Maui Move: Cycling & Ocean Therapy



Hello from Maui’s North-shore, one of the windsurfing meccas of the world and home of Jaws or “Pe’ahi”.

I moved here on November 8th with just my bike, a couple bags and my guitar, to heal from an unexpected total hip replacement, attend the Sustainability program at Maui College, learn about Hawaiian music, and continue guitar lessons. It has been an epic journey and my love of the natural world has increased tenfold. Swimming in clear teal water beside sea turtles, rainbows almost daily, foraging fruit and finding bananas, oranges, pomelos, mangoes, guava and more on my bike rides, these fallen snacks from the Gods have sustained me many days as I have been unemployed and waiting for jobs and unemployment checks to pay my bills.

I have so much more to share, and have two writing pieces planned (to publish on Medium) on restaurants, businesses and sustainable transportation, but for now, I wanted to share a mini acrylic painting I did this past week.

This is a view of the West Maui Mountains from the Northshore. You can watch the airplanes take off 6 miles away from Kahalui airport here as they rise up over the mountains and into the clouds. There is red lava rock and soft clay that sticks to your shoes and colors your feet red. Fisherman occasionally net fishing, traditional Hawaiian style. Sea turtles resting on the beach. Athletes swimming laps with fins and running up the dunes as the waves break over a natural coral reef.

I quickly fell in love with this beach and the turtles, and I am feeling stronger than when I arrived. Not perfect yet, but cycling, walking and swimming are improving my hip and I have less pain than when I arrived.

If you would like to purchase this mini painting as a print, please click here:

https://fineartamerica.com/featured/maui-where-the-mountains-dance-with-the-sea-colleen-proppe.html

More stories, music and art to come... 

Thank you!


Windsurfing Paintings Series & Fall Update

September 2020

I painted two fun new water paintings this month. They are available as prints and gifts here. Click on images to order prints or gifts*. Thank you!

Please note that Fine Art America DOES NOT ever tell me who ordered a print from me. It is an anonymous system, so if you do order something and want to let me know you purchased my art, I'd love to hear from you! You can always contact me directly, here.

"Windsurfing into the Wave"

"Windsurfing with Pelicans"

Both images are inspired by my love of windsurfing, which I shared with my only husband. When we separated, I wrote to him to windsurf. "Follow your bliss", basically. I knew he always wanted to surf on the ocean waves. We had windsurfed on a lake for years, and made it onto the San Francisco Bay once together. It was on the route where the ferry boats would pass back and forth into Larkspur, California. We windsurfed across the channel from shore to marsh grasses and back again, sometimes, right infront of the ferry. That was pretty exciting, but far from actually surfing into and over waves.

I have since surfed, SUP'd and sailed, but I have not windsurfed in a while. I definitely miss it! There's really nothing like the feeling of sailing fast while standing up. Someday... but for now, I am enjoying painting scenes of waves and surf in this series as a tribute to my best friend, who acheived his dream of windsurfing on big waves. The color and light in the waves, and the motion of the sport are captured here. I really like how these two images turned out and I plan to continue this series.

*****

Personal updates... (not all fun, so don't read this if you don't want to hear the bad stuff. Buy a print or piece of art instead, which will definitely support me during this time).

I'm alive. I'm physically not better yet, and there is more on that, below if you care to read that far. I really don't like to talk about it, so I put it all down here in case anyone is wondering. It's not my joy to share my unhappy stuff, but getting it out here at least forces me to be honest and present.

I heard that my sons are each taking two online classes this Fall, and they are all music classes. I'm glad for them, but like all parents with college-aged children, I wish they were able to attend a full-time college and enjoy a truly immersive learning experience and continue to play in live bands rather than have to do all their learning online. 

In just 8 months, there have been 1 million deaths worldwide from Covid. It is a absolute tragedy, and we are still in the midst of this. I created an infographic this week to mark the sad milestone.  Click the image below to learn more about this project. I had been keeping a Google Sheet with some of the worst wars and pandemics to see how Covid compares. I knew we were going to pass 1 million deaths soon, as the rate of deaths in the world is fairly steady, averaging about 5 to 8,000 deaths worldwide per day. Until we have a vaccine, this will not stop. It may lessen due to what we have learned. More people survive because we have some treatments now, but a vaccine is still needed to end the pandemic.



