Monday, July 30

Raise the Flag

What is so alluring about knocking a mailbox off its post?

The first week I was here, I walked down to the road to find the mailbox on the ground. Since one of my roles at the Retreat Center is Ms. Fixit, I grabbed my toolbox and promptly reattached it. At least once a month, it's askew on its post after an encounter with one of the locals.

Today was a particular treat. I was having trouble focusing my eyes on the mailbox as I walked closer to the road. There's a good wasn't there, just a decapitated post. I let out a big sigh and kept walking, looked both ways and crossed the road. I found it lying on its side in the second row of the corn field. It must have taken a mighty blow to fling it that far.

I'm over it...tomorrow I go to Lowe's and purchase a mailbox that's vandal proof or at least more vandal proof than a standard metal mailbox on a wooden post.

Funny thing...when I retrieved it from the corn field, a letter I'd deposited that morning was still inside and the red flag was up. I think a white flag might be more appropriate.

Friday, July 27

Tough Luck...the Duck was Stuck

I didn't want to alarm anyone, but THE DUCK has been missing for a few weeks...GASP! Although Mocha has a plethora of doggie toys, THE DUCK is by far her favorite. I've looked everywhere, even at a neighbor's house and under every bed in the retreat DUCK.

Yesterday, I had a bad case of the dropsy's and yes, my legal files, cell phone, wallet, pen and other assorted things fell into the trash can next to my comfy chair where I was working. I said aloud to no one in particular, "This is not the place to keep such things," at which time I started fishing through the trash can for my stuff. Worried something might have fallen in I didn't see, like my trusty screwdriver I've had since I was four years old, I started moving the furniture for a better view of the floor and voila! I spotted a yellow beak...and attached to that yellow beak was a green head and attached to that green head was a grey, bulbous body. I gave that yellow beak a yank and out he popped from underneath my comfy chair.

Picture this...Mocha was asleep behind the comfy chair when I extracted THE DUCK, so as far as she was concerned, it was never missing. If I had asked her, "where's your duck?" like I normally do, she'd have trotted back there and produced it, but did I do that as part of my investigation? NO...all that Nancy Drew training down the drain!

Anyway...THE DUCK has been rooted from its hiding place and the air will once again be filled with the melodious sound of quacking.

Life is good.

Other People's Words

The cause
of the majority of suffering in the world
is a sense of separation,
from the world itself,
each other
from our source.

Thursday, July 26

How Long?

I journal, well...more like scribble random words on a page that eventually become poems or fodder for the stewpot. It is a momentous occassion to use the last page in a journal and start anew. Feels like cause for ceremony, but shit! my tiaras are in storage in Houston.

Anyway, I started a new journal. It's so pretty and purple and bejeweled. I opened the cover to begin scrawling when I found the following passage, written shortly after I moved to Tennessee in August of 2005:

I wonder how long it will take for my mind, my breathing, my spirit to be in tandem with the rhythm of the land? Mind racing, breathing shallow, spirit scattered drown out the birdsong.

Reading this passage transported me through a time portal where I could see myself as I was, using the lenses of today's eyes. I saw a sad, lost, wounded woman who began a journey to become a writer, but in truth was seeking healing, discovery and a homecoming.

How long did it take for my mind, my breathing, my spirit to be in tandem with the rhythm of the land? A while...but for many mornings now, I wake to the sound of birdsong as the sun rises over the ridges to the East.

I sacrificed love, livelihood and everything familiar to venture into the unknown. Was it worth it? Time will tell. For now, I sit expectant in the promise of a new life I am creating with every thought, every breath, every dream.

Note To Self

  1. The trash can is not the place for important legal papers, your wallet or the cell phone.
  2. Look up spelling of cell it one word or two?
  3. You seem a little cranky. Might you consider taking a nap?

Sunday, July 22

What Does Your Bumper Sticker Say About You?

Last Thursday, I was driving down I40 West from the Carolina's to Nashville. My body, mind and spirit were vibrating with joy until I saw something that metaphorically wrenched my insides into a hard pretzel.

I had been driving in tandem with a large RV that was pulling a car. We had a nice rhythm going as we navigated the inclines and steep grades through the Smokey Mountains. Eventually, I changed lanes and prepared to pass, when I noticed a rainbow sticker on the back of the RV. My first thought was, out on a little cross-country vacation.

Then I noticed the universal symbol for "NO" superimposed over the rainbow.

It felt like I had been sucker-punched in the stomach and the joy and euphoria I had been feeling was blotted out in an instant. I wondered what message they hoped to convey.

Are they:

Anti-Rainbow Bumper Stickers?
Anti-Judy Garland?
No Gays Allowed in their RV?

My guess is they want the world void of homosexuals. The next impulse I had was to follow them until they stopped for a break and engage them in a friendly conversation, invite them to my communion table laid with wine and bread and summer's warm, sweet fruit, I would read Mary Oliver's Wild Geese aloud to them:

You do not have to be good.

You do not have to walk on your knees

for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body

love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile the world goes on.

Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain

are moving across the landscapes,

over the prairies and the deep trees,

the mountains and the rivers.

Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,

are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

the world offers itself to your imagination,

calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-

over and over announcing your place

in the family of things.

I would look in their eyes and let them look in mine. I would speak softly to their wounded, frightened places. I would take them by the hand, lead them to my car and point to the bumper sticker that reads:

Love One Another

Wednesday, July 4

I've Graduated to Paper Towels

...because kleenex cannot handle the amount of snot I am blowing out my nose.
Bright patch of chicory
beside a road
the starburst petals
flashing blue
in morning sun
My heart catching,
knotting in my throat
remembering the way
you noticed them
and how you knew
they closed too soon

Coming and going,
seen, then not seen
by the eye,
the mind remembered
a splash of color
the heart felt them
as we passed by
All the while,
waiting for our coming and going
to sync with their unfurling
starburst petals
flashing blue
in the morning sun

Tuesday, July 3

Creation...simply breathtaking

unidentified dragonfly resting in the blackberry vines

blackberries are beginning to ripen...a tasty snack on my morning walks

volunteer black-eyed susans

Trumpet vine