Archives for August 2012

Agape

AGAPE

  • Selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications.

  • The love of God for humankind. In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God; … extends to the love of one’s fellow man.
  • In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros”. 

I want to write about AGAPE. I hear lots of preachers preaching AGAPE, well they’re preaching, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t AGAPE.

I want to make sense, be readable, be fair, open minds, open hearts. I write and write and write and you know what? It’s a lot of pressure and even more crap.

“Honey?” I call to Bill. He’s in the garage varnishing a piece of wood, watching the sanded mahogany transmute to a deep cherry. Man In A Box hovers in the Sunday August afternoon, winding around his head, it catches wind, liquefies in the yard.   [Read more…]

When It’s Too Hot To Write

Some days it’s even too hot to write. The heat rises from the sidewalk like it’s coming from a fire ball in the center of the earth. I watch the still morning and

wait,

wait,

wait,

for the breeze to arrive, whisper through my window, lift the sheer fabric of my curtains, let them billow.

Wait for it.

When it comes and I can breathe, I can be present.

When I’m melting it’s hard to breathe. I melt. I pool and puddle at the foot of myself. I wonder if I’ll ever be solid again.

If I could just remember

Then maybe I’d be in the flow, staying present

There’s so much to remember.
Remember I’ve been here before.
Remember I’ve solidified myself
Remember I’ve found a way back
Remember I’ve had my heart broken and mended
Remember I’ve had stiches, scraped knees, hospital visits, infections, fevers and I’ve healed
Remember the ocean
Remember the rain
Remember the snow
Remember the wind

 

I’ve been reading James Tate. He’s what I would call a great heat poet, a term I just made up and he might even appreciate. Trippy reading that washes over me like a breath of fresh air and I can breathe. What a release. What a practice in staying present and just letting my words do what they want. Letting them bubble up and splatter onto the page.

Words that I might not normally string together become awesome sentences and images and moments in time.

Silly straight, wicked, alarming, curvy, willowy, funny, sad angry simple words.

They say, do something once a day that scares you. Why? To stretch? To become more of the person I’m meant to be? More of the writer? I don’t do a physical action every day that scares me, to much to think about quite frankly. However, I do it in my writing.

And in this post, it’s scary to let the words flow and not edit (or overly edit) myself. To be honest and let myself tumble onto the page and then share it with others.

Here comes the breeze. I’m sitting in my office and letting her cool caress wrap herself around me, kiss my neck, my inner thighs, my belly, the curve of my back. I’ll watch her wrap me in relief. I’ll watch her drift in and out as the papers flutter on my desk. I’ll watch the heat sink back into the sidewalk, back to the smoldering ball in the center of the earth.

I’ll do my best to hang on to this moment. Seal it up and store it away for the next time I melt.

I wrote a little something inspired by James Tate called “My Bench” feel free to visit that bench and enjoy the ocean breeze.

In the meantime, until we melt again.

August 21, 2012

My Bench

Summer At The Bench

I woke up this morning and it was a hot summer day. I was looking forward to sitting on my favorite bench at the beach. It was my favorite bench for no other reason than it was mine. I like to go and sit. Sometimes I can sit for hours staring at the ocean change colors. When I got down to the beach and approached my bench there was a large man sitting on it. “That’s my bench.” I said. “Oh yes, well would you like to join me? I come here to look at the ocean. My wife disappeared last month, the sky just took her from me and I like to come here to look for her. I look out onto the ocean and see if she isn’t swimming toward the shore. She wasn’t a very good swimmer, but with all this practice, well, she must be quite strong at it by now.” I felt bad for this large lumpy man. He wore a black and blue plaid suit. His chin spilled over his tie. I just wanted to sit on my bench. I squeezed in next to him and sat staring at the ocean with him. “How long have you been looking for her?” “Oh for years now.” He said. “I have been coming to this bench every day for years. Although sometimes I go to the one over there or the one over there or the one over there.” He lifted his thick arm through the air and pointed each time he said the words ‘over there’. I saw his arm moving in my direction on the third ‘over there’ and I pushed back as far as I could so he didn’t hit my nose. My nose is worth protecting, that’s what I’ve always said. We watched the ocean together. It changed colors maybe twelve times that day. We watched the toy poodle and the bulldog play the shell game. The toy poodle was cheating, taking the bulldog for everything he had. “Trickery!” I said. “Trickery!” he agreed. “Trickery!” the bulldog barked. When the sun sunk into the ocean we stood up, shook hands and went our separate ways. The next day it was sunny again. When I arrived at my bench it was empty. I had so much room I could move my legs or even lie flat if I wanted and turn my head to stare at the ocean. I didn’t. I sat straight and tall and pushed myself as far as I could to the edge of the bench. Somewhere out there, someone was struggling with the sky.

