SAM: Likes Shiny Things

The second time I was raped was a far cry from the first. Looking back, I count what happened to me that day as a stroke of incredible good fortune for myself, and out-of- the-blue evidence of amazing community solidarity in its intolerance for violence and cruelty, and its endeavor to maintain peace.

I was 17. My first year at Parsons School of Design. My father had loudly lamented sending me there, telling me, “You’ll probably just get married and spend your life making babies and washing dishes, and give up making art anyway, so why should I go to the trouble of paying for this expensive school?”

If he meant that as a joke, it didn’t ride. Our family’s forté was the say-the-reverse-of-what-you-really-mean thing, so I never really learned how to tell if someone was speaking the truth or not. I still struggle with that.

As an example, instead of telling me I looked nice in a new dress, he’d say, “Too bad your ears stick out – kind of detracts from how nice that dress should look.” Gee thanks for the kind, supportive words, Dad. Not.

So I was wearing one of those dresses on my way to my apartment from school late one afternoon. I was carrying my purse jammed full of the jars of paint and brushes I wanted to use over the weekend, and my big, clumsy flat black portfolio. The thing was huge – imagine a flat faux-leather briefcase about 30” x 40”. It held all the drawings I’d done all week.

It was getting dark – I’d stayed after class for some personal instruction. There was a shortcut through a nasty alley that ended right at the steps to the subway. I knew I ought not go that route, but it looked clear, so I started walking fast. Continue reading

OLIVER: Sees You

September of 1999 was a hot one. I had just returned to Santa Fe a short month ago from a stint back east, house-sitting for my dear friend, Cynthia, out on Long Island. I hadn’t been able to find a place I could afford yet.

I did find a little secluded glade down by an arroyo, hemmed in by cottonwoods and brambly brush, on the edge of town. It was just big enough to park my little Kia and have room to turn around in.

Fortunately, I found work doing ad design at the main local newspaper, so at least my dog, Io (EE-oh), and I weren’t starving.

One evening as the sky wheeled through its usual brilliant show of cerulean blues, purples, and fuschias, Io and I came out of our little hidey-hole to go for an evening walk. It was earlier than usual, so I was cautious about anyone seeing where we came out of the weeds.

The very second we emerged, Io took off like a rocket, the leash snapping right out of my hand. She usually pulled on it eagerly, but never had she burst away like that! Continue reading

BELLA: Early

My dad used to burst into my bedroom, at dawn:30 a.m., throwing the door back with a bang, roughly yank all the covers completely off me and my bed, and cheerily spout, “Time to get uuuuuuuppp!!”

He thought he was being SO funny. N O T . But could I ever convince him of that? Or the way I felt terrified of him? Nope. He was a very big man. My space was totally violated, my privacy absolutely irrelevant to him. Nope.

Especially after I started filling in all the places little girls do when they get past a certain stage in their lives. I made my mother get me long flannel night gowns that looked like ones Granny would wear. In summer, cotton. Down to my ankles.

In this day and age when clothing seems to ride as far up near the crotch and down as far to the nips as possible, bare bellies sporting belly-button rings and all, you might think it strange that I grew up freaked out by body exposure. I still don’t like it. I’m OK with most people running around nearly nekked, but don’t ask me to do it.

Yes, I’ve done a bunch of inner work on that, but you know what? There are a lot of things way more important to think about.

Like how people seem to think it’s OK to cuss or yell at or even physically attack someone else for the most absurd reason.

Like how some are so entitled they think the rest of the world should think like they do, or call cops on people of color for nothing.

It’s so hard to deal with. When someone’s in your face, it’s so easy to take the same road and yell back. All that does is make things worse.

I run away if I can. If can’t, I stay quiet. If I can’t do that, I make a comment like, “Wow, you must be having a really bad day,” or something like that.

That can de-escalate a situation fast, helping the person to feel seen and heard. But it doesn’t always work.

I’m no miracle worker, but I keep the peace as much as I can, because I know it has to start with me. If I go off, I only join in to lower the vibes.

If I can keep my equanimity, I can be a reference point for calm, and the subsequent lifting of frequencies.

I can’t change the whole world, but I can change me, or at least stay calm in the face of mayhem. I had to learn how to do that to finally get it across to my father how I felt, because no amount of yelling, whining, or bitching at him worked.

You know what did it? I asked him how he’d feel if some man came into his and my ma’s bedroom and did the whole grab-the-covers thing to her.

