DETAILS: God’s way of saying, “Pay Attention.”
What are your earliest and fondest memories of dance?
(from left to right, Kim, David, Mark, Kevin, Doug, Kendon, Me toothless & Kris; we are lined up via height, not age, I was the baby and was 6, I think, my oldest brother was 13)
Born and raised in Indiana, some of my earliest memories of dance were not so fond because we were forced into servitude by our Mother, who only had good intentions at heart, but had no qualms about humiliating us repeatedly. The bib-overalls and flannel shirts helped immensely. We were the Country Bumpkins, and oh how we were, who square danced together and went around to various Nursing Homes and square danced for the elderly and their total amusement. Sometimes they joined in with us, which brought huge smiles to their faces, and cheered them up in a long lonely dreary life, but mostly they just clapped and laughed at us… we were sure it was not with us, for even if we crashed into each other and giggled, it was more due to embarrassment than anything else.
This was one way my Mother made some extra money so that she could save it up for a one time only family vacation we took soon after. I remember distinctly how we all hated the trip, even though we drove in our huge van from Indiana to the East Coast. We saw every single war monument and cemetery and little house on the prairie between, and were bored out of our ever loving minds. The only highlights were when we got to stay in a hotel each night that had a swimming pool, something Mom made sure of, to release all that pent up boredom. We also ate in fancy restaurants each night, right up until the last time, when we were finally at the East Coast. Blasting into this fancy restaurant all the boys ordered Lobster and us girls got the King Crab legs, (I think) all served on shiny silver platters. Almost done with our dinner, and bored once again, my wonderful brother Kevin set the table on fire! He knocked over his candle that was heating his butter, and torched the fine linen tablecloths and napkins! It was great! lol I’ll never forget it! We did get to see and swim in the ocean for the first time, and saw several pretty cool monuments, so it wasn’t a total bust, and of course after we torched the fancy restaurant we got to eat at Frisch’s Big Boys, McDonalds and KFC the rest of the trip home…. and never had to dance together again!
Some of you may know this about me, some of you may not,
my dreams come true, no matter how sweet or the horror plot.
If someone dies in my dreams, they’re gone the very next day,
it shatters my heart into shards of glass, what could I say?
I tried for years to stop them, suppress the coming grief,
asking God to please make them stop, still no relief.
But two days ago, I had a dream that was a vivid, brilliant glow,
that shattered the path of darkness in my dreams, darkness let go.
I know I’m blessed now, since that time long ago when I hid,
Fighting the truth like an animal in a trap, He just lifted the lid.
The brightness startled me, the love flowing through my chi,
I knew as He came slowly, His Hand held out to me.
My first thought was “Please, oh please, let me soar once more,
like an eagle in flight, my greatest delight, just once more before?”
But I looked into His Eyes then and the wish fled from my mind,
the incredible kindness poured into me, His Eyes honestly shined.
My old desires were gone, only one thought remained, I said,
“Thank you for coming for me!” He smiled and nod his head.
My soul filling up to a bursting explosion, love like a heavy sand,
Grinning wildly, The Son of the Morning … was holding my hand.
(this was truly my dream! thank you so much Blessed Jesus!)
I tie my hiking boots on, because I will need the support around my ankles for landing. I’m already dressed, so I fill up my water bottle with ice and water, grab my windbreaker and purse and head out the door. I start my truck, and while it warms up for a minute I apply my eyeliner, using my rear view mirror. I would never do this while driving, but over the years I’ve got into the habit of using this mirror, because its the only one my eyes can still focus enough to see in. I have to wear granny glasses now, because I’m getting oh so old.
It only takes about 15 minutes to reach the field directly below Poo Poo Point! And yes, it is named that for a reason! This is in Issaquah on the side of a Cascade Range mountain, that’s only around 1800 feet high on the west side of Tiger Mountain. But this is a sweet sloping cleared area, with a huge piece of man made turf laid out across it, in the pictures below for all of us crazy paraglider’s to take off from. The local paragliding groups have combined forces and created a shuttle service, using the old forest service road that winds up the mountain, so we don’t have to hike the trail on foot to get there.
I meet up with my buddy, the best tandem pilot ever, a 5th level pilot named Steve Wilson who I literally trust with my life. He laughingly says, ‘I’ve never lost anyone!’, but I trust him completely because on one of our previous trips, he saved my life. A beginner Paraglider, on her first solo flight, was coming right for our lines one day, and I saw her out of the corner of my eye, where I have really good peripheral vision. She was up behind us on our right side. I yelled, and Steve pulled on the handles and spun us around just in the nick of time, as she flew by us within just a few feet of us. If he hadn’t turned quickly enough, or far enough to the left, she would’ve went right through our lines. The lines that attach us to the huge single wing that carries us.
He’s the best, and I’ve sent many friends to him, to have the most incredible hour of their life.
I have flown many times in planes above the earth, but there is nothing greater than soaring above the earth like an eagle at 3100 feet!! This is about as high as you can go, legally, without being hit by a passing plane. And let me tell you… it is the most incredibly awesome experience you will ever have. I’ve done it so many times now, Steve calls me ‘his frequent flyer’, and I get frequent flyer miles! lol Which means basically once or twice a year I go for free, and we just have the best time playing around. He loves to take me as high as we can go, and then spiral down towards the earth, while I scream my head off.
Next spring, when the weather turns perfect again, we are going to hike up Mt. Si, in North Bend, and run off the top of it. This is a mountain that is over 4100 feet high, that’s 4 miles UP, and I can’t wait!!! This will be our crowning achievement. Although Steve has flown over Mexico and Brazil, and some places in Ireland and Scotland too. But for me, this will be the greatest trip we’ve made. The picture at the top of the page is the view from the top of Mt. Si, I thought you might like to see for perspective. The top of the mountain is all rocks, with the huge Haystack of an enormous batholith, normally seen in the picture below… so I have no idea where we will actually have to take off from, because you need a bit of a cleared area to lay out the glider wing and straighten the lines before you hook the harnesses in and run off the cliff. He’s done it before, so I have no worries…I just CAN’T WAIT!!!!
I kid you not folks, there is NOTHING BETTER than RUNNING OFF THE CLIFF OF A MOUNTAIN!!! lmao It is the greatest most amazing feeling in the world, and I have done lots of crazy things in my lifetime, and nothing tops this! So…if you ever get the chance… COME FLY WITH ME!!! and STEVE, of course!!!
Never, Never … again
shall the horror strike in flames,
birds forced to leave their newborns
to suffer alone in searing pain.
Rising in billows blocking the sun
killing in crackles of tear sucking heat,
everything in its path becomes a shell
baked in itself unable to flee.
Surviving a moment in the trapped beauty
only to choke in the dense black air,
like a spider cocooning a butterfly
but now both their lives rise into thin air.
Simultaneously with screams no one hears
a billion bugs gone quietly with no tears
rabbits running circles to a nearby hole
squealing with the shifting wind it hears.
Death on a scale not to be measured
but weighed in the emptiness left behind,
sparking new growth eventually some will
still the loss of spring’s birth will be pined.
Panic heard in the calls and dead silence
acres of life gone with the wind,
dying in an instant of pain and fear
Never, Never, Never … again.
If I were a sandwich, I would be between Brat Pitt and Jim Caviezel …and it would be called HEAVEN on a bun!!!!
The weekend special would have new ingredients for variety;
George Clooney and Johnny Depp!
Crawling across the leaf of a glorious yellow lily, I stopped to listen to what the great voice was saying nearby. When it spoke, I shivered, the deepness buried beneath time. My wings reverberated to the musical tone as I held on to the leaf tightly.
With most of my eyes I saw only shadows and light, no form before me other than the flowers and trees; only a hint of moving harmony, a wave in rhythm to the chords of a piano. A soprano serenade danced in the background, cheerfully rising and falling like rain. Soft, loud; almost a symphony spoken softly, then forcefully.
But the words…the words stopped my heart from beating, I froze as the question came from another direction; one I couldn’t see on the other side of the lily.
“How did you do it?”
I waited, holding my breath, cleaning my front legs, ready to spring if things got scary, and heard this:
“How do you tell your fingers to type a story?
How do you tell the paintbrush where to fall?
How do you know when you’re happy?
How did you feel when I answered your call?”
The other voice remained silent, thinking about his answer. Then he said,
“I don’t know, my brain does it.”
“Well, there ya go.”
I sat there for a moment laughing to myself, I’d wondered so often how the world began. I’d prayed that after my death I would finally get to ask God how He did it. But to understand God, and what His brain must be like: is like asking a cornflake to figure out where the milk came from.
It was like an awakening for me; time to stop wasting time wondering about things our tiny little brains will never understand. Even if it were explained to us, we’re still too unaware; obtuse, oblivious, and witless. At the incredibly slow rate our brains evolve, it could be billions of years before we reach that level of consciousness.
So I flew away, smiling to myself, and headed for the next bunch of flowers, peonies, I believe they’re called.
Well, a friend and new follower got me going this morning, as we discuss DIVINITY. Which follows the title of the prompt today, but not necessarily the rest of the prompt, but its such a mystery wrapped in an enigma, I had to bring it up.
What is divinity? Perfection? The Holiest of Holies? The King of Kings? Goodness to the core? Love for all others? GOD? You or me?
My friend believes that there is divinity in all of us. I tend to disagree, believing that none of us are divine…YET…only working towards it, or we wouldn’t still be here…learning. As humans go through life, we learn SO much, hopefully we learn from our mistakes, and as we age, we normally gain wisdom….but to reach divinity, while here, for some reason I just don’t see it. Even my grandmother, who was one of the kindest sweetest most loving people I ever knew, I knew she would rise to Heaven, but to have reached divinity before that, no. She had been raised to be a bit racist, and hadn’t gotten past it, but only to the point of say….if there had been a robbery or something she would assume it was a black person…little things like that. She would always be kind to them, even love them, but there was always that bit of racism that she never got past. I know it was her upbringing, instilling that into her mind, and maybe at some point near the end she realized this, but to me that held her back from being divine, but not the wonderful person she was.
DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS DIVINITY IN ALL OF US? OR THE POSSIBILITY TO BECOME DIVINE WHILE STILL HERE?????
Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.
At 20 years old, in the military and single, I stopped at the store for groceries and as I walked down the aisle pushing my cart, I passed out. Flat on the floor, I woke up to two paramedics kneeling over me. I sat up, seemed fine and wanted to leave, so embarrassed I wanted to crawl into a hole, and never see this crowd of people again.
They insisted I go to the doctor immediately, so I did. Nurse Nice, as I called her, was our base nurse and insisted before we do anything, we do a pregnancy test. Ten minutes later, I was informed I was a mother. Over 4 months along, I was in serious shock. Nurse Nice insisted I stay right there, and talked me through the toughest day of my life, which turned into a several hours of emotional upheaval. I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember her real name, because it’s been 30 years, but I still have the beautiful music box, shaped like a tiny dutch windmill house, that she gave me as a present, to hold onto and give to my child someday. Funny, but I’ve never once thought to actually give it to him. He knows about it, but as a guy, it’s not something he would want in his early years, so maybe someday I’ll pass it on to his daughter.
