Saturday, June 27, 2009

In The Circle Game

I was eight months pregnant with our first, young Micah to be. You called to let me know that your father was in the hospital fifteen miles from Jeff's parents, where I'd been staying to safe guard this high risk pregnancy.

I'll never forget the sense of trepidation I felt walking down the halls of The Brush Prairie General hospital. The stories shared from your girlhood perspective, to meet for the first time the one who I'd held responsible for all your rage, the unresolved anger and hurt that would splash onto us, your children. But you asked that I go.

I rounded the corner and an ancient, tiny, man, afloat within the hospital bed, looked at me and called me by your name.

And there you were, Thursa May, our mother, peering out from the face and body of your father, my only grandpa. He thought I was his daughter, unseen but somehow, unaged, for forty years.
I had vertigo. It was quite a moment.

I haven't asked what your grandson might recall.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A View From Afar

The great path has no gates,
Thousands of roads enter it.
When you pass through this gateless gate
You walk freely between heaven and earth.

- Mumonkan

The young people of Iran, who's loss of life now hangs draped in symbolic metaphor, stand beside the countless eons of planetary loss from absurdly, misguided "human" behavior.

We're still crawling out from the belly of the beast and have a long way to go. Predator and prey, within our own species?

Our ability to behave with "deep humanity" goes back to the beginning, on our Mother's knee. The life giving, planetary existence on Earth absorbs our blood and renews our chances to survive with each new day.

As much of this hemisphere is celebrating Summer Solstice 2009, perhaps we can use the moment as a point of demarcation. To honor the dead by valuing the living, in perpetuity.

Life and death and the immediacy of our time well spent.

Monday, June 15, 2009

June's Delight

Sisters entwined in a closeness only they can describe

Joey gets the hand cranked forge warmed up for bar-b-que!

"Dear Lady, it's 48°F today (which means the mosquitoes aren't so bad, a plus). A good day to bake. Your recipes are wonderful Mona. Our middle daughter Merrick, has become a baker extrordinare. Last night, we joined she and her honey out on the Chilkat Peninsula for Rhubarb Pecan pie. A small outside fire and a delightfully corny joke session followed. We took turns passing The Pretty Good Joke Book about. It was a lovely simplistic reprieve. You were there, in my heart."

The gathering assembles at Merrick and Joey's patch of green-ness for her 24th birthday.

Merrick's new potter's shed (complete with a piano!), on axles for easy relocation.

It's a Southeast Alaskan Garden Party!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Begin The Beguine

Fearful of death, I walked in the mountains.
By meditating on its uncertain hour,
I conquered the immortal bastion
Of the immutable.
Now I am far beyond fearing death.

- Milarepa

The immutable... that which is unchangeable.
Though the course is not set, I sneak peek around the corner and see just which tones and colors will lure me towards my endgame. I'm hoping you'll be there.

We could steal our way into the midnight performance, sit quietly up above and watch the live connections between the stage and adoring audience. It'll remind you of your best shows, the entertainment you assembled that had them standing in the aisles, roaring for more.

It'll flush me with joy, the kind I feel when reminded just how great people are, in spite of being human.

Maybe we'd belt back a couple of tall cool somethings before folding into one another's arms, tickling each others fancy, and turning out the lights.

New dawn, we'll awaken refreshed and begin different lives.

Or, we won't.

IF we do, hopefully we'll recognize each other from a distance. I'd really like that. I'm starting to get a big kick out of what we share. Shall we finish this round out, with dare and pizaazz?

I think of Dylan Thomas, "Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night"

Monday, June 1, 2009

Night bird, open Love's narrow, cloistered, thrill

"Grace changes us and change... is painful." Flannery O'Connor

Flannery O'Connor described herself as a "pigeon-toed child with a receding chin..." and a "you-leave-me-alone-or-I'll-bite-you complex."

When O'Connor was six she taught a chicken to walk backwards, and this led to her first experience of being a celebrity. The Pathé News people filmed "Little Mary O'Connor" with her trained chicken, and showed the film around the country. She said, "When I was six I had a chicken that walked backward and was in the Pathe News. I was in it too with the chicken. I was just there to assist the chicken but it was the high point in my life. Everything since has been anticlimax.” (borrowed from Wikipedia)

Night bird, open Love's narrow, cloistered, thrill...

To conjure an introduction to Ms. Flannery O'Connor is a new interest... "everything that destroys also creates", a rather Taoist take from her devout Catholic stance. She 's also noted for having said "Write not about character but with character."

I'm learning how to melt into other forms that character and characters might emerge.

Louise Erdrich, E. Annie Proulx, and maybe Ann Lamott are stepping up to the plate tonight as well as, Uh oh... Shirley Jackson just walked in!

Welcome to the cloister...