Please enjoy a piece I wrote published today on Rebelle Society.
My mother is dying. And in just her way…(read the rest here).
December 28, 2016
We missed Paris, but we saw Barcelona. Well, we didn’t see much of Paris, arriving late in the evening, just enough time to grab a bite and walk the edges of the Latin Quarter a mite. But Barcelona, we saw its night and day. And though we opted out of the nightlife bar scene, we did tour el centro de la ciudad, walked a good swath of the city from Barcelona cathedral to Sangria de familia cathedral, and spent hours admiring Picasso’s seemingly endless transformational creativity at el museo de Picasso.
We rest heavily, sinking into the cushions of our bullet train seats to nap, write, tune out and glance out the window to see the pastels of fading light cast over the Pyrenees. Over eating, over walking and over sightseeing depletes us like the satiety of a sumptuous meal oh too much. We smile in our pain. That sums up the entire trip so far for me.
It occurred to me upon taking a certain step down an unknown curb on a forgotten street in the center of a city recently eye-soaked that there’s nothing wrong with me. It’s my life. Had I encountered half the snafu’s we did on this trip back home, my blood pressure would have ripped my skull open in a gusher of anger and frustration. I’m thin triggered. Not always, but too often. And nothing truly ruffled me this trip, despite jet lag, sleeplessness, homelessness and digestion disasters.
Maybe I’m finally there–finally. I’ve reached the center of where it’s at and glimpsed what it could be.
In an age of so much door-stop wisdom in flashy colors and streams,
Profundity hides harder to recognize in tastes-great–less-filling sweetie ah-bites.
And when everyone’s grandmother publishes, words do not come easily any more, all lost in
Endless letters combined, re-combined and strewn everywhere, making
Nonsense seem sense or not even bothering, words without aching indescribably churning or heart-
Rent fluid affecting, infectious and ever-in-the ears and eyes inscription, just syllables,
I can’t hear myself think over the noise of it, the shrill deprecating humor,
Blunt, sword-slicing insults and chiding, scolding and deriding, nothing but chatter-ful ticks.
How to be mindful when the mind chitters and bakes under the halitosis heat?
Sweltering discomfort in knowing my life is in the hands of self-sabotaging
Zealots and bonzai bitchers and moaners, paraders and inert blabberers.
But there is some thing, something…
I see it in the piss-yellow plumped plastic medicine bag
pole-hanging to high heaven
with streaming liquid hope in thin rubber tubes of curative culture like an i.v. of satisfaction.
It’s there in the splayed legs of a stiffening spider fending off the drain holes’ draw
with the unfathomable force that those toothpick sticks belie as the pounding punishing pulse of the
thunderous shower stream pushes and the suction below pulls.
That’s the way it is with nature and words, that suspension between sense and salvation.
In the days of our illusions
A certain shadow passes like a cloud momentarily obscuring the sun,
Its ray-beams struggling to burst free.
That darkness backlights the rolling images,
Reels of grass, sun and bare feet
Spliced with grimaces and shouts,
Cheers of hurray and way to go and not this time
Flash like solar flares boring holes in memory’s crust.
Dual reality of being here and gone, I
Split-watch now and leave this, then and thereafter–all behind, all ahead–
Like spinning wishes for days like these already gone in nostalgic longing,
While breathing the day’s passing–now–before future eyes.
Lazy time, lazy mind, the butterfly blinks and I am wise.
And then I am the grass, sun and bare feet–once again as never before.
Bhavana, meaning to cultivate or develop but commonly used in Buddhism as a word for meditation, once again flashes before my mind’s eye. Despite researching the term, the exact sense of the word often escapes me. Does it simply mean to grow understanding? Are meditation and bhavana the same? I have not yet reached that place where my life experience and the word’s essence combine to flesh out the bones of meaning—not in its spiritual sense.
Cultivating takes time: crops grow over…See more
To demolish all creative thought in a cliché, say
the sentence out loud without pause.
Don’t question it; don’t sneer. Don’t ask:
Does it mean surrender, resignation, acceptance,
withdrawal, wisdom, abidance or indifference?
You already know the answer.
Code for trade-off, the things that cannot change
not by will or effort, not by demanding, wishing,
hoping, foot-stomping, screaming, crying or praying.
Laziness, perhaps, or exhaustion, one preceding
the other, most likely, at intuiting the insurmountable.
He’s always late, never checks his messages when
he’s made a date to meet me, and snores so loudly
most nights I can’t sleep, and counts on my inability
to hold on to anger time after time, til I wonder
if he’s just playing me, holding me down, keeping me
in the invisible stockades of pilloried complaints,
usual ones like taken for granted and love me enough.
“Look, if you want something bad enough,” my mother
always said, “you’ll find a way to get it and keep it.”
That nearly always sounded like truth, like something
right out of the good book of cause and effect and
Newtonian physics or the natural laws of divine free will
or perception–on the little brain bits we have to depend.
The whole a-will-a-way combo, the tritest of them all.
Except how do I know if I have accepted in wisdom, peace
and knowledge what I cannot change, made a fair exchange
or simply ducked and run without a step in the face of the
inevitable, my presumed conclusion befitting the fatigue
of too many, just too many reasonable compromises?
“Better not to ask,” she’d sometimes say.