But I will never forget that day. The sinking feeling, knowing in a heartbeat, due to a heartbeat, I had just altered my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine yet, but knew would be devastating.
The horror of this day, I knew instinctively began due to my stupidity, my mistake of forgetting to take my birth control, about 3 days worth or so. I remembered that day also, because the love of my life walked into the bathroom as I was just popping them out of the container, and dropping them into the sink. I had completely forgotten to take them, and in the instructions it said something like, “if you miss a tablet, don’t take it, just continue on with the rest of the pills. The drug is already in your system from previous use, and taking extras could result in harm…” blah blah blah, and 7% of all women on the pill will still get pregnant anyway. I had been using the pill for a year or two and never in my wildest dreams had I thought of having a child at my age. I knew I wasn’t ready. And I wanted the fairy tale, husband first…!
The gentleman, and I use the term loosely, immediately thought I was trying to get pregnant and trap him into marriage. To this day, he still believes this is what really happened, but I gave up years ago trying to explain it to him. When I missed them, I just continued taking them and thought nothing about it until that day.
That day that brought tears, astonishment, joy, sadness, amazement, embarrassment, fear! Everything all at once, swamping your heart and mind! It was incredible, to say the least. The only day more emotional than that, was the day my son was actually born.
But I digress, getting back to the theme of the daily prompt, IF I had chosen differently, the only other options to me were abortion or adoption. But those options weren’t really available, because I dearly loved the father of my child. All I could see was the tiny hope that we would somehow be together one day to raise this child. This beautiful amazing being we both had created, in what I thought was love.
If I had chosen abortion, I know now as a true adult, it would have killed me. I would never have gotten over it, never been able to walk away from the fact that I knew I had committed murder. That’s how I feel about it, very strongly, and doubly due to the child already being 4 months along. I would have never recovered from that. This I know. Not only do I know this in my heart, but because several years ago I lost a child, at 5 months along, and it ripped apart my soul. My heart was shattered, truly into a million pieces, never to be put back together the same again.
Choosing adoption didn’t seem possible to me either; to give away a part of me, of my love, of my family. I couldn’t do it. Knowing this child was half me, how could I leave it to chance. Not that I’m a great mother, or ever was, but there are much worse parents than I out there, and most importantly, the first moment I knew I was pregnant, I knew true love.
Love flooded through me first, then joy, then fear…..
Any other life that could have unfolded wouldn’t have mattered or would have resulted in suicide because I would’ve been miserable. I would never have recovered.
So I can almost certainly guess what my life would’ve been like if I had made a different decision, it would’ve been hell. Plain and simple. Whereas 30 years later I look back and only see a few moments of true hell, the parental kind. hahaha
longing to soar
settling for sailing
I gaze at my life
before me paling
next to sweet glory
in one moment full
looking out across
the mirror of my soul
And they are blocking these days with
Love in our day and age sucks! Period! I know maybe one couple on this planet who truly deeply love each other, have for 20 some years, and will travel on together someday in the future. But, notice I said one.
Sure I know hundreds of ‘happily’ married couples; those who say they are happy but bad mouth their spouse when they are not around, literally saying how they really feel, which is NOT happily married. Put them in the same room, and they drape their arms around each other, call each other honey or sweety-pie, enough to give me a rotting cavity every time I hear it. Because less than half an hour later they are at it again, how they did this or that, and pissed them off, and how stupid they are, but “Hey, gotta love em!” cause they’re your spouse.
I know tons of couples who are parents who have been married forever, yet don’t speak to each other, hide things from each other, don’t enjoy anything the other partner likes, only put up with the living arrangement because they don’t want to have to struggle alone, don’t even sit in the same room when they are at home let alone sleep in the same bed; yet smile hugely and say so proudly ‘we’ve been married for 50 years!!’ Oh yea, miserable but married.
And I know tons of people who’ve been married, divorced, married, divorced, etc….because they are still looking for that ideal person. The one that doesn’t exist. The one they dreamed up while drunk one night after doing several lines of coke and smoking three bowls of weed, and let me just say, they don’t exist either.
Why do you suppose we are so miserable with the loves of our lives? My opinion; we expect too much and don’t forgive easily. Yet I must say, I grew up brainwashed by Harlequin Romance novels, and various other smut novels, and this was how my brain thought real love was supposed to be. I have yet to meet a millionaire …who’s gorgeous…! Let me just stop there! bwahahahahaha they don’t exist at all!!
But I digress, I have yet to meet a millionaire, who’s gorgeous, works hard, works out, treats his woman like a lady, fell in love in his prime years and was so crushed he’s never had another woman since…..OMG I can’t stop laughing! OK, one more try, a gorgeous millionaire with a crushed heart, looking for Ms. Right, that’d be me…..
I’m sorry, I just can’t do it.
You get my point!
There is no Love in the 21st Century….there is only love NOW. Each minute of each day. STOP!!! now love! NOW! Anyone! Everyone! The person sitting next to you on the bus! The person you work with that you think is a jerk! BLOW their mind, and love them in some small way.
ALL WE HAVE IS NOW! LOVE BY THE SECOND!
(Had to have another go at it, sorry all! lol)
don’t whip at me
while I adore this moment
hold yourself back
while I sit in amazement
don’t blow this perfection
back to shore
I’m cloaked in a garment
of Glory galore
the rain is depressing
almost halting a shiver
the trees splatter
instead of a quiver
the bugs are hiding
the birds no longer chime
the wind whipping
somewhere else for a time
no scent in the air
the breeze lies dead
the stillness behind each drip
compressing my head
run like the wind
from the truth
that is you alone
breezing through life
like the mane of a horse tangling
with each stop flying through a mystery
you can’t touch or grasp that is slipping
through your fingers
like the wind
(sorry, I couldn’t help but pick the most obvious choice! lol)
the weaving never ends
straight, turn right
straight, turn right
(buzzing karma for eating her seventh husband)
she rocks slowly
twisted in time
of wild children
into a blanket
wrapped around her heart
forming straight squares
cornered in softness
colored in symmetry
he’s linked to me
straight like a line
weaving all over the place
he stumbles and runs
blindly into walls
straight into trouble
creating a worn trail
snaking left and right
time and again
to these wrinkles in my smile
spanning my heart
This phrase in the Torah, refers to the state of the Jewish people. 🙂 For to be under the palm of Deborah, you were sitting quietly as she would prophesy, enjoying 20 years of peace. Deborah was the fourth of judges who ruled after the death of Joshua. She wrote one of the first Poems recorded in history, about the battle she foresaw and instigated.
The people were suffering terribly under the rule of Sisera, and cried out to God. He sent them Deborah the Prophetess who was one of only 7 women prophetess’ who were recorded in the Bible.
Deborah lived in the Mountains of Ephraim, between Ramah and Beth-El. As the people turned to sin and idolatry, Deborah remained true to God and His Torah. She was wise! Deborah held court beneath a palm-tree. She warned the Jewish people and urged them to leave their evil ways and return to God. The entire Jewish nation respected this great prophetess.
She was married to Lapidoth, which means ‘torches’. He supplied wicks and oil for the lights in the sanctuary, called torches. Thus they say Deborah had this holy effect on everyone, spreading the light of the Torah.
She asked Barak to fight the Canaanites, predicted what would happen, and after the battle she wrote the poem/song the “song of Deborah.”
My favorite line: “Be as the sun going forth in its might.”
THAT is the history of my name, condensed.
My mother insisted this would be my name, even though my Father wanted to call me Melissa. All of my siblings are also named after people who were in the Bible. My oldest brother, David. Do I need to go on? lol My Mother said No, she will be a Deborah!
Of course, I’m a much shortened version in reality, just a Deb. A modern version if you will.
And I usually sit under pine trees.
A winding dirt road
up a hill, across a dam
past a dirtier pond
between a thousand raspberries
to the kitchen door I slammed
a million times without thought
of what was no longer my home.
It had changed, not me,
in ways I never imagined
painted over brick
sealed in the past
bushes of bright flowers
coloring my memories
all gone now, ripped out
along with all the barns
that had kept all my secrets
stored fields of happiness.
Crates of my family history
years of wonder and life
meshed into wood and earth
I thought safely for all time
now torn down for a view
of more raspberry bushes.
Rounding the back I see a tiny face
looking at me from the corner window.
Waving at me from my room
still seeing the rolling valleys
yet watching me
slowly reshaping my heart.
As I pass the aging garage
and an old wood shed
where I learned from the bugs
and spiders how to write
there was the Tulip Tree
I planted in the 6th grade.
Now fifty feet tall and thirty across
standing proudly in the front yard
a million leaves waving joyfully
shivering smiles in the breeze
as I sadly grow old in my soul.
BEHOLD MY MUSE:
“Heart it is, not a brick or stone”
For more beautiful paintings by Biljana, click below:
hands gripped tight
refusing to end this
hours before twilight
the smell of old spice
crushed against my cheek
still teasing my heart
with each soulful shriek
as we ran across the sand
racing away from the pain
knowing it was coming
I couldn’t stop the reign
my happiness had run out
as I flew now in fear
I’d miss one last glimpse
from the end of the pier
biting my lips I bleed
as the ship sails by slowly
I see nothing but him
standing still knowingly
watching me across the waves
it will be the last time I see
he knew his own truth
I was blinded completely
he couldn’t see me crumble
as I waved once more
not noticing the red sunset
blessing this wretched mourn
he hadn’t asked me to someday come
he hadn’t tried to calm my fears
I never saw the ship return
only a deep blue ocean of tears
Someone said to me, you never write about yourself, other than humorously. So today, I thought I’d rip open an old wound, and have at it. Just because some days, people need to hear truth. They need to hear that you are not perfectly happy. They need to know they aren’t the only ones who are suffering. They don’t want to hear preaching, or jokes, they want to know you are real. This is also helpful. A way to reach out and help others find their way. They need to know they aren’t the only ones who have been crushed and beaten by the world. So, here you go: an open wound I pray, may help to heal your own.
I’ve asked the Lord repeatedly, surely you couldn’t have meant for me to suffer for 30 years? Heartbroken, never to find love like that again. Surely, you couldn’t have wanted that, Lord? Surely. What test could you have given me, that required 30 years of suffering to learn. Am I that slow? Did you know ahead of time, that kind of love would kill me? Or if we had been married for 30 years, would his passing have created so much more pain and suffering, that you wanted to spare me this?
People say, and I love this, that all our problems in life are actually blessings. Like no matter what happens to you, if the Lord is watching over you, and you believe and worship Him, He will always take care of you. So that any sadness or pain in your life, is actually the mercy; because if He hadn’t been protecting you, it would have been much worse.
Yet as I sit here today, remembering the only man I ever loved, who’s never left my thoughts or heart for more than a few minutes; I can’t imagine what possibly would have happened had we been able to stay together. But events and circumstances stepped in, shattering my heart beyond repair, and I truly don’t think I have it in me to find love again that would even be close to the depths I fell into then.