August 21, 2012

The Artist’s Wake

I wrote a poem
about a mermaid
framed in wood
her tail shimmering
arcing her forward in
swirls and swishes
of oiled water
in a liquid world

I look at her
hanging on my office wall
while I type an email
answer the phone
cancel a check
pay a bill
I wonder about her creator
I wonder where she swims
I wonder who she breast strokes, butterflies and crawls away from
I wonder what waits
floating
buoyant beacon
lighting her course

What wish
bobs on the surface
to be transformed
from a dream

For what requiem
has she scattered
ashes and rose petals
what pieces of herself
dust the canvas

The memory of a lover’s touch
in the shadow of a milky breast
the soft kiss of a first born daughter
in the auburn curl of fairy hair
the salty betrayal of a husband’s indifference
in the siren’s enchanted ethereal train

What soul
sits watching on the shore
as dreams liquefy
in the wake
and the Mermaid swims

 

 

 

August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday

It’s my birthday. I’m 49. WOW.

I don’t know what this is ‘supposed’ to feel like, this age. I just know how I feel.

Time is so hard to pin down, determine, define.  Not to define in science, just in a living, breathing, human way.  How to wrap it all up and take it all in…

Time

Wraps around me,
a mist
old familiar scent
that I know
but can’t quite place
ethereal
adrift
in an ocean of
moments, minutes, heartbeats,
watery sepia shots
smiles
tears
joy
love
sadness
loss
Moment by moment
Minute by minute
Year by year
Breath by breath
Heartbeat by heartbeat
Cryptic and true
He delivers on his promises

I feel free. More and more free. Non-apologetic, grounded, happy. It hasn’t happened overnight, this feeling of just being. I have been ‘trying’ for many years, I don’t try anymore. I do, I create, I live, I AM.

I am being. My life is something I am living, not building, or planning, I am being in it, living and breathing in it, my life.  I AM in my life.  I have let it wash over me like the ocean. I dove into the cool water, blue and green and deep, my life.

Life
my ocean
powerful
benevolent
dark and brooding
bright and pleasing
calm and raging
invigorating
defiant
stimulating
choppy and calm

I leapt, soared, dove
Heart First
with a happy splash

Ever moving
Ever changing
Ever being in the moment

 

Happy Birthday to Me.  Happy Life to us all!

August 11, 2012

Our Wedding Cake, BUT the best cake ever!!!

 

 

 

August Morning

I love hot August mornings. Early. Before 7am when it’s quiet and still.  Before the heat rises and swells.

I listen to the occasional car on another street,
a lawnmower,
mumbling voices
my neighbors walking dogs
that bark at birds, squirrels, or the sky,
the hum of a humid summer morning.
Still, hot, thick, breezeless, stirrings.
our late season tomatoes ripen on the vine,
the strawberries in my back yard waiting to be picked from the ground
planted on my tongue
their sweet red flesh
seeding my day

I sip my coffee.
a branch
in the tree in our front yard
stretches, arches up
to meet the blue expanding sky
I swell with memory

Somewhere in my Mom’s condo in Marina Del Rey, there is a box, containing snippets from my Dad’s life.

In black faux leather-bound Week-at-a-Glance notebooks,
pages filled with movies, scripts written in blue, red, purple, orange, pink, yellow and shades of green flair pen block print.
Pages read like scenes,
stolen moments from decades, years like 1972, or 1975.
a dinner party hosted,
a movie wrapped,
a birthday celebrated,
a friend mourned.

