The Stillness is Torment

Remembering The Monsoon II (_DSC5950)

Image by Shutterhack via Flickr

As I walked in the door, the phone started to ring.  I didn’t think much of it, we get telemarketers regularly.  I went about my normal routine, making a pot of coffee, feeding the dog, getting ready to sit down and relax.  It had been a long day, and I was looking forward to settling into the comfort of our love seat, being surrounded by the dogs and their unusual form of affection.  When I came into the living room though, my wife was crying. 

 

“What’s wrong?” as I walked over to hug her, she was still holding the phone, cradled in her hands. 

 

“N-M has been in an accident, a roll over and she was ejected.  They are flying her to the hospital.  The doctors told B-A that it doesn’t look good.”

 

My heart sank, I felt myself going to one of the darkest most murky places I have ever experienced.  From some where, I felt a familiar Umbra, and heard it whisper words of my father in my ear.  “Calm yourself, be still, be strong, show no emotion, give away no weakness”.  I felt myself transforming into that stoic, still person capable of showing no emotion outwardly.  I told myself I needed to be  strong for everyone else, and not show anything.  I made the phone calls I had to make, notifying all the family, as if I were a robot or some machine.  I texted my sister, because I didn’t trust my voice to talk to her.  I supported and hugged my wife reassuring her everything was going to be fine even though I had no idea myself.

 

The wait was torturous.  N-M is living with my Daughter B-A up in Nevada, might as well be millions of miles away.  B-A was at the hospital, waiting to hear from the doctors, then she would call us.  I waited for hours, my mind playing games with me, my body not revealing any of the hidden fear, dread, and foreboding coursing through me.  The many different scenarios playing against each other, and tugging at that little shred of sanity left dangling by a thin thread somewhere in my mind. “Ejected”, the word paints a very unpleasant picture in ones mind.

 

My mind started traveling, going back though time, playing back those memories as if they were old home movies.  We had raised N-M for 13 of her 17 troubled years.  Her mother, my wife’s sister, choosing selfish desires over her daughter, her father always making, but never keeping promises.  Trying to reunite her and her mother on three separate occasions only to have it blow up in our face.   The time we brought her down to meet her father who promised to be here.  Me drying the tears away from that precious face, and cradling that poor shattered soul when he didn’t show up.  If there had ever been a time I could have killed, it was then.  Remembering N-M’s 2nd birthday, her first with us, and how badly we had spoiled her.  Thinking of the times she had helped me work on cars in the garage, and the joy in her face.  Recalling those nights, every night, when she was young and I would read to her as she laid down for sleep.  My pride when she started reading to me.  The early morning dew on the ground as she took aim, and shot her first buck.  I don’t know who was more excited, her or I.  All of this playing though my head, while outwardly, I let absolutely nothing escape to be seen by anyone.

 

The long torturous stillness of waiting, having no control, being able to DO nothing.  I felt surely I was going mad, but refused to show any concern or worry.  I wonder how people manage, how they deal with the not knowing. 

 

Finally the phone rings, almost 3 hours later.   “She’s OK, no internal injuries or even broken bones.  She does have a concussion, and her hand has been skinned, literally, but she’s OK” B-A said.  I hugged my wife and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I suddenly felt completely drained, used up, consumed, weak.  Still not allowing anything to show, I snuck off to the other room and fell apart where no one could see.   How is it possible to hold so much love for one person.

 

She was driving, and had been drinking (2 strikes) she’s only 17  (3 strikes) I never said she was an angel, but she is my Pumpkin.  I’m just so thankful I still have her even if she is not here beside me.

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The Season Tis Almost Upon Us

Male and female Mule deer

Image via Wikipedia

My favorite time of year, deer season starts this coming weekend, and I can’t wait.  If you noticed, I didn’t make any posts this weekend.  That was because we were making final preparations, and one last trip out to the Deer Lease to get everything ready.

 

For those of you that were around for my last post about the Deer Lease, you’ll remember the owls.  Well they had grown, and were of flying age.  How ever they still had not vacated the premises, even though we had left notices of eviction, *giggle*.  They were just a little stubborn, not willing to give up their home they had found and loved.  We had to “remove” them, which was interesting to say the least.  Owls can be pretty aggressive, but luckily these were not that bad.  But I can tell you, it was pretty spooky going in that door with them still in there.  Once out the door, they accepted their eviction without too much of a fuss, other than the few profanities they spewed forth.  I don’t know what they were saying, I don’t speak Owl, but I am sure it was not complimentary.

 

I managed to get a couple of pictures of one of the Owls with my camera phone.  He hung around for a little while, making a fuss and flapping his wings at us.  He was intent on being sure we knew he was displeased with our actions.  In the picture to the left, he is hissing at us, and walking around flapping his wings, about 15 feet from the blind.  They can make quite the racket when they want to.  It sounds almost like a hissing snake, or cat.

