Saturday, July 14, 2007


She told me, when she was little, that she would lie in the hugeness of grandma's feathery soft bed. The glow of the street lamp shining through the dark orange curtains would luminate the whole room, so that sometime she felt as though she were in the secret part of a flame, all warm and safe and out of reach. Sometimes, she said, she would lie there, so so still, staring at the wall, and feel so so tiny and so so far away from it, and then all at once a giant, and really close to it. It was too frightening and exciting to do this for any longer than it took to realise it was happening, when she would twirl around all in one go to face the other way.

Lying on her right, she said, she faced the window, aglow in its quiet burning flush. If she looked down, she could see the old mahogany wardrobe. On each door, the woody knots were exact mirror images of one another, and in this light, they looked like two knights, standing next to each other, keeping guard side by side in their guard boxes. She felt safe knowing they were there, and her toes grappled at the bedsheets as she basked in the comfort of it all.

Next to the wardrobe, closer to the window, was grandma's dressing table. Its dark wood matched the knights. It had three mirrors on it. One big central one, and two smaller ones either side that angled in towards each other. Sometimes, when the curtains were pulled back in the morning, she would lie there, pretending to be asleep still, but she would peek through half an eye at grandma sitting there, combing out her hair. She loved the crackling sound it made. That's what she said, that it made a crackling sound. If she looked at grandma in the left hand mirror, it made her look like a different person. She giggled at this she said, because it made her look like grandma at church, when they were kneeling to pray, and grandma looked all cross and would tell her to shush and give her a fluffy peppermint from the bottom of her handbag to keep her quiet and stop her from scraping her shoes on the pew in front.

There were many things on the dressing table, many things to touch and sniff and put on. Things that made her look and smell like grandma. Next to the brush (one of a set of three: brush, comb and hand held mirror, all with what grandma said had handles made of bone. Bone? Was that what made grandma's hair crackle she often pondered?), was the powder puff lady. A very well dressed porcelain lady, with crimson hat and matching dress that fell in big swirls right down to her ankles. She was very pretty indeed. She stood on top of the powder puff that rested on the tub of glittery white powder that grandma pom-pommed onto her face, all squinty of eye and pursed of lip.

Some nights, she said, the street lamp would shine through a gap between the curtains, throwing a thin line of light right upon the crimson lady. On these nights, she would fall asleep and dream that it was herself standing atop the powder puff. Slowly she would turn around, around and around, feeling the soft soft powder tickling her porcelain white toes. Gradually gathering speed, little clouds of powder would billow about her ankles. Then she would jump up high, still spinning, all giddy with laughter and whirl. Spinning and jumping, with her arms stretched out, ever so fast, so that eventually all she became was three spinning discs of hair, arms and skirt, all in a sparkling plume of powder. A great tower of a cloud sweeping up around her like a gentle tornado of giggle and flicker.

One night she said she woke up on the floor by the bed, with powder stuck all between her toes, and dusted about her ankles.

That is what she told me.


Blogger Wendz said...

I read this post in Bloglines first, without seeing your photo. (For some reason piccies often don't display in Bloglines).

And your writing captured me and transported me back to my childhood, my Grandma's house and my memories.

That was a marvellous piece Pod.

I like that photo too - but the writing is way way better than any image you could have used here.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Katelyn said...

This is Magic. I am 17, and I'm starting my first job on monday. Lately every one has been telling me to get a job, get a licence, find a collage. They all asked me what I'm waiting for, what I'm hiding from. Not knowing what to tell them all, I am doing what they ask. Your Story has remindid me of what I was waiting for, what I hiding from. I'm waiting for my magic to come back. I'm hiding from the fear that I've lost it with out even knowing. Thank you. You just helped me get it back. And they wont take it from me again, I know what to do with it this time around. Show it to every one. Thank you for this. <3

4:31 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

lovely lovely wonderful thankyou pod, you are magical.

i liked the tornado of giggle and flicker especially.
and the knights standing guard.

and everything.

and katelyn's comment. Tis true Pod, you have a gift for magic.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Inconsequential said...

