Saturday, December 19, 2009

Feliz Navidad

The homes on the Circle were bright and welcoming with festive lights dancing along their eaves and fragrant smoke wafting lazily from their chimneys. The night was cool and crisp with golden stars twinkling in time with a cosmic Christmas carol.

It was the night before Christmas and I was sitting on the bench under the big tree in my yard sipping hot cider…sipping hot cider and waiting.

I didn’t see him arrive; he was just…softly and suddenly…there next to me. “I was wondering when you were going to show up,” I said, not turning towards him, before taking another sip of cider.

He chuckled warmly. “Not surprised to see me, huh?”

I shook my head. “I’ve read my Dickens,” I said with a grin.

“Well there’s just me this time…there are cutbacks all over.”

“Bah, humbug,” I said with a wink.

For a few moments, we sat silently side by side looking up into the endless night sky.

“Are you doing okay?” he asked.

A soft torrent of conflicting reactions and emotions surged through me and I sighed softly. “Yeah…most of the time…sometimes I…”

“I know,” he said.

“I’m sorry I never said…”

“You didn’t have say anything,” he said gently, “I was a clever fellow and you, despite your feints, aren’t nearly as inscrutable as you think you are. Well at least not when you know what to look for and care enough to look for it…and I did.”

“Yeah,” I smiled even as tears formed in the corners of my eyes. “I miss you.”

“Estoy con usted siempre, mi amigo querido.”

I nodded, still fighting back the willful tears. “I know. It’s kept me sane through some of the dark times this year…”

“Good.” He started to say something else but then thought better of it. “I have to go.”

I turned to look at him for the first time. I knew him by heart though he looked more serene than I could ever remember seeing him before. “Will I see you again?”

He winked and smiled. “Yes…it’s a bright circle of life and we’ll all see you again in due course.”

I didn’t need to ask who “we all” were, I just knew. And the knowing warmed me to my soul.

“Feliz Navidad, mi hermano. Feliz Navidad y Feliz Año Nuevo.”

“Merry Christmas, my friend,” I said to the cool Christmas Eve night. He was gone…and yet he wasn’t gone at all.

- for MZ -

Friday, October 16, 2009

Autumn Road


country road, autumn road,
carry me to love, carry me to life,
carry me to the arms of passion,
carry me home to the one I love...
country road, autumn road,
carry me, carry me all the way home.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All You Need is...

“Is it because I’m white?”

The question caught me a bit off-guard, as indeed it was supposed to. “No,” I said, a little bit insulted, “you know better than that.”

She frowned…her mouth unconsciously forming the little girl pout on her woman’s mouth that I found so incredibly fetching that I had to look away…as she marshaled her next argument. There was no way I was going to get out this conversation unscathed.

“If you don’t love me, just say so,” she said finally, her dark brown eyes focused so powerfully on mine that I couldn’t turn away again if I tried.

I took a soft breath, sighing almost inaudibly, as I measured my own words. “I do love you, baby,” I replied truthfully. “How could I not love you? You’re smart…you’re funny…you’re giving and warm and caring…you’re so beautiful it takes my breath away…I’d have to be dead not to love you…”

“Then why…”

“Because,” I said, cutting off the question she’d asked me a dozen times before, “I have a strict rule that I don’t get involved with anyone who doesn’t have a favorite Beatles song…and you, pretty girl, weren’t even born until years after the Beatles broke up…”

That was a new one and she sighed with exasperation and frowned. “I don’t care about that…I love you and you love me, what else matters?”

She was so magnificent in her anger that I wanted to pull her into my arms and hold her for the rest of our lives. “It matters that you’re 23 years old…and I’m not of a mind to steal your youth to get through my golden years…I’m not that guy.”

“But…”

“It matters that you have so much living to do…to finish school…to find a job that excites and engages you…to find someone your own age to love and make babies with…so much to do…”

Tears began to pool in her dark eyes but she defiantly refused to let them fall. “I can do all those things with you…I want to do all those things with you!”

“Baby, I’m more than twice your age…I’ve lived a good portion of my life…I’m old and set in my ways and there’s no way in hell that I’m going let you tie yourself down to me…”

She shook her head and sighed. “I know why you call me “baby”…you’re trying to remind me that I’m “too young” for you…”

I smiled and reached out and stroked her cheek. “Partially,” I admitted, “but also because you are my baby…and because you like it when I call you that…”

She grinned and nuzzled against my hand. “You’re not getting rid of me this easily, old man,” she said resolutely. She surged into my arms and buried her head on my shoulder. “When you’re old and gray, I’ll push your wheelchair and make you oatmeal and love you still with all my heart.”

I closed my eyes and held her tight.

“’All You Need is Love’,” she whispered.

“What?”

“My favorite Beatles song….’All You Need is Love’…wise words, don’t you think?”

I chuckled and kissed the top of her head. “There’s my girl.”

