Saturday, April 30, 2011

penchant

I am seven years old and holding on in the passenger side floorboard of my Papaw's Oldsmobile, a car appropriately named The Silver Streak. We are playing a game not named. It feels like he is driving one hundred miles an hour and doing doughnuts. He stops suddenly, looks down at me, grins and asks, Where are we?


I had said earlier, I know this town like the back of my hand, but now I am lost. My mental map got turned upside down after the fourth turn, quick reverse, did he circle a parking lot, I have no idea so I smile back at him and guess, We are at the school.


He laughs, Check it out.


I jump to the seat, peer outside the window and find we are on the opposite side of town at the Co-op. I let out a huge sigh of exasperation, look at him, try to figure out where I went wrong and then say, Let's do it again, Papaw! I know I can get it this time.


He smiles. I get in the floorboard and we're off again. And again.


Always, always I was wrong. I never, not once, had a clue where we were but I never gave up trying either. It would not be till Papaw was gone and I was a parent before I realized how many hours and gallons of gas he had spent at the sole purpose of entertaining me. Just him and me.

I think this is what it means to be spoiled.





Gratitude.

Friday, April 29, 2011

there, without rhythm and with apologies

There are memories, tales around a table. A frying pan left on the stove, biscuit flour still in the bowl. Small trinkets of colored glass set in a row. We rummaged as children but the adults did as well.  She went from dark to cold, nothing to stop the decay. It happened way before that walk from here to there but there was a void and there is where it ended and there was never any different from anywhere before. There became her.

Long forgotten photographs, I think I saw her smile.


I toy with the idea I could transform the place. Frame large photographs of laughter and place them on the walls. Then I look around me and see what I have done. A floor left unswept, a house unkept. The hardest person to face is who you never thought you'd be. So I fight every day to find passion in the mundane. Pray what I saw there was not what I thought.

Now I realize the impact of the pictures I paint. It seems more important that the trail she walked from here to there was bordered by a large patch of strawberries with an open field behind. A fishing pond on a hill, a small clearing in the woods beyond. Cold water from an artesian well up by the barn.

Yes, it was dark there but opening one door always set me free.




Gratitude.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

gifts

Tomorrow is the promise of a book in my mailbox.

Today I remembered this song.






Gratitude.

downpour

If April showers do bring May flowers then Mississippi should be blanketed with colors and scents and the buzz of bees come next month. I hope we take advantage of it. I hope we pick them and give them to each other as if we all of a sudden notice the land has become some huge charity and we are overwhelmed with how naturally we are given every day and we lose our breath from the feeling generated in the simple act of giving. I hope we give so many flowers to each other that the vase industry has to move to our state and give us jobs because all our Mason jars are full of flowers. I hope the sweet shrub becomes more powerful than it's ever been and the aroma of long Sunday afternoon hikes becomes addictive. I hope we sit on large, fallen trees next to creeks in our forests and tell stories and laugh. I hope we walk the creek together, our feet sinking in the mud below. I hope we explore new territory with new friends and save some of our favorite trails for late afternoon walks with our old ones. I hope we build at least one campfire. I hope one night we lay on a pier, you on your back looking at the stars, me shining a light on the water below. I hope we say one thing we've never said before. I hope we hear the thunder in the distance and are overtaken by the rain before we are able to run inside. I hope the storm reminds us of how alive we are.



Gratitude.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

introductions

He says, She is lonely.

After everything we've discussed this seems the most significant. She is safe with you, right?

Yes, he says.

I have no choice but to believe him but even with choice I think I would.






Have you ever met someone and had an overwhelming desire to just sit and hold their hand? Hold it in both of yours.





Gratitude.

Monday, April 25, 2011

stillness

I love the winds, the sound of old branches and new leaves clapping together. Gusts of air flow past me around me and I can't help but be mesmerized by the drama of it and thankful for the steady roots. If I become still enough it overtakes me like it did when I was a child. It reminds me how incredible it is just to be a very small part of what this is and has been and will be. Goosebumps form on the back of my neck and down my arms, the wind blows my hair. I think of Hafiz and my heart bursts with complete gratitude.


