Wednesday, January 1, 2014


graffiti artist unknown*** 

Today's no different than yesterday, really, other than it's 2014, four new numbers, a new year, an imposition. Dirt lies in three pyramids in our back yard -- some of that dirt, I'm certain, unearthed for the first time in nearly a century. I fancied something discovered while the men were digging -- pottery, perhaps, or arrowheads, some fine bones, a skull, even oil. The men filled plastic buckets with big brown clumps of it, and they filled wheelbarrows, trundled it toward the pile. The men smile when I come out to stand at the edge, look down. They wear long-sleeved dress shirts despite the heat and the swing of the pick-ax. They speak no English. I imagine they have only recently crossed the border from Mexico, picked up clothes at a Goodwill. They are the Italians and Irish of yesterday who built the bridges and mined the minerals, lay the tracks and dug the wells, raised the buildings, built the country. The pyramids in my backyard are dirt. There are rocks and roots. The clay pipe lies exposed at the bottom of a seven foot trench, the dirt around it clean of anything primitive or even civilized. The trees that grow alongside the trench are a deep green. Their secret is their roots, twisted and preternaturally strong, or naturally so. They've crept through dirt, worked their way through cracks in clay, pushed into man-made cylinders, a relentless search, reaching toward water like fingers and eyes toward light. They've nourished themselves on waste, channeled what's left back up through wood and out toward branches and leaves, thick and glossy.

It's a new year, and we're fourteen years into an age. Our minds are thoughts, our thoughts are thoughts, only, just.

***Henry and I saw this on La Brea as we walked home from breakfast yesterday. Henry thought it might be Banksy, but I doubted it. What do you think? Anyone know? Steve Reed?


  1. A trench, the trees, sons and a daughter, your words.
    I am grateful for your words, Elizabeth.
    I am grateful that you blog every day about everything,
    that you post photos,
    that you allow us in to your life,
    that you allow us to love you
    exactly as you are.
    Thank you.

  2. Sure looks like a Banksy to me. Maybe you could have the trenchermen dig out the square of concrete-- and maybe that's the golden treasure you have been seeking, right under your nose or feet, as it were. Anon Suz

  3. Art everywhere. You sure made some today.

  4. Wishing you and your family a very happy new year filled with much happiness and peace.
    Thank you for the heads up about Caregifted.
    I am working unsuccessfully at resolving some of my blog issues oy!
    BTW....the boy in the street art reminds me of Oliver who seems to posses his own unique magic touch especially when it comes to nature.

  5. It's not Banksy but it's lovely and someone wanted to make a flower grow with art and that has to be a good thing.

  6. I love the way your words often start out deceptively simple and then begin to build momentum and gather speed and sometimes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck because your magic creeps up on me. Did we really meet? It feels like a dream.

  7. I love that street art! Definitely not Banksy but a charming piece nonetheless. There are many, many artists who use stencils like this to create simple, single-color images, and we almost never know who is responsible. It's kind of amazing and beautiful, all this anonymous urban art.

    Love your words, too. Only, just.

  8. The picture makes me want to go paint on a sidewalk somewhere ... And I love your description of the men working in your yard. Wishing you a good year ahead .....



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