“Damn right,” she said, closing her eyes and relaxing unabashedly in our embrace.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Moments

Troy knew that the kiss was a risky proposition but he didn’t care. If she were to run away into the night never to return he would have this moment. And sometimes moments are all you get.

Sara folded into the kiss, letting down her studied defenses long enough to let the rest of the world mind its own business and let them be, and she felt, fleetingly anyway, safe and…loved…

“That’s all I wanted to say,” he said, hoping to bring some levity to the longing and the awkwardness of the stolen moment.

She looked into his eyes and then, feeling incredibly exposed and vulnerable, she buried her head against the comforting broadness of his chest. “You said it very nicely,” she said with more coyness than a woman of her age should be comfortable with. “I’m so glad that you’re my friend.”

He nodded and smiled, just a bit ruefully. “We aim to please,” he said kissing the top of her head. That moment was done and this moment…the “you know we’re just friends” moment…had taken its place.

They held each other…together and so far apart…and let the moment speak for itself.

Sometimes moments are all you get.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sometimes...

Sometimes I get so selfish and self-pitying that I find myself getting so angry at you…angry and abandoned and alone…but those moments are few and far between and they pass like the wispy tendrils of a lazy morning mist…

Sometimes I still hear your laugh…sometimes I still look to share some bit of nonsense with you….sometimes I forget that you’ve been gone since a cold spring…you’ve been gone through a hard and heart-wounding summer…sometimes I forget…but those moments are few and far between…

Sometimes I smile wistfully…imagining what you would say…imagining what would make smile…imagining what cock your head to the side and say everything you needed to in a withering, knowing look…

Sometimes I rage against the heavens…sometimes I rage against the injustice…sometimes I rage, crying acid tears, because my friend is gone…sometimes…

Sometimes I remember all that was and not all that there should have been…sometimes I smile for having known you rather than cry for having lost you…

Sometimes I wish I had told you everything you meant to me…and sometimes I know that you already knew that…

Sometimes the gray envelops me…threatens to smother me…but sometimes…most times…the light breaks through and I move forward, healed and whole and so much better for having known you…

Sometimes I still hear your life…and sometimes it makes me cry…and sometimes…most times…it makes me smile.

- for M on what would have been his 62nd birthday -

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Gone

Memory dims…time heals…life waxes and wanes...

life moves on like it has to do…

And we are here…eight years gone…and moving on with life like we have to do…

Yes I remember where I was…

Yes I remember how scared I felt…

Yes I remember how angry I felt…

Yes I remember how helpless I felt…

Yes I remember finding solace in the smile of a baby girl…

Yes I remember.

Eight years gone…so many yesterdays ago…

And we are here…remembering with comforting buffer of time and tide…

Eight years gone…and moving forward and looking back…moving on with life like we have to…

Flags flying…tear stains long dry…I remember…we all remember…

Eight years gone…so many lifetimes gone….so many lifetimes to go.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Your Song

It was your song…I wrote it for you…I sang it for you…and you smiled with your eyes and hugged me so tight I thought my heart was going to burst sweetly right there in the bedroom.

I sang it for you…your song…and you looked at me with such love that I had to shy away or be consumed by own passion and joy…I sang it for you…and you swayed to the rhythm and didn’t once make fun of me being so off-key.

It was your song…I wrote it and I rewrote it and I started to toss it out a million times…but I didn’t…I sang it for you…I sang it from my heart…and your heart…your amazing, mighty, mighty heart sang back to me.

It was your song…it is your song still…you kissed me for it…long and slow, sweet as strawberries and electric as thunder…and you made me sing it again…your song…from my heart to yours.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don't Know What You've Got 'til it's Gone...

She looked him…her face a study in piety and pity…and nodded plaintively. It was a hollow gesture. “We were good once,” she said in that condescending voice that she slipped into when she was doing something that she didn’t want to be called on, “and we’ll always be friends.”

He suppressed a snicker. “I don’t think so,” he said with more bluntness than he had usually given her during the course of their carnival ride of a relationship.

She winced but then composed herself. “We will…you’ll see…” She opened the door and stepped into the gathering twilight. The big yellow taxi was waiting at the end of the walk. “I will always love you,” she said, pausing first for effect and then for his reaction.

“Uh-huh,” he said.

It was her turn to shrug. She closed the door and went down the walkway, her pinched heels making a familiar clipped click-clack until she climbed into the taxi and drove off towards the airport.

He stood there listening to the sound of the car fading into the distance and waited. He waited to feel the crushing sensation of loss to bend him to his knees and bring acid tears to his eyes. You don’t what you got ‘til it’s gone…Joni said that (and she’s a poet so she should know)…and so he waited. And waited. And…

He shrugged again. Nothing. Hmph, go figure. And then…lightness, not heaviness, surged softly through him and he grunted a bemused laugh.

