Friday, August 31, 2007

Growing Wild

In gardening books, the clematis ran delicately and prettily through trees and shrubbery; but in her garden, it looked as though it had thrown a party and invited too many questionable guests. It lolled drunkenly from the arbor, raced crazily across the flower beds, and was far too familiar with the peonies. It's deshabille had once seemed romantic; now it was just tawdry.

She took her shears in hand and began to cut away the excess.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, charlotte seed beads. Hand crocheted and fabricated.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Buried Treasure

"What on earth was I thinking?" I wondered, as I looked in the basket that was still more than half-filled with crocus bulbs. I'd been planting them in the lawn; stomping down on a punch-like device, dropping in a tiny bulb, and then putting the plug of dirt and grass back into each hole for most of the day.

How could there be so many bulbs in the basket? There wasn't a whole lot of lawn left.

In desperation, I turned to the flower beds. I tossed aside the official bulb planting device and grabbed my shovel. It was time for a trench. I dug around the shrubs and perennials and dotted the newly turned earth with crocus bulbs. Much faster. Yup, this was doable after all. I planted the last of them under the roses; there wouldn't be much happening with the rosebushes when these babies came up, and I called it a day.

As I washed the dirt off my hands and arms I pictured a sea of purple on bare earth; we would have an early spring.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, lampwork by Lorraine of Glass and Splinters. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Grain of Sand

"Faith? Yeah, right." She scowled and kicked the sand, sending it into her own eyes. "Figures," she muttered, still wanting to attack something, but loathe to try that again. She ran toward the sea instead, intending to swim off the questions (and hopes) that he'd just raised.

"Karin? Come back!"

She let the wind pick up his voice and carry it away from her, pretending that she hadn't heard. She swam furiously until she was spent, then flipped onto her back and let the ocean swells rock her into a calmer place.

Faith. It was still there, a grain of sand in her eye.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, seed and bugle beads. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Wading In

The bottom of the lake was soft and yielding under her toes; she wiggled them and watched the water cloud up around her ankles. The lifeguard had gone back to school, the kids who had splashed and yelled all summer were gone, and she had the whole lake to herself. The water was warm and inviting where she stood; she knew it would be colder further out, it always was, no matter how hot the summer had been.

She walked forward, her hips undulating as the water swirled around her legs, the weeds and grasses caressing and releasing her thighs until she was deep enough to swim. She dived, and the cold caught her by surprise, as it always did.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, aquamarine, zircon, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Skipping Stones

We stood there, our heads together, both of us looking at the stone I held in my hand. "It has to be roundish, and flat, and about this big," I told him. He looked at the stone in my hand as if to memorize it.

"Does the color matter?" he asked, his little boy voice soft and low, not wanting to be overheard by his big sister who was sitting on a blanket a few yards away, her back to us, pretending that she didn't know us.

"Nope," I said breezily, and we transfered our gazes to the ground, hoping to find another one.

"Is this a good one?" he asked.

"Yup; I think so. Let's find out." I showed him how to hold the stone and how to release it, pointing out how my index finger curled around it before I let it fly. "One, two, three, four! Yup, that was definitely a good one. You try now." I handed him the example stone.


"It takes practice."

"I know."

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, lampwork focal by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations, lampwork accent beads by Lorraine of Glass and Splinters. Hand fabricated.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sunset Stroll

The sun was getting ready to be swallowed by the sea when I turned to walk back over the dunes; my campsite was hard enough to find in daylight, I could not imagine having any success finding it after dark. I could picture myself peering into other people's tents, wondering if they were mine; and imagining the headline in tomorrow's paper, "Peeping Tina Popped at Pismo Beach."

I picked up the pace. But I soon learned that trying to walk faster on sand dunes is counterproductive; the faster I tried to go, the more I slipped, and the less progress I actually made. So I slowed down. To a stop, actually. As I shook the sand out of my hair, my clothes and my eyes, I saw the sky for the first time since I'd hit the dune. The sun hadn't given up without a fight; it had left its colors all over, like a child who doesn't want to pick up her crayons before going to bed.

