Fortress

Fortress

Echoing rotunda,

stalagmite twisting to a beating heart

neck aching open mouthed

my eardrums bleed

stumbling

deaf from this chamber of horror

the abysmal cavern is next

the last vestiges of a devoured soul

is being licked off the slimy stinky walls

by demons

who look like movie stars and politicians and administrators

i gag until nothing comes out, a pool of bile at my feet

staggering up the twisted stair of nails

to the daring precipice

solid ramparts

i stand on bleeding feet and appreciate the wind in my face

just as the book of affirmations told me to,

I hear the whipping and snapping of the stars and stripes on the pole above me

and when my helpful meditation is done

i notice my brain

far far below me

being quashed by a one eyed giant

in a wooden vat

that should be full of grapes.

I have my fortress.

It has done nothing to protect me.

 

 

Restless

I chop the shallots into tiny pieces and saute them slowly in a little butter until they are brown.  Then I add washed and chopped baby spinach and fresh asparagus.  I let the water in the vegetables evaporate.  I beat 6 eggs and a half cup of soymilk.  I chop sorpressa into tiny pieces, and lay them on the pie crust, pour in the veggies, evenly, and poor the eggs and milk over top.  I grate fresh local Swiss cheese, and ementhaler cheese and sprinkle it on top.  I bake them in the oven.  We eat them at the table, with coffee and fruit salad, and orange juice.

I am restless.  I throw laundry in the dryer, and mop the bathroom, I water the pots of petunias suspended under the eaves of the garage, where the downpours of the last two days could not reach.  I sit out in the sun.  And lazy with the heat of sun on my black jacket, and sheltered from the wind, I gaze up into the blue sky.

A buzzard is suspended from in the air, as though hanging from a string in the sky.  Not moving.  Just remaining utterly in place.  It flaps once, twice, and circles around and back to a different spot, and hangs, again, not moving, in the sky.  He does this a half-dozen times over several minutes before he has gone off into the sky beyond my vision. 

Do we all struggle with this feeling of lack inside us?  Do we all say, I am not good enough, I do not do enough.   Do we all say, I am not skinny enough, beautiful enough, young enough.  Do we all say, I will never be as good as this person, or that?  Do we all struggle? 

I think the buzzard was choosing the place in the sky on purpose, delighting in the quality of the restless wind, gusting in burst from more than one direction. But it has found its place, its bliss, its joy, its easy place in the sky.  it is delightful to watch, imagine how it must be to fly?

I PIN a million quotes of inspiration.  Be happy where you are.  Find your light and let it shine.  Let others opinions not move you to change who you are, accept yourself. 

If you accept who you are the universe will too.  All that you want, you have to only imagine and it will happen.  You make your own negativity.

I am restless, my thoughts jump across the sky, flipping over metal chairs, and rattling the bone chimes.  I am like the woman and the cloak, as the wind tears at it, and the sun beats down, she sweats, she is cold, she holds tight to her cloak as her hair whips across her face, she is heavy with the weight of it as the sun beats down on her. 

I think it might be time to weed the garden.  I think it might be time to weed out some of the bits that no longer serve.

Instead of wanting to be the buzzard floating still on the restless sky, I want to be me, at peace in this restless world.

Healing

He has his moments, this man I call pirate, some good, lots of annoying, some bad.  Sometimes  I see how he is and imagine in my animal brain, this must have been how X saw me sometimes, when he called me common.   But when I come in from the heat he asks me, did you see the flowers I brought you?  I go back out and under the window by the air conditioner there is a bag of trillium bulbs, ready to be planted.  And I find myself asking, is there anything less common than bringing such a treasure, like a fairy king, to my fairy queen feet?  My grandmother told me once in the smoke scented kitchen with the chrome and vinyl kitchen set I see in the movies all the time, that a boy who brings flowers to his mother, or grandmother will make a good husband.  My man brings me, not flowers from a shop, but flowers from the deep of the forest, the kind of flowers that linger for years in his own back yard.  His bright eyes are like deep pools, when I kiss his forehead.  I LOVE trillium.  I tell him.

