Sunday, April 20, 2014

Morning's fog is vanishing

Foggy Sunday morning.  Clouds drape the hills, and mist rides the air like memories of Oregon roadtrips, condensing on branch tips. 
Already, the mist is glowing brighter, which means soon enough the sun will burn a hole through the clouds and heat away the overcast.  A couple quail stop by the yard to peck at grass blades. 

It’s Easter for the Christians.  Resurrection.  The morning’s fog on the hills is vanishing, though still like a mesh scrim over certain peaks, and there are rich blues hanging in the blowing cotton sky.  The air is a layered collage of birdsongs and bees, and couple-birds swoop here and there.  I open the glass door to share the day, and a little brown bird is industrious in the leaves.  His repetitious 3-kicks-and-a-peck remind me of a dancing cowboy.

(For audio, press the Play button.)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Wild Thing Full of Magnets

I have been a mind and ability; I have been plans and focus and fiery hopeful belief.  But when you speak, keys fall through your voice, and go unlocking me, freeing a body that erupts beneath my eyes and lips.  My long lost body, beautiful and imperfect, silken-haired and scarred—a wild thing full of magnets, now pulled toward you and all the keys falling through your voice.

It’s magic, to grow legs and feet and breasts and hands, and yet, my body confuses time and disrupts my eagle-eye and dream strategies, by leaning forward, by wanting and ringing, ringing like that tinkling pile of keys left on the floor after your oblivious magic tricks.  And I say nothing, go back to my long-term goals, but I don’t fit on the chair anymore; my legs kick, my ass bumps the cushion off, and I’m a wild animal in the house. 

My missing half of me returned, now I don't fit.  Shoved from my logic dreams, in a body, I’m lonely.  Yet how can I not be grateful for the amazing trick and replay how all you did was talk, and here I unlocked and went unfurling like I’ve been a jack-in-the-box all along.

So now I’m a tangle of hips and arms and belly, wrapped 'round with one-eyed plans, but for those minutes when you told a story, I remembered how to be complete.  Thanks for the unlocking and zap and the beautiful electricity powering you, even if now all my hands get in their own way.  Still, the trick was glorious, and terrible and more real than I’d remembered. 

Bless your voice’s keys, and now let me tend to this weird, blazing day.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Choices for Celebrations

Today is St. Patrick's Day, of the famed green food dye and drinking.  This is how we handle history. We twist it to make a holiday for easier fabrications. 

Here's a really good article about the dark history of green food on St. Patrick's Day and other surprising truths: 

Not to mention the most obvious of St. Paddy's history-twists, that it celebrates when St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes, as if Ireland ever had snakes, when that's simply a metaphor for the huge attack launched against individual people when the Christians tried to stomp out the native pagan traditions. 

I think holidays are most valuable for reminding us to let go and celebrate sometimes, but why not celebrate for better reasons? Celebrate the victories whatever size, the fortitude, the beauty, the memories, the reminders, the thankfulness for being here together?

Celebrating heals us, and there's so much to pay tribute to and enjoy.  Toast to the real life we're sharing here.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Holy Canoli

The salty and deft [PANK] Magazine interviewed me about my story, “Our Master of Psalmody,” which appeared in their February issue. 

You can read my secrets here:

(photo: "Offering to the Willow Tree" -Dawn Sperber)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fall's Gold

Definitely fall going on, as the miraculously colored turning leaves scatter down in certain charmed minutes, as if some hidden squirrel is conducting from a branch above, tongue out in concentration, watching the day’s symphony, “And GO,” he motions and seven yellow aspen leaves drop diagonally through the air, with three tapdancing across the brick patio.  “Yes!” the squirrel whispers, nodding approval to the relieved and awed performers, who nervously shimmy leaves, getting ready for their next solos.

