January 23, 2007

The Little People and more

As I think I told you all, I am making a large tortoise out of papier mache (almost finished) which I will show you pcitures of when I am done. But as I make it and paint it, the Little People are out in force, sometimes driving me up a wall.

When I was applying the paper to the skeleton, there was apparently a war going on in their world and it was taking place on the turtle's back, or at least the turtle was the site where, like the battle maps the Pentagon uses in planning a war, strategy was worked out. So the little People were telling me all about this war, a domestic war, almost a civil war, but really a revolution and they ordered me to put more papier mache on a certain spot, a "hill" where enemy soldiers were likely to enter the field, as a way of preventing them. "Keep adding more, more, more!" they begged me, and I obliged...Until I suddenly realized, Wait a GD minute! These are only the Little People ordering you about. You do not need to keep adding paper to that spot on the sculpture at all. In fact, it is absurd that you are doing so! Stop listening to them. They are only hallucinations. And get on with what YOU want to do. Needless to say, after such forceful and enlightened self-talk, I did just that. They didn't stop talking after that. No way. But they did stop ordering me around. And I stopped paying attention to their demands for this or that.

On Saturday night, I was painting the sculpture (all along they have been bothering me, it's just that this night's appearance was particularly striking) using certain colors I'd chosen when White announced itself as a "Born-again"
and Yellow piped up that she was Born-again too. They started quoting Bible verses and sounding very pious and self-righteous when Blue made an appearance. (I must have switched colors.) Blue was innocent but a non-believer, whom White and Yellow immediately tried to convert, clamoring loudly and surrounding him, not letting anyone get a word in edgewise, or even have access to Blue. I was finished with Blue for the time being and put that brush into some water. Picked up the red paint and a clean brush. Oh, Red was livid! He did not like White and Yellow at all, nor did he appreciate what they had done to poor Blue, monopolizing him and not letting anyone else talk to him. Blue didn't seem to mind, nor have any interest in being Born Again either, but Red was incensed nonetheless. He started uttering death threats, presumably aimed at the two female Born-Agains, though it wasn't exactly clear. This was no doubt on purpose. If Red didn't say whom he was threatening to kill, but simply mumbled "I'll kill you!" under his breath, no one could say he had threatened them and go to the police.

Finally, Purple came into play as I put the red brush into water and started using the best color of the lot so far. Purple was obviously a lawyer, very rational and reasonable, not getting involved with any of the brouhaha that was going on but appealing to me to solve the problem. I said to him, Hold it! You are obviously well-educated, a lawyer. You are rational, smarter than I, more logical and you know the law. You must have it pretty good, there where you live, YOU solve the problem. Why should I step in and do it? THe lawyer, Purple, said nothingm but seemed disappointed. Suddenly, the human figure the colors were painting, The Queen, spoke for the first time. Everyone listened, even Red. And though I don't remember what she said, I do know that like any decent and reasonable queen, she solved the problems of her subjects in no time.

I realize that this sounds outlandish, even completely made up or fantasized, but it isn't. It's what I heard, unbidden, involuntary, and undesired. Like so many other things I hear. I no longer hear either music or the nasty, insulting voices, but these little people have not diminished one iota. Granted, I can laugh at them after the fact, and I had a hearty one at the story of the colors arguments when I told the visiting nurse about it yesterday. Just relating it sounded so ridiculous, I had to smile :) but in truth it is very distracting at times, and can derail me, as it did in the first instance, from doing what I need and want to get done. Nevertheless, I'm not so sure I want them to go away...I think I would miss them if they did. They do keep me company and they are harmless, if irritating sometimes, but amusing much more often than they are irritating.

I got the results from the colonoscopy and the liver ultrasound: nada, nothing, zilch. The liver has some cysts, but no fat that they could see. The doctor doesn't know the reason for the elevated liver enzymes, but wants to see me in 6 months to see if they are still elevated. If they are, he will do a biopsy. Otherwise, I am to sit on it and simply wait. I guess all that is good news, though I dunno still why my liver function tests are off. Guess I'll have to wait and see.

