Category Archives: Super Shorts and Word Clips

Of Angels & Music

Art, photos and words by Estela Caballero ❤

Someone had stolen his gloves in the night. He considered himself lucky that was all they did. A sweet melody woke him.  The notes rising and falling like his heart used to when he still had one.  Long gone the days when celebrations like a birthday marked time. It was hard to say how long he had been living this way. He reached in his pocket feeling around. If it was heaven, he would expect that the spare gloves he kept in his pocket would be gone. After all they wouldn’t be necessary. Heaven or hell, neither would require gloves. They were there and even though the fingers of the gloves had been worn through many winters ago, it was better than nothing. The music played and he still had hope God had just forgot to remove the gloves.

He struggled to his feet and tried to find the angel that was playing the song of a life he no longer had any claim to.  The rise and fall of the notes from the violin reminded him of the days he and his beautiful young wife would save up to have dinner in the city.  How many times had they walked by this very spot?  Maybe it was best this way.  He was lost in plain sight.  Love and the pain of losing it was worse than being kicked or chased away from places, being ignored and even sleeping outside in the freezing rain.  He welcomed the numbness regardless of the source.  Brown glass bottle or below zero nights on the concrete– it no longer made a difference.  Only the end result mattered.

The old man was warm now and pulled his gloves out of his pocket.  Papery thin hands carefully paired them like his older brother had showed him long ago when he was a boy.  They often fought over who would ball the socks as they helped their mother fold laundry for the Ballinger’s.  They didn’t have toys and would toss the socks back and forth until they were reclaimed by his kind but tired mother.  None of them, not even his mother had ever owned anything as fine as the impossibly soft socks.  From father to infant, the Ballinger family feet were just as pampered as every other part of their life.  Had someone told the citizens of the small town they lived in that they would one day live in the old Balinger home, laughter would surely have followed.

The subway was a world of its own.  He noticed a particular boy and his mother.  They were in his home along with the other usual morning crowd rushing and waiting.  Well, they were in the closest thing he had to a home. The subway was a safer place than some of the shelters he would stay at once in a while when the cops did their sweeps. The boy looked to be about three years old and his mother held his hand tight as they walked by him. He lowered his eyes to show the mother he meant no harm to her or her child. She didn’t notice the gesture nor would she have understood it had she looked. We turn away from that which pains us. We turn away from that which causes fear.  When it is necessary to confront the uncomfortable, it’s easiest to chalk it up to the flawed person that surely brought the misery upon themselves.   Dismissed.   Everyone can continue about their day.

The boy pulled at his mother’s hand, his eyes fixed on the homeless man’s angel playing a beautiful stringed instrument that was a dark rich brown.

Movement like a river all day long. People entered and hopped off the subway cars coming and going just as they did every other day. Few noticed the man’s angel and the few that stopped were children who stayed as long as their parent’s allowed. The violin is unlike other instruments in the way it calls something inside most don’t know is there.  Dismissed. Best the call go unanswered.  To listen requires an attention long extinct among people blind to angels and deaf to their song.

Not too long ago, a famous violinist, Joshua Bell, played in the subway. It wasn’t as a panhandler before he reached fame and fortune.  He was already extremely well known.  He became invisible to people who proudly claim to love fine music– his fine music.  The cloak of the ordinary deafens so even heavenly sounds cannot reach the brain much less the heart.  This ailment pales in comparison to the mysterious loss poverty provokes–a temporary blindness among the masses.

It was a social experiment.  The question– Would anyone recognize the person playing violin in the subway? Would the award winning music draw a crowd?  He was scheduled to play several sold out shows over the next few days in New York.  Tickets at the events regularly went for $100 or more.  Josh Bell played in the subway for about 45 minutes and made $32.  Only a handful of people stopped to see him play.  One thought him an angel that might lead him to a wife and daughter long disappeared in the fire.

No one recognized him.  Josh Bell was in a subway playing a violin that was worth $3.5 million yet children– those still living in the freedom of enjoying something because of how it makes them feel and not what others think, were the ones who appreciated the sounds of the homeless man’s angel the most.