Mirrored wood knots :)
Another memory tweaker.

Lovely hair the girl has in the pic.

Katelyn - we never lose our magic, but do put away now and then, usually to watch some one else's magic. You just have to remember that it's your show as well :)

Pod - It made me think of Ms Bloom too, the style of writing at the end :) but then, I think of her often, so it doesn't take much.


9:43 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

oh pod, wonderful ... simply wonderful.

oh! the images that came to my mind as I read ...

10:27 PM  
Blogger Nathalie said...

It was little Moth who told you all this, wasn't it?
I was with you and with her with powder around my toes. Thanks pod, this was pure magic.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So lovely Podders. The picture looks so much like little bean. It makes me feel happysad at the same time. And the comments do too.

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Bud said...

I've just really welled up because I really want a hug and a cry all at once.

1:03 AM  
Blogger Shelly Lowenkopf said...

People standing in line in the U.S. to pay $600 for a telephone in the mistaken belief that it will connect then to magic. Katelyn knows better. We're in the pod line, right behind her.

4:18 AM  
Anonymous j said...

Children lie, especially this one with her cheap dye job. Straighten this young tart out.
Toddles Podole!

6:46 AM  
Anonymous j said...

Where are these people in the US? Do you know if they prefer rotary phones and touchtone?

6:48 AM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Shine on, Mr. Pod -- luminous pixels for both words and pix. Reflecting others, I say "thanks for the magic."

7:26 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

What a beautiful story, and what an otherworldly pic. Is that a human being or angel or faery? Impossible to say.

Your story helps me touch the mystery and magic that's part of every day in this incredible world we live in. Thank you dear brother!!


10:10 AM  
Blogger Kimberley said...

WOW !!!!! Podster what awesome color and perspective ....

12:48 PM  
Blogger Ratzfatz said...

Hello Pody, nice story and a beautiful foto!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Pod, when you come back from a break, you really come back. :) I enjoyed this very much - magical, as all the others have said. And what a terrific photo! That hair really has a life of its own!

11:25 PM  
Blogger mamasan said...

a rather lovely photo, pod, much like you and your beautiful storytelling. lovey, c.

11:37 PM  
Blogger ben huff said...

pure gold.

12:48 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

Wonderful Pod! I marveled at the picture and then at the writing. Have you been hiding your magical way with words behind all of your fantastic pictures?

So, tell me more about the dream with Lettuce....

1:40 AM  
Blogger raindog said...


magical, masterful! you've certainly a way with the words. and the lighting on her hair ... bravo, mr. pod! bravo!

4:40 AM  
Blogger Trac said...

Oh Pod! x

That really reminded me of the very first time I ever saw your blog. It was a beautiful post then and is still beautiful now.

And I love Katelyns comment and so lovely to see Anon/Rx here too!

I am feeling very soppy now...
Thank You!

6:49 AM  
Blogger Bold oy! said...

Sorry to bother you with a technical problem, but could you tell me how you make the space for posts so wide and the pictures so large? Basically I have the same template as you.

Thank you!

8:26 AM  
Blogger WAT said...

I am struck most by the stunning color of this girl's hair. That looks really amazing.

8:58 AM  
Blogger Joel Reynolds said...

Very cute shot, man. Nicely done.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Ai said...

In this case, some words tell more than a thousand pics.

I'm not the romantic type but your fairy tale sends me dancing on the powder puff, too. Wonderfully imagined/ rendered/ pictured, my dear pod! If Heliogabalus was still alive he would have made you and Sidney his court story tellers.


10:12 PM  
Blogger Sherry Snowdrop said...

I love the play of light in that photo, Podster. It's almost alive with it.

