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Archive for December 14th, 2006

Dart of a scissor-tail kite, splash of cracked glass, cutting edge of wind-wisped Superior, tear of corduroy feathers, rusty brown
orange red

blue
sky accents.

Ripping the stems from their moorings. I packed boxes of old paints and watercolor pencils. I packed slippery porcelain paint mixers. I packed old wax 45’s and ancient letters from my grandmother.

I packed up all those old broken dreams.

Snaking through the facets of a cracked mirror, my reflection haunts me. There is a bright fear of having to choose – me in the mirror – pathology. The name escapes. A holding pattern, a wrinkle in time.

Basting a turkey,
the gravy in a molded Ball jar.

Bell Jar.

Sylvia, my hands smell like Clementines
and gently pull the skin out from under

California labels, “Supersweet” and “EZ Peel.”

I want to frost your lemons with icing sweet spatter. Fruitinize your phobia. Instead I keep slow walking toward home, along brambled beaches and tiered satisfaction – a hole in a tree that cracked off long ago fell into the lake.

Shatter-thawed ice patterns
swirl into river maps.

You stand on a booted heel,
I boost your curved heartshaped butt
up the rough ridged bark.

Woot!

Cables and wires and antennae. How is it people can’t seem to connect? Frozen splashes of $10 water bottles with ice crystal patterns. The painting, lifted mariposas in the upper left corner. You strummed your guitar, sans makeup.

All down to zero here. Hollow bone.

It was the spectacles that spun out,
that stood out, when I told you her name.

Then we were in Perkins and that song came on, “You Said”
“Hey, isn’t that….”  I blurted out, standing still in the green isle after
fried shrimp bacon cheeseburgers & mashed potatoes.

I’m not ashamed to say
I eat my favorite foods,
sometimes in combination.

Wretched memories. Why can’t I let go? The frozen gravy spread eagle on the plastic tarp. I nearly tripped and fell over myself. Fell off the tricycle in the carport and slit my hand. The Brown Creeper.

I had dreams wrapped up in that corduroy shirt. Cracked, broken, gone the way of the Firefly. A measly short life that I love to write about.

Fire of any kind lights the world.

The insects, I’d collect them in jars just like you. I’d exclaim gleefully in that Ya’ll Georgia accent and study the shape of their wings in bed (surprise – squeals of glee sound the same in Minnesota).

In Taos in December there was a fat-bodied spider that loved to climb out of the flowery wash basin when I was brushing my teeth or spiking my hair. I let her be. She wasn’t bothering me. Spiders eat flies. And spin yarny webs of sticky safety.

Webs. Connection.

The moon stood still over the shower stall. I stared up, water droplets navigating peacefully between each hair on my arm. Doing what water drops do. My legs, let’s not talk about them.

I stopped shaving in September.
You wouldn’t believe

the length.
The softness.
Like Kiev’s raven fur.

There was that slice to the finger, a cat’s cradle claw. I yelped in pain like a kicked puppy. Was it the Scooby or Pooh bandaide that saved me? Or the Vitamin E you carefully rubbed along the torn punctured skin.

There is a flap where the slit comes together.
And I wear a healing band –
green yellow orange leopard cloth
over the wound.

A pet in the morning.

It’s glassy on the deck. I can’t stand without grasping the rail. Purple lunch pail in tow. And the Adidas black sling pack. The December dark morning hovering at 35 degrees – feels like late September.

Did you ever look closely at O’Keeffe’s painted blacks? They contain 700 colors of chocolate coffee bean brown. I stood close, next to ribbons of oil. Silent. Watching.

Watercolor nudes.
Muggy. And saturating my senses.

The car starts right up. Even though the doors crack with icy rain when I open them. Rubber stuck to metal. Rrrrriiiiippppp.

Splayed out is my anger. I lost it somewhere. I foster compassion. And hold my head high. You left me a million times. And this time for good. That tattoo, the Chinese character? I missed it in the juices. I find Home in a Valley of Gold.

It’s so quiet, my solitude quakes.

