Friday, September 30, 2011

The Eulogy of Time

(this is a poem I wrote in 1989.  A time when I still sketched, sang, and wrote with the abandon of a child-woman)

All this time gone on the wind
but I remember, because I'm with you.
The eulogy to the dying years
is my song forever to you.
As its light grows dim
through the milennia that has gone
remember me and the light will shine
just as the morning dew
which collects upon the petals of time
and binds my heart to you.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fire Meets Water

(There are words that manipulate, then there are words that can melt even the iciest heart.)

He said to me
A kiss would be lively

And I said back
I would kiss you with the passion of the sea 
meeting the shore during a hurricane
If I could

Like nine kisses
The ninth being the deepest and most

Earth shattering

I was waving

And I was crashing on your shore

Fire woman who gets me steamy
Like the Hawaiian shore
with the lava flowing into the sea

Or the great divide in the Atlantic fire below
The stuff of legends and awe

Oh my water man
Who bathes me in soothing waves
And stirs me to vapor on the wind
Consumes me and rebuilds my glowing depth
With naught but his bathing kiss.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manipulated by Words

Hmmm.  This is a hard blog to write, as it exposes a few things about myself that I've packed away in a corner to deal with later.  Perhaps it's time to pull them out and analyze them.

I had a very bad dream last night that shook still shaking me a bit.  I felt such a palpable loss in the dream that I woke crying and in total fear that it had actually happened.  Once I had confirmed that it had not and the person in question was safe, the relief I felt was profound.  It caused me to wonder why the feelings were so strong, and I've wandered a path of insight all morning.

I suppose the biggest issue I have to deal with right now is hearing words (or phrases) that have been used against me in the past and not feeling suspicion that they have a different meaning.  An example - "I just want to spend time with you.  Even if we don't have sex, that's fine....I just want to be with you."  In my experience, that's actually translated to "I really only want you for sex, but you seem to need these words of comfort in order to let me in."  Another example is "I'm attracted to your mind, not your looks."  Translated - "These are the words you need to hear in order for me to manipulate you into believing that I'm a good person, and that you won't discover that I'm using you."  Not once have those words been said to me and backed up with actual meaning.  I've been burned by them time and time again.  Now, I hear them and I'm instantly suspicious.  A part of me still wants to believe the words are true, but the old adage rings true about sticking your hand in the fire - it only take a few burns to make you realize the fire hurts, so you should keep your hands out of it.

I want to understand why people manipulate.  Obviously there is a selfish need that is being satisfied....but at what cost?  You're hurting someone else, but what are you doing to your own psyche?  Does there not come a time when you look in the mirror and see what a monster you've become?  Does there come a time when you can no longer live with the ghosts of the pain you've caused?

I want to believe that in the end, those who manipulate wake up and realize what they've done and change for the better.  Unfortunately, I doubt this is the reality.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dashboard Photoblog: Selma, Oregon

 As the fall weather settles in, our drives become more about seeing the colors than escaping the heat.  Because I wanted to share a bit of my home with someone very special, I give you a trip to one of my childhood neighborhoods - Selma, Oregon.

 At the start of Deer Creek Road, with a gentle rain falling.  Yes, there will be dashboard in most of the pics.  Hence the name "dashboard photoblog."  Taking pictures while driving should only be done by trained professionals :).

 Farther along Deer Creek Road.  The rain has subsided, but the sky is still overcast.

 We pass through slightly dense arid forests on this drive.

 This gate was at the entrance to the Bates 40 Ranch.  I'm unsure if it still functions as a true ranch, but in my childhood they raised large quantities of cattle there.

 And....the Bates 40 Ranch.  The sky cleared, leaving fabulous puffy white clouds.  I love their shadows on the mountains.

 Another gate on the Bates 40.  I love the colors here, very Maxfield Parrish.

 The bridge that leads to my childhood home.  It crosses Deer Creek, which is running extremely low right now.

 On the dirt road to my childhood home.  Sadly, the foliage was too thick to see the house.  I had hoped to snap some pictures.

 The gate that now stands at the driveway to my childhood home.  There had originally been a HUGE piece of driftwood standing to the right, and no gate.  It was much more inviting then.

 A beautiful 4 point buck.  This is as close as I could get as he had jumped a fence, but I was still very close.  I had visions of ending up on "When Animals Attack."

 Turned around and heading back down the dirt road.  The colors are so contrasted - dry and brown and cool and blue.

 Deer Creek, as seen from the bridge posted above.  Very little water running.

