You are currently browsing the monthly archive for October 2012.

Today’s guest poet: Emily Bronte

Lines

I die but when the grave shall press
The heart so long endeared to thee
When earthy cares no more distress
And earthy joys are nought to me.

Weep not, but think that I have past
Before thee o’er the sea of gloom.
Have anchored safe and rest at last
Where tears and mourning can not come.

‘Tis I should weep to leave thee here
On that dark ocean sailing drear
With storms around and fears before
And no kind light to point the shore.

But long or short though life may be
‘Tis nothing to eternity.
We part below to meet on high
Where blissful ages never die.

For those of you still under the bad influence of Sandy, this is just a reminder of better days to come.

Cow Wreck Beach, Anegada, British Virgin Islands.

Quote of the day: “There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm.”  —  Willa Cather

Daily gratitudes:
The dance of dewdrops in the back of my truck this morning
A lovely day
The man downtown with the silver cowboy hat and the snake around his neck
Writing
Sharing anxiety

But still, I felt compelled to publish this image of a storm looming over Topsail Beach a few years ago. Topsail weathered Sandy better than other parts of North Carolina, and I am sending blessing thoughts to all of you who are in the throes of the storm tonight.

Topsail Beach, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”  —  Paulo Coelho

Daily gratitudes:
Storm coverage
Catfish
Accomplishing things
The future
A single flame rose

Outside of Seattle, Washington.

Quote of the day: “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”  —  Albert Einstein

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Spending the day in my Scottie pajamas
The stripe next to the moon last night
That there are still leaves on the trees
NFL players with their little pink accents in support of Breast Cancer Month

MKL and Thunder Cat have a love/love relationship – even though MKL has never been a cat fan.  Thunder Cat is such a fan of HIM, however, that he couldn’t resist her furry charms. Still, his skepticism lingers, and he often comments that if she gets hungry enough, she will kill and eat one of us, perhaps starting with the eyeballs.

Somehow or other, as we were falling asleep last night, our conversation turned into this:

Me: If we’re ever lost somewhere, and I starve to death, you can eat my eyeballs.

MKL: I wouldn’t do that.

Me: But I’d want you to. I love you and I’d want for you to go on.

MKL: I would not eat your eyeballs.

Me: Well then, what part of ME would you eat if I was dead? And you were starving?

MKL: I wouldn’t eat ANY of you if you were dead.

Me: That’s just silly. Why let me go to waste?

MKL: I’d find something else to eat.

Me: But if you’d been able to find something else to eat, then I wouldn’t be dead.

MKL: That’s my point.

And he fell asleep.

I don’t think his point made any sense at all. But I guess it’s nice that there’s one less thing I have to worry about. At least from him.

The Coming of Age

Creeping like those cats with
three-inch long legs,
It steals upon you
in a whisper.
One day
You are
As always.
The next,
Your reflection
Reflects that
Your time is
shortening
— and not the good kind of shortening —

You look into your own eyes,
observe the lines
that life has drawn,
and think,

“Well,

all right then.”

Today’s guest poet: Elizabeth Bishop

Questions of Travel

There are too many waterfalls here; the crowded streams
hurry too rapidly down to the sea,
and the pressure of so many clouds on the mountaintops
makes them spill over the sides in soft slow-motion,
turning to waterfalls under our very eyes.
–For if those streaks, those mile-long, shiny, tearstains,
aren’t waterfalls yet,
in a quick age or so, as ages go here,
they probably will be.
But if the streams and clouds keep travelling, travelling,
the mountains look like the hulls of capsized ships,
slime-hung and barnacled.

Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there’s a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

But surely it would have been a pity
not to have seen the trees along this road,
really exaggerated in their beauty,
not to have seen them gesturing
like noble pantomimists, robed in pink.
–Not to have had to stop for gas and heard
the sad, two-noted, wooden tune
of disparate wooden clogs
carelessly clacking over
a grease-stained filling-station floor.
(In another country the clogs would all be tested.
Each pair there would have identical pitch.)
–A pity not to have heard
the other, less primitive music of the fat brown bird
who sings above the broken gasoline pump
in a bamboo church of Jesuit baroque:
three towers, five silver crosses.
–Yes, a pity not to have pondered,
blurr’dly and inconclusively,
on what connection can exist for centuries
between the crudest wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden footwear
and, careful and finicky,
the whittled fantasies of wooden cages.
–Never to have studied history in
the weak calligraphy of songbirds’ cages.
–And never to have had to listen to rain
so much like politicians’ speeches:
two hours of unrelenting oratory
and then a sudden golden silence
in which the traveller takes a notebook, writes:

“Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one’s room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?”

This Strawberry Crab had passed on to the Next Place, but he appeared to have done so very peacefully, with his remaining claws folded before him.

Quote of the day: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  —  Rumi

Daily gratitudes:
Touches of pink at sunset
El Corazon
The softness of the air in the late afternoon today
That my anxiety has lessened
Kendra’s pumpkin seeds

I don’t think this is quite the right title for this post, but I’m struggling with how to express myself this time.

I am lonely for my daughter.

I am not generally lonely. I have a wonderful fiance. My niece is a great roommate. Thunder Cat is a good snuggle companion.  I have friends (if I ever reached out to them). But the loneliness of a parent for a child is a unique animal.  And the sense of missing a family unit is sometimes quite poignant – another kind of loneliness.

I have always been the one in the family who worked.  My ex was always the stay-at-home parent, even when I didn’t want it to be that way.  I missed a lot of Kelsea’s day-to-day growing up. I tried to make up for it by spending as much time as I could with her when I wasn’t working – except for the solo vacations to try to save my own sanity.

Now Kelsea is a teenager. We are going through the to-be-expected separation period. She spends most of her time with her friends. We still  have some small time together, but she stays at her Dad’s most of the time, because he’s closer to school, and getting her there doesn’t work very well with my getting to work. Some people say I should push to have her stay with me more, but that’s just not how we operate. We talk and text every day. She will be driving in a few months, and is so looking forward the her freedom. I remember that from my own teenage years.

But I miss the kid stuff. I miss our dedicated play time together. I miss our “famous chats” and our reading and snuggles and watching trashy TV and talking about anything and everything. I guess this separateion from the parent is a normal thing – just what happens when teenagers grow up. It must be preparing everyone for that day when they leave home and forge their own life, the one that you as a parent have been readying them for since the moment they were born.

Once you are divorced, and one parent is not with the child as much any more, the sense of a family unit dissipates like a wisp of fog. Gone also are those dreams you had, of being the proud parents seeing your child off to various milestone events, or attending school plays hand-in-hand. I am wise enough to realize that those visions, like many others I had, were more fantasy than lost reality – I know that by looking at the reality of my life within my marriage for almost 20 years.

Maybe I miss dreams that I never had a chance of fulfilling. Then again, I was always trying to fulfill those dreams on my own, even in my marriage, and not as part of a team. My ex and I, in hindsight, were never a team, never partners. That feels sad.

The tragic events that have happened recently in Colorado have made me all the more sensitive about how precious my daughter is, and how quickly someone dearer to you than the moon can be snatched away forever. In the blink of an eye.

I know Kelsea misses me sometimes. I know I miss her often. I know she sees the texts and Facebook messages I send her daily, even if she doesn’t respond, so she knows that I’m thinking of her always. We still have our mother-daughter traditions (she loves traditions) and we still carve out time for special things. But the days of being her best playmate, of her sitting on my foot and clutching my leg when I had to leave the house, those days are gone. And I miss them.

I loved spending what time I could with her in her childhood. It was like having my own childhood all over again.

I guess we all have to grow up. Eventually.

Kelsea with the whole world before her.

Spectacular sunsets in Hawaii.  We’ve had amazing sunsets here in Colorado this past week, but somehow I haven’t been able to get any pictures.  So this one will have to suffice.

Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

Quote of the day: “The sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.”  —  Christopher Paolini

Daily gratitudes:
Couples walking in hug mode
The woman with her cat on a leash
Ping pong tables in the sunshine
A lovely Fall day
The way my earrings swing when I walk

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