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barbtries a blog
Saturday, August 31, 2002
Two Pinter Plays but Only One Comes Through

My friend the Temptation [the newest Temptation as of the night
before], the sound man for this production, gave me a belated
birthday present last night, which included a seat to the Pinter plays and Thai food afterward. Thank you to both F. and his girlfriend, thank you
so much.

I was was previously unfamiliar with either of the one-act
plays, and enjoyed both thoroughly. The acting was excellent.
This is the last weekend of the production's six-week run;
if you are in LA this weekend check it out. Hudson
Backstage Theater, 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood 323-856-4200.

Bekah at one year old

Thursday, August 29, 2002
Extra! Extra! had to get this down before i forgot it...my 10-year-old son made up this joke:
[actually riddle]

q: what did the mommy light bulb say to the baby light bulb?
a: i wuv you WATTS!

not bad, eh? for a 10-year-old?

he did this once before and i can't remember the joke, and it was good...so here it is. rory, a comedy writer in the future?

It Doesn't Hurt [ThoughtCafe]
song - if only i knew how to make music....

8/29/02 5:02:13 AM


Questions my companions, and cats.
We make art, not me.
Wonder saves my soul from atrophy,
Wonder buoys my brain and
Keeps it bobbing, alive on flux.

Flux and questions comprise the tide
ceaseless as any I have witnessed.
I stand on the sand and I’m rocking
Grief to sleep in my arms.

The world turns sideways;
I wonder on night. I’ve not managed
The black as well as the light,
Or the light as well as the black,
or the grey that leaks into
and out of the days like water –

Grey flows warm flux. Inevitable
as any tide, any sunrise,
any turtle in any sky.
Full of itself offered a medium.

See what can you do
with grey

Hand me a brush, we’ll paint.
We’ll see.

© Barbara Bales 1970-2002 all rights reserved

Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Villanelle #2

I meet with her upon the astral plane
We dine on and trade in each other's love
That is, until it's back to hell again

Not immortality I seek to gain
Afterlife was one of her early proofs
I meet with her upon the astral plane

Murdered out of her life at twenty-one
Carnality, impossible above
She could choose to return to hell again

For children she may risk her mother's pain
Will she return or wait for my next move?
Cherish her rarely on the astral plane

Upon good-bye only I leave a stain
My torrential tears sign my name with love
I sigh as I turn back to hell again

Daughter take me into your dimension
Mothers travel on tickets printed love
I meet with her upon the astral plane
That is, until it's back to hell again

i'm on my way to the cemetery and counseling so quickly here's another picture of my girl, this one taken on 05-17-92, after Bekah had been with me for the birth of her little brother...the above is another watercolor that i did and that reminded me of a poem i wrote...and the poem.

Monday, August 26, 2002
well, it's after midnight so that means i am 47 years old...one year ago my birthday was the first occasion in 21 years that Bekah missed. based on what i wrote one year ago today, i have made extensive progress on my journey of grief...

from last year:

Morning Poem, Mourning Poem
- Angry -

almost light rouses me/I am crazed indeed/I want my daughter here with me/I want her motherfuckers bring her to me/will you adopt vengeance pray justice for relief?/I want my daughter down the street/laughing with her friends - she's supposed to be/bastards, bastards, how dastardly/can a single fate be can many fates be?/and why do they all have to visit me!/what is the fucking matter with me?/am I grown up yet, no, do I have to be?/do I have to be when all I ever cared about was taken from me/turned away from me turned back to me/grew up by me only to be/MURDERED stripping each inch of reality/of all sense, there is no sense left to me/yes this may be insanity/but fuck you world you forced it on me/when you murdered my baby away from me

When i sit down to make a painting generally speaking there is no plan. i experiment with color combinations. sometimes a picture results that reminds me of a poem, or that to my mind fits with a poem i wrote [or even a quote i collected]...this picture struck me as fitting with my angry rhyme.

for my birthday this year i told my son that i will allow him to wish me happy birthday...last year i wanted nothing to do with it. even though i will go ahead and attempt the happy face, it's not the same. on her last birthday, july 6, 2001, bekah was 21 years old. a friend captured her doing what she spent a significant percentage of her waking time doing until her untimely death:

Friday, August 23, 2002

here's an interesting concept...i think i might become a warrior for the HugNation...

the daily Bekah:

Wednesday, August 21, 2002
CNN.com - Westerfield guilty of Danielle van Dam's murder - August 21, 2002

yes, i think he is. and i am glad the jury found so.

y'know what else? i think the bastard really thought he would get away with it.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Billy's a poet a special friend i met through Thoughtcafe. He and his wife just moved out of CA and his page is new since then as far as i know...check it out.

i'll write the whole ugly story down soon, and beg for help too, but for now here's a glimpse of my pride of small lions. [actually when you have this many cats they really own you!}

Pride of Small Lions

Saturday, August 17, 2002
"Spasm! Spasm!"

So Meg Ryan says to Kevin Kline while in the throes of lactose intolerance in "French Kiss," one of my most-watched videos.

I recall those words often these days, though in a somewhat different context. As a bereaved mother I am subject to a phenomenon described as "grief spasms" in the literature.

What i would give to have never learned of a spasm worse than those caused by lactose intolerance.

While at pool on Tuesday i took a walk around the block between games. About a half block from the apartment where i raised my children from 1987 to 1995 it hit: oh, GAWD! she's dead, that's forever, Bekah! Bekah? All the serenity ever affected by any bereft mother, shown up for an act.