He realized that he was hungry and he turned towards the kitchen singing idly…”…you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone…” Joni was right (of course she was right…she’s a poet)…but sometimes the revelation is not a bad thing.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Believe in Humanity

(This post...along with the previous two posts...was inspired by reading Girls Like Us by Sheila Weller, a book about Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon)

* * * * *

I fold into my solitude…fumbling, fading, fencing with life from a distance…and I don’t find it to be disagreeable. It’s easy in fact to be beyond anger…beyond connection…beyond trusting that anyone will be there just because I want…just because I need…them to be there.

My faith wanders looking for new places to plant itself and start reaching for the sun again and I let it go, never truly imagining that it will find safe purchase in scorched fields of broken dreams, foolish fancies, and the naïve belief (sorry, John) that love is all you need.

And still…and still…and still…despite my cowardly hubris…my self-protective hubris…my rational dispassionate hubris…my faith soldiers on and I believe.

I believe in the sureness of the sunrise and the magic of little girls laughing…the magic of kisses from beautiful strangers and the comfort of awkward bear hugs from reticent men who don’t know where to put their feelings they can’t…they won’t…call love.

I believe that every day is gift from the universe…that every day is something that belongs to me just because I claim it…I believe that true love is exceedingly rare but always…always…always worthy of being sought out and embraced.

And still…and still…and still…despite all evidence to the contrary…I believe in possibilities that love is real…that friendship exists beyond mere convenience and happenstance…that pretty lies are always trumped by beautiful truths. I believe…even folded into my solitude…that I am not alone…never alone…never completely alone.

And still…I believe in myself…I believe in my dreams….not matter how silly and extraordinary and crazy they sometimes are…I believe in my friends and my neighbors and my countrymen…yeah, despite having so many reasons not to, I still believe (thanks, Carole) in humanity…

* * * * *

MKW Pop Culture Stuff (including a review of Girls Like Us):

Neverending Rainbow


Thursday, August 06, 2009

So Vain

“Can I get a tight spotlight?” He waited a moment and then he was captured in a stark circle of light. “Thank you.” He looked out into the darkness. “Should I just start?”

“Whenever you’re ready,” she said, evenly enough to disguise her impatience.

He took a deep breath. “I used to think that the whole world revolved around me. I wondered what it was that people could possibly do when I wasn’t around to watch them.”

He paused, half expecting some kind of response. “I used to imagine that I could fly…that I was the strongest boy in the world…that I was Superman or Hercules…that everybody wanted to be my friend.” He took another pause. “But then I grew up.” Another pause. “Mostly.”

“Interesting,” she said, hoping that he wouldn’t realize that she didn’t think it was interesting at all.

“I used to think that anybody who made an effort to get to know me would realize how great I was and that they would want to be my friend…who would want to be my lover…who would want to walk with me through life forever and ever…”

“Because the whole world revolved around you,” she said dispassionately.

He winced and then nodded. “Yeah.”

“But then you grew up.”

His cheeks grew a bit warm. “Mostly,” he said hoping it would make her chuckle.

She chuckled…but mostly because he was expecting her to. “I think Carly Simon wrote a song about you.”

He smiled. “”Well I always wanted the girls to dream that they’d be my partners…”

“Of course you did,” she said dryly.

He was pretty sure she was making sport of him but he wanted the gig so he let it go. “Well, I’m older now and I know the world doesn’t revolve around me. Hell sometimes the world doesn’t seem to know that I’m even here.”

“And you’re okay with that?”

He paused again. “Yeah,” he lied.

Her right eyebrow arched up knowingly. “Really?”

He grinned wolfishly. “Mostly.”

She chuckled…honestly this time…and nodded. “Thank you,” she said making some notes on her Blackberry, “we’ll be in touch.”

“Okay, cool,” he said.

And then the spotlight went out.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Case of You

I had a friend who once told of driving cross country…from the northeast to the bohemian expanse of Austin, Texas…with Joni Mitchell’s Blue as her soundtrack. She found mirrors and companions and solaces in the nakedly vulnerable poetry and that lingered with her years later (and, I will presume, even unto today.)

We played at love, she and I, passionately distant for a brief season…joined by poetry and comic books, by music and chastely humid late night phone calls…and then we stopped pretending and went our separate ways.

She comes into my consciousness…at odd times and from odd angles…even unto today and I choose to remember the sweet moments…a song on a heartfelt mix tape that made me feel loved and connected and safe, a “smile in a whisper” (she didn’t like that Fairground Attraction song but it always reminds me of her) in shared wistful, guileless, passionate dialogues shared in the safety of our distant bedrooms…and take the soft, magical joy those sweet moments can bring when I’m open to it.

I’ve thought about the friend I had often lately as I read a biography of Joni that sends me to my CD collection for Miles of Aisles and Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm (surprising and delighting her with “My Secret Place”...see below... on a tape was a sublimely thrilling moment for me) and, yes, Blue. Joni as a soundtrack…I could drink a case of you and I would still be on my feet…works for me…even unto today.

