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.

Bethany
May 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lurk

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
all
be
okay

XOXO for my Greenway Therapist

-Bethany



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. 
xo
Bethany

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.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

To the tune of Muskrat Love

Greetings erstwhile readers!
That's the song that should be playing as I log in to my blog and look around. Or some other really old kitschy tune from some other time. What has happened here? It's feeling stale and dated.
I wonder if my stories have dried up for the moment.
Someone near to me suggested I start writing again, as though I willfully called a halt to the living-out-loud. I feel like the demands on my time are very real - and yet I surely also spin away hours doing other activities.
I write and delete and close the page and move on.
It is, after all, February.
I am weak in February. I could research the fact of this and ascribe it to my stars and Mercury rising or falling or hovering in retrograde. I could grimace and slowly shake my head while smirking "seasonal affective disorder." I could blame responsibility for sucking the marrow and energy from my small bones.
Instead I own it in my head and wallow and chain-read. You know? Like a junkie, I stack books and series to never stop for a moment to think in February. I fall into my favorite worlds and live there for as long as the books last. I walk along my bookshelves and wait for friends to signal me. I go for fantasy and battle and world-ending or world-saving or some really good magic. There are no light reads, no chick lit or beach reads. I want heavy immersion. Weighty issues please and maybe they don't get resolved by the end.
Meanwhile in real life...
Sure, I am present. After all, I sat on a bench for an hour yesterday and conversed with friends. Even got a little worked up over some current events.
My toes were bitten by the cold.
My eyes could meet your glance.
My heart can still pound a bit.
But it does so from a distance and the watcher that is me is removed from immediacy.
I need a buffer in February. I am figuring things out in February.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Fresh Year

In the new year we can slough off old skin
old desires
tired grudges
spent struggles

We endeavor to start fresh, our kind
We sparkle at the thought
of doing better, becoming truer
Stripping life to the essentials

We long to grasp substance, and feel our hearts tremble
Steep in the marrow of life
And we each see an image in the clouds
A separate vision
A glimmer of possibility
That makes our particular race worth running

Hello, fresh year
Let's play hide and seek

BL
1/4/15

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dreamcatchers and Dreamkillers

What a loaded title. I'm so emo lately, all dramatic and building titles in my head all the livelong day. I dash notes on a small pad when I'm at stoplights. I scribble titles on the back of receipts and pile them in the dreamcatcher pocket of my purse. Do you have one of these in your purse? It can hold all manner of things, now that I think of it. Business cards of beautiful shops. Titles that sound like candy on your tongue. Coupons to enjoy a lovely lunch. Lines to a story that will move the world. You know, just little things like that. 

On the next Maury! Dreamcatchers and Dreamkillers

Does there have to be a small death to enable a dream? Do we kill a choice to gain a decision? 
I'm still thinking about the evolution of a life. Welcome to my den - where the discussions of purpose and intent, wishing and dreaming and being are all on the table. My Dad used to say - Be a thinker! Think new thoughts, figure out what you believe!
I think he laid a spell in that direction, like I can only move through life Being a Thinker. He has trapped me, and you are trapped with me.

Friends are dreamcatchers or dreamkillers.

We all know them - the Catchers hear you out and love what you are about. They don't seek to be practical or narrate the bottom line. These people can become your Muse, because you will think of them when you are feeling creative and lighter than air. Their open-hearted support makes you continue when even you yourself are mired in practicality and thinking all-too-much about the bottom line.
Suddenly you think of a Catcher in your life and you are on track. You know that if someone believes in you, you can do it. This feeling will not be measured - it is the feeling that inspires and lights the fire and energizes you to Be Yourself.
It will urge and lead you to redecorate a room, to start a business, to paint a new color, to run with scissors, to keep on writing.

Be a dreamcatcher.

There are too many who are not; they cannot get on board with the dreamers. They do not understand how you could possibly succeed when they do not see value. Don't think of them. They deflate your purpose with their doubt. 

Figure out what you believe - about yourself and about your purpose. Move in that direction.

With love to all my dreamcatchers and muses. 
(Dreamkillers? Ain't nobody got time.)