I’ve had 4 relationships in my life, two of which were marriages that turned out to be my biggest mistakes ever. How I managed to pick the two greatest losers on the planet, I will never know. Some of my friends say I found 4, but even after he destroyed my heart, nothing on the planet could kill the love I’ve carried for 30 years. Nothing and no one. He was that dream man. The man of literally my dreams.
Unfortunately, I never dreamed he wouldn’t fall in love just as deeply with me. I felt love from him, yet he always held back and I knew. I had no idea at the time that it was due to trust, his loss of trust in me: due to others who for some reason lied; due to me not able to convince him of the truth. It didn’t even occur to me, until after the last time I saw him. Standing there, his handsome grin slightly sad, sky blue eyes full of pity, as he ripped my heart out through my rib cage and ended my reason for living.
I do know, it has fostered years and pages of writing and a sadly poetic heart. It has also brought me very close to God. Which was probably the point, even if it was a dagger through my soul.
I know the Lord loves those who are long-suffering, but really, 30 years Lord? That’s a bit extreme, even for You. But then I think, if things had been different, I wouldn’t have become the me I am today. Wonderful as I am, haha, I still can’t help but wonder why?
What could possibly have hurt me more? Having the life I had dreamed of, and then ending tragically; or having a tragically sad life. I miss those years. I ache for those years we missed out on. I still dream of him to this day, even after he chose to walk away, I’m still waiting. Hoping. Day dreaming about how he will reappear in my life one day, finally realizing his mistake, finally realizing I was the one. Sometimes I think about all the things he missed out on, all the things I missed out on sharing with him, all those tiny moments of complete happiness. It doesn’t help much now, but I know… I’ll finally understand ten minutes after I’m gone.
All I understand at this point in time, is this is how you create a crazy cat lady.
Three people walk into a bar:_____
One is a priest, one is a senator and one is the mayor. They each order one drink and drink it. Then all three get up at the same time and go to the bathroom. Which one comes out first?
he ruined that love
the kind you have once
the very first time
in a bubble
his smile fills you
his eyes light up
he takes it
when he leaves
not only your heart
your perfect first love
gushed out on the floor
oozed out of every poor
your glorious pure
One of the saddest, greatest love songs ever written…to me.
so many long sopping nights
the words to this song
every crease in his skin
his sky blue eyes
one look of love
would’ve killed me
reflected back just once
by my fingertips
taped over holes
in my walls
his shallow words
blurring my soul
into sadness beyond
this voice as an echo
pitched in agony
When you gaze out your window — real or figurative — do you see the forest first, or the trees?
tiny mighty Strider dancing obviously
walks on water ever so righteously
propelled by only his long middle legs
denting the rich water raiding bootlegs
steering towards his ephemeral prey
a shimmering dragonfly has lost his way
normally ants and aphids will do
evanescent butterfly’s are tasty too
sending out ripples and calling swirls
it’s time to mate and alert the girls
for a dragonfly is a fleeting dessert
draining it dry till it’s a smidgen inert
sailing across an ocean of green glass
to honor him they celebrate in mass
for the blue-green dragonfly it’s a tad harsh
this tiny lively party skimming on the marsh
the waves fled back out to sea
forcing her toes deep in the sand
decisions to affect more than one
her mind seeing a tiny hand
gales goading easing her forward
emptiness, no thoughts she longed
rocking back her heart in her heels
the darkness clawing beyond
an ocean of fears sinking at once
with each tidal pull down
screams pounding into her head
a dark breath swirling around
the moon baying a sorrow of light
touching a deserted beach
now still all of the sudden
suffering now out of reach
my favorite below:
Time and Eternity
Departed to the Judgment,
A mighty afternoon;
Great clouds like ushers leaning,
Creation looking on.
The flesh surrendered, cancelled,
The bodiless begun;
Two worlds, like audiences, disperse
And leave the soul alone.
God must not be female. I don’t care what religion you believe in, but there is no way in hell He would have designed women to go through all the crap they go through, if He was a woman. No Way!
And as far as Eve goes, supposedly the stupid woman tempted Adam to the point that angered God SO much that he cursed all women: I can tell you this, if I ever meet her, I will immediately smack the snot out of her. The Moron!
Not only do we suffer embarrassment as young girls, with strange blobs growing unevenly off our chests, but then for the next 40 wonderful years we have to deal with bleeding once a month that smells like the stench of a monster’s ball. Cramps and headaches, douche-nozzles and the mood swings that will bring you to a place of wanting to murder Eve in a slow painful way, on a beautiful Summer’s Eve day.
Then as a reward for all this wonder, we get to endure strange slimy, often hairy, dirty Snuffluffagus things… and I’ll leave the rest of that for your imagination. Then when God Blesses us with a child, and we have to deal with an 8 lb. being growing inside us, torturing our insides daily, ruining our beautiful abs and skin; ripping it apart in seams with enormous scars that never go away. They become roadmaps that lead to a desert of rolling uneven hills.
Then we spit said being out of a very small area at a later date. Which not only destroys said small area, but also loosens up other things in that area, that will sag and fall a few years later, as a belated added bonus. Like Sprinkles!
God forbid you breastfeed and your nipples become tire valves drooping like a dead worm out of an apple the shape of a long tube sock.
And as you watch your lovely children grow….you relax into motherhood and love your little babies to pieces….. right up until you start into menopause! THE LAST and GREATEST of all the curses God could have ever put on us!
In case you’re not sure exactly what a hot flash is…let me inform you! Imagine being so hot you have a heat stroke, someone tries to help you and dumps hot soup all over your head, and as an added measure lets include the sweating down below……. we’re talking it’s so hot down there, you get instant results; all creatures flee in terror, dogs refuse to sniff you, as your musk becomes a dark evil mist encircling you like a cloud; and then if you happen to move a lot, or don’t move much at all… it’s so hot and toasty down there you develop lovely large boils. THIS all happens every ten minutes….they say for 3 to 10 years, sometimes for the rest of your life if you’re really Blessed!
Years of being so hot you want to move to the North Pole and start your own nudist colony, marry a fireman so he can hose you off properly, and never drink coffee, alcohol or eat spicy foods again, because they all will flip the proverbial switch. Then a second later being so cold you want to crawl in your oven, because the sweat you just oozed out of every pore in your body seconds earlier has drenched you and its like walking around after getting out of a nice hot shower. Goosebumps are the size of speed bumps, your clothes are now plastered to your skin along with all your hair, your face is flushed into a beautiful red shiny glow… and this happens EVERY 10 MINUTES! For 10 YEARS!!!
Then you’re into your 70’s and life becomes grand again! Of course… you have no interest in sex anymore, your bones ache 24/7, you live on grass matts so you can shit once a week, have to pee every time someone says the word ‘I’, you’re wrinkled like a Shar Pei, you fart with every step you take and are now completely bald!!! ENJOY the rest of your life!
Oh yea, God is definitely not female!
On this particular day, the winds were up, the trees swaying; the sun was warm on her face. The mountains were purple and jade, spotted with red and yellows. Her hands were a bit cold because it was only the first week of May, along with her legs, but then they were normally cold because the harness cut off the circulation. Ann was thinking,
It’s glorious today, thank you so much God. Look at that, oh my God the sky, the sky…
She’d been up paragliding for almost 2 hours, her arms were beginning to ache, but she had to wait to land because so many others were up and the landing field was packed. People came from miles away to watch the paragliders, sitting along the edges of the landing field, picnic, maybe decide to one day try it. They also walked directly across the actual landing zone to get to the trailhead of the hiking trail that wound up to Poo Poo Point, one of two take off spots at the top of the mountain. The other take off point was just called the South one. Poo Poo Point was the best, because it had the side of the mountain with the best updrafts hugging the west side; plus it had a huge section of Astroturf to set up on, so you didn’t get twigs and snags from stickers in the wing.
Three of her buddies were down already, and would make the shuttle for one more run, but the sun was setting and it was just so glorious with the sky an orange-red above Rainier, it’s usual cloud wafting above its peak. She decided to tough it out, to see the sun set.
Learning years before, she was long past the days of using a giant tail, or ribbon attached to her butt, so people knew she was a beginner. But Ann had watched several spreading their wings today, and taking their first flights; their long streamers of bright colors fluttering along behind them. She was happy for them, but it always made her nervous to be up in the sky with a newbie, and especially with this many flyers today. But it was just so perfect a day for flying, she’d spent most of the day high above the others, in safety and a huge updraft, just circling at about 3100 feet, like a giant eagle. Only leaving the updraft periodically to make a huge figure 8 and change direction for a while.
I’ll never forget this day Lord, I’m gonna save it in my memory forever, it’s just perfection. Thank you.
Ann started down, feeling like it was time, and sailed free of the updraft. Took a deep breath while in the calm air, exhaled slowly, then held both the control handles in one hand while stretching her arm down and letting some blood back in, then switched hands and did this to her other arm. Then she slowly began a weave back and forth, a little on the outside of the crowd of other gliders, before heading in and towards the landing field. She knew how to drop fast if the guy in front of her took too long and she lost altitude, but he was doing fine so she moved into position to take the next landing.
She started her final circle around the field at about 300 feet, then as she came around again she saw movement in the corner of her eye, and looked up to her right behind her to check for other gliders before starting her turn down. She saw a newbie headed straight for her, about to run right through her lines. Ann jerked hard on the left control handle, hoping to turn out of her path, but her heart sank as her mind processed the vision of the young girl who only had one control handle in her hand. She had lost the other, and was waving frantically in the one second Ann saw her before she dragged through her lines.
That was the day she fell to the Earth.
The young girls entire body was tangled in her lines and within seconds, both dropped to the trees from about 250 feet up. They were a tangled mess as the newbie’s wing tried to hold the weight of both, but it only slowed their plummet a bit. Crashing through the branches of the trees didn’t stop them from hitting ground, but it managed to break just about every bone in their bodies. The young girl was strangled by the lines as they twisted around her in the air and then the branches reached out to finish the job.
Oh dear God, Oh, end it now, please don’t let me go through life as a vegetable. Oh God it hurts, oh…God…
She laid there listening to the voices crashing through the woods to come save her, and then the black washed in like a dark ocean.
For more beautiful paintings by Coloured Windows, click below
a ballet of flames
burning for liberty
leaping over twilight
trying to become a star
stretching back into the glow
etching the edges of early dusk
only dancing on the leaves of trees
warmth still spreading even as it fades
they ascend reaching out with frisky fingers
surging in mirth as they grasp farther into the void
a swan dive across the sky coming back empty handed
yet still they glow from the inside
I wish everyone would spend a day like me
missing a few marbles is insanely free
when you love others you will finally see
how crazy fun out to lunch can be
giggling at people wasting their time
spending mine unzipping a rhyme
wondering if they’ll ever make the climb
brainless bores stuck in the slime
no one in your belfry to make you mad
forgiving others like the famous triad
raving unhinged only temporarily had
makes you snicker like a wandering doodad
always loving first such a freaky sight
understanding nuts when they’re not baked right
going through life is a crazy bat flight
grinning like an idiot laughing all night
The lines outside her little, worn down house were getting smaller and smaller each day. The local news teams had arrived the first morning, but all but one had left and never returned. The only one still coming each day was a tiny cable channel reporter, who vowed to come each day until she was finished. She had stated on national television that she would give only to the poor every single dime, other than the one million dollars she would use to set herself up for life. He was documenting the story, to be aired at a later date.
