Friday, March 5, 2010

MAGPIE PROMT #4: Lisa The Elephant Queen

Her fascination with all things elephantine had manifested itself in consumptuous proportions lately. Dr. Lisa Browning had all the luck she needed, she knew this, her elephants had provided the doctor with her bewitching and uncanny superpower of powerball luck powers.

Lisa had grown rich with her first lucky elephant found in, of all things, the old Pink Elephant Popcorn sold at her favourite variety store when she was only ten years old. From that point on Little Lisa had found incredible luck in all things, and she knew it had something to do with elephants, but at that time, the little girl was lost to fully explain exactly how or what caused her luck to change so radically.

Lisa was born into a middle class family in the 50's. She was average and plain on the outside, but had a keen sense of adventure. She always wanted to explore and become a scientist.

Buying the lucky elephant on the same day the Apollo astronauts had landed on the moon, July 29, 1969 was more than synchronistic; it was by all accounts, predestination. Lisa felt the indescribable and incredible feeling that she should, she must purchase this particular box of popcorn. Right now. This nudging feeling was more than just the usual feeling a child gets when getting accidentally locked over night in a candy shop. Lisa knew, in the heart of her heart that this box of Jumbo Pink Elephant Popcorn had to be purchased immediately.

She had to, she must get to the box before Peter Pavem got to it. Her little "boy" friend who always seemed to get first dibs at most everything at the small variety store on the corner by the beach. Peter was there for the summer, as was Lisa for the summer. He lived three doors down from Lisa and kitty corner to the Lorna Doon cottage subdivision.

Lisa most certainly knew that the popcorn was decidedly not great for her teeth. She would brush longer this evening, or maybe as soon as she got back to the cottage. She did not fancy the stale tasting popcorn either.

Lisa sensed something excitingly different stirring within her. She could almost feel the powers of the universe converge in this covergent moment of time. Likewise, the newspapers announced in the outdoor vending machine that always closed to quickly nearly catching listens small hand in the spring-loaded door release. Today Lisa read the headllines and looked intently at the large and colourful red white and blue photos of Apollo 11 crew. The words read "Apollo 11 Historic Landing Tonight". The Toronto Star had summed it up; it was indeed a historic day. A day Lisa would never forget.

Lisa felt it was as much her day of destiny as the astronauts. She had followed the Apollo program religiously, cut out newspapers, magazines, collating information for years in her bulging scrapbook.

Today as the astronauts looked back from the moon Lisa would be looking at them. The connection was made, we were, and always will be connected. This definitive moment in time held massive amounts of power. Lisa felt the pull, of the romantic moon, and started acting upon it.

It was the prize she was after, after all. She might just dump the stale lifeless popcorn on the unpaved road. The birds might eat it! What was important was the prize inside. Lisa intuitively drove herself crazy trying to hurry to purchase the somewhat extravagent box of pink popcorn. It cost a whopping $1.25, the cost of the super jumbo Archie comic book she wanted to buy for over two weeks. Lisa was only ever allowed 25 cents a day or less if she did all her chores, dried the dishes and cleaned her bunkbed room she shared with one of her two sisters. Her lucky older sister got the priviledge of her own bedroom. Now that was lucky!

This day she will never forget she told her ten year old mind. It was the eve of July 29th, Lisa wearing her faded summer cotton pajama's, the sounds of crickets, the flap of bats with their high pitched screeching. In the thick woods the whippoorwill would always sing always at sunrise and sunset. In these woodland woods, the moon watched from above, and men watched from below at the men watching all unfold on this night of nights.

All were glued to the old black and white solid state tv, Lisa did not understand the technicians transmissions from Houston, but listened intently anyway trying to pickup on the new techno-garble.
Hot and humid all were leaning forward watching the ghostly images from NASA. Lisa was restless sitting on the silvery and very scratchy couch of the screen-in porch. Lisa was jumping up and down as Lunar Exploration Module neared the approach to the Mare Tranquillus. With bated breath all were on the edge of their seats. Waiting. Hoping. Praying.

As the whole world watched Neil Armstrong take his first steps upon the moon. Very soon. The "moon shot", perfectly landing on the moon's surface as we all patiently awaiting the first human footsteps to mark the first space object with our imprint.

Lisa's family and neighbours cheered all the way to the moon with hoops and hollers the incredible feeling that all impossible would be or could be made possible. If we focused if we believed, all of us, together. What we could do together! Go to the moon! "And You Will Go To The Moon" a very real happening this evening!

Lisa ran outside, never mind the many bats screeching around her, or the menacing june bugs waiting to attach themselves to her bright orange flowery 60's top and potentially bite her. She had received a nasty bite from one of their pinchers in the car door handle of the 60's Chev Impala. Sometimes Lisa forgot the sunset brought out the bugs and she'd stay out longer, only to find one attached to her brightly coloured 60's outfits.

At the Georgian Bay cottage Lisa felt most at home. Later Lisa would refer to this time in her life as idyllic, sophoric and serene. Her zen time, when she felt the happiest.Lisa often returning in her dreams to the very spot of her spiritual "home". The woodlands. The beach at Wasaga. Fun times. Good times. All was right with the world then.

It was during these nostalgic days, remembered much later in her many dreams of the cottage. Recently, her tenth birthday present a telescope she had hounded her parents night and day. "Mom, please, I really need to see the astronauts land on the moon!". Tonight Lisa knew the time was right to go outside after the landing and to find the spot and hopefully see some sign of the Apollo mission.

