last day of july

a carefree young girl in a striped summer dress

lay in the fountain

unafraid to be wet

sure in her childhood

and the endlessness of this

single day

remembrance

For years I could remember his name.  I am sure with enough time, I could recall it.  I think it was Eric.  He was a boy in my art class.  Small, with red hair.  He was funny too.  Defensively funny, the way a small kid in the seventh grade might become.  Sarcastic and smart enough to let humor be a weapon against the unfair horror that is junior high.

I remember him at all because in the seventh grade he died.  His death haunted me for years, though I couldn’t say I knew him very well. It was how he died that couldn’t leave me.  He was at the local water park, the kind with the large slides.  The newspapers said he was likely trying to hide and stay in the park past his purchased time.  He hid in the space between two slides, where the water was suctioned back up to the top of slide.  He was pulled up, and drown.  He wasn’t found until later that day after the park closed and he was reported missing.

I have imagined and replayed the horror of that moment when he must have known and fought his fate.  I have replayed it for years.  I cannot say why.  I am not sure why I remember it now, this night. I only know that I am, and I felt compelled to write the memory down, remember what I could.  I cannot help but think of this boy’s parents when I remember him.  I want to tell them, “I haven’t forgotten either.”  I was caught off guard by his death; it was tragic and unpredictable..it was the first time I had come to know that life is sometimes this way.

I remember the Monday after his burial, kids talked about the funeral.  Bette Midler’s “The Rose” was played during the service, they had said. I have never since listened to that song and not thought of him, ever.  Sometimes I still cry.  I wonder if anyone else remembers.  Remembers him.  Alive and funny, with a girlfriend named Eileen.  Or do they remember only how he died?

How long does the memory of one person last once they have gone?  This night, thirty one years later, I am still remembering.

truth, nature, knowledge

I’ve needed some illumination these past few days.  I’ve fallen into a retrievable funk…much better than those dreaded irretrievable ones.  I can get myself worked up into a panicked state with little effort and this morning I went to my yoga mat to ground myself  and return a sense of stability I have seemed to have misplaced.

What I need is information.  What I have failed to do is procure that information.  Fear has paralyzed me, knowledge will set me free.  Sometimes I place a value on knowledge..good news vs bad news.  More often than not though, the news is just news…information.  Judgement placed on information creates drama, at least for me.

What I reminded myself on the mat this morning, is that information can be helpful.  Understanding the truth about a situation/perceived problem can only aid in the response/resolution of that situation.

So what has me troubled?  Money…shocking, I know.  But today, I resolve to really understand my financial situation so that I can control my finances and have them work for me.  For too long I’ve wanted to create financial independence for myself.  In order to do that, I really need to know what my expenses really are, and how much money I need to make.  Seems reasonable.  I guess I’ve been afraid that I will learn that I can’t support myself.  I won’t won’t the reality of that until I take a good look…

the figure

today frustration stung my eyes

as I connected vine to bark

and found the lines made no sense at all

my hand betrayed me

or was it my eye

or the space between the two

somewhere in my shaken network

synapses backfired

and effort and time and even breath

made no difference at all

at the end of the day

i found solace in the second hand

and relied on nothing

only to surprise myself

with something redeemable

“we are not making art,”

she said,

and it is true

i believe art happens

with or without us

passwords

I have no less than 20 passwords I must remember on a daily basis. The passwords I must remember incidentally are countless. On occasion this blog even requires me to login with my password.  I have two for my bank, one on-line and one for the ATM.  I have two for work, not counting the general staff login.  Every online account I have has one, my phone has one, even my yoga studio, and don’t get me started with my student accounts.

Okay I got me started…every few months or so PSU requires its students to change their passwords.  The new password has to be…well NEW. Not only is it difficult coming up with a new password,  I can’t remember every password I create.  It’s nearly impossible. I know, I know, I should write them down, but who does that?  An old boyfriend once set up a file on my computer for me to have all my passwords…of course he made it “safe” …. there’s a code (PASSWORD) for that file, which I don’t remember, because I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP!  He also made up the password for my computer itself, which is written a tiny slip of paper which I leave in my junk drawer.  This password is made up of the oddest combination of letters and numbers, nothing a normal person could remember EVER!  Of course that’s the point my ex said.  He was obsessed with safety.  I am not so much. Every once in awhile I must call said ex and ask for my password, which he of course has in a passworded file in his passworded computer. It’s quite a production for him to track it down.  I know the feeling.