My Father’s voice calling to me from the page.

I have sheets filled with sepia tone memories
Beginnings seed, flowers bloom,
vines grow leafy,
they wrap and wind,
draping reality,
cloaking truth.
Memory yarns and stories are told.

Jeffrey Scott, the boy with two first names, a laughing ghost shimmering in my backyard, hovering over the ripples in the kidney shaped pool. He’s wearing a football jersey, I can see the black block numbers, but can’t make them out. A leaf floating through the autumn skies of my freshman year, swept up, blown elsewhere by spring.

No questions asked and none answered.

I’ve been the phantom. I’ve vanished. I’ve pushed beyond circles in which I once sat, cross-legged and eager, seeds planted, never thinking I’d need more room. That my roots would drive through the soil, exhausting the land we had cultivated together.  I extended beyond the iridescent round of abalone shells that adorned its border.  I moved to a dark, rich, new territory, fertile, soil untouched by deduction.  I stepped off the well-worn path littered with twigs, leaves and broken branches.

No questions asked and none answered.

What about So and So? Bill might ask, Why don’t you hear from her anymore?

I don’t know, I might answer.

I don’t know. It could be something I said, or did, or a birthday I forgot, or it could be that I got as busy as she was. Now there was no one left.   I don’t know. We didn’t call to find out.

No questions asked and none answered.

What can I do? Open.  Time embraces me; warm arms rock me, pull me close into a heartbeat, a soul, a moment, memory. Open.  Open to the promise of an August morning.

 

 August 7, 2012

Scattering Seeds

I unearthed an image.  I was digging through a dream of two high school freshman girls excited, bright, hopeful, best friends, flowers opening to spring showers and sun kisses.

We were standing under the Elm Tree on the corner of Gregory and Peck on an Indian summer Friday, on our way home from school.  Stacey, brown saucer eyes, long arms hanging, distended breastbone, had plans for popularity and I needed to understand.  “I can’t be your friend anymore, I need to be popular” her voice like the hot autumn day, dry, quiet, still.

A gardener, she had scattered seeds. Budding girls dressed in white organza tied in pink and blue ribbons with bows, powder blue suited boyfriend heads peaking in over shoulders, anticipation, round cheeks. Stacey smiling proud, brown saucers, convex breastbone protruding from the bodice of her ruffled dress.

They grew into hearty vines extending beyond her reach even when she was uprooted.

Plucked up by her mother and husband number six, adrift in the gamble of a better life far from their decaying one bathroom apartment on the outskirts of Beverly Hills.

Her garden grew untended. Vines crept along, up the manicured lawns to the high school’s entrance, they gripped the halls, zigzagged in and out of lockers, around metal legs of plastic chairs in classrooms decorated with periodic tables, chalk boards and art projects.  They tangled legs and arms, braided into the hair of girls and boys laughing in yearbook pictures.  They knotted beyond high school, into my summer and winter college breaks, when I would walk to the corner store,

“Hey, aren’t you at UCSD?” a shaggy haired voice calls out, eyes glinting green, pushing closer with a laugh.  “I hear people kill themselves down there”.  Hadn’t we once kissed?  Stealing a moment after school, in eighth grade, behind the double doors of the multi-purpose room. Stacey’s vines had taken root in this boy.

Like an abandoned garden on the side of a deserted farmhouse overrun with sprouted grass and weeds, becomes part of the landscape, unnoticed, the vines kept growing.

Memories fade, decompose, transform, become mulch for a healthy garden.  Till, dig deep, cultivate the earth, offer worms, cut spent blossoms, thin out dead, diseased and damaged stems, pull weeds, fertilize and deep water.  I did all this, on my knees, hot sun beating down, sweat pooling, dripping, fingers earth-digging, clearing, planting new seeds.  We all have gardens to tend.

That ginger moment, under the elm with my best friend, the one I captured and buried, looks different now.  I hadn’t noticed it then; the ripening emerald undergrowth Stacey’s mother had used to swaddle her.

August 1, 2012