Finally it was time to deploy and employ her very important and purposeful mission; to watch the Apollo 11 astronauts walk-about, or rather bounce-about on the moon's surface. Lisa knew the importance of this night and the time of this day was just right. It was about 11:30 when the astronauts were jumping around the moon's surface. Lisa was certain she would see something, it would be her dream come true. Charles Rooney said it would not be possible to see anything, being so far away. Lisa knew she would see something, she wanted to see something there on the moon, she had, after all, the Barlow lens X2000 pointed at the lower right quadrant of the moon. It was flat there, no interesting mountains and not many craters. Lisa looked through the lens focusing her star-diagonal prism refractor squarely on the landing site.

Lisa knew that everything down to the lucky elephant which never left her right pocket was coming together in this pivotal moment. The pervasive powers of the elephant would make things happen. "Ah-ha! there they are!" Lisa cried out with glee.

Secretly Lisa knew how much more she knew and how much better than Charles Rooney's reflector telescope, her own telescope. Lisa knew something was going to happen to her, something bigger than life tonight, she sensed it, she absolutely knew something spectacular was going to happen - tonight - July 29, 1969. A frozen moment in time.

In Lisa's Grade Seven class, Charles seemed so disinterested, so wholly consumed with space exploration. Lisa felt that she should have a telescope too, if not as elaborate as Charles, but at least a different kind that may spark Charles interest in her. Charles became, for a time, Lisa's obsession. He seemed to have all the qualities she wanted in herself. He had, indisputably "the right stuff" to Lisa even though he was a pimply-faced pre-pubescent. Lisa was infatuated.

"Just maybe" if Lisa could fashion herself correctly she could become like Charles, a specialist in some area. She could be in demand, she could be needed and ultimately, loved. Lisa kneew she could become that special something, that worthwhile thing, that marketable yet rare font of knowledge. "Who could defeat her then?"

Lisa did not like the competition. Lisa was not a jock or a wimp somewhere in-between. It was always better than, always greater than the sum of what Lisa could possible be, given that she never really had the opportunity, she felt, to prove herself. What opportunity comes to people called "dumb" or "daydreamer". "Labels" thought Lisa. Teachers were cruel at times, making Lisa wear gum on her nose for an entire morning that felt like an eternity.

"I'm gonna tear those bricks down, and then I'm going to play 'monkeyball' on those walls". Heavy thoughts for a little girl starting to examine her options at ten. With each biting critism Lisa became more determined to defeat her foe. If she did not believe in herself, "Who would?" thought Lisa after crying for days after being ridiculed and humiliated in front of her classmates.

Lisa might make a difference one day, make the world a better place "for mankind" or "personkind". Lisa was certain Canada's National Anthem line which extorted man's domination over the universe in the line "all our son's command" would one day be replaced with "all our citizen's command:

Lisa would be that catalyst of change and she started changing the very verse when she sang "O Canada". She was determined to change, little by little the bricks that defeated her soul, that got in the way of her being "one in the spirit".

At ten Lisa had sneakily read her older sister's books and diaries. But it was the books that lined her sister's room, like Betty Friedan "The Female Eunich", and Gloria Steinem's books, that got little Lisa to thinking about the plight of women. Along with her Bobsey Twins and Nancy Drew books Lisa was trying to be as well-read as her sisters. Lisa was getting tired of only following her sisters to music lessons and horse-back riding lessons. Lisa wanted something for herself. She had "Space" and she was going to make it hers, damn it.

Her sisters and mother felt the same way. "Times are a changin'said Bob Dylan. Woman were no longer puppets. The male dominated universe was evolving back to the woman goddess like Lisa's ancestors hidden in the cupboard of time. Knowledge was computational, punch-cards folded to take on Christmas wreath form sprayed gold, with "real" snow sprayed like icing on top. This wreath made by my mother had changed since the fluffy plastic dry-cleaner bag wreath art. This Age was The Space Age and also was the Age of Aquarius. So much was happening. It was exciting and threatening at times. So in the face; and the youth were loud.

The age had us all issuing a new decree. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, not just for women but for all minorities, those always who were marginalized were allowed to step forth into the sunlight and shine. Finally!

Although women were not a minority having clearly 52% of the populace vote. In Lisa's ten year old mind she just knew that most men were taught to be bullies at times, that was just their nature she had learned to accept. Lisa had felt that women were often easy push-overs and the dreaded "yes-men" women. Women did not stand up until the late 60's for their rights to power. It took the embarrassing bra-burners to make visual the hidden facts which were suffocating Lisa. She could relate not only to why women were protesting and demanding leadership roles, but to how women were treated as second class citizens, having to "be" whatever men wanted to make them "be", usually a genie-type or barbie-doll, serving master all day. "Get real! Life isn't like that! Men should be waiting on women, not the other way around!" thought Lisa vehemently, happy to find herself being taken seriously.

Not for another three years Lisa would Lisa require a training bra although she fully understood the shackles the bras represented for women. Lisa had often felt the many discrepancies and unfair play given women, in her church, in her community. She felt "a lesser god" to boys and was so glad others in the world were reacting against the tide of complacency. Protest movements were a positive event for Lisa, they got people to thinking and doing, from the people, the people being to reclaim their personal and democratic powers. Heavy stuff for a ten year old, surely, but nonetheless it was a time which called for such overt action by people imprisioned for years behind secrets and "we don't talk about this". Lisa felt her boxed-in world slowly opening up and allowing in the sunshine, and she was glad of this, very glad and happy. So happy she started skipping again! Who cared what anyone thought, she was happy and she was going to show it. Why should others be jealous of that?, t

Lisa pondered the favouring of boys over girls by teachers. "Are boys really that much smarter than girls?" As Lisa began to question, the universe began to expand and become inclusive rather than the dreaded "clubbiness" of men's clubs all exclusivity, denying her reading from a pulpit just because "she was a girl".

