Truly Righteous Cannonball

What remains truly amazing about Kaye is that
even in the midst of all the kickboxing & milk-snorting confusion,
she always remained present & willing to roll with the craziness...
totally & utterly herself. The Care Bear jokes are a perfect example--
how much more Real can one keep it? It makes sense, in retrospect,
that she'd teach yoga & meditation so many years later.

The feeling of awe is mutual-- hearing from afar that Kaye had whipped
through her bachelor's degree, took on law school, passed the bar, and BTW
had published a book on interest group advocacy...

& all this blew my mind on the schiz, but the fact that she remained so completely herself
through all of this-- and remained genuinely interested in the writing and insights of her gonzo-bohemian cousin who had published exactly jack shit-- really challenged me to rethink the possibilities of the work I was doing.

I remember those times when we were kids, and had hounded Grandma or one of our aunties to take us down to the pool. We were young yet, and didn't have much in the way of money or services to offer... I suspect we relied on our yowly catlike persistence to convince them.

In any case, our guardians were often generous enough to escort us down to the apartment complex pool, where we would either toe in shivering or run up shrieking over the shimmering water, nose plugged, to explode like sixty-pound cannonballs into the pool.

One of the first things we'd hear was "Now you Kids-- no Wrastling in the pool!"
This struck us as insane: aquatic whoop-ass was exactly the reason we'd goaded the adults into bringing us down here. All our blows were slowed considerably, you couldn't land on your ass, and in the pool we were actually strong enough to body slam each other in ways that didn't play out in normal gravity.

Marco-Polo was acceptable-- shrieking was not. These rules seemed arbitrary and strange at the time.

Now, as adults, I think we can all agree that the screams of children--
inspired by whatever emotion-- trigger a primal-threat response in us
which does not distinguish between a child being abducted, flayed,
or simply getting live in the shrieking run-up to a truly righteous cannonball.

To the nerves of the mature adult, this noise detracts in alarming ways
from the fresh air & relaxation they might have envisioned when finally agreeing
to accompany a small pack of caffeinated youngsters to what would soon amount
to a giant aquatic WWF ring.

& yet it must also be understood that this very primal shriek--
in many ways akin to the roar a great cat emits before making a meal of us
(to tenderize our flesh, we must assume), or the whoop-whoooop-whooooiiiip!
of howler monkeys keeping it real in the treetops--
is every bit as essential to the Truly Righteous Cannonball as the run-up,
the nose-plug, and the leap.

We hope that future generations will work out this quandary-of-the-ages,
which has likely persisted since homo sapiens' children figured out how to
make each other scream.

It's interesting that adults (who aren't presently raising kids)
require relative quiet in order to feel safe. These primordial alarms
are programmed into us, though, aren't they? Should a horde of barbarian marauders
appear on the horizon, we'd be powerless to stop them. We just weren't throwing that kind of cannonball at that age.

Grandma may or may not have turned to us and said,
"Didn't I tell you kids? They must have followed the sound of your blood-curdling screams."

We are fortunate, though, that Grandma now remembers only good things about the grandkids. She's not suffering from acute memory loss, it's just that her memory has painted the past some shade of sepia gold. She can't even remember her own children acting up. In her mind now, the decades-long process of raising all those kids, and wrangling their kids-- in and out of pools, through the whirlwind visits and cannonballs and forbidden wrastling throwdowns-- was more or less peaches.

& it's not like she doesn't remember the handful of people on her Horse's Ass list (& that is the actual name of Grandma's Shit List... it's presently resting on the endtable right next to her chair).

She will remind you weekly how when her father lost the farm during the Depression, an uncle got her dad a job in the Twin Cities, but demanded a hefty kickback every week.

Sitting there in her living room chair in the last of the day's light, she becomes karma's messenger... a reminder of how much we have to share, & the tragic splinter in the memory of a woman who does not even remember the pain of delivering six children, but recalls precisely a time when a blood relative saw more advantage in fleecing his kin than in protecting them from an amoral, profit-driven world.

