sometimes the well is dry

My well is dry.  I dont’ find myself talking all that much these days.  It’s not that I dont’ have much to say.  I’m just not ready to speak them yet.

I’m tired of looking for jobs.  I’m tired of delivering pizza.  I’m tired of living on a shoe string.  I’m tired of not taking care of myself.  I’m tired.

My words are just below the surface.  I know that I can speak, I’m trying to give myself the grace and space not to say them.

I know I’m speaking now.  I’m talking about saying things that really matter.

Grace and Space.  Peace and quiet.  Trees and chipmonks.  Rain drops on my nose.  Moss stained sidewalks.  Breath in my lungs.

If I keep breathing deeply the words will come. If I keep breathing deeply my muscles won’t ache as badly.  If I keep breathing deeply I will find myself in rest.

Ah, to feel rested.  Some day.

Thanks for stopping by.  Be uncommon.

 

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an invisible blanket

the mercury rises

the air is heavy

heavy like an invisible blanket

sounds of the city more pronounced, honks, fire engines, sirens, out door music carrying high and far on the thick air

the city is bewildered, dumbfounded, overcome, dehydrated and grumpy

the moss wilts

invisible heat rolls off the tops of buildings and vehicles

the sun weighs heavy on us like the jabs of a relentless prize fighter

mercy begins at dusk with a gentle breeze

to Seattleites this is punishment, pain, if there are gods they must be angry, the heatpocalypse

to this Michigander, it’s finally summer

a hill, a man and a skateboard

I got a phone call the other day. The person on the other end told me meet them Monday at Queen Anne Galer at the top of Queen Anne Hill. I needed to wear shorts, a t-shirt, and vans if I have them. 1 O’ clock? Sure, I’ll be there I said.

I show up. I’m anticipating a good conversation, a cup of coffee, or some academic banter. Not so much.

They gave me a skateboard and said, “Skate down the hill.” “You want me to skate down the hill? I skate sometimes, and I have good balance, but that’s gnarly. You got a helmet or pads for me? I didn’t know I needed those.

I’m met with a blank look, and a shrug.

I look back at them in bewilderment.

I take a deep breath, slam the deck to the ground and off I go. I feel hands on my back, someone’s running behind me pushing me. I’ try to carve, but the’res cars in the other lane.

Over the first crest, big air. I land it. Faster, faster, too fast I can’t slow down. Over the second crest, huge air! Hosi would be proud! I land it BAMMM!!!!

I hit a crack in the road. FACE PLANT!!!! ROAD RASH!!! I can’t breath. Did I crack a rib? Oh man, I can’t breath. My chest and ribs hurt. All I can do is lay there. People are just driving by, walking there. I can’t move. Maybe, I can crawl to the curb. I make it to the side of the road.

I almost made it down the hill. No one noticed that. No one noticed the big air. No one there to cheer. They only noticed when I face planted.

So I pick myself up. I limp home to the orphanage.

AKA Practicum

under a pile of books

“Under a pile of books” is a phrase I’ve said a lot lately. That’s because I am.

I am in graduate school.

I expected this.

So far every minute has been beautiful. Even the exhaustion. Even my meager attempts at hybrid-annotated bibliographies.

Somewhere I picked up the notion that for learning to happen, death must occur. I wish I could attribute an eloquent quote. Alas. In many cases death brings life. So if you hear me say “This is killin’ me.” I probably mean it. To an extent anyway. That to me is beautiful. I’ve seen people die. I’ve held their hand. Death provides opportunites. Truly. Things to say that you might nto say. Triming a tree or a vine can bring bring new life other places. Forrests after confligration allow for new growth in the ashen terrain.

While I’m feeling pain and axiety, I’m also feeling love. Love from God. Love from my family. Love from my new friends in my cohort. Love from students ahead of me in the program. Love from the instructors. We are all walking with each other through our pain and beauty.

The work has only just begun in this season. I am dreadfully excited of the the days to come.

I’m new here

We’re new here. You knew that. You knew that when you saw the Old English D on my hat. You noticed I didn’t feel like wearing plaid today. You also noticed that I didn’t know where I was going, and needed to get in the right-hand lane. Thanks for letting me in and not honking. I enjoy your apologetic “no no no, you go first” 4-way stops. Thanks for the help in the Store. I don’t follow your train of thought that there’s a better place for the granola bars than where I’m used to finding them. Thanks for telling me about the after school care that’s a good deal for $800 a month per kid. Glad for your help to find the deals around here. Happy, sad, indifferent faces. Thanks for being kind when I start a conversation in a public place. But, could you tell me where my new BFFs are? I can’t seem to find them yet. You’re great with directions, where to eat, and what baristas to stay away from, but still waiting for a dinner invitation. This introvert has introduction fatugue. Rain. Rain? Most days it spits, and the sun appears. It’s not the deluge I’m used to. Thanks for your warnings of wet monocrome cloud-banks. I’m taking heed and soaking in the sun while it’s here. Thanks for the great coffee. Even your small Mah and Pah diners have great coffee here. Thanks for all the shades of green, my favorite. Thanks for not making fun of me for rolling up my pants. I’m tired of stepping on my jeans for the sake fashion all these years. Short legs, long torso ya know. Thanks again for the exceptional coffee.