 

Here, he is peeking around the tree, waiting his chance to get back into the blind. Sorry guy, all the windows are closed now, and there is no way to get back in.  You would not believe the mess they made.  We had carpet  on the floor to help keep it quiet in the blind.  The owls, four total in this blind, had accumulated about 3 inches of feces', and skeletons of their victims.  We had to pull the carpet out and throw it away, replacing it with scraps we brought for the shop.

 

Other than the Owls, everything was still working pretty good.  We brought a new heater for the camper, and a couple of heaters for the blinds.  Yes I am getting spoiled in my old age, and have heat in my hunting blind.   We saw a few deer, mostly does, but one big buck.  Just managed to get the juices flowing, creating a little anticipation.  We have a whole bunch of wild hogs on the property, and I intend to get some good pork meat this year also. 

 

Once season starts, I’ll have to figure out how I’m going to handle my blog posts.  I guess I’ll set up some kind of schedule, and prepare some in advance.  There isn’t exactly anyplace to hook up to the internet in out there.  Anyway, starting next weekend, I will be away from the computer just about every weekend until January.  So if I don’t get back to you right away on comments, I will when I return.

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Silence, Is It Really Golden?

Water Lily Reflections
Image by Stellas mom via Flickr
While researching blogs for my Mondays Writers of the Web, I came across a blog called Okay, Fine, Dammit.  I have been by this blog a number of times, and she had been writing a lot about finding her voice.  Well, I think she has found it.  I’m going to dedicate this whole post to her blog, because  I think what she is starting is truly important.  She is going to open up a new blog, dedicated to Domestic violence victims

During my 9 years in law enforcement, I saw with my own eyes, the damage domestic violence can do.  It is not just the primary victim of the violence, weather it be mental or physical violence.  The entire family, kids along with the primary victim suffer the consequences.  The children of domestic violence families suffer some of the most severe forms of mental abuse you can imagine.  Seeing their parent being hurt in any number of ways by another parent.  I can not begin to think of the contradiction and confliction this causes in their minds. 

Domestic Violence is often called the silent crime, because the victims live in a state of fearful silence.  Afraid to talk to anyone, for fear of retribution from their abuser.  Afraid of being ostracized by their friends or community.  Fear of losing the only thing they know as family.  Just simply fear, what a terrible way to have to live.  Both women and men suffer from domestic violence.  Victims of domestic violence come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and socio economic backgrounds.  It is usually developed from a pattern of abuse.  The good news is the pattern can be broken.  It takes people speaking out, making the public aware, and giving victims the strength to reach out for help.

Maggie at Okay, Fine, Dammit is looking for naming ideas for her new blog.  The name needs to be catchy, but easily remembered, and can not already be trademarked or copywrited.  Think up some names, and go to this article to leave your suggestion, and to tell her you support her.  Lets help her tell everyone that love shouldn’t hurt!

The Story of Chief Running Deer, and His Lovely Indian Maiden, Falling Rock

Huge deer X-ing sign

Image by rawmustard via Flickr

Oh yea, I’m in one of those moods again.  Somewhat reminiscent, somewhat thoughtful.  When I got home from work today, I was pretty tired and sore.  I wanted to sit down at the computer, and catch up on some blogs, but I just couldn’t do it.  The more I sat at the computer, the more my back started hurting.  There is one sure cure for me when it comes to a sore back.  I just soak my pains away in a nice hot, hot, hot tub.  Of course the primary requirement is soothing country music, and a good book.  Yes you heard that right, I read in the tub.

 

I was sitting there soaking, enjoying my new book, and listening to the some old country music.  For some strange reason, a vivid memory, struck me.  The book became a blur, and I was viewing an old story my father had told us when we were kids.  I really don’t know what the trigger was, but when the memory struck, I found myself smiling, and giggling to myself a little.

 

Allow me to attempt to paint the scene for you.  I was pretty young, four or five. We used to take, it seems now, monthly trips to Denver.  We had to visit the grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Like most children, we could be pretty annoying at times.  If you can imagine, four children cramped up in a car for a two hour drive along some very treacherous roads.  Dad had a knack for keeping us occupied, and entertained.  He would start pointing out rock formations that looked like animals, people, or objects.  Naturally, before long we were peering out the windows trying to pick out these rocks before he could.

 

I remembered one time specifically.  It was night, we were returning home from Denver.  Being dark there was nothing for us to focus on.  I’m sure we must have been driving Dad and Mom nuts.  Traveling through Turkey Creek Canyon, back when it was a single lane very dangerous road.  A steep mountain road, with tight turns and towering rocks on one side, along with a steep drop off on the other. 

 

A Deer Crossing SignAnyone who has driven the roads of Colorado, are familiar with two very common road signs.  Caution Deer Crossing, and Watch For Falling Rock.  As we passed a Deer Crossing sign, Dad said “Oh look, Chief Running Deer has been here”. I can hear my mother, saying “Lanny!”, and giving a little giggle.   I can picture Dads face, with that devilish grin that was so common when he was playing with us. 

