Thursday, March 22, 2012

Moving Again

Can't afford to live here. Truly... don't want to be here. Meander is not loving the three flights.

Place is so small, I can't describe it. Okay. I'll try.

Bedroom will hold the bed and maybe a bookcase. Living room not much bigger. 'Kitchenette' off to one side.


I guess I'm growing into some kind of spiritual understanding... (at my age). I had a co-worker who I admire look at some apartments with me.... with the thought of moving in together. He's spent a lot of time with wealthy people and he's earned some bucks himself. Had a home in Florida. Bought one in Eastern Europe with his lover and outfitted it to the nth degree. Had to leave his lover and came back to nothing. Lives with a friend in his 600,000 house.

We were looking at a two bedroom... large view of the lake. It was filthy.... single guy.... never cleaned. But this realty company does clean. Looked at another. Nice. As we walked away, my friend said that he had to stop thinking about where and what he had been.... and then, reneged.

I have been there twice now. I'm about to give up most of what I own. If God is laughing, I'll be there with the ex.

But.... it's not things. It's emotional and spiritual freedom that's important. It's Meander getting to walk right out the front door without stress. It's driving to work with money in the bank.

I'm handling this, but I'm not.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Timing is Everything

So today I got to work early and went into the greenhouse. The Mafioso Mourning Doves were stalking me for food, as were the Sparrows... but only after raucous efforts at love making by all. The Starlings were doing their weird impressions and the Sparrows began looking for their nesting areas.

The only 'flowers' I have are bulbs... daffs, tulips and hyacinths. No other plants, but it was 60 degrees out and I pressed the store manager to open the gate and let people know we were in business. He did.

People came. Out went mulch and fertilizer and grass seed and fencing and houseplants. There were questions about bald spots in the lawn, prime time to fertilize, when to kill weeds.

People were buying carts of lawn furniture.... grills were a hot commodity.

I was asked if we had Pansies yet.


And the thought that's been niggling at me since November was still twitching, but I was too busy to parse it.

I clocked out and came home. There were kids in the park on the swings. Warm earth breath on my face. Crocus' were blooming... wild and purple.

I turned the key in the gangway door.

It's March 11th and this is all wrong.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Finding 'Home'

The very first person who ever read my very first blog post long, long ago wrote this. His name is Colin Ellard and he is pretty damned fascinating. Look him up and you'll see what he's all about. You could even buy his book.

He posted this today and I read it quickly while standing behind a shed at work having a cigarette. It stopped me in my tracks.

I had never given thought to the first place where I drew breath. And then, I thought that since I was born in a hospital- not a house, as he was, how profound could that be? I mean, there's just something different about it.

But then I thought.... my spirit dragged my damaged little body into the world and what would it be like to stand in that room and try to fathom the first flicker of 'me'?

It still has me pondering.

The Beginning of Everything

In about three weeks, I'm going to fly back to the beginning of everything. Or at least the beginning of my everything. I'm going home.

One of the things that I'm most interested in is the interaction between home and psyche. I've tried to understand this link in a number of different ways: I've conducted impromptu interviews with friends, family and strangers on the meaning of home. I've designed elaborate virtual reality simulations of homes that people can walk through while wearing a suite of instruments that measure their physiological state. I've talked to architects, designers, stagers, planners about what home means, and I've sat on committees where we've turned questions about home upside-down and sideways.

Now it's time to get a little more personal. I suppose, in a way, you'd call this a pilgrimage. In fact, I'm certain that that's what it is. But in my case, I'm not going to walk the Camino. I'm going to retrace my own path across the planet from the day that I was born up to the present. I'm going to re-visit every place that I've ever called home.

The journey begins in early April when I'll find myself on the doorstep of an ordinary looking house in Stevenage where, about a half-century ago, I was born. I don't know yet whether I'll be able to go inside the house, but that's my fondest hope and the truest beginning I can think of for a project such as this one.

Right now, for me, the idea of standing in the room where I came into being seems too staggeringly huge to even contemplate. I think there are many reasons for this, and my own special professional interest in home is only a part of the story. I'm also an immigrant and, like all who migrate from their homeland to some other domain, the very idea of "home" becomes something great and unknowable -- a mythical land to which there is no easy return. Until I began to think about this project, the very idea that I was "from" somewhere seemed academic and sterile. Intellectually, I knew it was true, but emotionally, I felt nothing. Will all of that change when I see the room where the me-egg hatched?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Where I'm Not....