Casa de Luna by Estela
Casa de Luna by Estela Caballero

Dirty Harry

So I was hanging around, just passing the time with Clint and Liz.  I thought it would be funny to post a fake ad for a course on “The Ambitious Climber Series:  Fine Art Of Email Warfare.”

There’s a full house coming to the first session with Professor D. Harry– thanks Clint.

Artwork by Vanessa C.

Latina Artist Vanessa Caballero
Latina Artist Vanessa Caballero

Dog Gone

He usually has good advice
He usually has good advice

I’m all for taking inspiration from nature. Here’s an instance of taking it too far. My dog has beautiful color. He’s lucky– it’s natural. I had his beautiful coat in mind as I walked back and forth in the hair color aisle. I pulled out my cell phone a few times and held it up to the rows of hair dye boxes.  I found one that looked like a close match for my soon to be new look.  I was excited to get back home and start the hair makeover.  The end result was less than natural. True story.

This had happened before–  I’m no stranger to hair gone wrong. My hair didn’t look so bad in the forgiving light of the bathroom.  It’s always dusky in there and a dim room does wonders for my hair and skin.  Everything always looks great in there.download (2)

The hair dye had only dyed the top section of hair. Tiers are good if you are talking about UNESCO protected rice fields in Japan or even wedding cake.  You don’t really want your hair to ever be described as tiered.  There were three prominent bands of color perfectly tiered and colorful.  It reminded me of those rocket popsicles. You know, download (4)those tri-color popsicles that are shaped like a rocket.  Now before you say, “That’s not so bad,” the pictures didn’t do the vibrant orange section of the rocket justice.  It was a mix of gray and orange at the top, the rest of my hair did their own thing.  I needed them to work as a team and they turned on me.

The dog looked up at me several times and while I’ve never seen a dog laugh, I’m sure that’s what he did.  I tried to get him to sit still in front of the mirror with me so I could compare shades.  He proved to be squirrely in addition to being a sneaky fox with mind control powers.  My husband aaaaaDSCN0483once again proved his love by agreeing to go to the store and getting me a dark color to cover up.                   As I waited for a new box of makeover magic, I had plenty of time to think about where I might have went wrong. I thought about calling the hair colorist expert, I had never seen the number on the box.  Lots of good information on boxes if you take time to read them.  Instead, I reflected deeply. Perhaps the dog wasn’t the best person to ask about my new look. Imitation is the best form of flattery. He was pleased with himself.

Plenty of time to think

Tall Tails & The Beautiful Horse

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Leather-Horse-/252128955164?

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15 in tall by 25 in length.  Beautiful large leather collectible horse.  Well made and good condition.  The tail has some exposed part where it separated a bit.  He can be quite the talker so make sure you have a good hour if you ask him what happened to his tail.  I keep telling him it was an accident– how many times can I apologize…

See picture.  Feel free to ask for more pictures or more info.

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Many Said

Many said this before I thought it

In same or different words

With conviction, told in a language

Lost

Some time ago

Many said it’s fate

Don’t try, dear

Too hard,

At the end of the day

Something called your destiny

Will come to tell you the way

Many said

But as always, to listen

Lesson lost, even less

Obeyed

The hopeless truth of many

Was never meant to trade

Be it choice

Or intentional living

Destiny

Send it away

Take hold of what your day is

Bury fear at the feet of old hate

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Run

From the day a child is born until they can run, one thing is for sure if you are born into my family–  some part of your wardrobe will be crochet.  Somewhere along the line these young (in some cases, not so young) bucks failed to see it was time.  I found these in the rabbit hole.  Enjoy!

Sink or Swim

There are 3 million species of animals living in tropical rainforest, and one of them, the red fire ant, lives underground, under constant threat of annihilation from flash floods. Nature doesn’t care, if a species wants to survive, it has to prove it deserves to.

When the floods come, fire ants hold on to each other, creating a living raft that could float until the water recedes, months if necessary. So how does the species figure something like that out? Instinct? Trial and error? Was there one fire ant that was being swept away by the rushing water, and grabbed on to another ant, only to find that together, they could float?

–Touch Series

fireantsPhoto National Geographic