 

Of course our interest was piqued, and we started to question him.  “Who’s Chief Running Deer?”

 

“Chief Running Deer, see the sign.  He leaves his mark everywhere he’s been.  He’s out looking for his beautiful Indian maiden, Falling Rock.”  Naturally, our faces are stuck to the windows trying to see this Chief Running Deer.  Then we would pass another sign, and he would say,  “See, he’s been here too, he left his sign.”

 

“How do you know he’s looking for his Indian Maiden?'” we would ask.

 

Falling RockAs we passed another sign, this one saying Watch for Falling Rock, he said. “Because he leaves those signs all over.  He wants everyone to watch out for her, and help him find her.”  He would giggle a  little, and wait for the next question that he knew was coming.

 

 

“What happened to her, how come he can’t find her?”

 

“Well you see one day, Chief Running Deer, came back to the tee pee after a long day of hunting.  When he got there, he could not find his fair maiden, Falling Rock.  So he started asking all the other Indians if they had seen her.  Many indeed had seen her leave the camp.  She was heading up to the rock cliffs above to search for roots and herbs to make medicine.   Chief Running Deer went to look for his bride, but she was never to be seen again.  To this day, Chief Running Deer is still searching for the love of his life.  He puts the signs up, hoping someone will find her and return her to him.”

 

For the rest of the ride, we had our eyes glued to the road side.  Hoping to catch a glimpse of Chief Running Deer, or his lovely bride, Falling Rock.

 

From then on, every time we saw the Deer Crossing sign, or the Falling Rocks sign, we would yell out, “Chief Running Deer, is out looking again Dad, maybe he’ll find Falling Rock this time.”

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Wednesdays Rant - Stop the Negative!

I know, I said I wouldn’t do much political stuff here.  Well I have had just about enough of all this negative campaign add crap I can handle.  Both sides are going at each other like rabid dogs, sneaking up from behind and trying to bite each other right on the ass.  Pardon the turn of phase but it’s just a great big load of crap.  It accomplishes nothing, but making people look the other way.  Why is it that Politics has to be such a nasty, low down, dirty mess. 

 

Both presidential candidates are acting like pre-teens in middle school, scrapping for the attention of that newly acquired interest, girls.  They are wasting unbelievable amounts of money, not to mention energy on something that is completely counter-productive.  We need a little old wizened woman wearing glasses, and walking with a cane to step in, grab both of them by the ear, and make them behave.  That little grandmother figure, that everyone knows or has experienced.  You know the one, the one that won’t take any back talk or disrespect from anyone.  Someone who could make these two act like the leaders they want us to believe they are.

 

Well I found a site, that just might make them stand up and take notice.  I signed up with Change.org, and while browsing their selection of causes and actions found Halt Negative Campaign Adds.  The nice part about it, is it’s suggesting that the two candidates take the, close to, $90,000,000.00 dollars they plan on wasting for negative adds, and give it to organizations to help stop homelessness.  Even the Wall Street Journal suggests that negative campaign adds are ineffectual.  I know they do nothing for me, except perhaps, cause a loss of respect, as if they could afford any more of that. 

 

With our current economic situation, and all the other problems we have going on.   You would think these two would be focusing their efforts on making a difference.   Both McCain and Obama seem to be sliding down hill in my opinion.  I don’t want to hear about history, what they voted for here, or there.  I want to know what they plan to do to address the issues right now, and how they plan to do it.  I’m tired of hearing about how they want change, I want to hear about how they plan to change things.  I would love to see a little honesty for a change, and some positive efforts. 

 

We teach our children to be respectful toward each other.  Not to slander, or dig up dirt.  We look down on gossip, and back biting.  Yet here are the two “adults” that are running for our nations top political position acting worse than our kids ever dreamed of acting.  Send them a message, go to the Stop Negative Campaign Adds, and sign the petition.  Lets try to get our candidates to start acting their age.  Perhaps we can accomplish something good in the process.

 
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It’s been a long night and day

Sable and her babies

Well it was a long night, and then a long day at work.  So I’m going to cheat and just post a picture and a link to Chihuatude .  You can read the whole story on my other blog, Chihuatude, but we had 7 happy healthy and hungry baby Chihuahua’s.

Mondays Writers is Postponed

We are having a new delivery tonight, So my regular Mondays Writers of the Web will be postponed until later. Check Chihuatude to learn the story of our new delivery.  We’ll be back soon, thanks.

Chi's 034

That First Terrifying Night Part 2

Moon against the Belt of Venus

Image via Wikipedia

If this is your first visit, Part 1 is located here.  I was not nice, and posted it as a teaser, sorry but I couldn’t resist. 

 

Here I was looking over the barrel of my Glock, using the sights to view one of the most surreal episode of my life.  The light from the moon was casting a  murky,  ominous light on the scene being played out before my unbelieving eyes.    I was seemingly viewing what was happening as if,  a spectator in a roadside freak show. 