Sometimes, when I really swim out into old memories of grandparents and their home, and my being little, I become so lost in the blur of shade and dark oak, and clutter of forgotten things on shelves and in boxes, that I start to feel as though I am just a memory myself; as though I no longer substantially exist in the present.

It's nice, because I start to feel that my very being has become an act of magic; a denial of all the snipping scientists and logicians who insist on rules and order and explanations. Like shouting at them, "you can't catch me," and blowing a saucy raspberry.

Sometimes, if I really concentrate on drifting I can even make the present feel as though it has curls and serifs of magic seeping into it. Usually it has to be dark. I have to forget the things I know too. Ignore probabilities. Switch off the matter-of-fact doubting toggle. Get myself into anything-could-happen mode.

When I'm like that, even colours become spells. I can feel them, and they tingle inside me. I float on the sensations they invoke.

I was saying to someone dear, just the other day, that I can stop thinking with words. The tokens are discharged, and I can feel the actual logic of it all. It doesn't need analysis, variables, or names. I can just feel that things are and why they're that way.

In those moments, nothing matters but the primeval sounds and colours. The same things that always mattered. I am no longer lost in the wilderness. And I can feel that there are no cave bears or lions here. It's safe and warm in the dark and the romance of it.

In the hoary belly-freezing knee-grazing and brassy infinity of cosmological order I can collapse into a singularity of warmth and safety, unseen by enemies, immune to danger, with just my eyes and nostrils showing, like a submerged crocodile in the reeds, or a star-eyed lemur in a dark-forest velvet.

And it feels good, because, no - actually they can't catch me. They don't know how.

11:32 PM  
Blogger Ai said...

PS, pod:

when will you finall remove that inappropriate blog title of yours? You are anything but a "bad photographer".

And ya knows it ;-))

5:57 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Have you heard Slowdive's version of Golden Hair [a poem by James Joyce]? The very song came to mind when I saw this picture! Have a listen when you get a chance... I think it's quite fitting.

Your photos and writings are always sublime. Hello Pod!! :-)

2:56 AM  
Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

dazzling story and dazzling photograph!

4:47 AM  
Blogger Faye Pekas said...

What can I say that everyone else hasn't already said. It brought tears to my eyes.

If these are stories your mom told you... what a precious, precious gift she gave you. You are blessed.

2:20 PM  
Blogger JDA said...

Oooh..the golden locked maid of Lothlorien?

8:04 PM  
Blogger J. David Zacko-Smith said...

As always Pod, and ethereal post!

12:29 AM  
Blogger get zapped said...

Just darling! A magical piece taken right out of childhood. I love the dabbled light and the softness of the little girl. What a beautiful shot! Precious....

3:45 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

What struck me more than anything was the fact that you listened so intently to what she told you. Your powers of observation and seeing detail are a real gift. Beautiful photo too Podsie x

8:20 AM  
Blogger Sara with NO H said...

I just found this blog but I'm adding it to my links. I feel in love with it. Or maybe it was Todd...

4:56 PM  
Blogger Squirrel said...

An angel in a fanciful warm memory. Yes you should get rid of the bad photographer label--unless you mean you're naughty.

1:26 AM  
Blogger First Nations said...

outstanding, podlet. i love this. i'm going to link it, too.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Ed Simons said...

Brilliant stuff! Great photo and story.

5:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty, deep, whoa!

7:07 AM  
Blogger Inconsequential said...

Still shining...

7:43 PM  
Blogger Baleboosteh said...

Great work Pod!

Love the pic, the little girl has beautiful hair, the colour is amazing especially against the green grass.
Beautiful! :D

8:19 PM  
Blogger Paul G. said...

Lyric the picture instantly brought to mind

12:20 PM  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Podperson, this is so very, very beautiful.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Lynne said...

pod, I had to come back and read this again. If your Mum told you this story, it's no wonder you are so magical ...

4:23 AM  
Blogger Josy said...

