Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sometimes I fail to be prepared.

I like people that drive old pickup trucks...the rounded ones that are painted in a non-shiny paint (black looks gray, red looks rust, that type paint). One of the reasons for that is the truck itself...there's just so much simplicity to an old rounded truck. And the other is that I imagine that no one driving this type truck would run a woman down, hit her car and then attack her with a baseball bat. This is the story I heard today at work...about a place not so far from here (like 20 miles away, and equally small as we). I suppose it is expected that crazy lives everywhere, but here I expect it to be those fellas that walk into the country store buck-naked and hungover, or the old man who once tried to put his tongue down my dear friend Leslie's throat. I don't expect it to be that...a man with a bat. And they were unacquainted by all accounts. And she is in the hospital, while he was carted off by the law brigade of Willis.

I also like the threat of bad weather, not castastropic weather, but "warnings" about winter weather, big rain, or otherwise "this too shall pass" type weather for these parts. Here it is the complexity that works because all the doom and gloom actually makes a lot of people more joyful. They laugh and smile at work, imagining a snow day from yesteryear. They stand in the storefronts talking about past weather, and they seem to be happily gathering their things to set up for that "warm winter's nap" that we've all dreamt about for years. I like the threat because it brings good humor.

And although a dangerous snowstorm might run your car off the road, I'm pretty sure I've never heard of it beating you with a bat. So, I guess my vote in the world of threatening alternatives gets Mother Nature over Man today. And most days, really.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Id vs. Ego

Well, I guess I'm not finished for the day as I seem to be traveling back this way again. I watched an episode of Ellen while I was in NM and she had Wayne Dyer as her guest. Of course, I love these spiritual conversations and the hoopla can be all over the place, but I like Dyer so far. Ellen said that she looked to his books and audios a while back for some help in getting through a personal roadblock and one message was to "let go of Ego". Mr Dyer's response was that the one mantra he would suggest for anyone was "I want to feel good." And so, this got me thinking...did we get the wrong message in grade school? Or too much of the right one? I remember that "Id" was the bad guy...the one who ran around the park and bullied folks because "he" could, the kid too concerned with "his" own motivations and not concerned enough with those of others, the selfish person constantly looking out for "his" own welfare. And Ego...was the pleasant mediator, the referee, the peacemaker. While SuperEgo...well, we won't even discuss that. But, my point in thinking is this....if we, I, you, us, strip away the Ego do we feel good? Do we make adult actions that create our own harmony? Do we become all that we can be? And if so...where does the Ego belong? Only in the systems that make operations within society? Is our personal experience so different from those social agendas? Although, I did not hear Mr. Dyer equate the two in this manner, I think he may be on to something. It is believeable (at least to me) that the human structure differs substantially from the social one. That is not to say that I encourage chaos or savagery (see strange leadership throughout history) but I like that idea for living a life that makes me feel good and trusting others to do the same. And I know that there are people who live this way already...skillfully. But, I have never been that way. I have always been invested in the big picture, in the people around me, in the idea that what I do or don't do makes a difference. And it would now appear that I could tune in to my self, choose ideas that I am in tune with and I will be invested differently in the big picture, the people around me and I will make a difference to me. Sometimes, I feel painfully slow at life. I got a difficult start, and that's what I'll say in my own defense. I am thankful, nonetheless, for each voice that I've heard, and each heart that has reached out to me. I have grown so much, and learned a lot. I like this new plan would mean letting go of so much stuff. A leaner load sounds pretty inviting.

Something beautiful from an art shop in Capitan, NM

Red or Green?

Well, it's time to do it...step out of New Mexico and back onto Concord Road. It was kindof like a dream really. I imagine that I will revisit it that way, and have a hard time remembering it in the first person. I wish that I could begin to explain the vastness of it. I know that NM makes southwestern VA look like a metropolitan area. You could, and I did, drive for hours never seeing a house, a gas station, a restaurant or post office. Just land for miles and miles. Huge acreage owned by ranchers, I suspect. It isn't green's dry and ruddy...the mountains are red and sometimes pink. There aren't any hardwoods, mostly pine. Prickly pear cactus' grow scraggly out of hillsides. Different types of cactus and cactus grass grow out of the hard earth. On one highway, I passed a rabbit skin thrown over a fence. The tribes in Ruidoso are Mescalero Apaches. They own casinos. There are no big houses, no big business. It is quiet and quiet and quiet. And the people are so nice, so open, quite friendly in a quiet way. It felt like home to me...and I haven't had that feeling about another state in a long time. I think it was the space of it all...the immense area of nothing, the way the land lays still and waiting. I imagined the things that crossed over it....looking for food, looking for shelter. The cars that pass along the one road in miles of land. I love that desolation. And when I did meet people...they were so open to talk about life and spirituality and everything that I love to talk about. I visited the Georgia O'Keefe museum, but they were having an installation, so I could not enter. Instead, we were offered a research tour...where we saw her brushes, paint mixes, collections of stones and bones and dried flowers. I see how she loved New Mexico. I can understand how it called her away from New York. One of the best things that I could say was that I just wanted to see New Mexico. Residents beamed, and told me stories of how often that had people say that they didn't know NM was a state, thought they'd need a passport, etc. It has hurt them, and I understand why. The place seems fragile economically, but spiritually, is a universe of wealth. When you go there, and I suggest that you ready to answer the question "red or green?"'s all about the chile, and you better call it quick.

