Old Friend in Nature

rain pictureThe rain is loud enough it has silenced my thoughts. I have had a breather for but a mere moment… as long as mother nature decides I may need one. For this – I am thankful. Life has simply been pouring down on me but when I look up and smile into the rain, I can’t help but feel a joyous upheaval of emotions because it is never “the right time” although, in fact, the right time will never come if you wait.

It began raining tonight. First a little, then a lot. Then it drifted off and across the field; I could see it like an old friend waving me hello. Then it came back with the booms and blunders of the thunder, the lightening, and the eager calls of the crickets. Now it’s gentle, soft and welcoming – like a child’s hand stretched out needing you… As the moths flicker into the enticing light hanging out by the door one may wonder if they are escaping the droplets, surely because it would be cause for death to such fragile wings. The seeping water shows its face into the wood, the screen, I can even feel the misty splashes upon my forehead and cheeks, forearms and bare feet slid out of my favorite flip flops.

The rain washes things away – the mud on the road ahead, the dustiness of the path less traveled, the leaves from the trees – and always reveals something beautiful. For your road ahead is now clean, the path is worn enough to see, and those leaves….those leaves turn into all shades before they fall and then come back again with unforgiving desire to be better and stronger.

I’m so glad I wrote tonight. It feels like oxygen to my lungs and blood in my veins when my thoughts come together long enough for me to get them on paper… Cheers everyone!

-Chris[tine]

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Mother Natures Velvet

I haven’t been here in a while although I miss it.

Those feelings I once had, they are long gone my friend. They’ve been buried in the back yard with the ash from burning trash in the old barrel.

The leaves change like the emotion I wear on my sleeve. Sometimes red like blood and other times, yellow as the bright light of the morning sun. I can feel the dirt in my fingertips from digging in too deep, soft but gritty – irritating and messy with clean up needed. My hands were comfortable in the moss when I touched the tree; like mother natures velvet.

The rings of the tree remind me that with age comes wisdom. With age comes knowledge. With age…sometimes comes pain. With age… often times comes moments of happiness and realization. I’ve grown with wisdom, and knowledge, and noticed that these rings keep layering on the effects of age for not only the tree but for me.

It’s been a while since I’ve been here but I still miss it.

The Jarring Reality – Something for the People

I must admit, currently I am overcome with emotion. An emotion that digs deep into the trenches of my heart and is filtering out an ambition for equality and oneness. A tenderness so passionate that I cannot control the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat begging to evict itself of my body. The innate sense of direction leads me, and it leads me to want to write more. It is leading me to want to speak with people, to converse with them on an intimate level, to understand who and what they are, feel their emotions and journalize their passions. I can’t think of a place in my personal and communal society where a certain individual hasn’t shaped who I am today. I can’t think of a place in my historical and preceding society that hasn’t shaped who I am today; giving me what I need to breathe and eat – these things that give me nutrients and knowledge and wisdom. These abilities to even consider that there was a time before me in which…I simply didn’t matter. My words, my thoughts, my knowledge, my being – just simply didn’t matter.

The abilities I have now are empowering. I have, at my fingertips, that ability to speak to the world. They ability that I can, without lawful retribution, express myself as I see and feel needed. That I can move those who wish to be moved. That I can speak for myself and allow not another person to dictate what I wish to decide for myself. You see – I cannot be disturbed or terrorized by any one particular person or group any longer. I cannot and will not be demonized for what you perceive me to be. And I cannot and will not be disgraced by the hands of those who misunderstand nor do not wish to understand me. The surface of this world is not mine to control, but the working of the superficiality starts with a passion. The workings that go deeper than superficiality, the workings that dig into the seven layers of well-used skin and drive into the muscle that manifests the incalculable possibilities of the human sensibilities that we each withhold.