He tells me he is going out, and I do not ask questions, phone calls,and text messages in the planning and all evening no word from him.  And I am not jealous, not really ever, just annoyed at how young his last love interest is, compared to him, although she starkly rejected him, and they still remain friends.  Is there any more honorable man than one who you never question, whom you do not feel jealous of?  Whom you know, would never shower and skip dinner, only to come home masking his woman scent with some other chemical, what is more common than a cheater who lies?

I am still so damn angry.

lilacbuddha

I step outside to plant my trillium, still stupid and lazy from an hour long massage.  The smell of the neighbors lilacs in full bloom stops me in my tracks and I go and reach over the fence and pull down the overhanging branch.  Three blossoms in my hand, and now filling my private room with their heavenly scent.  I let the dog smell them and he wags his tail at me. I tell him, I found lilies of the valley out back, and you love the smell of those!

lilyofthevalley

Is there anything less common than the luxury of monthly massages?  I say not.  I am royalty.  And my body is grateful to me for losing the weight of a big empty house, I never really could afford.   My gifted therapist works my sore back, and I feel healed, not all the way but soon I hope I will return to the woods.  The president of Clark Reservation writes to me, begging me to return, telling me she misses me.

Is there anything less common than this, knowing this is your place, though his woman still seeks to insert herself, like a can of tuna in a peanut butter sandwich, out of place like a honking goose in the middle of a busy intersection.  My mind is as broken as my heart, but I do not go out of my way to emotionally injure others for the pleasure of it pretending I have no idea how much I am hurting that person,  that is the most common of all.

I still cannot return, whether my body is healed or not.

My eyes are rain on the ocean.

Turkey Hunting Day

It is now turkey hunting season, I celebrate such a marvelous thing.  The pirate rose well before dawn, nearly still the middle of the night and left, I heard him rustling around, and then I fell back to sleep.  I woke at 6am from dead asleep to wide awake, strange dreams of college friends involved in strange events.  The coffee was still warm in the insulated carafe left with my mug on the counter.  And I made breakfast and wasted time watching TED talks for a couple hours.  Then I cleaned the bathrooms, and the kitchen, and did laundry and cat boxes, and organized my bedroom opening the curtains and windows wide.  The magnolia tree outside my bedroom window cast a stunning pink light over my whole room, to go with the rainbows dancing from the crystal in my east facing window.

Work done, I took my embroidery out to the patio, but the sun was hot and I was concerned for burning my nearly burnt skin from a long day at the Crawfish Festival on Saturday.  Only careful monitoring of my sun-screened skin, and making my sun loving pirate sit in patches of sun near the shade kept me from burning so early in the season.  And my awesome fishing hat.  I took my books and boxes, and needles and threads up the hill to where my freshly repainted metal table sits in the shade under a spruce tree.  I trucked up and down the hill for water, for lunch, for water for the dog, for laundry switching, for forgotten items or dropped things, taking time in between to clean the dog mess off the lawn on one trip, carrying a very angry cat up, only to have her realize that this was a lovely place to lay contentedly in the shade and get scratched regularly.

The pirate returned sometime in the middle of the afternoon.  I don’t even know when.  I just know that I embroidered for about 5 hours, happily content in my zone.  Finally he came up and lay in the sun on a blanket for about an hour as I drank a beer, and worked on my project.  The sun was setting into the evening, all day long the pink and white petals floated down on me like snow, but as the sun was setting it was magical, like a scene from one of my favorite movies by Akira Kurasawa, where the peach blossoms rain, tinkling like bells on a crying boy.

Love days like this.

Love, love.

