Sunday, September 27, 2015

Availability for fate

Being available to fate is a celebrated thing. Imagine the setting; it is one we all pay lip service to - being in the right place at the right time. But we are so small and self-absorbed! How can we manage this! We might be distracted by a beautiful scarf or a latte or a street musician, and miss our window for fate's meeting! We might simply scroll through our twitter feeds for a few moments more, and if that act is a guilty one, then good luck fate.
We toss around the concept and acknowledge it when cool things happen. And though I believe it is swirling around us waiting to make connections all the time, I also believe we are strong-willed and independent creatures and not often easily led in the most auspicious directions to connect with The Whimsy of Fate.
Hi, I'm here to talk about fate today.
Have you had your fate today?
Eat it up, yum yum good!
I know this much for sure. When fate orchestrates an event in your life, call it. Shout it. It gives us all the hope that sweet fate will swirl around us and lend an inside tip. A hand. A shoulder. A love. Fate has many names, but no-show ain't one of them.

Monday, September 14, 2015

City Snapshot

I saw a photo this morning in a collection. A girl stood looking out a window, with a 30th floor view of a city.
I knew that view. I stood there once, in a midtown hotel in New York. Stood there with my face against the floor-to-ceiling window, taking it all in. Feeling like one face among millions, all of us falling in love with the city. My eyes shifting from landmark to avenue, admiring the flow of it all. The lights in different colors; the architecture of the Chrysler Building; the streets dwindling to a maze along the south side. The warm certainty of anonymity, like a craving.
A different slice of the city from my usual, that of a second story alley-view.
But still, that echo sits in me, that love of being unknown. Being swallowed up whole by a place and welcoming it.
Maybe I've always been fighting myself. Armored against being known, by the sheer willingness to be unknown. I've been in the market for an invisibility cloak all along. I've run away from the small places and hurried to the large places, desperate to be a stranger.
On weekends I want to leave my city and go to a city that is completely new, an area I have never walked and cannot be known. It is my version of wanderlust. The nothingness.
Maybe that's why I anchored myself with family.
One for each point of the compass.
In case I wander into the wind and sand and the pure comfort of a new experience each and every day.

Sunday, September 13, 2015


I've started dozens of posts in the past few months. But I'm losing my words.
After a decade of this
Worlds to words to ?
The code of stories is cut off from me
and I communicate in dashes and dots
a semi-colon, or on a sad day, a comma punctuates my parenthesis
The lines that ran through my head
beautiful words and expressions
have become emoticons
How do I feel
How did I feel
How will I feel
I am less I am more
I am
I am becoming

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Stealthy at night

Tonight I will steal away
my breath will hitch silently
and my feet will curl down lithely as I hurry in the dark
Don't find me
I need to wander and listen
I need to hear the rain and wander

Tonight I will drink sweet coffee
and steal, steal away while the fire is in me
I want you to miss me
Like the rain misses the waiting earth
I want you to ignore my absence
as though I still stand
A statue forever bent and tending
Someone small and needy

Tonight I will take out my pages
and I will tend them
I will care for the words and I will feed them extra syllables
for dinner
And I will discipline the unruly nature
of the spilling lines
And then I will wash the pages clean
and start a fresh day

There is always something to tend.

May 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015


I want you to live on my street
so we can wander around
and lurk under trees
I want to walk barefoot into your kitchen
and feel the grit
and we can't care
I want to whisk you away
for hours
so we can laugh until our faces hurt
and all I do is make a face and you dissolve
into hilarity
I want that
That meaty filling part of life that is helpless laughter
and sublime enjoyment
And the certain knowledge that it will

XOXO for my Greenway Therapist


Friday, April 17, 2015

Pensacola Beach

Well, as you can see, we survived the Great Beach Trip and did not see a shark. Or die. A blast was had by all, and you can tell by my parting words: "Let's plan the next trip here. How soon can we come back?" Usually I need about 3 years between vacations. Pensacola Beach - our new favorite beach!