No longer will I hang my head in doubt or disappointment. No longer will I bite my tongue for refuge or pleasurable attention. No longer!…will I stand here and allow you to intimidate me in whichever way you please. I cannot comprehend your destruction and inhumane practices. The only thing that rattles and awakes me is the unity and oneness amongst ourselves. The jarring reality is, is that there is not a single thing you can take from me that I won’t allow you to take…

Environmental Humility

Some days I wish I was an acoustic hipster singer, other days I wish I was as fast as a mustang horse running across the desert with nothing but the wind in my way. It really all depends on something that is so simple, yet so frustrating to control. The environment I surround my self in. It can be electric like a thousand volts running through my soul – a force driving me so powerful that I cannot stop it. Other days I could easily lose myself in the couch watching re-runs of Big Bang Theory or Law & Order S.V.U. like the tortoise running the race with that damn rabbit. Forget him and his powerful hind legs – pass the popcorn! The echo of productivity resonates within me, but on those particular days it does absolutely nothing – it just gives me a day off and lets me bask in the origin of laziness. Please note the ‘origin of laziness’ – I feel so guilty when I am to extend those times into the depths of laziness for this is not who I am, nor who I want to be.

Our environments are a seasoned predictor of who we are to become. Having long heard of the trials and tribulations of someone such as Jobe, we cannot comprehend why an individual would come across these paths in life. I am not versed extensively on Jobe, but I have heard of him all of my life. It makes me wonder what his environments were like in life – what was the energy around him like? Was he whitewashed with negativity and submissive to the casual tendencies of life to storm down on him? Is this why he came across all of those many unsettling happenings in his life? Well how come he couldn’t just stand up and say “No More! I am DONE with this inapt lifestyle I have been born to!” Maybe because he was predisposed to it, maybe because he chose to live this way, or dare I say it – maybe God chose this life for him. I am unsure as to what the proper answer is, but I will take some lessons from him and make some necessary alterations for my own life as to not allow those wicked unanswered proceedings to overtake me.

Understanding how to address your environment is a task that may at times seem unattainable. The authentication of having power of your own environment is something that somehow escapes us every time we look for it. We cannot have complete control over our environment due to the inability to control the willpower of others, but we do have control over what we do in our environments. We can leave, escape it and leave behind the remnants of what we once might have been. Change it, alter it into a state in which blossoms the truth within ourselves and offers a more suitable attribution to what we want to become. We can organically rebuild ourselves to the sculpture in which we desire, this is what you have power over. Complementing yourself with the right stream of consciousness around you, fitting it in just where it needs to be and giving yourself the understanding to let go of what you cannot control.

Nameste

Driving like grandma

Learning to love the city will never happen for me. All it’s bright lights, smoggy haze, beggers, bangers, tight spaces and I can’t ever seem to find a parking spot. People are always in a rush to get to somewhere and I feel like I’m just moseying on along in my old truck, wondering what the hurry is all about. Your not going to make it far with the stop lights every mile and a half anyhow. How is there still such an abundance of traffic on the eight lane highway dotted with super-everything-shopping centers, coffee shops and work establishments?

The claustrophobia is intense. The street lights reach down with their long giraffe necks and stare at me with one eye, constantly wondering where it is that I am going? Towering buildings lie on the edge of the black sea of asphalt and I can’t help but think how many stairs are in there. Instead of marking a mile across earth, we can now mark things vertically. Just what I want, more room for people to look down upon me. They must be pretty disappointed they can’t open their windows and get a fresh breeze way up there.

The silence is muddled with roars of car tires and the occasional scream of a siren that lets me know their is more unwanted disturbances somewhere near-by. I remember a time when a homeless man killed another for 30 bucks and a pair of old worn out tenny runners. Left his body on the edge of a retention pond like the trash that accumulates around the brush. 30 bucks and worn out shoes? Maybe karma came back and gave him a foot fungus.

I am sure the city has many beautiful things, but they are sparse. Even finding the natural beauty in your yard is hard because the background of cookie-cutter houses, reckless kids running around, and the dog peeing on the fire-hydrant there in the corner of your luscious green tall fescue ruins the foreground like splattered paint. Can I just see one 100+ year old oak tree still surviving? Some thick evergreens? How about a patch of grass that hasn’t been covered up with concrete? Can a girl go to the local watering hole without there being a mess of other people looking to wet a line and drown a lure?