Even
After
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,

You owe
Me.

Look
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the
Whole
Sky.





Much love to you, my dear reader.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mark & Patrick

The dinner was a collaborative effort. There was a certain amount of cooperation amongst all parties to meet at a particular time in a certain place. I think now, looking back, we forgot to toast or make note of the moment, the effort. I enjoy the clinking of glass, the smiles and nods exchanged with my favorite exclamation being I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy. Yes, I do believe that I am getting too old for that statement but sometimes it rings as close to the truth as I can get at the time.

We are there for Mark who has been ignited by a cause. Something has spoken to him like nothing has before and in order for his one voice to be effective he acknowledges the need of others. We at this table right now are his others. I have done the prerequisite reading, taken a gander at the facebook page and am here to voice my concerns if for no other reason so that I can selfishly take in the beauty of someone else's passion. He needs to sell me on his point.

But, Mark, seriously with all the causes out there, with the current state of our economy, with the absolute ineptitude we see around us you believe our energies should be directed toward a law which is not even yet a bill to protect animals? I mean, aren't we trafficking humans in this world, shouldn't we be walking a 5K for a cure, isn't there a kid with a last wish, what about the lack of prenatal care for women around the world, did you see that girl missing in Tennessee, shouldn't we be combing the woods? How many wars are we fighting right now? Frontal lobotomy or no, bottle in front of me like that will help anything.

He understands what I am saying but he wants to let me know that laws created to punish individuals who are cruel to animals do work. They have made a difference in his home state of Indiana, and my home state of Mississippi, well, we suck at protecting our pets from people who actively and continually cause them harm. Now, more than ever, he believes we have a voice made more powerful than just where we spend our money. It is called social media, and although I do still believe that grassroots efforts as small as adopting a rescued animal, volunteering at a shelter or simply teaching our children the importance of proper care, I also am buying into Mark's notion that collectively we are stronger, more powerful as we study the laws in our own states, write to our representatives and become a collaborative effort to make sensible changes with which we would all agree.

Damn you, Mark, you made me put down the drink.

Here we go.

You can find the story about Patrick, the source of Mark's inspiration, here.

You can join others in a collective voice by simply liking a facebook page here.

You can see how your state ranks in Animal Protection Laws here.

You can let your state's representative know how you feel by contacting them here.

You can talk to your friends about this. You can blog about it. Maybe Mark is right. Maybe every once in a while we have to give up giving up and make a stand on any or all causes which speak to our hearts even if it means our partner, Kim, is going down. Sorry, reader, inside joke I had to say 'cause I knew it would make her smile.

What now?



Gratitude, of course.

Friday, April 22, 2011

music



He's good. I saw him last Saturday night in a club in Columbus, Georgia, and well, he's good. I like his energy. I like the fact that when he did Muddy Waters he did him justice. Great show. If you ever have the opportunity to see him live I would suggest it. My only complaint is there was no stand up bass at the show. Me, my camera and a stand up bass is my idea of a ménage à trois.

pick

I had the pleasure of meeting four gentlemen this week all referred to me by the Mississippi Unemployment Security Commission's WIN Program. First of all, kudos to the state of Mississippi and it's employees. The personal letter of gratitude I wrote to you doesn't seem to quite fit how you amazed me so I figured I'd put it on the internet.

There was a time in my life when friends could come to me, explain they needed a job and I would know of someone who knew of someone who had the perfect job for that particular friend. That was a different time and place. Now I am amazed at the very qualified and beautiful individuals out there who are steadily working to obtain work.

As I went to sleep last night the echo of the answer so commonly given to my question, Do you have any questions for me? played in my head over and over.

