Poem/Song: Tango River


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We danced a tango river

where winding waters flowed

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

Back when summer moons were fuller

as we floated through the night

Rocking closely to the rhythm

gazing star eyed at the light

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

You rocked me in a cradle

of gently loving arms

And you held me like forever

So I never came to harm

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

So my sweet partner

it’s with you I want to dance

Let’s drift away together

and take the rivers chance

 

We danced a tango river

where winding waters flow

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

 

And the moon glow ripples

made our heartbeats slow

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Note: I picture this as a song somehow, but unfortunately, I can’t write music. The first line came to me in the middle of the night as my writing often does… I wish I could put it to music somehow….

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Benches


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As she sat quietly on the bench, she recalled so many times of reflection. Times of stopping, of sitting still to breathe and think of her life. It wasn’t always easy to create these moments, to stop the moving train that was her life, long enough, to simply see what was around her.

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These benches were everywhere. Even if people were around, they could cradle her; let her thoughts roll through her mind, easing the turbulence with the help of the surrounding landscape. They were guardians, givers and saviors.

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Sometimes she would be present, sometimes drift off to another place.  Somehow they were conduits of time travel: as though a space had opened up and she slipped into it and could go forward or back, depending on her mood. Because of this, she walked in places long forgotten, places of lost love or deep pain. The remembering, though, somehow put it in an ethereal plane, so the visitation became moments of healing.

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Some places to sit weren’t really benches at all, but still created for her the right second to watch a sunrise. Just the act of seeing one could erase months of chaos in her soul.

She remembers now these sacred vessels and can recall far into childhood how many she has visited. From cities to the middle of nowhere, the times she took to just stop and sit–to contemplate, meditate and be quiet.

And now she wonders: where are all the benches yet to come?

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Reflections


So as we march closer to the new year, we take time to reflect on the one we leave behind. I certainly had some ups and downs, but this seems nothing new in my life. I’ve become accustomed to this pattern, riding my roller coaster more easily now, with more acceptance. Maybe it’s why, though, I hate them in for real, because I live one it seems. 

But my coping skills have improved over time, so each dip on the ride may not leave my stomach quite as queasy as it once did. My white knuckled grip as each valley drops out from under me, has loosened slightly and maybe I can even keep my eyes open. 

Still, 2017 feels a bit vague.  What’s ahead and where the ride is taking me isn’t quite clear. Of course all the standard wishes we grant each other and secretly hope for ourselves are lurking around within me. But as each year passes, I wonder at these wishes. How do I get them to actually take form. Maybe they are only shadowy illusions I create to keep me moving forward. 

Each moment, day, month and year seem to flicker by now with such frightening speed. There are times that I simply sit just to capture a second, but it too flutters by. 

So as songs of old drift in through my window, and thoughts of 2016 get tucked away, I turn to face the new year. It will take courage for us all I think, as individuals and as a nation, for we have challenges ahead. 

Since I’ve accepted my life is rife with challenges, I am ready. Let me be strong this year and do what is right. And may the ride for us all be safe.

Out Of Place


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With the holidays rapidly approaching, for me there is a strangeness to it, as though I am an alien having just landed on a foreign planet. Living my whole life up north, this will be the first time that I will spend an entire holiday season in a tropical place. Where is the feeling of the crisp cold air as I walk outside and observe holiday shoppers in their frenzy of consumer glory? No feeling of anticipation of possible blizzard warnings and being able to play “White Christmas” and have it come true. As much as I came here to be away from the cold, I admit a melancholy now. I simply feel, well, out of place. 

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This term, out of place, when we break it down and really look at it can reflect a truly heartbreaking human condition. As humans, most of us identify strongly with our place: where we grew up, our people, our city, our home.

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And now for millions of people this sense of place is being ripped from their lives. Refugees all over the world, fleeing the horrors of their home must leave what they know and what gave them comfort to face potential dangers and a life on the edge. Migrant workers crossing borders hoping for a better life, living in the shadows–having left a culture because of violence, seek shelter and work, but struggle to fit in.

When I think about the idea of borders, it gives me pause. Did this earth come with borders? These human-made delineations that keep me in and you out. While it’s true that even animals ‘mark their territory’, they rarely fight to the death to protect them. There’s a fluidity in nature that humans seem to struggle against. Sharing seems to go against human nature.

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As countries deal with the burgeoning refugee crises, as camps swell and overflow and our own country fights over what to do–what do we as fellow humans feel? That empathetic side to understand feeling out of place, to try to put oneself inside the body of one fleeing terror or drug gangs…would you run? And would you want someone else to have their arms open to help you?

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It is simplistic I understand, but we are after all, just each a human. And this earth was birthed with no lines, no walls and no doors that said do not enter. We all stepped onto it together with the same hearts beating, the same blood flowing, breathing the same air.

Isn’t it maybe time to put our beautiful complex brains together so that we can figure out how to share this amazing planet as one? 

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