I remember when the only bottle neck you knew of was on a beer, not during rush hour.

“You can take a girl outta the country, but you can’t take the country outta the girl.”

Lightswitch

“There was a dream and one day I could see it…like a bird in a cage. I broke in & demanded somebody free it.” – The Avett Brothers

It’s like a flick of the light switch turning off and on. Sometimes I think there isn’t anyone home for weeks or months. When the light is on and burning, it’s one bulb is bright enough to reach into even the darkest of corners in the dimmest of settings. It hangs by one cord from the paint-peeling ceiling; the kinked cord reminds me of the years it’s been hanging there getting yanked on and pulled around. I don’t quite remember when it was hung here in this worn out room, but I could probably tell you about every splatter of paint, oil stains, and smear of charcoal on the walls. Smells of wood burning and shavings of soft pine lay a mess on the floor…

My best work has been born when this light is on. Even though it’s a fictitious light, I can still see it and feel it’s warmth.

Lately, this light has been on and burning ever-so-brightly. My imagination has been spawning so many ideas it’s almost maddening. There isn’t enough time in the day for gardening, painting, writing, arranging, decorating, sewing, refinishing, building, burning, carving, and experimental things I want to try. Sometimes I feel like I can’t calm my mind long enough to even take a breath with all of the ideas rolling around in my head waiting to become more than just that…an idea.

When the light gets turned off and the ideas are left paralyzed, it’s tough digging yourself out. Losing the inspiration, the drive, and hitting the brick wall of writers block cripples you. Your creativity isn’t just a way of expressing yourself – it’s a living and breathing thing that pumps the blood through your veins and the oxygen into your lungs.

I hope this light stays on for a while this time. I can’t stand the darkness.

The Old Dirt Road (1 0f ?)

Blackwater, Virginia.

It has it’s conspiracies, it’s myths, and it’s tough folks that happen to call this place home for many reasons. Riding down the streets of this small village is like taking a place in time and stopping it, never to see the light of the cities that surround it or hear the jets that happen to pass over for touch-n-go’s at a nearby airfield. The pine trees stand tall and sway, as if they are saying a gentle hello to passers-by. The corn grows tall and reaches for the sky, requesting patience from the local farmers. The deer are comfortable in their burrows and the fish swim freely in the muddy dark waters; only a hook and worm are sure to catch a beast which bury in the mud here. The small concrete bridge has replaced the longstanding wooden bridge and the general store, better known as The Trading Post, has all but been updated one time in it’s long life. The floors still creak and the bathrooms are still located outside in their respective buildings but the food is still good and friends are always welcomed, regardless of age, creed, or color. It’s a slow place on the map that has been all but forgotten by the rest of the world.

Years ago, a small woman from Carolina and a burly man from Nebraska decided to call this place home. Setting out to build a life they had longed for years in advance was finally upon them. These old dirt roads of Blackwater were what their future was to be built upon.

With a grandchild on the way, the decaying marriage of the oldest daughter, and a broken marriage unfolding for herself, Patricia found faith in the Lord and requested his hand in her travels through this life.

Patricia’s early life had constantly overflowed with changes and less-than-comfortable alterations that never allowed her to sit quaintly and enjoy simple things in life. Coming from a home of eight farm-raised sprigs including herself, four boys and four girls bound their way into the world raising cane. Sometimes I hear stories about how her sisters would waste the summer days away slathering on corn oil and drinking in the immense sunshine on the banks of a local watering hole. Patricia reminds me that she told them repeatedly “You’ll look old before you even get old!” but yet, they decided they would rather cook in the oil of the fountain of youth as they saw it. The brothers, mischievous as boys are, helped around the farm diligently. Sadly, three of them died early in life and I was only able to meet one of them when I was young; a John Deere mechanic with grease up to his elbows.

