Nicole Sharp

Writes

The idea of home…

When the holiday’s come around, be it Christmas or Birthdays, I get a little put out. Not that it affects the whole day, well, sometimes it does, but sometimes it just turns my guts a bit. Why? Because I miss my family.

My hippie parents instilled such big wings on their children, myself, my brother and my sister that we took to flight and landed so far from where we were raised. One in Italy, one in Denver, and me in my Northwestern corner of the world.

And it’s good we did that. We had courage and strength enough to do that. And there is an added bonus of always having somewhere to go visit. Only, there are holidays and nephew’s baseball games and dance recitals and camping trips and birthdays I miss my damn family.

I read an article a few days ago that finally seemed to capture what it was I felt for the life I live between two places. It comes down to this idea: Idaho is where I live. California is home.

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Playing at the writing thing…

So, I was at coffee with an artist friend and the conversation bent toward our art, as it usually does when two or more artists are gathered. The conversation moved toward the question of ‘why do this?’ The answer has been several different things for each of us over the years, but one true theme seems to have stuck. There seemed to be one answer we could both agree on: We “art” because we have to.

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Alas, this poetry crap…

a poetic sky…

April is National Poetry Month. Well, at this point it was national poetry month.

I don’t like poetry. I think I’ve said that before. I don’t understand meter and dactylic hexameter. I don’t get couplets or pentameter. Not to mention stichomythia nor macaronic. Rhyme schemes and stanzas seem such antiquated ideas. Ideas endorsed by cruel English Teachers.

Pastorals and odes and elegies…these are not things of the 21st century. These are relics. Ideas from a time when women and men had naught but wide open space to dream. Where thoughts could stretch and roam.

We’ve run out of space. There is no more area in which we can wander lonely as clouds on snowy evenings.

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Re-visiting the Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy came to our house for the first time last night. Which made me reminiscent of the time the Tooth Fairy went to my brother’s house for the first time. It’s one of my favorite stories. I’m gonna re-post that little diddy, How Old is The Tooth Fairy, this morning:

The tooth was loose.

This is my brother’s child’s first loose tooth, my nephew. He fell at school and knocked it loose. The idea was to let the tooth fall out by itself but it was just hanging there, and my nephew, 4 ½, couldn’t eat his dinner because the tooth was in the way and was annoying him so the tantrum to get it out began. Continue reading

the writer goes to the movies…

Movie theater. Southside, Chicago, Illinois

Movie theater. Southside, Chicago, Illinois

I don’t know if I have a favorite movie as an adult.

I mean, I have lots of movies that I like. Several have tickled my fancy, but I don’t know if a movie has really gotten to me as an adult. I wonder if it’s because we don’t have the ability to let go completely and focus as adults. We’re holding so fast to so many worries and things that need to get done that it’s difficult for that suspension of disbelief to take over and for us to really be in the moment.

I remember when I was in the throes of adolescent wonder and movies reached out and grabbed me by the scruff, ignited my imagination, tore my soul asunder and awoke a yearning for bigger and brighter. I remember crying in the darkness of a movie theater, being alive in the theater, laughing until my sides heart. I remember when the worlds that flashed across those golden screen become my very own reality for a few precious moments.  Continue reading

Romancing the Ranch…

I was digging in the dirt yesterday. And when I dig in the dirt, I think of my great grandma Annabelle. I wasn’t born and raised in this little corner of the world. I traveled a bit before I got here. But my great-grandmother, she was born and raised in this corner of the world.

January 1940 Annabelle Smith

I didn’t know her very well; I was five when she passed away. But that isn’t the end of someone, is it? Passing away doesn’t erase them from the hearts of their loved ones. Stories continue to be told about her by family and friends. A dinner with family will produce a story of Annabelle’s mischievous ways and how she loved it when someone asked her to pass the butter. She would do so with a twist that sent the receiver’s thumb right into the butter as they tried to take the dish. She’d laugh and laugh at that one.

by Annabelle Smith

She was an instigator of great fun. She was caring and kind. She was hard-working and she loved her garden. So when I finally put down some roots here in Boise and began to show an aptitude for growing things; it was often commented that I had Annabelle’s green thumb.

So when I dig in the dirt, and when my heavy breathing becomes the rhythm in which I shovel, my mind clears and I think about my great grandma digging in this same dirt. Plotting her own garden. Getting excited at the first signs of spring. And there is a connection to the past there. I have a sort of “telephone line through time” (as the Indigo Girls put it so eloquently). Digging in the dirt, I’m lost in a mediation of connection with those that came before me. Continue reading

Into the madness…

LC-DIG-ppmsca-01697 "SP.M.0911" / Angela de Rosette.

