My Shoes!

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I’m finishing and loading up a bunch of things today, because I had that marvelous combination of time, internet access and my neuropathy being veddy, veddy quiet. Enjoy!

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“You can’t understand someone until youve walked a mile in their shoes.”

What a ridiculous idea! I wouldn’t want to be in your shoes for two steps and I won’t let you walk a mile in mine. I wouldn’t even let you walk around the block in them.

This is my path. My pain. My difficult road. And sometimes, it’s my easy street. You couldn’t stand to wear my shoes for a minute. Stop looking at them.

This isn’t some kind of challenge. And walking in my shoes won’t make you more empathetic or less judgemental. You’ll just end up pissed off with sore toes and a twisted ankle.

Oh, it’s possible the whole experience would give you some fleeting respect, a little awe for how I’ve managed to traverse such uneven ground in mismatched shoes for all these years. You might marvel at how most of the scars from my falls ended up on my insides instead of on my knees. But your appreciation won’t last because after you’ve taken your pity tour, you’ll be tottering along in your own shoes again, feeling quite superior. While you’re strolling easily or scrambling over debris in YOUR path, you’ll forget all about walking a mile or a minute of mine, although from time to time it may cross your mind that you’re glad you don’t have to.

I’ll let you in on a little secret because I know you won’t remember it next time we meet. I don’t always walk in my shoes either. Sometimes I kick them off and run completely off track for a while plunging my bare feet in sand or wiggling my toes in the grass. Sometimes I stop and lie flat on my back and thrust my feet into the cool night air and laugh at the sensation of lightness.

Sometimes I think subversive thoughts about not putting them back on again or just buying a new pair. But, no, they’re my shoes. Sometimes; a comfortable old friend, sometimes a particularly cruel bully that shadows me home, taking my refuge. Some days they hurt me to my bones, other days they soothes my soles.

I’ll walk in them until they become ghosts. When they fall off in tatters, I’ll walk barefoot until the sun sets.

LM – 2014 / 2016 /2017

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The Deep

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THE DEEP

Do you feel my heart beneath your feet?
Do you feel the wave of turbulence about to spring up from the deep?
Do you sense that hand upon your back?
Do you know with every waking thought that a moment’s going to crack?

There’s a storm a brewing in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it knocking despite the fire at your door.
Don’t be afraid to answer. It’s too loud to be ignored.

Do you hear the simple rhythm of the night?
When you look up, do you have a crown of stars or see merely scattered light?
Do you care what all this fight is for?
Do you know how many years of blood have left their mark upon this floor?

There’s a song forming in the deep;
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
I know you hear it calling through the forest, over the hills
Don’t be afraid to sing along, or listen standing still.

Have you felt time pass you, taking toll?
Do you hear the sounds of cracks and fissures, breakage in your soul?
Do you fear it’s certainly too late,
Now that you finally can articulate the change you want to make?

There’s a pearl forming in the deep,
An awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep;
Carried through an open window on the siren song of chance,
Inviting you to drop your burden and join into the dance.

Do you feel your heart beneath my wing?
Have you seen such strength mistaken for a brief and fragile thing?
Do you feel my hand inside your hand?
Does it matter any more to you where this flight is going to land?

Don’t be afraid of rumbling in the deep;
The awakening of something that’s been far too long asleep.
Greet that unfamiliar part of you like a dear and treasured friend.
Take a good look, hold it close, to love the dark is not an end.

Have you caught the scent of winter’s death?
Do you sense the rush of spring’s return in each and every breath?
You can taste the jasmine in your mouth.
Wounded hearts have steeped in every cup, yet flowers do pour out.

There’s a calm found after every storm,
A confidence, a knowing that you now are safe from harm.
There’s no sense treading water when your feet have found dry land.
Let the deep slip from your shoulders lost in endless sand.