Planet Dance

The twilight sky has been beautiful this week. I've watched at dusk as Venus and Jupiter have tried to woo the moon, but neither succeeded. Now Venus is falling for the horizon with Jupiter not far beyond. Somewhere in the east, Mercury is rising. I think I've found him, but I'm not sure.

On Meanders last walk I looked at the sky above the water. So many stars (and maybe planets) but no planes... those posers who chain their lights together as tawdry baubles.... cheap necklaces that seem to go on forever.

No. Just dark and quiet and water rushing. And the soft crunching of sticks.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

For Grizz

I'm reading The Secret Teachings of Plants.

"Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop'd. I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell."

~ Whitman

It reminds me of you.

Thank you.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Thank God for trees....

Thank God for trees
Who drop their branches like afterthoughts
On cold winter days onto stiffened grass
In parks and unsuspecting places.

And thank God for trees, who wait with patience
For dogs
Knotted up with too much, inside
Too many toys
Too much giving
And far too little running.

Thank God for branches turned to sticks
Turned to prey that's
Turned to joy.

As it's caught
And returned.
And caught
And returned
Until it's time to settle in for the feast...

Eating sticks under the twilight sky
Then picking joy out of their teeth...

Wooden stars that light their way home.

Thank God for trees.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Trickster

At work. Time for a cigarette but the head cashier was paying far too much attention. So, I walked down to lumber and out one of their doors, slid behind a parked truck. The lumber lot is empty and looks onto a road and abandoned areas. I was looking at the sky when something lower caught my eye. There are abandoned railroad tracks behind the building.... dark and uninhabited. And from that came a Coyote, the first I've ever seen in the wild.

It took me a moment..... and he must have smelled me because he stopped. He looked like a large German Shepherd, but no.... Coyote watching me watch him.... and my heart soared and I tentatively moved forward... and he moved away. Crossed the road, and looked back. And I regarded him.

There was a 'connection' in that moment. I have felt it before. It is a stillness and yet a wildness, and I am both with it and unable to touch it. Sometimes it seems that if I could jettison my thoughts... my spirit/heart might understand and take over and I would know something that eludes me now.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

OCCUPY by Peggy Fitzsimmons

What We Forget

When you live by the water.... if you're not careful... the sound of it can become so ingrained, that it's ignored. Maybe like the wind in the trees. Or birdsong.

Or, three times a day you can walk down the steps... faced with a vast sea of blue, or brown or gray and not see it... besieged as you are by daily minutiae... jaded as you are because, well... it's always there.

And then some nights... most, really... while in bed, you find yourself rocked by the moonlit view and the rhythm.


Tonight I was walking Meander. It was late enough for the neighborhood to be quiet, and I wasn't paying attention to more than my own thoughts.

And then there was a familiar sound that made me stop. A slow, triple 'shish'... 'shish'.... 'shish' -long pause, and then the heavy heaving of a large wave upon the rocks. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

I have wanted to forget because it's just too painful not being with the water. For the most part, I have. But hearing that tonight? I don't know if it was joy or anguish.

Bittersweet is too small a word.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Vague Things I Remember

It had to be 1977, because that's when we met and married and for all intents and purposes, went our separate ways.

We were driving home from my father's house... down a dark and empty interstate... 30 miles, and it was night. There was a full moon. We felt close and insulated, in the car and the dark and our new, different life together.

The night was steeped in darkness, except for this sharp, brilliant moon... the way the world was before we lit it up. He was driving and said he was uncomfortable. The moon was shining into the car from the south, and right on him. I was in shadow. He said this type of moonlight made him jittery, that it always had. To me, the moon was the moon.

My handsome, gay husband could be dramatic when it suited the situation, but this wasn't one of those times. He was uncomfortable. I talked about the moon with him, and as he described it's crystalline light, that could maybe be shattered with the flick of a finger... I could somehow understand it. There WAS a difference to it that night. A brightness, sharpness, an almost emotional distance... so different from the soft moonlight I had always noticed.

Eventually he pulled the car over to the side and asked me to drive. I did, and kept waiting for the moon to ambush me, even though I knew this was his craziness.


Years later, taking a night walk... I felt the moon his way, like cool metal to the skin.

There are so many quotes about the moon. One of my favorites is, "The moon is shining down her wisdom, Girl."

But that night, and tonight and a few nights in between it's 'The moon's a harsh mistress. She's hard to call your own."