It was her faith in freedom that lead to her escape from spiritual imprisonment and lead her to dream her dreams and find her ultimate destiny; knowledge of self and her place in the universe No one should deny her this, no Creator would allow this, and if they did, they would be, eventually destroy this kind world the Creator originally provided for us all.

Lisa was not a Tom boy to the extreme, although she did look like one at times. Her short hair gave her the splitting image of Scout in "To Kill A Mockingbird" one of her favourite classic shows, along with "Imitation of Life". Although most days Lisa preferred Disney musicals, like The Sound of Music and "South Pacific", she could watch with her mom many dramatic movies like the movie about the woman destined to live in turn of the century insane assylm. Lisa could not remember the name of the movie. She felt horribly for the woman's plight, and knew love would change things, it always did. Perry Mason was on each day at 3:00 pm and Lisa would watch while her mother ironed the laundry, before her mother went back to work as a full-time nurse.

Little Lisa did not like competition, much too rough and tough play. Lisa did not have the knees for it, often scuffing her knees when she tried to run and remembering that pain. Picking her knee "bo-bo's" til they re-bleed, Lisa found the feeling odd. She was almost a premmie, and was prone to childhood diseases before the thought not to let your child play with others with measles, chicken pox, mumps, etc. Lisa had virtually every childhood disease going around. Many days spend recouperating did not help. Lisa continued to suck her thumb, and the thumb quickly got painted with a medicinal. Lisa quickly sucked off the bitter tasting antiseptic. The thumb was still a thumb after all. "Too bad it didn't taste like a thumb. Hopefully I can sneak a thumb once in awhile." Lisa finally gave up her thumbsucking around eight years old. Braces later would fix the buck teeth. Lisa consumed herself with her new conquests, space! It was hers, most girls not being any bit interested in this new pursuit of hers.

However, Lisa was not immune to the feminine side and from time to time would and did like dressing up in satiny dresses and beaver stoles, they felt so nice and soft. Taking upon herself the role of the feminine 'virtues'. Lisa wanted more than anything to be the plastic cinderalla slippers and all. With the glittery tiara place high on her crown, she could feel powerful in her feminine arrayment.

One day Lisa's father offered her a choice of toys at the plants marketing department at the corrugated box factory. Lisa was given a choice between two toys. One was the tiara and "glass slippers made of plastic" or a queens tiara or a sensible vaccuum cleaned that would pick up bits and pieces of lint if it were heavy enough. Between the two choices Lisa had already chosen. Lisa wanted so much to be a princess.

Lisa thought, "I don't want to be plain, I am plain enough already". She said to her Dad who really wanted her to take the toy vacuum set complete with dustpan. It may have been Lisa's father rather make Lisa into a "good" wife rather than the harlot accessories of the wanton woman.

Lisa was confused. What would be the best choice? Were these the only choices? Begrudgingly, Lisa looked up at her father and took the vacuum and dustpan set smiling a half sheepish grin towards her father. "Well at least he's happy" thought Lisa.

She just knew she didnt have the "right stuff" to make it in the world. This truth hurt her but she toughed it out and got over it, she built a bridge and got over it; not completely.

Lisa wanted be the super-feminine version of Raquel Welch. Maybe Twiggy. A combination Raquel/Twiggy. Lisa wanted to be and stay tiny, to be loved by men because she understood or "stood under men" serving their needs. She did not want to be a "big girl" for she felt she never would be loved as much. If only she could stay little, tiny. She prayed for this daily. It did not happen. Lisa began to grow larger and more and more awkward in her eyes. She did not feel she fit in the world of men. Men did not really find her attractive.

For Lisa, the best of both worlds meant having a foot in each. Lately Lisa had found herself somewhere between a rock and a hard place, not sure where she fit in, how she could fit into her world. Her nature was fun loving tomboy. She loved to climb trees and make a make-believe house in the woods, complete with big eyed sad cat framed photos she hung on small trees flanking her tent city made of sheets in the woods behind the cottage.

A beach blanket would be her bed, maybe a old half-blown up air plaid air mattress complete with her army of stuffed animals. In the daytime she would spend all her time arranging her world exactly as she want it to be. She was extraordinarily happy with this feat and felt accomplished. Her make-believe world full of tigers she tag through the forest by the beach. Some weekends her best friend would come over and they would laugh and run and play for hours.

This was Lisa's world. The world she liked, the world was always happy and fun. Sometimes she would be told to do something, but she'd comply, she knew the score. Do this and get that. There was a formula it did not change. Things were stable in Lisa's microcosm.

The world lately was not so stable. The world as it was introduced into Lisa's world and all children's world in the 60's was a very frightening place. With television only having been ten years old or so, in most people's home. The advent of having thrust upon the world's stage all the slings and arrows upon a young girl.

She had to look away, not watch the horrors unfolding nightly on the news. Lisa learned how to put what was on the tv in perspective. It was not her world, it was from somewhere far from here. In the USA. Not Canada. Yet nightly the horrible things that would be shown, so much, too much for Lisa.

She learned early how to "disconnect" the horrors, maybe not completely. How could she? Images of horrors were just that; images. Lisa did not know these people, that little girl running naked from napbalm or agent orange. She looked like Lisa, but she was not Lisa, she was someone else's girl from somewhere else far far away. Not as far as the moon, but not in her backyard. NOt in her woods. And yet that image burned an indelible electronic hole in her brain slowly defeating her ability to rationalize how cruel life could be. Could Lisa stop this from disturbing her world, her perfect world in the woods?

Lisa began to loose her grip on her childhood with each passing and horrible image in the media. The resultant "hurry and grow up" comprehension required of her. To leave her childhood behind, to take on the unwanted mantle of the adult in an adult world she did not want, it was not Lisa's world. It was thrust upon her, hastily, like rush-hour traffic and the concrete jungle, Lisa was lost in a sea of faces, each without a soul.