When do I start? they responded with a gleam and a sparkle and a smile and oh I couldn't take anymore. One more interview and my heart could have exploded on the spot. I wanted to make a job for everyone. I wanted to be smart enough to build a company to hire all of them and make it like the pictures of Google I saw where me and the guy I met yesterday could fuck off and play ping pong or go sit in bean bags and eat popcorn when we got too stressed.

But alas, I have not yet built the equivalent of Google and it could be that I won't. There is a very real possibility that I won't so I'll call each one Monday of next week and give them the news and I'll try not to tell them that I love them and that I'll try to find them a job and if I make Google we'll play ping pong and oh good gosh.




Yesterday a friend sent me this quote and I liked it. Maybe this is a good a place to put it as anywhere else.

As if the sorrows and stupidities of the world could overwhelm me now that I realize what we all are. I wish everyone could realize this, but there is no way of telling people they are all walking around shining like the sun. ~ Thomas Merton



Gratitude.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

here

I love a thunderstorm almost as much as I love the ocean. The rain started about a mile from my exit and once again I was reminded of my need for windshield wipers but like my memory the initial smear soon faded with the pelting of larger raindrops. Plus it was still daylight and I knew exactly where I was so the brain nicely compensated for any missing pieces of the picture outside the windshield. I was going home and did not want to stop for anything. I remember thinking how grateful I was to have food at home. And then there I was, at home.

Home is a beautiful ritual of putting the key in the lock and knowing she hears it.  Billy Sue has been on her smiley face pillow all day napping and by the time I get the door open she is walking toward me as if her bones would break from the slightest twitch. I put my camera bag and purse on the kitchen counter and we meet in the middle. The back scratching that then ensues, I figure, is her favorite part and once that's done we're outside for relief of any built up pressures.

She does not like the rain. In fact, in Billy Sue's thoughts of heaven there will not even be a morning dew on the ground 'cause her paws could get wet. A bulldog that tiptoes instead of skateboarding, imagine that. So this is when I sit and watch the show as she paces, nudges up close to me, looks at me, I say ya' gotta get out there, it ain't gonna hurt ya' and she begins the pacing again until she finally steps out into the wet.

Once she's back on dry we sit and watch and listen and I let all the thoughts of the day play in my head until finally they fade and all that's left is me, my dog and a hard rain.


Gratitude.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

movement

I figure it couldn't hurt to check out The Human Experience on Netflix if you have a moment.

judge

I was only thirteen years old when I overheard a conversation between two adults, managers by profession and nature. They were discussing the process of choosing people for particular jobs or positions. I remember my Dad telling Walter he could tell everything he needed to know about a person within the first five minutes of meeting them. Maybe Walter was trying to defend a hiring he had made, discussing what the interview had been like and how different that particular employee had turned out.

It was a debate, one of many I am sure but one of the very few I remember now although I did and still do like to hear my Dad's thoughts, the rationale behind his thinking, how confident he seems in his decisions. He was not letting up on Walter, and I remember enjoying the liveliness of the conversation. I wanted to be a part of it, but I was just a kid and my input would only get me sent to my room or the kitchen or taking the dog out. Dad was seriously not going to be talking logic with a girl he had refused to sit at a dinner table with for an entire summer 'cause she turned her hair orange even if all the other kids were using Sun In.

Tonight I would like to be in that room with those two men, in a small house at the back of a cove in Bedford, Nova Scotia. Everyone seated with their own poison. I would like to say that anyone can fool you in the first five minutes, in the first hour, in the first weeks. I would defend Walter, but Dad would be relentless. He would scoff at my urging that people can fake it, be easily schooled on correct answers to typical questions, feign excitement about jobs or ideas. You could be talking to them on a bad day or a good one, everything behind what they bring to the table cannot be there for you to see in the first five minutes.

Oh but it can, he would respond.

Then I would concede as he would explain that my job is to get there from here. If I am not getting everything I need to know in the first five minutes then I am asking the wrong questions. Maybe, I would say, or maybe I just always find ways to excuse anyone. I dislike forming some final judgement on any person figuring I have no idea what it is like to wear their shoes.