I love this... morning on the beach... 

Sand pits for all!

 A hug after Isabella convinces Phoenix it's ok to go deeper than his ankles... 

Everybody jump on Dad & photo bomb Isabella

Phoenix's first words every morning - "When can we go to the lazy river?"

The Holiday Inn resort was very nice, the restaurant was good, and the beachside tiki bar makes the best Bloody Mary you will ever find. Garnished with two jumbo green olives, a lemon wedge, and 2 green beans - and a dab of horseradish. Mama likey.

I had a story brewing this morning, but beach photos distracted me. Maybe this weekend when it rains I will make some writing time. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Sharks and Sundry

We announced that we would go to the beach for spring break. There were squeals and shrieks and general loud cheers of excitement. And then there was Phoenix, bringing down the hammer. Making me regret those years of Wild Kratts cartoons even though I really love the Kratt Bros. I mean, at least he has some facts to go with his fears. In my day, I just had fear and the Jaws soundtrack in my head.
But as with every Phoenix Moment, there is no actual conversation or reply necessary - he performs the running commentary and Q&A and ignores any of our attempts to correct his science.

"Whoa. There will be sharks in that water. Can the sharks come up to the shore? I know they can come to the shore. Maybe only the baby sharks, since it's shallow. How many sharks are harmless? And how many have sharp teeth? Will there be whales on this beach? Water snakes? What IS an eel, exactly? And how far away is the deep part? We're gonna die there. We will go in that water and get eaten by a shark. I am not going near that water. Will the sharks be able to jump over into the pool? Maybe just a small one will. Like, just to check it out. I'm gonna want you to hold me in the water. Even in the pool. I won't be using a float or anything you will be right with me."

Like rainwater down a drain spout, we just let him chatter. And then finally I have had enough and it's my turn to chatter, and I'm louder.

"We will go there and we will enjoy being away, and seeing the beautiful water and the warm sand and the sparkly pool and we will just feel how nice it is to be AT THE BEACH. And I am not worried for one minute about sharks because I am 39 years old and I grew up an hour from the ocean and I have never seen a shark any bigger than my arm, swimming free in the water. And PLEASE stop saying that we will die because that is just wrong."

But I am not a negotiator, or I would know by now to Never Engage. Because he will take a twist, and the conversation will suddenly step into the heart of existentialism.

He replies, eyebrows raised:

"I can say we're going to die, because we will die sometime. Everything dies. Everything. Like that little mole in the backyard or Pop-pop or Mamaw. Well, that's great. We're dying. Sometimes it might be a shark or a snakebite. There ARE snakes in the woods, and they will bite you. I don't know why everybody has to get all mad at me and be mean."

So we're going to the beach! Hoopla!
It's gonna be great.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Menagerie in the Yard

This morning the small inhabitants of my home accosted me, with accusatory demands for a mouse.
Not just any mouse, but the Four Dollar Mouse. (Which makes it even more of dreadful of me to say no.) This Four Dollar Mouse is talked about in wistful tones, and the low, low cost meant to dig the knife in deeper. Like, "You will buy us a FIVE dollar pizza, but not a FOUR dollar darling, living creature to have and to hold??"

I tell them we have a house full of predators: cats, dogs and Phoenix, who is certainly part raptor and whether I mean raptor as in bird of prey, or as in velociraptor, I am not sure. Distract and divert, that's my game. Bring up the thrilling chase of a predator! The poor cowering mouse, alone in a house of meat-eaters!

It doesn't work.
It's my parents' fault.

The next part of the accusatory demands go like this: "Yeah, well tell us what animals YOU had growing up." And here goes the litany, rather than the lies, lies, lies I should spill out of my mouth.
("None! We had no pets. Only books and dustballs. And the occasional bat.")
I shouldn't blame Mom, I know she was a victim of the menagerie that our house became.
My Dad could not say no, and since he is no longer here to argue, he is getting thrown under the bus. I feel certain that if I had pressed him hard enough, he would have found a unicorn and tethered it with starlight in the backyard.