Today, I have been wishing deeply that this year didn't happen. Covid, fires in California, missing my sons very much and having to have major surgery and live in a place I don't want to be. I don't feel great yet. My hip still hurts, even 3 months since the surgery. I'm sitting in a bed, which is soft, and my rear on the side where my hip surgery was hurts. It's a dull ache, that sometimes twinges enough to be a throb. Sitting in the car to drive hurts too. I can't lie on my right side to sleep at all. I can still only lie on my left side, back or stomach. I can't walk properly, with ease or great balance. People who see me walking might not be able to tell how I feel. I feel unstable, like I could fall or slip if suddenly bumped or caught off-guard. I can't run. I can't lift things that are heavy. I feel rather useless compared to my former, physical self. Being an athletic person my entire life, this last year has been absolutely horrific to go through.

I do believe I will acquire more strength eventually and be able to do most of the things I used to be able to do. I wish I had someone in my life to give me a massage when I am aching instead of feeling like I need to take another Advil and ignore it. None of this has been fun, but a few things have really helped me survive this time, and this post is dedicated to those saviors.

1. Technology

My iPhone, my iPad(for painting) and my MacBook. Online tools, like Adobe Creative Suite and other Apps for my iPhone.

All Essential tools that have allowed me to:

  • communicate by email and social media
  • create and record music (I wrote 11-13 songs during the pandemic so far... but I'm not a professional mixer so I need someone to help me master my ideas. Can't wait to work with others again!)
  • tune my guitar, see and view music to play and practice
  • paint and edit photos
  • share photos with others
  • write
  • learn new tech skills, like Github and Salesforce
  • be entertained and learn via podcasts, online news, film and video: YouTube, Apple TV movies, and livestream concerts like "Farm Aid" (Farmaid.org) , Monterey Jazz Festival, and others have carried me through each day. Sometimes, knowing that a concert event is coming up, even if it is only online, still helps give me something to look forward to. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is coming up too.

2. My Guitar (plus music books, music and musicians)

I never would have made it through the last few years with out my guitar. I have played my guitar every evening for over 3 years. It's kind of like saying bedtime prayers, but singing them or serenading myself into calm. The same feeling of disappearing into something beautiful I had when painting can be replicated when I play guitar. It's magical and the best form of escape from a mad world and cruel people. I can not handle the amount of negativity and cruelty online or in politics. I would rather make music or art and sing, ride my bike, be in nature. The intense sadness and amount of change in the world from this pandemic has really been too much to handle for so many. I know I wouldn't have survived so many days with out my guitar and the hope and peace that music brings. Seeing musicians online, sharing their music and how they feel right now has helped me very much. I want to be a better guitar player and keep learning, so every time I see others playing, it inspires me and makes me want to get better.

3. My Bikes

About a week ago, I finally walked on the beach here. It was fairly empty during the morning, mid-week and I walked with out my hiking pole. It was awkward and painful. I had to stop about every 30 to 50 feet or so and stretch my hip joint. This made me pretty depressed. When I finally got back on my bike, I went for a long ride and felt a lot better. When I bike, my hip does not hurt. When I try to walk, it does. I have been trying to do a combination of walking and cycling, but I wouldn't be as strong or positive as I have been able to be at this time if not for my bikes. The cruiser and my road bike have been an integral part of my physical recovery from hip replacement surgery and my mental health. The cruiser helped me stay upright in an 90 degree angle with out breaking precautions set by the doctor and PT for the first 3 months. I have transitioned back to my road bike now, and am using those different muscles once again. It definitely has been a lot of physical and mental work to rehabilitate my body, even to the point I am at now. Definitely would not be here with out my bikes. When I say this, I mean that I wouldn't want to exist with out these things. I would feel more anxious, angry and unable to exist as a sane human with out these tools to heal my body, soothe and uplift my mind.