I know you haven't had much time lately... but the magic you spin when you DO come to us is worth the wait.

Thank you, Podling.

6:51 AM  
Blogger ramblingwoman said...

I was transported back to my gran's bedroom then Pod.

She had the exact same wardrobe and dressing table with all the bits on it - always the three piece set made of bone! And the powder puff too. I used to love her lipsticks - in gold cases - actually made of metal in those days!

Ahhh. Thanks Pod.

Hello to anon/Bud!

5:03 PM  
Blogger ramblingwoman said...

PS: As soon as Tod has been framed and the wall has been painted he will go up in pride of place and Ill post a pic of him.

I love ALL your pictures. They are wonderful. I'm off for ages now (going to Spain). Hugs to you Pod. xxxx

5:07 PM  
Blogger raindog said...

and i too get impatient.

*taps foot, waiting*

11:53 PM  
Blogger Pod said...

WENDZ - thanks love. pleased to have stimulated you. ooh!

KATELYN - whoever and wherever you are, your comment made me feel as good as it seems my post did you. i am honoured and bow humbly. hang on to your magic! ;0)

LETTY - magic? what like in a paul daniels kinda way? or debbie magee even? :0/

INC - loved your reply to katelyn. very cheerful for you? bring back molly! bring back molly!

LYNNE - aah. thanks. it has been in my head for years. finally i got it out!

NAT - a little bit of sparkle fell off my toe when you left sydney :0(

R - well, hopefully we can hug in person quite soon.......?

SHELLY - always so kind and encouraging. such a fine example of a true gent!

J - thanks for the tip-off. i suspected as much...little brats!

LORI - only reflecting back the loveliness around me ;0)

REYA - anytime sis! x

KIMB - ta love!

RATZ - saludos!

STE - thanks dude. but now i feel pressured to make an even bigger comeback....ooh :0(

MAMASAN - what a lovely thing to say. that means you must be lovely too!

MR HUFF - cheers mate!

GARY - not hiding, i just have little intense urges to write. it all happens quite quickly once i start ;0)

RAINDOG - alright! alright! keep yer hair on! ;0P

TRAC - tis always good to see you! x

BOLD OY - someone did it for me i am afraid. you could try asking him nicely. i shall email you shortly...

WAT - thank ye big foot! ;0P

JOEL - cheers mr reynolds!

AI - what fun we would have in the powdery cloud! ;0) oh and by the way, bad is good, no?

SHERRY - what you say in words i think i can convey in a knowing smile and squeeze of hand. i wish we could go for a wander together!

ROB - iam listening to it this very moment. i downloaded it ages ago, and hadn't played it until now. thank you! ;0)

CHED - thank you. many strokes across your furry back, whilst sitting in the sun ;0)

FAYE - ah, a happysad tear i hope. i hug you!

JDA - but of course sire!

JDZS - ;0)

ZIPPY - thank you!

DONALD - too kind! hope you're getting through ok sweetcheeks! x

SARA - yes, todd can be very alluring....

SQUIRREL - i am a bit naughty. would you like to smack my botty? ;0p

FN - thanks chuckiepie! x

ED - much appreciated mr s!

PINK - hurrah!

BALE - thank you kindly. like your new shoes!

PG - donovan! he he! thanks for the link ;0)

HHB - very very thank you

JOSE - always a pleasure!

RAMBO - glad to have sparked a granny memory. they are great. why don't they make things like metal lipstick cases no more. not that i use them of course, but standards have dropped! cannae wait to see todd. have fun in spain. i hear they have enormous onions ;0p

3:34 PM  
Blogger Peter Dynomite said...

i am katelyn. i didnt have an account when i wrote my original post. this story still hold so much magic for me yet, pod.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Pod said...

KATELYN! so pleased you got back in touch. i was touched by your original comment and peeved that i couldn't directly contact you! so hurrah! ;0)

8:30 AM  

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