This is not an informative blog regarding the hagfish. It is, instead, an autobiographical work by me, Ann Murray. I am not a fish. Sorry. This in one form or other, is the story of my mishaps, and also, some of my haps. Fair and Balanced and all that.



Sunday, October 25, 2009


There are times when she feels like old lace curtains that have hung in a window for too many years. They appear to be intact, but if touched, they will disintegrate.

So much violence has crept into her life over the decades, it staggers the mind. It came through the portals of direct information conveyed generally by phone, though sometimes the messenger arrived at the door.

There were trickier means also. For example, discovery of a murder, no, make that two, were via the Internet. If one could simply set the world to System Restore, go back, and never enter those names, never click on “search”, never read those pages, never dig for the outdated news articles….

The ringing of the phone. This is not the perky telemarketer announcement of an earnest broom or vacuum cleaner salesman, wanting to enrich your life with greater efficiency when it comes to the beloved American cleanliness fetish, anymore than the knock on the door is a delivery from the Chinese restaurant. The Internet information is not due to a misspelled name typed in haste, allowing one to exhale again.

Oh no, it is not benign data. We are indifferent to the benign. This information is of too much import, we are not indifferent here.

At this moment, the sky is gray and white as though all color had been erased from the world, leaving only a photograph in gray scale. It is Limbo, the place between Heaven and Hell of the heart gone away from average days, where the soul waits for good news, if it ever comes.

In theory, Limbo is temporary. It is there for the convenience of the gods. A storage bin filled with things to be decided upon, but not immediately. The gods do not appreciate being rushed.

But I digress where this tale is concerned. Forgive me.

Decades ago, an infinity it seems, the phone call came from a doctor announcing the anticipated death of her mother.

She was sedated by spirituality; buffered by belief and weariness. The howl came later. The grief, a river rushing toward a wall of stone, came later. Vestiges remain always, like stray hairs tickling sensitive skin, they cannot be ignored.

Her mother’s death was of natural causes, likewise, her father’s death.

The other deaths are the ones she counts on worry beads used as an abacus to keep track of violent unnatural events. She holds a cluster and counts them off. Four suicides. Another cluster…two murders, no…three actually if she counts the man she didn’t like, but did admire.

Then she hits a sticky area.

Does the accidental shooting of her young husband, many moons ago, count as murder or mishap? Shall she call it “uncategorized”? Now, if it’s murder, that would make four.

Four feels right.

Two fours equal eight. Eight is a fated number according to the study of numerology. Her name number is eight, as is her address.

Don’t try to tell her she’s not fated.

What could be more fated than a bullet from a small antique firearm which only holds one shell, tearing through a twenty-seven years old lung, leaving its owner waiting days for the rescue of death in a small hospital in a far away country?

She hates the uncategorized. At heart she is a file clerk in a narrow room fretting about a lack of order.

She could go mad from the weight of these folders containing so much intensity.

She could become Ophelia, pulling petals from flowers, keeping count, finally drifting in the waters that would claim her.

But then another would need to count off her beads, and add to a category. She doesn’t trust others with her record keeping. She doesn’t trust others, period, and exclamation mark.

The knock on the door is the worst. The parties on the other side know you are in that house, they will not go away. They will pound until the door too, disintegrates, and they will announce the uncategorized death while looking into your eyes to see if it is really true, or are they in a nightmare? Are we all in a nightmare?

Or it will be a single individual on business, announcing, after much cat and mouseing around in the name of said business, the fact he, she, or it, is not permitted to divulge the circumstances that led to this visit, but will pass on a phone number which will open the gate to another circle of Hell.

The man with the blue and white umbrella committed suicide early in July of 2009, taking her with him to Limbo. They are discussing things, and waiting for the wheel of karma to make another click.

Dear Reader,
Do not be misled by the apparent calm the above statement re the man with the blue and white umbrella implies. She is stuck together by a weakening will, and is not fully herself these days. She is being barbecued, turning on a spit over fire which does not cauterize, does not kill pain, as “normal” burning does.

It’s a messy business, full of anguish polite society can’t bear to witness. Her mother raised her to save face at all times so as not to divulge the inner heart, which would display weakness. Frankly, she would prefer to run through the streets screaming and tearing her hair out.

Suicides and murders are horrific happenings. She will skirt the recent awareness of a murder too close to the bone to think about.

For the benefit of polite society, she will be politically correct. She will state she suffers from overexposure.

What a strange circle she traverses.

No one knows her.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rachmaninov Had Big Hands

This gem came to me from my sister, Alma Rands, jewelry designer and maker extraordinaire. Blessings on your head sistah!


Presentation by:HirnW