 

My mind, processing information so quickly yet inwardly appearing to be a slow meticulous checklist of right and wrong.  My thoughts pointing out the plethora of things I had done wrong, and not much on the positive side.  I was facing this man, this obviously drunken man who’s thoughts had to be impaired, or he wouldn’t be doing this.  My mind searching, feeling, trying to come up with a solution to this very dangerous predicament. My hesitation scaring the shit out of me, and causing even further second guessing.

 

“Sheriff’s Department, PUT THE GUN DOWN, DO IT NOW” (God I hope he does it, he could shoot me any time, what the hell am I waiting for).  As my mind continually reviewed all that I had done wrong, and examined all the possibilities that I had in front of me.

 

“Put your down and I’ll put mine down”

 

(What the hell;   ¿  hey wait a minute, he’s giving me an opening, a way out of this mess.  I could let him save a little face, and hopefully put an end to this crazy situation)  My mind started examining this possibility, and all of it’s implications from every standpoint including officer safety.

 

“OK,  I’m putting my gun down”.  (What the hell am I doing, I can’t put my gun down, I can’t do that, it’s against all the rules!  Yes I can, It’ll stop this crazy shit, the ends justify the means in this circumstance)   I kneeled down, and placed my gun on the dirt of the road, not taking my hand off it.  (He can’t see any better than I can!)

 

“Good, I’m doing the same.”  As he stumbled forward, and placed the shot gun on the ground, then stood back up.

 

“Now back up, away from the gun.” (Thank God) while he was backing up, I picked my gun up and slid it back into the holster so he couldn’t see it.  I held my hands out so he could see them, and started walking across the road.  As I got closer, his face took on a smile and he held his hand out as if he was meeting someone for the first time. (Jesus, he wants to shake hands as if we just met on the street. Dam in a way, I guess we did.)

 

“Hello, I’m Glenn Bannon, (belch) who are you, and what is going on here.”

 

I reached out and grabbed his hand to shake it, my body tensed, every muscle ready, preparing for some kind of action. (I could take him down with an arm bar, he just handed me his hand. No, no, lets play this out and see what happens, give 104 some time to get here)  About this time, I started hearing all those things my mind had blocked out.  That tunnelvision of singular clarity broken, and opening up those other senses.  I could hear the fireman talking on the radio with dispatch, giving a blow by blow description of what was happening.  I heard 104, telling dispatch that he was on Red Hill, and going as fast as he could. (Shit, even if he’s going 100 MPH it’ll still take 20 minutes for him to get here. I’ve gotta buy some time here, talk this shit out and keep things toned down). 

 

“I’m Eric, with the Sheriff’s Department.  We’re here because you have that bonfire, and the county has a fire ban on due to high fire danger.”

 

“Ahh hell, I was just burning some trash, I have it in a pit, and its completely safe.  Come on, I’ll show you.  I got some beer, you want one”  (You have to be kidding me.)

 

We walked up the driveway to his house, and shed.  He showed me where his fire pit was, and how it was constructed.  I told him about all the dangers of the fire, including the flying sparks and ashes that he could not keep in his fire pit, and pointed them out to him as we spoke.  Explaining as best I could why the fire was dangerous, and that he needed to let the fire department put it out.

 

My pack set had been a constant hum of activity.  The fire department had informed dispatch that I had gone up the driveway with the suspect, and they could no longer see me.  Dispatch had started trying to status check me, and was getting more and more frequent, meaning they were worrying, and about to call out the Calvary.

 

“Glenn, I have to answer them, or your going to be dealing with a whole bunch more problems." He nodded his head. “Fairplay, 132, I’m 10-4.  break 751, you can come up and put the fire out.”

 

Glenn then took me around his property and showed me all the defensive bunkers he had built.  He was really proud of them, and could have in theory defended his property from a massive military assault.  I found out he was a Viet Nam Vet, and had a few issues to deal with.  Before I knew it, 104 was on scene, and I gladly handed the case over to him.  I stayed right with him, watching and learning, paying attention to everything he did.  Unfortunately, he chose not to arrest Glenn that night, just secure the weapons, and file for a warrant later.  I’ll not try to understand his reasoning, just accept things as they happened.

 

A little while later, I was sitting down at my patrol car, collecting my thoughts, and trying to review what had just happened. When the Ambulance drove by, on their way out, surprisingly, this had a profound, grounding effect on my mood.  I realized at that moment, that the ambulance was there for me, and things could have very easily turned out far worse than they did.  I started shaking, feeling the cold of the night for the first time.

 

The shotgun was illegal, being sawed of at less than 18 inches long, and had been loaded with double ought buck shot.  It would have been hard for him to miss at that range, with that weapon and load.  I learned my first set of very valuable lesson that night, the hard way.  Always make sure your equipment works, and never take anything for granted.  I found out later that the dispatcher working that night was Glenn’s ex wife.  She told me that she had been wishing I would have shot the “son of a bitch”.  He had abused her mentally and physically for many years before she got away from him.

