Title: A Different Kind of Train
Photo credit: Red Herrera Ellisor
Garza County, Texas
Enriching Music: If Love Was A Train, Michelle Shocked
Howdy y’all! This is the tale about a divorced bride from Austin, TX. When the crap hits the fan in a divorce, you can do two things. You can either wallow in it, and let it slowly consume you like ashes in a fire, or put your big girl panties on wearing a good pair of cowboy boots and dance on the flames retaking control of your life. I chose to do the latter wearing my wedding dress and trouncing across Texas, and a few other places.
Even women who have remained in marriages for decades, who are entering retirement years, are not staying in unhappy unions, according to an AARP study. These stateside studies are duplicated abroad, as well. A new wave in the women's movement is not - divorcee - but solo artist.
In this new liberation, women aren't burning their bras. They are metaphorically burning their marriage certificates.
And, at least one, decided to drag out an old wedding dress, relabel it Acid Neutral, and create meaningful art for herself, and her children. It is taking something old, making it something new, borrowing nothing, and leaving behind the blue.
Why do this?
The truth is I walked around my house like a caged animal for awhile not knowing what to do.
Why keep it?
Yes, why keep it?
But, we all have the power to make our lives glorious with humor and happiness.
Except for changing the color or size on my iPhone, there aren't any touch ups or alterations of any kind. No photo shopping.
They are raw, just like life should be.
Title: Give It Up To...
Pecan Gap, Texas
Photo Credit: Rad Herrera Ellisor
Enriching Music: Karma Police, Radiohead; Just Let Go, Sturgilll Simpson
Title: Exit Boy of Summer
Jones County, TX
When my father died, vultures came out of the woodwork wanting to buy Dad's land. That's what they do in the country. I was so ticked off, I hauled the railroad ties up a hill and painted them a stark white. Dad had them scattered around the land to use in building fences.
Every few years, my family repaints the Big H. My children never met my father, he died before I married, but they know him through the land and stories. The land is us. The land is family. In this stage of my life, my family is my children.
As far as I'm concerned, this chapter of my life is titled, "Seven Years of Solitude." I have no plans on disrespecting my children by having random people pick me up at my house on dates. I want them to feel secure and I don't need, nor do I want, a man to do that.
Photo Credit: Red Herrera Ellisor
“Always remember to keep moving towards being the person YOU want to be in this new stage of your life,” he says. "Embrace the quirky."
Now I am. I am a revolution of action and love, even if it just affects those caught up in my minutia gravitational pull.
It's not lost upon me that I may be the only person who tells my students they are loved that day. Some of my pupils think it's weird and tell me so. I say, "Haven't you ever had a teacher say I love you?" They say 'no.' I say, "Well, I do and I want you to know it. I don't care if you think it's weird. I love you. I want you to have a happy kid's life and I want you to be safe when you're away from me. It's not weird for me." They just look at me funny and cock their heads. Most of the time, by mid-year, they are giving me hugs as they exit and are saying, "I love you" back to me.
And pure love, not clouded by preconceptions, prejudice, over thinking, deception, is a good thing for everyone. It is living joy.
Photo credit: Red Herrera Ellisor
But, the dress has more meaning to my children and me now, that there's no way I would destroy it. So, I thought I would quell myself and the priest to preserve it by throwing it off in a West Texas field, like the one in the memories of my childhood - past memories, but still part of me.
A famous psychologist, Carl Jung, is quoted as saying "I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become." I believe that.
I researched when sunflowers would be in season in this part of Texas which is a stone's throw from where I grew up, but 10 hours from where I reside.
My daughter shot these photos quickly because bees REALLY love sunflowers and as she stood on the ladder that I had hauled in the back of my truck, she worried about getting stung. There were also other distractions. Of course, I had to find the thickness of sunflowers so I could change into the dress so no truckers would see buzzing by on the highway.
And, there was the donkey.
There was a donkey in a yard nearby that kept braying in protest of us being there. He would not stop. Maybe he was a priest incarnate.
POSTSCRIPT TO ACID NEUTRAL:
This is in reference to the letter William B.Travis sent from the Alamo on Feb. 24, 1836. Either you're Texan and get it or you don't.
Don't let trepidation inhibit your capacity to achieve potential greatness.