-LM 2015

Traveling

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Random 9-25-15

Remember those writing exercises where your teacher would give you an image and ask you to tell a story about it? I am playing with a new project where I  pull a random photo from my archives and write something, whatever comes off the top of my head. My rule, spend no more than 5-10 minutes max on the whole thing, then send it to a friend as their morning, “Hello!”

It gives me a writing exercise and lets them know I am thinking about them. Maybe it gives them a bit of motivation for their day. Anyway, fun project so far.

*This particular image was taken, if I recall correctly, on The Pennsylvania Turnpike or possibly shortly before. Regardless, it’s a beautiful day in Pennsylvania.

Over The Edge

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Sometimes I write pieces that could become a fleshed out story, become part of another story or just remain a fragment, a piece of a story that is a story itself. A piece of writing feels complete as incomplete, like a teaser for the imagination or just a peek into another world, a glimpse of someone else’s’ experience.Often when I write, I am perfectly ok if i write a few paragraphs and leave things hanging. After all, life is like this more often than not. We meet interesting people, we have friends who are going through a rough time and they slip in and out of our lives for various reasons. We find ourselves wondering later, “I wonder what happened to so and so? I hope that thing they were going through turned out all right.” I used to think this was just a terrible thing for a writer to do and that I must be a real freak. Then I discovered, Kelly Link, a fabulous writer that very often leaves the reader hanging, and I didn’t feel like such an aberration.

So, I am just warning you, gentle readers that this is one of THOSE fragmeantz. it’s not very long so perhaps you won’t get invested. I have been on the fence since I wrote it. Is it complete though it seems incomplete? Is it a metaphor? Is it a story to be continued?

I actually do know where this story is heading. If I want to continue it, it waits. What do you think? Should I continue?

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Over The Edge

I stood at the edge and imagined EVERYTHING.

I went over all the possible scenarios in my head.

I made it day. I made it night. I moved ahead a year. I made it five, ten, an eternity.

I even removed myself from the equation, in my head, made myself moot. I know that sounds ridiculous because without me, none of this would have happened. It’s not like an alternative life would have taken my place and followed the footsteps I had never made. Even if I disappeared today it wouldn’t fix things. The world would still be hanging on a hinge with nothing to be done about it. Not that I could figure anyway. Not without help.

So then, that was it. There was nothing left to do but jump.

The map had said that height was merely an illusion. That flailing through the air was like splashing around a pond in summer as long as your leap was one of faith. Faith was something I was short on these days and I was terrified of heights.

I knelt down and rummaged through my bag until I found, the book. I leafed through it until I found the map one last time. It could be a complete fabrication, the hallucinatory imaginings of a wizard who’d smoked too much leaf mold. If I didn’t jump I wouldn’t know. And it wouldn’t be long until I was discovered. Damn it! I had to move quickly!

I tucked the book back down in the bag, dug out my flask and took a sip, letting the whiskey burn it’s way down my throat. It served me less as liquid courage and more as a reminder to my blood to start flowing through my limbs again. I had been standing in one place too long.

Suddenly my ears caught noises from further down the mountain. It was time to do this or give up. I knew too well what giving up meant so I quickly tucked everything back in the pack, secured all the compartments and strapped it on tight.

A few yards away, my horse was grazing. Sorry, my friend, you’ve got to come too. I hope I’m not going to kill us both with this crazy plan. She nuzzled me. At least someone trusts me, I thought and swung myself up onto her back as quietly as possible. Now, how to get her to leap off a cliff without her balking or making a fuss? I decided riding wasn’t feasible. Instead I dropped to the ground again, untied the scarf from my hip and made her a blindfold. One blind horse, docile as you please, one terrified human with probable assassins at her back.

“Ok. Girl. We are taking a walk,” I whispered. And with that we walked to the edge, I closed my eyes and stepped off, yanking the reins hard.

Rocking The Boat

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Here is another snippet of one of the larger pieces I am working on, working title, The Thunderbirds. You can find more  by clicking on that tag/category. At this point it is not necessary to read these in any particular order, but you can read this as post #2.

