At Twilight

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Location: Midwest, United States

Thursday, May 21, 2009

'Tis the Season

This is the season when my heart, from May 15 through the end of the Memorial Day weekend, withdraws to a sheltered sanctuary of reminiscence, prayer, silent greetings, melancholy, penance...and echoes of despair.

One would have thought this misbegotten season was fated to dissipate or even disappear by now. It hasn’t.

Perhaps it never will.

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Gratuitous Non-Sequitor

I've found the motorcycle that will serve as my next ride: the 2009 BMW K1300GT. It's a marvel of precision engineering and gorgeous, consummate construction. I'm not sure if I'm lusting to ride it or lick it. Oh well, I'll sort out that conundrum 'bout the time I figure out how to pay for it...

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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Just 'Cuz

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Gratuitous Non-Sequitor

I'm absolutely addicted to Animal Planet's "Growing Up..." series. Programs I've viewed included: growing up...wolf, bear, lion, cheetah, leopard, Tasmanian Devil, chimp, kangaroo, koala, panda, walrus and a few others. Baby mammals/marsupials are simply too cute to resist.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Women I've Known

She came to love a pirate. He promised diamonds and adventures galore. She paid no nevermind that he was married for, you see, she trusted and believed. He came to spend her money. She wrote the checks and paid the bills...until there was precious little left for either. He spares no time in loving her. He gives her too little and she gives him too much. But she claims he is her “teacher” because she believes in Destiny. He is her pirate and she loves him still.

She met him on the corner, all dark-eyed and black-leathered. She gave him her heart and he gave her a ring. But he lusted after whiskey and whiskey made him cruel. He would beat on her when stupored...
but he’d repent...and then would do it all again. She dreamed her dreams but lived a life quite opposite. She tried to leave him; yes, she did. Sadly, her parents couldn’t cotton that. It was a matter of Faith for them. For her? It was bruises and contusions and hopelessness beyond all hope. She picked up a was her only escape.

She married her high school sweetheart, a handsome hard-working man he was. But she was a square peg and he had fashioned a round hole. He bristled and scoffed at her dimensions, demanded what she had no power to give or be. He left her feeling substandard, guilt-ridden, ashamed and unsure. Her story is still being written, the ending is still...quite obscure.

She married her mentor, a well-credentialed, pedigreed sort. She gave him her body and she gave him a son. He gave her his myriad admonishments, his disdain and his requirements. Still, she claimed he was a doting man (though his needs trumped those of any and all). She swore he was a good man, a good father. But did he listen to his child? Did he care enough to savor his own progeny? Maybe yes or maybe no. But he’s hers, she’s his, and together they remain.

She came to love sheer luxury...granite countertops and gold-plated faucets galore. She had voids to fill. Holes in an otherwise gorgeous soul. He came to loathe his money, her drinking and the harsh tirades. He gave what he could, ‘til there was nothing left to give. And she raged. He loved her and loves her still, but he walked away from save his soul. Both lost everything, all that they had cherished. Both are doomed to grieve.

* * *

The casual reader may think that I wrote this out of pique or petulance. The casual reader would be wrong. These are women
I have loved. Women I love still. That’s not to say I understood or understand them. Not at all. I’m no bodhisattva...I am very much a fool.

These are women I have come to love. Not for how they chose to live, but for the beauty I saw within. Now, I’m not one to believe in the Great Hereafter. But for them? For them I dream of Heaven.

For them I dream...eternal happiness.

They've earned it.

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

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I ventured onto my balcony to inhale a snootful of crisp, spring air. Today was a day of both bright sky and storm clouds. Black clouds drifted sporadically through the azure-blue to deposit fat droplets that plopped lazily against the deck and railing...only to mystically disappear.

I was hoping to see a rainbow. What I saw was something far more profound.

I spied a red-tailed hawk winging its way skyward. And hot on that crimson tail was a common sparrow. The hawk swooped and cart-wheeled as the sparrow, wings beating furiously, struggled to keep up. The hawk dove, careened, sprinted towards the sun. And the sparrow? Well, the sparrow did not relent in its attack. What it lacked in dexterity, it compensated for with tenacity. Size wise, it was akin to a rowboat harassing a luxury yacht. But the sparrow would not relent. And the hawk could not wing free.