Treasure Hunt

It is 4am and I am awake, thinking even 15 more minutes of sleep is worth the next two hours. I think about happiness, what does it mean to be happy?  I think my dad spent the better part of his life being clinically depressed, and I think sometimes, maybe all the time, that it might have a genetic component.  I know I should be happy.  I have a good job, with good benefits, I have a beautiful albeit at times struggling adult child, I have a decent place to sleep, plenty of spending money and few expenses, food to eat, hobbies to occupy my mind and soul, good friends, family that loves me, a great yard, pets that love me, dote on me, students who love me so why in this deep dark part of morning do I sigh as I turn over and place my clasped hands against my cheek and pull the covers over my head, am I NOT happy?  What is missing?  And I know it is not an external thing, it is something on my insides.  I know I need to return to meditation, and spend more of my time on art.

I think of this event horizon.  When I first met the ex, I had this intense feeling that he would have a profound effect on my life.  I had always thought it was a positive effect, but I now know it was totally not that, it was this other thing.  It was like being sucked into a black hole, you are one thing on one side, and you are stretched to an unrecognizably thin, tattered, atom infinite blobby particulate version of your self, where every cell is a separate entity.  Nothing in my life has ever been the same, every new thing that enters my life, must pass through that black hole before I can even begin to process it.  When I was struggling he texted me (his stalker girlfriend?) I am not sure I lose track of what happened, its course and its places, “I have moved out of our house, I am not coming back.”  As if I wanted him back, because as of the first part of October, I never ever did.  I could see that I was already unalterably torn apart.  As though I had been dismembered and sewn back together and he was saying, your body will never be the same again. *S*  Really?  I didn’t know.  *S*

Ironically my day unfolds beautifully, it is a picture perfect teaching day.  I go to help a teacher with a Literacy project which requires a poster as one component of its final product.  Two boys sit on either side of me, best friends, talking talkity chatty heads in my class.  I show the one how to draw a zebra, and he struggles immensely.  At first, but slowly this incredible beautiful graphic/design image appears and grows, I make him go back and draw lines he draws half-assed, I make articulate the decision-making process of an artist, should I do this, or that, what should I put here, is it too empty over here, what kind of tree would  be near a zebra in the wild.  And at the end his pride is evident.  I point out to him that we have been sitting side by side for an hour and a half, and he hasn’t even budged one inch from his chair.  His buddy on my other side draws a snake, and he admits he is jealous of his friend’s zebra, but also that he loves the picture.  And also there is a question from him.  Ms.  I haven’t talked in a long time, we never sit this close together and not talk but there is a question in the sound of his voice, and I explain to him about silencing the mind, that art and talking come from different places.  They confuse your mind, he states simply.  Yes. Exactly.

Later my second worst class is there and they are wonderful, so good for once it surprises me.  And after a student from another school comes in as a transfer to the special education class.  I greet her warmly, take her hands in mine and tell her she has a friend already at this school.  Her mom is visibly relieved.  I needed a day like this.  Maybe she did too.

I pull in the driveway and the magnolia tree is pink in its full bloom, and the flamingo in the front yard is a stunning accent to it.  I change and put get my tools from the shed,  I kneel to pull weeds and discover so many plants hiding under years of neglect, forget-me-not, primrose, scented thyme, cinquefoil, Salvia, oregano, rosemary, parsley, dragons tail, the dog is leashed to the iron bench on the porch, he lies in the shade panting from the heat.  There is a pleasure in this, I think, and I realize that I need these kinds of comforts of routine, of the outdoors to rejuvenate.  And for a moment I feel intense hatred for the stalker for taking away my park time.  But I let it pass, knowing that this summer I will be in the woods for weeks without the fear of ever seeing her.  I will return to it, as I must.

Now as the pirate mows the back yard, the dog, yards from me is sniffing every nook and cranny, free to wander at his leisure, the buffalo skull like God, looks empty and omniscient over us, ignoring my prayers.  The pirate grins as he passes by me, and I watch him thinking of how nice it is to not have to boss him into the mowing.  He curses as he steps in poop, and I laugh.  The wind chimes, an ever-present music, rattle softly in the light breeze.  He whistles to point out more poop for me to scoop and the dog runs to him and then past him and further on in the yard, and he tosses a ball that Sancho, even in his arthritic old man state, runs after.

I breath, a sigh of relief.  Would that more days were like this one than not.

Not sure how to make it happen.