Sunday, June 29, 2008

Love Is...

Love is

An active thing

Represented by what is done

And what is left undone

It's togetherness

and separateness

It's two parts that make a whole

and wholeness that can't be divided

It's animal in nature

It's nature Itself

It isn't Bound By Labels

But it's sticky

Even when the glue wears off

It's present

It can't be quantified

It can't be drawn

It only can be felt

and rest assured it's there for you

In the very hand your dealt

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As Plain As The Sunglasses On Your Head, Or The Heart of the Matter

Have you ever wondered where your sunglasses are, search the house and the car, but to no avail, and then realize that they were on your head all along? I must admit, I have.

I was so engrossed in the search,
I was unaware
that what I was searching for
was right in my reach.

Sometimes, I think we complicate matters by making certain assumptions. Or by assuming there is something to search for, when something tried and true is staring you in the face, just waiting to be noticed. It may be jumping up and down, flailing its arms back and forth just trying to get your attention, but you assume It's looking for someone else.

I truly believe there is simplicity deep within complexity.

Sometimes you have to peel back the layers
like an onion
to find it
and other times
you slice right through it with the force of an ultra sharp knife
it's stark essence as plain as the nose on your face
or the sunglasses on your head.

But when we realize that the sunglasses were there all along, There is a great sense of relief, and often a little chuckle to ourselves.
How simple things can be when we pare them down to their essence,
to the heart of their matter.
Even if we have to peel back the layers to get there,
We're there,
and once we've reached the heart,
that is where the answer always lies.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Traversing the Stream

All is quiet
except for the the water rushing
and the dragonflies buzzing
and the sloshing of water
inside my
feet and water-filled boots
as I walk through the creek behind my house
following my Dog Captain
who eagerly traverses the stream in serpentine after serpentine

am more cautious
since the rocks I tread upon are
slick with slime
algae covered
with growth
of a certain kind

Each footstep
is thoughtfully placed
and I pause for a moment
as the water gets deeper
cause I know that my boots
will soon become full
and their rims
like the edge of an infinity pool
with a water-fall rushing in
swelling them
to capacity

But the water is tolerable
and the boots are boots
after all

wading now
up to my knees
standing on
triangular rocks

Captain now

I hike up the ledge
of the creek's edge
through waist high growth
on deer trodden trails
through the back lawn
the air damp with honeysuckle
and I breathe deep
the sweet sweet fragrance of summer

bending to remove
the first rubber boot
I empty it's
body temperature contents
on the freshly planted
Dahlia Bulbs
and then remove the next one
and serve up the strawberry patch
some unexpected care
taking note of the first red berries of the season
not yet eaten by deer

unraveling now
the twisted garden hose
rinsing the rubber boots
giving Captain a Squirt
and retreat to the indoors
where the air is cool

All is quiet
except for the water
rolling round
in the washing machine sloshing
laundry is nigh
and the basket's filled high

fill the cat's bowl
which is all but gone dry
with water from the tap
by and by

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Pour Your Heart Out

Pour Your Heart Out
on a piece of paper
and see what you find
Does it seep out
over the edges
or is it painfully confined
within the margins
within the lines

And the Contents
are they varied
Are the contents the same
as you neighbors
as your lovers
as the dog's without a name

Can you look at it
with eyes
Must you squint at it
to see

the vague textures
the details
and the spaces in between

And the contents
do they swell you
do they shrink you down to size

Have they warmed you
Have they chilled you
have they made you more the wise

Are you Willing
not to hasten
But to chasten
But to see
That the contents
can be modified
can be squandered
-or let be-

can be grown
can be shrunk
can be vastly under-seen

-but are yours-
and intention
is the only way to glean
if it matters
if the pages

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Parenting Lessons: Fetching Sticks and Chasing Squirrels

The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. -Sloan Wilson
When My Dog Captain and I go Hiking, we like to take a trail that sides up against a local lake.
There are lots of little offshoots with paths that lead down to the water's edge.
Captain loves to swim, so whether the temperature's "right" or not, he takes every opportunity to follow these paths into the water. Sometimes, he goes right in and looks back at you, for direction. "What next?" he implies. "Were you going to throw me a stick?" he ponders.

Sometimes I throw him a stick, and off he swims, eager to retrieve; eager to demonstrate his keen abilities, and his willingness to please. This happens again and again and again as we walk the trail. Every opportunity he has to stray from the path, to get down to the water, he takes. Sometimes he fetches the stick, but sometimes in his eager pursuit, he can't see where I've thrown it or it sinks.
Sometimes he's left swimming in circles, unsure of where it went.

Sometimes I keep walking, and sometimes I'll stop, and converse with him a while.
"Where's your stick?"
I'll ask him.
Or I'll suggest,
"Go, ahead, take a swim, you don't need your stick to swim."

Either way, his eyes are locked on me, awaiting my direction.
He's always observing me, even when he's taking the lead.
He's always aware of my position,
whether I'm ahead or behind, and if he strays to chase a squirrel, he always returns to check my position; to see where I am in relation to him, and to encourage me to keep following close behind, cause there's "so much more to see, and to smell and to respond to up ahead." When we round the fork, and we're nearing the gravel road that leads back to the parking lot, I raise my palm upward and tell him to sit since
it's the time and place now for his leash,
and he, being fairly well versed now, knows the drill, and is much more willing to comply,
although most times he'd rather run leash-free,
experiencing things as they come, untethered.

As he's very keen at doing, Captain's always teaching me about something. This time it's about raising kids. What I'm noticing, as I parent teenagers of both genders and various stages is that

There are lots of little offshoots along the path. Lots of challenges and quandaries as they seek out independence, in an attempt to find their own way.
As nature has it, They need to swim off, and their idea of "the right temperature" might not be the same as ours. But the truth is, whether we realize it or not,
they're diving in, but they're still looking back for direction;
by their actions or inaction they're asking "What next?"
"Were you going to throw me a stick?"
They might not always like the stick you throw. It might be a different stick than their friends parents are throwing.
Sometimes, when we throw the stick they are eager to retrieve; anxious to demonstrate their keen abilities and willingness to please. Other times in their eager pursuit, they can't see where the stick went, or the stick has sunk, and they end up swimming in circles.

That's when we need to improve our aim, or choose our stick more carefully. Maybe we need to choose a completely different stick.

And at some point, we need to know when they no longer need the stick we throw, but must go out and fetch their own. We've shown them what a stick looks like, so they'll recognize it when they see it, but ultimately, they'll choose their own stick. But they're always observing us, always aware of our position, to see where we are in relation to them, even if they stray to chase the "latest squirrel."
They're always desiring us to keep following close behind, because there is
"so much more to see, and smell and respond to up ahead."

Although they may rather run leash free, experiencing things as they come, untethered,
There's a time and a place for the leash, and they will be well versed, will be much more willing to comply, if we regularly stop to converse.
"In spite of the seven thousand books of expert advice, the right way to discipline a child is still a mystery to most fathers and mothers. Only your grandmother and Ghengis Khan know how to do it."
~Billy Cosby