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 -

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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.

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MKW's Pop Culture stuff: Neverending Rainbow

Wednesday, July 22, 2009'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 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 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.

* * * * *


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.