Saturday, November 18, 2017

Wooing the Patient Editor


Let's say it is a she, that "it" being a part of you that you sent away long ago. Let's say she wears brainy glasses, has long hair, is good with numbers. The big thing though, is that she is patient, takes things a step at a time. Why she left doesn't matter any more, but you have been paying the price ever since. You need her now. So, it's time to set out some hot buttered bread, a fillet of grilled salmon, and a nice glass of wine -- all presented with some thought and care, especially the wine glass. It has to be spotless. Then wait for her to detect the call you sent out. Watch the woods for a sign of her. Don't look her in the eye if she steps toward you. She will climb up out of shadow, pen tucked behind her ear. She will then examine and test you. You have to show you are ready and worthy. No longer afraid. One word, sentence, section, chapter at a time. Get out the fine-toothed comb. You have work to do. Hope and pray she comes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Curriculum


Your lesson is a hard one. It involves stepping back from what you have learned to crave: recognition, title, achievement, getting the golden ring. You will likely burn with humiliation until you learn. You will have to treat the poisons of envy, comparison, and hunger for power or be hounded by them. It is written. Yours is not the chance to outgrow the problem of too much. Rather, yours is the work of detachment, of doing what you know you have to do, even if the outcome gives you nothing but obscurity and want. Further, you learn not to blame or to take credit. You have to extract the hooks of deserve. But, yes, act you must. You may want to simper on the sidelines and lament your fate. You may even say you want out in a big way. That is the demon you must next meet. Here he comes now. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

In a Word


This just in: Money makes things happen. Fame earns you more fame. It's more about recognition than merit. Hard work won't necessarily get you anything. We want to believe it will all work out. But it doesn't. Most doors never open. Time runs out. Games end. Obscurity is your reward for taking the dangerous path, the one on which you bet everything, only to have the marble drop in the slot that says you missed your turn. Oh well, there's next time. Or not. Feel the burn. Pick yourself up. Wring beauty from the train wreck, wine from water. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Zoom In


The answer lies in the laser beam of your attention. It is not waiting at the end of your work day (though the prospect of that and the rising moon is very nice to contemplate), nor does it hunker down in the pleasure or pain of a memory screened for the benefit of your distraction. No, I am sorry and delighted to say that your peace warms you like a scarf wrapped around your neck, tickling lightly the tender spot under your chin. It might even be scratchy once in a while, waiting, as it does, for you to join the buffet your senses serve up for the benefit of you, tirelessly serving, patiently waiting for you to take your place at the table.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

To Whom Are You Speaking?


As you scribble away down there in the furnace room of your solitude, to whom do you sing? Is it the lovers that got away, that left you weeping and broken on the sidewalk of your twenty-something fear? Well, yes. And no. Of course they sparked the kindling of your desires and you followed that flame to its logical and less than logical conclusions. You drove your little motor cycle into the winds and mountains with visions of those fleshy secrets, hounded by your hormones. So yes, it is they. But, in reality, they are no longer listening, so who is it that does? It is they you have not yet met, the ones who wait in the future you are composing as you lean into your love. So, you don't know them, but if they find your words, sometime out there in the days to come, they will know you for what you held to be true, the words you spoke with the deepest blue, the words born of a running river present in all things, but also the actions you took to deliver that love to a world hungry and tormented. It was the ones you served, the ones you knew only because you turned beauty into an outstretched hand. 

A Match to a Sleeping Heart


It is the sun mainly. But roasting Hatch green chiles too. Cool morning air rushing over bare arms and legs might have something to do with it also. And then there are the stars, up there in the inky depths, sending little daggers of crystal beauty as you lie sleeping curled and tangled in the legs and dark mysteries of the beloved. The thrill of silky skin has a fire all its own. Yet, space is the kicker, the thing that really slays you. The space that you get to fill in with all the yearning that burns down there in the deep recesses of you. That is what lit the flame under the heart of you. You don't really know what to do with that, but you are goaded by that desire to do something. In the old days, you would snuff it out like you extinguish a candle. The desire was so strong it hurt and you could never have what you wanted. You still can't have it because desire burns now for its own sake, not for the consummation or possession. You have learned not to quench the urges puling you in and out. Now it is the mandate to pull out from the guts of your fire the gift you want to leave for those who are left behind when you are gone, for the answer to a call that beckons you right here right now. It will never be perfect this gift you offer, but you have to reach into your black bag of sorrow and pull out the secrets anyway. Then you hold them in the light, as they drip with the messy juices of birth. You squint at the light of them, shed tears of joy for having surrendered, as you squint in the brilliance, the blinding intensity of that blue burning light.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Joy Like Free Running Waters Or Why Mountain Biking Should Be a Controlled Substance


The reasons not to ran in front of my awareness like credits after a movie: too old, too tired, not fit, too busy, it's risky, other things are more important. But I kept rolling out toward the trail-head. My mind spun with the the tasks waiting for me in the coming week: teacher's meeting tomorrow, curriculum to write, papers to grade, bills to pay, people to call, car appointment for body work, leave letter to submit. The litany rolled along, soundtrack now stale. The house has emptied. I'm alone watching the credits scroll down the screen of my attention as I turn off the highway and head for the parking lot where I will leave the car and pedal off into a sunlit, rock-strewn, twisty desert. After the first mile or so, the nattering brain dies down and I slip into a zone of watching, sweating, and divining for the smoothest line through the gauntlet of boulders set in my path. Fluid motion glides over, through, and down. Joy of water falling down through rocks breaks into a smile. It leans into the next turn and we fly, taken now by the gravitational tug of an unwinding surprise.