Am I Imprisoned?

img_0193

I thrive on being outside; walking in nature, rambling around, thinking and just looking.  It’s normal to feel so centered and derive so much happiness from nature–I’ve read more than one study saying how necessary nature is for our well being.

Today I was hiking at Waterfall Glen with one of my girlfriends.  It was a nice chance to catch up with her and get some good exercise, but I was alert, as always, when outside.  I noticed a man behind us who had stopped and was looking through binoculars into the trees.  I kept looking back checking on him, and I did not like it that every time we stopped he stopped and swung those binoculars up, looking into those trees again.  I was sizing him up, and sizing up the situation.  I found myself running over self defense moves in my mind.  It did not give me peace of mind to know that we would have to hike the entire nine mile circle or else we would need to turn back at some point and pass him again.  And I thought how sad it is that in order to stay safe I cannot go where I would like to go, and do what I would like to do.  Who knows the person I could be, or might become if I never had to worry about my personal safety so much when out of my home?  I might become the best version of me possible and I might be completely different.

As I think about this, I know that there are millions of people in the world who are completely without freedom, and in terrible situations. How much human suffering and lost potential exists in our world!  I try to always count my blessings, and to remember what it would be like to be as tortured as many are.  Still, I am sad for what cannot be for me because of my gender…

Love and Relativity

“I believe there are to ways of writing novels.  One is making a sort of musical comedy without music and ignoring real life altogether; the other is going deep down into life and not caring a damn..”  P. G.. Wodehouse

“It’s about to get real in here” Anon Y. Mous

img_1511

 

Love!  We’ve all been there; in and out, and in again.  We’ve all had our hearts broken, and yet we come back for more.  What would this world be without love?  We know babies will not thrive without it, and so it is not surprising the lengths  we will go to for it.  I’ve found love and all it’s humbling power on my mind a lot this week because of an unexpected phone call last Sunday.

Eight years ago I met a guy out salsa dancing.  We clicked right away–that undefinable chemistry we all know so well.  Slowly, over the next three years we became friends, going out to eat, dancing, going to a quinceanera, and hanging out together playing pool, listening to music and talking about life.  He would show me pictures of the house that he was building in Mexico because he was determined to go back there to his beloved horses and his life there.  I greatly admired his intelligence, drive, focus and maturity.  In short, a beautiful friendship.

He did return to Mexico, and I missed him and thought of him often.  Four or five years went by and one day he found me on Facebook. We exchanged messages from time to time and I was very happy and excited to have heard from him again.

Last Sunday he greeted me on Facebook again.  Then asked if he could all me.  As if that wasn’t surprise enough, he told me that he loved me, he missed me, and that he had always loved me and always would.  He told me that I was the best thing that had ever happened to him.  I was speechless.  He asked me if I had known that, and I said that I had no idea!

What was surprising was the effect that his declaration had on me.  I was happy.  It was a wonderful thing to hear from someone whom I had also loved.  But hovering around on the edges of my joy was the big question of what happened next.  Next being when I came down from my fluffy, pretty cloud and recognized that was a frustrating closed door, and that nothing had changed in my life.  What did happen was that I realized was how long it had been since someone in my life had told me things like that, and how much I missed hearing that.

Maybe I’m the lucky one.  That love will always be fresh in its vision of perfect harmony.  We never had to be tested in the reality of the difficulties of maintaining a relationship.  Everything is relative to everything else.  I am looking for absolutes and happily ever afters, but maybe relatives are good enough.  Or not?

Relativity

As

E=mc2

and as

the only absolute is that all absolutes are

absolutely relative

will you absolutely love me relatively?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Do You Want To Wash Your Arms??

The second grade girl came up to me trying to get my attention followed closely by one of my boys whom I liked to call my “Sour Patch” kid based on his qualities of sweet lovingness mixed with extreme mischief.  My Spidey senses were on high alert based on something in her manner, and his appearance on her coattails.

“Can I help you?”   I asked.  She mumbled something, and appeared upset.  I tried several times to understand what she was telling me, finally deciphering that for some unknown reason she was asking to go and wash her arms.  It didn’t help that S.P. Kid kept trying to interrupt and disrupt the process.

“It’s that S.P. wrote something on my arms!”  she asserted.

“I did not!” S.P. vehemently  insisted.

The arms in question were held out for inspection.  I was genuinely puzzled.  The more I insisted that there was absolutely nothing there, and that she was fine, the more she insisted that she had to wash them.  S.P. flocked and surged in an obstructive manner.  Finally we started making some progress.

“I wanted him to write my name on my arm and he wrote something else with his invisible ink pen!” she said.