He smiled at her grinning face, as she handed him a cup of coffee. It was just Folgers coffee, with some hot chocolate mixed in, but he was beginning to look forward to it, and her crazy smile. It rarely left her face, unless she was confused. He had watched people screaming at her, while begging at the same time, yelling,
“Why can’t you give me more, I’m gonna lose my pickup! Come ON!” She would just smile and shake her head.
An hour goes by and another person gets angry, demanding,
“OH Please, are you kidding me, THIS is it, You cheap selfish bitch.” She would look them in the eye and nicely say,
“And you have come how far to beg from me? How sad must your life be? I’ll add you to my prayers.” Then she would just call the next person, smiling hugely at her next captive listener. She didn’t care, she had won all the money, and she was used to being poor, so the money didn’t matter one bit to her, and she didn’t care if you liked her or not, or liked the amount of money she was giving to you for free.
It continually amazed me how many people would wait in line, outside her house, all day long, into the night, and would freak out screaming at her because she didn’t give them as much money as they thought they deserved! God forbid, she didn’t give them enough to pay their rent for a year, like they assumed she would. People are assholes. I have come to this conclusion in a matter of seconds, and am wondering how I am gonna portray this in my film. Repetition, showing one after another in a high-speed run. Which meant some serious editing time, pulling them out of the hours and hours of film I’ve taken.
It reminds him of a man he saw once in town; a blind man on the street with a cup and a sign, and dark glasses, screaming at someone for only putting a dollar bill in his cup, demanding they give him more because he’s obviously blind.
Human’s are douche-nozzles. That may be my title.
It was strange to watch her though, she could tell a liar from a hundred feet. They would get a shiny new $10.00 bill for showing up. The ones who were really poor, really sincere, would be humble and sometimes even crying, as they told her their reason for coming. That was the rule. You had to tell her why you were here. You had to be willing to talk to her for a few minutes, or you had wasted your trip.
She was great though. She had a message about God she was giving to each one, whether they wanted to hear it or not. He had counted over 300 people the first day, that she had time to talk to, but that appeared to wear her out, so the following days were slower, only about 200 going through the line. She had booted several who tried to hit the line twice, it was a bit freaky but she always knew instantly, and made them leave. The police had provided Randy, to monitor the people and keep things under control, and to guard her while she gave away thousands of dollars in cash out of her livingroom. The police chief had tried to talk her out of it, knowing it would cause riots, but after the first day he let the other officers go because people realized if they were patient, they came out smiling hugely. They lined up like soldiers with only a few exceptions of drunks or druggies causing problems.
This morning though, after she handed my coffee to me, she said,
“This is beginning to bore me. I’ve got a plan to hit Seattle tonight, some of the poorer areas, sceeeery areas if you get my drift, and give to the ones who can’t come here. Wanna come along?”
“Is Randy coming?” He grinned at her, tilting his head to one side.
She laughed and turned to ask him,
“Randy?” He walked over from his car, and she handed him his coffee. He took a long sip, smiling at her with eyebrows raised.
“Wanna go with us into Seattle tonight, hit some poor areas….make it rain?”
“Uh, no, I can’t sweety, sorry, but my sons got a game. I could make some calls this morning though, find someone who would.”
“Awesome! I’ll bet your son makes 2 home runs tonight, ’cause you’re such a good person.”
“Awww, Ruby, you’re the good person. I can’t believe what you’re putting up with to do this.”
“Well, I just don’t trust those huge corporations who claim to help the poor. This way, I know myself.” She smiled as she leaned down to pluck her beautiful red and coral Tulips in full bloom. Three went inside today, but you wouldn’t have guessed it form the mass in her front garden. She turned back as she left and added,
“Thank you Randy, bring your cup in when you’re ready!” She walked over to the first person in line, and invited them in.
Randy held up the coffee cup and answered back,
I followed her to the front steps of her deck, turning on the camera stationed so it could watch the people coming in. I pressed the button to test the remote, watching the camera move left and right and said,
“I’m in. Whether a cop goes with us or not, I wouldn’t miss it.” I smiled and winked as I sipped at the coffee and she turned to the first person and said,
“Come this way, and what is your name?” They walked inside her house directly into the little livingroom, and Ruby said,
“Sit here,” then placed the tulips in the vase on her table, and grabbed her own cup of coffee from the kitchen counter and returned to sit down at the other end of her couch for the tiny interview.
“Why are you here?” Ruby would ask. She would say the same thing almost verbatim with each person. I had figured our early on what she was doing, and moved the cameras outside. I had the one camera on the line going in, and would wait outside for the reaction shots with my other camera set up about 10 feet from her deck, for a nice exit perspective. I also had a small video camera lying on the table in case yelling started inside the house, but it seemed like most of the angry people wanted an audience and would wait until they were on her deck to start being jerks. Which was perfect for me. Bunch of drama queens. Thinking they’ll be on TV someday and be famous. I used remotes for both camera’s only taking shots when I thought it was interesting.
“I lost my apartment, my boyfriend kicked me out after beating my head against a wall…..” would be one example of an answer. Another would be “My boss fired me for being late, just once, mind you…..” and on and on and on. So I liked waiting outside and watching the people before they went in, and then after when they came out as themselves. I liked those shots. Especially liked how they would mesh up together on the final movie. It was like, it didn’t occur to them what I was actually documenting. They thought for some reason begging in a movie would somehow better their life. I had heard someone say the words “street cred” and had to text my boss, I could not believe how this could possibly give someone street cred, that they had been on TV, for what? For Begging! It blew my mind.
There were things that had been shown to me about humanity that made me think, we are very screwed up. Each time I had an epiphany I would text Tammy at work and she would save them in a file for me. I hoped to use them in the documentary, thinking maybe I could make a difference. Showing humanity how it really is. But then I would think, but these people are really poor. Can we only help the nice poor people, or are we supposed to help all the poor.
Ruby would listen for a few minutes at most and depending on their reason, she would ask one of two questions, the same questions she asked each person.
Question number 1. “Do you believe in God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit?”
If the persons reason had included some type of answer that showed they already believed in God, and the Trinity, she would ask,
Question number 2. “Do you Hunger for the Lord?”
Most people at this point would pause, confused at what she just said, and I would guess about 90% said “No.” I was only inside the house for the first 8 hours she did this, but she stumped almost every single person.
Depending on their answers once again, she had two separate replies she used for each. To the first question, if the person said, “No.” she asked, “Why not?” It didn’t really matter at this point what they said in response, when they were done making excuses, she would simply say,
“In scripture Jesus said, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man can come to the Father, but through me. Because to every purpose there is time and judgement, therefore the misery of man is great upon you. When you sin through ignorance, if you make atonement, you will be forgiven. So, NOW you know the truth, Jesus is the Way, if you want eternal life, follow Him. Hunger for Him. Look for Him.
For now, you are no longer ignorant.”
If the person acknowledged they knew who God was, or used to go to church, or had some kind of teaching in their life, she would say,
“Woe to you who turn away from God. He asks that not only you love Him, but follow His commandments, but also that you spend your life trying to help others find their way to Him. When you leave here today, think of one thing you can do to bring one other person to the Lord, and from this day on, find one person you can help each day, if not more. Their soul is at stake, along with yours. If you turn back to God, He will bless you just like He has me. Each time you go to tell someone about today, remember your own soul. Do you think this life is really all there is? Do you know how long eternity is? This life could be over in half an hour. Find your way back to God. He is your only answer.”
Then she would give them the money they asked for, and walk them back outside.
Most people weren’t too greedy, asking for rent money, or food money, or car payments and such. But a few people received checks, for thousands of dollars, because Ruby truly believed their stories and wanted to make their dreams come true. One was a young girl with a baby on her hip, who only started crying when she mentioned her Mom, who was in a care facility dying of AIDS. She was about to be evicted, had even brought the tear-stained notice with her, crumpled in her pocket, and had no one to turn to. So Ruby gave her $5000 to find a place to live.
Another was a young man who had enrolled at Seattle University, but after the first two years, he realized he couldn’t afford to keep going, even with the grants he was getting and the two scholarships he had received. So she made the check out to the University, and paid for his next two years. He was a pretty cool kid, not too flashy with his hip hop clothes, but clean enough to make her believe his story. Plus, if he wasn’t still enrolled the check donated in his name would come back to her un-cashed. Even she wouldn’t just hand over $40,000 to anyone with a good story. She was too smart for that.
What was so great about the kid, was he had only asked for a couple thousand to tide him over, so he could finish the semester out, and he damn near fainted when she handed him the check. Then he began dancing for the camera with Ruby, on the front deck, laughing, and hugging her and crying and not one bit ashamed of it. Then for the first time the line cheered for him and clapped.
I think this will be my final scene!
(scripture pulled from John 14:6; Ecclesiastes 8:6; and Numbers 15:28)
after a long gloomy winter scrapes my nerves raw
the longing for sparkling sunshine begins to gnaw
my skin screams for me to find a few beams
peep holes of blue spark my mountainous dreams
golden rays gracing peaks never seen before
the birds chirping and slurping worms galore
mating calls echo through the air and trees
the fire of love is the warmth in the breeze
for when spring has sprung across the hills
every living thing forgets the forsaken chills
every spring every year the skies again turn blue
rejoicing, celebrating, blessed life begins anew
I wasn’t going to do this prompt, because there are SO many different sites that I follow that are TRULY GREAT, but I decided I really should mention the two that have affected me the greatest. That’s not to say what I write is great, far from it in my mind, but they were the inspiration that kick started many posts.
These two websites have changed my own site, in ways you can’t imagine. Not only are they great to read, they make you think, but each post these two make, are inspiring to me in totally different ways. They are sites that literally are on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One drives my creative side, the other toys and tickles at my “belief” side. Both repeatedly make me laugh, in totally different ways, and both make me think. A lot! I admire both writers!
The sites are… duh, duh, duh, duh…… “realityenchanted” and “trentlewin”! Yes they are both worthy!!! lol
realityenchanted is written by a young man we call Doc, who is wise for his age, incredibly ornery and will twist those words until you are gone before you get there. His love of the Almighty God is deeper than the ocean, and his understanding of the world goes way beyond his years. His writing makes me laugh, out loud, and his thoughts mirror a monkey throwing poo at the fools staring through the glass. He’s a true cynic, sarcastic on so many levels and each post wiggles in your mind like a worm on a hook. He has inspired loads of writing out of me, and I can’t thank him enough!
trentlewin is written by Trent, who’s writing I fondly describe as Trentish, because there is no other way to describe him. I recently petitioned Merriam Webster to add this new adjective to their book, but still waiting to hear back. He is a genius at creating the most unreal, unimaginable, interesting and humorous stories I have ever read. He’s blushing as he reads this, because as all truly great writers, he thinks he sucks….but this is simply not true. If you are ever blocked, or as he would say blocked at both ends, lol, hit his site and he will give you line after line of comedic ideas that are truly one of a kind. Just don’t tell him I told you where to find them!
