Saturday, October 10, 2009

Diorama

At the end of the cul-de-sac the road widens into a big round circle, where driveways lead out between the leaves of trees to quiet little houses, like spokes on a bike tire. Around the edges of the turn around, little puddles of gravel confetti gather, torn from the road and tossed to the side as cars spin around seeking their house or cursing a wrong turn. Too small to be considered rocks, but too big to be dust, they just are, on the outskirts of the grey expanse.

Down the street, across a sea of grass, through a black shutter framed window, a boy and a man sit at the kitchen table, a little world laid out before them on a piece of foam board. Mountains push up in various shades of green, dotted with yellowing grass, an adobe house thrust from its side, while three little Indians sit around a match stick fire.

We are working on a diorama.

Diorama is one of those fun words, that when it falls off your tongue again and again it makes you smile. Then again, maybe its just me.

So we are working on this life like reproduction of life before cars and prefab construction, before asphalt criss-crossed the beautiful face of creation, like scars of convenience. Before wild was tame and caged in the boundaries of national parks to be visited once every couple years on long holiday weekends.

When he gets this idea, lets add a waterfall.

Everything on our diorama is natural, so adding a blue construction paper stripe just does not fit, nor the silver backed wrapping paper left over from birthday presents. My MacGyver skills are not so great that we can add a fountain of running water, but there are these little shards of discarded gravel down at the cul-de-sac, that no one wants.

We take a little walk in the afternoon sun, wax paper Solo cups in hand, to gather our treasure and transform them to something like water. What once was discarded becomes something new, gets a new name and purpose, bringing life giving water to our plastic people. Redeemed.

A diorama is like a small representation of life.

Diorama. Diorama. Diorama. Diorama.

See you can't help but smile.

41 comments:

Daniel said...

O.K., so I am smiling and starting to giggle like a giddy school girl. Are you happy? Diorama. Diorama. Weeeee. Lovely thought today. I can picture me and my little one working away on one of her school projects. Trouble is, typically only one of us is really interested in the work. Can you guess which one?

lettuce said...

you're right, i just can't help it

(and would love to see the diorama)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Kind of just rolls off the tongue. So much fun. I remember making those with my kids. Enjoy these few moments, all too soon puberty will hit and ...... No, I won't tell you. Every parent has to experience this on their own.

Wings said...

Cute post. One's trash, one's treasure, eh? :)

Ocean Girl said...

I'm smiling. Promise.

We learned a new word every day. Diorama, Diorama, Diorama my bride, all you need is a spray of moonlight. (can't help it).

TechnoBabe said...

Big Smile. Can you see it? I used to love making these sorts of projects with my kids. Reading your blog is almost therapeutic for me as a mother whose now a grandmother with mother-children memories floating just under the surface.

Liza said...

I'll say this a million times more about your posts, but this is one of a favourite!
"wax paper Solo cups in hand"
"bringing life giving water to our plastic people. Redeemed"
Just love those lines.
Thanks for sharing your great work.

Betsy said...

yes...you made me smile! I loved dioramas when I was in school. It was always such a fun project!

We live on a cul-de-sac...and yes, there is gravel confetti!

lakeviewer said...

All so many projects to do together, fun and frustration for child and parent, all in the pursuit of enlightenment. Do share the final result. Diorama sounds like a world created for our enjoymnet.

Tom said...

i grew up at the end of a cul-de-sac...back before they cut down all the woods; boy did we get around!

i always wanted to shrink to fit inside the dioramas...just for a little while.

Beth said...

I do love the word diorama! This post shows what an excellent father you are. Your son is lucky to have you!

The Retired One said...

Diabolical writing about dioramas. :-}
I remember these school projects well!

In fact, a few might be in my attic still,left over from our kids....
Memories in dust, but still happy.

Baino said...

Very inventive and you've probably saved someone from grazing their knees by removing them for your waterfall. You should photograph the Diorama . . see, just had to say it! I hope it still had that suitablly 'kiddy' made look and feel . . I know parents who do their kids' projects for them and the teachers ALWAYS know! They have a sixth sense about these things.

Oh My Goddess said...

I have overlooked the beauty of making diorama's.
Thanks for enlightening me.

Candie Bracci said...

That was lovely Brian!Smiling to you!:)

Mango Girl said...

That is my word for the weekend! Love it!

Madame DeFarge said...

I used to make mud pies. I suspect that is slightly below the diorama in a skills sense.

Joops said...

LOL! Thanks for sharing your though about diorama man..

I am trying to generate some support for our daughter. We entered her into a Smile Contest, so if you could please cast a vote for her every day until October 31st it would be so much appreciated. To cast your vote, please go to this link. Please look for Jillian Rylie Cottrill. Thank you very much for all your help!

blueviolet said...

I had to work on those with my kids and I assure you that I did not smile. I love looking at them but I do not like making them.

Good luck with it; you're creative enough so that I see how you can get quite a bit of enjoyment from it.

SandyCarlson said...

They are fun. Like making little worlds. I admire your choices.

Otin said...

You brought me back to a time where I used to try to make things around my HO train set. Twigs for trees, styrofoam for mountains, army men for people. Yep, you helped me dig up some lost memories!

Otin said...

Is that thing going up tomorrow night??

Brian Miller said...

otin, i was just siting here working on it. It will be going up tomorrow night. bwahaha!

Yodood said...

You have the touch, my friend, I love it.

Megan said...

Smiles!

Captain Dumbass said...

Hmm, maybe the boys and I will make a diorama of Lego this weekend. Dioramadioramadiorama.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Yes, I'm smiling too.
:-)

Yodood said...

I ache with the memories of how much fun it was relating at the know-nothing-think-anything level of freedom to my young, toddling daughters, one of whom I'm sure smiled at your "diorama" here forty years later. I envy you your fun and admire your wisdom to let it enlighten your art. Thanks again.

Vodka Mom said...

Come on over. I'll teach you how to make a tri-orama.


my specialty.



:-)

Mama Zen said...

This is a wonderful post. I love "scars of convenience." Great phrase.

otin said...

I will link over!

Dot-Com said...

OK, OK you did put a smile on my face. Can we see a picture of the finished diorama please? Sounds like you had fun creating it!

Susan Berlien (warmchocmilk) said...

Diorama..I have to admit I like the word too....Weston is making a Biom at school...another great word :)

Meeko Fabulous said...

I swear . . . Dioramas were the best part of school! :) Oh to be a kid again! And you're right, diorama does have a way of making me grin when I say it.

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Quite a few things to be quoted from this post that I liked - "scars of convenience", "Before wild was tame and caged in the boundaries of national parks". You paint pictures with words, friend and I felt as if I was walking in your Diorama.

A.Decker said...

Diorama. One of the coolest words ever. Mine had a volcano, and before that I made 'em out of modeling clay and they were full of dinosaurs!

California Girl said...

wonderful opening line.

Goofball said...

I wish I could escape from this meeting and build my own diorama...one with driveways "like spokes on a bike tire". wow

fortunately I can read your words full of great images to distract me...ssst don't tell anyone.

Matthew said...

I really enjoyed this piece. I liked the Otin piece too, but time's short so I will have to wait until later to compare and contrast. This one was charming, though. Apologies for calling it 'charming' - it's early and my vocab chip's not kicked in yet!

BeautifulWreck said...

LOL.. definitely giggling

Lorraine said...

You always make me smile.This is bautiful, I love the way you write about your loved ones :)