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Ferrying the Sun

The path of humanity winds through darkness, and all must strive to illuminate the way, that more may find happiness.

If you believe strongly in something, to be true to yourself, it  is your obligation to speak on your beliefs.

I remember sitting on the street one night with my husband, playing music, and one of the older, homeless regulars (home bums, as we say. The stationary homeless) scampered past, looking at his socks and sandals, muttering about the light. Later in the evening someone stopped him and he said, “I can’t stop now. It’s getting dark; isn’t safe. I must prosper the light. Always prosper the light.” And he scuttled off. At the time I just found it amusing, but I find myself telling that story more and more.

We live in a moral dark age. Everyone simply seeks pleasure and money, and those who can find neither often comfort themselves by spreading their own darkness, snuffing out whatever light they can affect. This is my biggest concern, my soap box, if you  will, because the easily extinguished light, is often that of a child.

I put myself places I never should have been as a result of naivete brought on by a dark upbringing under a rock of fear. I crawled out from under that rock ready to believe in the ultimate light bearing properties of the world and discovered, in fact, I was raised in a pit of seclusion out of my father’s fear, and I met and understood all the dark, leering faces that drove him into hiding.

It’s been a ridiculously long and difficult journey, but I’m in a new place now, where I recognize the need for “prospering my own light,” without hiding in a way that makes illumination impossible. I can’t participate in a world of dusk.  At best it’s fluorescent lighted soul selling, just for the comfort of an elaborate box I do nothing but stare at a tv inside. At worst I perform  whatever selfish action will dull the aching of the lack of my own light source, whatever form that takes. I’ve seen many, many forms. Most just seek meaningless human contact and intoxication, but we all know misery loves company and the deplorably miserable can be frightfully creative.

I find myself unable to choose any of the templates of adult life I was raised to see as “the options.”  I floundered for a while, being a good little grown up and doing what I was “supposed to do.” I now understand the general unhappiness of the average human being. I deconstructed my reality, my self, am still tearing down my perceptions and it’s like tearing down wallpaper in a room I’ve never left, only to realize the long coated walls are, in fact, windows, and beyond them lies a dazzling view. Do you know how happy you are capable of being? Do you know how thoroughly you could fulfill yourself? It’s so much easier than anyone imagines.

When was the last time you saw a robin wearing a backpack, or a fox snapping strategically angled  photos of itself to make its coat seem to look the best. We preoccupy ourselves with the art of being less animal and cut ourselves off from all the meaningfulness of our lives. All you have to do to be happy is denounce the need for Stuff.

My catchphrase has become, “There’s a reason I live in a bus.” The only way life makes sense to me is apart from your loudly self indulgent society, that prefers to stay silent on all the nasty things lurking, often visibly, beneath the surface. The unhappy world of ignorance and property. Give me glistening forests, exuberant streams, fierce beaches and infinite skies. Give me music, the open road and the other barely civilized human animals who spread light from coast to coast.

I’ve been broken, I’ve torn myself to pieces, I’ve been wrong and dark and silent. And now I can also say I was strong enough to face those truths and reignite my spirit; build myself as a new creature and live a life I can wake up each day, glad to find myself facing.

Hug your children. Listen to them. Get off facebook. Say, “Fuck you,” to a tweaker. Life is beautiful. Live it.

Daily Dose – Impression

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/impression/
I wonder what his first impression was, as the Dollar Monster made a sudden right into the driveway a few yards ahead of him and swung up to the sidewalk where he was walking, guitar in hand.

“Where Ricky at? ” we all yelled, slightly out of sync. This kid, in his purple pants and skeleton shirt, walking around town with his electric guitar, seemed the type who might be able to help us locate our friend. Unfortunately, Ricky seems to get a new number every couple months so we have to locate him by alternative means when we come through town. This kid can’t help though. He’s only been in Nebraska two weeks and doesn’t know anyone, other than the girl he left Arizona to be with.

I open the bus doors and, to his surprise, invite him in. We pull away and start talking, learn that the girl he came here for burned him in four short weeks and he’s staying at the shelter, trying to decide what’s next.

