Going around in spirals

Dearest Reader:

Like a lingering summer cold you just can’t seem to shake, I’m back.  Condolences or congratulations?  Your pick.

You knew I couldn’t be quiet for long.  I have way too much to say (“Know it all”).  Maybe it comes from living alone and spending a lot of time in contemplation.  Or, maybe it’s because I’m a writer and — hey! — writers have to write. Whatever the cause or curse, again your pick, I’m back.  I’ll try not to bore you with my ramblings.

I originally posted the poem, “I’m tired,” (see below) in late June — before Pegasus went quiet — but deleted it because I didn’t want to spread negativity. I am re-posting it now in the interests of completeness and honesty.

While in Mesilla Valley Hospital — a locked psychiatric hospital — from 27 July to 3 August, I drew an addendum to the poem:

Going around in spirals

 


I’m tired

I’m tired.

I’m tired of everything.

I’m tired of grocery shopping at Walmart.

I’m tired of cleaning.

I’m tired of working on my book. It’s too hard and what difference does it make anyway? None.

I’m tired of doing art. It’s lost its play.

I’m tired of driving. The thought of going anywhere exhausts me to tears.

I’m tired of summer in the high desert. Tired of the heat, tired of the wind.

I’m tired of living a life wide open.
I’m tired of infinite possibilities.
I’m tired of not knowing.

I’m really tired of being alone.
Over 50 years of being alone.
I’m tired of planning a future alone. What future exactly?

Five years on the road. I thought I finally found what I was looking for — a home in a place, a home in a purpose, a home in a man. I was wrong. Now it’s back to the beginning and I’m fucking tired of going back to the beginning.

An uncertain future alone.

I’m not tired of drinking wine or margaritas.

Pour me another please.

Counting down the days until.

P.S. – Lest you worry about my mental state Dear Reader, please don’t. As many have said, “This too shall pass.” I just wish that it passes tout de suite.

And still I dream

I have a dream. Not the Martin Luther King, Jr. kind of dream — although I do dream of a time when all people are judged by the contents of their hearts rather than the colors of their skins — but a dream nonetheless.

The Florida Mountains and the Chihuahuan high desert ecoregion were home to the Apache Indians. (Photo: K. Dianne Stephens)
The Florida Mountains and the Chihuahua high desert were home to the Apache Indians. (Photo: K. Dianne Stephens)

In my dream I’m sitting in the shade on a stone patio behind a small off-grid house —perhaps a yurt or geodesic dome. Cool morning breezes fluff my hennaed hair. To the east — the Florida Mountains. Roan, paws and belly damp from a dip in the horse trough, saunters over, eases down.

A man — in my dream he’s a cowboy — comes out of the house carrying two cups of coffee — one tablespoon of flavored cream plus a sprinkle of cinnamon stirred in. Just the way we like it. We sip in silence as the sun pastel-paints the Sleeping Dragon.  Another day in paradise. The man and I smile. Two needles in a haystack we.

Horses greet the day, neighs carried on the wind.  The man has fed and watered them or maybe I have. We’re both early risers. Our favorite time of day. A new beginning every dawn.

Home.

Two coffees later, I retreat from the sun to the coolness within to eat breakfast or perhaps I’m fasting until lunch this day. Then off to my office space to work. Perhaps writing or drawing or answering emails or ordering hay.

Or, maybe this day an impromptu road trip in Pegasus to the man’s friends’ winery in northern New Mexico. The old war horse wants to run. He hates it when I call him “old.”

But who will feed the horses? A neighbor boy who looks up to the man like the father he never had.

Or maybe no road trip this day. Maybe the man will jump on his UTV and ride the property, his dog riding shotgun. Or maybe we’ll ride the property together — his and her horses, his and her dogs — a much-needed break from the computer screen.

Maybe we’ll plan the book tour. He’ll drive Pegasus or…but I don’t want him to be an accessory to my life. And vice versa.

So Roan, Pegasus, and I will hit the road, missing the man every second of every day until we’re all back together again.

Home.

Time passes. Dogs and horses long gone. The man and I slow down. No more road trips. Nothing else to see and why leave paradise?  Why leave home?

The man dies on a Tuesday. I hold his hand, look into his eyes as he takes his last breath, and say, “Over and out.”  I die on a Wednesday.

Our spirits shoot into the Great Void.

“Welcome home!,” They call out to us.  “Job well done! Come join the party!” And into the Void we go.

Home.

BUT.

But.

But the man in question (“Too”), the man who helped inspire my dream has gone. Following his own dream. Perhaps to return, most likely to not.

And still I dream.

Know it all

“Know whatever comes to you unexpected to be a gift from God, which will surely serve you if you use it to the fullest. It is only that which you strive for out of your own imagination, that gives you trouble.”

The Journey by Brandon Bays

4:26 AM. Tired of tossing and turning, now on my left side, now on my right, now on my back, spreadeagled dead center across the bed, I give up and get up. I hit the buttons, fore and aft, to extend the slides pulled in last night when the winds were high. It’s dead quiet out now. Not even the rooster is awake.