What with the tortoise taking so much of my time, I haven't been doing much of anything else. No poetry, except for one for my twin, on the occasion of her engagement to a wonderful wonderful Italian (truly Italian, he came to this country when he was 14 and we think his Old World ways is partly why everyone likes him so much). I do write in my notebook (journal) but not as much as I should, and you can see that I have not written here quite as much as I want to. But I get so excited by making these sculptures that I can do little else for as long as one is in the works. My next one I want to be a person, The Decorated Betsy I have tentatively titled it, and I am already visualizing how I am going to build the skeleton and what it will look like once made.

The problem with making these things is that in my two room apartment, not counting the kitchenette, I have NO space to put them, and I don't really want to keep them, but don't know where or how to sell them nor even how to find people who might want to buy. People have suggested E-bay, which is one idea, and I have someone, presently in Hawaii but due home soon, who says this problem is right up her alley and can definitely help me. But ideally I'd find some public place to put Dolly the Llama with my name and contact information displayed, so that people could find me and order or come see other sculptures and maybe buy those. I do not care about the money; I'd have to pay Lynnie back with it anyway. But I do want to continue to make these things, and if I do, I need to have a way to get rid of them afterwards! (I say I don't care about the money, and I don't. But it would be nice if someone paid me what they are actually worth, time and material and market wise, as it would help me out to actually reimburse Lynnie for some of the things she has paid for for me.)

Posted by pamwagg at January 23, 2007 05:37 PM


I'd love to see photographs of tortoise. Am trying to find instructions for how to make them, to see if it might be something 1st graders could do. Thanks for any tips. -- Cheers, Colin

Posted by: Colin Purrington at October 4, 2007 09:06 AM

Hello Paula, I hope you start feeling better. I've been missing you too.

Posted by: Kate K. at January 24, 2007 08:25 PM

Hi Pam,

If I could, I would buy your sculptures but I wouldn't know where to put them. My house looks like a workshop with all my yarn, countless knitting needles, knitting patterns, books on knitting and sewing, all my stacks of fabric and last but not least my sewing machine.

Your imaginary friends sound entertaining and like Kate said as long as they are not threatening and not keeping you from what you need to do I think they harmless. The minute they become mean, please call Dr. O.

I'm so glad your liver issues are fine and that you are healty.


Posted by: yaya at January 23, 2007 11:49 PM

Phoebe darling,

"The feeling is primary." Never let that thought stray too far. As for your elevated liver enzymes, I suggest you consult our mutual friend, KBMD. I'm quite sure that he will implicate the antibiotics that you must take as the culprit. I was the major "Liver Elevation Queen" during my time in his care. In your honor I have typed this comment. It is the first time I have typed ANYTHING in quite a while. I am already exhausted, but what are friends for????

T'amie de la coeur, Peskless

Posted by: Paula Kirkpatrick at January 23, 2007 11:47 PM

Dear Pam,

Ah, I missed you but I'm glad you've been working on your papier mache tortoise. I don't have a whole lot of money but I'd love to buy one of your sculptures, around how much are you asking for one? It would be the next best thing to having a book of poetry by you.

The Little People: as long as they don't overtake you and you can say no to them I don't think you should worry too much. What you did today, writing about them I think is very healthy and you show that, in the end, you do have some control over them. They are not your masters. It's when the voices become cruelly intrusive that there should be a warning light that goes on. I'm glad they entertain you though, of course, I think I'd rather that you had your own real group of friends to take their place. But they are imaginative and interesting even so. Have you ever written a poem or poems about them?

That's good news about your colonoscopy. Hopefully your elevated liver enzymes are just a passing symptom of something not very serious. If the doctor is going to have you wait for 6 months then he must feel you are still in good shape. So,yes, wait and see.

Posted by: Kate K. at January 23, 2007 08:10 PM

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