On the eve of each new year I reluctantly don a necklace
of melancholic nostalgia
the significance of which envelops me.
Strung from pearls of wisdom gathered by my former selves.
One per year.
Each radiant globe a diamond of priceless memories
compressed by me into a diminuve crystal ball.
Offering up reflections of immense happiness
tempered by devastang tragedy.
Each precious gem a hard-worn, hard-won epiphany
of the ebbs and flows of life.
Midnight revelry trumpets
auditory triggers of inescapable images.
With each mind’s eye vision comes anew
the heartbreak of loved ones lost forever.
The chain grows heavier and heavier,
constraining tighter and tighter.
Joy and pain, light and dark
intermingle to murky fog.
Come dawn, a fresh new day’s light pierces the gray numb
clarifying each orb until only lightness remains.
The warm beads now comfort me with their familiarity.
Carefully I remove the gossamer strand.
Once disturbed, the tenuous connection evaporates scattering mirrored circles of life to places unknown.
Hidden here. Tucked there.
Only to return in their circuitous configuration in 364 nights
to be worn hesitatingly, reluctantly once again,
yet with honor and thankfully
one pearl longer.
So long ago now
So long ago I hardly remember
I stood in the tall grass
For the first time
That the world was so large
So large that I could barely see my toes above the sharp blades
That housed the hopping
So large that it could encompass my every dream
Dreams that altered space and time
Dreams that excited me
Now the world is small
Infinitesimal in comparison
And nearly meaningless
Except for those dreams
Of so long ago
Note: I think I will rewrite the end. I was probably not feeling terribly optimistic at that time. If written now it might end something like:
I left Mobile with a smile late in the afternoon yesterday after a last reshuffling of plans and unpacking/repacking of the car.
The original plan, based entirely on cautious habits acquired over the years, was to bring everything with me in case things didn’t work out.
I’ve gotten very good at eliminating all but the essentials. When I left ND to come here I left a fully furnished, down to silverware, toilet paper, and made bed house behind.
This time something had changed. I found myself wanting to load up everything and that wasn’t going to happen because it seems that when the wiring harness in my SUV melted down a few months ago it took out my trailer lights and I wasn’t about to risk another meltdown by attempting to repair them, which meant I couldn’t rent a U-Haul.
There was no way I was going to take everything with and that bothered me.
It wasn’t until a friend stopped by to send me off with a hug and a smoothie (Thank you, Professor!) and began pointing out things that I shouldn’t bother bringing with that it all began to make sense.
I was attempting to pack up something that is impossible to get into a box or a bag and I could spend the rest of my life trying to squeeze it into every available space I could find and never get it all in because its is larger than a $20 blanket or a rug I picked up from the curb:
I’ve spent so many years without a home that I forgot what it felt like. I even developed this inner philosophy that said wherever I go I’m always going home because the only sense of home I had for so long was the one I carried with me.
Over the last dozen years every time I’ve headed off to a job in the oilfield it eventually lead to another. Then another. And another. Until I ended up alone and isolated.
These things I’ve felt over the last week, the things that have kept me up at night, that frustrated and irritated, aren’t there because I feel alone.
I am not alone.
I have made strong friendships and have the support of people who love me as much as I love them.
The feeling isn’t that of being alone but of becoming alone, again, which is something that scares the crap out of me and keeps me up at night.
I had forgotten what it feels like to belong somewhere. I never would have guessed that place would be Mobile, Alabama and maybe it won’t be forever, but there it is, home.
So I unpacked everything and moved it all to the attic of the mansion I rent rooms in, much to the delight of the owners who were so honestly relieved and happy to know I would be coming back that they hurried to help me.
I left later in the day than I wanted but made it to Missouri around midnight.
When I looked in the back of my little Rodeo I saw that I brought so few things I had room to arrange a makeshift bed. I walked Brown Dog, the best traveling partner I could ever ask for, offered gratitude to the powers that be, shifted a few things to make enough room to stretch out in, then lay down and slept better than I have in days.
a light rain
more a mist
a wet veil
cools the humid air
like some silent
assailant that cant be escaped
in slight eddies
like cool water
in a warm pool
sweat runs off me
in a stream
still it feels like spring
life constantly flows here
something always in bloom
mushrooms sprout and die
sprout and die
the resurrection fern
sleeping only hours at a time
the rain seems to never stop
yet does nothing
to subdue the humidity
to all this glorious green
suffocating in the heavy air
The pieces of the jigsaw puzzle my life looks like most of the time are falling gently, and hurriedly, into place.
My trip North was cancelled at the last minute when the Universe stepped in and loudly said “NO!” in the form or local opportunities I could not pass on and while this caused (and still is causing) some financial strain it was the right thing to do.