 Continuing up the road onto a BLM/Forest Service chipseal road.  It's paved all the way to Williams and I've driven it a few times, but evidence of recent slides made me decide to turn around.  This huge boulder has been here since I was a kid - I can't imagine what it was like when it came down.  To give you an idea of its size, my head hits just under the sharp corner to the right.

 Deer Creek, as seen from the road.  this is my family's super-secret swimming hole, but at this time of year it's hardly a puddle.  Mid-July, it's 7-8 feet deep and super-cold.

 More of the creek.  The water is perfectly clear, but the rocks in it are covered in brownish moss.  The smell and sounds here are amazing.

Coming back down the mountain towards town.  The sun was finally returning.

Driving into the sun made pictures impossible from here out, so my final shot is of Lake Selmac.  The boat rental shack is closed for the season and there were only a handful of people around.

I hope you enjoyed a little corner of my world.  For local friends, the trip is - Redwood Highway to Deer Creek Road (in front of Ray's Market); turn left and follow DCR to end of county line and follow fork to left; travel as far up the mountain as you please or continue to Williams.  Follow DCR back towards Selma, turn left onto Lakeshore Drive and continue to Redwood Highway; return to Grants Pass.  Round trip - about 65 miles, depending how far you go up the mountain.  Please note - the mountain road to Williams is NOT passable during the winter months.  The road is only graded to the county line, and chipseal mountain roads do not provide a stable surface under icy conditions - plus there are no guardrails.  Travel with caution!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Witchy 1996-2011

My dear little furface:

Saying goodbye to you today was the hardest thing I've had to do in a long time.  The last few weeks, I've watched you decline from the beautiful, regal creature you've always been and it has been breaking my heart.  When I had to carry you to your food bowl and stand over you while you ate, I knew your time was short.

We've been together a lot of years, my friend.  You got me through my divorce, a grueling year of college, moving to Grants Pass, two horrible jobs, and the end of a very bad relationship.  During that time, you offered me your love and support through snuggles and purrs, wanting nothing back but a pat on the head or scratch under the chin.  If only we can find such love in life from other people.

When I got you up this morning and placed you in front of your bowl, you looked up at me with a look of sadness that made me realize your time had come.  I knew you would panic in a carrier, so I put your towel in a laundry basket and set you in.  Your normal demeanor would be to glare at me and jump out, but you started purring and laid down.  Your calm acceptance made it all real and I lost my ability to hold it together.  I'm sorry to put you through that at the end of your life.

At the vet, you didn't even struggle.  Your acceptance was so heartbreaking; you knew why you were there.  You laid on that table and purred, looking at me with wide eyes.  I felt the life leave your body, and my grief was so strong I crumpled over you, sobbing.  For 14 years, I've appreciated your love so much, beautiful girl.  I hope your journey into the beyond is beautiful, and  your reward for giving me so much happiness great.  Rest peacefully my love, I hope we will find each other again.  I can't imagine my life without you.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Day We Remember Together

I had just finished my return to college.  Literally only a few short weeks before that day.  I was thrust into an already unstable job market after the "guaranteed" job I had lined up while still in school fell through.  I was still in a "honeymoon period" and enjoying not having to go to school or work.

My grandma was still living 2 hours away in Myrtle Point, and called often.  Still, 7 am was an unusual time for her to call, so when the phone woke me that morning I knew something was wrong.  "Turn on your TV." she said, her voice filled with panic.

I only had a 13-inch TV in my room at the time, but the tiny screen conveyed the events clearly.  I honestly thought I was watching a Hollywood stunt or something to that effect.  Grandma had other family to call, so she hung up with me.  I sat in the middle of my bed, huddled up with the covers, watching in a state of shock.

Faith woke up soon after, so I gathered myself and parked her in my bedroom with the TV turned to Nickelodeon.  She ended up spending the day in there, eating her meals on my bed to avoid exposing her to the horror.

I didn't have a laptop at the time, and Facebook/MySpace were not in use yet so I signed in to my blog and whatever messenger client I used at the time.  I spent the day running between the old office (now Faith's new bedroom) and the living room, trying to figure out what was going on.  At first, everyone thought it was a bomb, but once the 2nd plane hit, there was no doubt we were under attack.  Then the was all so surreal.  By the end of the day, I was still in pajamas, wandering around the house in a state of shock.  I finally explained to Faith what happened, but since she was so young (not yet 6) I don't think she really understood.

It's so strange to look back and realize that all happened 10 years ago.  My memory is faulty at best, yet I still remember everything like it was yesterday.  So many lives were lost, for nothing more than the religious fervor of a few.