- for Priscilla -

* * * * *

MKW's Pop Culture ramblings: Neverending Rainbow

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

150 Words: Idyll

The breeze dances around, mischievously trying to tease me out of my stillness, but I pay it only passing heed. I’m under the tree…the big one that stretches over the roof of my suburban home and reaches humbly for the sky…reading about Joni Mitchell and finding poetry in the expanse of the azure sky. Perhaps, I wonder fleetingly, I am becoming too comfortable in my solitude…but I let that go (if it’s true it’s not a bad thing…for a lingering soft season anyway…and if it’s not there’s no point in letting grayness in on such a glorious summer’s day.)

And so I breathe, the wind tickling the new growth on my recently shaved cheeks, and read about Joni and soak in the sunshine and find poetry and soft symphonies in the cloudless summer sky…and so I breathe, comfortable in my solitude, and let the moment linger as long it will.

* * * * *

MKW's Pop Culture stuff: Neverending Rainbow

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

...you're missing...

I’m sure there will come a time when I won’t run across something funny…or interesting or infuriating or fascinating or just silly…and turn to share it with you only to find myself disappointed that you aren’t there in the seat you inhabited for so long.

That time will come…one day…but it hasn’t yet.

I guess missing people isn’t supposed to be easy…isn’t supposed to gotten over in the passing of scant weeks and months.

I still feel your energy…still hear your acerbic wisdom echoing through the halls of the house…I still want to share the things that made us smile and grimace and sigh and laugh unabashedly.

I’m sure there will come a time when I won’t miss you quite so acutely…but maybe I’m wrong…and certainly that time is not now.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

150 Words: Two Glorious Fools (Dancing)

The summer breeze tickled our faces and we smiled broadly…two glorious fools on top of the world…and shared soft strawberry kisses in the approving sunshine. Hand in hand…so much in love it too amazing to be true…and we leapt into the air…giggling like schoolchildren…and danced in the arms of the wind.

We kissed…dancing…we laughed and sang…dancing…we drew together and completely forgot about the rest of the world…it was just us…two glorious fools…so much in love…and the sun caressed us…dancing…and looked away discreetly as we consummated our passion once more…sweet, sweet dancing.

The early evening cool spilled over us…resting and laughing and smiling knowingly…as we lay in a field of wildflowers…two glorious fools in the arms of the goddess…and prayed that tomorrow would be even half as glorious as today.

The midnight moon blanketed us…slumbering…two glorious fools safe in the arms of evening…same in the arms of each other…dancing…dancing into dreamtime.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

...one small step...

40 years ago the 13-year-old me sat in the living room of my aunt and uncle's house in Carson, California (they had a big color television and we...my mother, my brother, and I... made the half-hour trek from our house near Culver City because of that)...I was cross-legged on the floor watching, with wide-eyed wonder, grainy pictures that had been sent from beyond our world.

Answering the challenge of a President who did not live to see the deed, two men from our planet were setting foot on Luna...our planet's faithful satellite...its bright and storied Moon.

It was amazing...and all these years later I am still amazed. Watching Neil Armstrong and "Buzz" Aldrin on the surface of the moon made it seem, to imaginative boys like I was and to just about everyone else experiencing it, like anything...ANYTHING...was possible.

I imagined then that we would be spreading out into the solar system and beyond...boldly going where...well, you know...

We don't have colonies on the moon or people walking on Mars or flying cars or anything of those kind of things we might have imagined on that summer's day in 1969...though, as I write this on a computer more powerful than some of the ones used to plot the course to and from the moon, there are 13 brave souls working on a space station in Earth orbit so we're not too badly...but it is still utterly delightful to remember that thrilling day when brave Mr. Armstrong took one small step...




Monday, July 13, 2009

A Sometimes Useful Idiot

Despite my best efforts to be the best staff that I can, I am well aware that my feline overlords regard me with a whimsical mixture of razor-thin patience, haughty indifference, occasional affection, and withering exasperation (I’m pretty sure that they tolerate me as much as they do only for want of opposable thumbs and access to money….had they both of those things I am quite sure that my services would no longer be required…)

I don’t take this personally.

I endeavor to meet their needs to the best of my abilities (said abilities are sorely lacking in their eyes, of course, but hey I’m only human…) hoping to exchange that for the chance to be able to work sometimes without having to stroke a back, try to decipher a meow, or throw a ball.

It’s a fair exchange.

And so I serve them and express my gratitude for being allowed to dwell in their presence. And they accept my presence and my ministrations while regarding me as what they know I am: a sometimes useful idiot.

Again, it’s a fair exchange.


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Nightswimming II

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night
I'm not sure all these people understand
It's not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water
They cannot see me naked
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday
...

- R.E.M. -

The night was bright, given vibrant life by the light of a full, proud moon and we were just drunk enough to cast aside our common sense and strip naked and run headlong into the icy surf. Even at 2 AM there were a handful of people on the south California beach but no one paid us any attention (people tend to come to the beach at 2 AM for reasons of their own…they really don’t care or notice why anybody else is there.)

