|My Grandfather, surprisingly fit, with his cigar and his boat... while we, the "little family" cluster together.|
Saturday, June 14, 2014
1954 ~ Otis Reservoir
There's so much more to every story, every memory, every life. Our stories slip in and out of time and place and fantasy. I wonder here what is unspoken and unseen. What sweeps around these two, my brother and me.
It was another time, so long ago. I'm seven and my brother, not yet two. Yet, when I see these pictures, I smell flat water and a faint whiff of gasoline. I feel the excitement riding in the boat and remember the deep sheen of mahogany, the splash of water and the wind in our faces.
From then to now, sixty years have passed. The good, the bad, the tragic. Some years were rich and full, some long and dark and cold.
But I'm learning how, in the end, it's never one nor the other. Nothing's all black, nor all fine and shiny -- it's the mix, the big stew of Life -- the good, the bad, the dull. And for all the pain, there is also joy, small bright spots of light.
And, for all I know (or think I know), there is still my unfinished story, full of mysteries and things to come, unseen, unknown, unspoken.
Posted by gretchen at 11:47 PM
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Photograph by Barry Draper
Lust for gold, dreaming,
scheming tales of wealth and coin
lure conquistadores west,
beneath the blood-red sun.
Theirs by sword, theirs by might.
Theirs by right and miter.
Lusting after golden gods,
gilt beyond the blood-red sun,
now -- and forever.
Posted by gretchen at 10:07 PM
Monday, March 10, 2014
| Santa Elena Canopy Skywalk|
First Time in Costa Rica
Too, I've been mourning the loss of people I've long admired. Pete Seeger. Doris Lessing. Nelson Mandala. Dede, the last of the Mirabel sisters from the Dominican Republic. I wonder how shall we survive in this world without them as living models of conscience and right.
From here it's an easy slide into depression. All I need is a dose of the world news or the daily flood of email appeals to bury me. I lose heart. I lose hope. I stop writing.
Then, something happens. Three deer wander through our field. I catch sight of stars and a sliver of a crescent moon in the hard winter sky. Good news creeps in and surprises me. Spring comes. I open the door. I go back to the page full of wonder and gratitude.
In one of my writing groups, we wrote to the question: "When do I feel most alive?" I love this question -- it's my antidote to despair -- and I want to go deeply into what makes me feel "alive" and "whole" now, in this stage of my life.
So I start with the memory of walking the rainforest canopy in Santa Elena, Costa Rica, where howler monkeys called and hummingbirds darted through flowers at treetop level. The suspension bridge shifted and swayed with our movements, but I wasn't afraid. It rained a bit and stopped. The mist swirled to the top of the cloud forest and beyond. The air was rich with spicy smells, flower fragrances, and wet dirt. And, I was very much alive.
Posted by gretchen at 1:36 PM
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Along the road of old December
when the Ancients walk abroad,
I fall in with their company, twelve
days and nights astride.
Druid, Priestess, Pagan, Fool,
Astrologer monk and Hermit king,
they who track the star and tide,
older, wiser folk than I.
We march under darkened skies,
a host, a band, a multitude. Claw,
hoof, foot and wing, together
journey towards light and spring.
West to east, the Ancients mark
the worn, the dying, bygone year.
Along the road, the fires burning,
turning old and the cold -- to ash.
Welcome! New Year!
Posted by gretchen at 9:16 PM