Saturday, December 29, 2012

Forty years ago I was 24

Today is one of those gray days when fog is a friend and memory is more real that what I see out the window.

I think of Bolinas with diaphanous women herding goats and the famous square jawed chef-spy walking the beach with her Bernese mountain dogs.

On days like this, when the grey sky turns me inward, I sometimes think of you and my life with and without you.

When we broke I told myself that if it took suffering like this to be a poet, I simply wouldn't be one. Add 40 years with only the occasional look into the realities of memory and here we are.  First drafts flowing over the virtual page and flashes of time appearing in words as I type.

The first time I saw you.  Come to the door in a wild pink figure forming dress that accentuated your big hips and Italian heritage I had no idea you'd be the one or that we'd break our hearts together while learning to grow up into the daily compromises of being adults.

Recall the time you wore the pinup lingerie?  I thought to myself you didn't look like my fantasy, but bit my tongue and kissed you anyway. Could you read the discord in my heart? Did the simple act of hiding it begin our split?

And oh the things I imagined when, after the break, I heard you were dime a dance in Oakland. Grinding with anyone who had a dime. I imagined it until it became a deep splinter festering in my skin. Those were the days when I'd get the hot flush and with staggering eyes begin to look for you everywhere.  Oh so often you would turn up, cementing my belief in your witch ways.

And I'd ride my motorcycle, auditioning for the role of organ donor  feeling the roar between my legs and imagining that I was free.  Less than a month after I bought the bike and I'm rolling through the air, Koe clinging to my back like a shell as we somersault onto the asphalt all shocked and bloody lucky to be alive and only aching.  She landed on me as I landed on the street, I cushioned the blow and she walked away (too sore to belly dance, but hardly maimed at all).

The chances we took.  Up there in the sierra foothills, you in the water tossing my grandmother's ruby ring and your diaphragm into the depths. Me lurking in the bee filled bushes stark naked and babbling.

Seeing you again after so many years makes the time trick real. My heart was ready to go when we met. The blockage of trauma and regret was shutting me down.  Who knew it would take an MI to wake me up and kick my butt back into gear?

I'm more myself these days.  Healthier. Mind is clearer than it's been in ages. And here I am. On a grey day fiddling that deep splinter that shifts occasionally and reminds me that it simply won't dissolve and remains encapsulated in the meat and occasionally shifting positions to remind me of the sharp points that stick for a lifetime.

I do hope each day is good to you. Most of mine are good to me.

May we both achieve abundance for those we love and for all we know and touch.

Tending the Trees I Plant

Woke thinking a good night, this cold is on the run.

Saw from my study window the pepper tree I planted with my son on Christmas day.

It was leaning forlornly against a boulder.  The wind had upset the roots.

Tree work in a weakened state got me sweating and feeling old.

Stood the tree.
Stomped the ground.
Soaked the roots too much and made a mush of things.

Shoved more soil on the base of the tree and mashed down my big booted feet into the muck.

If a good wind comes over the tree will go again.
I'll attend it.

I want it to grow.
I want it strong and healthy, part of a big family of peppers, ready for us to celebrate next Christmas.

Still the tree died before spring