FOUR A’s: Appreciated Allies, Art, and Adaptations

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Ever feel like a Greenland shark? I do; sometimes. It’s also called the ‘gurry’ or ‘grey’ shark. My maiden name was Gerry, which sounds similar to gurry and grey is a color I relate to; but that’s not what I mean. This shark from the far northern reaches of the world is usually always carrying a large parasite on its eye which has burrowed into the cornea. It actually feasts slowly on the eye.  The whole deal may be symbiotic because the parasite glows and attracts fish to the mouth and as for the shark, it can survive blind by relying on its nose. Symbiotic relationships can work (you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours) but there are down sides too. I was feeling like this recently, sort of co-dependent and thinking that relationships are SO much work… and the powers that be weren’t through with me because these things happened:

I got a brown stain on my expensive white shoes. I’m not girly by any means but I do have a bony growth on my foot so shoes matter and these are awesome! I’ve been keeping them clean two years so it was bound to happen. Then the gas cap for the van got left behind and although it was found not far from the gas station, it had been run over and was quite cracked. Al even left his thermal cup behind at the VA and now his 15 dollar investment in a cup that keeps ice fresh all day-is gone. I was getting ready to leave the house for an 11:00 appointment when I realized my blowdryer was sparking. It sh%t the bed; so to speak. There are some other things too, regarding financial and health and emotional situations—not to mention waking up screaming from night terrors…that I won’t mention and even though these are small issues in the scheme of things, if you add a lot of small problems together, they can seem bigger than they are.


So there I was feeling like my balanced life was sucking me blind; just a life of precariously balanced stuff like the things the Cat in The Hat was trying to balance; and I was slipping on a banana peel…  Then I got this in the mail:

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Do my friends KNOW me? Clay does. Thank you Clay! I used to carry around mica flakes when I was a pre-teen, peeled from boulders out in the woods near my house… I kept them in a vial and shook them daily to turn them into sparkly fairy dust. Sometimes I slept with it. It warded off nightmares you see. Did Clay remember that from reading my book? I don’t know, I DO know that I treasure these mica flakes he sent me. It wasn’t a birthday gift or any special occasion and his random thoughtfulness came at such a good time.

I have to get back to the blowdryer portion of my story now; which turned into another pretty fabulous event. There I was, with my naturally curly hair all jumped up and soaking wet and I had to leave the house. I dreaded going out with my hair like that. There are very humid conditions prevailing right now here in the east and wild hair makes me crazy. I prefer it straight and manageable. Which is why I’m with Al… but that’s another story. I turned to my 8 year old grandson and said, jokingly, “You should pick up that high powered floor fan and aim it at my head so I can tame my hair and dry it straight!”

I turned around and there he was like that guy in the movie who is holding up a boombox outside his girlfriend’s window. My grandson had lifted the fan over his head with both arms and was aiming it at my head. I had to laugh! I had only been joking but I have to say I felt cared for; like I did when the mica arrived in the mail… And the fan worked too! Better than a blowdryer actually. So that brings me back to the mica which Clay sent me. I had just enough on my credit card to not only replace Al’s cup but also to get me a new blowdryer. A good one this time; so maybe it’ll last longer. Inside the box was a mini box which held attachments:

unnamed (5)So this is what I did: I coated it with Modge Podge and

decoupaged cut out words and things to it, from an old magazine I’ve been keeping since 1995. Oh the varied fonts! Then I “aged” the box with gold paint and dipped the edges in mica dust. Lastly I sprayed it with gloss protectant. I’ve got a handy little box for barrettes, trinkets, and hair ties now. Here is the process:

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I know what you’re thinking–

‘that sure looks tacky!’

Well you’d be wrong. I let it dry thoroughly! 🙂

I think I know why it was so important to do this little project… engaging in art affects the human brain in such a way that one almost loses oneself, and also a sense of the everyday problems get smaller; things feel more right with the world. I read somewhere recently that art “turns out best” when it is entirely intuitive. Under MRI scans, people who used a part of the brain where they thought about what they were crafting, sculpting, and painting, actually made art which seemed less appealing to the eye. Also the enjoyment of the creation was hindered when the thought region of the brain was active. It is the act of intuitive release and lack of thought which allows intuitiveness to take over, and when expression/art flows, the end product is less important than the process. Problems DISAPPEAR.

I’ve been given as much I can handle, and whatever my financial situation and health and all the other stuff throws at me, I’ll be fine. Look at this corkscrew shaped egg:


I think it’s one of millions of wonders of nature. It’s an example of how one type of shark (the Port Jackson shark) has adapted to its environment. This egg is literally screwed into crevices between rocks to protect it from predators. It looks nothing like the eggs we think of when we think of eggs. But there it is! This egg has built in protection. I’m going to fill a vial with pixie dust and keep it by my bed. I’ll bet no bears chase me in my dreams tonight!

By the way, can you tell I’ve been watching Shark Week on Discovery?


P.S. Give my son Jeremy some free time and some beach sand and he will give you this (the new screen saver on my phone):

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image of Port Jackson shark egg found found here:

image of Greenland Shark’s parasite found here:

6 thoughts on “FOUR A’s: Appreciated Allies, Art, and Adaptations

  1. Hi Kim, glad you like the little gift. I just happened to be looking on eBay and saw “4 ounces of mica flakes” and naturally thought of you. I figured that if anyone could come up with a use for it, it would be you. Maybe find a big round jar, and make a home-made snow globe?

    For myself, I found an old metal “wall-pocket” thingie, and when I got it, I cleaned and sanded it, then painted it with the same paint I used on my interior trim, so it matches, then went to Michael’s to buy some tiny ivy and tiny white flowers (both plastic), to decorate it with. Maybe I’ll send you a pic of it when I get another throwaway camera. It’s cool, I’ve been looking a long time for something to hang on that little wall.

    Um, I also bought a new car, well, a 2009 Chevy Cobalt (deep blue) with only 24,000 miles on it. They didn’t want to give me much for my 2002 Hyundai Accent, so I’ll have to sell it myself. Took it to the car wash yesterday, and did some more cleaning today. Looks really good. With only 88,000 miles, I shouldn’t have much trouble selling it. Thing is, now I realize that if I had cleaned it up this good Before I bought another car, I wouldn’t have done it. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

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