Saturday, January 4, 2014

In order to strive for a remarkable life you have to decide that you want from it


So the chat went something like this:

What would you do differently?
Maybe see more live theater.
Okay, you can do that.
It would be a fairly big budget item. 
Would you want to travel?
Hmnn.
I do not like beaches.
Same here. Sun. Florida. I do not have any inclination.  
Maybe I'd walk the wall of China.
You, walk?
Not the wall wall just a few feet.  Get on it and look out.
I think I am just as satisfied with pictures for most places.
Maybe Europe but I did that already.
I do not travel well.
That is right, you do not.
So you are comfortable?
Yes.
Nothing to change.
Nope.

Then I go to my computer to do some admin tasks I checked my RSS feed. There I see a post with a short video by a life coach that suggests that for the new year transition we reflect as follows: Imagine being 90. Ask yourself these questions: What really mattered? What had meaning? What did you love?

My gut reaction was the answer will be the same and that it did not change since the day my son was born.

So I change up the question: Imagine being 95 and feeling comfortable because you had a  remarkable life.  I think of my grandfather whose imagination made his life bigger. I muse, I want to be able to tell compelling stories. To do that means being open in my life to the adventures presented and having memory to be able to share them.  Memory is already a challenge. Cocoa each morning is suppose to help.

Back to a long list of tasks that distracted days have left for me to do at year's end until distracted again by an idea or story from elsewhere.  Welcome 2014.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ripe venues for poems

Experiences of suppression are often ripe venues for poems.  This poem may finally have come to a close with tweeks (shown in red) a decade later that ripen its potential to provoke.  For Example: Tea becomes Rooibosch, the Dutch etymology for South African Rooibos said to have anti-anxiety properties. I did not update the context as this could have been updated in the context of social media which magnifies its inferences. It remains a circa 2003 poem. 

At a recent gathering for a matriarch in the family circle ~ those in attendance were asked to share a reflection. What I had surface in my mind could not be shared there. Very few, even those much closer than I,  found not much to share. Perplexing. Ironically the recall I suppressed was about suppression of an experience that influenced my choice of discomfort in the shallows for many years because some ways of thinking go to the grave. And so it did.



GOOD & black 

Four generations 
stretching a good table. Fine china well smeared with gravy and the blood 
of cranberries as the dapper 4-year old topples 
dessert in conversation: "That’s bull-shit!"

What follows? 
The murmur of mimic, watershed tales of pre-school teacher 
complaints; a rambled ‘What can be done?’ retort 
to what was heard, spoken, repeated: "That’s bull-shit!"

Small talk brews aromatic. ‘What can be done?’
topics twist to most seen TV, turns to telling stories 
of road-rage. Son and daughters tasting how possible - a chiffon identification with fear, the shooter’s fear, emerges 
like apples from the cut wedge of 
the other pie. 

“It must have been one ...” 
“No, Grandma. Both were women. Both were white.” 
pours past Diet Coke, Asti; Rooibosch running at the mouth “Well, most times its men. Most times it is Blacks. Shooting even 
each other.” “No Grandma” steams above black coffee. 

“Every time it is 
a person with a gun made only to shoot people - a handgun 
in an angry hand! More pie with your drink of choice?” Every holiday there is too much. “Anyone-else need tea?” consumptive shallows drip into Internet shopping. What children get, every
thing they do not need. ‘Did you hear?’ current events get swallowed like the offer of a second dessert, discomfort 
to return later.

She is 75. She repeats what she believes above sugar powdered angel’s wings. She fears, the real thing.

The child hears fear, and repeats. The child gets everything
"That’s bull-shit!" is mimic in the world, good

and black for Christmas.

This post was prompted by a publicly shared comic's Aziz Ansari expression of similar sentiment. 11.8.2013 Racist grandmas are dying, and that is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Deerkill

This week I participated in a local public dialogue on guns. It was a civil conversation. Because  it continues, talk of guns, I am sharing again.

Deerkill
traffic inching, mind rushing
anxious tempos that traffic does not halt
then doe in a heap -- as carcass comes into view.
already, traffic news warns
deerkill is slowing traffic to a standstill on a daily commute paved through wild life, far to the south,
same route
others are slowed by 12 hundred pound alligator
sunbathing
slowed by innocent
crashing
over white line
into white tail
waking stomach, mind, recall --
the men in Vermont had a deer camp
and bright orange vests that kept them
from shooting each other.  This I remember
as the topic turned
to guns
words
declared over beer
Using guns
against deer is shamefully unfair.  A deer
will feed my family for a winter, maybe more
It is a sport.  It is an industry.  It is food.  It is
an excuse to own a gun.
Opinions emerge.  Positions unify.  Energy clarifies.  Stark disconnects
speak through a congested atmosphere.  The private
school down the road has a rifle range - good
marksmen get credit toward graduation.  A boy
I knew got credit, he said he would never
kill deer
It does not take expertise to kill.
Passion, fear, retaliation are killers.
When paths cross, bullets, roads, knives,arrows
cut to the quick .  The archer
had killed deer many times
with a bow and arrow.  Said this was more fair for the doe
then guns...he trained his aim for hours, days, weeks, seasons
of deerkilling,
this hunter without a gun.  He could not buy a
gun, he knew accidents happen.
He knew.
I saw a deer by the highway shoulder
out of range of guns, arrows, and for the moment
cars
I looked back as traffic slowed over concrete, the super trail filled with rushing hearts
stopped
by one dead doe.  Accidents
happen. Can't buy a gun. Can't practice for credit.
Fear stops me. Like the alligator, my blood runs to warm
in the sun.
 
Originally posted in a thread 12.24.12 because of Newtown Shootings. ` -- claiming innocence and rattling our sense of humanity.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Glitter, Gluttony and Gut




Glitter, a chaotic bedazzling metaphor, invokes for me this sentiment:  In order to make life nice, one merely has to brighten it up with sparkle.  Bursts of color in fireworks or a glitter splash, do dazzle; but what can be said of a preoccupation with glitter which is often affiliated with showy superficial attractiveness. This particle often reflective material infers glamour and disengagement with reality and its complexity. Used for absence of restraint in the moment, if habitual can become gluttonous. So what is the role of our gut (habitat of courage, slang for an audacious fortitudein response to bedazzle. Enchantment can become blinding?   

My mind is thinking of next year's Red Ribbon Week based on this year's Reflections & Connections. 
Since Drugs do what they are intended to do --- maybe the posters showing 93 neighbors lost to drugs need to be covered next year in Glitter. The focus could be on what we need to understand about the bedazzle. I know a Glitter supplier.