A better world imagined by an eight year old

We arrive a friends house to watch the Super Bowl.  Right when we get out of the van Graeme said “I think that money should go away. So if people needed anything, we could just give them what they need.  There wouldn’t be banks, or greedy people.  If someone needed a house or something to eat we would give to them.”

A lot more of that could a long long ways couldn’t ?

The funny thing is, I don’t know where that came from.  We don’t watch the news at home.  I don’t run around the house ranting about banks and greedy people.  Well, maybe greed I do.  The fact that Graeme did that exercise in his head astounds me.  He is a budding mathematician.  Money + Love = Greed.  (Giving² + World) > ( World + Greed)  or  World – Greed + Giving² = Better World [I am not a budding mathematician as you can see.]

I’m proud of my son.  I’m proud and inspired that he too can imagine a better world.  The “hope of he world,” still has hope.  Its a long way to 30 I realized that.  My hope and prayer is that Mr. Hope Jr only continues to imagine creative and “new” ways to make this a better world.  I hope you can too.

 

 

edit: Nice, this is my 100th post on WordPress. 🙂

We’re Just People Today

A coworker at Hospice told me this incredible story today.

Yesterday she was driving home and she noticed a car stopped by the side of the road.  She pulled over to help, something she usually doesn’t do.  She walks up to the car and a man gets out… with a swastika and other Neo-Nazi symbols tattooed on his head and face.  He had red bootlaces by the way.  [You have to do violence to someone to “earn” red laces.]  She says “Do you need help?”  He, slightly shocked says “Well I normally don’t accept help from…” “Black people?” she interjects. “Ya,” he says.  “Well, normally I don’t help Nazis either.  So today, we’re just people.”  She helped him diagnose the problem, suggested that he get his battery tested, and gave him a jump start.  When she was about to leave he asks “May I approach you?” She said she was thinking “Oh Sh*t, what now? He gonna kill me.”  He then gave her a hug and a kiss on the cheek and said “I was taught that black people are just out to take, or live off others. They’ll hurt you and steal from you.”  Then she said “I was taught that Nazis are out to kill you or hurt you too.  If you see one you should run!  But today, we’re just people. ”   They got in their cars and went separate ways.

I was completely captivated and inspired by this story.  She said, she just knew she had to stop.  Who knows, this guy may end up having a different path.  A changed life, not just a fixed care.

Today, we’re just people.

open road therapy

I understand the lure of the open road.  I’ve only gotten to eat a crumb from that table so far.  Thanks to a generous friend who let me barrow his motorcycle, I got to run along the Lake Michigan Shoreline today.  The two lane roads amble along the watery behemoth.  The bike and I would just sway back and forth with the rythm of the road.

I will have my own bike again someday.  It’s been 14 since I had one.  14 years since two friends barrowed it and were hit by a car.  I have grieved.  Now I grieve and long for a two wheeled horse.

The road to me is therapy.  Ridding a bike to me is praying.  There’s less between you and the road.  Which is a deal breaker for most people.  I’m open and vulnerable.  Another deal breaker.  There’s something special that happens in my soul when I ride.  I don’t know what it is but right now, I feel at peace.  Its as if I spent all day in silent contemplation.  Perhaps I did.  The only one I talked to was The Father.  I feel as if I just returned from Mount Zion, or Sinai.

My destination was Grand Haven.  This was a good bye for me.  Growing up, my Mom and I went there many times for vacation.  I stopped by the State Park, road up the hill that Prospect St takes you up, and walked along the channel.  I bought a cheap shirt from The University Shop on the Wharf.  I had a cappuccino and a tuna salad sandwich at Jumpin’ Java.  [Thanks for the pen.]

I turned South.  The time had come to head home.  The boys would be out of school by the time I got there.  Besides I had to be home to take Jen out for a belated birthday dinner.   A solo road trip, and date night?  Perfect.

Until next time dear road.

Hot Morning

This is how I feel this morning. I haven’t written much poetry lately so I’ll free form it for you:

Wake.
Sweat, sticky, muggy, miserable.
Heavy, slow, aggravated.
Useless fan!

Air is thick as a warm wet blanket.
After a shower… Step back in?

Khaki pants and a shirt? No thank you.

Dressed, out the down with office gear in hand. Under my clothes its temperature as it was at half time of a college soccer game under my goalkeeping jersey.

Alas, its only 8:03.