Feel All I See

I stared at the bright, swirling light of the full moon and wondered if this is what love felt like.

This was one of the outcomes of a game night of word play with friends. The context of the story is that this is the thought of a young boy, middle school age, sitting upon the roof top above the internment camp where he lives. He stares at the sky with his schizophrenic eyes which see the sky as though a Van Gogh painting; alive with strokes of color, bright flavor-filled light that is his universe. His illness created a playland about him and coupled with synesthesia, he could taste and smell the cornucopia of life about him on the roof and below in the crowded camp.

Towards the end of the story right about when his family is freed from the internment camp he begins a regimen of lithium which all but cures him of his illness and opens a new door.  Now he walks about amazed at the true light of the sky, the actual vibrant colors and textures of the grass beneath his feet, the fabric of his clothes and the ability to feel a different kind of internal love keep from him by the intensity of schizophrenia that had ruled his mind and his body.

I’ve posted it on hitrecord so maybe someone will run with it and flesh out the rest, maybe illustrate it or make an animation of him staring at the night sky.

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To feel I deserve

For a long time now I’ve made work whatever I had or found for clothing storage; IKEA shelves, used bookcases with canvas buckets or piles on shelves.  Recently I grew tired of that and began looking at antique stores, second shops and online for stuff someone didn’t want anymore. The more I looked, the less satisfied I became with what I found.

For as long as I could remember most of my furniture has either been bought at a tag sale, at IKEA, or was a piece of IKEA picked up at a tag sale.  My couch is from craigslist, likewise my dining table, bookcases from a factory sale, the breakfast bar found hidden behind the furnace in the basement.  I haven’t really been attached to things, spending my money on food, art, music.

Something has shifted though. Something about deserving. Deserving to have decent things. Wanting something made, cared for, cultivated to a beautiful finish.

A friend took me to a local shop that sold original handcrafted wood furniture. Next thing you know, three hours had passed. My hand ran along carefully made and varnished wood, silken, smooth. I flipped through books of different styles, stains, carved details, varied  heights and number of drawers. I found my way to really wanting, realizing I wouldn’t find anywhere else the vision I had in my head. Two-tone stain, delineating the difference between drawer and frame. Light vs dark, form and substance.

So I bit the bullet and put down a deposit like I hadn’t done for much in my life. Whew, it was intense. I waited, worried if I could afford it, denied I had made such a extravagant purchase. Then out of the blue the call came that it was and when I would I like it delivered.

Not quite what I imagined, it was still stunning. Every time I entire my bedroom I have to touch it. I have something  beautiful made just for me. Nothing else like it. Wow.

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Yours became mine

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Recently I sat on the massage table at the acupuncturist in my community awaiting my turn.  It’s not a private kind of thing, its a place with multiple lazyboys where the folks come in, get their ache-and-pain stories heard, needles put in, and relaxation ensues for about an hour.

Anyway, I’m perched on this table looking around searching for my inner patience (table not chair because for me today my low back is killing me so face down I will go and hope for the best). The typical woo-woo (that’s what my friend Barb calls the kind of crunchy granola new agey stuff we believe in but we know is still a bit out there) music is on. There are two other women in their lazyboys, one eyes closed, the other smiles at me from across the room. I don’t know them and for some reason my ego is so big as to be surprised that I don’t because ‘certainly I know everyone in this town’.

But as I wait, something stops me, takes me elsewhere and it has been in my mind ever since. My eyes fell to my lap, my hands resting. What I saw welled my eyes with tears and my ears with the sound of her voice. My hands. My hands have become my mother’s hands.

Wrinkled, soft skin, her ring on my pinky finger since she passed away in August. As a child I liked to touch her hands, feel the squishy Irish skin, fascinated how it moved and was warm when I touched it. It was so curious to me, not understanding the construction or why it didn’t hurt when I seemed to move her veins around.

And suddenly they became mine…soft, wrinkly, squishy veins and all. I was filled with missing her, her voice calling me Doll, laughing about things together, holding those hands in my mind like I had done right up until she died. Each day now they remind me of you, us, and the moments that were only ours.

people, not my people

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I scroll through the photos of online reverie (see above) and I know many of them. Recognizable faces in recognizable places.  But I am not with them. I am not invited.

This is a phenomenon I just don’t quite understand. We are friendly enough with one another. Frequent the same places, share some of the same interests, ideas. And yet I have not made it into the ‘inner circle’.  I remain on the periphery looking into the snow globe of camaraderie wondering what it is exactly that I am missing the negates my entry.

This has been for quite some time a kind of mystery. What is it that causes admission to a ‘crowd’? To belong to something greater than one’s self that feels like belonging. That these become ‘my people’.

There have been moments, periods of time, of intense connection and spending time to the enth degree until something implodes and we all went our separate directions. All night drug-fueled antics, game playing parties, spending all possible waking moments together talking about something and nothing.  And then it became…nothing.  All parties gone to their own places on earth some never to be heard from again.

Why is that? What happened?

I can’t be sure. Some when off to find some sort of idyllic life they thought they would find somewhere else…somewhere greener, cleaner. I don’t know if they found it.  Some perished on the way. Accidents, drugs, guns, denial of truly living but living a lie instead.  The high school cliques just ended when school ended. Some friends endure, though barely. Forced together by geography back then, nothing compels us so strongly to stay connected as playing ‘Thriller’ or Glenn Miller when we were in band together.

And so it is that I seek ‘my people’.  They evade me, but I know they are out there. How will I know them? They are awake, aware, conscious of there being more than just a waking, working, and sleeping life we exist in. I will know there being no pretension, no bravado or need to tout a story of better-than another. They well laugh out loud, find the joy in mine, and invite me in without expectation.

These here, they are not people. And though it saddens me sometimes, its okay. They aren’t meant to be. There is more for me. More presence and joy and acceptance to find.

I will find you. No matter the cost, no matter how long it takes. Right on Long Rifle.