Quiet Pondering

Lazy day, but I’m making plans. And searching across foam-crested waves and channels for my people.

I learned, today, why the mountains are lonely here. Crumbling and soaking in an ever-changing mist, they are forbidden. We respect the gods by not treading that delicate ground but for the hunt on which we survive.

Or once did.

But respect was bred strong and still breeds. Breathes. And as I approach the edge of a mountain littered with dead, rotting technology from a war that was not their’s and crumpled Styrofoam trash from a way of life that does not belong here — I can only step backward away and say–

“Lam’nasai. Lam’nasai. I mean you no offense,” stepping ever backward and retracing my steps all the way to another land. “I go now.”

New year, new land. New language and a new way.

There, across a stretch of ocean I have never gone, I will find myself bowing more than taking lead. Waiting more than grabbing reigns. Boldness in a different form. The lone sparrow watchful in a way that protects its own.

At the moment, my only “own” is this heart I have and this body that houses it. I will do what I can.

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Delayed in writing for the sake of biking

The full moon wears a shroud of white gossamer as it hangs heavily in the sky. Big puffed up billows of cotton drift elegantly across the sky, temporarily masking the moon’s face from my searching eye but illuminating the background like flood lights in outer space aimed at aged porcelain clouds. If I reach too high and touch them, they could crack.

A walk across beach sand in the low afternoon light. The sand is opaque cream, aqua marine, sea foam green, pretty pretty princess pink, eggshell blue, and creamy tangerine. The plastic bits are brittle and they crack in between my discouraged fingertips.

Curious how the color spectrum slants heavily to shades of blue that mimic portugese-man-o-war tentacles. I spot one stretching an impressive length of sand. Two tiny ones entwined like lovers, tentacles tangled inextricably together. Another tosses and tumbles in the foam of a crashing wave and I tuck my legs out of the way.

Funny how I feared these clear bubbled drifters for so long. And the skitter-disappear movement of roaches no bigger than the size of a dime or a bit of lint. I hear they come in massive. I hear they fly. I saw one with beautiful patterns arranged like a black-white-tan mosaic on its back. Mostly, they are shadows and my eye catches them for a second before their whole being disappears. Teasing mushi. The cats come to my calling and try to hunt, but the mushi are gone.

We both stare mystified, and I recall we are cousins.
Amiges.

A coastal ride, sweeping downhill road that greets the edge of the Pacific. green mountains to one side and sandy slant into the water on the other. I climb and the slant becomes a slope becomes a cliff off which I could roll into bunched up greenery. Sleek black wave-washed rocks bathe in the lays sunrays of the day and I am suddenly on the PCH and it is not too far from here to Santa Barbara. I know that dipping hill and those rising peaks — but the ridges are the Ko’olaus are worn by rushing downpour island waterfalls, and the air is ocean tinged everywhere you go. The surfers have different style tattoos and the locals each their lunches different.

The rough pocked road with no shoulder meanders and curves into a bay that could be Bellingham in summer — August, maybe. A distant outline of an island — is it Maui? Could be Lummi or Orcas through a thick fog. And I could be riding the Chuckanuts and dropping into the Skagit instead of Waimanalo.

Funny how all the places I thought of as home feel the same.
Like I was looking for something, and for a brief moment in those places — found it.

It is good to know it is in more than one place, though. Should I feel the need, again, in some number of years, to go. I can journey where the land rises from the water and a bay curves and the rocks are slick and sea-washed. And I will be home.

Dreamcatcher

Dreaming about banging, thieves, and liars in the night. Waking to sounds that make me worry there’s murder, death and gore down below. Under my bed, copper boxes like chastity belts hide wrapped around tummies of monsters who rise from the ground.

Everything unpacked, disorderly in a big empty room. And I’m looking for tiny slips of paper that mean something bigger than just a ticket to where I’m headed next. Like I’ll lose my identity if I’ve lost them.

A hat, in sunlight, that was special and is gone.
A life, in moonlight, that was sacred and is gone. And as leaves fall dying, I lie wishing I could unravel loss like old sweaters and reweave my dreams into new brilliant patterns.

Winter will be both cold and hot on two opposite islands. One larger and one small. Volcanoes and earthquakes may shake me up. Another latitude may take away this lassitude and wake me up.

I want to keep knowing what my dreams are; how bad these nightmares are, how long the banging goes on. Not because I hope to find anything good, but only because I want to know what I’m so afraid of.

Thus far, it’s liars and thieves and people who cage metal monsters in false chastity.
What does it mean?

I’ll have to wait and see.
Tonight, I sleep and I dream again.

