Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Playing with Rocks and Words

It is kind of amusing how things we start in childhood tend to go with us throughout life. Although of course I really had many other toys and things to play with, I found two less typical playthings at an early age. Since my conscious memories begin in the old mining camp of Jerome, AZ, I discovered the wonder of stones at a very early age. I joke that there wasn't much else for kids to play with there which was of course not true but rocks were certainly plentiful! Most kids started out throwing them but I always "threw like a girl" and a rather uncoordinated and awkward girl at that, so instead of throwing rocks, I sought out pretty or unusual ones and brought them home.

"Mom and her &(^%***%^  rocks" became a family joke after I was married and had kids of my own. My daughter would threaten to kill me if I once again repeated the tale of the time she accidentally crossed into Mexico with a bunch of mom's rocks in the back of her Toyota pickup and had a heck of a time getting back into the USA although she can laugh about it now.

Maybe in some ways I have the last laugh since I learned some lapidary skills which is the craft of cutting, shaping and polishing gem stones to make objects of art and beauty. I learned silver smithing as well, so that I could put some of those 'pretty rocks' into pieces of jewelry. This is still a hobby I pursue at times and I still have a pretty extensive rock collection--stones from Kentucky, Colorado, California, Arizona of course and now New Mexico. Crystals, agates, quartz, petrified wood, geodes and a lot of good old junkerite and leaverite. Those last two are rock-hound terms, kind of... Geologists and the more scientific rock hounds tend to pin an 'ite' onto all sorts of formal rock names. So this is a bit tongue in cheek. Junkerite of course is rocks that are junk, probably have no commercial or real value but are curiosities and odd things you bring home from various treks. As for leaverite, that is the stuff you should have listened to the inner voice that said,, "Leave 'er right here." Only mostly you didn't. So I'm still playing with rocks, a lot of years later. And above is a picture of my little Rojito as a "rock hound" in truth while I was cleaning and  going though part of my collection I had just rescued from my old home in Arizona about this time last year.

Words came rather naturally to me as well. Some of my early memories are of my dad writing madly away on what he was sure would be the great American novel while he survived on severance pay from a war industry job after moving to Arizona very long ago. No, it never sold but that is beside the point. He did write and later on publish quite a batch of articles and short fiction over the years. Thus I grew up thinking that putting words on paper was a natural thing to do and could maybe even earn money!

At age eight, shortly before the brother I now share a home with was born, I wrote a few simple verses, my initial poetic efforts. Within a few more years I was writing my own versions of Nancy Drew stories and then Zane Grey and other authors I was reading avidly. I also soon discovered the fun of puns and double entendre and other mischievous uses of our very strange English language. We have so many words and phrases that lend themselves to this, too. And I was taught by example the fine art of satire and sarcasm, which seem to come easily to most folk with some Celtic blood, especially Irish. Over the years I became known among friends for ridiculous puns and the elaborate "fuzzy puppy stories" that are crafted to lay a pun on as the punch line. Doggerel and nonsense verses much klutzier than those of Lewis Carroll or Ogden Nash were also a trait I showed.

Here is one very bad limerick to illustrate: (No rotten tomatoes please!! It is just in fun!!)

An Irish lass named Mary Claire
Had a voice all pronounced sweet and fair.
She thought she'd be the rage
When she took to the stage
But fell flat on her Londonderry Air.  (Okay, boo and hiss!!)

And lastly, I actually combined both of my old time 'toys' into a verse some years back, words and stones! And no, I was not "stoned" either in the vernacular of the Hippie Era or literally as those who break Sharia Law might be in some places. Just having some verbal fun.

              The Stoned Poet?
I would take words and use them like stones:
stack them up carefully, building a wall;
batter and scrape the flesh from the bones;
running, kick one before me as if t'were a ball.
I would take words and use them like stones:
heap them between us to keep you away;
throw them at you 'til you leave me alone;
or offer as treasure, to entice you to stay.
I would take words and use them like stones:
circle them round to keep you with me;
strike them to music to hear their deep tones;
lie down amongst them, become one, you see. . . .
I would take stones and use them as words:
agate, jasper and turquoise my verses would be.
Bright send them flying, wilder than birds
to draw your attention so that I might flee.
Fleeing and running, I stumble and fall,
trampled beneath the wild verbal herds.
No ear can hear a rock should it call,
but I would take stones and use them as words.  
                                                      GMW c:1982

1 comment:

  1. You had me smiling throughout this post...and I'm in awe of your stones. I've been collecting ones that catch my eye and get a kick out of seeing my grandson now collecting them, too.