Lisa's resolveto keep in their place those skeleton's in the closet, those bogeymen out of the freezer, even if that was the last place to look for gun. Lisa knew it was them or her. She would not let "the bogeyman win". The world would be hers once again even if her world had changed and her perception of it not exactly what she had ordered.

Of all the images that never went away, there was that screaming face. It was shut away, but must have crept back into view when Lisa was unsure, unable to change the inevitable; she felt victim and martyr at the same time.

For all of Lisa's lifetime to date was protected, nutured. The outside world never provided the necessary means to balance a life meant to be lived in the balance. Images of war could go away if Lisa prayed. The war would end. The world would be happy again.

For Lisa, the world would never be the way Lisa wanted it to be, no matter how much she arranged her pretend house, the bogeyman always at the door. The inevitable horrors eventually "just a part a life". No, there was another way, a better way. Lisa could wish away the horrors, pray away the horrors, compartamentalize the horrors.

Lisa had to find the mental strength to not only make a fortified and mostly detached house of this war-beseiged world. Separating the current events and evening news into the "over there" category.

The Vietnam War was not real to Lisa, it could not be. It was too far away, a remote and unwelcomed place. A world away from Lisa's, hopefully light-years away. But it was not really light years away. It was close by, very close. Not just another American war. No not Canada, this can not be Canada "strong and free". How free is war? Although Lisa knew it was a necessity, unfortunately people just were not smart enough to figure out other ways of stopping once and for all war! "How stupid is war? Very!" thought Lisa.

Lisa knew why we had to fight. She knew that the war was to stop mean men from taking over the world. Again. And again? How many times? There must be an answer to the why people war, why people hate. It must be like Lisa's many illnesses, something which is out of control, beyond reach. Lisa felt determined to stop war by making people understand why war, why hate? "If that problem were solved, then we'd never have to war. What's wrong with human beings?" Lisa tried to rationalize the world outside her realm. It was so ugly at times; Lisa was not immune from the pain of hurt caused from hate and misunderstanding.

Lisa felt so much more afraid since the Cold War. "Agent orange? Was that like cyclamate in the orange pop?" Lisa wanted the US to win the war and be done with it so she could go back to playing in her make-believe world. A world constructed from wispy fairies and black beauty imaginary horses.

It was not easy, and maybe not entirely successful, but Lisa began to build her new world, and shed the old world of current events blaring nightly on the news. Only the CBC had the live feed from Vietnam. And however unhappy it made her feel that day and how unhappy her world had become with each hurtful image, Lisa would survive the war. Or so she thought.

The perimeters built around her to make her feel safe closed out the outside world. As fearful of the unknown hell outside her surburban 60's home. The war steadily bombarded each evening on the tv, and she got use to it. Shell-shocked? War-worn, weary, it a stupid stuppor, dull, heavy leaded dopey gaze. Lisa returned to her cave within her mind. A forever safe space where all was right with the world and a fun place to be.

As much as Lisa wanted to arrange things in her world she could not. She failed miserably at changing events, as if all hell was always breaking loose just outside her world. Lisa prayed nightly to her maker, asked for something to help solve the world's problems, make the world a better place, somehow.

Lisa did not understand that the world was not a place where dreams come true. How could a dream really be a dream if all this bad stuff was happening? Would it not make the dream unreal, as if the dream was more real, than could not fantasy become a reality and take reality far away as it was not a nice place if it existed at all. Horrors being more real than real, reality should be "done away with" in the little girl's mind. An escape for Lisa, a necessary escape, a vacation from the brutal world reality as seen by men. War-loving men. Where are the women leaders to save us from this hateful world men created? How could she, a mere child do this; make the unreal real to save the planet from evil men?

She would be respected as a person first, woman a close second. Lisa had a plan.

Lisa was far beyond her years in wisdom. She was an old soul. Lisa was watching the world unfold, people changing the world with their Women were making great strides. "Sort of" thought Lisa. Lisa felt her worth; she knew where it lay. She did not want to give in to the "image of woman" as portrayed in the commercials. Lisa wanted to be free of labels like "licorice legs" or "string bean". She could do this. Lisa saw beyond the mere physical and deplored those who's only thought was promoting the "image" instead of the "feeling" of love. Love could win. The 60's header "Love-in" was full of potential. Lisa saw this as a positive to shake the tree, to make the world rid itself of its poisonous ways.

Lisa had been following the moon missions for years, and collected all the TimeLife magazine articles. She had a scrapbook with all the articles cut neatly and explanations of man's understanding of the universe. In 1969 the solar system, the universe was a different place. Knowledge was taking on rapid progession, into many fields of endeavour. Lisa wanted to join the ranks of the scientists making these discoveries. Anything science was Lisa's desire, forget impressing Charles Rooney!

Although Charles gigantic Saturn V model and his keen knowledge of everything about space, his spewing of arbitary facts made him a good candidate for NASA. Lisa could only dream of being as smart as Charles. She wanted to be smart, but how? Her math marks were deplorable, and her teachers openly ridiclued and mocked her inattentive "daydreaming" Lisa label.

Tonight's "where were you when" moment in time, exited Lisa so much more than Charles although she was wondering what he was thinking at this very moment of the moon landing.

With the rocket's red glare, Lisa would correct herself, since there is no oxygen in space there is no red glare, yet, Lisa remembered a red glare. "Humph" Lisa sighed. The amazing Charlian rocketry had to be reconfigured in this newly aquired knowledge, and Lisa kept growing in her pursuit of all things science, no matter what the teachers or Charles Rooney thought of her.