Waiting on strings

Loss burns like a piece of red charcoal in my belly. An ember that would, were it outside me, provide light. But buried so, it doesn’t glow but gives me sleepless nights. Long aching nights of dreams cluttered with unfulfilled wishes,  confusing complicated terms of agreement, partners who aren’t partners, loves I don’t love, faces I don’t know. A stranger’s house and stranger sensations when some stranger across a strange room says, “You’re home.”

Home was a shrine and a gas lit fire. Home was a tent pitched on wooden pallets. Home was a room full of clutter. Home was mottled memories in sleepless nights that I could not place. Home was a treasure chest that did not exist. Home was spirits, angels, demons, ghosts (Call them what you will.). Home was your bed, safe and warm.

I feel restless. Trampled. Hopeless. Homeless.
Maybe someone took a knife in the night and cut my heart out. My soul, spirit, ghost out. Maybe we were right and I was the one who was never whole. Never sanded down or finished. Not weatherproofed or lie-proofed, or quick witted enough to know the difference.

Life is long and laborious once all your definitions have sad rings to them. Once all your explanations have loss attached to them. Once every dream is an out-dated stained glass window waiting for the next religion to come in and smash it to pieces. Once trust has all run out.

I carried in a secret case a thing I called faith. It was blind, untested trust. I carried it around everywhere I went only to empty it out. I may have drained it quicker than I thought. Now this case collects dust and ghosts of the past. Shards of reality as constant reminders of places and faces I’ve loved, known, trusted strong and fast. If I reach in now, they get stuck in my fingers, drawing blood.

But if life is pain and suffering brings realization, I don’t think it led me wrong.
I am only looking for what to dust myself clean with and what to refill faith with.
I have a feeling, a hunch, a trepidation in a sense, that reality will show me.

The wheel always turns.

Water

I will always miss you.

But, seven years, and I was soaked through and you were turned to ash, so what were we supposed to do? Make soap?

It was funny. and we both laughed, “No.”

Doesn’t matter. You are now a character, a characteristic, a mood in all of my stories, and I will never let your ghost go. Whether you know it or not.

Seven years and I will henceforth carry you like a napsack, a messenger bag, a rolled up waterproof panier wherever I go.
How can I not?

Though it’s a shadow that lets me know you won’t know it. That autumn brought death of a kind I guess I was waiting for, but didn’t want. Death of a kind I always get. Death of a kind I never get. A kind I’ve been running from for years, seven plus itself four times and then some.

I love you anyway, water. I can’t change that. I don’t want to. Maybe, seven plus itself a few more times and I’ll forget how bad it feels on this side of it.

Maybe not.

On and on

You made me learn that I took “friend” too seriously. Didn’t realize it’d make me the chaff. Didn’t know I’d get blown away in the wind when it blew across your summer skin. Oh, but that’s just the way it is. I can waste time saying “I hate it”, but why bother?

Moments shone bright like they were stolen secrets we shouldn’t be allowed. We were children sneaking treats. We were rebels stealing lights from the main streets of this town. We burned it up. Paper, plastic, or charcoal — it didn’t matter much.

Scars bled black ink down our skin and stain pictures on the walls. Reminded us why we’re here and what a mess we’re all in. And do we think we’ll change the seasons because we don’t like a few of them?

Death and life is just a wheel, and you know I know that. But nobody likes it when the wheels turn and it’s you and I that get twisted up in the spokes. Like we weren’t as far in the center as we thought. Like when we held hands and said things we meant, it meant nothing to the wind. Nothing to the ghosts that drive change. Nothing to the causational vibrations of the universe.

It’s probably true, but I still consider you and the universe my friends. If that means I’ll get screwed again? Ah well, so it goes.

A rose by another other name, eh?

What good did it do? To have grown wings but not know how to fly? To have unravelled ready sails into a dead sky? To have sung along, out of tune? To have tried and failed, tried and failed, tried and failed on an infinite loop?

I got blamed so many times for never seeing. But truth was I stopped speaking. Kept quiet, to myself, because I got tired of calling things out. Worried the bruises from beatings like that wouldn’t ever go away. I walked on broken stones and felt I’d carry the splinters burrowed inside everywhere I’d go.

And from those depths, I called myself zero. Nothing.
Undefinable.

A seeker is what others called me.
Strong. Fierce. Passionate. Hospitable.
“Bound” is what my parents called me before I was born.

And for years, I tried to smother all that out. But fuck. Don’t you know I just want to keep you safe? Protect things with my life? Bind ties and wrap lines of truth, trust, love around all of us?

Slowly I’m learning that I’m willing to play the fool, to jump without knowing what’s below if I know with certainty that — in the end — it’ll mean something.

Anything.

A smile in your memory. A shadow of happiness cast over photographs no-one else will ever see. A glimmer of some hope, some knowledge that — come anything, it’ll be okay. There is always a way to get up, carry on, try again. Because peace and love must be within and among each one of us.

It’s what I’m betting on. I wonder if I’ll lose?