The cold sea water didn’t sober us up as much as might have been expected and we splashed around for a few long minutes before we retreated back to the sand and fell down laughing. We lay in the sand, naked but not cold (perhaps the lingering aftereffects of the rum we’d consumed at the bar a few blocks away), and looked up at the moon. The world fell away and, for those moments at least, we forgot about the heartaches and disappointments that had led us to the bar and on to the beach.

Eventually we felt the chill of the night…and we felt the awkwardness of being naked together on a public beach…and we slipped into our boxers and jeans and t-shirts and sat in the sand listening to the surf. We sighed, almost as one, as the heartaches and disappointments started to crowd back to the front of our minds.

But we shook them off. The night was still bright and the morning would be time enough to deal with that stuff again. We glanced at each, grinning knowingly, and then got to our feet and wandered off towards the parking lot where we’d left the car. We slept in the car for a while and then, sober enough to negotiate the ever bustling Los Angeles freeways, we headed home to finish the night in our own beds.

* * * * *

"Nightswimming"

words and music by R.E.M.

Pop culture stuff: Neverending Rainbow


Monday, July 06, 2009

Another Monday Morning

My feline overlords were waiting impatiently outside my bedroom door. 5:31 was, it seems, past the time when they would have preferred to break the fast. Already put out because I no longer leave my bedroom door open at night (I used to but their nocturnal habit of walking on me at 2 O’clock in the morning put an end to that) they are barely tolerant of my tardiness but I ignore it until I have finished my morning absolutions in the bathroom.

Fed and happy (for the moment anyway) the overlords (actually two lords and one lady) drift off to places in the house (in the now open bedrooms mostly) and give me space to savor my first mug of tea, to glance through the paper, to delete a majority of the newly-arrived e-mail (spam filters are not nearly as effective as I would like.)

I did my household chores yesterday so I finish the latest research project (gotta make that coin) and clear the decks to work on my novel.

A shower and a second mug of steaming tea and I’ll be good to go. The morning clouds are clinging to the sky petulantly but the guy on the radio assures me that they will lose the struggle by mid-morning. It’s going to be a good day. It’s another Monday morning.

(Today’s soundtrack: “Michael Keith’s Summer Mix ‘09” and Bob Marley & The Wailers’ B is for Bob)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

a good thing

There was a time…a lingering time…when I deluded myself into thinking I meant something to you…that your declarations of love were sincere…that my declarations of love were real and requited. Deeds have put the lie to that…but maybe that’s a good thing.

Hell, I’m not even sure if you ever really liked me…you’ve certainly gone out of your way to let me know that my well being is not within your sphere of concern now that you’re done with me…now that I’ve stopped trying to achieve the seemingly impossible goal of trying to figure out what would really make you happy (though in the process of stopping I have paradoxically actually discovered the answer I was looking for all along: nothing will make you happy, it’s the pursuit of the next thing that fires your soul, reaching any goal just turns to ashes in your mouth and you cast about for the next patch of greener grass almost immediately.)

Time moves on…as is its wont…and I endure. I am struggling…but content. I am alone…but not lonely. I have learned from us…the good and the bad, the real and the imagined, the noble and the petty…and taken it all into heart as the journey continues. It is, in fact, a good thing.

There was a time…but that time is gone and there is only here and only now and I’m okay with that. That too is, in fact, a good thing.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dance

She glanced down as he came out of the bathroom, her eyes playfully hooded and her smile deliberately enigmatic but still undeniably teasing.

He finished toweling off, his skin still humid from the steamy water, and met her gaze. He glanced down and then smiled ruefully. “It’s a grower not a ‘show-er’,” he said, half-proudly, half-defensively.

She smiled brighter and threw open the quilt she was under. “Then pretend I’m from Missouri and show me,” she said, laughing the full-bodied laugh that never failed to thrill and arouse him.

There were times when he thought that she was too thin…that her breasts were too small…that her butt was too flat…but those times were fleeting and quickly forgotten. Most times he was besotted with the willowy curve of her lithe body and that feeling was more than quadrupled now that he was finally seeing her naked and welcoming.

He slipped into bed and pulled the quilt over them. She drew him close and he leaned into a lingering kiss, the blood rushing to his loins. “See?” he said huskily, “I told you…”

She nuzzled his neck, she sighed a long, warm breath. “Stop talking now,” she whispered thickly.

And they danced the dance of passion, bodies explored and entwined…they danced the dance of passion like it was their hundredth time together and not their first.

Afterwards, they lay under the quilt catching their breath while the sweat from their bodies mixed in languid little pools on his chest.

She kissed his shoulder and then snuggled back close to him. “Oh my,” she said without the slightest hint of irony.

His senses were still too fevered for him to be articulate so he settled for a quip. “We aim to please, little lady.”

She laughed that laugh. “Definitely a grower,” she said closing her eyes and luxuriating in the soft waves of passion still coursing through her.