I climbed slowly up the dune, marveling at the tough grasses and tiny flowers that had found purchase there. When I reached the top, I saw the lights of a hundred campfires, guiding me back.

I laughed. My campsite would be easy to find; my fire was the only one unlit.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, sterling silver, hessanite garnets, lampwork by Melissa Vess of Inner Realm Creations. Hand fabricated.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Moon and the Stars

The night was indigo blue and the stars shone silver bright; the moon was a dish of cream and she was the cat. He stood next to her, his arms wrapped around her, and she leaned against him, testing his balance. It held. She drank deeply of this moment, knowing that she would keep it close forever.

Not a single star fell from the sky that night; they held their places while the earth spun, far, far below.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, iolite. Hand fabricated beads, chain and clasp.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

First Kiss

She listened to them talking, out on the front porch, measuring their silences, poised to jump up and walk by if they were quiet too long; torn between remembering how wonderful it was to be in love for the first time, and wanting her daughter to be five again. Not that it had been so easy then; but it was familiar, and she suddenly craved the familiar. This part of mothering was uncharted territory; her daughter's vulnerability was more than she could bear. This was not going to be an easy afternoon to shoulder; but shoulder it she must, and she resumed typing with one ear out the door.

And then he was gone; and as her daughter wafted into the house, she was suffused with memories.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, peridot, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Blowing Bubbles

It was 1969 and she was ten years old. Two numbers. She thought she probably ought to feel pretty grown up by now, but somehow she just didn't. She looked longingly at her little sisters, dressed in shorts and crop tops, and pulled angrily at her own dress. Stupid thing. It was so short that she was afraid to do anything, but she'd begged and begged for a micro-mini dress, so now she had to wear it. After all, she was ten now. Practically grown up. Too old to make mistakes.

The little girls squealed and laughed as they blew bubbles, and she'd have given anything to be nine again.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, freshwater pearls. Hand fabricated.

In private collection

Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Pull of the Moon

bangs the screen door
drops off the porch, melts into air
parents folded from sight, pressing
hard against skin, everything pocket-thin

watches the night-blooming
cereus slowly open, scolds dandelions, works fingers
under roots, holds onto earth, breathes
hard dark-secented air

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, lampwork by Gail Kops of Beadles. Hand fabricated.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Go Lightly

Even when she was dead broke, she still went shopping. It never hurt to look; that was her philosophy. And it certainly never hurt to try things on. Trying things on was almost as good as buying them. Over the years she'd tried on lots of things: clothes, jewelry, jobs, men; not all of them fit, but she didn't regret looking. If she didn't try things on, well, then, she'd never know, would she?

She'd gone lightly through life, taking as many items into the fitting room as she could carry; discarding the ones that didn't suit and enjoying the ones that had, even when she was too broke to take them home.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Sterling silver, cubic zirconia. Hand fabricated.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Moss Maiden

This was deeper into the forest than I'd ever been, and I'd gotten used to being dwarfed by the giant redwoods. Even the occasional clump of sword fern no longer felt out of scale; I was small and had never been any larger. The light that must have filtered through the needles at the top of the trees was almost totally absorbed here on the floor of the forest; I did not cast even the faintest shadow. My footfalls were soundless on the mossy ground; the moss was so thick and soft that it tempted me to sleep.

and then I began to dream . . .

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, freshwater pearls, seed beads. Hand fabricated and strung.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Elf Magic

The hush was the first thing I noticed every time I entered the redwood forest. There was a point where the sound of the outside world disappeared; I never could pinpoint it, but the world just went away and left me altogether. I walked deeper into the forest, the earth a soft carpet of needles and moss beneath my feet, feeling smaller with every step. The trees were not only tall, they were larger around than any other trees, and I always had the sensation that it was me that was smaller, not the trees that were larger.

I passed a clump of sword fern that was nearly as tall as me, and was transformed.

© 2007 Cynthia Newcomer Daniel

Copper, freshwater pearls, seed beads. Hand fabricated using traditional bobbin lace, coiling, embroidery, and needlelace techniques.