4. Books

I have been reading mostly music memoirs and nature memoirs during the pandemic. They are uplifting and educational and also a great escape from the news and stress of healing and living where I don't want to be.

That's about it for now. I hope you all are doing well and stay safe until we have a vaccine, new President, and life returns to better, safer times. I truly believe we will get there because I believe in science and I know today's kids will demand change and create the change they wish to see in the world. We must work with them to get there. Peace, love, music! -Colleen : )

Bubblegum Rain (Pandemic Song #12)


 
I bought this fabric at SewGreen in Ithaca, NY for my Mom who has been sewing facemasks. It reminded me of bubblegum and seemed happy and fun. After my Mom made a facemask with this, I had a dream I put it on and bubblegum was falling from the sky and then Covid was over. This pattern, and a few other music occurences this week, inspired me to write a new song I call "Bubblegum Rain".

I had just watched Margo Price's second night livestream from Brooklyn Bowl, Nashville. She currently has the #1 Song and Album on the American Chart. The livestream was really well done. There was a full stage, colorful lighting changes, and the fans were streamed onto the walls around the theater. Margot's musicians were all impeccable and to see and hear her play with a full band that moved fluidly between rock, blues and jazz, with meandering solos and extended play sounding sometimes like Phish, the Grateful Dead and even Tedeschi Trucks Band... was something you don't hear on Margot's albums. This was really enjoyable. I had only heard her live once in New York, at Carnegie Hall. That is how I became a fan. Her voice is much bigger than you can imagine from online performances and records. In any case, I was excited she played with Lucinda Williams and the song "Joy", with the hook being, "You stole my Joy, I want it back" was so good as a duet with Margo and Lucinda. Despite my total appreciation for the effort of livestreams, I still wished Margot had a big, happy audience and covid was over. Livestreams are not really a live music experience to the fans, and I'm sure the musicians miss their fans too. 

Suzanne Vega released a new album on September 11th, "New York Songs and Stories". Here songs have been with us for thirty years and they are like old friends, but I have even greater appreciation for them now, as I have been learning guitar, trying to write my own songs and also escape domestic abuse. One of her songs that became very popular in the 90's "Luka" speaks of domestic abuse, but most people know her song, "Tom's Diner" as an instant classic. The way in which she tells a story that we hear and visualize unfolding, moment by moment, makes this song memorable and placed her in the category of singers who create magic through descriptive and poetic storytelling.

Oct. 7, Grammy Award-winning artist Suzanne Vega will celebrate the release of her new, career-spanning live album, An Evening of New York Songs and Stories, w/ a livestream event from New York’s iconic Blue Note Jazz Club.  Details here: https://bit.ly/3bQBfAP

After looking out the window with the bubblegum facemask, hearing Margo and Suzanne's new album, and practicing blues guitar from a new book I have, I started to think about how the clouds would open up and candy would rain down from the sky like a piñata. I wrote this and started a guitar part. I sang the voice into a voice recorder on my phone, and added a guitar part. I will try to combine them in Garage Band. I wish I was fluid with Pro Tools or Abelton so I could really edit this work, but even better would be to collaborate with someone who really knows what they are doing. Be safe all! Thanks for listening. -C

Bubblegum Rain (A pandemic ending celebration song)




Chorus:

GABBD
Had a dream that my facemask was magic
GABBBDEGABAB
Put it on and it suddenly got quiet

(Trill BDBDBDBDBD)
EFG GABA
Everything around me seemed to spin and shake,

Then it rained... Bubblegum and candy all day.
-----
Verses:

Swedish fish were swimming in the fountains
Gummy bears were running down the mountains

A lady with a baby ducked into a cafe
and sat by the window as Suzanne Vega played

A boy with an upside down umbrella
caught a chocolate bear and they danced in a puddle

His eyes filled with sunrise
as if he'd found a lost friend

An old man with a cowboy hat
tipped his wide brim
as he opened the door and the lights once dimmed

He exclaimed outloud
"Well, I'll be damned"
"If this isn't the strangest weather
We've ever had"

and the trees in the skies
continued to sway
as it rained.... Bubblegum and candy all day.