 

When this case came up for a preliminary hearing, the defense attorney asked me one question only. “Deputy, tell me were you really in fear, I mean come on.”  My answer was simple,

 HELL YES.

Only a fool is not afraid, it is what you do with that fear that separates you from others, and defines you as a person.

 

I was criticized by many of my fellow reserves and regular paid officers.  Many of them stated flat out that they would have shot Glenn as soon as he started raising the shotgun.  The Sheriff at the time was one of the few that told me “Forget them (with a little more colorful use of terms) they were not there.  As far as I’m concerned, you did the right thing because NO ONE got hurt”. 

 

This incident actually caused me a fair amount of sleepless nights and recurring dreams.  The dream was always the same, I was involved in a gunfight, and my weapon would not work, my friends and coworkers were falling around me, and there was nothing I could do.  I had that dream fairly consistently until another situation I was involved in occurred that proved the dream to be false.  Perhaps I will tell that story some time.

 

This call firmly cemented my reputation as a “Shit Magnet”.  I had already been considered one because every time I rode with the Deputies, all hell would break loose.  My reputation continued, and was bolstered on more than one occasion through out my career.


Quote of the day:
The folly of mistaking a paradox for a discovery, a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of verbiage for a spring of capital truths, and oneself for an oracle, is inborn in us. - Paul Valery

 

Note:  Specific names, such as streets and addresses, along with any names other than mine used in these stories have been changed to protect identities of the innocent or accused.  This story is based on actual events in my life.

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That First Terrifying Night

Moon against the Belt of Venus
Image via Wikipedia
It was a clear, full moon, night.  The stars were visible, and vibrant as they could only be when viewed from the country side in the mountains.  A warm, yet cool night, one of the wildly unusual things that happened regularly in those lost and lonely mountains of South Park.  feeling almost as if I was was in a dream state.   The one thing I had worked so hard for.  I had volunteered, studied, taken the tests, worked toward my ultimate goal.  I had raised my right hand and sworn that oath before God and community, so similar to the others I’ve sworn yet slightly different.   Now here I was was, the first night on my own, trusted to make  decisions that could have an effect or impact on peoples lives.  Such an intoxicating yet intimidating  duty and responsibility.  Was I ready for it?

I was patrolling the Forest Service areas and campgrounds.  Relegated to an ancient vehicle, that had lord only knew how many miles on it.  It was the designated Reserve, and prisoner transport vehicle.  Most of the equipment on it worked, but just barely.  The spotlights had long ago developed a short that no one seemed to be able to, or cared to fix.  The radio worked, depending on where you were in the county.  The old beast was capable of speed if you were courageous or foolish (often times one and the same thing) enough.  My stated mission was “be seen, in as many camp grounds as possible”.  The purpose  was to let people know that we were out there, and actively enforcing the law.   It’s known as proactive policing, or crime prevention. 

I was driving slowly around the Tarryall Reservoir when the radio crackled to life.  Alert tones echoed in the car, and a short message followed.  “Jefferson Como Fire, respond to a report of bon fire at 123456 Fictitious Rd. in the Buffalo subdivision.”  Nothing really for me to mess with, I had better stick with what I was assigned to do.  The County had been on fire bans for some time now, and it had been well publicized.   The Fire Department had authority to issue tickets for violations of the fire ban.  Usually all they had to do was inform the people of the ban, and extinguish the fire.  The Fire Department very seldom had any troubles.

I listened to the radio as all the volunteers responded to the radio call, picking out call signs I knew.  After a short while, I heard two fire truck call out on scene.  With in a few minutes, the radio crackled back to life. 

“Fairplay, 751, we need a Deputy out here, this subject is being uncooperative, and has ordered us off his property.” 

“751, 10-4, break 104, 10-20.” (104 was my supervisor for the evening, and dispatch wanted to know what his location was)

“Fairplay, 104 I’m in Placer Valley.”  dam he’s a long way away.

“104, 10-4; uhh 132, 10-20.” Oh shit that’s me.

“Fairplay, 132, I’m at Tarryall Reservoir.”

“132, 10-4 your the closest, please respond to 123456 Fictitious Rd. to assist the Fire Department.”

“Fairplay 132, 10-4 I’ll be 10-76”.   Alright, a little something to liven things up.  I bet as soon as I get there this person will mellow out and let the Fire Department do what they do best.  I’ll probably have to write a ticket or something, at minimum file a report,  no big deal.

As the crow flies, it was probably only about 5 miles or less from where I was.  But being out in the country, and mountains though, meant the roads I had to travel to get there, make it  closeer to 10 miles, all dirt, twisting turning, up and down.  I wasn’t going to be making any kind of time, that’s for sure.  It’s no wonder that old car was in such bad shape, the first part of the most direct route, should have been labeled four wheel drive only.  I was in a mid 80’s model Chevy Impala, and dragging bottom more times than I care to count.