He kissed the top of her head and closed his own eyes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

150 Words:...and she was flying...


And she was flying…soaring happily into the azure sky…laughing merrily as her little hand reached up into the warm sunlight, reached up to touch the face of God.

And then, just as suddenly, gravity gently tugged her back down towards the familiar expanse of mother Earth…and she closed her eyes, not the least bit afraid, and spread her arms wide as the breeze caressed her hair and tickled her face.

And then she stopped. She stopped and found herself where she began…in the protective arms of the best and strongest man in the whole wide world.

She opened her eyes and smiled, just a bit shyly. “Hi, Daddy.”

“Hi, baby,” the best and strongest man in the whole wide world replied. “Again?”

She nodded. “Yes, please, again!”

She giggled as the best and strongest man in the whole wide world said, “Okay, baby, he we go…”

And she was flying…

- for Dads everywhere -

(the best and strongest men in the whole wide world)

Saturday, May 30, 2009

She's Like Marilyn/Safe Harbor

She’s the kind of woman that some men...that many men...covet…the kind of woman some men...that many men...want on their arms…want in their beds. They want her primal womanhood…so intoxicating and so terrifying at once…they want to imagine the light in her eyes shines only for them and the torrid mysteries of her womanly body have been waiting only for them to discover.

She the kind of woman that some men….that many men…covet. The kind of woman that some men imagine as everything they need to soothe their own needs: a goddess and a lover and a whore…a passionate savior and a selfless healer…a willing and nurturing receptacle for all of their hopes and dreams and their most carnal masculine indulgences.

If they see her pain…most do not…they dismiss it; if they hear the rueful echo in her sensuous laugh…and most do not…they recast it as something musical and magical that suits them, something musical and magical and meant only for them.

She’s like Marilyn, the kind of woman some men…many men…covet. She’s like Marilyn, the kind of woman that some men…most men…don’t care to really try to understand.

(He wants her too. He is a man and her feminine essence inflames his senses and quickens the blood in his loins too. But he sees the pain…sees the longing for someone, anyone, to try to see the little girl inside the powerful woman. He puts aside the aching to be her lover and makes himself a safe harbor…a place she can pull into with her tears and her laughter…her dreams and her foibles and her longing to be really seen and understood rather than just selfishly coveted and callously used. He loves her...as confusing and painful as that can be sometimes... and he passionately wants to be her safe harbor as much as…perhaps even more than…he wants to make her his own.)

She’s the kind of woman…she’s like Marilyn, full of passion and sorrow, longing and disappointment, full of the weight of disappointments and the lingering light of a hopeful, passionate heart…she’s the kind of woman that some men…many men…covet.

Friday, May 08, 2009

an appreciation

Every day is “Mother’s Day”, of course. Our mothers inform our lives from the moment we are imbued with the bright spark of life to the moment we return to the warm and welcoming shadows of eternity.

And not just our own mothers…though their influence is most profound…most amazing…most comforting…but all mothers in and about our lives as we wind down our verdant paths that make up our mortal lives.

So here’s to mothers…all mothers…our mothers and the mothers of our children and the mothers of our grandchildren; to our sisters of blood and our sisters of spirit; to all of the wonderful women who have given new and abundant life to this bittersweet and grand old world of ours.

So here’s to mothers…all wondrous mothers…here’s to you as we celebrate on “Mother’s Day”, the one on that Sunday in May and all the ones that shine softly and surely on every other day of the year as well.

Celebrate light and love and laughter…

Celebrate dreams encouraged and realities embraced…

Celebrate patient smiles and withering looks,

Celebrate firm hands and big plush hugs.

Celebrate light and love and laughter…

Celebrate the majesty of woman,

Celebrate the mothers,

All of the amazing mothers,

To whom we all owe so very much.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Few Good Things Remain

I sometimes wonder if you think I still think of you. I do. And I’m sure you know that I do.

In the quiet hours…the soft minutes when memory rules and “what if?” becomes a doleful mantra…I still think of you…I still reach out for you with my heart…and I am still comforted though time and circumstance, foolish decisions of mine and the affection of others try mightily to put a lie to that.

I think of your smile…and the shyly passionate way you folded into my arms, into our kisses…I think of the easy way you laughed when I said something silly and the gentle way you sighed when our bodies were joined…and I am gladdened again.

In the quiet hours…the soft minutes…when memory takes hold…when “what if?” mocks me with gentle melancholy…I think of you…and the music you picked as our soundtrack…and even in the moments when hope seems a distant memory and love just a rapidly fading mirage, I know that a few good things do indeed remain.

- for my Mariposa (still and always) -



Monday, March 30, 2009

Too Close to the Sun (a fable)

Once upon a time…which, as good folk of all ages know, is when all good stories begin…there was a remarkable woman. She was a beautiful girl with a beautiful mind and a beautiful spirit…she had long dark hair and sparkling brown eyes and a smile that could effortlessly warm the coldest heart.