What caused all this ruckus? I’ll venture two guesses: the hawk had devoured a fresh, new egg...or...the hawk had feasted on a fledgling. No matter. The sparrow was hell-bent on vengeance, and the hawk had reason to regret its transgression.

There are forces in Nature beyond my comprehension: magnetism, gravity and nuclear fission, to name but three. They pale in comparison to the bond between a mother and child. Heaven forbid
I should stumble betwixt a momma grizzly and her cub, between a Mom and her daughter or son. Bonds such as these are sacrosanct.

They are not meant to be broken.

I stood on my balcony on Mother’s Day, and found myself cheering for a sparrow.

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Sunday, May 03, 2009

Things Change

Years pile atop years. As the count climbs higher, the mind and body change. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful for the decades granted. I’ve been lucky to last this long, and I’m sure to appreciate however many more years may still come. Admittedly, I’ve wasted a few but, all in all, they’ve had a salutary effect...on my brain. I am truly grateful for the wisdom that can only come from years of experience. As for changes to the body, well, that’s a different story. Although I’m somewhat bemused by the proliferating “laugh lines” and silvered hairs, I would dispense with all the other changes to the body (post puberty) if I could.

* * *

My friends and I were loitering about. I heard a mewling. Funny isn’t it, how a plaintive cry can sound directionless? I tried my best to locate the creature connected to the cries. I searched high and low.
I peered betwixt tires and shrubs, behind tree trunks and beneath bumpers. This all took a while before Eureka! A cat...crammed beneath a curbside storm water grate. Some black-hearted cretin had stuffed a scrawny cat beneath that heavy iron grill. I fished him out and called him “Sewer”.

Sewer was the funkiest feline that ever came to stay. He looked to be an implausible Abyssinian/orange tiger concoction with a body designed by El Greco. I mean this cat was ALL ears, snoot and elongated sinewy soul. Never saw anything like him before or since.

It took me only a day or two to discover that Sewer LOVED to fly. He lived for leaps to and from unbelievable heights. He would crash into me begging to be tossed high into the air. He would leap onto a screen door, hanging by his claws as I waggled the door with him plastered spread-eagle near the top. He could easily propel himself to the top edge of any open door, the tops of refrigerators, cabinets, shelves or any other improbable landing strip high above the ground where he would perch and bat at my hair as I wandered by. I rechristened him “Astro Cat” (“AC” for short). I’d never known such a daredevil. He would have absolutely loved bungee-jumping.

Things change.

There came a day when I saw AC coiled on the kitchen floor, rump twitching, eyeing the refrigerator. This was nothing new. In fact, it was daily amusement for AC. He sprang. His front paws touched the top edge. His hind legs did not. He fell backwards, spinning as he crashed to ground. He landed perplexed...confused and shaken.

And he never tried to leap that high again. AC, the cat with cravings for the derring-do oozing from his pores had come to ground. Oh, he still gazed skyward, rump twitching, but he never launched himself into the stratosphere again.

* * *

I crouch beside my cobwebbed motorcycle. Rump twitching. I know I need to ride. I crave to be mesmerized by the white lines connecting the plains to the mountains and on towards the seas. It’s a gnawing hunger that must be satisfied. And here I stoop beside the machine that has carried me to so many places over countless miles and realize that it won’t carry me such distances ever again. The years have piled atop years and the body has changed. I simply know my once-Spartan carcass couldn’t take the pounding and the stress.

So now it begins. The search for a “proper” touring bike. One of those bulging behemoths that offer plush seating, robust shock absorbers, and a myriad of creature comforts that once evinced a measure of scorn in me. They’ve now become necessities.

My hunger must be sated, but I can’t feast on humble victuals. Soon enough, I will come to sit astride some plush ride, a bit embarrassed, a bit bemused, more than a wee bit humbled.

Things change. But the road still calls and I will answer.

Some things change. Some never do.

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