Merry everything

This time of year is rich with holy days that touch me.  A full sky of stars on a crisp cold night, the warmth and light of Christmas, the deep story of Hanukkah, the stillness of a deep meditation, walking through darkness on Winter Solstice, an endless stream of hope on New Year’s Eve, and the bringing in luck on Chinese New Year. Then my birth day. It’s amazing how it all flows together bringing me to  newness in Spring. I wish you all a peace, love and deep reflection in all your holy days.

river

he holds me as tight as I hold him
he will let go
I will let go

we’ve been through a bout of
bad mother crying child
I pushed
and anger held ground
for a while
then washed away
with his tears

breath
catches

breath
catches

breath
drops

he sleeps
head against my shoulder
his weight heavy
dreams light

a giggle
touches his lips
a memory returned
from deep inside where it journeyed
through canyons, over mountains
this echo of a smile

his body pulses
with mine
our emotions still flowing
a grand river
that captures all
as it moves on

16 January 2002

Frost on the spider webs

I look out my window and things have changed. Of course, I should have noticed this sooner. It’s mid-December already. But change never works that way for me. It doesn’t come on gradually. One minute, the grass needs mowing and the next, it’s covered in frost. I remember helping pick out a pumpkin and sewing up a costume, but Halloween seems to be illuminated only by a single candle. The smell of turkey and gravy should still be lingering in my nose, but stuffing myself with stuffing on Thanksgiving is just a blur.

The realist moments are now, yet I mustn’t fully plant my feet in the now very often. My life is a connect the dots. I’m on dot number one then go directly to dot number two. The nuances in between become a straight line. My goal is to try to get the dots as close together as possible, then the elephant riding a unicycle, or whatever the picture of my complete life is, will have details so clear and crisp. Just like the Dec. day I am looking at right now out my window.

Who knew that frost can make the tiniest spiderweb into something oh, so, beautiful.

the piano

the old shadowed church holds her
as she sits at the piano trying to finger the notes to the Hallelujah Chorus
she’s never played it before
but feels it inherent in the instrument
in the church
in her

there are ghosts here

ghosts of little children lined in rows
she saw them
ash crosses painted upon their foreheads
she wants to play
so they will sing again

the keys are cold and gritty beneath her fingertips
each covered with decades of dust
when it stirs
tiny angels swirl in the angled sunlight
and they dance
to her unsteady song

there are prayers here

prayers left suspended in the emptiness
a humble please lord
echoes through the hollow
amen she cries
amen

notes tumble through the air
pulled to place by a knowing
she has only now become aware of again
a hallelujah falls from her fingertips amidst tears

hallelujah she cries hallelujah
19 March 2001

The elephant in the closet

Did you know there’s an elephant in my closet. I knew she was there, but only in the way you can feel someone looking at you even though you don’t actually see them.

She had a tight fit. All sorts of elephant parts squeezed together in a tiny dark space. Some days, she cried to get out, but I didn’t let her. It’s too scary. Something bad might happen. Something akin to talking about the elephant in the room and letting the skeleton out of the closet. It’s just something I couldn’t do.

Until today.

You see my elephant has been putting on a few pounds and the closet door was getting weak. It wasn’t a time for denial. If I didn’t let the big gal out and welcome her into my life, things weren’t going to be pretty.

It took me a while, but I finally got the nerve to confront my elephant head on. I’m a little embarrassed. She is not the vilified beast I imagined. She is soft, and blue, and made of corduroy, with a melancholy turn to her head.

She has sat in the dark unseen and not heard for far too long. I think she deserves a warm cup of tea and some good conversation.

Perfect first lines

I don’t scare easily but when I do, I scream loud.  –Sara Bednark

Some sentences are just perfect first lines. They completely capture the mood of the whole book, movie or poem they begin. I’ve had this “scream loud” line written on a scrap of paper. It floated at the bottom of my desk drawer for a long time now. I didn’t dare throw it out for fear of needing a great mystery opener and not having one. Now it’s safe.

I encourage you to send me your own favorite first lines; original or quoted. Just leave me a comment with the line and the author and I’ll include them in this blog.

Thanks so much and happy writing.

Deep purr

I am typing with my chair pulled out about two feet from my desk. Not very comfortable but  most winter days this is how I write. I’ll explain.

About four years ago, we got a fluffy black & white cat from the Humane Society. We named him Mozart. He was what you would call a replacement cat. A few months earlier the first cat we ever owned, Mambo, was killed by a raccoon. It was baby time for the raccoons and I’m sure Mambo did something threatening to the mother, so she took him down.

I loved Mambo dearly and mourned many months for my loss, but I empathized with the coon. Mambo was good at pissing you off. Once our sweet gentle dog had him in her mouth. She was sick and tired of being swatted by his claws.

To make a long story short, we had a cat vacancy and Mozart was invited in. He’s as fun and loving as Mambo was intense and serious. He adores our dog and thus has never been clamped in her jaws. He’s a joy!

But when the weather cools down, he finds me and stretches out over my legs. Pinning me under a down comforter of  needs. Tonight he found me at my desk. I tried to convey to the persistent bugger that there was no room for him. But he insisted that either he was on my lap, or on the desk in front of the screen. So wanting to get some work done, I pushed my chair out a little further and let Mozart relax in. Then began the ritual petting of the tummy. If I stop I get a light nip. It’s a pain in the butt trying to type and use the mouse but I do it anyway. I guess I’m just a sucker for a deep purr.

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