Both sites have given me SO much material: I can’t begin to count how many poems and stories they have inspired in just the year I’ve had this blog, but I’d guess maybe 33.333% at least. lol
So there you go guys, enjoy the GLOW….I love you both for your inspiration and for making me laugh all year long!
Hand me a walk through a meadow, and I immediately smile. Give me a moment at the top of a mountain, and I live for another day! Sitting by a lake, I pop another pill, and float into a new dimension. It’s the placebo effect, these places I go.
The best hallucinations are the ones where my kayak is at rest, on the far side of the lake in almost complete silence from the industrialized world, only hearing birdsong, the creaking of the forests, and the chatter of squirrels; I watch an Eagle circle a bit, then dive with everything he’s worth, only seconds before plunging in his feet come down, claws spread out like rays of painfully bright light, the huge splash, then swoop, swoop of his enormous wings and he’s off into the sunrise with a fish freaking out as he rises to Heaven, gasping at every swoop.
The ecstasy the day I watched two baby elk pounce like Tigger in circles around the female herd in blatant joy; side by side, each hopping in unison, not once running or jumping, just bouncing their little playful hearts out!
I see actual Glory, in all it’s Glory; I cannot imagine God surrounded in anything else. Yes I consider all of nature to be Glory because there is nothing we know of in our own created, manufactured world that even comes close. You can imagine swirling light, or a very beautiful man with big clear blue eyes, (even though any sane person knows Jesus had to have been dark-skinned and dark-eyed, he was Mediterranean, duh,) or you can picture an old man with a white beard surrounded in blinding light you can’t see through, or even look at. But I think that is just silly. Why would a Passion Flower be so intricately beautiful to us, or a Hummingbird need to reflect light, sparkling?? Worms find mates, so why would evolution need to go to this extreme? Picture a peacock! A fabulous creation. Check out the Hubble photographs of universes. Or the spectacular panorama of purple tinted mountains with red giant Maples spotting the carpet of green? Why would leaves need to turn red, then yellow, then brown, when they could just as quickly turn brown like others do? These are unnecessary adaptations in any scientific terms, yet blow our minds with what our minds immediately recognize as beautiful.
You can read Zen books, or study philosophy until you’re blue in the face, but this place I live is filled with such Glory there is no need for me to meditate or sit in a therapy session. I’ve lived in countless places in the United States, and here I found pure Glory. Give me a walk through a dripping forest and a shimmering creek reflecting like diamonds and I will call this place home.
(Name 6 unique or odd things about yourself.)
People may say I’m far from normal, but I ignore my family. hehehe From childhood, the one unique thing about me was I was the baby of 8 children, the only family larger in the area had 13, and some rare inbred issues. Since I’m cresting that enormous hill in age, it’s not a big deal anymore, but it does make for some wild and crazy holidays when we get together.
I love it when an old friend finds me on Facebook and says, so what have you been doing for 30 years….it takes an entire novel to answer that question with even the basic info. Here’s one reason, starting at my senior year in high school I have lived in 9 different states: born in Indiana; dragged kicking and screaming to Arizona my senior year, and I will probably never fully forgive my parents for that little mistake; joined the Navy to get an education and see the world, but only saw Florida and the armpit of the world, Mississippi; got the hell out and moved to Missouri; then Virginia, Colorado, and California, finally coming to rest in GLORIOUS WASHINGTON, where I hope to die paragliding or by getting eaten by a bear…..because I am an adventurer. Although I have considered moving to Alaska!
I’m a total rockhound. Which means I go looking for rocks, the crystalized kind, and instead of your cute little figurines or pottery type knickknacks, at my house you will find rocks. From petrified wood, quarts, amethyst, flint, malachite, asbestos, obsidian, olivine, tourmaline, and even granite to pyrite, salt and marble, you will know in a flash I am a rockhound. At one point, I even had a small river in my livingroom…but my stupid cats kept peeing in it.
Also, I’m a bit odd about being one of the few people in the US who is not looking to get wealthy and buy material things that make me look good to others. I could care less about having a big house or fancy car, expensive shoes or nice clothes. I only spend my money on things that bring me enjoyment. Although my oldest son has been raised to believe that when he makes his first million dollars, he’s required by law to build me a cabin in the woods. I would rather squeak by each month and spend my fancy clothes money on a day paragliding; or blow my high heels money on a new kayak, which I did. Of course, this I do now that my children are grown, before that they sucked up every dime I ever made. I also roll my own cigarettes to save myself over $200 a month so I can take off and go visit friends or drive the coast….because sitting in a big fancy house is boring.
For my only official flight away from North America I went to Hawaii a few years ago, and swam on a night dive with Manta Rays. It was probably the coolest thing I’ve ever done, except for paragliding, there is nothing more exciting, even though everyone said I was insane.
It’s dark, eerily so, and you are in the ocean a mile or so off shore, thank God with other people. Because I saw Jaws… and can never get it out of my mind completely when I’m swimming in the ocean. It’s surreal, the quiet, muffled noise you hear, as your body floats a bit back and forth with the tide pulling. Everyone snorkeling holds a flashlight aimed down, and the divers sink to the bottom about 50 feet down and hold flashlights that are aimed up, making a huge column of light. Only seconds go by before they come, 8 feet across, or more, their mouths dropped open like a giant-sized vacuum cleaner, elegantly flying, dancing in slow huge circles, arching their backs as they flip a u-turn up and away from you. Their soft black eyes watching you, but in an unmenacing way. They looked curious to me, but this was the usual spot for the event, so they were probably used to it; although I wondered if they thought we were chumps, feeding them their dinner.
Lastly, but most important to me, is my incredibly journey trying to walk in Jesus’s huge shoes. I don’t go to a church, haven’t for many years. Most everyone I know, with only a few exceptions, are people who are kind, mean, generous, loving, hating, and going through life with only one thing on their mind: themselves. I try not to sound sanctimonious here, but I personally have discovered that my way of life is the best. Not the only way by any means, but for me it has become my life’s goal. All the other crap just falls to the way side, partly due to my artistic nature, but I quit pursuing a career years ago. I quit on the dream to have enough money I would feel secure in my old age, because I learned at some point, we only have TODAY. That’s all we are ever promised. I have also learned that to change the world, we must and can only change ourselves. I reach out to others each day, trying to be the light, trying to love them a bit, in case no one else is. I give what I can, when I can, and get so much joy out of it. All anyone needs to do is ask, and I am there. I make mistakes, huge mistakes, but I don’t let them become me.
I’ve learned in half a century, loving is the key. The only answer. The one thing that makes us intelligent beings is to love one another. All the stupid useless questions about where do we come from, why are we here, who is God, which God is right, whose beliefs are right, are we just evolved atoms splattered to Earth from the cosmo’s….is all bullshit.
(use the following sentence: I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock.)
He was walking with three other buddies, who were all tighter than the hug of a mother before her son leaves to war. I’d been called by the police to come pick him up a week before, because evidently he and his bud’s were “walking briskly” and this alerted the police to the possible crimes they might commit if left to continue on briskly. I was furious with the officer for calling me to come pick him up at the hardware store parking lot, and proceeded to give him a large piece of my mind. They had been headed to their friends house, and were in a hurry. I thought this officer needed a huge wedgie, and I gave him one.
He was 14, what did he expect. I got used to my son spending the night with friends, and not bothering to call me and tell me he wasn’t coming home, because he had a mind of his own. We didn’t have cell phones yet, and I trusted him, because a lot of the time, he appeared to be smarter than me. He was a determined strong-minded smart young man, and I wasn’t the type to nag for him to call me with his whereabouts, knowing it would tick him off if I started calling the hundreds of friends he had looking for him, and also knowing several of his friends’ Mothers considered him their son also, so I always trusted he was fine. We live in a small town, with not much to do other than hang out with friends at each other’s houses. We had no gangs, or strip bars, or anything remotely dangerous to a young man. And if the forest wasn’t on fire, it was all good.
I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. It was almost 2 a.m. Then I hear another car door slam.
“What was that?”
“Probably the neighbor, they were fighting earlier.”
I hear the front door open, and heavy footsteps, and sit up in bed, reaching for my sweatshirt to cover the chill.
“Mom,” pound, pound, on my bedroom door, “MOM!”
“What?” I answer as I’m getting out of bed. I’m beginning to get angry, getting woke up at this hour when I have to get up for work in only 3 more hours. I jerk open the door, and my son is there, looking horribly upset, with a policeman standing behind him.
“What, what is going on? What’d he do now?”
“Mom, Dale died.” The police officer steps up and adds,
“Mam, I brought your son home tonight, there was an accident.”
“Mom, Dale died.” My son keeps repeating this, but it’s not sinking in. I’m still groggy, and look at the officer, and say,
“What? Is he in trouble?” Clearly I’m not getting the picture, so the officer says,
“Mam, Dale Miller was killed tonight, hit by a drunk driver. I brought your son home, because he’s in shock, and we wanted to make sure he got home alright.”
“Oh, ok, I didn’t understand. Oh my God, sweety,” I pull him into a hug, but he breaks away and goes to his room.
“What happened,” I ask the officer again, as he’s heads for the door?
“It was a hit and run, we know who it was, but haven’t located him yet. Evidently the boys were walking to McDonald’s and the man was drunk, and didn’t see them, his headlights weren’t on, and he hit and killed Dale.” He paused a moment, looking towards my sons room, and then added softly, “They watched him die. They couldn’t get anyone in the nearby houses to wake up and call 911. It was pretty traumatic.”
I told him thank you and he left.
I knocked on my sons bedroom door, and he opened it, looking like a ghost. I stepped in and sat on his bed, but he was moving around, picking up clothes, rearranging items on his desk, then finally said,
“I can’t believe it. He died. We couldn’t get anyone to fucking wake up. No one would call 911. Fucking assholes. I watched him die, Mom!” He turns to look at me, and I had nothing to say. What can you say? What is there to say? He was in shock, 14, and had just had the most incredibly painful experience of his entire life. I shook my head sadly, and he went on,
“We were going to get something to eat, we were at Brian’s house, so we were gonna get a burger. This asshole comes from behind us, doesn’t even have his lights on, we didn’t even hear his car. God, Mom, Dale pushed Brian out of the way, we think. He heard the car and turned around, he was walking on the outside, and Brian says he felt a little push from him, right before he got hit.”
In my mind, I’m thinking, Dear God, Brian will never forget that, neither will my son. What a heroic last gesture for his friend to have made. He was a super good kid, had played soccer with my son for 3 years, his Dad had been their coach. Oh, Lord, this is gonna destroy him. He was one of those Dad’s who volunteered for everything, coaching all year long, so he could be with his kids in some way. Of course, it would destroy any one, but I could almost feel the deep devastation his father would go through.