While I was in-route, the Fire Department started calling me direct, asking for an ETA.  At one point, they even said, “You might want to pick it up a little, this guys not too pleasant”.  Holy shit, what the heck do they have going on?  I kicked up the speed, as much as I dared, couldn’t do much good if I didn’t get there.  The Fire Department started asking for an ETA a little more frequently.  Evidently 104 noticed the worry in their voice. 

“Fairplay 104, I’ll be 10-76 also.”  I was surprisingly relieved to here that.

As I pulled up to the scene, I noticed the two fire trucks and a whole bunch of  the Volunteer's private vehicles on the side of the road.   As a matter of fact, they pretty much had all the locations across from this driveway occupied.  I could see a person standing in the driveway.   I parked a pretty good distance from the driveway because of it, and tried to turn a  spot light on this guy so I could see him clearly, (aw shit it doesn’t work, that’s right).  I walked up toward the fire chief, saying hello to all the guys and gals I knew, which was pretty much all of them.

“Hey Eric, this guys been drinking, and was pretty aggressive with us.” the Fire Chief said.  “ he made us all leave his property, and a short time ago, he came walking down his driveway.  He’s just been standing there watching us the ever since.  You know, I think he has something behind his leg, he keeps his hand back there, but I don’t know what it is.”

“Ok, let me go talk with him and see what his problem is.”  I started walking across the dirt road, it just happened to be on a little bit of an angle, because I had to park so far away.  Now did I mention there was a full moon?  Yea, one of those that’s real big and bright.  It shone it’s strangely luminescent glow on the area, along with casting the weird shadows that accompany such a moon.  As I walked across toward this guy, he turned a little more to face me.  I noticed that he was in an almost fighting stance, similar to what I call my interview stance.  Left side forward slightly, right side (gun hand) back slightly.  The hair on the back of my neck started to prickle just a little (what an understatement).

Suddenly, he stepped back with his right foot, and brought his right hand up from it’s concealed position.   As his hand raised, I caught the glint of the moons light off the barrel of a shotgun. (Holy Shit) Next thing I knew I was looking over the barrel on my gun, lining up the sites.  I have no memory what so-ever of the act of drawing my gun, but there it was.  “Sheriff’s Department PUT THE GUN DOWN”.  The only sound I register right then is the scuff and grate of feet running to get behind the security of the fire truck and my patrol car.  (Oh great, at least they are under cover, I’m stuck out here in the middle of the road, but their safe.)

“Who the hell are you”?  he said in that all to familiar thick and slurred speech of a person who has been drinking heavily.  The barrel of that shotgun, looked like a freaking howitzer  as it leveled at me.

“Sheriff’s Department, PUT THE GUN DOWN, DO IT NOW”.

“I don’t know you, who the hell are you, and what right do you have coming out here harassing me”.

“Sheriff’s Department, PUT THE GUN DOWN”. (Oh shit, I’m going to end up shooting this guy).  Right about then, the flood of information that traveled through my mind is impossible for some one who has never been there to understand.  All that classroom training, constitutional law, statutory law. everything came flying at my consciousness.  (Did I do something wrong, do I have justification. Crap I’m going to get sued, and probably lose everything I have.  I’m too young for this crap.) A virtual check list of case law and statutory law flashed in front of my eyes, in a millisecond.  (Shit, it’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.)

In thick heavily slurred speech, he said “You put yours down, and I’ll put mine down”.

(What the hell) “Sheriff’s Department, put the gun down, do it now.” I needed to figure this guy out. Something was off here, and I better get this right, his life, my life, and maybe a few others depends on it.

Too be continued!!!!!!!

Note:  Specific names, such as streets and addresses, along with any names other than mine used in these stories have been changed to protect identities of the innocent or accused.  This story is based on actual events in my life. 
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I’ve Been Thinking, Can you Smell the Smoke?


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I’ve been thinking about a few stories I might write for the blog. I know, thinking can be dangerous, but I have kept a fire extinguisher nearby incase of fire.  I have a number a ,very interesting, comical, and fun stories from my “prior life”. There are even a few truly terrifying ones too.  I was wondering if you, my readers, might be interested in them.  I would have to fictionalize parts of them (to protect the innocent, and probably the guilty too) but it might make for some fun reading.  If you would be interested in something like that, please leave me a comment, and I’ll start working on it. 

Actually I have already been working on some of them, in my head, but have not put anything down on paper.  The reason this came up, is I have hit a solid wall, of seemingly impenetrable stone, on my short story that I was working on.  I just can’t get the flow going.  A few writers have told me, “write about what you know, that way you may be able to come back and find that wall missing a few stones”.  I thought that sounded like a good idea, and started digging through some of the old dusty and discarded memories, tucked away deep inside my head.  Boy let me tell you, things are definitely dark and dusty in there, and lacking a little organization. 