There's a creative quickening happening here, as Kaye & DJ & I engage our mutual need to carve stories out of the myriad. We'll discover them in ways we never expected, reflected through each other's eyes, and I truly look forward to watching that unfold here.

& if I remember correctly, the All-Time Righteous Cannonball Award goes to Denny Marv. Cousins?



Oh! Oh! I'm a Blogger!!

I think my cousin doth praise me too much, and I blush. But I am so happy to be writing here!! Hi everyone, I am K Dawg's cousin - yes, the girl twin that the poor guy had to dress like. Even at five I knew he had the raw deal of the two of us. I could rock overalls any day of the week, but God help him if my Mom was in a Holly Hobby phase and I came into Grandma's living room wearing something with a smock. Luckily, it never went that far.

I'm sure by now all of you faithful readers have become well acquainted with K Dawg's wit, philosophical guru like qualities, and innate charm. He mentioned that my father was the only boy out of six Irish Catholic kids, but he didn't mention that out of the resulting nieces and nephews, only two were girls, and, for awhile, I was the youngest. Which meant I had all these incredibly cool older cousins who could make me laugh until I embarrassed myself with either milk out the nose or a quick sprint to the rest room. It was so unfair. All my Care Bear jokes just fell flat, I sucked at kick boxing, and it would be years before I understood several choice innuendos.

So I take his praise of my first draft with true gratitude, because frankly, K Dawg has always exemplified my highest standards of creativity. Long before I started teaching yoga and meditation I remember sitting legs akimbo out in the summer grass carrying on great philosophical discussions with him, and then being in total awe when he just started writing fiction and poetry because he had to.

My real name is Kelly and over the course of my blogging I may send you links that show me in real action, but I decided to blog as Kaye Ferrick because, well, what the hell? This is actually the name of one of my novel's characters, and while I don't think I will be writing as her per se, it's kinda fun to have an alter ego to mess around with on the internet, no?

More soon! Thanks for having me!



Being back in the TC has put me in touch with my cousins again.
We were tight growing up; Grandma & Grandpa had five girls &
a boy; they grew up Irish Catholic and had kids around the same

Most of us grew up in the Twin Cities, but our uncle moved to Jersey
with his family thirty-odd years ago to pursue a career in whooping
corporate ass. I think he's probably really good at it because there's
always multiple Corvettes at their (truly) beautiful New Jersey home.
Manor-esque, complete with deer grazing out behind the pool.

My cousin Kelly grew up out there. She's also an only child,
and when we were growing up we looked enough alike that our
aunts would try to pass us off as each other.

Now I have a beard, and Kelly is a knockout,
so no one's confusing us anymore.

The last time we talked in person, we were at our cousin Jay's wedding.
We said how are you, hugged, and then a minute later were talking
meditation practice, breathing and yoga.

And thought I don't remember ever discussing these things with Kelly before,
it was like we were just picking up a conversation where we left off. It's like
there's no time lost, which is grand.

Lately it's writing-- she's writing a novel. She sent me the first chapter,
and halfway down the first page the word Delightful crossed my mind.

The narrator is a young lawyer who's getting her first shot at
heading up the legal team for a major political campaign.
She's bright and magnetic, like Kelly, and the narrative benefits
from her instictive curiosity and genuine appreciation for people.

I'm stoked to read the rest.

Our cousin Denny is also hugely creative; he's done a lot of (consistently breathtaking) photography in the past several years. He's got a lot of ideas coming through him, too,
broader storylines, etc. He thinks he's slacking but he's got three kids, one of whom is
right around one year old.

We're collaborating on one project for shiz, and then he just pitched me this
worst-case-scenario handbook variant which is both more practical and funnier
than the original concept.

I'm gonna invite these two to contribute here. I'd love to know what's on their minds
in a day to day way.

Geeking out on Pat Benetar's Fire & Ice today. OMG that woman can whoop ass on a microphone. I think I need a cigarette, & I don't even smoke.

Peace to the family; crazy love congratulations and blessings to R&T out in QueenCity NC
(What!), and a warm welcome to Earth for their new daughter Mia.