I so wanted to hug my son, but he was too upset, a flighty little bird going from one mindless thing to the next, finally showing me the door as he left to get a soda.
I followed him out, but he quickly got the soda, went back into his room and shut the door.
I knew he didn’t want any more company, and turned the lights out and went to bed. I lay there wondering how broken my son’s heart was, his friend from grade school was gone. And the most horrifying thing for him, was watching him go. I had no idea what that felt like, the utter helplessness, or how much guilt he would begin to go through, the “what if’s” that would begin to run through his mind. I had never had to deal with that part of grief before, where you are just close enough to the horror to feel guilt about every aspect of it. Who wanted to go for a walk to get burgers? Who decided on the road where they would walk, what position they were in? All the things leading to guilt, that should never even be there. Guilt that is totally unrelated to the blame that should only go to the drunk driver. But at 14, or any age, as I found out recently myself, the guilt can be overwhelming, and not even remotely warranted.
He turned to his friends for solace, and as time went by he seemed to get past it. He knew I was there if he wanted to talk, we’d always been able to talk about anything. But I knew he would never be the same again. His own heart had been broken the year before by his selfish father, and he had become more determined and stronger than he’d ever been before. I knew his father’s rejection would always hurt him, but losing his friend on this night, became the catalyst that defined him as a man.
He’d always been a good friend, the kind you could count on, but as he grew older his friends became his life. He always puts them first, helps them when he can, and he is always the one they call if they need something. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.
I stand at the top of a mountain, wearing ski’s and my backpack, watching the helicopter fly away noisily. I wait for twenty minutes, to be sure no avalanches started due to the vibrations it makes. A water bottle hangs off one side of my backpack; on the other perfectly weighing both sides is a bottle of Bacardi. My gloves are rabbit fur on the inside, my hat a crocheted beanie made by my friend, and my coat is fleece lined and waterproof. I have on long underwear under my ski suit and two pair of ski socks. I have four instant heating pads for my toes or hands, the kind you just crinkle to make heat up. They last a few hours each and can save a toe or fingers from frostbite.
I have made sure to include waterproof matches, instant dehydrated marine soldier packets of food and a bottle of coke to go nicely with the rum. It’s for those cold nights, which means every night until it runs out. Not to mention the always included army knife and one multi-functional girl scout pan, that also has two bowls nested inside, a fold-up cup and a folded spoon. And of course, a roll of toilet paper; there are no leaves up here, only pine needles. Dangling from the bottom of my backpack is a waterproof sleeping bag and one man tent. Across the very top is a wolf fur-lined hood, that can drop down over my head and can be tied down when hiking through blizzards. Strapped to the outside are a small pick with a wicked sharp point and an equally sharp axe.
You can never really tell what kind of weather you might have up here: one minute its gorgeous, the next its a blizzard, the next it’s pounding ice pellets. All with a huge wind blasting 90% of the time, trying to blow you off a cliff or helping you hit sonic speed on the way down. Either way it’s a bit much to handle at this altitude while flying, but the good news is your screams are carried for miles and miles.
Helicopter skiing is incredible. You are completely alone in snow that is untouched by everything except wind, heading down a mountain range or two in backcountry that is out of reach of the ski patrol and a weeks hike in by anyone trying to find you. Breaking a leg is not recommended.
Neither is antagonizing a bear, or any other large animal, and there are many there you may never see. Most people don’t know this, but when you hike anywhere above about 500 feet, or the snow line, never hike under rock formations or huge overhangs even if they look inviting and peaceful and think, I’ll just rest here a moment. The day you do this is the day you become cougar food. Always look up. Hikers tend to look down at the path they are following and this is very dangerous in the wild.
So my twenty minutes are up, I adjust my pack comfortably, tuck the stray hairs under my hat, pull my goggles down over my eyes, pull my gloves on tighter, take a huge deep breath and push off of the highest peak of Mt. Rainier. My grin freezes on my face as I fly across 50 feet of untouched powder; the path I follow already planned out and confirmed while standing there enjoying the incredible view of most of Washington state. I come up to the first real jump of about 40 feet from one overhang of snow to the lower ledge below, and fly like an eagle for at least 3 seconds of pure bliss before I …
I leaned against the crust of a tree, my laptop open and fingers paused on the keys. The cold wet seeping through my jacket and jeans. The Genie appeared again in a pale puff and asked,
“Your second wish is for a writing room?”
My first wish he had already granted, my laptop and battery would never die.
“Well, yes, I was just thinking how nice it would be to have a luxurious tree house, where I could write in peace and comment on the Glory I see each day.”
“If this is your request, say it now.”
“Ok, I wish I had a luxurious tree house where I could write in peace and comment on the Glory I see each day.”
Directly above me, a magnificent tree house appeared, with a spiral staircase leading up to it and a small covered porch. I jumped up, dropping my laptop on the ground, and began to climb.
It was beautiful: created in all wood, windows on all four sides. There was a tiny bathroom off to one side. A small sink and refrigerator and of course, a coffee maker plugged in, brewing, with a cup next to it, in an alcove next to the bathroom. A huge skylight above let the sunshine stream in. I opened a window and could hear birds chirping. I open the freezer and it’s filled with frozen pizza’s. I opened the fridge and there is fruit, salad makings, cheese, and a case of Sutter Home White Merlot. Two wine glasses hung from a shelf nearby.
There is a huge soft, purple recliner next to one window. I noticed immediately there were several hundred green peas piled in the chair, and instantly realize my Genie has a hearing problem.
I turn smiling hugely to thank the Genie, but he’s already gone.
I ran down the steps to retrieve my laptop, then back upstairs to my new dream writing room. I look in a drawer and find a wine opener and bust open the wine, my favorite, and Christen my new writing home. I realized I should’ve added a bed, so I could live here forever, but it hadn’t occurred to me. I have tunnel vision when it comes to writing. I tend to block out little unimportant details like a bed, or a media center, or a hot tub and olympic sized pool. But hey, I still have one wish left.
Maybe I should make a list.
A sky so white that it’s almost blinding. Not what you’d call overcast because it’s so bright, but the Sun is clearly losing a game of Red-Rover with the rain clouds.
Teardrops dangling precariously from each needle, winking coyly in the bright morning light.
The rise of a mountain top just over the trees; Western pines, Douglas firs and a few wayward Cedar, towering over the rest in a forever Christmas state. An Alder or two trying to blend in, but labeled an outcast by all the aforementioned. A weed sucking up their water, they try to shade it to death. The simple row staggeringly tall, yet mowed into submission and forced to wait in line. Waiting until the evil insurance company comes along and demands they die now, rather than at the end of their life.
The mountain a few miles in distance, rising above everything else by 1000’s of feet, it’s only competition its sloping front, cut and severed from its Mother by a river that was just a trickle of runoff a million years ago. I love this mini-me of a mountain, because if you sit at the top of it, Eagles will fly right by you less than ten feet away through the small canyon that has formed. Birds will eat from your hands: I have a picture of my son when he was only 8 or 9, holding out his hand, with a small bird eating a crumb, from this same rocky spot.
The peak of the mountain looks much like a haystack, and from the angle of my home, this is what we see; just a giant forest-covered mountain with a giant rock on top, resembling a hay stack. Reminds me of a Russian fur hat worn by women, not too tall. Plugging the volcano that reared its ugly head a billion years ago, blasting out the huge tilted crater we see below the rock. I have friends who live directly below this blown out section, who say the soil and rock they live on used to reside at the top. Which looks to be true, if you know anything about Geology. It’s the perfect picture of a collapsed volcano that has blasted down the mountain. This is the back side of Mt. Si, rarely seen or talked about, because the front is spectacular. But here on the back side, or east side, I can also just make out Wallace Falls, just a stripe of grey on its face of green peaking through the hanging clouds. Even from here, a few miles away, I can still see it moving. It’s pounding with runoff from the snow above, just icing the top of the grange behind it.
If you were Sasquatch and living in the peaks to avoid humans, from Mt. Si in front, along the peaks going North, you could make it all the way to Alaska. Which, by the way, is on my bucket list!
At night, if we were fighting amongst ourselves, we were forced to run through the dark, all the way to the massive darker, brooding, creepy, scary-ass barn and draw a huge white X in chalk on its side, big enough Dad could see it from the house. This was our punishment; at night.
During the day it was Disneyland in our back, back yard. We loved every inch of it. At least my 6 older brothers and I loved it. My older sister was a stick in the mud and only read books. We on the other hand had wars in it, played tag in it, hide and seek, climbed up the inside open walls with ropes like Ninja’s, jumped from the 4th story window to the first floor hay pile, piled up old mattresses under the 3rd story window and jumped nearly to our deaths from it. That was because if you hit the mattresses just right, the entire pile fell over and the boys would kill you for being a moron.
We made up games, held crazy challenges, and snuck out on back of the old horses that lived on the 1st floor, nagging the nags until they would break into a trot, and only getting to ride for half an hour or so at a fast stroll before they would head back inside. They weren’t our trusty steeds. We made several trips over the years to the local ER with pitchfork holes in our legs, nail holes through our bare feet and many cracked heads, due to that barn.
It was enormous; four stories tall, covering about two acres total, and supposedly the largest in the state when it was built. It was made with foot square wooden beams, hand hewn, and secured with foot long wooden pegs. When we moved into the farm-house, it immediately became our playground. We had races across those 4th story beams, because there was no 4th story, it was just open air; and in the middle of the barn, it was air all the way to the 1st floor. The beams were placed at an angle, like a diamond, so you couldn’t just run normal. We would scoot, shimmy, crawl, and my one psycho brother would even gorilla-run across those beams, in races we could literally have died in. We were fearless, well most of the time. We were Trolls and Dragons hiding in the closed stalls, Aliens creeping along the walls, Knights and Kings and Queens, and sometimes even Horses.
At night, the imagination took over and the dark monster blocked out the moon it was so big and just had to have ghosts and vampires, and eeeeek, the headless horseman in it; we were sure.
But during the daylight it was our wonderland. We pulled wood off and out of it for years, using the planks for making tree forts and ground forts, or whacking each other with them. We found jars with rusty screws to give us Tetanus and nails to hold our forts together. We found tools of every kind imaginable for our wars, like machete’s and saw blades and pitchforks and rebar swords and Thor hammers. And we used them. Never once thinking we might kill one another. We were invincible. My one brother was a tad bit schizophrenic and thought he was Thor, Batman, Superman, Tarzan, and his favorite, Spiderman! This was up until … well, today. He still believes he’s Spiderman.
I spent about 10 years solid of my childhood playing in that barn. Which is why I love barns, I suppose.
But the barn was torn down years ago, sold at an auction for all the miles of red-painted wood artists love to use, and the wooden beams and pegs were re-used in some fancy loft somewhere, I’m guessing.
Barns hold a certain comfort; a way of knowing if all else fails you can still conquer the land.
Yet to a child they are an enormous playground and magical wonderland.
“Wake up doofus, time to go.”