Devoted to the performance, they all continue whether anyone’s watching or not.  I’m totally doing something else, when I happen to glance up during an obvious crescendo—thirty golden leaves raining on the yard like Zeus’s impregnating shower.  Danae and I applaud the show with our legs crossed.  “I’ll just watch from over here, thanks.”  She says she’s had enough gold to last her awhile, and then plucks an aspen leaf from my hair.  She offers it to me like this bright leaf is the treasure of dark winter.  I can see why.

(photo: "Presence, lap full, among the wild roses" -Dawn Sperber)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Singing to My Characters

I’m calling to the sisters now, those mythical two of roots and wings, to come tell me their stories and how they want me to tell them.  Stories are mercury sculptures that change every time they’re told. 

It’s good to remember the mutability of tales and tongues, how the same story can come out long or summarized wee and tidy, can be addressed from above or sideways, backwards or inside out, can be a shared telling, like a conversation or a debate.  My stories want to be more acrobatic than they’ve yet had chance for.  They want to put on fancy athletic gear and show off, pull off one mask after another like Russian Matryoshka dolls.

You don’t know me, they say with a swat of a hand, yet hold me in a steady gaze and confirm, You don’t.  And I know they’re honoring me with that secret.  I’m excited to learn more, enter their secret storytelling chamber where I’ll sit on their large laps, lean back, and learn.  Fill up with the holies, so I can pass them on.  

Trust me, I say, pen in hand, my eyes full of ink, blinking like turning pages.  They watch me and twirl their tongues, and I’m patient.  I swear they’re getting ready to tell me.  Any minute now.

Our breath, that we pass back and forth, is love.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Moth Lessons

It’s crazy how moth-infested the house is now—all over, tiny moths perch, 3 or 4 flurry up when I enter a room, and their cocoons are secreted throughout the cabinets and corners of the ceiling.  Conveniently, the house also supports a fertile colony of long-legged spiders who feast on the moths, wrapping them up for burrito-style dining.  It’s funny how long it took me to put together that the little fliers were the same type of creature as the huge moths who taught me such medicinal lessons this summer.  The giant silk moths were a lot more majestic in their huge and solitary status than the ones of this winged infestation, but moths are who have surrounded me.  Talk about being beaten on the head with an archetype.  So what lesson are they bringing me?  Transformation, quiet and real intuition, flight?  I hear you, already. 

Don’t I?  I’m certainly trying.  And as far as reality goes, my effort to reach goals is an ebb and flow, yet it’s still me doing my best, even if sometimes I appear crooked and lazy and wrong—the day after such a dissembling, I’m much better put together and effective, ready for action.  Each step builds off the previous one.  The more I hold off my final judgments, the more I’m witness to how I eventually rise to the occasion and end up doing better than anyone could’ve predicted.  I can only guess most people are like this, that, measure us according to strict schedules, and we’re fuck-ups, but back off and let us run our course, and we turn to total magic.   

Wings grow during our troubled sleep, as we call out in the night, squirming with distress and mourning the loss of how we once crawled with such agility.  Wrap the discomfort around ourselves, fall deep into the sad dream of exhaustion, how we didn’t finish on time, how we already failed, only to finally wake and peel away the layers of what used to be, and discover our grief was the ache of changing.  And the game hadn’t ended yet after all.  And now we’re transformed, exactly right after we gave up.  Wake up, spread wings, fly on toward the next goal.  And my god, try to remember the undulating rhythm of how effort relates to success.  Try to have compassion for our progress as we now ache solely for nothing less than to fly to the moon.

Moths, it seems, were born to strive for ridiculous goals.  Maybe that’s exactly what transforms them, though.  The stupid desire, bigger than what this world can offer, and how their effort lifts them up and beautifully alters them while they’re trying to achieve something else.  If moths didn’t yearn so for the moon, maybe they’d never leave the ground.  The lesson seems to be about getting swept up with higher dreams and keeping in mind that the propulsion to rise is the real magic, and not the achieved destination. 

So says the woman at the window, looking toward the horizon as wings beat past her hair.  We’re always mid-way in this life.  All there is to do is keep going.