Squarely in her sights The Sea of Tranquility. As she looked through the telescope hoping to see with her brand new from Kmart 2000X barlow lens Neil and Buzz and maybe even Tom Collins jumping around in gravity defying leaps on the moon. The magic of the moon capture by "a man" for years aftewards, the power of which was so magical, Lisa was aware of the elephant. It was time to make another wish. A giant Leap forward; for Lisa, if not for "mankind". This woman was not going to follow anymore.

Ten year-old Lisa looked down at her red flipflops the same ones that always saved her from the burning Wasaga sand as well as a callous between her toes. These sixties sandals provided protection from the pcb oil-laden to prevent dust roadway, as much as the orange cylcamate pop was so new and improved a flavour.

No wonder Lisa soon thought outside of the box, anything possible being the norm. Better living through chemistry? LIsa would find the answers to the many questions "Why is the Sky blue"? There was so much more going on under the surface, as well as above and below. Lisa wanted to jump right in and start answering those very pending and persistent itchy as mosquito bites questions.

Soon Lisa would have all the opportunity to do just this, and all doors would open magically in her reality, her real life, where everything she wished for, she got. No questions about where the magic was coming from had ever beens asked, you dont question good luck, not even if it is from elephants from outer space.

So all the many obtuse chemicals created by the oil industry, would make us perfect, as perfect as Lisa's lucky elephants. As the sixties went into high gear speeding up the planet, leading us to meeting the monolith on Jupiter Arthur C. Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey. Lisa loved the movie her Dad had taken her to watch at the huge Cinemax theatre. She felt so lucky she had her Dad who believed in her. She felt she could do anything she wanted to, but how? Where would the direction for her pursuits come from, somebody had to help her, yet her teachers seem not to like her, not believe in her.

For as much as was really happening on the moon, there was so much more going on in the Odeon cinemas, like The Planet Behind The Sun, or Planet of The Apes or The Day The Earth Stood Still. Charles and his friends and Lisa and her friends would meet at the theatre and prepare for the next journey. Fantasy and Reality were merging like the new plastics. These polymers filled our minds like silly putty.

We were off to the races trying to figure all this out, whether Lisa should concentrate more on space and less on Bobby Sherman, the Partridge Family and the Monkees. Lisa could make sense of our world, our place in it, how we can be lucky and have a place of honour in our world. To make a difference; to be a hero.

To make discoveries, invent new things, like the spent ball of rubbery snot melted in the bathroom sink. Who would give us this priviledge? Who could make Lisa skyrocket? Who could? Who had the power to make these decisions? For Lisa, it was the magical New Guinea Ivory Elephant. It always was, it always would be. T

he elephant stood the tests of time; and came aceing all of Lisa's tests. Lisa was thought to be a genius, a latent genius, maybe even a cosmic genius thought the doctors who had befriended her family. Lisa had the right stuff. Now what was she going to do with it. She needed to take direction.

As Lisa had viewed through the full moon lights bluish glaze something by her tiny ten year old feet. There at the end of the dirveway and slightly to the east; an odd shaped beige object in the gravelly sand. The cottages driveway was long to Lisa's ten year old mind although later in life when she returned to the same driveway, she thought how odd for it to shrink.

Quickly little Lisa brushed away the sand from the obscured object. It was the New Guinea Ivory Elephant! The very same elephant claimed lost by the the New Guinean government

Lisa had voraciously read her family's collection of The National Geographic, May 1954 edition. Lisa looked again through her star-diagonal prism of her refractor telescope. Something felt very odd. Suddenly she saw a odd red strobe-like light flash across the moon field. "Was that a lasar?" Lisa thought to herself, having seen the new lasar technology at the Science Centre in Toronto's Downsview area.

Lisa quickly looked up at the forever night sky. Something hit Lisa on the head. Lisa passed out. Or rather peaced-out. It was the 60's after all!

With her many successive accumulations of multiple formed and formatted elephants, Lisa had created a life which never failed her in the luck department. If Lisa had a test at school, the lucky elephant found it's way into the pocket of her jumper. The lucky elephants!

In the other pocket, Lisa had the mock-up copy of the New Guinean Ivory Elephant, held since she bought the carbon-copy at the Museum's gift shop. It had been similar to the one she had dreamt about so many nights before, over and over again.

Finally, Lisa found that night July 29th, on the moon landing night, but no matter how hard she tried to find the fabled New Guinea Ivory Elephant it had failed to materialize for her.

It would take another thirty years of searching before she could sort out the events that happened that night, July 29, 1969. It had begun, in the beginning with a series of "missing time" segments or as Lisa would earlier term "black-out" minutes.

These forgetful moments that Lisa tried desperately to remember, only when her dreams allowed their release, was she awakened to the truth. The truth of FROYD. "For The Reality Of Your Dreams". A doll that looked like a doodle, found later, years later in some shop tucked neatly away near the back. No one wanting a left over odd shaped doll from the 60's in the 70's. Lisa wanted the doll though, and also wanted yet another elephant she spotted in the many souvenir shops she visited along the way. Her favourite elephants always were old elephants, elephants with a history, antique elephants.

Poor Lisa! Her mother, besides herself took the young Lisa to the doctor. The doctor gave Lisa the assurance that the Ivory Elephant was a passing fancy and she should focus more on school work, and learning the "new math".
For that was all that Lisa's mind could handle at that time, her mother was told by the Freudian looking doctor with the pince-nez glasses.

Lisa's mother was told that Lisa was very inventive and her mind require constant stimulation to be satisfied, for Lisa to be happy. Her mother agreed with the doctor and started sending Lisa to special classes for exceptionally special children with special gifts. It was costly, but no expense was spared. Lisa had wished this to happen, and it did. Lisa's luck was changing her very person, making her less plain, less average. Accelerating her to the stars and beyond.