“You’re staying at the shelter?” My husband asks incredulously. “If you wanna get outta there you can kick it with us.” Everyone echoes this sentiment, whooping encouragement. This kid can’t believe his ears and within fifteen minutes all his earthly possessions are piled on the floor of the van.

We get him food, and a drink whose partially empty can he crushes with his foot, a guitar case and a chair within the space of ten minutes, earning himself the nickname Crush. My husband and our road dog tell him what gear he’ll need if he wants to travel, let him know he’s more than welcome to join us, and we all talk about what led us here and what life on the road has afforded us, then we all jam. By the end of the night Crush is telling us he already feels like we’re family, and he knows he could trust us with his life.

He leaves to find a bathroom and I say, “You know, I’m thinking about how this is just what we do, but for him, his whole life just did a 180 in five minutes.”

The guys laugh. “We did just roll up on him super hard. Lucky him.” I wonder if he’ll tell his grandkids one day about the night the Dollar Monster pulled up next to him. DollarMonster

The Inspiration of Seasons

Art offers the promise of entrance into some secret club, where minds are sharper, emotions both more raw and rich, and the word “we” holds a private magic, vague and exclusive. The written word especially, for me, bears profound enchantment, as though each letter was selected with me in mind and I want to tattoo all of them onto my soul.

Perfect poetry has that ethereal quality, each shimmering word carefully selected, like stars plucked from a decadent indigo canvas. I can get stuck in one of two ruts in my own writing, because they’re comfortable to me, but may become monotonous to hypothetical readers.

One is the pleasant dream/afternoon sunlight  motif; a place of golden light and gossamer curtains. Hope and regret. Memory and slightly bored peacefulness. A place where cats sleep on warm wooden floors and flowers bloom in pots on the windowsill. Leaves, in their most majestic attire, flutter through crisp, cloudless skies that are always scented like something familiar, and snow transforms the world into a secret hideout, where only the brave venture.

The other mental room in which I often write is vast and cluttered, like a living trinket box. Floor to ceiling shelves, desktops and chairs are stacked with post cards and tattered envelopes, sparkling rocks, empty pill bottles, bones, half read books, journals with pages torn out, scribbled on and crossed out, burned and thrown to the floor. Photos of terrible memories and mementos of failed friendships hang on the walls and litter the floor. Everything is mania inducing inspiration;  bittersweet, harrowing, unquenchable, eternal- these are the words that live here. This is a room I enter alone and cannot leave until something is exorcised, lest some part of me remain trapped there. I loathe interruptions when I am here, and what comes out of this place is for me and me alone, raw and uncensored because nothing can help me if it isn’t brutally honest. I share only because it may help others, or at the least entertain, and then my plight is less useless. The danger in this writing is recognizing the thin line between purging and wallowing.

Little hurls me headlong into one of these two spaces more than the change of seasons, or happiness; the latter simply because it has always been such a foreign concept to me that it is still nearly always bittersweet. All of this is the thought behind a new category, posts inspired by the change of seasons.

Now, with summer looming like an ominous wave, exciting only to schoolchildren and teachers, and our return to an old haunt (the place of the bus’ marooning), my mind spins through memories of summertime sadness. Thunder storms and the scent of lemons, old days on a dirty lake and my first whirlwind of freedom that nearly ruined me for good. There are older memories, of hedgerows and imaginary games, the “family rug” and treehouses I built for my dolls out of bamboo placemats on the rungs of bar stools (though my parents left out the word “bar.”) These are the most bittersweet memories, because my days of innocence and wonder were spent isolated in a dark and vile place, ruled by fear and contempt.

This summer offers second chances and triumph; malts and the rebirth of the M.U.T.S. bus. I have nothing to lose, and everything to remember.

Daily Dose: Unmoored

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

They told me,

When I was young,

That the dock was the only safe place.

No life preserver

Or boat

Could serve at substitute for the semi solid wharf,

Despite what I saw others act out;

Flying across the water

Or pushing it aside with their bodies,

Gliding,

Weightless.

“Weightlessness is sin, ”

They impressed upon me.

” The cruel spirit

Of hatred and vengeance for the wayward,

Would never put more on you

Than you are able to bear.

