Friday, November 29, 2013

my grandmother 1930-2013

The sky has shed many gracious tears on this day in which I've been informed of my grandmother's passing.  She died holding the hands of her two daughters, my mother and aunt.

During my last visit with her she was peaceful as she recounted some enjoyable recent moments such as watching my mother and aunt sit on the floor like little girls laughing as they looked through some of her old jewelry.

She offered a small piece of advice to me: "Keep in contact with your siblings.  It's very important."
I managed to snap one last photo of her.  She was wearing a wig because had lost almost all her hair by then.  I'm glad to have this picture.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

the parking space

Emma-Lou was quite certain a man in a silver truck had followed her to Decades coffee shop and she sensed he was going to slip through the door any second.  She was probably right because she had excellent perception.

And anyway, the evidence was there.  He parked two spaces away from her, leaving the one space in between so as not to make himself obvious.

Emma-Lou's date, Walter, rose from the corner table to greet her so she tilted her chin and parted her lips slightly without smiling.  That's what made her look best in photographs.  He only blinked and rubbed his cheek when she did it which probably meant he disapproved.

Emma-Lou giggled and, between her thumb and forefinger, rubbed the tassel on her purse.  They exchanged pleasantries and headed to the till area, but why didn't he compliment her on her sweater?  And where was the baseball cap she had given him on their last date?

The man from the silver truck entered through the side door and came up behind them in the line.  She felt his eyes searing into the back of her head.  He was probably with the FBI, though she didn't know why he would be after her.  She was a good citizen.

Emma-Lou elbowed Walter and whispered she wanted to go to a different place.  Her heart was beating too rapidly and what if he wouldn't go on anymore dates after this?  But she had no choice.  She had to get away from the FBI agent.

"Alright," said Walter.  "Which way is west from here?"

Emma thought it must be some kind of test.  No matter.  She smiled and pointed with certainty.

Walter didn't have the heart to tell her she was pointing south.


Saturday, November 23, 2013

love and longing

i rest my eyes
on a beach's image
the sun-bathed child with hair aglow
sleeping body wrapped in cozy towel
and peaceful in the day

it comforts me in this shivery season
when outside air
smacks cold into my skin
and the sun warmth loses to the biting wind

when a frosty tree branch
juts leafless from a barked body
like an arm unable to throw

oh, love divine, grant health and growth
however quick or slow
in your ways we do not know

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

composition 21

Time keeps moving quickly on
We try to slow ourselves down

Sing, sing, sing a new song
Sing a new song

Music notes fall like rain
Catch them in your palms
And let them go again

Sunday, November 10, 2013

running on empty

Phil laughed.  "You're pissed off again," he said to Sylvie.

He could tell by the way she squeezed the stem of her empty wine glass.

"Yeah and if I'm pissed off it would be in your best interest not to laugh at me!"

"You're just mad because you expect people to be good to you all the time.  Don't you think you'd have more fun in life if you expected the opposite?" said Phil.

"Expecting the opposite would be depressing," said Sylvie.

"I don't know about that," said Phil.  "People are selfish and stupid, myself included.  I expect them to do idiotic things, and because I expect that, I don't usually get surprised when they say something that could be considered offensive.  I can just overlook a lot of stuff and keep on treating them the best I can anyway."

"Easy for you to say."

"I'm just trying to help.  Here you are, all judgy about Oriana for letting some little offhand comment escape from her lips.  But you have to admit that having a crappy attitude towards her is all around destructive, for yourself and her and anyone who is subjected to your complaints about her."

"I have perfectly good reasons to have my crappy attitude towards her!  She's insufferably talented at her stupid guitar playing and public speaking.  Plus, she gets so much attention from men because of her big boobs.  It's sickening," Sylvie said.  "And another thing!  She complains about the teachers at her son's school.  That really chokes me.  If you don't like what's happening, then get involved!  Don't sit there complaining about it.  I mean, here I am working my buns off and she just sits there looking pretty and playing her frigging guitar."

"Well, you see?  If you didn't expect her to always say and do the right things, you wouldn't be so offended and we'd be having a more pleasant conversation.  Your jealousy's not helping anything either.  It's only hurting you and keeping you from having a good friendship with her," Phil said.

"Now you're defending her!  That ticks me off, Phil."  She let go of her empty wine glass and it shattered on the tile floor.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dear person full of pain:

Chances are you're highly sensitive right now.  I don't know how to tell you this without hurting you, but you've been neglecting your moving boxes and I hope you begin the difficult work of opening them soon.

I don't know how many you have, but I think you can't even see them all.  Some of them have been hidden, shoved behind curtains perhaps.  Some of them are strangely blurry to you, others not.  I bet there are even boxes within boxes.

What I'm trying to say is I think most of your pain is happening because of them.  And I don't know if you'll believe me when I tell you I care about what's in them, but I do.  I don't want to force them open, though.  You're in charge of your own boxes.

When you're ready, you can start anywhere.  If I remember right, when I began mine I started with the very box I thought I was trapped in.

There are different ways of opening them, with spoken conversation or pen and paper, song or drama.  They can be tickled open with a paintbrush or seduced by sketches.  You can choose one, or any amount, of these.  And you don't have to be accomplished at any of them because it's about the honest undertaking, not the outcome. 

Opening particular boxes will bring the blurrier ones into focus and that can sometimes make your curtains fall.  It's okay.

It won't surprise me if you're faced with enormous resistance while you go about this.  Are you scared?  It's okay if you are.  Just remember to look for your encouraging helper.  It's probably necessary to ask around.  Put your feelers out.  If you don't know who it is yet, I believe you'll recognize him or her if you're watchful.

Take courage, beloved one.