I'll leave you with a post from my old blog.  These are my own words, written that day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001
I'm still in shock. Sitting here, going between the tv in the living room and the many many websites I've been still doesn't seem real. Watching the plane enter Tower doesn't look real. It looks like a scene from a movie. I guess our minds can't fathom this kind of heinous act. The people in my area are in a bit of a frenzy...a rumor has gone around about the rise in the cost of groceries and gas so the gas stations and grocery stores are overrun.

The very first thing that came to mind this morning when I saw the towers come down was the movie the Fight Club. For those who haven't seen's about a man whose evil side becomes real to him and he creates a terrorist group which ultimately blows up all the major buildings in New York City. *shudder* I kept seeing those final scenes in the movie where the buildings are going down and realizing how much the movie version looks like the real version.

I hate the things these people have done. I hope they realize that even if they get away with what they've done in this life....what awaits after they die will be their justice. I believe in a merciful and just God...and I don't believe He will allow these people His guidance into the afterlife. I hope these thoughts of a horrible eternal afterlife keep them up at night, because I'm sure no confession, no amount of holy water, and no penance will absolve them of the sins they committed today.
Public - 9:32 PM

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It's Good to Get Away

So much good has happened in the last few days.  I've been away from my laptop for most of the last 48 hours, and I have to say it felt good.  Sometimes it's great to unplug, even if I did cheat and read/email from my iPhone.

After a solid month of worry, a small financial windfall came my way and I was able to take Faith school clothes shopping.  Her spree was modest compared to previous years, but she's set for the start of school and a few months until the cold weather comes.

I've been living on a carefully planned budget all summer, so having some padding was a HUGE relief.  We've enjoyed a nice dinner at Olive Garden after school shopping, a trip to the river, and an impromptu road trip along the coast yesterday.

By impromptu, I mean literally the very last minute.  We left Grants Pass at 1:30, arriving in Brookings around 3. Unfortunately, it was totally fogged in and about 52 degrees there, which is not usually a big deal except we were dressed for 90+ degree heat back home, and hadn't brought any extra clothes.  Upon finding our favorite sushi restaurant closed for the holiday weekend (UGH!!  I wanted some escolar sashimi, darn it!), we decided to head north.  In Gold Beach, we found the other sushi restaurant had gone out of business.  It was then that I decided we would go further north to my old hometown, Coos Bay.  Need I mention it was already 4pm by this time, and we still had 80+ miles to drive?

The drive up the coast evoked some strong memories.  It was my first time driving that road since I left Coos Bay in 2000.  I'd only been back to the area twice since; once with grandma to settle some property she owned there, and once for a gymnastics meet with Faith.  Both times, I had driven the I-5 route.  Passing sites like Cape Blanco, Port Orford, Langlois all brought different memories.

It was astonishing to see how little Coos Bay and the areas surrounding it have changed in 11 years.  The Mill Casino is the star attraction of course, and it has grown exponentially, but otherwise the town looks like the day I left it.

We had a fabulous dinner at Benetti's, another memory stimulant.  They have a handmade gnocchi baked in parmesan and mozzarella that whops so much flavor and deliciousness in each bite that it was worth the 350 mile round-trip drive to get it.  When I lived in the area, I spent my birthdays here.  It was a bittersweet meal.

After dinner, we drove out to Sunset Bay state park and watched the sun set over the water.  We had intended to go out to Horsefall Beach to lie on the sand and watch the stars, but with the holiday weekend there were far too many people for it to be enjoyable.  It was probably a good thing, because by now it was 9pm and I was incredibly tired.  I eyed the local motels with Vacancy signs longingly, but I had left my seizure medication at home and we would have had to sleep in our clothes.  There were several friends I could have called that would have put us up as well, but it was not the right time to drop in on someone out of the blue.

After filling up with gas (OUCH), we started across Highway 42 towards home.  The traffic was light, and the road so familiar that I felt I could drive it with my eyes closed.  In Coquille, I pointed out the gloomy plywood factory where I had worked for several years to Faith, and she agreed that it looked grim.  Once back on the dark road, we enjoyed the beauty of a golden crescent moon, hanging low in the southern sky.

I couldn't pass through Myrtle Point faster.  The town holds so many bad memories that I get anxious when it comes into sight.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, aside from a man lying on the side of the freeway in Canyonville.  I almost called 911, but I saw a police car heading that way in my rear view mirror.  I did look at the news to see if there was a report of a dead body, but I imagine he was just someone in the wrong place.

I was happy to see home, probably for the first time in a while.  The day contained too many memories, and being here wiped them clean.  I'm guessing it's can't go home again.