Train through the West: New Mexico in January

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cactus Flower

Well, I am heading turf, different folks, same moon over different sand. I am excited to get away, enchanted with the idea of the wild west. Planning to visit the Georgia O'Keefe museum while I am there. Going with an old friend who will be fun to travel with. We are low maintanance girls, and seem of the same contentment. I haven't had the time to research the trip the way that I'd like to...but there's a lot of fun in not knowing. I was able to get the house put together a little bit today, pay the bills and get my clothes packed. Of course, Mr. Bently is fretful...wagging his stub of a tail and running to an fro, afraid I will sneak out on him I suspect. He acted crazy in the snow today...running and digging and throwing himself around. He is such a lovely soul.
I think I am just looking for some new thoughts, new sites, different perspectives and beautiful mountains and landscapes. I was thinking today that people, places and ideas sneak into your life when you least expect them. I mean, maybe you've always been expecting them...but one day they are there in disguise. I am thinking most of two friends of mine, who are (I think) falling in love. And I can't say I am shocked, but I can say that the packaging didn't quite reflect the contents. It made me realize how little we do know about the great things. How much we anquish over the bad ones, try to find our way out of them, try to get better answers. But, the amazing things, like love or friendship or hope or faith. Those things come in the strangest packaging sometimes, blooming innocently into themselves and making those of us who are watching, realize that we haven't guessed all the tricks. We don't know how every story will end. And I, in my infinite ignorance, say...yea' God! I so love the idea of being surprised in sweet ways, in soft ways.

Snowberries and scattered limbs

Morning Scene...Snow on Concord

The pond finally looks full, and happily sleeping.

Snowy Thursday much peace in this!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mr. Hyde...could you step up to the plate??

So, I've had one of those days. One of those days where people tell you that who you are, ain't working. Tell you that you need to allow just a little more room for error on the parts of others. And tell you this after you have experienced all the "error" from others that you can possibly swallow (and later spew up...see blog"Frustrated" below). And here's the thing...I am one of those people. One of those people that always KNOWS she has work to do, personal growth to muster, fences to climb, bogs to muck through, obstacles to annihilate. I'm not the "other" person...who thinks YOU have work to do, obstacles to overcome and poop to wade through. (sometimes that word is funny to me for it's lack of pomp and circumstance...such is the case now:) I do take responsibility for the hundred thousand ways that I fail on a constant basis to meet the standard of excellence set forth by others (who are not me). I know that I fall short. But dammit, once in a great while...I would like for you to point at the OTHER guy (in this case a male..but I am not gender discriminatory, "other" can be either). See how he falls short, misses the zillioneth cue, asks for the impossible, ignores the answers, finds a way to make someone else own his "poop" (there I go again, but it feels fun at the moment, which is odd because I don't care for "potty" humor really). I want that guy to be called onto the mat. He doesn't necessarily have to be pinned (although I would relish it)...he could merely be featured in the spotlight, front and center in his own concoctions. More and more in the past two weeks, I sound less like myself and more like someone else. And I say the nameless force that plagues quite very careful, what you wish for.