“No I didn’t!!” S.P. was very insistent.

Comprehension dawned.  “Go and get that invisible pen right now!”  I ordered S.P.  He reluctantly went to fetch his newest treasure bought at the school book fair earlier.  And there it was, misspelled of course, his latest entry in his chronicles of naughtiness proudly reflecting in the blue light from his invisible ink pen:

img_3009

 

 

 

The Iron Horse Whispers

 

img_2501

I was blessed to live in the

time of trains:

dark diesel dinosaurs lumbering

across my summer nights

where the whisper of their passing

winds in through my open window

like a silken ribbon tying up

my past and present.

Their vibration so faint

I strain to catch the fragrant sound

and in the darkening stillness

accept the gifts they bring of

memory and peace.

 

The Frog and the Butterfly

One summer day a caterpillar  munched across a leaf, eating and eating and leaving behind the sharp edges of her designs.   Below her a busy frog caught her attention with his handsome “Crock crock.”  She crept to the edge of her leave and peered down at him.

“Hello,” she said. “Look!  We are the same color!”

“Correct correct,” agreed the frog, filling his lungs and sitting stoically on his log.

The caterpillar never stopped moving for very long and she continued on her way munching, day after day, feeling the warm sun on her back and listening to the little frog always singing the same song  beneath her. How she loved to creep to the edge of her leaf and gaze down at him with his beautiful smooth, green skin.

“Frog,” she said one day, “you are so beautiful.”

“Thank you,” he said and then “crock crock crock,” just like always.

If she had been created with shoulders, she would have shrugged her tiny shoulders but since she didn’t have any she just hurried on her way because there was so much eating to do. She worried about all the leaves she still had to eat. 

 In the cool mornings, surrounded by those morning bird sounds she loved so much, she ate across her leaves listening to her frog friend. He got quiet in the hot afternoons but she never stopped eating. In the evenings while she was resting, sometimes under a curled leave while the rain splattered around her, his croaking lulled her to sleep.  

One day while her frog was still singing his song below her she realized that she could not take another bite of another leaf.  Leaves leaves leaves! She wanted nothing more to do with any more leaves. She curled up inside a special cocoon where nothing more touched her and she could think her solitary thoughts. Like in a dream, she heard her froggy singing, and felt the warm sun on her, and the memory of the rain which she no longer felt. At the edges of her sleep she was enchanted by the sensation of a wind. She felt herself swinging and spinning and she dared to dream wind dreams. Night after night she rocked and rested and dreamed about her wind. One day she woke up and looked around. She clung trembling to a leaf, resting.  

“How strange!” she thought.  The leaf that before she had so much loved to eat was now just a green resting place under her tiny feet. As she tried to get her bearings, she heard the familiar crock crock from her froggy friend below.

“Hello,” she greeted him shyly.

“Crock crock.  You’ve changed,” was all that he said.

She smiled a big butterfly smile and said “I know!  I’ve been working really hard and dreaming strange dreams of the wind.”

And this wind, the wind that she had dreamed of, found her on her leaf and stirred her new wings.  She trusted, and she rose and flittered erratically away.  Oh!  How to describe the pure thrill of those first moments alone with her wind and her wings fluttering above a breathtaking world!  She found flower after beautiful flower beckoning her onward.  She saw many other butterflies above the meadows in the sun, but never did she spot one who was just like her.  She lived alone with her wind and the vibrant quilt of the delicious flowers.  And when she rested she remembered her beautiful frog by his cool water, and listened for his song.

One day, missing her stationary frog friend too much, she fluttered back to his pond.  She perched delicately on a leaf above his head.  “Hello!”she called excitedly with her little heart swelling with joy.  “Did you miss me?”

“Crock crock,” said the froggy.  “Of course I did.”

She tiptoed closer to hear his song better and to see his dear, handsome froggy form that she had missed so much.  “Oh froggy,” she sighed, “I’ve missed you so.”

As she peered down at her friend she noticed how her wings were reflected in the water in back of him.

“Look!”  she cried excitedly.  “You have wings just like mine!  Try to move them, froggy!  See if you can fly too and come with me to see the world!”

She moved her wings gently back and forth admiring the way that her frog and she were linked together in that moment in their reflection in the pond.

Below her the frog’s smooth chest rose and fell as always as he appeared to be contemplating her suggestion.  He made a decision; the only decision a frog could ever make.  He shot out his tongue and Snap!  she was gone.

The sun glistened on one of the butterfly’s wings turning slowly in the wind on top of the pond, and it made the butterfly scales shine on his froggy lips as he sang his song of always “Crock crock.”