Their shoes are worn by the way they walked, he'd be growing tired of the conversation.

But

He'd point at me and shake his head.

My point would be mute and any remaining argument I'd have would be with myself which is where we're at right now I think.



Gratitude.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

uneventful

It was waiting out the storm and leaving in the wee hours. Billy Sue realizing she was about to take a road trip and hopping into the copilot seat. Long stretches of dark roads and grazing deer. A sunrise in Alabama. Cows and motorcycles, Billy Sue's favorites. It was a fancy little device Slater loaned me which took me to an unpaved road, up a rutted drive and into a clearing. It was a sweet, welcoming smile and open arms. Long naps and hot cups of coffee. Stories, laughter. Scouting out new territory, music and food. It was cool nights and warm afternoons. Movies.

It was nice.


Gratitude.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

lightard

My writing boss has suggested I may want to get away and refuel. I think she's right so as of tomorrow I am venturing off into a thunderstorm in search of sunshine. We'll see what happens. Really, we will. I plan on taking many, many photographs and bringing them back here to you.

Until then I think someone in North Dakota may appreciate a little Mississippi.













Be back Monday. Tuesday at the latest.


Gratitude.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

insulated

Mr. Science likes to dabble in the extraordinary, play in the outer layers of possibilities, wonder the what ifs. In his studies of this and that he came across a notion. What if, he says, we chose this journey, these people we meet because in this life we wanted to experience and learn certain things?

Hmm yeah, what if? I sit next to him.

Oh I don't know. It is just something to think about maybe, another way to consider the people in our lives, the happenstances, the serendipity, the pain, the hunger, the loss, the gain. What if we chose all this?

I lay my head down in his lap, pull the cover to my chin and he plays with my hair. Maybe. I guess. Anything is possible, right?

There are blues playing in the other room, new music he brought me. I've lit all the candles I have left. We're at the point where Slater has bought each one. They are his go to gift in the seasons of giving. This is a cozy place to consider possibilities.

I think about him, about the stories of his life before I seemingly entered this world. What would I have wanted to learn from this? What is he teaching me?

He is calm. Yes. Quite the thinker. Most definitely. A planner, a collector. Shy and fearful at times and the bravest man I know at others. There are ways being in his space has changed me though I have fought it every fiber of the way.

I think of others as well. People I had long written off but their names kept coming up. Even today there is that name. What have they taught me? Why are they still teaching? Right here, right now in a candlelit room with old blues and a new companion I would have to say they showed me to want more for myself. And them? I guess I would have wanted to teach them to love themselves but maybe we were too young and I couldn't possibly teach a language so foreign to me. Maybe them and me we had to, still have to teach each other forgiveness 'cause how could we love ourselves if we had never forgiven ourselves.

May be.






Gratitude.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

warning


His friend sent him an email with a link describing how wedging oneself in a thin space for just one hour day after day could lead to an overall decrease in activity, lessened peripheral blood flow, pooling in the brain and eventually his left hind leg would no longer function. It would, in fact, fall off.

So he feigned illness to get out of step class and found a nice, cool space within which to wedge himself. It was not because he didn't like his left, hind leg. It was a nice leg. He had been a champion jumper back in the day. It was just that, well, ya' know, he was so sick of being told that everything he did was wrong so he held onto this. One last little wedge.



Gratitude.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

any given sunday

I plan on asking him if he has any suggestions, if we can do anything better or is our enough his enough and if so what does he know. I'll forget or maybe I won't and if I don't his answer is to be surely pat at the start and later only expounded with my urgency. This is not new territory for me, sir, in fact I live my life as a question rather than an answer so what's the answer.

He doesn't know but maybe he'll pretend. Surely he will poke at the question with humor, play with a smile, confront with the sarcasm and one last sentence to actually convey his thought. That sentence will carry me home and play in my head. Maybe I will bring it here. May be not.

Times like these could call for a determination to allow, to follow one's gut if it can still be found amongst all those other organs. One of those moments when the act of questioning is the answer. I knew it all along. I can't do this alone.