(chorus)
---
Verse 2

Lollipops like polkadots on every rooftop
A woman ran faster
when a bag of jelly beans dropped

Kids peered out windows with watermellon smiles
and a lady with a shopping cart caught
a hundred chocolate bars

The bubblegum skies took away all our pain
and we danced in the streets as live bands finally played

A couple kissed publicly
it was the sweetest victory
as we flung off our face masks
and praised pink clouds for bubblegum rain

----
Chorus:

GABBD
Had a dream that my facemask was magic
GABBBDEGABAB
Put it on and it suddenly got quiet

(Trill BDBDBDBDBD)
EFG GABA
Everything around me seemed to spin and shake,

Then it rained... Bubblegum and candy all day.

----

Now I have 12 songs written during pandemic. I hope to do something with them. It is horrible to feel like you have all this creative story telling and a voice, and you don't know how to perfect it and get it out into the world. I hope I can find someone to help me. I wish music technology came easy to me and I could do this all myself, but I think it would be more fun to collaborate and learn from others who know how to do this.

11 Random Songs - Writen during the Covid Pandemic - 2020 (April - August)

Some of my songs from the last four years, in raw format, are up on SoundCloud. They are all, unprocessed first drafts. Part of a book I am writing, but I hope to actually turn them into an album someday. I welcome your help, but I don't have an income to afford mastering or editing. I have hundreds of songs, if anyone is looking to buy a song, let me know. 

None of this work is really in a format I feel presentable yet, but I just wanted to put up what I have been doing here. The 12 songs below were written between April and August 2020. The songs on SoundCloud are a mix of the last four years.
___________________________________________________________________


4/17/20

Be Kind 

(A Quick Song Writing Challenge - Wrote this after watching Josh Haner’s photography report from NYTimes Climate. We are in the midst of Covid-pandemic, my hip is killing me and I’ve waited 8 months for surgery. What else can I do but distract myself with songwriting attempts and random art efforts... pray to all the Gods. It’s rough out there. Be kind.

Are we going to double down or are we going to leave?
This is our home, the only place we've ever lived
The sea is swallowing our ancestry and town
We have no choice but to leave or we'll surely drown

It's the end of live the way we've always lived
It's a new world and we're not prepared for this

The truth's worth telling
We'll get through this somehow
We need help to survive
and we need to be kind...


It takes time to change, so be kind
It takes time to change, so be kind

It takes time to change...

Be kind...
Be kind...

It takes time to change so be kind.


Video with vocals/acoustic guitar on YouTube

__________________

4/18/20

Song for Kesha...
(Kesha's songs always make me laugh. I wrote this and immediately thought of her.)

I’ve got socks with rainbows
I’ve got socks with clouds
I’ve got pink socks with watermelons
And I’ve worn them inside out
But I’ll tell you a secret
It’s something you’ll never guess 
Until it comes to you
You’ll understand it best

Never have Sex with your socks on
Never have Sex with your socks on
Never have Sex with your socks on
That’s with I’m singing this song 

_______________________

4/27/20

I'm going to ride my bicycle (Moondance)
Songwriting challenge with the world Bicycle in it. Written on guitar while just playing around...

I'm going to ride my bicycle
Swiftly to the Sea
I'm going to ride bicycle
oh, won't you come with me

I'm gonna blow you kisses
gently in the breeze
I'm gonna blow you kisses
oh, won't you set me free

Link to video with vocals/acoustic guitar

_______________________

5/6/2020

For Lukas... 1

I want you

I want me
I want us
I want them
To be free

You’re beautiful to look at
I love your guitar
But you’re so far away from
The places I’ve gone
I’m probably not the one you need
I’m not even a crumb in your bag of weed

I don’t smoke because it makes me sick
I don’t mind others who want to do it
But it’s not what I need
I don’t want my life to revolve around weed

