Expansion & Contraction

I look out of my office and see the grooves in the floor. I want to lie down. Allow the tops of my feet, thighs, stomach, breasts, my palms, my left cheek, my ear to rest on the boards that have been here since 1951. There is story to share.

Flooring needs to acclimate to its environment. It’s called acclimation. It prevents excessive expansion or contraction.
Expansion and contraction.knotted history
Expansion and contraction.
Wood floors expand and contract.
They need space to allow for movement.
They are alive.

I’ve stripped through many layers of polish and shine to come to the original tongue and groove wood panels that are at my foundation. I prefer a natural finish. I want my imperfections to shine as the sunlight streams in through the windows. A nick here, a scar there, knotted flaws. Blemishes contain story.

I can find story anywhere if I choose to see. Choose to pay attention. Choose to feel. Acclimate to the energy that has been left behind. A fingerprint left on a glass coffee table, the red lipstick that stains a favorite tea cup, the faint scent of Tide tumbling in the air as the drier runs. I can be still to feel the pitter-patter of children that grew up on these floors, feel their bumps and bruises, knees, shins, hearts scraped, scarred, broken and healed.

When we first moved into the house I felt the history. I wondered if one day I’d greet Bill in a bouffant do and white ruffled apron over a yellow fitted blouse and full skirt. The smell of his dinner warming in the O’Keefe and Merritt oven, some sort of a casserole baking with broccoli, tuna and Campbell’s cream-of-something soup. I’d greet him with a chilled Martini, three olives, little vermouth, ruby lips pursed, “How was your day honey?”

I’ve never made a casserole, but I do greet him with a kiss, smile and the question.

As I look out from my office, I see us grooved into the boards. We have, after nine years in our home, added to its history.

We’ve acclimated to the house. Like the wood floors did when they first settled in 1951, we settled ourselves in here, happy, in 2004. One day another couple will settle in after we’ve left. They’ll swirl themselves into our spirits and the spirits of those that have come before.

We are pieces of wood. We expand and contract.  We are boards in a floor, placed together, tongue and groove, to create a patchwork foundation.  We are story.

Let’s Get Naked

Billboard at Washington & Hauser

An amazon blonde stretching her shirt in her hands, tugging, arms crossed pulling her shirt over her head. She’s frozen in time, staring down at me, as I wait at the red light at Washington Blvd.  Maybe she’ll toss it off, letting her top fly across the room so that it lands at her lover’s feet.   Maybe she’ll walk toward him, letting the shirt drag behind her on the floor.  Maybe she’ll get tangled in it as she pulls it over her head.  She’s staring at me from a billboard.  She’s teasing and taunting and wanting, smiling her big amazon smile.  She’s frozen up there. Taunting, “let’s get naked”.  She promises to freeze my fat and make me perfect so I can get naked.

The word NAKED is what grabs me.  Because I’m there, wanting to be naked, stripped down, listening to my hip circling erotic creature playlist.  I am on my way there, to the S Factor, where I’ll dress up to strip down.  Heels, thigh highs with little red bows with white polka dots, a black tutu, sheer tank that I’ll pull, tug, twist, and finally peel over my head revealing my black bra and my skin.  Naked.  Even before I arrive I’m stripping in the car, pulling thought after thought from my brain and tossing one by one out the window, littering traffic with to-do’s and to-don’ts.


Wanna Join me?
Pare down, let go, let loose
and circle in?
Wanna get undressed, be undone
and then leave the house?
Wanna be naked with me?

Come on…
it’ll be fun.

I’m peeling off layer after layer after layer
Slipping out of fabrics
Threaded together from
Days ago
Weeks ago
Months ago
Years ago.
I’m untangling myself
from the tattered and worn
patterns of my
habitual weave.

Its time to strip down
tell the truth
love myself
love my choices

I circle my arms around my back
I embrace me
with my off beat dance.
I embrace my words
sing song
sometimes only I can understand,
My blue grass, pink skies, green oceans
My paintings
My definitions.

I’m diving off road
cooking off recipe
living off book.

That amazon blonde, that air-brushed to perfection amazon blonde. That cooing at the drivers amazon blonde. That offering to freeze their fat, to become naked-ready amazon blonde.  She dares the world to get perfect and then get naked.  That amazon blonde has it upside down and backwards.

Get naked now, my voice whispers…

Shed my layers, shed my air-brushing, my striving for perfection, shed my trying to hard, my comparing myself to others, my pushing and pulling myself in and out doorways that have already been closed.

Watch me
as I slide a strap from my right shoulder,
as I peel a stocking down my leg, push it over my calf, past my ankle and let it float from my ruby painted toes to the floor.
Watch me
as I tug at the waist band of my panties with my left thumb.
Watch me as I unbutton, unhook, unzip, unleash.

Watch me saunter
wind, twist, swirl, writhe,  circle, curl, stretch, goddess my way into something much more simple.

Watch me…be naked.