Inverter on. First cup of coffee of the day. Vibrant red Keurig single cup coffee maker purchased for Mom after Dad died. She didn’t want it, she insisted, even though it was her color.

My favorite coffee — Great Value French Roast 100% Arabica Coffee in the purple box. I heard that the man who invented K-cups regretted adding to landfills. I vow — again — to order biodegradable K-cups from Amazon but Walmart’s convenience, low price, and dark roast are too tempting.

I apply Rust-Oleum Ultimate Wood Stain in summer oak to a scrap of quarter-round and lay it on a piece of aluminum foil to dry. Remember I got vinyl plank flooring installed in Slab City? Well, Anthony, is helping me install trim around the edges. “You want to protect the wood,” he says, handing me a half-full can of stain, “In case you spill red wine on it.” I couldn’t picture myself drinking red wine anywhere near where the floor and the cabinet met but keep my mouth shut. I don’t make decisions based on fear, I tell myself.

I am so arrogant. I pride myself on not living in fear but live in fear everyday. I’ve been wanting to meet someone (For a change) and I do.

Anne calls me on my B.S. “You always talk about not living from fear and here you are doing it,” she chides as we talk men. We’re good mirrors. I call her on her B.S.; she calls me on mine.

I flash back to a conversation at Cathy’s house in Minneapolis several Christmases ago. Mom, Dad, and I in the kitchen, post-show wind-down. It was dark, late, and cold but warm and toasty in the kitchen. Mom in her pink flannel flower PJs. Jack and Diet Coke warmed from the inside out. (Do you sense a theme here?).

“You’re not humble,” Dad said to me.  “Your sister,” he turned to Cathy, “she’s humble. You’re not. You never have been.”

It’s true. Even as a kid, I knew what I knew and I had confidence in what I knew. And I questioned, all the time. Especially people in positions of authority. Parents, priests, professors.

More than one person considers my never-ending questions “arguing.”  I don’t. I consider them “discussions,” an information exchange, a two-way street. More than one person gets annoyed, really annoyed with me. But I can’t help it. Questioning is as natural as breathing to me. And in questioning others, I question myself. I am constantly challenging myself to re-think things, to have an eternally open mind, to never be satisfied with the status quo.

I don’t want to self-censor — I did that for too many years and am only recently finding my voice again — but I don’t want to piss people off either.

So what to do?

Make a second cup of coffee and wait for the sun to rise.

Peace be with us

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. — Lao Tzu

I’m on constant edge these days.

San Diego Harbor Cruise. From left to right: Me, Tom, Teri, Renee, Tony.
San Diego Harbor Cruise. From left to right: Me, Tom, Teri, Renee, Tony.

Perhaps it’s because I just got back from eight days in “sunny” San Diego.  Teri and Tom flew in from Milwaukee to visit Roan and me. We had a non-stop week:

  • Temecula wineries,
  • A southern harbor tour and lunch in Little Italy with cousin Renee and her new beau,
  • Eating at Souplantation and Roberto’s and Denny’s,
  • Shopping for flooring at Lowe’s with Teri’s help and musical instruments at Guitar Center and Alan’s Music Center with Tom’s help.

Perhaps it’s my onerous To Do List:

  • Write this blog post;
  • Go back to The Sun Works to get the leak discovered during a torrential downpour in El Cajon, an eastern suburb of San Diego, fixed;
  • Go to Salvation Mountain to meet with Ron, a journeyman floorer, to talk vinyl planking;
  • Dump and fill tanks;
  • Work on my new business, Pegasus Speaks Designs;
  • Learn a new-to-me autoharp;
  • Practice songs for acoustic nights at California Ponderosa and the Oasis;
  • Book flights for my cousin David’s mid-March wedding;
  • Schedule a conference call with an editor to discuss my book;
  • Find out what’s wrong with Roan’s nose…
El Cajon weather 20 January 2017
I arrived at the El Cajon Elks Lodge in a torrential downpour. The region got about two inches of rain the week we were there.

Or perhaps it’s the uncertainty that permeates the atmosphere.  The world reflects back a collective disquiet.  Can you feel it?  Mother Earth does; weather is odd all over.

Whatever the causes, I feel harried and hurried.

All I want — all most people want — is peace. But how do we find peace in a world where we’re bombarded by bad news a nanosecond after it happens, where talking heads scream at each other across studio tables, where up is down and down is up?

Peace begins in our hearts. If we can find peace through whatever means work for each of us —  be they walking or reading or dancing or listening to Solfeggio frequencies or running or yoga or… we can pass the peace on.  We can increase global peace  one iota at a time until all the iotas add up to a tsunami, flooding the world in loving kindness.

Peace. Join the Evolution.

Peace - Join the Evolution t-shirt
This and other “Wear the Word, Spread the Light”™ t-shirts are available from Pegasus Speaks Designs.