Had not this conjuring by elephant made Lisa more secure in her world, she probably never would have been able to hold three coctoral degrees in three faculties. It was the excitment of the moon landing and an heavy object or subject remembered which saved Lisa.

For to remember had it's many priviledges and elephants always remember thought Lisa, remember my good luck? Since time immemorial, the news today, etched into memory banks like reality fusing with unreality, a surrealistic world made real by the art of wishing on elephants luck!

The very last thing Lisa had been reading before the black out was the National Geographic article on the New Guinea Ivory elephant mystery. This was no accident, synchronicity having played the hand, apriori, before time began.

In Lisa's mind The New Guinea Ivory Elephant had taken on huge dimensions, and ceated new worlds to open up for her. Lisa would often fantasize about the elephant, concentrating on that one elephant of her mind, The Ivory Elephant of New Guinea. The elephant would change from the one held in her hands, to the one theat was real in her mind, the one she petted and whispered gently her dream worlds. In this way she could use both the real world and the fantasy world attract and become one. The lesson learned was secret something she learned by doing, "a happy accident" Lisa would describe later in more detail.

Lisa's somewhat idolatrous fascination with everything elephant became her obsession lately. As she had modelled many elephants out of clay, wax, wood, etc, and kept them around her bedroom as lucky charms on her person. Her total world view was based on her secret world of the elephant. Everyone raised their eyebrows her sisters shunned her as Lisa became more and more obsessed with her attachement to the trunked behemoths.

According to Lisa, the elephants represented a magic world with magic power she could command via intention. Or wishing as Lisa would recall. A world not of reality but fantasy, but a world she could, like the alchemist change to any reality she wanted or needed. A sorcerer? No, just lucky, according to Lisa who had no clue how she was using the power of intent of mind.

Lisa knew the difference, yet she could not help but wonder why ever time she made or received an elephant something wonderful would happen to her. She knew that the magic was real, that although her parents told her there was no such thing as luck or magic, Lisa thought and knew otherwise. Lisa could watch the results daily of their magical draw.

Lisa would sit on her bed and think of an elephant and she would make the elephant real in her mind, she would pet the elephant, she would feed the elephant peanuts. The next thing she would do is ask the elephant for something.

Anything. Within 24 hours Lisa had the very thing which she had asked of the elephant. Never had her requests been denied. Lisa did not ask for anything more than what she truly wanted; her magic elephant to become real for her.

She had stumbled early upon the elephants magical powers, once only the domain of witch doctors and head hunters of New Guinea, now Lisa's reign as the unofficial Elephant Queen of New Guinea.

Lisa's lucky elephant collection had been growing by leaps and bounds over the years. In her tiny apartment elephants had crowded virtually every space conceivable. Her largest elephant was a stuffed Mastedon she had discovered in the Inuit territories of Northern Canada.

Although the mastedon's bones were very illegal to possess privately Lisa had deliberately and successfully skirted all legal issues. Max Plank, Lisa's vehement competitor and former lover had tried unsuccessfully at his bid to own the great Ivory Elephant of New Guinea and failed.

Dr. Max's relationship with Dr. Lisa had been tactically arranged like I dissected specimen; for all intents and purposes for elephant acquistion only. Lisa was from the start aware of Dr. Max's pursuit. After the intial bloom of their relationship faded, Max was not as subtle when asking her pointed questions about her latest Ivory New Guinea Elephant. Lisa was quite able to see-through his obvious deception and was very capable of using his own greed to her advantage. Since she knew greed so well, and feed from the endless elephantine powers, Lisa could hold her own against any and all detractors. Lisa was woman and master of the universe; The Elephant Queen.

Lisa could not fall in love with any man anymore. She wanted more than anything else to love and be loved but it had eluded her. Lisa had traded up. From Love to Luck. She still remembers how she felt about Charles, how she followed him endlessly, until...the day she found the elephant and the sense of self she had never known.

Charles could be in cleveland by now, or Minnesota. It didn not matter. Her childhood crush, beyond her elephantine dreams. Besides Charles probably has ten kids by now and works for NASA. "How would I compete with that? I would not". Lisa new there would be others that could capture her heart but it was not really Charles she wanted. She wanted what charles had, the brilliance, the high 90's. Her elephant wish made that reality happen for her. At the same time it closed the door or her ever being able to go back and reclaim those inkling feelings of star-crossed love.

Even adult love would not hold that same weight. Lisa, being after becoming a doctor had not given love a second thought. She didn't win when it came to her first love, she could win again. If the elephant didnt work the first time to seduce the young Charles into a heady match that would last forever than she was not interested in making another appear. It just would not work. It may work for a time, but it wouldn't last, Lisa would be remembering Charles and his telescope.

Although she did want to fall in love and start a family Lisa knew it could not happen, it wouldn't happen and for luck's sake, it shouldn't happen.. This driving and pending need for Lisa to control her luck her destiny was a pivotal as Lisa's need to be loved. She knew her luck could run out at any time and then she could always feign love with somebody, anybody, just not Charles with the ten kids.

Lisa had eliminated once and for all, from her mind, the possibility of lucky in love. For her lucky in love did not equal lucky in life, and the two should never cross or the magical spell would for all time be broken. And if, for some reason, she thought it odd, the way she thought, it was not normal. Luck playing this much a part in her life. Did she watch too many "Lucky Charms" commercials? Certainly it was not her Irish roots and her need to find the Leprachaun after finding a wee black boot near a sewer intake pipe? Begora, the spell shall not be broken. It probably was that, or watching too many Bewitched reruns. Although in the sixties, Lisa watched them for the first time ever.