I misunderstood. I may not be cut out for making money. I hold myself back, learn to boost myself up. A scarecrow in a golden pond.

Mainstream I am not. Airstream. Chuckle.
Yes. Airstream.

You said you wanted a shiny RV. To travel the world, tootle along, you say, and diddle around. I think of
Milton, blind as a bat, shunned by his Universe, shattered, broken, writing his best work ever in the twilight of his life.

Humanity’s fall from grace.
Who knew it was in him?

Political hack they yelled.
He showed them.

I want to say I will never be broken again. But every time I sit, some pain comes up. Rising, I skim off the top. The insecurity of that old ripped shirt. I moved boxes and boxes, frayed edges unraveling, covering my treasures. And I remembered how thin and trim I used to be.

How naive.

One cold fall day we cut the wing off a Great Gray owl. Roadkill. It’s worth being buried. Then the talons – crunch. Stolen moments in the freezer, years go by. How could I forget her? Broken, headbanged raptor. I’ve felt your pain.

When I moved from Ulysses after 14 years there was only one thing left in the abandoned 5 rooms – a dim gray bag of frozen body parts. Lying in the dark. I wanted to photograph the sifting light through the tertiary bands.

I wanted to set it up
all the world’s a stage
you would have looked beautiful.

But you chose to disappear. Poof, just like that. And leave me fractured, disjointed that last day I closed the door, turned out the light, wept at the happy ending. Closet boxes of memories. And fierce wet talons vanquished into thin air. Vanquished?

The mask of a thousand ages fell upon my wrinkled face.
I wasn’t there to receive it.

I flew off to Taos.
And wondered what I was doing.

Climbing out from under Masonic clouds
or tripping over a raised crack in the sidewalk –
“I hope I’ve made it right,” you said, shaking my hand.
I smiled & shook back.

the floor boards don’t creak anymore
they are bleached blond and hard as a rock
shake a tail feather. break a leg.

Home.

What is it?
Where is it?
Why can’t I find it?

Because there’s no where to look
It’s all here. Inside.

here

inside

the spaces between

broken dreams
broken hearts
broken bones

the smell of Clementines oozing off of my skin
the soaking rain in December
the hard freeze in October

swimming in the Rio Grande in August
which face am I?

the manic joy of falling in love
the printed word on the muted white page

what did Dogen say?
when you walk in the mist
you get wet

not original
but genuine

pulpy & alive

shatter
wet pieces
together again

melt
white heart
puffy lips

money
it’s not worth
fighting over

under, around
or through

let go
drip with satisfaction
let the good stuff in

break structure
build strong bones
mend broken hearts

shatter your dreams
the sky’s big enough to hold
the juicy fractured pieces

and you.

if not,
then silence.
 

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

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1. Drive to Alaska spend a month there, motorcycle around, hike, see the wildlife and sights of one of the last pristine wildernesses.

2. Build an open Prairie-style home somewhere out West – sans the FLW dark cave-like bedrooms. Open spaces inside and out. Oregon or Montana, high up, looking out over the ocean or spanning long layered mountain vista. Work with a little-known visionary architect who understands my dream.

3. Buy a home with my partner in Minnesota – big enough for us to both have large writing and creative spaces within our home. Floor to ceiling libraries. Open windows and community space. Bathrooms are important – I take long showers and baths. Lots of light. Darkroom space.

4. Make an excellent, abundant living from my creative writing & consulting – Relative, I know. Two million is enough. I’m not greedy. I want to love my work and get paid well to do it. I want to make a lot of money – not so I can buy more things – but so I can have the time and space to do what I love.

5. Be financially well off enough to help my Mother retire and live the rest of her life without worrying about money – Travel with her to all the places she’s always wanted to see. Spend quality time.

6. Write my memoir – Structure time and space for writing in 2007 and beyond. Accept the 3-5 year process of writing a book. Accept that writing takes:

 a. Time
 b. Commitment
 c. Practice
 d. Perseverance
 e. Money To Live
 f. Discipline
 g. Follow Through
 h. Space Inside.
 i. Space Outside.
 j. Silence.