Gratitude.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

man

damn.

reprieve

I think I keep looking for a reprieve as if the week has been some long prison sentence, a conjugal visit without the conjugal. Tonight is it and the best thing I know I can do is enjoy it.

Yesterday was a thirteen hour workday labor intensive to the point that when I stepped out of bed at 11pm it was hard to walk to the bathroom so I did the Tim Conway shuffle. I only said Owww once and Billy Sue never flinched. I think if someone else had been here I would have complained to the point they would have finally resorted to asking me to take medication but by myself it felt useless to complain so I just began moving, working it out 'cause I don't want to miss out on my favorite time.

It is dark and the bird chatter which makes Mississippi sound like a rain forest has ceased. Billy Sue and I sit outside and she raises her ears to the occasional cricket. She may not know but I do that we have a moment before the mosquitoes begin their invasion. The wasps are asleep and the warm stillness is cut periodically by a cool breeze. OH. MY. GOSH. This is it. I have been alive long enough to know these moments are vital, important to the well being of any Southerner. Spring is our reprieve and no amount of long days or aches are going to make me miss this.

I feel complete gratitude.

Friday, April 8, 2011

gift


Some things are made more special just by the experience of receiving them. I think I'll call these my Angies. People will ask, Why do you call those your Angies? and I'll tell them the story of how all of a sudden, out of nowhere it seemed but I knew better, a friend brought me lunch and a comfy pair of shoes and all I could do was smile and think how lucky I am and how important it seems for me to pass that feeling on.

Thank you, my sweet sister.



Gratitude.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

tough

He says, Be tough.

I smile, hug him, kiss him on the cheek and whisper in his ear, You too, Daddy.

The last time we were together he had been stuck inside walls and resorted to reading Amy Chua's latest endeavor. He loved her, and I grinned as he would be sitting quietly and then go, Listen here, Boog, proceed to read me a passage and chuckle. She was tough.

Mom had bought the book, read it, placed it on the coffee table and Dad had picked it up in desperation. I looked at Mom across the room. She smiled and nodded.

I had not read the book but had been intrigued by what I had heard in interviews, found the Wall Street Journal article to be at least brilliant in a marketing aspect. Nothing seems to get us going like a controversy, does it? So my only contribution to a conversation about a writing was the hype around it. Dad would listen and go back to reading.

Dad was the product of a heavy handed parenting style where work ethic was taught through survival via the plowing of fields, the wrangling of cattle and the hunting for your next meal rather than playing the violin or the piano. He will always say his own Daddy was a good daddy since he taught him the importance of work and in this sense he found common ground with Amy.

My Mom, in the most opposite of all opposites, was raised by a man who at his very breaking point would say, I'll be Dad blamed and then proceed to help clean up the mess any of the four girls had made. He also knew the importance of work in that it was how he provided for his family so he treated it less as a vital character trait and more as a common sense approach to life.

Me? Well, shit. I read Dr. Spock's books in a complete frenzy while I was pregnant, walked around with a glazed over look, worked two jobs seven days a week and relied heavily on people around me to help with the raising of my son. Later I had read about the tragic suicide of Dr. Spock's son and thought I would never pretend to know anything about the subject of parenting.

Amy caught some flack and increased her book sales in the process, and I feared for her. Yet she's tough and I figure if she wants to highlight parenting through profiling or ethnicity she will have to face a history of a people who possibly derived a work ethic from the killing or giving away of first born female children to the point American parents were buying them as if they were the newest purse.




How 'bout today I just say I am so very grateful for my parents and my western upbringing?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

wish

Sometimes I wish to live down a dirt road that never washes away. There is a pond out back with a small boat tied by a frayed rope to a weathered pier. A converted schoolhouse from a town forgotten stands amongst tall pines and scattered hardwoods. At midnight under a full moon surrounded by as many stars as I have never seen I walk into the road, point my megaphone at a silo and say, Tom. Let's have a photo shoot.