One day the world will be different.  It could go two ways..passwords will be replaced entirely new technology, like the retinal eye scan…OR…people will trust each other and the password will become obsolete.  I’m hoping for the latter.

an observation

I spend my waking hours daydreaming of taking a nap…I spend my nights lying awake thinking about all the stuff I need to get done during the day..

why can’t women get along?

Today at work, I heard a young woman say, “I don’t get along with girls.” I’ve heard that often from women. “I don’t get along with other women.” In fact I have heard those words uttered no less than three times this week.

I have never once  heard a man say, “I don’t get along with men.”

What is it with women/girls that we have such trouble connecting to each other. I have to admit that while I haven’t ever uttered that phrase…I may have thought it.  I have heard my own daughter profess her preference for male friends over female ones.  Why is this so?

Often I hear the statement followed up with one of he following..

…I can’t trust women, they say one thing to your face, and another behind your back.

…they’re so dramatic.

…they’re backstabbers

…women are jealous of me

…they’re so high maintenance

Are we the competitive, insecure, shallow, selfish people we label ourselves to be?  Do we make lousy friends? Are we really untrustworthy and hard to get along with? Are men really better friends?

Perhaps the sting of betrayal is just harder to bear from a girlfriend? Perhaps we expect more from our female friends than our guy friends, and are disappointed in them more often.  I don’t know.  And it makes me sad. I have hope though. I have seen wonderful relationships between women…it happens, and happens often, perhaps we just don’t celebrate that enough.

I recall when my daughter was kindergarten, she was best friends with another little girl.  They did everything together and adored each other.  The teacher felt they were too dependent on each other, and so separated them the next year.  My daughter and her friend drifted apart. I wonder what might have happened had their friendship been allowed to just be.  What’s wrong  with developing close relationships? I regret my silence…why didn’t I question this decision?

I have decided that it is not too late to change this  for myself.  I have slowly recognized  my own culpability, and I have been working on nurturing and cherishing my relationships with other women. Perhaps I have just been lazy in the past, lacked effort more than intent. Perhaps the greater truth may be that I haven’t valued myself enough as a woman to see the value of other women. The tide  is changing on this.

gardening

there is nothing so pleasing

as the planting of a single seed

and the gift of watching its impossible

transformation

day after day

last night I watered brown earth

this morning I found green new life

i cannot begin to understand

or explain

how this happens

Country Fair

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

a few things I’ve noticed these days

I have been staying close to home these days when not working, cleaning up  my yard, reading, taking walks with Luka.  I did spend a lovely day with Richard, riding on the back end of his scooter, visiting the Rose Garden and exploring the city.  My life has gotten small and slow, and I feel as if I can remember every moment of it. In slowing down, I have noticed life more.

I’ve watched the sun rise and set in my yard, watching the light as I looked for the best place to plant my tomatoes.  I’ve been surprised by the sprouting of my bok choy and discovered two birds’ nests  which had fallen from trees above.  I met neighbors I have lived next to for two years but never had met before.  I’ve seen my fig tree finally find its footing and take to its new place in the garden.  I’ve planted potatoes and watched the ground above them go from brown to green as they’ve taken over the green house.  I’ve trained my kiwi to moved up a random piece of fishing line, and could count every new leaf.  I’ve watched and wondered what will bring strawberries to my plants.

I am lifted by these moments, having waited for them for so long.  Too many years spent rushing about, noticing little but the interior of my car and my growing impatience.  Years of wanting to scream, “stop!”  I wanted nothing more then than to watch my children grow.  I fought to find those moments, caught up in a whirlwind of too much.  The fight left me exhausted, with precious moments preserved in my memory when I was able to live with a consciousness and not a momentum.

This past week I talked with my daughter, a rare event as she is working in a remote area of Alaska.  I listened to her as she spoke of her horses her love and patience with them.  My son is away as well.  Just a few emails with a hello and an “I love you mother,” make my day.  Simple, small moments..they are everything.  Everything.