Monday, September 15, 2008

Here's a little write I did after my trapezing experience this past weekend. It was so much fun and I hope to do it again very soon.

Imitating Birds:
I nervously chalk my wrists and try not to rationalize. I climb the narrow 5 inch wide staircase, one step at a time and reach for the platform with a few other low hand holds wrapped in white rope. Up I climb with legs wobbling behind me. Like a puppet, I pull them up and force them straight under my body as I balance on the narrow platform with four other feet.

“Ok ready?” He asks as I rake my mind for memory of what I am suppose to do and give him a blank ghostly stare.

“Put your feet up front with toes to the very edge.” I do as he says but dare not glance beyond my toes to the 4 story drop below. I lean precariously off the small wood platform at a straight and severe angle entrusting myself to this complete stranger. I reach with all my effort for the bar sitting far off the 'cliff'. One other hand wraps around the other side of the bar and I’m fit to fly.

“Ready! Bend your knees. Hep—jump!” Straight up I lift as if in slow motion and then fall with the wind whizzing past me and I lose all thought of any meaning. Somewhere in the distance I faintly hear “legs up”. I do as told and before I know it I’m weightless and looking at my feet.

“Hands off!” The command says. Without thinking my hands also fly and I’m looking directly into the eyes of someone else who has a firm clasp on me. Suddenly I feel as if I’m on the biggest human swing and my breath is blown right out of my lungs and I become it—weightless and free. For several indelible seconds I feel an exhilarating love of my spirit and I smile. Before I can lather myself in it, I’m bobbing in a net that feels more like a bird’s nest and my adrenalin has me pumped up much higher than I actually am.

From this point on, I’d be envious of birds drifting in the circular currents of the wind high above the rolling dry, teddy-bear brown fields. I’ve always wanted to fly and this was a big tasty slice of what freedom in the sky feels like. I’m hooked!

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Vacation:
It's time to break from the pack and itch at our creative claustrophobia. It’s my time to reflect and dream up ideas that have been sitting dormant and release the angst that has been building up. We reach for expansiveness-- whether it be the great outdoors or a window for our contained imagination. We hope for the best, but know it’s hard to unplug from daily reality.

The only problem with vacations is there are many more ideas and dreams of what’s to be done and accomplished than there is time. Never factored in is down-time and what is finally your time. All the time in cubicles, under hard hats and in suits has gotten you nowhere- not even a confidence booster. So squeezed into small vacations—often only 2 days or into late, late nights is your freedom to create your being and map your essence. It’s where you drop your pin prick of a mark on this fragile space of time—not a big one, but at least it’s something real and original- something to be built upon in the next generation.

Like working with toothpicks of time, we create and build forms, shapes and homes. These house bigger ideas and bigger life forms that seep out into the world and hopefully gain some recognition, influence or notice publicly. We have to work fast and efficiently ‘cause we are working with slivers of time and slivers of budgets just to do what we’re meant to do. Perhaps it is just experimenting at first, which is always risky because it takes so much time to “play” and it often times leads to dead-ends, but you know the impact of what might be. It’s nothing without practice and play. Like a dog hunting down a scent you don’t know where it will lead but you taste it.

Without risk or vacation from the norm, you’re simply a robot of someone else’s creation, which often times, that too, is just a form of paper-white dull play with larger budgets and no imagination. When will vacations be a vital, necessary and demanded part of our standard of living- a life force that has to be revived frequently before we can be an upstanding human being of real purpose?
Lost are the years of stories I captured in my turbulent youth. Two diaries buried in a landfill somewhere after a down-the-street move. Lost is the heartache, teenage angst and angry words spewed out on pages and pages of recycled line paper. Forgotten is all the pain and agony of long-distance loves ripping themselves apart in the middle of the night. Departed is the fear and anger of parents languishing about their spoiled lives. Gone are the days of a fragile, sequestered identity with unexpressed maturity. It was therapy and a voice for the soul. My pen was my best friend when no one would listen and a whipping post when I needed it most.

It’s just as well. With the new blanket and shelter time has created in the wake of all the heartache, there are plenty of stories yet to be written and more waves to ride upon. Once writing, it’s not uncommon to experience a déjà vu or two. Perhaps a few buried treasures will haunt my pen and paper with memories thought to be abandoned. Like a trigger-happy photographer, I capture them all with loud clicking keystrokes.
My Last Meal:
It was squash that I couldn’t stand yet Mom always grilled it up because Dad liked it. Each time she did, we would be in for a long night. My sister and I weren’t picky eaters. We’d eat outside the bread, cheese and pasta food groups, but we were kids and food texture was a big factor in what we eat. Anything too slimy and it wasn’t going down right.

We’d eat the chicken with the strange leafy blooms-- artichokes I believe they are called and we tasted the salty balls that looked like rabbit pellets. Even the cottage cheese which resembled curdled, lumpy, spoiled milk slipped down the hatch. Yet when it came to the squash I just shook my head and sealed my mouth shut. It was a no-go! The last time I attempted to force it down I chased it with milk and gagged so my eyes watered and my throat croaked in reverse. I wasn’t going to let that happen again.

While my sister and I took turns distracting our parents with silly questions and bombastic stories, we’d make magic disappearances with the squash. Under the table, I’d first try feeding the squash to the dog. No matter how much sauce was on it, the dog wouldn’t touch it. (You know it’s bad when an animal that will lap up its own regurgitated food won’t even eat it.) When that didn’t work I’d quickly throw it under my placemat.

Then it was my turn and I’d put the parents in a frenzy about an exaggerated rumor I heard, while my sister hid the detested veggie in her milk glass. Another limp squishy piece of squash would be shoved under her chair’s seat cushion. But this was usually a desperate last resort because it was often forgotten for a few days before Mom would come screaming from the kitchen red in the face with a threatening wooden spoon in hand.

For the last few morsels of gooey, seedy squash we would drop it into our mouths- careful to move our tongues out of the way and race to the bathroom- spitting it up in the toilet. One time I tried the sink but that just made a horrible mess and I nearly gagged again just touching it with my bare hands. It feels like yesterday that we would sit at our table plotting the squash escape, but it’s since been the last meal I’ve had to turn down. Luckily squash isn’t in season for many of us.