Cosmic Birth


She walked into the crystalline night below an inky sky her thoughts following her like giant insects who come out only when old furniture is moved. The apparitions that stalked her, breathing their hot voices close to her ears, were ever present. It was like the dead air sound inside her head when the pressure gets too much; or maybe someone just over the other side was reaching out, trying to say something, but she couldn’t make out the words. A rushing, like the blood in her veins, pushing and pulsing. They follow her, so very near.

Where was she going? And where had she just been? The night air felt like a slap, but it was a sting of stars blasting her awake.  Had she been asleep? Walking through her life, but not conscious. Faces, distorted with mouths that spoke at her, trying to swallow her and eat what she was, would swim out of the darkness, grinning. Often, she would find herself in a place she wouldn’t recognize, naked and unaware how she had gotten there. Just like on this stark night.

The mirrored hall of reality was a twisted place. It’s maze of unending pathways looking back upon itself reflected nothing and everything. Where did she start or end? The mystery of the beginning was unknown. So, she would keep moving because stopping would mean pain. The grace of fluidity kept her whole, in one piece, so she wouldn’t shatter into a million shards and fly off into the universe.

It was understood that this was a lonely place. The voices may speak, but they would never hear.  She would always walk alone on roadways unfamiliar and distant from where she knew she belonged. There would be a mist that would drift in around her and hold her like a baby, clouding the world around her and making the edges soft. But this made others wary of her, because when she stepped out of the fog, she saw with great clarity and knew when the others weren’t true. And this made her different.

So, it kept her walking; away from it all. It kept her separate, even though the voices followed. She kept going forward, step by step. The ghosts floated close by, but the cool, authentic air as she walked kept her present.

And as she walked, her head tilted toward the dotted evening sky. She thought about the stars, planets and the universes. Mostly about eternity. How it all stretches out on and on. It started before her and will go on after she is long gone. And how she is following its call back home.

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It Takes Kids


If we are lucky, we end up getting more than we expect from something we undertake. So has been the case with the job I started back in December. Just a very part-time and simple one as a lunch room monitor in a very small Charter school, something I honestly felt might not fulfill me as much as my career as a paramedic, but took because of logistical reasons. As it turns out, this non-career position may end up being one of the most satisfying jobs I’ve ever had in some important ways.

I was asked a month or so ago by a co-worker if I would be interested in participating in a 5K race that a bunch of kids and staff members were doing. This race was a two-part thing: one a regular 5K to benefit the Girl Scouts, but the other was called Girls On The Run to get local girls to get psyched and get out there and see what they could do. My co-worker knew I worked out, so approached me and I said: of course! Not really knowing what I was supposed to do though, I registered for the Girl Scout part, which was timed.

Meanwhile, the girls at my school trained, and in the lunch room, we all talked about the upcoming day which happened to be today.

It was held in a lovely park right as the sun was coming up. I haven’t raced in years and planned to just speed walk. The girls were excited and it was great to see some of the teachers out of work.

When the race started, I held to my plan for a bit, but since I had been having a pretty good work out regimen lately (and I’m way too competitive), I thought I’d try jogging just a bit. The paved trail in the park was surrounded by grass, so I was able to jog on it for much of the time. Since the Girls On The Run race started 5 minutes later, a few of the kids passed me and we cheered each other on. One teacher (who had planned to walk too, but was running), passed me also as did a friend’s son. I ended up jogging slowly almost the whole way. It was a miracle.

At the finish line, we all had fun cheering the school in (and collecting thin mints). And it was really crazy when we found out some of us actually placed in our age groups; including me! I was second in mine! Pays to be old. Of course I was 10 minutes behind the first woman, but hey: as a famous woman runner once said, “A win is a win!”

But the really best part was having the girls calling out my name along the way and saying hi, having one teacher telling me how much she loved me (I actually thought she never noticed me), having the kindergarten teacher introduce me to her Mom telling her about how I’m in her class and just hearing from folks how the kids love me (I was asked to be one of the coaches next year).

I worked for 20 years as a medic and rarely got warm fuzzies. Maybe it just takes children and their natural ability for giving joy and love to finally make someone like me feel good in my place of employment!