I have noticed that many of you seem to like my childhood memories, and ruminations.  That led me to wonder if a few of those unusual “happening’s” from my life in LE, might be interesting also.  Some of the stories a fun and funny, and some are sad and solemn, yet others are tension filled and terrifying.  There is quite a range, and with 9 years in LE, quite a selection.  So if your interested, let me know, and I’ll get serious about it.  If you think it’s something that should be kept locked up, say so, I’ll listen.

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How Will You be Affected, Poverty A Stark Reality

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Community has been a frequent topic of my discussions here lately.  It is something that we all have, and hopefully are trying to build, and improve.  There is a face, sometimes hidden in the shadows of just about every community.  A face marked and mapped by the burdens, unfamiliar  and completely inconceivable to  most of us.  A burden that weighs heavily on those afflicted with its discouraging plight.  A painful social existence,  that we as a community, all to often wish to forget, push aside, or paint out of our mental portrait of  life.  

 

Today, October 15 th 2008, is Blog Action Day-Poverty.   The goal is to  promote the awareness of, and find new ways of brining an eventual end to poverty.  9,394 blogs from all over the world have signed up to participate, as of the time I wrote this post.  Many more will sign up before  its all said and done.  Currently there will be an  estimated 10,612,112  people who will read about, and perhaps be inspired to do something, any little thing to help fight poverty.

 

Poverty is something that many of us will never experience or even come close to fully understanding.  We worry about the current state of our economic dilemma.  Concerned  about what will happen if the situation takes yet another turn for the worse.  Worried for our own wellbeing and stability, and that of our our families.   Yet right under our noses, many time just around the corner, are people who are already, suffering that plight.  An embarrassing, demeaning situation, for those who find themselves suddenly impoverished.  Poverty  resulting  from any number of causes, that boggle the  imagination.  Proud people who want only to help themselves, and generally not wanting to, or too proud to ask for help.  People like you and me, trying to take that one little step forward, in an attempt to extricate themselves from their predicament.  Many times feeling as though all they accomplish is to slide even deeper, into a seemingly bottomless quagmire.  I can imagine no greater suffering and perhaps shame, than not being able to give your children shelter, food, or the simple feeling of security and stability.

 

We as a community, and each of us individually, can do any number of things to help relieve the strain and worry of those living in poverty.    We can donate food to churches and community shelters who feed and shelter those in need.  How many extra blankets do you have in your house that you will never or seldom use, why not donate them?  Do you have some old coats, clothes, or shoes that you or your kids have outgrown, or don’t use?  Why not donate them to a local coat drive.  For those that are willing, a person can donate their time to the community shelters, and help those in need.  How many times have you seen a person standing on the side of the road holding a sign that says “will work for food”.  let them mow your lawn, and keep their pride.  They don’t want to beg or get something for nothing.   I can understand that, its a sense of pride that is hard to let go of.  We have a choice of where we buy our groceries and other necessities.   Support those businesses that support the hungry, homeless, and impoverished.

There are even more serious sufferings caused by poverty in other places all over the globe.  Many third world countries that have no societal or government structure to help them.  Even the smallest donation to any number of charities like Feed The Children or UNICEF can help people in those countries. 

According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

Corruption is one of the major causes of poverty in these nations.  We have all heard of the suffering and strife in places such as Zimbabwe, or the Iraq food for oil sanctions .   We need to find ways to make our voice heard, loud and clear, so we may possibly influence the governments of the world to step in and make some positive changes.

 

While doing what we can for the problems at home, we can not forget that some times there is far greater suffering all over the globe.  Let us set aside our own worries for just a little while, and lend our voice to those who are trying to make a difference world wide.  You can also make a donation by clicking on the widget at the Blog Action Day 2008-Poverty web site,  just click here to donate.  Or check out their other fundraising efforts, you might want to take part in.  You can also go to Thoughts From a Sometimes Desperate Housewife, simply read her post, and when you leave a comment, $1.00 will be donated to the cause.  Lets get her as many comments as we can.  It does not have to be anything fancy, just leave a comment, maybe thank her for taking part.

 

Blog Action Day 2008– Poverty , is an important effort, that we can all be proud of taking part in.   If you have a blog, share in the effort, write an article, and promote Blog Action Day – Poverty 2008.  Its a simple thing we all can do to improve our world, and costs  nothing but a little time.  We have a voice, even the small newbie blogger like me, lets make it heard around the world.

 

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Monday’s Writers of the Web

UN 13 DE OCTUBRE CON LUNA LLENA I
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Ahh tis Monday once again.  That wonderful day of the week that most normal people seem to dislike with a passion.  I however enjoy my Monday’s, fore it is when I get to share all those wonderful sites I have found over the previous week.  Monday’s Writers of the Web series has become somewhat of a passion for me.  Not for my writing mind you, but for my simple selfish time spent reading blog novels, poetry, and short stories. 

