Posted in My own childhood

The King’s Fountain

(an excerpt from the upcoming memoir, which might be titled: Lila~the woman, the book, and the vagina; but probably not)

2664b05bc36988dada6eaf011c308888“Kelly Ann, close the door, you’re letting the air out.”

Did you ever wonder how you could let the air “out” when it was already…everywhere? It’s like giraffes in winter.

“Kelly Ann, close the door, you’re letting a giraffe in.”

Why does the door matter so much? Hadn’t you helped the King build the fountain, rock by rock, around a tiny pool, just outside the door? Why couldn’t you use that same door? And climb atop the rocks, and turn the fountain on?

He didn’t seem to mind.

True, he was rarely at the castle except at dinner time, and hardly much then. But he did make you silver dollar pancakes on Sundays and turned nickles into quarters from one side of your head to the other.

It was the Queen who ruled; but she might be so busy as not to notice…

You could, very quietly, tip toe down the stairs, across the foyer (with the dog barking), and into the forbidden parlor, across the vacuumed lines in the carpet, and then, a step down into the sunroom, with floor to ceiling glass…

If you were brave; if you were very, very brave; you might shove aside the heavy drapes (which you should never do), press your face against the glass (making messy prints), tug the door open (leaving paint chips on the floor), and slip outside as quickly as you could (taking the cold air with you)–to find yourself atop the fountain… like a KING.

“Kelly Ann!”

Posted in Fragile Life, Insight, Milestone Moments, My own childhood, School, Wisdom of Youth

Eternal Spring… Kindergarten Moments

open clip

At the end of the first stellar week of spring, I stood at the easel in the kindergarten among a group of prolific artists while a breeze blew in through the greenhouse door.

Across the room, Ellen was swarmed by writers, who were penciling letters to send through our own post office, while the remainder of the children were enraptured in the building corner.

“I’m having a kindergarten moment,”  I whispered to our intern from the college who was painting beside me.

Well, that makes sense, you’re in the kindergarten,” she teased.

I loved this young woman for the lightness she brought to my days, reminding me of my own college years.

Yes, but I’m really feeling the kindergarten-ness of it all,” I  said, unable to capture what it meant to be absorbed in the hollow sound of blocks, the smell of tempura paint and warm air, and earnest spirit of first time writers.

Later, during recess, I stood for a long time in the bright sun of the open field before heading down the hill into the coolness of the woods. There I found small pockets of children tucked into their own worlds of tree and rock, mud and stream.

Gaugin, detail,

As I approached, they looked up like deer; but then went on with their play as if I was of no relevance.

In one woodland home, a small girl swept the floor with a pine-fashioned broom; and I found myself crossing over into my own childhood.

…There in the dusty field of a Colorado playground, I used the tip of my shoe to draw the outline of a house, in the frontier world of Laura Ingalls Wilder…

It was only a moment, but it was enough to remind me of the magic of childhood. I tread gently through the woods this day, so as not to disturb the children’s reverie, and so that I too might take a drink from their eternal spring.

Kelly Salasin, March 2006