Saturday, January 28, 2006


she's still a kid
Originally uploaded by come-undone.

Katrina Denza has tagged me for a meme, in which I'm supposed to tell you ten things about myself. Anyone who has ever visited Katrina's blog probably knows that it is largely devoted to supporting the work of others. Her generous spirit illuminates every post she makes and comment she leaves. How can I possibly say no?

1. My favorite poet is Mary Oliver because her poems are more than beautiful words. They're beautiful words that can really teach something. For example, one line I read today:

Be ignited or be gone.

Can I tattoo that on my palm so I don't forget?

2. I wrote my first novel on paper bags when I was sixteen while working at Bradlee's, a now defunt department store. I can still remember the way the fluorescent lighting illuminated the brown paper as I wrote.

3. There are two ways of looking at existence: that it is a meaningless product of random chaos, or as Dante said, "It's love moves the sun and the other stars." I believe the latter.

4. At twenty-two, I was divorced with two children. We struggled financially, but joy permeates my memory of those years.

5. If I started a religion, one of the tenets would require believers to dance every day. Dispensations would only be given if someone had died.

6. My blogger friends know more about me than some co-workers who see me every day.

7. Two persistent habits I'm always trying to change: worrying too much and sleeping too late.
Progress is incremental.

8. If I had to live on two foods for the rest of my life, I would choose soup and bread. A nice hearty bean soup with lots of vegetables and a tomato base, and a crusty whole grain bread to be exact.

9. When I was five, I painted everything in the garage royal blue--my father's tools, an old refrigerator, spare tires--everything. At least once, I'd like to try it again, though maybe I'll choose red this time.

10. I have never lived in a house without animals in it--and books lying around everywhere like spirits unleashed. Never intend to either.

Almost forgot the fun part: Now I get to be the tagger. Not sure who does tags and who doesn't, but if any or all of the following would like to have a go at it, I'd love to hear your responses: MB, Rexroth's Daughter, Richard Lawrence Cohen, Colleen, my friend in Verona, Amishlaw and Diana...Apologies if you've already been there, done that.


Lorianne said...

Oh, this was fun. I remember Bradlees...there used to be one here in Keene, where the Wal-Mart now stands.

Who would have thought that "paper or plastic" could be a literary question... :-)

Anonymous said...

this is sooo great, that you painted everything royal blue, I love this about you!! This was fun to read Patry, thank you, and Happy New Year..xoxo

A.P. said...

Hey there, Patry :)
The meme's done!

By the way, I do study and spend a lot of time in Verona, but I'm still living in Vicenza, for now.

idi said...

The thing with soup and bread just the type you describe would be the best also for me.
But for not repeating your choice, my second choice would be hot pureed spinach - the type with sour cream..., as spice a bit of salt and little young potatoes with thin skin and butter sauce

robin andrea said...

Patry-- It's great reading this list about you. I love it. I tend to balk at memes, but for you... I'll get right on it.

I also love Mary Oliver, and rich soups with dark bread. Yum.

Crockhead said...

O.K., I did it, although I'm not sure if I did it right, being fairly new to blogging and not quite understanding this tagging a meme thing. Being a naturally shy person, I don't know that my 10 things are that interesting, but at least I gave it a shot.

Patry Francis said...

lorianne: I was thinking of the paper or plastic issue, too, as I remembered this. It almost caused me to doubt my memory. Seems like centuries ago when department stores had real paper bags and dreamy cashiers were left alone to write on them when business was slow.

Patricia: Never been able to resist a vivid color. Not then, not now. Glad to see you around more frequently. I've got to get your link back up!

Anna: Loved your ten things. Thanks for playing!

idi: I don't think I've ever had that spinach dish, but it sounds wonderful.

R.D.: I balk at memes, too, but this one practically wrote itself. I can imagine you loving Mary Oliver--and her loving your blog, if she found it.

Amishlaw: You've conclusively proved it: shy people have the most fascinating inner lives.

Sharon Hurlbut said...

Patry, I am SO with you on number 7. I don't even pretend that I want to get up early, though. How did your parents react to your blue period?

katrina said...