It was a glorious day and the woman and the man…a stalwart fellow of seemingly dour mien (though those who bothered to look close could see the twinkle in his dark eyes and the evidence of many, many smiles and laughs plain to see at the corners of his mouth where his full lips met his full black beard)…were on a verdant cliff over looking the lush seaside valley where they both lived.

“I’m a grown woman,” the woman pouted, futzing with the golden cord secured around his waist, “I don’t need this.”

The man, holding a coil of golden cord in his big hand, stepped close to her. “Do you trust me?” he asked looking directly into her eyes.

The woman smiled shyly and folded into him. “You know I do,” she said in a small voice, burying her head against his chest and feeling so very comforted by the sweet music of his tender heart.

The man smiled and gently kissed the top of the woman’s head. “Then trust me in this.”

The woman sighed petulantly even though she was smiling warmly inside. “Oh, all right.” The woman closed her eyes and hugged the man, part of her never wanting to let go, and then she took a deep breath and stepped up to the edge of the cliff. “I’m ready,” she said her eyes full of awe and wonder as she looked down on the roaring sea and the lush valley and then up into the azure sky.

The dropped the coil of golden corn to the ground and took hold of the tether that went from the coil to his hands to the waist of the woman. “I won’t let you crash,” he promised.

She favored him with a creamy, healing smile. “I know,” she said with an impish wink. She turned back to the edge and took another deep breath. “Hey,” she said looking back over her shoulder and said, “I love you.”

“I know,” he said with an impish wink.

The woman laughed musically and then, with one last deep breath, she leapt. She leapt off the edge of the cliff and plunged a little. And then she soared. She soared up above the lush seaside valley. She soared high into the azure sky, the golden cord secured around her waist glinting in the soft sunshine as it wound down to where the man was carefully letting the coil un-spool while keeping a sure hand on the connection between the woman and him.

Glorying in the perspective from so high, the woman laughed and danced and sang as she soared ever higher.

The sun, in all its majesty, looked down her with affection and admiration.

The wind, feeling a bit bored even on such a beautiful day, caressed her as she soared. “Go higher,” the wind sang, “go higher. It will be okay.”

The woman knew that there was only so far that she should soar lest she suffer the fate of foolish Icarus but her spirit was filled with such unbridled joy that she felt the impulse to heed the entreaties of the mischievous wind.

On the cliff below the man watched carefully making sure his grip on the golden tether was strong and sure.

The woman flew higher, her will to soar ever higher undaunted, and she reached out to touch the very sun itself.

“Careful, daughter,” the sun said, “do not get too close to me, I cannot temper my heat and my radiance.”

“Don’t listen, girl,” the wind said, “it will be fine if you go higher.”

The woman stretched out her hand…and then she stopped. There was a tug around her waist and she could go no further. Below, the man had pulled back on the golden cord and was pulling her back from the precipice of danger.

“No,” the woman said, looking longingly up at the luminous sun. But she did not fight as the man gently pulled her back into the expansive azure sky.

“No,” the bored, mischievous wind, said blowing hard and making the woman lose her way for a moment.

Startled by the sudden shift in the wind, the woman lost concentration and began to fall towards the ground…towards the verdant hill and the lush seaside valley…below. At first the woman started to panic but then she remembered the man’s promise and she took a deep breath. She closed her eyes and allowed the warm of the sun and the coolness of the breeze to steady her resolve and calm her mind.

The wind, feeling guilty that the game had gone too far, rushed down to slow her.

Below, the man took a deep breath and kept his eyes fixed on the woman. He reeled in the golden cord furiously and, with the aid of the guilty wind, the woman glided down into his waiting arms.

The woman opened her eyes when she felt herself gently embraced by the man’s strong arms.

“Hello,” the man said, smiling with relief, “thanks for trusting that me.”

“Hello,” the woman replied, looking up into the man’s smiling dark eyes, “thanks for keeping your promise.”

The man let the woman down and she reached up and hugged him. “I want to go back up,” she whispered.

The man nodded. “I’m ready when you are.”

She smiled her bright and creamy smile and went back to the edge of the cliff.

“Hey,” the man, getting a good grip on the golden cord, called out, “I love you.”

The woman giggled joyfully and looked back over her shoulder. “I know,” she said with an impish wink.

And then, undaunted, she leapt off the cliff again and soared back up into the azure sky.

The wind danced with her, caressing her face and making sure she flew high but not too high.

The sun looked down proudly at his bold daughter dancing in the azure sky and his stalwart son holding steady on the verdant cliff.

The man looked up and smiled as the woman’s happy laughter echoed across the lush seaside valley below.

And the woman…the beautiful girl with the beautiful mind and the beautiful spirit…soared gracefully…joyfully…surely. She soared with a wisdom that had eluded foolish Icarus….close enough to the sun that she was bathed in its glory but no so close as to be immolated.