He's been waiting an hour so I immediately hear, What took you so long?

A girl's gotta sleep,  I say.

Meet you at the turpentine still, he says. Bring the lights. I got some ideas.

I giggle and run to get the lights.






Gratitude.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

creation

It is how we speak, ya' know. I mean you've had a five year plan for the last six years.

He smiles, nods, looks down and walks away.

I turn, walk back to my desk, begin the task at hand which leads to another and another and another until it is time to stop. Driving home I fill the space with a loud beat attempting to change pace, mark an end but it all feels the same because the only constant in my experiment is me.


Still Circa 2000 by Josh Miller


She is living in an abandoned building, sleeping on a floor. I knock twice and turn to leave. Back at the car I begin the note.

It is me, you remember.
I am here for someone who can't be.
Call me.
The number is

I hear a door open and close. Footsteps then her face. Her arms are crossed when she comes into view but she visibly loosens when she sees me, Shea Goff, what are you doing here?

Writing a note, I say as I wad up the paper and throw it in the car. I walk over and give her a hug, It's great to see ya'. Nice place you have here.

She hugs back, Oh please. I hate this place. I want out of here.

I step back, assess the situation, lean against the car, listen to the hype. She looks the same and I don't know what I expected but I guess I never thought about it.

Man, if I could just get outta here, she says, Go anywhere, just not here.

I smile then laugh.

What's so funny? she asks.

I've thought that before, I say. The only thing that stops me is I know I'll follow myself there.

She smiles, nods, looks down, Yeah I know.




Gratitude.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

photolog


winner

Three consecutive nights of phone calls means we're developing a pattern. Due to the sibling relationship it naturally falls into a game of sorts, one in which the winner has had the worst day. Admittedly the competition is tough but I have been practicing for years and considering I am seven years his elder it is almost impossible for him to win. Yet our shared DNA also signals us to not quit, especially those habits which are not the most advantageous.

He has a new job at his old job. Now he is in charge of a group of people, of a process, of a tiny world of personalities, emotions, wants, needs, nuts, bolts. It is all consuming and he is being consumed. I laugh at him and eventually with him but not before I win.

Hello.

You'll never believe what happened today. I am burning in hell. Really, it can't get any worse. Nick fell in the shower and has a doctor's note saying he can come to work but he can't do his job, the one job he was hired to do. And Justin decided he'll stay full time maybe if I'll let him do another job which I pay someone minimum wage to do. And the salespeople are giving away all of our work 'cause they don't even understand what we do.

Let me ask you something. Do any of your employees have homicidal ideation?

What?

Was there an attempted murder at your job today?

No. What are you talking about?

I go on to explain how this one guy tried to kill this other guy but the plot was foiled and how it looked all innocent since the proposed murderer had clearly attempted to make the whole thing look like an accident and he was one of those guys that post victim mortem hood you'd see the neighbors on television being interviewed saying, He was such a quiet guy. Ya' know, just kept to himself.

I mean at the end of the day you gotta figure nobody died, right?

He laughs, we laugh and he pronounces me the winner.

The next night the phone is ringing as I am walking into the house, and I don't make it in before he hangs up but I do see his number on the caller ID so I fix me a drink, light a cigarette and make the call.

He answers with, Okay, I've got you today. They sold this project that will take two entire days for us to do but in order to supposedly get the business they had to sell it without the labor included which means I'll have six people working sixteen hours, well seven really if you count Nick who I am paying to watch other people work, and machines running and my desk piling up with more work 'cause I can't do my job from doing this job and I went to work at 6am and by 7:30 everything was falling apart.

Yeah but was there a suicide attempt at your job today?

What? Seriously, someone attempted suicide?

Yeah. I mean on the surface people would say it was not a suicide attempt but if you look at it more closely you see it for what it really is. I go on to explain how the murderer from the previous day had grieved so heavily from his failed attempt that he obviously tried to off himself, decided against it and in the last moments of the plan had ended up with only self inflicted injury. Everyone lived so it was a good day.