You should have seen him turn beet red with rage at the very idea … and then … suddenly … stop, look at me, and get really, really quiet.

Long silence. His head down.

“I’m so sorry, honey,” he said, looking back up at me, actual tears in his eyes. “I’m so sorry.” He never did it again.

Peace, calm, and if not joy, at least gratitude. Those things work

BELLA: Early

Prints? Sure. PM me.
text & image © Angela Treat Lyon 2021

BUDDY: in the Light, Shadowed

When I drew this, I was focusing on the white part so much that it wasn’t until later that I saw the funny blue face.

I particularly like this one because it’s so silly (Silly really ought to be my middle name), and so obvious … but not. It’s a great metaphor for my life – I go forward with stuff, and a lot of tangential events and other things happen, and it isn’t until later that I realize/see it.

And I like it, of course, because I love birdies.

I’ve always loved birdies. When I was a kid, we had an osprey nest on our land down by the pond, and I’d watch them for hours as they reinforced the nest, had their brood, flew off again.

Continue reading

SYLVESTER: Hiss

Lately I’ve been really struggling with sleep imbalance.

It’s so strange – I can sleep 2 or 3 hours, but then my legs get all jumpy and I have to get up. Then within an hour or three, my eyes slump shut and I’m sleepy all over again and have to get horizontal before I fall over. And it starts all over again.

Some days, I can be up as much as 8 or 10 hours. Continue reading

SELBY’S Favorite Game (Not Really)

Recently I watched one of those ‘cute’ animal videos where a seal was bouncing a ball around and playing catch with its trainer in one of those sea life shows.

I wanted to relf. Seals belong OUTside. They are cute, sure, until you come up close and dirty – if one decided to attack you for some reason, you’d be shit outta luck.

They weigh nine million pounds more than you do, can bowl you over faster than jets, and in case you didn’t know, those cute little flappy things at the end of their arms? They have claws on them. Sharp. That could rip you apart in seconds. Not to mention a mean set of very sharp, very efficient chompers.

Not cute at all. Powerful, beautiful, natural, belonging in the wild – not in a sterile, empty pool, swimming laps and jumping through hoops and playing endless rounds of ball with a human, no matter how ‘well-meaning’ that human might be.

Many years ago, I was at a flea market a friend had a booth at. She had this little stuffed seal, maybe 10″ long, fluffy and white and a cute smile. I named it my Seal of Approval (I know, groan – ). Now THAT is what is OK to play with, not real, live, sentient beings.

Whenever I see petitions about getting animals out of jail, I sign each and every one of them. I donate a few bucks if I can. The idea of captivity makes my belly hurt.

ELIGHTABETH, So Serioth

When I was a little kid, my dad’s mother would come stay with us. Granny. The one whose middle name, Treat, I carry.

I couldn’t stand her. She smelled like Eau d’Oldde Peoplle. And she made this weird little sucking-in whistle sound whenever there was something she disapproved of, but wouldn’t speak about.

This image is how she appeared to me then. Looking back from the perspective of someone who is now the age she was then, I understand more.

She wouldn’t speak up about things she didn’t like because my dad would shut her down. Never in front of us – always in another room. I heard him one time – it wasn’t pretty. So she communicated by sucky-whistle, or one of those high, wobbly hoity-toity voices as she asked us to do something we didn’t want to do.

Continue reading

SCREEN PARALYSIS: JESSE: Caught

I’ve been writing up a storm lately, and last night as I got up to take a little break, I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror as I left – I looked kinda like this! I realized I’d be practically glued to the screen for days!

So today I’m focusing on remembering fun, funny, silly, laughterish things, jotting down notes as I sip my drink – in the kitchen – far away from the screen.

May your own day be funny, silly and outlandishly outrageously lovely.

text & image
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021

HOW to FREE UP YOUR CREATIVE ENERGY

I was very honored to be invited to be the featured guest of the Lone Star Dowsers monthly meeting last week (July 28, 2021)!

First we went into dowsing, then EFT/tapping – pretty deeply. I’ve been using dowsing for 40 years, 20+ of those years using a dowsing rod, getting pretty extraordinary results.

I showed you how to do that, in detail.

Maybe you’ve never wondered why the age-old technique of dowsing is still around – isn’t it just woo-woo-la-la stuff?

Not at all. You’ve heard of the saying, ‘everything is energy,’ right?

Well, dowsers use universal energy to discover lots of details you’d never even guess about, or thought were important!