But in the absence of unicorns, he sure did deliver: A breeding pair of German Shepherds, and dozens of wonderful puppies for years; a pony named Spanky, handily delivered in the back of a pick-up truck; a smelly goat named Thomas; inside kitties and outside kitties; colorful finches in a cage on the stairway; an Appaloosa horse named Liz; white geese, farm chickens, Bantam chickens, ducks, goldfish, and a terrarium of lizards captured from the yard. And water turtles from the river. And a Cairn terrier named Sidney, who was an inveterate leg-humper. I have the nagging feeling I'm forgetting some.
And I can't deny, my brood is right - it was a perfect pet-ridden childhood.
But I'm still not buying a Four Dollar Mouse.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Tree and the Thoughts It Brings

I'm captivated by this towering, old tree a few steps into the woods in our backyard. Interested in such a way that I walk to the back window several times a day to look at it. I step out onto the deck and shift sideways, looking for the perfect view of it, with the hill rising at its base. I think about designing our backyard, and benches come to mind. Ornate, lovely benches to sit alongside of it, and complement the graceful lines of that tree.

It's got a little magic to it. Feels like anything that has been around that long must have a secret.

I trimmed branches and brambles in a path through the woods, intending to wind up at the tree. I know that if I sit under it, I will think strong thoughts and imagine fantastical things.

I remember at 14 I would lay in the tall, soft grass underneath a willow and write, and think and watch clouds. That was when I started with poetry, and would draw pages full of word-association bubbles, with spindles to connect the ideas. That was when I let the words run through me and out my fingertips for the first time. That was a magic of itself, like letting An Other take over and say things you didn't even know you had inside.

It still feels that way, when it steals me over, and I feel that I have to get away quickly and let it flood in. That the connections have to be made and put down when I'm tapped into that moment. Right? You sense the stream passing by and through, the stream of the poem or the scene or the beginning of something. And you just have to let it pour on through.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Grabbing The Funny Feels

My dear life mate Rick said to me recently that I should start blogging again. He brought it up because we've been in a cycle of annoyance with The Brood, and the ever-changing moods and 'tudes and general winter-time orneriness. I speak of One Member In Particular, and his name starts with a "Ph" and ends with a high-pitched screech.
I wearily nodded and said yeah you're right, I guess. Just not feeling the humor in it right now.
He insisted we have to reclaim the humor! Must grab the funny feels! Learn to laugh again at the madness!
Maybe I'll start today.
Like I used to do, in ye olde good days, with a stream-of-consciousness, yeah that should work. Phoenix narrates his entire life anyway. There is not a moment when he is not talking, even during supposedly silent, solitary activities. It is a constant, running chatter full of challenges and attitude and devil-may-care. It goes like this, as he plays a motorcycle game online:

"Watch out boy, it's me, na na na na na,  look who came out to play! Oh yeah! You're going down! Hey I just died. I did not see that coming. It's going to go DOWN . Charge! This is awesome. *break for whistling serenade* Break it-break it-break it! Take that, number 4. Ooh, you're right, I came to the right place. I just went down that hill?! Coooool... EPIC... woohoo! Woohoo dun-na-na-na-na, na-na-na, going foot first, yeah check me out. Stealin! Number 4's gonna be cool *break for evil laugh* Huh?! All these are about farms? This is a tiny little place. Man I was having fun there. Charge! Welcome to the game. Dun-na-na-na *break for evil laugh* It's going straight down people. Cooool. This is awesome! *break for whistling* *break for evil laugh*"

The formula is that I leave this right here, and when I come back and re-read it, I will snicker and get misty-eyed and think of the good ole days. Deal?

"Cool!!! *evil laugh* I'm standing on the streets, ready to laugh, suckers!"

Good lord when is February over.