Samuel, also known as Slippery Sam, Suckup Sam, Stupid Sam, and of course, doofus, sat up slowly, rays of light making his Spiderman pajama’s glow a bit. Doofus was only used when Danny was in charge for some reason. It was his declaration of authority for whatever adventure they were about to attempt. Sam scratched his messed up head of curls, stretching them out with his fingers.
They were born on the same day, only a year apart, which sucked most years for both, having to share the day. But as they got older, Sam naturally liked just about everything Danny did, so it didn’t matter much. Danny was the thinker, and usually the leader, Sam was the artist, the follower and for some reason, more confident in himself than Danny. He was a worrier; while Sam dreamed.
Throwing on their clothes and grabbing their backpacks, they tossed them over their shoulders and head downstairs, sneaking past the creaking 5th step. Into the kitchen, silently Sam got the bread and plastic bags down, Danny got the jelly and peanut butter and a knife out of the drawer. They whipped up 6 sandwiches in less than two minutes, all the while listening for Mom, and trying not to make a sound.
They made it. Out the door, down to the little dock, and after throwing their bags into their tiny blowup sailboat they grabbed their fishing poles and little green tackle box, and two oars…just in case. The blowup sailboat was only blown up on the bottom by Dad’s air pump; the sail was actually canvas on a sturdy little pole that attached in slots on each side of the boat. It even had a small anchor, and rings for oars in case there was no wind. The sail was about as tall as Danny, and the boat held them both nicely without having to squeeze in.
They were never allowed to play in it unless someone was around to watch them. They lived on the West side of a tiny bay inlet on the Northern side of Bainbridge Island. Mom was very strict about this. Dad backed her up, which was why they were sneaking off today. Both wanted to be real pirates for a day, and fish for their dinner, and bring it back to have Mom cook it up fresh. Neither were old enough to be making this decision, heading out into the Puget Sound was a very dangerous thing for real boats. Mom didn’t want to buy the damn thing, but Dad talked her into it when both boys made such a big deal about becoming real sailors…or pirates, whichever idea came to mind first.
They’d been planning for three days, since they got it on their birthday. They had the plan down, even did a run-through yesterday, just to see how long it would take; they timed it at under 4 minutes, and did it in under 5. Sam was also a slow poke.
There wasn’t much wind at this hour, the calm of sunrise gracing the water for half an hour or so. Then the waves would begin to pick up again. They rowed quietly, both facing out to sea, sitting next to each other instead of across from each other with the sail between them.
“Should we eat a sandwich?”
“We just started doofus, come on, row.”
Ten minutes seemed like half an hour, as they rounded the inlet’s mouth, about 100 feet from shore. They were brave, but even Danny knew better than to go past the waves breaking a couple hundred yards out, because you can’ t get back. Dad had taken both boys out on his kayak to show them how the current and waves breaking off shore worked. He was teaching them ocean safety, and how to be good sailors.
Danny was manning the sail with his knees while he paddled, just trying to keep wind from hitting it.
“Mom’s gonna kill us if we’re not back in time for breakfast.” Danny said.
“I’m hungry. Lets have breakfast, then row some more,” Sam said.
“OK, but just one for now.” Danny was hungry too, both never missed breakfast. Mom usually made pancakes or french toast each morning on the weekends; it was rare for the boys to want to miss it.
Laying down the oars, grabbing their backpacks and pulling out a sandwich, they floated along slowly being pushed out to sea. The riptide a bit farther down was going out, and they watched in fascination as a million tiny jelly fish swayed beneath their boat.
“There’s a gazillion. What are they?” Each were no farther apart than a foot or so, and just the shere number of them gave Danny the goosebumps. To fall in now would be terrifying.
“Don’t know. They’re everywhere,” Sam said quietly.
“I hope they don’t have needles like the needle fish and poke our boat.”
“Dad said Needle fish only look like needles, they don’t have ’em, stupid,” Sam said smartly.
Danny leaned over and punched Sam in the arm, Sam laughed, and said,
“You hit like a girl.”
“Don’t make me hit you for real, doofus, I will knock you out this boat!”
They were done with their sandwiches before they realized where they were. But it only took one spray of wave to wake them up to the fact that they had drifted way out, into the breaker waves.
“Oh shit, paddle Sam!”
It was too late, they weren’t big enough to paddle fast enough to get back over the breaker waves. They were now a 100 yards off shore, getting splashed a bit, and beginning to worry.
“Just relax Danny, lets drop our lines and fish a bit, and after we catch a few fish, we’ll head back, using all our superpowers, we’ll get back.”
The wind began to pick up, and their little sail filled right up like it was supposed to, and began to sail them out even farther, out into the open Sound. The waves were bigger out here, and they both began to lurch a bit, grabbing for the sides to steady themselves.
“Shit! I don’t think we can even drop our lines out here, I’m about to fall in.” Danny’s voice shook a bit, sending a loud signal to Sam that this was really not a good situation. Danny knew a lot. If he was scared, Sam should be. But he wasn’t.
The little boat was pretty stable in the foot high swells, only rocking off-balance every so often when a bigger wave rolled under them.
“Lets take the sail down, roll it up, it’s pushing us too fast,” Sam said.
“OK, good idea.” They struggled with the clasp, that locked the rod into place. It hooked into a “T” joint, with the rod that went across the boat to each side. They didn’t know if you pushed the tiny button, you could collapse it over, without removing it. They hadn’t had the boat long enough to discover the little black button yet, hidden on the underside.
The wind was too strong. They couldn’t get the sail down. The waves began to get a bit bigger. They were on their way to where, they had no idea. They rarely left the island, and had not been taught the names of the other islands they could see in the distance. But one was getting closer and closer pretty quickly. This seemed to calm Danny, hoping they would land on it before heading out into the open ocean. They were both just hanging on by now, being swept along with the currents and tides. Sometimes they looked overboard to see what they could see, but most the time they gazed around in awe at the huge ferry in the distance, giant cargo ships being loaded with cranes on the horizon of Seattle, and a few nice yachts too far away to notice them….their owners probably still sleeping.
Danny angled the little sail, enough to push them faster towards it, through the breakers easily, and almost there.
“We should just turn around and sail this thing back,” Sammy said smiling. Thinking they might be able to.
“We shoulda listened to Mom,” Danny said sadly.
“She’s always right. I kind of hate that,” Sam said.
“Remember when she warned us about the Dirty Monster?”
“Yea, she warned us,” Sam said.
The Dirty Monster stole little kid’s toys, if they didn’t keep their rooms picked up proper. Sam was still ticked off about all his Lego’s vanishing. Mom had warned them the day before, after she stepped on a Lego guy barefoot, and nearly fell over. But they hadn’t listened then, either, and that very night the Dirty Monster had taken all his Lego’s.
“We’re in trouble Sammy.”
“I know.” Sammy smiled a half-smile at his big brother who was clearly scared. Sammy still wasn’t scared, more curious at what would happen to them, then scared of it. He was a true adventurer. A dreamer, who dreamed of pirates almost every night, sailing away, stealing treasure from stupid people.
Danny was staring at the huge cliff at the end of the island they were bound for. It went straight up, like a giant dune.
“How high do you think that is?”
“Couple hundred feet, or so.” He was guessing. But, thank God above they were slowing heading for it. It was at least land, where no sharks were, no fish to nibble on Danny’s feet. He hated that.
“Think anyone lives here?” They gazed up at the now huge wall, a huge flock of pelicans perched in various spots across the top of it, sitting on rocks jetting out, flapping their wings at each other and squawking loudly.
“Maybe pirates,” Sam offered.
It had taken less than an hour for them to reach the island. They pulled the boat up onto the sand, making sure it was out of the water completely, and threw on the backpacks once again, walking along the beach as the sun rose into a glorious day.
“How long ’til someone rescues us,” Danny asked his little brother?
“Don’t know, but I’m hungry.” They took out another sandwich each, and chewed away as they walked the beach wondering if they would ever make it home. They sat down on a piece of driftwood; Sam put his arm around his brother.
At the top of the cliff, just a quick flight for the pelicans, who now cackled at the boys below and were stealing fish from the farmers market above.
Walking on a pier, enjoying the sway of the ocean, lapping against the dock, sun at the perfect angle for some photography, snapping away with my piece of shit camera, my hip hurting, time to take a break. A wonderful muse watching me, watching the sunlight sparkle across the waves, reflecting from a pair of lonely eyes. Marble bench being buried under backpacks of every color, they watch suspiciously as I sit at the empty end. Gazing now together at the glorious morning, I ask,
“Would you like a cigarette?”
A soft, “No, I don’t smoke,” is all I get. Lighting up, crossing my legs, exhale and follow a sailboat through the haze. A nice easy quiet settles in. I smoke for a few lost moments, blurring my eyes to enjoy the sunlight. Curiosity kills the cat,
“Do you live here,” I am asked?
“No, I used to live by Mission Beach, years ago, but I’m just visiting this week.”
Cleaning a finger nail with another dirty fingernail, wiping it off on dirty jeans, then picking up a filthy bag and unzipping pockets in an orderly pace.
“Is the roller coaster still there?” I try to open a door, peek inside, the window is all that is cracked. A smile reflects a memory, creasing crinkles around the eyes, a dimple appears for the first time.
“Oh yes, it’s a big park now, with lots of games and a few other rides.” Pausing in the search for something, what was it, a gold-colored watch. Spinning the winder catching time up to speed, where did all those years run to? Cruel time blasting the past while carts fill every waking second, searching always down on the ground in the corners, under the boxes, for an endless stretch into a forgotten grunge.
“I loved that old roller coaster, all creaking wood, scared me to death just to get on it.” I smile widely, make eye contact for a brief second before the urge to search takes over again. This time a bag of chips comes out, half eaten, crumbled and tattered a bit. An offer in a quick lift towards me, but I shake my head no, smile.
“I used to live under the coaster.”
My heart stops, as I remember two decades back, the area around the rollercoaster, how it was just an arcade and bathrooms, nothing near to really sleep under. The coaster was rotting then, the ground below covered in grease and splinters and beams. A huge fence broken in several places encircling the trash filled, sandy grime.
I gaze at the harbor, ships of every time settle in; a retired sub almost a hundred years old, a riverboat nestled beside it; a huge yacht coming into the harbor to dock; and a Navy Aircraft carrier with blue lights glowing Fly Navy across the bay. The last century displayed before me, the modern reality beside me.
“Where are you from originally?” Changing the subject is all I can accomplish after that quiet confession. I lean down, scrape off the cherry on my cigarette. Stuff the butt in my pocket.
“I grew up in Michigan, down on the border, small town called Sawyer.”
That rings a distant bell, reminding me of childhood. Three of my brothers running cross-country, one spending a week or two each summer running the dunes in Michigan.
“We used to camp up there at the Dunes Park each summer, my brother went to run the dunes a couple of times each day as part of their summer practice for cross-country. I grew up in Indiana.”
“Small world.” I got a friendly smile along with that, but not much more.
