Monthly Archives: November 2010

I get to be there

“I get to be there.”

I ran across this phrase in an email from a friend, it stuck in me. She was alluding to a time of grieving, healing on the horizon for me.

I can’t hear myself saying those words to anybody.  That doesn’t make me proud.

I’m not good at being there. I am elsewhere, always. Behind, before, circling about. And when needed fully there, even in crisis, I struggle to stay near in my person, if not my body.

But there are people who I want “there.” I can think of some. Maybe I am especially morose, but I do occasionally make a list of people ( and write it somewhere to be found) that I would really want there, say if my parent died or child was grievously injured. The older I get, the more I think about such things.

In times of great grief, I, the loner, really do not want to be alone.

I’ve been thinking about this. It’s been coming up in me. So, it’s my strong suspicion that I have some grieving to do.

I’m one to put that stuff off. My mantra has always been, “I have to…”

I counted once during my most survivalist mode – I said it like 100 times a day.

My Dada died when I was 11. I grieved that when I was 19. Because, I think, people came into my life who made it possible. They were safe – in a way for which I have no words…I never felt that there was anything that I had to do when I was near them, except be me. I had responsibility for holding – nothing. My job in our society of friends was, if I liked, to be clever and insightful and deep….and to drive, but I like driving, and I much preferred to drive with my directionally challenged friends. Otherwise, there were no weights to keep pressed over my head all the time.

As “I get to be there,” rolls around in me, I think of weights not surrendered…maybe not pressed in full extension, but worn round my shoulders like some mantle….mine, always mine.

I lost my grandmother, seven years ago, the one that I am suspiciously quiet about. Words, tears are yet under the cloak of  “I have to…” Then there’s that ten years of my life lost and all the friendships I sacrificed, and the daylight vision that now seems nightmare and ….

I am doing something that I never do…I’m going to go grieve…some things.

I have to…


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thanksgiving recap

Well, we had a great time at the “farm.” Rob’s brother has a little spread in east Alabama and he hosted cousins and family and friends and neighbors for Thanksgiving. We had people from all over the world – or who had at least lived all over the world, sitting down with our little Alabama gang. That kinda gave me hope. The conversation was spirited and animated. I learned so much. One of the “foreign” folks even said that I was interesting…that made me smile and believe that there was hope for me, too.

“bout dark, we took off toward “home.” Well, I guess that I should say Athens. I don’t know if Alabama will ever fall from my lips as home. We spent the rest of the weekend with my Mama and Daddy…and a few friends that came by. We ate about fifty times and went to some favorite haunts and watched the game together. It was cold…and as I am now a fair weather fan, we stayed home, ate the tickets and another round of food.  The problem with going to the game is that our tickets are not all together. So, in some ways this was a treat. We watched the game on ESPN, ate, again, and screamed, cussed our woeful team…to a razor’s edge victory, that we will take. I was exhausted from making all those tackles. It is hard to watch Georgia play, it’s hard on you.

Today, I did as I promised and cut greenery at the lake for my Christmas decorations and broke free a few stumps for kindling. I have a sweet-smelling fire a going now.

As I walked down my favorite streets and deer runs it was hard to believe that I really live anywhere else.

In so many ways, I don’t.

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sometimes the stars align

Sometimes, the stars align. Sometimes, things just come together. Sometimes, everything that seemed so long impossible shifts into place. And everything fits in “of course” style.

Often, the track of days is almost indistinguishable. Often, hours pass and leave me wondering what came of them? Often, I stare confused at circumstances that seem so random and orderless.

Everyday matters. I know it somewhere deep in me. They all add in somehow, all are necessary. Everyday is, if I can remember, a gift.

But sometimes, the stars really do seem to align. And I must say, I love it when sometimes is now.

God, thank you for some times like this.

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guest post – Kathryn Talbott- slam poetry i

I’ve been challenging a few of my writer friends…to a little slam poetry battle.

So, all you writer friends…Consider yourselves sweetly challenged.

One of them took me up. One of my faithfully reading, occasionally commenting  Kathryns.

A little challenge out to the rest of you.

Push through
Push through it all and move
Move aside
Move aside that which masks as the ultimate purpose of life
And yet more often than not is the life we lead
Slide over the paperwork
Hide the files
Turn off the devices that tie us to this world
Defy it all by finding a voice and
Stand up
Stand up for something that is right
Despite the risk of cause
Negating the price of being yourself
Chance that those you love
Will look at you strange
Lower their gaze
Or worse
Turn their backs
Turn their backs against that cause
That now defines you
Because you chose
Because you chose to stand
And now it is all you have to stand for
And without standing for what you have found to be right
You have no reason at all to stand
And so that choice
Was never a choice of your own
It somehow chose you
When there you were trying to be brave
And choose it.

What you got gang?
Come on.

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I have a friend, too far away, a writer friend who is not writing, not for my eyes at least. No judgement, I have been there. She bopped onto my facebook chat tonight. She had a good reason to do so and I happily obliged her request.  Then, I gave her grief for not bursting onto the comment sections of my feeble posts and forcing me forward.  I goaded her into letting loose on me.  She obliged on another stage, eviscerating my oh so choppy and disjointed intro. Faithful are the wounds.

I sure would like to be reading some of her light to my way material. Her encouraging endnote, she threw me that bone, was more poetic than anything I had labored over for hours.

You know what they say about bushels and all, my friend.

I love you.


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my little boy

I was looking for Trent a pair of khakis, he has to wear them at school. Trent is not what you would call careful with his clothes. He is rough and rude towards them. Consequently, he gets his khakis from the thrift store. He doesn’t care. A long shopping adventure for him is 4 minutes, unless we are in the hunting/fishing store. Then all bets are off.

I was quickly making my way down the rack, I know by feel what fabrics his 16-year-old self will tolerate, when I ran up against this older  gentleman. I smiled and said, “Hello.” I am a friendly shopper. He offered that he was finished looking where I needed to look next, to go ahead, that  he was just trying to decide. I mentioned something about looking for some khakis for my little boy. He tilted his head toward the rack and asked, “How little is he?”

“Bout your size, he weighs about 200, maybe 210.”

He started to smile and snicker, “It might be time to drop that little, mam.”

“Yes, sir, I guess it is,” I grinned back.

There is nothing little about my blue-eyed boy, not his wit or talent or love for anything living. Not the size of his world or his hunger to wander all about it. Just the time I have to hold him here.

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don’t feel the need to impress

I was talking about an ideal vacation: books, great food that I don’t cook, friends that I don’t feel the need to impress… there was more in that verbalization.

I’m trying, trying with all I am, to get to that place…the place where I don’t feel the need to impress, or even do my best. It’s not about me quenching my desire to care, to choose carefully my words. Words are arrows and all. They slay and wound with love. I am not renouncing my call to wield well.

But, there is a place – a dwelling – a moment between…  rarely known… with a safe, secure sentinel, in a  garrison of grace.

The strong listener who can hear, hold and not tremble.

Where… all impressions will be the marks of  bent and  twisted  characters. Contorted beyond recognition, I hope… I star in these long silenced stories.

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