At this moment I am boiling in my air conditioner free farm truck at a blazing 60 miles per hour with two of four windows open on my way to Atlanta. I’d open all four but two of them don’t respond to my wishes. I may have a talk with them later.
I will be attending a State Farm certification class and taking the exam on Friday. This alone was worth staying for but when I get back I have a day off before going to a FEMA flood certification class. With these two major certifications along with the score of other training, certifications, and licenses I have picked up over the last several months, I place myself a head above the very large crowd of people vying for positions as claims adjusters.
Maybe I haven’t mentioned my plan 🙂
I am done driving truck. Period. My goal is to turn to writing full time but trucking ties up too much of my time. So will adjusting when I’m in the field. But I’m only going to do catastroph work. Helping people rebuild their homes and their lives doesn’t disagree with me at all and the pay is good enough that I won’t need to work all year. The rest of the time I will devote to furthering my writing with the end goal of this stage as becoming a full time writer.
This stage. I don’t know what comes after this but I’m looking forward to finding out.
So here’s me, boiling in my car with 2/60 AC (2 windows down/60mph) and staticky music playing through ancient speakers and instead of wondering if my car will actually make the trip or if I’ll have money to cover rent or food or being worried that none of this will pay off or about the loose ends and things I have in storage in North Dakota, I am grateful simply for the opportunity and the fact that the Divine speaks so clearly to me and has never once let me down or led me astray.
The rest is just life.
Note: Please don’t be James, don’t blog and drive.
Change is the only real constant in the Universe and it happens whether or not I want it to. It is a guarantee.
If I allow myself to be swept up and carried by that inevitable change there is no way to know how it will affect me. It can carry me to places I am unfamiliar with. Places I don’t want to be. That can have any of a number of negeative consequences: confusion, frustration, anger.
But, when I am aware that even change itself is impermanent, and accept that it is the only constant, I can be prepared when it comes and guide my own destiny by remaining focused on the things I want in my life. I can incorporate those changes, own them, make them mine, I can use them to become the very changes I want in my life and my whole world can change in an instant.
Yes, change can, and often does, alter my path in ways that make progression difficult, even impossible, but when I step back from whatever situation has been created by those changes I can clearly see that I am always moving forward and can always choose where my next step is.
Change happens. Where it leads is almost entirely up to me.
Life has been hard on you. It has given you challenges you never expected. Pushed you to do things you never thought you would do. It has kicked you when you were down. Stomped on you. At some point it convinced you that you are unworthy. Less than perfect.
Yet here you are, embracing those imperfections. Finding strength in courage and hope. You are authentic. Unafraid to be vulnerable. Honest with others and with yourself. Compassionate. When life knocks you down you simply get back up and proclaim, “You hit like a bitch.”
You have uncaged your wild nature and embraced the divine feminine.
You are a goddess.
You deserve the worship and love of a warrior. A god.
He will support you. Go out of his way to show his appreciation and his love in every way he can. He will dance with you while doing dishes. Kiss you long and deep without reason. Ride the stupid spirit wagon with you at your kids football game just because you are on it.
He will caringly touch and lovingly kiss all those areas, physical, mental, spiritual, that are hard for you to reach or uncomfortable for you to touch alone.
When you are down he will help you up. When you are up he will raise you higher. When life hands you shit he will make fertilizer from it, plant seeds in it, wash it from you, and put you to bed with soft words and hard passion.
He will reflect those things in you that make you a goddess without fear. You will see yourself in him and you will like what you see. You can be vulnerable around him because he will never take advantage of you. Never use your vulnerability against you. Because he is also vulnerable.
He will bring out the best in you by being his best. Only his best is good enough for you.
He will encourage and help you to grow and in doing so grow with you. Not separately. Not as competition. Together. As One.
He will do these things because he wants to. Not because he needs to. Not because he feels obligated. Because he wants to. He wants to because he loves you.
You are a goddess, you deserve to be loved like one.
Image: “The Fountain of Love” by Jean Honoré Fragonard, c. 1785
Today we enter into the final moments of what I truly hope has been an incredible season of change for each one of us.
I have been working on personal growth and change for a long time now. Years. What I am doing here is just the beginning of the task I have set myself.
As the eclipse passes keep your intentions, the person you want to be, the person you know you are, close to heart. Know, without a doubt, that during this sacred time we are closer to the Divine than we will ever be. That She is listening. That She knows our hearts. That She will listen to every single one of us. That this is as close as we will ever get to truly choosing the direction of our path. To choose who we really are. That the Divine will help us because She want us to be those people. Because She loves us.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in the outer edges or nowhere near this event because it’s a global event. Literally. Our moon blocks the sun and our planet lines up behind the moon.