poetry, prose, and image by Brittney S Holland

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Simonaic System

Simonaic System

–noun Caninology .

a system created by Simon (and subsequently enabled by humans) in which the dog sees himself as the fixed center of the universe, with the humanly bodies moving about him.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

We are Thankful!

...and thank you, dear readers, for visiting Simon Says...

Monday, November 22, 2010

This Much I Know

  1. He who smiles first WINS. (...or she...really not a feminist here)
  2. What goes around comes around.
  3. "I'm sorry" and "I love you" are five little words we all should know...and use.
  4. Kindness and compassion make the world go 'round.
  5. Ignorance breeds intolerance; understanding breeds harmony.
What lessons has life taught you?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Material Girl Falls Victim

This isn’t the first time this has happened; I knew and accepted this reality when I brought Simon into my home. Simon is still a pup, a weimy pup, a pup who needs to chew and needs attention and needs to spend his abundant energy.

Simon also has a knee injury, which means he hasn’t been able to spend his energy chasing tennis balls for weeks. And so, Simon did what Simon does. He chewed. He chewed up a brand new willow pumpkin right before Halloween. I was okay with that. He chewed up my Guatemalan, hand-carved rooster I bought in Key West. I grit my teeth and accepted that. But yesterday…yesterday he chewed up my Winnie the Pooh script. My heart stopped. I melted into a puddle of shrieks and sobs and crawled around on the floor like a little child, picking up every precious giblet and scrap.

I sent Simon to his kennel. I sat and flattened out every salvageable page as best I could. I taped what could be taped. I paced with my stack of pitiful pages. I clutched them to my chest. I poured myself a Crown and coke and wept some more.

Before you judge me too harshly, please realize that I don’t always act like a child. But that script carried me back, back to my childhood. That script was MY script, my summer youth theater script, my first lead role script, my Rabbit script.

That script was my most precious childhood possession (next to my brown teddy bear and my snoopy). I don’t think of my childhood as being particularly happy; I was a sober child. But that script represented a truly happy memory, and I have always kept it tucked safely on a high bookshelf…until…until recently. Until photographing my first bicycle sucked me into reverie. Until I took down my script to look at it and finger through it’s pages and be carried away again. Until I placed it where I thought it would be safe ‘til going back downstairs to my library. I’m such a heartsick, heartbroken fool.

I'm ready for that knee to heal.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Furry Friends of the Feline Kind

Meet Zoey. I love this picture for two reasons, one...it captures her beauty...(isn't she elegant?),...two...it captures her spunk. Let me tell you, this kitty is one sassy bitch! Which is good, because she's an outdoor kitty, and I don't usually worry about her.

Zoey is the identical-twin of Zeus, who left this world a year-and-a-half ago. Zeus was "my kitty" and Zoey was "my daughter's"...well...as much as cats can ever truly "belong" to humans. But we have both been left behind, and so...Zoey and I have grown very close. She is, as far as I am concerned, my kitty now. And I honestly believe she claims me as her very own human.

Simon loves her too. And she???? Well...she tolerates him. :-)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Bit of Verse to Tickle the Ribs

"The Revenant" by Billy Collins

I am the dog you put to sleep,
as you like to call the needle of oblivion,
come back to tell you this simple thing:
I never liked you--not one bit.

When I licked your face,
I thought of biting off your nose.
When I watched you toweling yourself dry,
I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

I resented the way you moved,
your lack of animal grace,
the way you would sit in a chair and eat,
a napkin on your lap, knife in your hand.

I would have run away,
but I was too weak, a trick you taught me
while I was learning to sit and heel,
and--greatest of insults--shake hands without a hand.

I admit the sight of the leash
would excite me
but only because it meant I was about
to smell things you had never touched.

You do not want to believe this,
but I have no reason to lie.
I hated the car, the rubber toys,
disliked your friends and, worse, your relatives.

The jingling of my tags drove me mad.
You always scratched me in the wrong place.
All I ever wanted from you
was food and fresh water in my metal bowls.

While you slept, I watched you breathe
as the moon rose in the sky.
It took all my strength
not to raise my head and howl.

Now I am free of the collar,
the yellow raincoat, monogrammed sweater,
the absurdity of your lawn,
and that is all you need to know about this place

except what you already supposed
and are glad it did not happen sooner--
that everyone here can read and write,
the dogs in poetry, the cats and the others in prose.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Year One Portrait

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Something A Bit Different

You know what they say about bodies in motion? Well, Karen Walrond's self-portrait challenge has inspired me to share one of my photographs (the image at the bottom of this post) somewhere other than on my own blog.

On Friday, I mentioned Chookooloonks. Well, Shutter Sisters is another blog I follow. It's a community of creative women who share their photographs and thoughts. This site is a great place to go when you're looking for inspiration or a sense of kinship with like-minded women. These are the kinds of women I would like to invite to my house for dinner.
OWP badge

Anyway, each month Shutter Sisters hosts its own challenge, an invitation for women like me to contribute their own images. This month's challenge is centered around the theme "Focus," which works beautifully with my own recent experimentation...Annie Leibovitz writes in her book At Work about sometimes getting out of the way and letting the camera find its own shot, a "shoot-from-the-hip philosophy" if you will. And that's exactly what I did for the following image. I simply placed my camera on the ground, set my lens to autofocus, and let my camera do the rest. Pretty neat, huh?

Thanks, Annie.

Friday, November 5, 2010

If Simon were a parrot...

I'd teach him to say, "Hello, Beautiful!"

I have a confession to make. I am forty-one, have been married for fifteen years, and I still keep a Christmas card I received from a boy I knew in college. Why? Because it is the only unsolicited, tangiable proof I have that someone, somewhere once thought I was beautiful. That boy told me so in a card. We never dated.

My own husband, however, can't bring himself to tell me that I'm beautiful. He says it feels unnatural, forced. But it's not a matter of diction or his innate mode of expression. He frequently uses this word when he speaks of the weather. Frankly, I don't think he can bring himself to tell me I'm beautiful because he doesn't believe it to be true. Trust me. He can be painfully honest. The last time I tried to talk to my husband about this, he asked if anyone has ever told me that I'm beautiful.

The rest of my life seemed a long time to wish I were beautiful...until I discovered Karen Walrond's blog Chookooloonks. Her posts, her breathtaking photographs have helped me begin to heal my longings for beauty and being thought beautiful. Thanks to her blog, I have begun to see glimmers of the beauty she and others might find in me. And it is on the heels of my budding beauty awareness that Karen posted a new challenge, one I've decided to accept.

It's a self-portrait project designed to challenge readers to "reflect on our perceptions of ourselves, and start really seeing how beautiful [we] really are." So, for the next four weeks, I'll be taking a self-portrait every day, and I'll post these here on Simon Says on my new Self-Portrait page. Personally, I've always preferred to be behind the lens; this WILL be a challenge for me! But Karen says it's okay to take pictures of our feet, our hands, or whatever (so of course, my portraits may include Simon)...as long as I'm somewhere in the photograph. Good news for those days when I'm feeling exceptionally UNphotogenic. Stay tuned...let's see what I can do with this.

Oh, and check out her new book The Beauty of Different. The badge above is modeled after its cover. This one's on my Christmas list! And I've already picked a spot on a high shelf, far from the jowls of my mischevious weimy pup.