But was it love that would be stalking her or the elephant who represented life and mastery over it. "Not all manna comes from heaven; spirit can take on the form of elephants in certain cultures, not an idolatrous thing, just a way of respecting animals for more than just food for our perusal" thought a 70's Cultural Geography master. What matter was being true to oneself, than all else would fall into place. God made me. God must love me.

It is important as falling in love with luck. Luck had provided her with so much more than any man could, and she felt an obvious Her need for men became irrelevant to her desires to pursue the bigger prize; The New Guinea Ivory Elephant. "Like the Ivory Tower unattainable in it's eclectic and esoteric exclusivity." Lisa felt obligated to the elephant, obliging it often, stroking its gray skin, spraying makebelieve water, as it stomped happily, feeding it peanuts by the peck. "And elepahnts could rembmer the bones of their ancestors, and elephants dont forget ancestor worship. And elephants obviously adored Lisa" Lisa injected her sweet love of elephants to a new level, she made elephant shaped cookies for Valentine's Day.

Lisa could turn all negatives into a much larger positive after the "elephant focus" and she could, she thought, be that special power of the Universe that elephants know so well.

Certainly this positive approach to the "elephant focus" was the effect of Elephantine power on Lisa. She felt like a Superbeing, and called herself "The Elephant Queen".

Lisa culled all the powers that be, her mind wholly focused, her creative dreams to become her reality within 24 hours. And it was always 24 hours. No more no less. It would happen as certain as the new day would dawn and the evening would gather in sunset. Lisa knew her power now and no one could challenge her. She could be, whatever she wanted, she could have whatever she wanted. If she set her mind to it. Created this secret of telling the elephant her deepest most real desires of the heart.

Soon Lisa would loose heart. Having lost Charles long ago, to what? Some other version of herself, still human, yet lacking the powers of luck persuasion she had and could use to benefit the planet. How odd Lisa felt when thinking of Charles. There in his MIT home, with his 10 kids and large dog inventing things for NASA. Lisa could only wish him well, but her thoughts continued to drift back to him, like he was Diver Dan stuck in the cement. Lisa promised herself to make good her last and final wish; one day she would be with Charles; if not in physical presence; in the new form she was developing. Lisa was crossing the bridge where the elephants live. Where no man has gone to, the land of pure thought in Lisa's formulative mind. Lisa The Alchemist! "Sounds good on paper" thought the young doctor with lofty dreams and somewhat scant idealisms. Nudging her the elephants said "remember others Lisa, or you too shall become 'but a dream".

So Lisa heard the elephant for the first time talking in elephant psychic language. The kind of elephant language, like most animal language which employs an animals use of visual imagery. Lisa was very gifted at this kind of imagery, and often talked to her pug and black lab using image of outside when the dears had to relieve themselves And images of a steak dinner when they hungered for dinner. Lisa was kind to animals, but since humans, for the most part had been unkind to her, not respecting her personage as a woman of merit, she felt this dictomy. She wanted to be done once and for all with her "unfinished business" those that did not believe in her, and she wanted to "set things right" once and for all, and to do what the elephants were encouraging her to do "to truly help others; lighten their load her on earth".
Lisa was working on it. These things took time; time which was running much to quickly out of perpetual "tick-tocks".

By using the Power of Attraction, caused in part from Elephantine power, Lisa was capable of evoking much more power upon herself. She gloried in her vanity, and pursued relentlessly all those who stood in her way of the New Guinea Elephant.

Lisa had been learning the ropes for years, how to win. Never did she lose; that would not be professional. No slip ups, no disasters. Lisa had all in control, her trophy prize in her sights, only two weeks left and a quick transalantic flight to the deepest jungles of New Guineas and the Ivory Elephant would be hers, she would move from Queen to King.

All realms being hers, no bounds her powers in the luck department. No matter how massive the blows to her ego in the love department. Besides; who really needs love when they have luck? Her magnetic appeal would be so great, that love would knock the doors down. Besides, Lisa did not want love, she wanted things, and mostly, she wanted more elephants.

Lisa had and did suffer much, and her suffering, now put behind her, tucked away neatly in a cubby like her out-cropping of elephantine specimens. In such a way, all her focus and powers were on "The Elephant". Lisa was as great a card player, and held her cards so close to her chest.

Lisa's heart, her emotions never showed, she had carefully learned how not to feel. She was a scientist after all! Emotions would defeat her. These were prophetic words. Lucky in Love or Love to be Lucky? Lisa choose the latter.

There were only two choices. A simple multiple choice quizz with only two questions. Will Lisa's future hold Lucky or Love? Too easy. Lisa knew the answer apriori, maybe before time itself. Luck was Lisa's drawing card, the men in her life? Adornment only. Trivial pursuits. She left them all bride-grooms at the altar; with a horrible Mr. Haversham complex.

There were no men now in Lisa's life and not in the foreseeable future. There would be only one man Lisa was mind-possessed lately, taking all her energy and drive. A herculean task to perform, Lisa was targetting in on her newest paramour-to-be Dr. Atombo Disreali, chief of the Natombo tribe of New Guinea, Chief Curator of Museum Africana, and possessor of the famed New Guinea Ivory Elephant. Lisa's sudden interest in pursuing, stalking Dr Atombo was expected, and Dr. Atombo was secretly looking forward to the hunt. Lisa's recent flurries of emails had given away her position.

Lisa's lawsuit against Dr. Max being a very public disclose. Too much the kiss and tell adventures, sensationalized in the press. Of the one-time couple, Lisa could now forgive and forget, she had won all the lawsuits and became richer in the process.

Dr. Max was furious and now flat broke determined to . Lisa always seemed to win and loved flaunting the laws. With each new acquisition, Lisa's personal powers grew, she became larger than life, invinsible, powerful.