For instance:

Do you know what a geopathic stress zone is, and why they are critically important?

Did you know that a geopathic stress zone under your bed can cause insomnia? Cancer? Insanity? Continue reading

BEARY BEAR’S DAD, BURT: Mellow

Burt is the kind of dad everyone should have. Holds little babies as if they were the gods’ own treasures; plays with the toddlers; treats little girls to merry-go-rounds and lots of colorfully illustrated books and art supplies; little boys to Tonka trucks, small-hand size tools and paints, encyclopedias, roller skates and skis; and young men and women as if they were better than royalty.

I had Burt when I was a little kid. Everyone else thought he was Pooh, but I didn’t like that it sounded like he was being pooh-poohed, so I secretly called him Burt. We snuck ginger snaps from the cupboard together.

When I had the run-in with the dentist, Burt became my very, very, very best friend. He held me tight as I laid there splayed on my bed, unmoving, staring at a blurred ceiling, numb, unbelieving, wishing for someone who could tell me who I really was and that I might be lovable and that I’d never be betrayed by any person or my own body ever again.

Continue reading

SHYLEE: Searching

I was 13 years old the first time I was raped. Not to worry, this will not be a rant or a self-pity party. Just a story about overcoming evil who took the form of a ‘nice’ man everyone liked and respected.

The summer before my sophomore year, my mother thought it would be a good thing to get my teeth taken care of before I was sent away to school in the fall. Well-thought-of in the community, not overly expensive, doing good work, Dr. Rosen (close, but not his real name) was her choice.

Week One was all about x-rays and all that.

Week Two was “Nurse, would you please go get (some medical supply) for me?” as he then cheerfully placed his hand on my thigh, reassuring me that this was going to be a safe and easy procedure. Surely, with how gentle he was, he meant well. Right?

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GUS: I AIN’T DONE NUTHIN’

Some days I feel just like this. Like there’s not a single thing I can get right, and if I do do something right, it isn’t enough, or good enough.

Who the hell sets up those rules??? We are so conditioned! So programmed to think we are less-than, not good enough, not productive enough, not doing enough, not worthy of praise, mock-able, shameful, undesirable…

Well. I reject all of those assumptions. I lived my life ruled by them for way too many years, and suffered too many years of deepest depression, before I finally broke free. (How? Using EFT-tapping and concrete determination.)

Poor Gus looks exactly how I felt on the inside, every day, day after day.

Now? Now I choose what to do, how to do it, to whom to show it – or not – and whether or not it’s good, bad, or just meh.

Be free. Get out of the I’m-not-good-enough BS. Do whatever it takes.

text & image
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021

CARLOS, ALWAYS HAPPY

I have a friend who, no matter what befalls her, is always happy. For a long time, it would piss me off that she never lost her equilibrium. I think I was jealous that I didn’t know how to do that, too. But then she told me why.

She grew up in horrifying circumstances. Imagine the very worst. At 17, after just too much to take, she contemplated finally ending it all.

As she prepared to do the thing, she was suddenly struck by the idea that she could take all of her anguish, despair and angst and use it productively.

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PETEY, PICKY!

Have you ever watched as birdies peck at seeds on the ground? It doesn’t look like they pick and choose at all – more like they do a general all-over snatch and grab, no matter what it is.

But they actually have sharply discerning senses that allow them to choose ‘seed’ rather than ‘something awful,’ saving them from glomping down tons of stuff that isn’t food.

Petey is smart that way. He likes his seeds Just the Right Size – the small ones aren’t ripe enough, and squooshy ones are too ripe, and the greenish ones? Perf.

They do eat sharp pebbles, which stay in their throats, because they don’t have teeth. How weird is that?!?

text & image
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021

SAM: SHINY THINGS

Did you know that a group, or gathering, of ravens is called an ‘Unkindness’? It’s odd to me that that’s so – I’ve never thought of them as unkind.

My dog and I used to walk the arroyos outside of Tesuque, New Mexico. Always there would be groups of huge ravens in the trees above us.

They’d wait until we got right under them and then they’d sound off, all at once – LOUD! – like they were all saying, “Hi! Where ya been? What took you so long?”

We’d always bring kibble and yarn and weird things we’d find in the sandy gullies. I think they liked us.

These drawings are so much fun. They push me in directions I never thought I’d go.

I like seeing the way the colors and shapes interact.

text & image
© Angela Treat Lyon 2021