Because it's Oh gawd! never going to change. All the desperate heroic efforts of any mother to save her child, no, not one will save this child. This child has passed. Desolation fills the senses, a memory of the day she was born bubbles up like oil from a well. But it's just a tease, just a mirage of comfort when all that can comfort the bereft mother is all she can not have.

Bekah at the Light

Not ever, not ever again in this life.

Sometimes I'm almost there [i.e., recovery]. During a grief spasm it is once again July 20, .2001 and I am just learning that Bekah's been killed. But as the news hits today, I no longer have the insulation of shock that spared me this intensity in the first months.

Today the news hits in waves containing every detail of every moment she has missed and will miss. It is a life, the life of my daughter. I love my daughter the most of anyone and how much I love her is unprecedented in my life, excepting her brothers, nephews, and sister-in-law.

Every minute, every day, every passing milestone she misses congregates inside me and assails me as i walk. This spasm comes on me and nearly buckles my knees it is so enervating. Aloud I say, "Baby girl!" and tears spring out of my eyes. I am staggered one more time by Bekah's death, more than a year later. oh gawd! she's dead....

Bekah, a giant of a girl! :

Monday, August 12, 2002
National Champion Terrapin Stars To Take Part In Magic Johnson Charity Game In August :: Baxter, Dixon and Wilcox highlight College All-Star team to face NBA stars in L.A.

On Friday, Rory joined Magic and however many kids for the annual "kids mardi gras," and this evening, three pre-adolescent boys and I went to Staples Center for the basketball game. This was made possible by Loved Ones Victim Services, where Rory and I attend grief counseling after Bekah's murder.

It was fun. Magic does this good thing annually, and Loved Ones does it year-round.

Sunday, August 11, 2002
the first time, Paul, Rory, and i had gone to El Segundo Beach. It was major windy that day...we flew Rory's kite, I wrote Bekah's name in the sand, and we stayed to watch the sunset.

There it was...a huge turtle sculpted in the clouds in front of us, white, pink, yellow. I thought, oh, i'm reaching big-time here, but I'm Bekah's mom and if i wasn't crazy they'd worry about me. When i told Paul i see a turtle in the clouds he immediately said, "So do I."

Then i felt that much stronger: Bekah put that turtle there for Paul and i to share. Several weeks later she did the same thing as Rory and i were gazing from the balcony. When Rory went back inside, Bekah turned the turtle into a pink heart as it drifted into just another cloud....

"Bekah Sunset"

Friday, August 09, 2002
The Research Kitchen of the Virtual Man
Tom is drumming up all kinds of good shit, including numbers for his blog. He is the person who introduced me to the whole bloggin' world. Click to my friend, dear reader...:)

Current results for bush
Thirty of 46 voters agree that Bush is an idiot who should not be president. That statistic [not made up, at least not by me. okay i'll cop to voting twice, maybe even three times, because i do agree with the last three statements] establishes to my satisfaction that the polls being quoted in the news are complete bullshit.

Thanks to all who have taken the time to vote, and if you have not, please do.

Thursday, August 08, 2002
Writings by Solange
The introduction to my friend's new book illustrates to an extent how remarkable she is. A spiritually enlightened, undoubtedly psychic, loving poet, "Solange" has been a friend of the highest power to me. Her compassion and generosity are hallmarks of one extremely special person. In this excerpt, Solange tells the serendipitous exchange between herself and the artist who made the illustrations for her book.

Which i cannot wait to see! With love and appreciation...:)


I've been painting, in watercolors. A friend from grief counseling talked me into picking up some paints and brushes a couple of weeks ago and in the past week or two i have really gotten into it.

I'm not an artist; can't draw a straight line or a person's likeness that approximates that person's looks. can't draw a sign in the road!?An Amateur Mourning Map for Mothers of the Recently Murdered is a poem i wrote not long after Bekah died. Today while tinkering over the above watercolor [the blob on the right is courtesy of one of the pride of small lions who are less civilized daily, but that's a different post entirely], i recalled that poem.

I thought about Shock Summit, which is where "mourning begins" according to my poem, and how the Hills of Horror ensue after Shock Summit, then the mortuary, after which the bereaved mother of a murder victim enters hell. And i thought about having a sign right there, and what it might say. Not just to the mothers, but to anyone.

But it is a true fact that I am not an artist by trade, vocation, or avocation. So i turned the picture over to try and make a sign. fortunately! tomorrow maybe i'll share the flip side of this picture. right now, i'm falling out.

sleep tight blog world...:)

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Yahoo! News - Alert System Aided Teens' Rescue

My friend picked us up thursday morning around 11 a.m. and we took off down the 405 toward Ridgecrest, where he lives. Just past Sunset we saw the freeway sign saying, "Abduction: white bronco, etc..."

Continuing down the road...we stopped for lunch at Denny's in some desert town [was it Mojave? i dunno]. As we were leaving two newsvans drove by, headed in the same direction as we were. About an hour or less after that, we passed the spot where the 2 vans had stopped. A CHP car or two was parked there as well.

When we reached his house, we turned on the news to discover that the sign on the freeway and the vans and the CHP were all related to the kidnapping and rape of two young girls, who were saved that day, probably from certain death.

I am so glad they were saved.

Who am i, what am i
A picture's worth

moon phases

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I stand on the sand, and I'm rocking grief to sleep in my arms.

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