Hitched

June 16, 2017.  Big changes often involve multiple facets fitting together. Such was our decision to go from a small travel trailer to a larger one.  Not just the trailer changes.  The tow vehicle must also change.  And after months of planning, selecting, and financing our dream – one last essential piece about did me in:  something called a weight distribution hitch that serves to help Blackie (truck) and Silvie (trailer) move smoothly together.  Using friction to control sway – fascinating.  A variety to choose from, but a strong preference for the kind we had with the small trailer (only bigger).  Precise measurements of the trailer still sitting on the dealer’s lot an hour’s drive South proved elusive, highly frustrating in ordering the new hitch.  A few cross words flew between the two of us piecing together our bits of understanding (and not!) of hitches and measurements … but ultimately all came together.  And in the process, the weight distribution hitch emerged as symbol.  Notice those chains. Ties that bind.

We’ll be rolling through Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico shortly. Trusting our hitch!

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Family Drama

June 8, 2017.  Every family has drama episodes.  And while the family of my childhood was not much like the family observed in this poem – I wrote this encounter because I so identified with the little girl’s spirit flattened by a simple mishap and the repercussions thus triggered.  I’ve included an image of me at age 8 – a bit more cheerful than the girl in the poem.  Someone must have told me to smile.  (In Mrs. Camp’s 3rd grade classroom, I was not a happy camper!) Looking at the collage, I notice I’ve put myself on a pedestal – not the sort one dreams of – but appropriate given the skittery nature of being young, being trapped in your family’s dramas.

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Collective

June 1, 2017.  The last half of May was a bombardment of encounters – a piling on of understanding my own impermanence, connectedness, and choices. This poem has been finished multiple times, only to reopen given the next day’s encounter.  Not all-inclusive, some pieces were trimmed to make space for others.   I’m calling this complete now.  (Though there could be a sequel!)

This began with breaking open during Jimmy LaFave’s final performance three days before his death – witnessing his choice to live his last year on his own terms, embracing life rather than fighting death.  The wrap-up arrived as a scientific article on lichens.

References:  [1] Poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer’s poem “Dear Christie”:  https://ahundredfallingveils.com/2017/05/22/dear-christie/   [2] Scientific American June 2017 issue, “The Meaning of Lichen”

Collage:  Raven from Bryce Canyon, UT.  Lichen from Red Corral Ranch, TX.

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Tree Wise

May 21, 2017.  In the Texas hill country,  massive live oaks spread their huge limbs at unusual angles.  Over time the weight of continued growth lowers them toward the ground.  Like gigantic vines, they swoop in strong winds. Hundreds of years old, survivors of many a storm.  But not invincible.  At Red Corral, a deck constructed less than 20 years ago rises alongside one of these live oaks.  Initially, there was no contact between tree and fence along deck’s edge.  But the tree kept growing, lowering.  Now fence cuts into bark, a gash that gives pause.  While wind blustered, I stood for a while listening to the tree moan, the fence creak – each stuck in their odd relationship.  (Ahhh… some “fences” in my space are beginning to feel like supports.)

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Here To There

May 11, 2017.  Reflecting on a day at Red Corral Ranch in the Texas hill country – I go every other month with a spiritual awareness group.  Last week, right after group reflection on a Stanley Kunitz poem – we went out into the May sunshine to spend some quiet solo time reflecting and observing.  Red Corral is home to a number of peacocks, noisy birds, calling back and forth to one another.  Their squeals are intense, sounding like “HELP” – mixing in with Kunitz words, the birds helped this poem emerge.  They reminded me who I am – poet.

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Reluctance

May 6, 2017.  Our Mexican Sunflowers began blooming early this year, bright spots, especially in a windy drizzle.  I noticed one bloom whipped by the wind, its petals all gone except for one – tenacious, flapping wildly like a kite unsure whether to soar or crash.  I went inside for the camera, expecting it to be blown away when I returned.  But no, still hanging on to its familiar center in spite of prevailing forces – seeming a model for fidelity to my core principles in the midst of a turbulent world.

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Breakage

April 26, 2017.  Rumi’s poem The Guest House is a touchstone for me, and arrived yet again in this morning’s email – redirecting my poem-in-process.  I’ve been fingering the remains of a plastic lens cover off one of the running lights on our travel trailer – sensing a poem lurking – not quite sure of is message.   We put the Casita (ours for seven years) up for sale, advertising “excellent condition”.  Prospective buyers enroute, and no way to remedy this unexpected flaw!  What to do but acknowledge its presence?  And, of course, assure a replacement would be factory-delivered to buyers’ door.

A happy ending: the sale went through – leaving me with three shards of amber plastic as tactile reminder to accept whatever intrudes, make no assumptions, and don’t panic.

To Read Rumi’s poem:  https://allpoetry.com/poem/8534703-The-Guest-House

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