7. Give something back to everyone who has helped me along the way – Particularly with the art and writing. Emotionally, spiritually, mentally, financially – from grade school to middle age. This includes blood family, teachers, mentors, friends, community who push me to my personal best. And adversaries – who push me to be a better person.

8. Write a letter to my blood father whom I haven’t seen since I was 6 – Maybe see him. Seeing is not always believing. This needs more thought.

9. Make amends to anyone I have hurt along the way – as long as it doesn’t harm them.

10. Geocache with Liz in nooks and crannies all over this country – Take her to my favorite places. Have her meet my favorite people. Land is spiritual. Good friends are priceless. Share the wealth.

11. Drive the entire length of Route 66 on a Harley – (or any other bike I have a passion for) It’s got to fit me comfortably. I want to do this with other motorcycle friends and enthusiasts. It’s a family thing.

12. Build a writing space or retreat on a big chunk of land – where other writers and I can meet and write together. This might be combined with my retirement plans or the homes I create or a shared dream with my partner.

13. Have a show of my photographs in a great and well-known museum or gallery – Maybe a group show with other emerging photographers.

14. Have my name be instantly recognized (and big enough to be well compensated) – for my writing, photography, teaching, visioning, sense of wonder, and generous spirit. And also for my love of the arts and the wild creatures that make it.

15. Teach other writers and artists about the great writers and artists that came before us – share the lineage – Feed the passion.

16. Travel to a few select places of sacred geography in Europe – See the wild places, cathedrals and art. Need to get more specific and map it out. Geocache along the way.

17. Own 3 modern, dynamic modes of transportation – with the means to store, upkeep, and replace them when they age – Red or yellow Mini Cooper convertible for Summer. Hybrid medium-sized SUV for Winter – this one needs more thought. Chrome plated, shiny motorcycle – Honda, BMW, or Harley for Spring – this one needs more research. For Fall, I will alternate between all three!

18. Be consistently published in well-respected magazines for the compelling essays, stories, poetry I write – (oh, and I’d like to add, well-paid) The Sun. Poets and Writers. Shambala Sun. The New Yorker.

19. Love The South again – Visit where I grew up, spend quality time with family members still living there. Photograph family history, cemeteries, old haunts, schools, teachers, write about my experiences. Publish what I write.

20. Plan and attend a huge outdoor reunion in western Montana – spanning a whole weekend. Invite the people I grew up with there in my 20’s and some of the people in my life now. Remember the good stuff. Do a river raft trip. Hike in the mountains. Photograph. Document. Honor the process of living. Love.

21. Have a huge 64th Birthday Bash in Minneapolis – Rent a rooftop condo for a weekend. Invite everyone who has ever been anyone in my life. If they can’t afford to come, have enough money to pay their way. Provide huge amounts of food, space, music, dancing, love. Celebrate life. And the fact that I’ve made it that long!

22. Let go of any resentments or ill feelings I have – no matter the shape or form. Stop clinging to the past. Open to what is.

23. Let go of any and all material things I don’t absolutely love living with – I don’t need inanimate objects to fill me up. Cultivate a sparse, clean, but warm living space with little clutter.

24. Before I die, I want to live every day within my means – I buy nothing on credit, I owe no one (not one red cent), and I am debt-free – for at least 30 years – or the whole second half of my life, whichever comes first.

25. Recognize and know in my heart that I am enough. Just as I am. – Live every day like it is my last. Keep jumping – the net will appear. I am enough. I have enough. There is enough for everyone.
 


BONEWRITER DISCLAIMER: This is a list of 25 things I want to do before I die as of Thursday, December 14th, 2006. I reserve the right to change or expand this list, as I change and expand my life. Merry meet. Merry part. Merry meet again. So mote it be.

-posted on red Ravine Thursday, December 14th, 2006

-related to Topic post, WRITING TOPIC – DO OR DIE TRIANGLE

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