Wednesday, July 26, 2017
It will come as a surprise that you still feel sixteen inside but that you look your late-life age on the outside. It will burn a bit to realize that what you hoped for will never be, that the world you imagined is just that, an illusion. The contrast between the way things should be and the way they are will sting sometimes, and the longing that wants expression will push at the edges of you, make you feel like you will pop from the pressure. It is love, dear one, just love doing its damnedest to infuse you with the will to continue. No, you cannot possess what you most desire, and you can never give enough to the beloved, for that is boundless and eternal. You can only find peace in losing yourself, even though that is not the way to survive in this world of form. You can transform your love into something beautiful and true, can craft affection out of loss. You do have the opportunity to persevere, old though you are, ugly though you have become. You have to let it go, that thrill of achievement, recognition, and consummation that you crave. Lust for what your soul does not really need does not die easily. You have to learn to keep the fires inside, to guard the secret of what you can't help but desire. Carry on for just a bit more, beloved, for you are almost done.
Out here in the boonies of northwestern New Mexico, until recently, I've been a bit out of touch. Without cell service, email access, wifi, or other connectivity all the bad news has just floated over my head without my getting a chance to get huffy or anxious about it. Instead I watch the sun come up, tip my hat to the hummingbirds feasting on nectar at the feeder, and court jack rabbits with food for which they have no interest. There is plenty of fresh grass growing after summer rain. They don't need me, even if I want to discuss the progress of the day with them. My disconnection from news has made it hard to relate to fellow humans, though. I just can't seem to join the hyped up stress about the world; I have taken out the drip that feeds the modern mind its addiction to a world out of whack. And it is an addiction. Why else would screens follow us everywhere with images of the latest tragedy of terror, extreme weather, or bone-headed political scandal? We are addicted to being on edge. Now that I have access to the cyber syringe beeping there at the modem, I have to decide whether or not to partake. Oh, I know I'll be back in the boiling pot of fear, indignation, and anxiety soon enough, but right now I just want to inhabit a circle of quiet peace. The 21st century can go on without my worries about the next calamity. My lust for bad news will heat up a soon as I plug back in and rejoin my fellows in the tight bonds of the latest and greatest OMG!
Thursday, July 6, 2017
The hill before my destination is no marvel of incline or height, but it demands some effort, some desire to get up and over. The skein of thoughts between my ears complains, tells me to back off, go home, take a nap, turn on the telly, reel in the longing. The roots of this nagging voice can be traced far back into the nether mists of childhood. I did not want to be responsible for anything, but the father was gone and I was the son. That was the beginning of running from being responsible to myself and others, especially my heart's desires, those having to do with art, music, and writing. I turned away from the suffering that goes along with following a desire, made it a habit, my MO. So here I am, clawing my way up to a wifi cafe where I will write for a bit, dance with all that is scary and forbidden, be responsive to the voices calling me to get something down, something true and beautiful. The old habits want me to stay away from such dangerous behaviors. I stand and pedal hard against the old ways, against unrelenting inertia, gravity.It hurts a bit, but in a way I find lovely and welcome. Up, you old dog, up.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
In the old days this body bounced back from bumps, bruises, and fractures. These days it wants time off to think about things, like going on strike. It has, in other words, served me well but now sputters and coughs when I try to rev what little engine I have. Unfortunately the brain has not caught up with the realities that come with over sixty years of hard use. It still sees a long bike ride under extreme heat warnings as a kind of challenge, something to do before a run, or pick-up soccer game. But then the pilot pulls on the throttle only to find an old man sitting in basement next to a furnace that will keep nobody warm. Maybe tomorrow things will clear up, come roaring back, making a silk purse out of this sow's ear of stiffness and aching joints and fog. Maybe pigs will fly, and I'll remember where I put that perfect word that might turn night to wonder.
Monday, June 26, 2017
A grouch has to say something once in a while just to clear the air between his hairy ears. I can't blame anyone for avoiding those moments like the plague that they are. The rants waft out there into the ethers and pop like toxic gas bubbles. Another human blowing off stream. My father used to wander the house in his threadbare bathrobe at two in the morning and mutter curses at whom I do not know. The cat went with him anyway, hoping to get some kibble, or a weekend pass to the back yard. Smart cookie that cat. That aspect of his way of being did not make the top ten list in his eulogies at the recent memorial service. Lots of other great memories did. And it is the forgotten pieces that I worry about, the ones that roll into corners like lost marbles, only to be found later by the next generation, or to be overlooked, a hopeful, unheralded radio wave traveling through deepest space.
Four hundred plus miles in hundred and ten heat in the little truck and I am here again in the bosom of the Old Pueblo. Going to run under the radar so I get things done that I need to get done: pay bills, fix the bird fountain, clean up all the dead bugs around the house, and cuddle with my cat Simone. Need to change the oil and sing Hail Marys too so I get back to work in one piece. This grumpy teacher has about had it though. It seems people have had their brains boiled by the heat wave. Well, my brain has been boiled is what I'm trying to say. I have withdrawn and pulled the shades. I hoped that life would work out, but you know how that goes. Looks like the tether holding me hither has popped like a tendon that snaps just after the ball you kicked sails high and off target through the summer air.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Yeah, it's a hundred and sixteen out there, your dog couldn't rouse himself if the house were on fire, and you haven't slept well for a month, but, hey, the circles you carve as you travel around the drain are still pretty wide. Might as well sit back and enjoy the crazy ride. I mean, your life isn't a total wreck. And the wheels of the thing are still spinning, even if it is on its back. How about a little gallows humor? At least you were right about putting up solar panels big enough to take in the heat and make something good and true and beautiful out if it. Keep going in that vein, even as the momentum pulling you close and down increases.