 

#writing101

Window Pane

The candles burn and the wind blows softly against the single pane windows. Leaves wisp by reminding you that the time has arrived. The colors are changing and the old oak tree sways in contentment; pleased to have seen another of it’s many years. Feeling the warmth of the sun and the chill of the breeze, I know that this time has come again. Time for cozy pit fires, evenings filled with beautiful sunsets, and the hibernation of our beloved foliage and wildlife. Sweatshirts and flannels become a staple, along with denim and a good serving of my favorite hot beverage like coffee or hot apple cider. I can no longer wear my favorite flip-flops and have traded them in for a comfortable pair of boots, acknowledging that their not filled with sand for I am a beach girl at heart regardless of the season. There is just something about the drawn out crash of the waves, the prominence of the soft sand, the mystery and serenity of what the beach offers; it cannot keep me away for long.

Saying goodbye to summer is never easy. It’s the goodbye to warm sunny days and the outfall of happiness, the goodbye to summer love and the return to reality, the retirement of long days and few threads for clothes. Trips to the lake are a past time, along with boat rides and cookout’s. Family vacations and memories made are remembered, not forgotten. The beach towels are put away. Gardeners say goodbye to their precious blooms of color and activity throughout the year, giving way to the cutbacks and dying off; shades of brown, red and yellow are beginning to encompass us.

It really appears to be a time of year for death and sadness. It appears as though the world is simply shutting down on us, persuading us to return indoors and accept the walls that stare us down throughout the wintertime. The beauty is oftentimes hard to see in this time of year. With the constant lingering of  progressively chilling weather, our favorite trees are losing their leaves as if they are crying for the suns warmth once again – if only for a moment. Animals are collecting, hopefully, enough food to sustain them throughout the winter, and we humans are checking our furnace and wood supply for it’s promising warmth. Lives are shutting down, hibernation is actively taking place, and although springtime is simply a place in time, it seems as though it will take an eternity to reach.

This place in time is probably one of my favorites. It gives a chance for recharging and enlightenment, a quiet peaceful time that reminds us we all have to slow down once in a while. The gradualness of the shortened days, the requests for holiday arrangements and appointments, and even the long, dense books that keep us innately intrigued throughout the months – it’s like you can feel the intense solidarity and quiet that snow blankets around us with all of its insulation. It’s the most lonesome sentiment, yet it carries the beauty that is unknown until it has been experienced. Within this feeble place in time, we are reminded of what brought us to this rare, and sometimes unwanted moment. The hustle and bustle has left us, the sunshine doesn’t lead our way anymore – only the paths swept clean of leaves and other notable changes can carry us to our next destination now.

Understanding: Life’s Resource

The inability to try and understand others plagues society. No, I didn’t say “like” or “dislike” or any other judgmental word that somehow seems to pour out of us when we are confronted with another opinion, thought, way of life, appearance, or whatever else it is that we don’t know. If we can’t claim it as a part of us, then we immediately are overcome with strong feelings to defend what we do claim as ourselves.  This week has seemed to be a learning experience for me in terms of this topic. I was confronted with the topic of polyamory.

Polyamory. The act of loving (intimately, emotionally, but not always sexually) more than one. Genuinely. Truly. And most importantly, with an openness and trusting nature that allows for no walls or coverings from “what happens behind closed doors”.

I may be wrong in a few things, I may not be covering all the serious definitions of this subject, but I get the gist of the whole deal. And I must say, I am in no way a commissioner for this lifestyle. It’s not that I don’t like the fact that your essentially sharing your love with someone else and not growing with one person. It’s not the dismantling of  vows that you take for one person and one person alone. It’s not even the perception that your basically given a license to cheat on your spouse but since they know about it, somehow that makes it “okay”. That lifestyle just isn’t for me. After hearing about someone I know who considers themselves to be living this lifestyle, I was ( I admit) a little taken back. Yes, I was immediately judgmental but I didn’t shun the person and create all of my own thoughts about it, digging my claws in and ripping apart their decisions for some reason that was unbeknownst to me. I asked them about it in an effort to understand.