Just like you said in that song so clear
You’ve got to focus on the music
For me to stay near
I love you like a child
But Singing and guitar are what make me smile

I love you so much
But you’re miles away
I love you so much 
But you’re miles away
I wish I could help you see
It’s totally different being me

Learn something new
Read a book
Bike anywhere I can to get unstuck
Try to help my sons understand 
It’s not what’s on the outside that matters
It’s all within

If you could be better
Would you try?
If you could love someone different 
Would you deny them the chance
To show you their best?
Would you make them take a test?
Or would you just let them be
And see if they learn to be free

It’s never about what you think it is
It’s always an illusion in the midst of all the pain (shit)
The masks we are wearing to save the day
Can’t fix the games we continue to play
Can you see me for who I am
And still not run away?

Can you love me for my choices
And still tell me to stay?

I want you

I want me
I want us
I want them
To be free

___________________

5/14/2020

Look, there's a Cardinal 

(Continued... Written in the Winter Snow, a year ago in Connecticut, but added to as I saw the cardinals back in the Spring)  Video with accapela vocals on Youtube
----
There are 3 ways I write songs: 1. Like this cardinal song, adlib. I started this song a year ago, in the winter. Now that the cardinal is back, I started singing about it again. This is how I write songs “most of the time”- I just start singing about what I see or am feeling, trying to fit it into a rhythm or pattern I have already created. Sometimes, these thoughts just come out in a burst, like when I can’t find my hat or keys and then I start singing about it.
2. With guitar. Other times, I will be playing guitar and hear something I like, then start to sing words over it.
3. Finally, I might hear something in my head and write the lyrics out on paper that rhyme, but have no notes to them yet. Later, I can go back and set them to music.
----

Look there's a cardinal
Red colors, black beard
Sings a song so sweet and clear
Sings a song so sweet and clear

Look there's a cardinal
Red colors, black beard
Sings a song so sweet and clear
Sings a song so sweet and clear

Look there's a cardinal
Red colors, black beard
Makes me wish that you were here
Makes me wish that you were here
Makes me wish that you were here

Here,
here
here

My Dear.

----
(New parts, ad-libbed this Spring)

Look there's a cardinal
sitting on a branch in a tree
Staring out at you and me

Look there's a cardinal
Pink flowers, green leaves
Drinking on my cup and tea
Thinking about you and me

Look there's a cardinal
Looking all around the world
Wondering what's next to do
taking a rest from me and you

Look there's a cardinal
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh
Look there's a cardinal
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh

Just outside your window
Just outside your window
Look there's a cardinal
Just outside your window

Just outside your window

Can you see what I can see?
Can you see what I can see?
Cardinal in a tree
A red cardinal in a tree
A red cardinal in a tree
in a tree
in a tree
sittin' there for you and me

you and me
you and me
you and me
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, ooooh

Look there's a cardinal
Wondering when he's gonna fly?
Wondering what's his alibi?
Wondering where he'll go tonight?
Tonight,
Tonight...



__________________

5/14/20


You can’t break my heart
I’ve got a force field the size of Violet Parr
I can be invisible when I want
You can never break my heart

Who am I kidding, I’m crushed everyday 
Like the tiny black ants that won’t go away
Take me back to your sweet face
Your warm embrace
Anyplace but this disgrace 

Can we save the world, or is it too late?

I’ll wave my arms and save your heart
I’ve got a force field the size of Violet Parr
I can make a safe haven when I want
You can come inside and share my love
__________________


5/15/2020

Criminal (Gleaning)

Criminal (2020) - SoundCloud


This is kind of about Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and Trump... but it’s also about extreme wealth and poverty at this time. One file should be a vocal track and then I just made a guitar track that I started it out with. I called the song “Gleaning” but I re-named it “Criminal” so it’s a bit confusing.

Every song has new meaning
What is it, that we're gleaning
From this time?

So revealing
What is your sacrifice?
What is wrong and right?

