Monday, April 28, 2014

Dreams Adrift

Good Evening!
Saturday I had the pleasure of going to the Dairy Center for the Performing Arts to see the Phamaly Production of Dislabled. It was a fantastic show! If you have the opportunity to see a Phamaly show, I highly recommend going! Check them out at

I parked some blocks away from the theatre and met some friends for lunch before the show. We could not have asked for better weather last Saturday! The wheel was gorgeous. On my way to the car after the show I took some time to photograph. There is a small creek that runs next to the theatre. It has small bits of trash here and there, but overall it is a lovely spot. Hiding from the traffic just a few feet away this quiet little hollow seems idyllic. As I wheeled I noticed a man napping on the bench. Very discretely I took the photograph, then went home.

Dreams Adrift ©2014

This shot is an interesting push and pull between the serene and the desperate. The setting indeed seems idyllic, but no one is fooled into believing that it is perfect. There is something missing and yet all is as it should be. Little disks of golden dandelions float next to bits of dropped wrappers as they are carried along toward the street. This is a great place to catch a nap. Would one's own porch be better?

Thursday, April 24, 2014


As some of you already know, I have a genetic condition known as Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Not sure what that means? This young lady does an excellent job explaining O.I. in great detail!

Last Saturday I had a young boy who was probably about 7 years old ask me, "When are you going to start shrinking?" Now that is a question I have never heard before. After many years of life on God's green earth, but not too many because a lady is entitled to her vanity, I have heard a slew of questions related to my size, shape and overall demeanor. Usually the questions are something like this, "What happened to you? Do your legs work? Where is your mom? How old are you? Why are you so small?" I have a pretty concise speech about the disease and its impact on my everyday life. I can usually answer any question with calm grace. After a brief interview most children are satisfied and go on their way without a second thought. The conversation almost always starts with the same question, "Why are you so small?" Perhaps not surprisingly it isn't a question only children ask. Adults are curious too. This reminds me of John 9. But I don't think the aim of the questions are to be cruel or they wouldn't be asking me anything.

Last Saturday, this question, "When will you start shrinking?" was so very different from anything I had ever been asked before that it caught me off guard. Even when he repeated the question, I still wasn't quite sure
Tess at age 7
what he was getting at. My cool and collected speech was shaken. After a few awkward "umms" he let me know that other moms were much taller, which told me he assumed that at one point I was a willowy 5'10" that somehow shrunk. That and I never thought my appearance was matronly. I may have to work harder to update my style. Remember, a lady is indeed entitled her vanity. What would life would be like if for one brief time I was of average height and suddenly I diminished in one terrible season. Being born small (and remaining that way) gives you a perspective which makes an average one seem very bazaar. I think many little people dream of being tall like everyone else. I actually dream of everyone being small like I am. Perhaps that is a little self focused, but imagine the resources we would save!

Truth is, I have seen kids who stare, kids who cry and yes even kids who feel like they have to touch me to see if I am real. There are two ways to react. First, you can become embittered and angry. Secondly, you can show a bit of empathy and realize if you were 7 years old and saw someone you thought was a gorgeous pixie momma, you'd be dying to ask a few questions too. It's not an act of hate that propels a child to explore their world. By reacting in shock, and yanking a child out of these sort of situations, you are letting them know that this person they are so curious to know is nothing more than a problem to be avoided at all costs. No human being is merely a problem to be avoided. And while the questions may seem dehumanizing, reacting with horror is actually the dehumanizing act. Do the questions become a nuisance at times? Absolutely! Especially on days that you are feeling stressed about life, the universe and everything. On those days, to be reminded that on top of everything else you are still a little person, is definitely trying. However, if I can't realize the facts of my own life, come to terms with them, and then take the time to share with others, how can I expect to create a world where I am treated with respect and understanding?

Eventually, I did collect my thoughts and answered all of this little boy's questions. We ended our conversation with a demonstration of my movable legs that did in fact exist. After that he went to the snack machine and pressed his face against the glass. Once his mom came out of the restroom he demanded chips.

Even as crazy as they are, I really love kids.

Friday, April 11, 2014


The kids, my niece and nephews, and I are studying the great artists of the world. We just finished a study of Picasso. At the end of each study, if they do well on the test, then they can choose any art project they would like to do on their own. It's the "free" art lesson that wraps us each study. My nephew chose cubism. However, he wanted to use the computer rather than paints. We called it "digital cubism".

As he was working, I remembered that I had done something similar last year. I titled it "Bird Movements 4".

Bird Movements 4 © 2013   Tess Tubbs

This image uses 4 photographs of the same subject digitally woven together. I wouldn't call it cubism, however at the time I was studying the works of Picasso and Braque, and was so inspired.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Clyde's Day

Today is Clyde's Day. No, not Clydesdale. That's one of these guys.

As I said, this is Clyde's Day. Growing up I had the delight of knowing a really great dog we named Clyde. He was a cinnamon colored cocker spaniel with an unshakable laid back personality. He didn't really bark, but instead made a rolling chortle each time he yawned. He would make himself yawn often so you knew he was still around. He was the very picture of friendliness. Yet there was something more to Clyde. The dog seemed to have knowing eyes. Now I know that seems a bit odd, but hear me out. Dogs often give a dopey look, a glance devoid of any sort of thought other than food. But Clyde was different. In his eyes seemed to be something that said he knew more than he was able to tell. This was the dog that was rolled underneath my brother in law's car shortly after he received his driver's license. After that near death experience Clyde was not like other puppies his age. He would from that time on sit in the open field just looking and smelling the air. After that he didn't see the need for jumping about like an idle brained ninny. No, for Clyde life was thereafter filled with many deep introspective afternoons. I can see him now in my memory, sitting like a regale lion in the setting sun, contemplating a wonderfully intense question to which there was no answer. For hours he would stay that way. Fixed on a thing so very indescribable
Clyde was born many years ago in our basement on April first. Each year I glance over in my mind's eye and see him sitting in the corner, watching and waiting for that moment to "Rrrrowwrrow" like he always did just to let us know he was still there.