And she lived (and learned and laughed and loved) happily ever after…which, as good folks of all know, is how all good stories unfold.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

150 Words: Moonlight

The moon, if it was out at all, was obscured by clouds…but he had already rewritten the memory to include a full measure of warm, golden moonlight…it just felt more right that way.

The ocean sang its eternal song, an amazing soundtrack to a sweetly amazing evening, and he was sitting in the cool sand, his heart racing, his senses captivated, his arms around the girl snuggled comfortably against his chest. Yeah, there just had to be moonlight.

The moon, her radiant smile beaming approvingly, witnessed the moment and he, for too brief a moment, forgot that there was anyone else in the world other than the girl…he willfully forgot that they would not…could not…ever be together for more than the fleeting moments they defiantly took for themselves.

The ocean shared its song…Luna shared her tender moonlight…and the moment lingered just long enough for him to know it was real.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Find Myself (Spring Returns)

I find myself dancing,
dancing and dreaming and basking in the healing sunshine
as Spring makes its welcome return.

I find myself smiling,
smiling and singing and wanting to make love in soft shadows
as Spring makes its blessed return.

I find myself wishing…
wishing and wondering and feeling content in my own skin…
dancing and dreaming and basking in the healing sunshine…
smiling and singing and wanting to make love in soft shadows…

I find myself dancing
as Spring makes its wondrous return.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Memories

And the laughter flowed…easy, bittersweet, joyful, rueful laughter…and the tears were held in check (though sometimes just barely)…as friends gathered and shared memories…memories of our friend.

And I was pleased…and not at all surprised…by the number of people who came to celebrate the fact that he was, for too brief a season, here on this sweet old world with us. I was pleased…and not at all surprised…that his passing on to whatever comes next for our eternal energies could not…would not…go unnoticed.

In the end the most precious treasure any of us could ever possess is the fact that there are hearts and souls that will miss us when we are gone…that there are hearts and souls that will carry memories of us…that will carry us…long after we have ascended from this verdant mortal coil.

And in the end he lingers…in memories, in sacrosanct corners of our hearts…a humble and blessed being here for too brief a season, possessor of the most precious treasure any of us could ever hope to possess. And in the end our lives…those who had the sublime pleasure of knowing him…are much better for having had him in our lives…for having him in our lives still and always.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Numb

It's strange...my friend...my best friend...passed away a few hours ago and all I feel in the moment is numb.

Maybe not so strange...I don't have the luxury of breaking down because there are still things I have to do for him and for those who will mourn his passing...especially since that passing came with so little warning (just three weeks ago he was bright and alive...he was everything that made him the person people gravitated towards...and now he's gone...lingering in our hearts and in our memories...but gone from this bittersweet old world.)

At some point I will break down...at some point I will embrace the enormity of the void in my life...but right now...right now...I'm just numb.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waiting

I don’t hate hospitals. I’m not especially fond of them…the air is always filled with antiseptic and anxiety and prayerful anticipation and the dour energy of the sick and the dying…but I don’t hate them.

Here and now this is a good thing since my best friend is in one…unmoored from the waking world for so many days by a medically induced coma…and the responsibility for decisions about his care is mine (a responsibility freely taken so that he didn’t fall into the control of a family he’s been long estranged from.)

So I’ve spent more hours in the hospital…with its chilled, antiseptic air…its briskly professional nurses and doctors…its buzzing, wheezing, humming electronic doodads and whatnots…its nondescript artwork on cool blue walls…than I ever have before.

So I’ve spent hours waiting for my friend to return to the waking world…spent hours waiting for my intuition to let me know that my friend won’t be returning to the waking world…spent hours waiting and hoping and steeling for myself to decide what I may have to decide.

So I’ve spent hours…will spend more hours…so yeah it’s a good thing I don’t hate hospitals…

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Making April Smile (a Valentine's Day remembrance)

When I was 11 I gave a Valentine to April Brown. I wrote a little note in the card but I didn’t sign it…at the time I was much too shy for that…but I imagined that she would know that it was from me. If she did she never showed it…I’m not sure she knew that I was alive (my empathy for Charlie Brown and his unrequited passion for the Little Red Haired Girl was never so powerful)…but the pleased and puzzled little smile the blossomed unbidden on her face when she looked at the little card and read its inscription was reward enough for me.

It was, in fact, an electric moment…a moment made more powerful, perhaps, by the clandestine nature of the situation…and in my shy silence I was happy that I had made her smile.

April got a fair number of valentines…she was a pretty girl with an easy smile and the novelty of still being a new student in our school…but she kept putting mine on top. I saw her glancing around the room doubtlessly trying to decide who she wanted her secret admirer to be.

At the end of the school day, she carefully put her little valentines…mine on top…into her notebook and went off happily with the clique of popular girls she had effortlessly become a part of since her arrival. I walked home humming…some wonderful old Motown song…and feeling both happy (for having made April smile) and disappointed (with myself…for not having had the courage to sign the card.)

Still…on balance… it was a lovely Valentine’s Day.