Monday, January 14, 2008

After the Umbilical Cord

It's Monday night, which means that I just ate too much. The theme of Monday night dinners this evening was "country cooking". Daunting for me as I did not grow up in the antique kitchen where women rounded out biscuits, stirred succotash and shucked corn. I wasn't close to the one woman in my life most near me, and she wouldn't have called herself country anyway. And all this takes me in a completely different direction than where I was headed. But, I have learned that you follow the pen (or in this case the keyboard) or carry on with an uninteresting (at least to yourself) conversation. I watched my friend tonight with her mother...and I guess they have a good relationship. Not a "we're best friends and spend every hour on the phone" type relationship...but there is a gentle back and forth between them. I always wonder about mothers and daughters. Especially lately as one of my dearest friends prepares to give birth in another few months. My friend is the athlete. Ready to run up the side of a mountain in a single bound, ready to lift weights for hours. And she sometimes talks about her daughter (on the way) and how she wants to teach her to eat right, be healthy. I agree with this...completely. But, I also draw caution. I was born to a woman who wanted a cheerleader, someone popular with the boys, the yearbook's vote for best legs. Instead (and I believe that God plans it this way) she got me. And that meant a girl uninterested in cheerleading, or any type of leading really, a book worm who loved classical music, a big girl with bones that would never be a size 5, a brooding soul...because the world was always so complex to me. I have never been, even as I have sought it, a simple soul. And what happened was this...I don't see this woman. I don't claim a mother. And that probably sounds awful, but you don't know the full story. What I can say is was necessary for me to save my own life from that woman who's womb carried me. And I may never understand the logistics of why it happened exactly the way that it did, but I do understand this...what we get in this world, what we build for exactly what we need. And what we have at the beginning gets us to that place of life construction. I could have been happy as a child, but I was not...and now, I do experience it. The freedom of not being judged about who I am inside, my soul...the things I cannot change, the parts that make me. I feel the freedom of choosing a "family" that will accept those things about me. Maybe not love them all the time, maybe even get pretty damn frustrated with me. But, they allow me to be here, not trying to take my voice or my thoughts or my life. And I don't know if I could have known this kind of freedom without knowing invasion. There is no peace without war. No love without hate. It all makes sense once in a while, and I try to write it down.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Getting in alignment with my journey: A shared Concept

I bet there are a thousand ways to live a life. And I am interested in all of them, yet I am only able to choose a few in the short amount of time that I have here. I have had trouble in my own experience embracing it, the idea of living. Not sustaining, not breathing in and out, not keeping up with the rat race...but existing. Being aware and in tune with my self and what goes on in my world. It feels sometimes like there's no way to fit myself into the big picture, or that I don't want to fit into the big picture, or that the big picture and me don't navigate the same charts. But, I wonder if it is enough to lead a small life. And I wonder what my definition of a small life is...because honestly, I think that it changes from one moment to the next. And right now, in this moment a small life looks quite meaningful, looks quite liveable and possibly even hope-holding. I get here, to these vast amazing spaces in my existence and I walk so softly, afraid that with too much clatter I will lose my place, shimmy out of sequence, or be derailed. It's the derailment though that teaches us the track. It is going south of the agenda that teaches us to truly understand the atlas on this thing called life. And just when I thought I was done, I learn my way back to the trail, I find hope in the dark parts of me and I am thankfully renewed (even for a little bit) again.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Self-Awareness and a foggy Thursday

I sometimes believe that a day begins with some purpose, and being often sets that off course. It can, on occasion happen to be a better ending than the original plan. I began the morning praying for rain. We need it...but my motive was more selfish...I wanted to not have to walk. It was dry for the most part and we (my friend and I, plus two lovely mutts) set out down the dirt road on our daily jaunt. Always by the first 500 feet, I am glad to be there. The stars above, the air crisp, the gravel crunching lightly under sneakers, my friend happily recounting her day, yesterday. And today was no different. My mood picked up, my senses got stirred...I was happy to be up early and out in the dark morning air. What's funny how much I dreaded the day this morning. Coming out of a bad day yesterday...I just wasn't sure I could muster the energy for another one. And today was by no means a great day, in my list of great days. There are a couple headaches that I cannot seem to shake at work...and my friends are still in a hard place so I worry about them. But, some decision was made in those early wee hours that had everything to do with how I would take the day ahead. How I would sift through it, and at 5pm, how I would leave some of it behind. Something that I didn't do the day before. I believe that taking care of the good ways, in the ways that one should parent her thoughts, ideas, her doesn't come naturally. But, this much is true...I am the only one to do it, because I am the only one with the answers about me. Sometimes that is more heart-heavy...but today, it feels just froggy. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Kym to Universe...Frustration calling.

I want to go gently through this world. It really is a goal of mine. But, on days like today....I want to scream at the people in my life GET REAL!!!!! It's been a bad day, from being smart-mouthed by a music rep (he was speaking the real truth though, at least), to having my friend call about how he has changed in 12 years from liking girls to not liking girls, to the Chef who went all around the place to everyone but me to talk about an event that I am trying to coordinate with him! And is communication that difficult? Is it truly that hard to just be honest with someone? With yourself? The music rep made me angry...why is he being brutal rather than doing his nice little job as a salesman (having a bad day, mate?)? And my friend made me sad...running through the particulars of this or that "insecure" possibly "overweight" girl that he tries to help to build esteem, but his heart's just not really in it anymore (well, stop...I've never enjoyed the insincere gesture myself). I've told him the answer that I believe to be true. I do not struggle with forthrightness...I try (again) to be gentle. But, I love to get to the bottom of the tale. The chef is leaving me little course of action, but direct confrontation...which isn't his strong suit, so I will have to wear armour to the engagement. I really just want people to come clean. I don't care what some brilliant mind said 18 billion years ago...I want to know what is inside of you! What are YOU doing? Why? And I realize that those are often the most scary questions. It's why we cover ourselves with other people's stories, discoveries or lives. But, today...I am really tired of the bull. In fact, I'm calling big red scarf on the bull. Come clean...bring it....say the truth, no, say your truth. Truly...I'd be fascinated to hear it. And it might cleanse me from the day full of crap I've endured. (I will, undoubtedly, apologize for this tomorrow...but, right now, it feels justified after today.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quiet thoughts on New Hampshire and Ms. Clinton