Lisa before her public fall from grace in the papers, her now infamous bearing, iconographic and image she cut walking the corridors of the MET. "Lisa Law" would greatly benefit the museum, her obsession a great benefactor bestowed in those hallowed halls. Dr. Steve Barro, a senior analyst at the MET believe Dr. Lisa Browning was better than Lord Cavernal the famed Egyptologist for uncovering great archeologist's finds. Dr. Lisa was like the Queen Cleopatra of seducing foreign countries Marc Anthony's heads of state to relinquish any and all antiquities. Lisa had that power sway, and like Queen Cleopatra, she was willing to do anything to get her treasure. Treasures found on this earth, Lisa becoming the human-magnet for all things valuable, all things which hopefully would lead to a greater understanding of the first rungs to heaven's gated powers.

As Lisa had always used her patented stall tactics when the many overflow of writs and summaries would appear tacked to her gilded and luxurious heavy 5th Ave apartment. Lisa had to take most of her illegal ivory and mastedon collection underground, in the black market. Nicky was her key man for this venture capital. Her selling illegally of elephant tusks was only to pursue her more ardent pursuit; the art of the art acquistion; her one love; the famed New Guinea Ivory Elephant. As history tells it, the New Guinea Ivory Elephant being prehistoric, about the same time as the caveart of France or the Venus of Willendorf. The New Guinea Elephant appeared so child-like, so simple a design. Not much detail for most common persons to go "gaga" over.

However, the material that made this elephant so special was literally out of this world. There has been no ivory found on this planet that genetically matched the New Guinean sample. Dr. Lisa knew this, knowing full well the out-of-world elephant ivory might just be "from out of this world" Alien Ivory. OMG. What a find!

If Lisa could decipher the coded genetic material, she may be able to find the completed dna chain before it broke sometime around the caveman era BCE.

Before the grand jury trial, Lisa would often say to the civilian authorities that these bones were in her possession, possession being nine-tenths of the law, and the bones were not really in her possession at all, the elephant bones were for professional purposes only; this was difficult to dispute; Lisa won the case.

Lisa being a Doctor of Archeology, as well as a Visual Arts Historian, an Anthropologist, specializing in Africa and Paleotologist. Her combined majors years in the making; made possible by the residing powers bestowed in the elephant's upraised trunk.

Indeed elephant forms were everywhere in her luxurious 5th Avenue apartment. There were lapis lazili elephants, rare crystal elephants, blue mountain pottery elephants, every known and physically made form of genus mastedonia. Every conceivable elephant source from the beginning of time to the present, represent in slides, document files, and archetype. And made by every known and rare earthly material. A special elephant made from the solar system's meteorite; very rare indeed. The most rare; the one elephant Lisa was yet to possess. By her thoughts she had already owned The New Guinea Ivory elephant. It was hers for the taking.

So there were so many elephants; like men, they came in all different shapes and sizes, and for Lisa her perferred elephant; hidden behind the gossamer screen called life. Those elephants that were skinny needed to be feed. She would help the African culture she would feed the world. She would help the needy where ever the need was met. As for elephants, weighty elephants, elogated elephants, even a Saint Elephant. Lisa would become a saint if she had to, a martyr even, she would make the elephants one wish come true this time. She was more than ever determined to follow-through and make the elephant dream come true.

As a doctor times three degrees, Lisa could describe in refined and scientific detail her excellent knowledge-based studies on the elephant collection. Her claim to be the world's leading authority on elephant art was never disputed Lisa was Queen of the Trunked Beasts.

Lisa's title at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the categorically every elephants provedance, the W5 of elephant cultural history. Lisa well-travelled had just about given up hope of being able to claim the one treasure she had searched her entire life; the Ivory Elephant of New Guinea.

Throughout the many years of professorialship Lisa noticed good things happening in her world. Her intent was now focused on not her needs but the elephants cry. And Lisa heeded the elephants commanding trumpeting! The world would be made better by the magic of intent. That secret lost art. That Arc found was like lightening, within 24 hours, the will of the elephants, the will of the Creator, made real, once and for all.

And Lisa did obey these other worldly commands to focus her attention on "others" to her amazing belief wholly unexplained and inexplicable, Lisa knew the meaning of luck.

Today Lisa would acquire the fabled "Ivory Elephant" and don her next cap as "Queen of the Elephants". Big thoughts. Big elephants. A world not to conquer but to help. A world renewed with possibilites from a dream from an elephant. The elephant of New Guinea from the museum exchange program returned to sender.

Lisa was giddy with the thought of the pursuit of the Ivory Elephant and her consuming renewed passion for truth. Love could be intended as easily as Luck. She made her decision. The elephants won.. There was only one stipulation; she must travel through the thick jungles of New Guinea to retrieve her prize.


  1. and the adventure what a tale you have spun...

  2. Except for the Oh, Canada part, I could have dropped into Lisa's character. Hee. Love "elephantine"!

  3. My goodness, that elephant certainly unleashed your creativity!

  4. That was a good 5 minutes work! Only joking! This could easily keep going...

  5. My you certainly wrote and wrote and wrote.
    A tale worth writing indeed and all from a tiny elephant!

  6. What a memory you have for real events of the past, news of the day, clothing, famous people, trend setters, issues facing a nation, growing pains, female liberation..I am over whelmed -- but in a good way, a small novelette for sure. I agree with Vicki your creativity was unleashed like a lightening bolt


  7. Your work is bold your spirit is awesome, and you are courageous and free -- come visit me…


  8. ok I know that New Guinea is not Africa, but oddly enough, red elephants have been sited in the 50's there. Read the above link to read further on this most interesting of coincidences.

  9. typo noted (what else is new): "looked for gum" not "looked for gun" (that is not consistent with the story here. Although it would make it a heck of a lot more interesting!