Asking about something is a hard thing to do, especially when you already have preconceived notions about that something in particular. Then, when it goes against what you feel is right for you, which apparently is what everyone else is supposed to follow (?), it’s as if you’ve asked a pack of wolves to release you from the grip of their clenched jaws ; it’s painful, scary…and life just isn’t the same afterward. I’ve got news for you. Life as a configuration, doesn’t revolve around you or them.

Our life – as our claim – is what we make of it. Recently, I have happened across the philosophies of Martin Heidegger and his thoughts about relations and the inauthentic life. Essentially, to live an authentic life (according to Heidegger) we must first realize that although our life has been predicted by the ‘They’ (others) but eventually, we ask ourselves ‘what is our meaning in life?’. We then determine that although the They has dictated our lives before hand, we now have the power to alter the form in which we live our lives. The content of our life is still utterly unchangeable, but the form in which we choose is ours. We…all of us…strangers, friends, acquaintances, haters, family…are all looking to the next relationship of various sorts in an effort to continue building ourselves as individuals. Living an authentic life through understanding.

Living authentically takes practice, it doesn’t just happen. We would be fooling ourselves if we assumed that we become and develop certain virtues and aspects of our beings simply through coincidence. Of course there are certain personality traits that we are born with, biological & genetic factors that connect to our appearances and dispositions, but virtues are developed and thought out. They require fine tuning and mistakes to learn from, experiences and habits that essentially become second nature.

This week has been interesting. It has also been testing. But none-the-less this week has taught me something. It’s taught me that we cannot continue to claim ourselves as the only thing that adds value to our lives. The understanding of others will allow us to practice a more authentic lifestyle, recognizing that we are all connected in some way. Maybe not through evolution, maybe not through cultures or thoughts, but with interaction through our relations. It is what builds us and allows us to become individuals.

 

Cheers my friends!

 

Understanding…Or the lack there of

Free YourselfI have always loved this elephant. I give many thanks to whomever created it an allowed me to relish in the wondrous creativity and the utter truth that lies within this elephant.

Free Yourself. Simple words, right? How come so many of us cannot seem to do what we know is right for our beings? How come we stay trapped in the grips of others? Allowing ourselves to become so consumed, so diligent in following, and so righteous in what we know will not serve us well in the end…

I have always struggled with you.  There have been ups and there have been downs. I can remember, like it was yesterday, running around in one of the Easter dresses a family member fashioned up for me. Hearing you calling for me “Find the eggs! Your getting warm!” absolutely overcome with happiness that I was independent and ventured off from one of my best childhood friends. I was determined to find my own Easter eggs. She could have her own too; you’ve always said I was good at sharing for being an only child.

I have one picture of all of us together. One lone picture that proves that we were a family at one time. You know, the kind you get done at the mall or Wal-Mart with the ridiculous looking backdrop and the photographer who takes a million pictures and only has one good one that your satisfied with. I have carried this picture with me many places and have always liked it, because unlike the others. All three of us are in it. There is no malice, no discomfort shown, no beer cans or cigarettes. Just smiles, and what appears to be a middle class family doing all they can to love each other and grow together; chasing that American Dream I suppose.

Dreams seem to have a way of bursting into flames right before your eyes, turning to ash in the palm of your hand. Even though it burns, you don’t put it down, you hold it and search for your glue, too young to realize that glue can’t put this back together. The alcohol soaked seams won’t hold the stitches of honesty and understanding. It seems impossible to piece back together what we all once thought was possible to obtain. You cannot build a house with cocaine and weed, nor with alcohol and distress. You cannot glue glass back together once it has been broken into pieces; you’d be better off saving them for a mosaic later in life if it could survive that long.

Imagining myself as a little girl, carrying along her Easter basket, dressed in a frilly white dress with a matching hat and socks and those shiny white shoes. I have carried these pieces of my mosaic. Carried them far and carried them with pride, for I knew that one day I would understand what broke the glass that made up my life. One day, I would long to understand the meaning of all of those jagged edges, those ones that make you bleed love and understanding, the ones that make you bleed hate, bleed distrust and imagination. Imagination. Imagine. Image. The pictures of what my life was, what it is, and what one day it will work itself out to be.

One day….still working on that.