ONE YEAR ON: Who Rocks the Purple?

July 2012

I’ve been reminded for some reason that a year has passed since I started this blog in July 2011.  Sitting in the not-quite-finished pergola looking up Word and hitting that button to start a new blog.

ah, my outdoor sanctuary under the pergola

Had purple put in my hair that previous February:

I was at a personal crossroads then, in July 2011, having been laid off a year and a half previously and then having gone to school for 9 months studying landscape design.  Loved the study, hated the commute.  There I was, admitting defeat in the face of not being able to get to the schooling that was going to give me a new avenue for money-earning.  Pretty precarious timing.

But I started writing, just because I had to.  In my head, life began to fall into place once more.  Couldn’t do a thing about being shoved out of the economy.  Could do my art, concrete and mosaics.   Did.  And with some firm shoving from knowing people, I planned my long-put-off trip to Italy.  The shoving was encouraging me to go right away, in August, or at least October when it was cooler.  I knew I didn’t want to go those months, was pretty sure it would be in the winter coming up.

Now in July 2012, the pergola is well beyond finished and the landscaping is well begun.

entry into pergola–the entry is to the left side of the picture. there’s my jasmine right smack in front and just beginning to bloom!

Oh how I planned for my trip to Italy.  I allowed myself four weeks for my travels in northern Italy, which I knew wasn’t anywhere close to enough, but I was following a vague should about not having so much fun and instead keeping the trip short.

I studied the language, often sitting in the pergola with headphones on and looking at the pictures and saying the words.  Ooo, I got good at saying “Il bambino e su un’aereo.”   (That probably isn’t quite right, but I don’t feel like looking it up.)

I read voraciously, as if my life depended on it, and devoured maps of northern Italy. 

I discovered a mosaics class in a Byzantine-golden city on the east coast of Italy.  I bought my ticket on Lufthansa and got packed.   I met a blogger who invited me to stay with her in her tiny village upon my arrival.

In the meantime, I lived my life.  Had decided I was going to make a go of making a living as a mosaics artist after I sold my first commission.  Yaaaaaay, a very satisfying, closer to my own self, way to earn $$$.  Was creating in concrete and mosaics.  Made a particular piece that surprised me with the artistic vision therein.  I didn’t know I had that in me.

For the month before I was to fly, I had a nagging sinus infection that really laid me flat.  I entertained myself, but as the time drew nearer and I wasn’t getting better, I went to the doc and got antibiotics so I wouldn’t be flying with crazed sinuses.

Nine days before my flight, I landed in the hospital battling two emergency conditions, either of which was poised to kill me.

And now, five months later, I am emerging from an illness-induced flatness of affect, generally emotionless, and aware that something had happened to my brain with those illnesses.  That my usually-quick-enough-for-me intelligence had been badly blunted and remains so.    I have become literal instead of my penchant for the figurative, which now makes humor difficult.

As I return gradually, I easily feel assaulted by the world, so am generally home-bound.   My list of activities is so limited as to be almost a joke upon reading said list.  I discovered accidentally that my recovery could take a year.  I am re-learning and re-wiring things I didn’t know I had forgotten.  I’m tired, limited, and sad.

I am still the Purple Lady that Spiders drew for me. 

And, when she was wondering where I’d got to in blog-world last February, she drew the purple cricket.

I can’t know what is coming next.  Another crossroads a year after that other crossroads.

Oh, and I have not gone to Italy.  But I’m not dead yet!


from July 2011 at the start of the blogging


I’ve been a writer all my know-the-alphabet days.  I have to write, or periodically, my head explodes.  Yikes!  I knew by 7th grade how to express myself in writing through breaking the grammatical and syntactical rules of English.  My 7th grade English teacher “corrected” my rule-breaking, so she taught me about conformity, not about good writing.

In July when I started this blog, it seemed to be the way to get me to write regularly.  My brother had developed a blog last year and I thought it was wonderfully creative and informative, and it sounded just like him!  It didn’t occur to me that anyone would actually read my blog; I just knew I had to write.

It’s odd to be writing so much using this 2D world cuz I have better 3D perception, which is why when I edit for a living, I rarely read on-screen.  Besides, it’s really uncomfortable to get my eyes working on that shiny, glaring screen.

It probably doesn’t matter how I describe myself personally because it’s the writing that should tell the story.


At the turn of this year, I was feeling kinda frisky, feeling like pushing my own boundaries and kept talking about putting blue in my mostly-white hair.  Then, my father, with whom I had a sad relationship, died from brain cancer  a few days before my birthday.

Well, then, I used the enthusiastic referral from my massage therapist and went to the sa-lon on a Friday in February.  The young lady was terrific, a painter and curious about the world.  She also is a talented haircutter.  I told her briefly my motivation for this particular visit–birthday is tomorrow, my father just died.  She said her father had died some years ago and it was very difficult, and gently asked me when my father had died.  “Monday.”

Aside:  Anyone who goes to any haircutter knows that when we show up with an emotional need, they have to tread very carefully and do everything they can to talk us out of:  “shave me bald”; “cut it all off”; “let’s try really short bangs!”.

Anyhoo, I told her I’d like some blue streaks in my hair, so she showed me the beautiful blues.  I asked what she thought because I was with-it enough to know I was grieving, exhausted, and not thinking very well.  Quietly and gently, she said blue would be beautiful with your hair, but blue can be considered punk.  So we settled easily and quickly on purple.   It cracks me up that purple ain’t punk!

Rockin’ the Purple

My massage therapist has a connection with the healing powers of the Universe and I love her dearly besides.  One day after the new hair, she was enthusing over the recuperation I was exhibiting and added that I seemed like I was doing great:  “You’re rockin’ the purple!”

©  No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011 ad infinitum. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 08:58:47

    How come you don’t have the ‘Like’ button feature on your blog? I want to ‘Like’ you so bad.


  2. lahgitana
    Aug 19, 2011 @ 09:16:33

    Cuz I am so new to this that I make it up everyday! I will go find that and add that! You cheer me up! Thank you!


  3. minlit
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 09:44:29

    This is weird – I’ve only come across one other cat called Calpurnia, also on a blog. Though admittedly it is a one r Calpurnia. I’m going to be really Irish, and ask if you’re related to blogger Oldcat, the one I call the Gene Genius? Cos where I come from, you either know everyone or worse, you’re related to them! Could the internet really be this small a place???


  4. lahgitana
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 09:59:35

    I noticed the other Calpurnia, too–gee that’s hard to type without the second r! She was the only other one I had come across.

    No not related to Oldcat, but will have to go visit!

    As far as small world-ness, I believe firmly that we know someone who knows someone else who knows me and you! Because of that belief, and experience in small-town Alaska, I try to behave myself so there is no tattling!

    Where are you from?–love that description: “or worse, you’re related to them!”!!


  5. minlit
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 09:52:28

    I’m Irish, in Ireland. Always meant to live abroad, but had to settle for a few trips, for some reason. Things always got in the way of a major departure. But as they say here, if it’s for you, it’ll not go by you!


    • lahgitana
      Oct 26, 2011 @ 20:09:05

      Love that expression–need to adopt that to get me through the day I’m having.

      I hope you keep traveling. I love it! I am delighted to be talking to someone in Ireland–it helps to quell the travel bug just knowing I’m being international somehow!


  6. Linda
    Jan 24, 2012 @ 13:19:43

    OH! Alan likes the hair and I am a bit jealous. I don’t think the purple would be nearly as flattering in my hair. I will have Alyssa work on color for me :)


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