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The second dream is unpredictable. It is always the same dream but elements change. I dream I as sleeping in a boat on the water. As in the first dream, the light is soft and blue. The world is hazy but as I wake up, in the dream, things came into a sharper focus and the light becomes whiter, brighter, scraping at my eyes a little. I am both an observer and a participant. My vantage changes. At moments I am in the boat. At times I am watching myself from a short distance away.

Rocking gently, the vessel serves as a cradle. I feel cozy, content and slowly I become aware of the arms that embrace me, a warm, firm body at my back curved with mine, like two embryos spooning. I stretch and sit up, turning to face my lover who is also waking. I take in his face. He is younger than I, with the slightly weathered look of someone who has spent a fair amount of time outdoors, but not so much that it has leathered him. He is strong and wiry, with a hint of a beard, a bit of stubble really. This surprises me when I recall the dream, why my brain would invent a bearded lover when I’ve always been repelled by facial hair?But then, these dreams have never felt like dreams. They feel real and also alien, as if there was no way  my mind could have invented them by itself.

In the dream, the man kisses me and asks me how I slept, if I’m hungry, makes all the normal, affectionate couple gestures. I tell him I am concerned. I am afraid we are drifting and I don’t know where we are. He assures me we are safe and exactly where we need to be. His body grounds me, but his blue eyes unsettle me. Every time I look into them, I freeze a little and there is no thought or remembrance of Ally or anyone but him.

We make love. The sex is amazing, even by dream sex standards. Afterwards, the fear creeps back and I find my fingers tangling in his hair as I look into those cut turquoise orbs, my heart pounding against my bones. And he tells me that if my heart keeps beating so hard it will rock the boat.

And that’s when I wake up or go into a different dream.

Sometimes the boat is a nice sized pleasure boat with a galley and a cabin. It has also been a freighter. Sometimes we are drifting in a rowboat in the middle of the ocean. Other times we are sailing down a wide river. The water is serene or it’s  choppy. The man is blonde, sandy headed or his hair is dark. Always we are sleeping  in a boat. Always we wake up. We make love. His eyes are always blue. He  tells me my heart will rock the boat. When I wake, my heart is racing and I have to take a pill to calm it down.

But the third dream unsettles me the most.

-LM 2015

The Blue Dream

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Here is a slice of one of something larger I am working on, working title, The Thunderbirds. You can find more by clicking on that tag/category. At this point it is not necessary to read these in any particular order, but you can read this as post #1.

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In the first dream my horse is a white cloud against a smooth blue landscape. I sit on her back gazing out at  the wide expanse. I once read in an off-world magazine that humans couldn’t always see blue or at least they couldn’t describe it. What would their ancients have made of this vista with its strange light, blending sky into mountain into desert prairie? I wondered about my own ancestors language and experience. I knew little of my history so I had created my own.

Stretching out for miles, the sky and land were almost seamlessly one, simply different shadows of that cerulean light fading in and out of each other, flat as a photograph. At first glance it was ordinary, but the feel of it was alien, peculiar; at once the view that confronted me daily and something I had not noticed before.

Curiosity and trepidation danced in my stomach. I was compelled to move forward, but I didn’t know why. It seemed foolish and dangerous, neither my cup of tea. I wanted chamomile. I looked ahead and all I saw was thistle. I could be riding toward my demise. The flatness ahead left no cover. Anyone that might be hiding in the hills would see me coming long before I saw them and that made me nervous, more so as a lone traveler.

In the dream, there was little of the familiar. There was no Easy, no Alli, no memory of anything coming before. Only a sense of loss and deadness. This was not my country, but ahead even less so. The great unknown looming at the end of a great flat plain. It was not really my choice to be here or to go forward but I couldn’t go back. Forward was mystery that made no promises. Backward was dust and bone.