Garden

The Garden’s Heart

By Kenneth Rexroth

has sustained me

through decades

His words continue

Almost unknown

Almost forgotten

But they are there

And re reading

Tears of recognition

of thanks and also of sorrow

What else have I forgotten

What else have I left behind

What else is there

To think

To do

To write

To paint

To believe

To remember

What happens to the environment

the earth

the forest

the birds

the plants

the animals

encased in layers of concrete

glass and steel

overwhelming the natural

yet doomed to failure

to falling

Thank you Kenneth Rexroth

What Astonishes?

Underwater

There is so much

we do not see

We watch the waves

Maybe the whales breaching

But what I want to see

is there

underneath

demanding I change

my frame of reference

from warmth to chill

from light to muted

Adjust your body

Adjust your eyes

Head down

Keep looking

immersed

in water environment

as you never are

in air

walking standing breathing

seeing objects colours

floating in the ocean

Adjust

Accept

Lose track

So that

Astonished

When you raise your head

out of the water

the world is still there

And you will return

My father, the drug addicted vagabond

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I would like to share information about my book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time  which I finished writing in January 2020. Because of the COVID19 pandemic there was no possibility of traveling from my current home in Canberra, Australia to the USA to launch the book.

Many years after being disowned by my father  and after his death (1971), I made a decision to reconcile with him – with his memory – to construct a portrait of a human being that I could respect. I wrote a novel  Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time based on data I collected about my father’s contacts with the justice system in the USA. He was in and out of jails, prisons and mental health institutions (known as asylums) for many years.

The book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time is available on line at www.lulu.com.
Also available on Amazon, but they pay the authors very little.

If you do purchase and read the book, I would very much appreciate your feedback,
on my blog  http://www.familyfiction.comor by email at pamela@tucacas.info.

Here’s a comment about Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time from my friend Martha Woodmansee, Case Western Reserve University Professor of English and Law, emerita.

 It being Presidents Day here, I took the day off from politics and paperwork (a euphemism for my present stasis) to read your novel. So delicious! It’s really, really good. I do really wish you’d been able to launch it in Kansas City MO.

If you want to situate your novel thematically in our American literary tradition I’d like to stress its fit into our deeply held embrace of the individualistic self-made man myth — so
destructively sexist and racist in my view — as set forth so brilliantly by F. Scott Fitzgerald in *The Great Gatsby.*

Thanks for your interest!

Pamela Hutchison Collett

 

Tracking the Human: a book

To my family, friends and readers of my blog,

A year ending. Over and over again people made comments that this year 2020 was “unprecedented”… Yet there are always precedents… previous bush fires, previous pandemics, previous elections…. This year they all came together in a powerful punch.

I finished a book in January 2020, but because of the COVID19 pandemic there was no possibility of traveling from my current home in Canberra, Australia to the USA to launch the book. I ordered a few copies for myself and put the books in a closet, postponing my plan to launch the book in Kansas City, Missouri, Vinita and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

I had spent a few years thinking, researching, writing, rewriting… a book about my father W. Lon Hutchison…  about a person I didn’t really know.  To say I should have known my own father is not correct.  At the time of my upbringing, (born 1945), at the place of my upbringing, (Kansas City, Missouri, USA), parents were unknown quantities to their children.  Parents were power, control, but not people.  Children had no “rights” to know anything about their parents.  Children were just there to do what they were told to do, go where they were told to go, like objects on a chess board… moved around according to their all powerful, all knowing parents. 

Many years after being disowned by my father, many years after his death (1971), I made a decision to reconcile with him – with his memory – to construct a portrait of a human being that I could respect.

I wrote a novel based on data I collected about my father’s contacts with the justice system in the USA.  He was in and out of jails, prisons and mental health institutions (known as asylums) for many years. 

With the current reality of COVID19, travel from Australia to the USA to launch the book is very unlikely for many months.  Meanwhile, the book Tracking the Human: nobody’s a long time is available on line at www.lulu.com.

If you do purchase and read the book, I would very much appreciate your feedback, on my blog or by email at pamela@tucacas.info.

Thanks!

Clouds and Trees

Looking out the window

through the glass sliding door

Clouds moving across the sky

Grey underbellies

White above

Illuminated by the sun

Blue patches in between

Always moving

Changing shapes

Cloud diversity

 

Tree diversity

Branches straight

Branches convoluted

Branches intertwined

Branches bare

Branches with leaves

Moving with the wind

Trunks stationery

Roots underneath

Out of sight

Pushing earth

Enveloping rocks

Clinging to the side

of eroded stream beds

 

Invisible movement

of trees

Visible movement

of clouds

 

Look up again

 

Sky more blue

Clouds

motionless

Suspended

Swallowed up

One wisp drifts away

Dissolving in the blue

Shapes slowly shifting

Grey and white masses

Silhouette flying across

small black bird

 

How long

How long will I stay

in this expanded space

Walking through life

with increased senses

Aware of nuance

Listening to a talk

about the intelligence of birds

Thinking of a book

Thinking of a friend

Thinking of family

Thinking of life

Advising a friend

to write a fictionalized

story of her family history

To put her father in the world

To respect his life

Not to honour or elevate

That’s what I’ve done

with my father

Immersed in Finland

Immersed in Finland

although I’ve never been

and probably never will go

Finnish films have taken me

into humanity

Skiing though snowy forests

Cutting through ice

A cold cold land

bathed in the warmth of humanity

Why did it take so long

to feel connected

Sleep walking through life

Awake and not aware

Tears of being human

Wanting everyone everywhere

to feel the depth

of their own lives