I Love these answers, Patry! (And thanks for the nice compliment) I love that you wrote on paper bags and painted everything in that garage blue!!

MB said...

Yipes—just saw this! Um, ok. Can't do it today, but soon, soon.

Joel said...

I'm a fan of W.S. Merwyn.

chosha said...

I LOVE number 9!! ^_^

MB said...

It's up.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

Hi Patry, Sorry I'm a little late with this. I answered a very similar meme last May, and here are my answers:

1. I never heard a civil conversation till I was 17 and in college.
2. My parents separated years before they had me, their first child. For their sakes they should have stayed separated, but I’m glad they didn’t.
3. I used to be a shade over 5’ 8” but I’ve shrunk. Now I’m 5’ 7 1/2”.
4. My internist once told me, “No doctor will ever get rich from your heart.”
5. In my youth my appearance was frequently compared to that of George Harrison, Dustin Hoffman, and Al Pacino. In middle age the most realistic comparison, I think, has been to Stephen Rea. Those jowls.
6. I have two half–siblings who are within a year of my grown children’s ages. I hardly know them.
7. In my late forties I stopped caring whether anyone thought I wasn’t macho.
8. There are entire generations of sports stars and pop idols whose entire careers I’ve missed. I glance up to find they’re retiring and I’ve never seen them play.
9. I’m 100% inner-directed and verbal. I’m considered learning–disabled for spatial relationships because my spatial IQ, while above average, is so much lower than my verbal IQ. If I’m trying to fix a toilet, I can’t look at it and see what goes where; I need to have it translated into words.
10. This is my favorite joke. It will show you where I’m from. Henny Youngman told it in the 1980s, at the time of the Solidarity movement.
Two old ladies in the Bronx: “Did you see what’s happening in Poland?” “I don’t see nothing, I live in the back.”
It was never one of his biggest laughs, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. Bialystok.

I also listed Ten Things I've Never Done

Lhombre said...

Hey patry! I'm really late on this. I just got back from Chicago and will have to leave agian. I first caught this on mb's blog. and left a comment there. Then I rushed over here. I will comment on here as soon as I get off this darn bicycle for the day! It's running me ragged. But I want to list 10memes at some point too. Later!

God! Everything blue! How fantastico!!!!!!!

P. A. Moed said...

What a lovely way of expressing who you are! I've enjoyed this.

Dave said...

Great list! And I usually skip mememe posts. On with you on #8. In fact, most of the time that *is* what I eat. It's very economical!

Patry Francis said...

sharon: Not quite sure how my parents reacted; I think I blocked that of the great things about memory.

katrina: Thanks for tagging me! This was definitely fun.

mb: "Easily amused, easily entertained and messy." You are definitely my kind of people.

joel: Merwin is wonderful, too.

chosha: I knew you were a rebel.

Richard: loved these, especially your Henny Youngman joke, and #7. It's one of the great secrets of middle age: you can be a dork or a nerd or a wuss or any of the other words we're beaten with when we're younger, and not care a bit. My kids have stopped bothering to tell me about my fashion gaffes. They know I'll just laugh and say, "I'm old; I can wear anything I want!"

danyel: Thanks!

lhombre: not surprised that an artist would be most impressed by my experiment in blue. Can't wait to see your ten things!

Patti: Thanks. I've been enjoying your pieces on Gather.

Dave: economical, nutritious, and a gustatory delight, too. You never can have too much soup and bread.

Robin said...

Aw, I've been missing things over here. Great list, Patry. I got a huge kick out of #9. I'm glad you lived to tell the tale!

liz elayne lamoreux said...

love this. the words of mary oliver - a beautiful reminder.
dancing as religion. i agree.
and i love, love that you painted everything royal blue when you were 5. wow.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Rip Van Winkle here. Never could change it. I also have my deepest sleep in the early morning hours and dream heavily during that period. It's a joke with my husband and me because the dreams are so long and winding that I just don't wake up. If I sleep really late he'll say to me. "Boy,you must've been really busy this morning."!

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