poetry • art • marriage • momhood • faith

Freedom, creatively speaking

Last October on my way to a poetry reading, stopped at a red light, I saw one of the coolest cars ever. OK, so maybe the car itself wasn’t so cool. It was a primer-grey, boxy boat, maybe an Oldsmobile or Buick circa 1989. (I know this because I’ve owned a couple of those.) But the cool part was that it was a mobile art project: across the back, in about 4-inch tall white letters was the request to “Sign My Ride.” Lucky enough to have my camera with me, I snapped a shot. But what the photo doesn’t show clearly, in part because we were moving by the time I took the picture, is the wonderful “graffiti” covering the entire body of the car. Most of it appeared to be in sharpie, but a few more colorful signatures looked like nail polish, and I think I saw some stickers on there too. I loved it!

For some reason, a certain bumper sticker picture reminded me of this, and since then I’ve been reminded of the art of words around us, everywhere.

Last night I had the freeing opportunity to go out on a “date” with one of my best friends, sans hubbies and munchkins. We went out to dinner, and between lots of great food and mediocre service, we talked and talked and turned red with laughter. We covered everything from “Wicked” fanfiction to old college professors to the profound things four-year-olds can say to booty shorts to the logistics of sex. We talked about the novels she’s going to write and the shoes I’m going to design and one of Oz’s alter dimensions (the red one), Az. At one point I was having such a hard time catching my breath that I was afraid cannoli would come out my nose. Really. (Maybe that explains the less than stellar service: maybe our server was afraid of us.)

After I drove her back home to a sleeping household, we sat in the car in the driveway and talked for another hour and a half. We talked politics and religion and some more about our kids. We talked about the couple who had been getting it on in broad daylight in a car the pool parking lot. And we talked more about those shoes. It was as good as — or maybe even better than — being back in college, doing art projects, talking, and eating ramen at 2 AM.

Every woman should have a good date with her best girlfriend every month or so… just to keep her in check, her creative juices flowing, and her heart light. Even at the risk of clogging her nose with cannoli.


  1. Ginger Ginger
    May 10, 2008    

    man that sounds fun! you get your groove on julie…..do some shakin’ for me while you’re at it too. 😉

  2. meg.k meg.k
    May 10, 2008    

    i agree!! there’s nothing better than a great talk with a girlfriend who knows you inside and out 🙂

    thanks for the ‘in the future’ heads up! i listen to billy’s ghettoblaster ep alll the time, but i haven’t had the funds to get the full length goodness yet–i’ll have to do that asap!

  3. Chucka Stone Designs Chucka Stone Designs
    May 11, 2008    

    I just did that about a week ago with my oldest & dearest friend, sans canoli however. Sounds like you two were all about the fun, how awesome you got to go out & just be goofy kids without the company of kids for the evening :~P

    Love that car idea! That had to be a Buick, looked just like one I owned…The Olds I owned I think was longer (are we North east origin townie types or what?? lol)

    So the shoes…please immediately expand on the shoes & tell me is this your big idea?

    I owe you an email after dinner discussing Etsy…

  4. david mcmahon david mcmahon
    May 12, 2008    

    Great homage to the art of words.

  5. Suldog Suldog
    May 12, 2008    

    Thanks for visiting my place, Julie.

    I’ve always thought having an unique car would be fun. Have you ever seen the car that the owner planted grass on? A photo is here:


  6. Momma Momma
    May 13, 2008    

    What a great reminder! I have some friends with whom I get together for coffee every month or so. I find they are afraid of the “tough” topics, though, which means I always have to hold back. It’s good that you have a friend with whom you can let it all hang out.

    Found you through David’s place – Peace – D

  7. Bree Bree
    May 16, 2008    

    Absolutely, you nailed it.

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torch bearing quietly

I will not act out, will not
yell or curse or slam doors,
will not make a scene -- you
do not deserve such a chance
to make an example out of me
to be proven right since you
are not. Instead, I'll stand
at this street corner, raise
my hand high and clench that
light which yet remains. It
will burn brightly, quietly,
fiercely before fading as I.

Then I'll be gone but found.

©JAC 2005

Poetry by Julie Ann Cook!

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Love Like Weeds
by Julie Ann Cook
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