But He built you weak

And He built you fragile,

And He built you wicked, and to untether

From the pier of misery

And righteous fear

Is to lean unto your own understanding;

To selfishly profess

That you are your own master

And challenge He

Who had his son tortured

And put the blood on our hands. ”

What they failed to mention was

The beauty of the open sea,

Made all the more breathtaking

In contrast with its fearsome power.

They never mentioned

How  the waters were teeming with life,

Unimaginable shapes and shifting colors

That may have burned awe of a majestic creator into my mind,

In place of paralyzing fear.

Unmoored, at last,

Adrift amidst alien scenery,

I see the futility

Of life at the end of a rope.

What then, is your faith,

Having never faced the Power you give your life to,

Out of horror at the thought

Of facing the Power?

Your anchors be damned,

Any and all.

You think you’re in control-

Wages, dreams of wealth,

religion, and grave plots;

Waiting to rot,  like the salt encrusted timber

You lash your soul to,

Until the day

It’s taken back by the sea.

Fish Languishes

The trouble with posting and living is that so much is happening I forget to keep up, or there’s no signal, or we enter that realm of the perpetually dying phone with unreliable /shared charging options.

Weird things have happened; I haven’t been the only one with mental health issues on  this trip. An impromptu stop in Gig Harbor, WA resulted in a trigger fest, an abandoned vehicle, ratchet straps as seat belts and a vow of silence. There were almost new pets; a cockatoo, an eclectus, a handful of bulldogs, but matching our sporadic trip timing with others’ internet communication availability… Well, we didn’t add to our family. We found a couple gems in little Spearfish, SD (Golden Dragon Chinese Restaurant, Soul Food Bistro and the off season priced Bell’s Motor Lodge, at $50/night for a room that included a full kitchen!) where we chilled for Mother’s Day and realized,  when we woke in the wee hours of my daughter’s seventh birthday, that all but two of us had mild food poisoning. It was, however, in Spearfish that, for once in my awkward life, I had an instant response for some mouthy rednecks that shut them right up.

We did some uncharacteristic touristy things (Reptile Gardens gets 4⭐, Bear Country gets 3⭐for being cool but overpriced, and Devil’s Tower is impressive), met new people, camped in multiple national forests, found new money spots and work opportunities, and revised our life plans for the next three months. All the while Fish roamed the storage areas of the van, my hands too busy taking pictures and corralling the baby to worry about poses and further dividing my attention.

Now we’re in the all too familiar terrain of vehicle trouble as we totter on the border of the [mostly] dreaded midwest.

Pacific Northwet behind us, a trip to the Pacific now under our belt, and the horror of another humid, mosquito ridden summer before us, we plod ahead, bold, fearless (or at least trying to be), and a little more seasoned. Most of us, anyway. Fish is just bored.

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May 12th, 2017

My hands are dirty
And my face is raw
And this is where I belong.
I may never see
The countries I have heard of
And thought about
For so long.
The world is like a dream
Unreal;
Mystical,
Promising and foreboding,
And I could hide away forever,
Telling myself
I didn’t miss out on anything
Or
I could forge ahead,
be every part
Of everything
And make peace with my smallness,
For it is all I have
And the world is indifferent.

Daily Dose – Harmony

via Daily Prompt: Harmony

He’s taken down the oyster shells

That hung on the back porch,

and the photos from over his work bench.

He’s begun to empty the kitchen drawers

of keepsakes

and papers,

opting to throw out the old anniversary cards.

He said he’ll have to sell the chickens,

but, by the way he’s been leaving the coop open

I think he might just rather they wander off,

like he told the dog to do

when he defeatedly opened the  door, late last night.

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He forgets, at times,

whether or  not he’s already had his pills,

with no one to help him keep track.

He’s facing his own mortality,

before reaching sixty,

and his wife,

high school sweetheart,

decided it was too much

for Her to bear.

Long gone is the harmony

of living side by side under the guardianship

of mountain sentries,

relentless and proud,

as she turned out to be,

however,  without beauty

but all the ice,

demanding, in the divorce,

that he sell what was to be his final resting place,

their children’s fairy tale castle,

so she can have half the money.