I take a sip of my bottle of water. Shut the spout. Light another cigarette. Try desperately to think of something else to say, to keep the conversation going. I heard a while back that most don’t like to be offered money, they’re not like the ones on the street with the signs. They’re the ones who have resigned themselves to searching to be able to hold onto their honor: their dignity, maybe not a proud dignity, but the kind that allows them the ability to hold their head high sometimes. At least when their not searching the ground; the corners and alleyways they pace day and night looking for hope. But when they walk in the open, or sit on a bench, they don’t cower. They sit quietly, pondering, wondering, and looking others in the eye.
“I’m Jessie,” as a grimy hand reaches out to me.
“Nice to meet you Jessie, I’m Deb.” We shake hands, both cold from the winter breeze. I stuff mine between my legs, trying to warm them, as a pair of gloves comes out of the bag. They are offered up to me also, but I smile and say,
“No thank you. I should probably get back, before my friends get there.” The gloves go back into the bag, along with the uneaten chips. How many times have they been perused, thought of, disregarded as stale, but kept just in case.
A simple smile makes me sick to my stomach as it sinks in; Jessie has no friends. I can tell by the sadness coloring the tilt of a bowed head. Greasy hair falls forward, a quick swipe pulls it back behind an ear self-consciously.
“It was nice talking to you.” Such a quiet resolve, surrounding this pile of bags, enveloping the cold bench.
What do you say in parting, I think. See you later, no. Nice talking to you too, no. I want to show love. I would sit here for hours talking to you if I thought it would make a difference.
It’s one thing to give, but if you give without love, you are the poorer of the two. You are the one consumed in poverty. You may not know it, but this person knew. They know you want to give, but they don’t want your money. They do, and would take it, but it would hurt them. And to love someone is to never hurt them. So how do you say, I want to help you, without hurting your soul?
“It was nice talking to you too,” I say, as I stand up, zipping up my jacket tighter. I reach into my pocket, pulling out my last $10 in cash, and hold it out, embarrassed, saying, “Would you take this, just to make me feel better.”
“No, but thanks. I don’t need it.” Jessie’s lying and I know it. Should I push it until Jessie’s embarrassed and forced into it? Make guilt felt for not taking it. Toss it on the bench. No. All would hurt. “I just want to know that you can walk over to Jack in the Box and get a burger for lunch if you want to, on me, like a friend would.”
Stopping to think this through, Jessie pauses, and I add,
“I’m really poor too, but my friends are buying me lunch today, so here, please, take it.” I smile trying not to show pity, only that it means a lot to me to help. I’m not sure what’s going on behind the hazel eyes, but in my head I’m saying; Please Lord, don’t let me hurt.
Jessie reaches out, takes it, and smiles at me, saying,
“Enjoy the rest of your visit.”
“I will. Take care, Jessie and may God Bless you.”
I walk away smiling, but look back in time to see the head drop, the money stuffed inside the backpack, hair falling in a greasy straggle, hiding the eyes of pain.
To begin this story about 1984, I must first back up a bit into 1983. Two days before Christmas, 9 months pregnant, I am visiting my Mom in Dallas when I get the call. They had a nice military base hospital in Dallas, and I was hoping to deliver with my Mom by my side. Being in the military was my first mistake, before my Navy-issued son came into the picture. My doctor says I must come back to the hospital, I am building up fluid around my son, and could have serious problems if I don’t. The first snow and ice storm to hit the area in 20 years hits, but my family pack me into the van, and we slide our way across town arriving after only 3 hours, to the airport that is only half an hour away. I arrive safely back home, at the armpit of the world’s very own Biloxi Naval Base hospital, where I get to spend Christmas alone.
I am forced to stay in this hospital for a month and a half longer, racing with the Eskimo women, according to my doctor, who will sometimes be pregnant for 11 months due to the seasons or some such nonsense. I sneak out almost daily, driving a friend’s car, and bring back the only thing that makes me smile; pizza. I walk to the beach each day and back, hoping to jump-start my delivery. I walk the stairs of the hospital hallways each night, trying to drop him with each step and strain. I begin to gain more fluid, gaining up to 30 extra pounds in just one month, insuring I will never be seen in a bikini for the rest of my life.
I am forced to be induced 13 times, breaking national and international records alike. Only to have labor start, hurt for a few hours, then stop about the same time my son decides to become breach. The doctor comes in, smooshes him around proper like, and we try again the next day. In case you don’t know this, military doctors do not like to do C-sections; they would much rather torture you repeatedly for months on end. My doctors words before he left to go on a 2 week ski trip are: If you don’t deliver before I get back, we will do a c-section when I return. I hate this man, with every inch of my enormous waddle.
On Valentines day, I am upset, due to the worthless, selfish, unloving father of my child, and decide; that’s it. I’m outta here. I pack up my stuff, and load up the car, and drive all the way home, so hugely pregnant, I can barely reach the wheel.
1984 is already in full swing, as I enjoy a few minutes alone, not being prodded and poked and stabbed with needles. A few hours later I go into labor. I know its labor, but I refuse to drive back to the hospital. Instead I am feeding my cat, listening to some Pink Floyd, sipping on a coffee, and swinging on the front porch swing, counting the minutes between each contraction.
I wait until I can’t take it any more, which is the next day, before finally calling the ambulance. The pain is out of control, and I seriously think I’m about to deliver the entire trip back. I arrive to cheers from the E.R. crew, who all know me by name. They quickly check me out, and decide I have time to put the epidural in, because if they don’t I will kill one of them slowly and painfully with a pair of forceps. After an entire month of inducing, I cannot take any pain at all, my body has been pushed to its final limits; they quickly hook me up.
They wheel me into the delivery room, spread eagle and facing the only door in the room, with a small foot square window right across from my vagina. Hospital workers, doctors, nurses, maintenance guys, all parade by the window, looking in at my wide open vagina, waving and holding up their thumbs. So proud I am finally about to burst, they each take a second to smile at me. I finally lose it, and demand they cover the stupid window, right as my stupid doctor waltzes in. He’s laughing, in a great mood, patting me on the knee, and telling me what a good job I am doing. He asks if I want a Big Mac from McDonald’s, like he’s gonna leave to go get it. I want to shove the spreaders up his ass, but they won’t let me.
It’s about 2 minutes before 2pm, and I am determined to get this done and over with in time to watch General Hospital. So, ya, one last enormous push, and out comes the well-baked child I created, pissed off at having to leave his nice warm jacuzzi and lap pool. The day after Valentines will never be the same again. Besides the incredible joy of finally having my son in the world, my greatest joy that day was spraying my doctor in the face with 30 pounds of nasty-ass fluid as he told me to:
“Push like you’re pushing me off a cliff.”
Well done, Momma. Well done.
I resolved years ago, not to be so resolute,
This D is way too tenacious, instead I became a mute.
It didn’t last long, intent on persisting,
this dogged drive barked at me unrelenting.
I stood unflinching, while it nearly drove me mad,
valiance settled in to become the latest fad.
Undaunted I rose, never to be adamant again,
a tad bit unyielding, determined to win.
I opened my mouth, spit out a staunch vindication,
got shook by a rigid and unshakable revelation.
One mustn’t always resolve an issue with willpower,
consummation is always better, if only by the hour.
Sitting alone sipping on a spot of English tea, given to me at Christmas by a lovely British girl destined to join our family, sent me back to my childhood, just as I read the daily prompt:
When my brothers would torment me, punching, poking, ridicule, disdain, cruel and just meanness, the names I gave each one, I would tire of needing anyone to play with. My older sister just called me a brat, and left it at that. I felt alone in a world of disregard, trying to fit in, trying to find someone to share a few good moments with.
At some point in my grade school years, my Mother decided that we should spend some time together, just us two, sipping on a cup of tea. I don’t remember if it started out as a real afternoon tea party, and grew into more, or if she just realized that I was being consumed by meanness and tom-boy-foolery. Being a lady at all times herself, she hoped to bring up her fledgling daughter to be someone she was not embarrassed to know. Dirt smeared across her face, bugs in her hair, and rips in her jeans, smiling sweetly as she sips. Have you ever seen a tomboy hold up her pinky while drinking a cup of tea?
In time our ritual became habitual, sitting down together to watch General Hospital, because it came on just after I arrived home from school. She would shew all the boys outside, and we would chat like the close friends we are now, while sharing a nice hot cup of tea, and sometimes a Wheat Thin or freshly baked cookies. I can say anything that comes to mind to my Mother, and always have, never really shocking her, cracking her up repeatedly, embarrassing her quite often, yet she still sits and listens and loves.
From the time I first walked, she taught consideration, kindness, hope, laughter and love by example. And from this day back she has always been there for me. The best way to describe a true mothers’ love is this: When I discovered I was pregnant, unwed and just beginning my journey through life alone, I called her and told her. Her first words in response were: I love you!
I can’t tell you what this meant to me, to have this special tea time each day with my Mother, amidst the chaos of having 7 other children, it meant I was special: to her. Amongst all the ruckus, wild banshee’s ran from us, we were a horde like no other, yet the world would stand still and quiet each afternoon, while the ladies had tea.
A Huge Rock
The trail of footprints I follow,
are steep and ever climbing,
they disappear on a windswept day,
turning back darkness ever winding.
In faith and on a huge rock of hope,
I stumble each step of the way,
tripping over the angled pebbles,
the thorns amused while I play.
I thank the Lord for carrying me,
across the lava floor,
breathing underneath my sails,
fetching me through a yawning door.
I pray my heart is pure enough,
leaving not a minute bitter trace,
when my faith is no longer needed,
I shall behold His Holy Face.
mass of moving gleams
lamenting of a whimpering mist
layered across emptiness
relentless in pursuit of touch
you sing around a whispering corner
your biting caress moves away
drawn by fate
not a return trip just a hill
flowing up on an angel’s sigh,
swirling around its skirt
a wall of shifting walls
a thickness only one sliver deep
reigning in a stinging bitterness
chafing yet fleeing before caught
a feverish life ended
sparking a flame of thirst
not in vain little one
you’re a mantle of esprit chill
shivering briefly until moon rise
shining in the face of death
a fall of created light
a glare of silent white
(just me time watching snowflakes) ♥
They say I’m crazy, a wild hooligan,
who’s out of control, a happy insane.
They say I’m immature and unstable,
the backside of my parents’ pain.
They say one day I will fail badly,
Never reaching their intended goals.
They say she wastes her time playing with glass,
Creating art begets an idle soul.
They say she carouses, staying up all night
wasting her midnight hours on type.
They say I’m not determined enough,
my wild dreams nothing but a pipe.
They say I’m selfish, always off somewhere,
Choosing mountains over their company way.
They say the ladder is tilted I’m climbing,
yet I soar with Eagles every day.
They say she’s always joking about something,
Never serious enough, or even somber.
They say she’ll never amount to anything,
Like position and money are greater than a number.
They say too much they know nothing about,
and are missing life’s joy and peaceful pass.
They say I just don’t appear to care,
but I really don’t give a rat’s ass!
(inspired by my deep friend, TobyOne Kenobi… :o) hahaha )