Poem: Convergence


We meet upon the rubbled path

as comrades often do

weary travelers in a lonely place

not by chance the journey crossed

By the crackling fire

shared stories told resting long and slow

of future climbs and mountains high

and moonlit rivers flowing near

Our hearts have been separate

but souls have been in sync

recognizing kindred spirits

and distant hopeful dreams

With these bonding moments

promises are cast

someday in a future life

the trail may yet converge

A single road then

we shall walk

together side by side

To create a burning reality

from a bridge of given thoughts

that passed between

us two

 

 

 

 

Poem: Walking In Dawn


Dark walking

with chilled breath

blowing ghostly visitation

while chilled bones

slowly warm

Shadow halos

stretch quiet in the glow

slapping footfalls

counting distances unknown

Sleeping houses

passing by

may be saving shelter

should fears come alive

And sun starts to rise

grasping at sliver moon

dangling in the gray sky

tendrils of yellow reaching up

making moon vanish

Now lone mockingbird

is joined by a chorus

Dawn has been

walked awake

 

 

 

 

Poem: Birth


Out of the dark woozy womb

sliding toward the grasping fingers

They grab

then point

set a course to go

Crawling

knees of grass patterned words

written from The Mother

Until upright

feet meet pavement

and head far from the beginning

there is no turning back

It is black

unlit

Slipping farther away

deeper

Into no-one

or maybe

everyone

To wander and wonder

looking upon the staring reflection

and seeing

faceless recognition

Wanting to stick it

back in

and start over

 

 

Honey, I’m Home!


Recently I was watching a video (a funny one) that was on one of the late night shows about how there are these Robots with AI that are being used for certain ‘relationships’ I won’t really get into here. I’m not sure if it was real or humor in response to all the out pouring of sexual harassment allegations that have hit the news lately. In any case, it was a moment’s pause where laughing was medicine in an otherwise very un-funny situation.

But the whole idea made me think. Having been a single woman for a very long time, I wondered about the concept of Robot companions–not at all in the way that this particular video mentioned, but maybe more like an R2D2 sort of way. Could this be a possibility for the future? Our own home companions or partners?

I mean, let’s face it: I’ve “been there, done that” and bought every possible T-shirt for trying to date and find the right person for me. Over the course of years I’ve been single (and I’ve actually lost count now of the years), and the stories I could tell about the weirdos I’ve come across on the websites would make hanging out with a machine seem like heaven. Humans are scary and/or boring.

Picture it: instead of pouring through 100’s of  old photos and fake profiles of humans, you could simply pick out which Robot best suits your needs; short, tall; human looking (creepy) or not; male voice, female voice; appendages or just lights. Then, you could have the AI programmed to whatever things you enjoy or are interested in–think of all the data that could go in there. No more dates with someone who is clueless! Ah the dinner discussions!

Honestly, I’m not so interested in much of an emotional attachment anymore, although some of these Robots you see in movies are pretty darn cute, way cuter than some of the people I’ve tried to date! It’s all about communication anyway at my age, or maybe even helping out around the place. So if you read a good book together, you could discuss it. Or maybe go to a movie together. There could be special all terrain Robots built for hiking too.

The possibilities are really endless here. Robots are filling in so many areas of our lives anyway, why not becoming part of our family? Yes, I understand there is a bit of a spooky part of it; the whole bit of them taking over the world, infiltrating our homes and getting smarter than we are (which isn’t a stretch really). Sure, this could certainly happen…

But before they do decide to take over, having a companion that’s smart, reliable, predictable, neat, sympatico and maybe even agreeable would be such a nice change. And maybe having one on your side might just be an advantage when push comes to shove and Robots gain power over us.

Because, if there are bad ones, then there will be good ones, and they will be the ones we shared our homes with and loved.

Poem: Closing In


Walking towards a fading rainbow

wondering why heron sits thinking

at the edge of a lake

Grumbling crows don’t make any sense

nor does the dollar for Autumn leaves

Wrong photos sent

but right words said instead

no answer back

Neighbors car looks somehow wrong

but it’s the same

Only comfort comes

from three men

too close in a dream

While awake

the cat keeps stalking

every move

Eyes blurred and bleary

looking for real

It’s all wrapped up

in stuff that’s fake

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Dying


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I was in the presence today of a dying person. No, not like you and me–I mean actively dying. We are all dying of course, but this is part of my hospice volunteering, my first day meeting with my new patient.

It’s not at all like being a paramedic because we aren’t given much: only a name. No diagnosis, no real history, no nothing. Of course, I’m not your average volunteer, so I can deduce some things. But, I’m not there to fix really. Only to sit. And maybe to provide some small comfort, maybe some smiles and to help a caregiver get some respite.

In this case I am reminded how much we can tell by someone’s eyes. They may not be able to speak much anymore, but their eyes speak volumes. And maybe they aren’t able-bodied any longer, but it is easy to remember that this same person was someone else, someone before they were dying.

They were like you and me: laughing loudly, arguing, dancing, quilting, walking around, loving, working and most of all–living.

It makes me wonder why people spend time while they are alive wasting it on unhappy things. On things that upset them. On things that they can never reclaim. On people who will never care enough. Why I did.

I need to spend more time living while I’m dying. Because we never know when it will be our turn that the dying will become active. Or maybe the living will simply stop.

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