People looking for a way out
There's only hope
or extreme doubt
tell me you're not changed by this
because, if you're not I can only admit

That you're a criminal
You're a pirate with exteme ego
You don't have a heart
and I want to shout out, thru every mask
how we are all defenseless
with out basic rights
with out the food we need to survive
So you go play your games
Ignore the rest of us
but we all agree

You're a criminal
You're a pirate with exteme ego
You don't have a heart
and I want to shout out, thru every mask
how we are all defenseless
with out basic rights
with out the food we need to survive
So you go play your games
Ignore the rest of us
but we all agree

You're a criminal
You're a criminal


___________________

5/22/2020

For Lukas... 1I


(E) They took away my favorite flavor 
(Am)they took away my favorite food
(C)they took away my favorite city
(G)they even stole my favorite boots(D)

Tonight I’m tired and pensive
saw a photo of you online
yeah, the AI says I want you
but I don’t believe it half the time

So I’ll just go ride my bike
I’ll pretend I’m next to you
Maybe dancing to your slow song
Maybe telling you the truth

So I’ll just go ride my bike
Into the stillness of the night
I think of you on the fence
Smiling in the sunlight

Maybe I’ll get to see you on the other side
Maybe then we’ll go for a ride
Pull your horse right next to mine
Look me straight in the eye

I blush and turn away
I can’t believe you’re by my side
If even for a night
There are no worries in my mind

From your laughter there is light
From your light you make me real
It’s so easy to love you
From your radiance I heal

But then I remember
this is just a dream...

So I’ll go ride my bike
into the stillness of the night
I’ll think of you on the fence
Smiling in the sunlight

_______________________


6/21/20

Somewhere Beautiful and Green (Acoustic Guitar)

for Lukas III...
(with a nod to Hawaiian tree swings, rafts, Karin, Mark, Lois and Charlie, Val and kids, Bethany, Marc and Fam)

On Instagram as a video with acoustic guitar, here.


(D)You know I really (Dsus2)want to meet you (pluck EGB)
(D7) I wish I didn’t have to stay here
(5th fret C)But there’s nothing that I can do
(Chord progression:
7th fret- 3 finger Jimi Hendrix chord,
5th fret - 3 finger D, Dsus2)
I just have to wait ‘til it’s all better

You know I really want to meet you somewhere beautiful and green
Where they ride rafts along the river
Where they swing from Banyan trees

So I try not to dream too much
Cause your memory is so sweet
It’s bound to give me a head rush
And make me stumble from my seat
—-
Can’t understand what it’s like to be you my life was nothing like yours
I just want to put on different shoes
And try to walk a mile without getting sore

Just want to walk a mile in your shoes
So I can try to understand 
What it’s like to be you
How you feel to be a man

When I don’t have the strength
to find my path
I don’t know the way to go
I have too many callings
And no place that is my home
—-
If you could teach me to play the way you do
Maybe I wouldn’t be so scared 
I’d make music for the people
I’d play with gratitude and flair

I’d never write a song I couldn’t sing
I’d know what to do
And I’d believe
I was good enough
I’d know I was true

Just being who I want to be 
Sending out a little light
Sending out love to everyone
Despite these tragic times
I’d believe I was good enough
I’d believe we’d all survive
I’d believe I was good enough
With your blessing so divine

Love is acceptance (3, 5, 7-2 finger BE strings)
Love is accessible
Love is helping someone achieve
The dreams they believe they never will

Love is when you smile so bright
The light shines out from within
Love is when you understand me
And I don’t feel alone and ghosted

—-
I’m tired of missing you so badly
That my heart lives outside my chest
I can’t ever seem to reach it
To feel positive again

They have yelled at me and told me
They don’t see it my way at all
I want them to help me anyway
Even if they think it’s not normal

I’m not looking for a handout
I really want to pay it back
I just want a fresh start
Where I won’t lose my home
Or my ability to give back

——
You know I really want to meet you somewhere beautiful and green
Where they ride rafts along the river
Where they swing from Banyan trees