It's a quiet night. Warm like late spring, and a hazy fog hangs over the night. So, the lights in town (not many) put off a colored haze and the trees stand tall like onyx statues. I heard on the evening wind a pot clanging softly against a shed. It made me think of a cow bell, but there are not cows in our field across the way. I turned on the television this night, for a few frenzied minutes and saw all the stir about Hillary "almost" shedding a tear today in New Hampshire. Asked "how do you do it..this life, this job of do you keep it up?" And Ms. Clinton's reply was that this country offers so much, and she couldn't stand to watch us move backwards. I think there was more...but they didn't show it entirely. The question now seems to be, is Clinton weak because she shows emotion? Did she stage it to show human responses? And who knows? I'd like to think that someone who will put themselves through all this to lead a country that is so disturbing, and try to retract us from a war that we have struggled with since its initiation...would have to take this effort (to be President) seriously. I would like to think that it means everything to her, because she is certainly having to live that way. And I say this, not because I know that I will vote for Ms. Clinton...because I do not know that at all. But, it is a relief to see something after watching our current leader's lack of compassion about everything. This man looks at multitudes of death and his face registers what one might express when choosing a brand of cereal. So, yes...I'll take some emotion about getting us out of the mess we are in, paying attention to the rest of the world, and trying to lead us all in a new direction. It means pretty damn much to me.

Monday, January 7, 2008

A Fly in the Soup

It's the almost end of another Monday night dinner. The "cuisine" was Italian. Trinity made Chicken Alfredo and garlic bread. I did stuffed own concoction with almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto and various cheeses in the ricotta/sour cream stuffing. I made a stuffed bread with peppers/onions, Italian sausage and mozzarella inside. Leslie likes that one. She brought a lovely salad with wonderful fat tommy-toe tomatoes and baby bella mushrooms. Josh brought half a blue cake. And LaNita (Leslie's mama) sent us the most delightful molasses and apple butter cake. It looked like pancakes stacked up in a beautiful way. We all loved it best. We talked a lot about communication or lack thereof...and it got me to thinking. Do any of us ever really understand each other? Or do we just make do with what we get? I think that loving is always about accepting a lot of stuff we might not want to...but are we really in the dark about everyone? Do so many mechanisms of self-preservation kick in that we really never find out the truth about each other? About ourselves? It's an interesting entertainment of thought...though not quite as hopeful as one might have desired.

My evening last with Jane Eyre and dear Edward

There are things about love that I understand only internally. Like a pearl within its oyster parent, there are beautiful thoughts that grow inside of me quite unrealized. Songs can remind me...mostly music though, without words. Clair de Lune captures that intense feeling for me, and gives it back to swell within my chest like a rolling crashing wave. Pablo Neruda writing about the sea leaves me in unchartered territory, happily tearful and amazed. I believe that for some of us, the feeling of love has to sneak in disguised as something else...words or notes, sounds or panoramic views. It is too frightening to arrive as itself for some of us. And even as we wish for it, we know not how to allow it to sweep into our life bringing a torrent of uncontrolled cravings, hopes and tiny dreams. It feels better to encounter it on neutral ground. I am always so thankful for the moments it quietly changes my path. I am left waiting for the next time it happens, like a note unfinished, a canvas seeking its oil.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

There was never a choice, Mr. Frost.

When dear Robert Frost wrote about taking the road less traveled by...he made it seem as though he had a choice. While I have never been blinded to the traveled road, it never invited me...seemed far too noisy, a lot of signage, too much direction. I could never have gone that way being who I am. And I wonder if Frost, in his aged wisdom, discounted the reality that few of us have a choice at who we are innately. Maybe he wanted us to believe that we could find solace on any path. I believe that the road that beckons us forward is the road of our life and I do not think that traveling elsewhere is a possibility. There are ideas that choice always exists, and I can buy into that. I do choose whether or not to keep a job, wear shoes, feed the dog, plant mums, carve pumpkins...but the me of it, was no choice at all. It came with the package. And the road I'm on...though at times foggy and my road. I tend to like the dirt roads best. Dirt roads feel good under your skin. They shift and change according to rainfall or wind. They lay in cool shelter under trees that crowd their shoulders. They are quiet...while the road over the hill roars by. I am happiest on a dirt road because it doesn't know the answers. It was carved out quickly and left to figure out the rest. It feels like my own story.