There are clashes and rumblings. The noise is deafening. The silence is threatening. I feel like I’m trapped on Willy Wonka’s boat, toward the end of the tour. Where violent images flash and scream. When everything the man is crumbles and become shadows of goodness that once might have been. The moment when everything is tilted.

And nothing will ever seem as it was once before.

The disruptive noise taunts; a shadow of arid despair sucks the watery blood from life.

The tornado of vocal destruction swirls and whirls inside my self. Each energy receptive nerve flushes the noise outward. Only to become trapped in a different area of this human’s body. And it builds up. Bubbles up. And I whisper the pondering wonder, are we going mad? Am I going mad?

And the noise grows.

Splashes of paint on canvas, a hurried sculpture or two, some spliced pictures pasted together. A poorly thought out poem. A rushed fictional hand job. The guts of artistic endeavors bleed out. Into the world. Into the void. In an effort to silence the mounting racket.

And I can’t figure out if I’m going mad or if it’s the rest of them or if it’s a little of both and if the madness is part of a symbiotic something and if it matters and if anyone can stop it.

Or should it be split open wide? Should it be ripped open wide? Should containment be wadded up into a ball and thrown in the trash?

We’re are all mad here…worked for the Hatter. A little.

To Bemoan….

I have been known to bemoan the writing process. Well not all the parts of the process. I love the writing. Sitting in my own space, creating strangeness. Creating characters. Creating extensions of myself. Getting lost in the story. Love it.

Now, the editing. I can deal with that. It’s not always easy. But getting to the editing is the hardest part. Once I begin, I can see the forest a bit more clearly and have a better understanding of what can remain and what most go; all in the name of conflict and story arc and stuff like that.

Outside the scope of sitting down to a pen a paper, a computer…the business side of it…that shit I bemoan.

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a wee Irish tale…

Amid the rolling green hills of Country Cork Ireland, tiny villages dot romantic landscapes every now and then. Mountains rise and fall, and “inlets along corroded coast lines” (I stole that one) give the southwestern coastline of Ireland the look of a land ripe with legends.

It was in one of those little villages, a fair distance from the coast line, but within the confines of County Cork that our Irish ancestors lived. You know, a great grandparent, some great aunties and uncles, random cousins who have become unnamed faces in old black and white photographs. Well, perhaps the names haven’t survived, but some of the folk-lore has. And what better day to dust off the stories handed down from generation to generation and breathe new life into them once more than St. Patrick’s day.

My dad has been telling me this story as long as I can remember. St. Paddy’s rolls around and at some point, he reiterates the tale handed down to him by his grandmother and a great-aunt.

The story goes like this…

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Unapologetically Woman…

 

I was born upon the slowing tide of women’s rights.

Surrounded by the dying breath of poems about Rising and art work depicting womanly strength.

I was inundated with perfect ads for perfect hair and perfect skin and perfect weight and perfect clothes and perfect teeth and perfectly perfect perfectness.

I ate a steady diet of lists depicting The Sexiest Woman Alive and how to look ten pounds thinner.

I keep afloat while the swells of what society decided I ‘should be’ ebbed and flowed.

I was tossed about in a pubescent tornado while grandmothers insisted reliance on a male was still a girl’s best option.

Directionless ideas itched and pushed, attempting to break free from stagnant casts. Tempting me to stand.

I dug my heels in and closed my eyes and screamed inwardly as I endeavored to dream pioneer dreams. As I tried to go the way none of my ancestors before me had gone.

I was enlightened by Maya and Gloria and Virginia.

I was inspired by Susan and Zora.

I was emboldened by Rosa and Marie and Oprah and Madonna.

I was educated by Ursula and Margaret and Madeline and George.

I was scared. I was wobbly. I was frantic.

Still…I took stuttering steps forward. Forward. Forward.

I was set free by Toni and Jane. By Alice and Silvia. By Willa and Lucy.

I have fallen. I have been bruised. I have been kicked. I have been shunned.

I have given up. I have sinned and repented.

Still…I go forward. Forward.

Judy and Frida, Georgia and Alice taught me about beauty.

I have toasted dreams and basked in the glow of laughter at a table designed for life.

I have been violently supported by my mother.

I have been treasured by my sister.

I have been held up by dear friends.

Then…

Forward was the only way to go.

I have fought. I have raged.

I have prayed. I have won.

I am not a success. I am not a failure. I am not a commodity nor a product. I do not need to be patted on the head or demonized.  I am not more and I am not less.

I am a breath of life in an infinite space.

Moving forward.

But of all the things I am and am not.

Mostly, I am not sorry.

 

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