Green mountains ripple like a pleated skirt
Blowing in the breeze
And the clouds sing down to you
there is joy in everything

——-

7/16/2020

By the Ospreys

I try to come here every day to see you
You sit there, watching like a lifeguard 
The water ripples gold, black and blue at sunset
It’s different every night

One night, two horseshoe crabs stacked together like cups
They moved as if mating
But the next day
Only one, flipped over revealed smaller crabs eating a meal
The clouds dot the sky like hash marks

I touch my scar and it feels half numb
Like a thick cardboard flap on a package sent to me but not mine
The incision feels like a rip cord
Pull here to open

Under the dark periwinkle cloud 
Is orange and golden light
The leaves hang down
Sailboats cross before the city 
I don’t even want to be here
but if you were here too
It wouldn’t be so bad 

My best friend
Love of my life
Who I will never let go
You are in my heart, always
Maybe I am here to save you 
Maybe AI and robotics are not your calling any longer?
Maybe you need music more than anything, like me
Maybe you would sit here and watch the Ospreys with me
Drink love
As the light turns salmon-colored and wait to see if the sky is painted vivid pinks and rainbows
or just fades quietly into grey

Then we bike home together 
Pick fresh basil and crawl into hiding 
Hoping the scientists slay and triumph in the biggest battle of our lifetime.
Why can’t I do anything without you?
Why can’t I make a living and be happy any more?

He stole everything from me.
Everything but my aching soul and I want your love back. I can’t make it without you. You are my best friend.
You are out there, alive.
You are not dead. You are important to me. I can not give up on you, Gunnar.
Please don’t hate me because I never stopped loving you. You just left. 
You didn’t even explain.
You said we would meet again.
You said elephants never forget.
You made me laugh.
Sent me a flower pic.
I guess it’s just going to be hell a lot longer than I thought. 
I got stuck in a very bad life after you left. I don’t want that again. Never.
No more abuse. No more drug addicts.
No more narcissistic men. Confident, yet humble and kind, like you were.
I don’t want to meet anyone else.
You were the one. That’s it.
I just want to make enough money to live near my sons and have a nice place to live on my own.
Finish my book without people killing me.
Please be safe and stay alive until I can see you again. 
Please don’t die.

_____

7/17/20

Squirrels chewed through the plastic fencing all Summer Long...
(A Bluegrass Song with Banjo, featuring a mother, daughter and father who won't pay $70. for a roll of metal fencing to keep the squirrels out of the garden)

____________________

Oh no, not again

Tell me dear daughter 
Where did they get in?

Here mom, they chewed a hole
Right thru the plastic fence
This cucumber’s gotta go

It’s got Squirrel 🐿 Teeth marks and
Everything
They even ate buds off the branch hanging in the breeze

We need metal, I told you so 
Yeah, I knew that long ago

But Dad wouldn’t pay the price
He’s wasting all our energy and time
Tell him we need the metal fence now

Oh no, not again

My pockets are being emptied 
By your garden whim

Oh no, not again

My parents drive me crazy
I can never win


____________________

8/1/20

Sent to Lukas IV...  (about walks and things seen and overheard at a local park where a family of environmentalist writers lived, and the insanity of living during our first global pandemic)

We call this the Shed

She said
as they sat beside the pond
Not for too long
but long enough to remember
We’ll remember this place forever

It’s green and wild
Primal Scream a little while
Here with me
Primal Scream here
A little while
With me

He bikes up the hill
Fishing pole and a look to kill
Anyone in the way
It’s my time to prey
I catch something 
That won’t kill me
Something that will fill me
I’ll remember this place forever

It’s green and wild
Primal Scream a little while
Here with me
Primal Scream here
A little while
With me

Down near the creek
empty bottle caught by a screen 
Littered spaces in this green paradise
On the other side of the fence
Alma lives with respect 
Conserving species and habitat
Clean and protected for now

It’s green and wild
Just sit here with me a little while
Here with me
A little while
A little while...

It’s green and wild
Just sit here with me a little while
Understand my years of sorrow
Can you hear me?