He laughs. I laugh. He says, Geeze. You win.

Thank you.

The next night I am able to catch the phone since I am walking in the door on the first ring. I sit in the chair next to the phone. Hello.

Three people quit today. Bruce's Dad died and I do hate it for him but they were expecting it. Really, he's better off and I don't have time to mourn since the one machine we need to do the job broke down and nobody knew how to fix it or even cared and I ended up crawling under it while on the phone with someone I could hardly even understand finding out it was a motor and I had to replace a motor. Whoever thought I could replace a motor but I did and that put us back four hours on a job we are not even being paid for and I worked fourteen hours today and nothing got done. Nobody cares and I am losing my mind.

Yeah but did you aspirate on sweet tea, almost die and piss yourself?


Long pause.


You win.



Gratitude.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

knowing

First, it seems, there is this undeniable connection, an attraction though it bypasses any physical standards we are taught and seems to go beyond the all important genetic link as well. Sure, you're supposed to feel connected to your grandfather. You got at least a road on the map from him, but this is something more. Even now I find it hard to explain what the more is.

So if I can't explain it, give it a form, describe it's shape and color, bedazzle it with some rhinestones does that it make any less real? Maybe for you it does. For me it is just as much a part of reality as the keys on which I am typing. It could be psychosis but I figure crazy is okay when it leads to learning and loving and giving and trusting.

The most random one I can remember now is a woman by the name of Rita Wolfe, a nurse practitioner I worked with more than ten years ago. I have no idea where she is right now, if she is even alive but if she walked to my door and knocked at this very moment I would do anything in the world for her. I knew that from the very first moment I met her. She was instantly significant. I don't know why.

So how do you explain them, those people who leave a heavier footprint on your path? What is that?

Rita was maternal and nurturing. My own mother was in Indonesia but close at hand and it was not as if I had missed out on maternal guidance in my life. Then, of course, I had Nana, Slater's paternal grandmother who is nothing if she is not maternal and nurturing but all of a sudden in a little rural clinic there was this woman named Rita who had an affinity for Native American culture and a holistic approach to medical care. Her intelligence and openness were something I had witnessed previously with others yet something about Rita attracted me. It made those visits warm and special like a friend I had known for years. It was some innate knowing which told me to listen when she spoke.

I have no idea what that is and I worry less now about figuring it out. I am simply grateful for the knowing.

Kinda like I knew Kim would be a friend for life when we were eleven years old. Thanks for the salt and pepper pistachios, Kim. They were great. Or like when Angie called today to say she loved me. You are fantastic and I will always love you back. No doubt about it. Thank you. I am in awe of our connections.

I guess maybe it feels important to interject now and say that I have felt this with men in my life but realized it was more complicated. Due to my physical attraction to their species I found it hard at times to differentiate between the physical and beyond physical connection but once we got past that little hump (no pun intended) it was equally as incredible.

I think it is good to know, to have some solid facts in your life even and maybe especially when they don't have the physical attributes we give to a scientific solid. Sometimes, I guess, they seem more real than things we actually call real.

Gratitude.

Friday, April 1, 2011

initiative

The shadows reveal what could be otherwise left unnoticed. Blocked patterns of space refusing light. I consider the chair, the light above it and the darkness drawn out just beneath it and how challenging it is in photography to get the right setting for just the right light and how when I see it I know it but anything less or more is disappointing.

This is why I have to work harder at it, study more. I am disappointing myself.

The week contained the first writer's block in many, many months and a blinking tortuous cursor can drive a woman mad or to the point where she decides something has to give. The past few years found me letting go and giving up to the point I had begun to wonder what remained until there it was. Disappointment was lingering in the shadows avoiding the light at all costs when finally one day I sat still and saw it juxtaposed by pride under a dulling light of expectation.

He speaks of a budding spring and I say, I hadn't noticed.

Times like these, I think, call for progress.

Gratitude.