It’s green and wild
Understand my years of sorrow
Be here with me
Primal Scream here
A little while
With me

________________

August 12, 2020

Namaste, Osprey

Two Pinetrees 
dark like black fingers after fixing my bike
Pointed up to a grey night sky
Light shines from the bottom of the trees
Who lives there?

The crickets and the frogs sing together
It’s so hot we should all be swimming
But no one is in the water

Two stars lit
directly above each pine tree
Why do you sing to me
Such angry songs
about bad things?

I wonder if the ospreys miss me
If they wait for me each night
Because I sing for them and play them music across the water
The ripples from a lone
Colorful orange and Black fish
With fins like winged fans
Spread circles like waves across the water
You fly towards me
Touch the branch above me with your talons
Then turn quickly and fly back to the nest
You can fly now!

You are curious about me
Coming to visit you at sunset
Share a quiet moment of peace 
Colors, clouds, sky, water
And no one else is there to bother us

Wouldn’t it be nice if the pond teamed with wild life and flowers 
The ocean was cooler and the hermit crabs and snails came back in armies 
Like the days we collected them in plastic pails
Caught minnows in butterfly nets
Gazed at them the whole day
Then threw them back into what seemed like and endless, perfect sea
With nothing to fear
Only colored belts to gain
As we learned to pass each swim test
Sand castle contests
No sadness
No worries 
When we were young

I hope you fly and find all the kindness here protects you
I hope you love your home
Your parents
Your food and nest
I hope you don’t fight with your siblings over food or space
That you find your way
Find your way
Be safe 
Be well
Namaste, Osprey

__________________

September 2020

"Bubblegum Rain" (I dreamed the pandemic was over and it was raining candy...)

Rainbow Crystal Cocktails - Photography Series

Feb. 14-18, 2020
"Crystal Rainbow Cocktails II" Photo by Colleen M. Proppé
I have created a fun, new series of brightly colored photographs that are inspired by the "Colleen Waterford Crystal" collection and my creative and sunny Grandmother.

Click here to view the Collection on Fine Art America


My Grandmother's Birthday was February 15th, so she was a Valentine's baby. I was thinking about her on Valentine's Day when I pulled one of the pieces of glassware from the hutch. She took me on my first boat ride in NYC where we drank "Cosmos"(Cosmopolitans) and had a view of the Statue of Liberty. It was many years ago, but she loved me enough to take me out on the town, to art museums, and she collected this special crystal set for me. This was such a thoughtful gift to give her only granddaughter, one piece at a time, over the years. Since my name is Colleen, she collected the "Colleen" Irish Waterford Crystal pieces.
"Rainbow Fruit Cocktails" Photo by C. Proppé
Living in California the last 28 years, I never took glassware with me because I feared earthquakes and never wanted this to be damaged. We are in such different times now, and many couples do not collect china and crystal any more. It was very common in my Grandmother's generation, and I was hoping to honor her in some small way by photographing the pieces and possibly painting from the images. However, as I took the photos, I realized they are beautiful on their own.

I used Color Garden plant-based food coloring and water to create rainbow-colored water, and I added what fruit and veggies I had in the fridge to make these "mock-tails" appear like a rainbow of real cocktails in this vintage crystal. This was a lot of fun and I enjoyed editing the photos in Photoshop apps and uploading them to Fine Art America where you may purchase prints, gifts and cards. I think they will make a great collection of images for people that love rainbows, color, and need art for a restaurant, nightclub bar, home bar decor, or are celebrating a Birthday, Special Event, Irish Rainbows and Hope, Pride, etc...

"Cherry on Top" Photograph by C. Proppé

On Valentine's Day I put organic Kombrewcha in my glass, and added a cherry for fun. That was how I celebrated my Grandmother, and I think of her often. She was an anesthesiologist and an amazing creative spirit. She loved making up knitting patterns, needlepoint, and she could sew anything. She was Swedish and she loved traveling the world and world culture. I was so lucky to have such a wonderful Grandmother. I miss her very much. She was a great friend to me.