The first blog I want to share with you, will be of paramount importance on November 6 th. 2008.  On that date Mimi Writes will launch her Blog Blast For Peace 2008.   She hopes to get as many blogs as possible to write an article for peace.   Of course I’m signing up, what better cause than peace.  Besides her blog blast, she writes some inspirational stories, and some reminiscent stories.  Naturally, being fond of reminiscent muse’s,  I had to explore her site a little.   She wrote an article about when she was young, and her grandfather would sit with her and eat her mud pie’s and exclaim “Yum Yum to die for”. What she was talking about is how her Grandfather would make her feel like she could do anything.  She also talked about her writing, and how she could “bleed out on the pages”.  The post is titled Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Conversation With Myself.  She also writes about her feelings of vulnerability in her writing.  Swing by and visit her blog, and perhaps sign up for the Blog Blast For Peace 2008, but above all read Blue Whales and Bubbles.

The next site, is Bugle For The New Day,  authored in memory of the bloggers father.  He is posting his fathers novel that is a family saga set in a Wales, United Kingdom, late 19th century mining community.  He has posted Chapter 1 up through part 7.  He has to transcribe his late fathers novel, and is doing so by installment, like many of the other sites I enjoy so much.  I have so far only read the section, but I love what I have read so far.  The late Frank Pearson had a talent for capturing the reader with his strong words, and scene building descriptions.  I Look forward to reading more, as time allows.

Now I just happened across this next site, Fiction at Courage my Friend, and found myself reading a wonderful crime family story.  Winter Rain is a fictional story about “violence, revenge, and other family values”  The author, Chris Poirier, has written the story in installments, that are easily navigated.  I fell in, and had quite a bit of difficulty pulling myself out.  The writing style grabs your attention, and just won’t let go.  Chris Poirier, has other fictional writing on the site, but I have not gotten to them yet.  I am going to have to finish Winter Rain first.  The installments are short, and easily managed.  The site is amazingly easy to navigate, and set up in a manner to encourage reading.

Flash Fiction is a site authored by Rebecca Jane, a freelance writer and novelist.  She writes some commentary, and whole lot of short Fiction.  You’ll find book reviews, and stories like  To Live and Die in Bed-Stuy.  This is a quaint story of two women who go to a party in Bed_Stuy, and find themselves stuck in a snow bank upon leaving.  A man with “wild eyes” comes along and digs them out.  It is an unusual story, but a fun read.

Adventures of Austin Girl, is a truly fun blog.  Most of her stories have a comic basis to them, and are about Austin Girl, a reporter for the Daily Dirt.  Her latest story, Ghost Hotel, was fun to read, and found me giggling at the writers style.  She also has some really fun articles about Fat Bastard, an over weight Beagle.  I can assure you of a good laugh to lighten your day.

If you want a fall out of your chair, rolling on the floor laugh, simply visit Life in The River.   This is your basic redneck  river dwellers blog site.  The stories have that view of life from the perspective of a down right country girl.  I find myself laughing uncontrollably just about every time I visit her blog.  The author is Derfina, and she describes herself as follows
I spend a lot of time poking my nose into other peoples' bidness via their blogs. I clean up an awful lot of feathers. You can dress me up, but you can't really take me out. I travel a lot when I can find bird sitters. I drink, prolly to excess, but I rarely get sick because my body is a hostile environment to germs.
How can you resist a description like that. Stop by and read the post about her husband reading her blog.  It’s simply funnier than hell, and reminds me of place I have been very familiar with in the past.

Last but certainly not least, Go by Vixens Den and sign her petition for preemies.  Recently she lost a grandson who passed as a result of being born premature.  She has since become active in bringing to light the terrible fact that more newborns die from premature birth than any other cause.

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A Little Sunday Fun

I found a fun little site today. I was browsing the blogosphere, and came across a link to Someecards.com.  You can browse cards that have already been made, or make some your self.  The best part is it’s simple, easy to use, and free.  Got something you've been wanting to say to someone, here's your chance.
Some cards that were already made:




And here’s one I made.

A person could really have some fun, and say what they think.  Ever wanted to send someone a card with just the right saying. Well just go check out Someecards.com, and have a little fun.

I Long For These Silent Sleepy Saturday’s

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Yes indeed, I am having a wonderful silent, sleepy Saturday.  I slept in till 9:30, and feel so refreshed because of it.  The neighborhood is a bustle with activity, cleaning, fixing, and yard work.  I do so enjoy a Saturday when everyone is out and about, and there is no rumbling, blaring  music, just the soft musical tones of activity from neighbors.  

I think it’s time to get into the Halloween spirit, I know, a little late.  We used to decorate the house, and set up fun, spooky things to scar the kids.  I had kind of let that go by the wayside for the past few years.  Perhaps it’s time to re-vitalize my love for the eve of haunting. 

One nice thing about living down here in Texas is, the weather is far better for the kids out trick or treating.  I can remember having to bundle up so much that the use of a costume was nearly impossible,  I said nearly.  It was not uncommon to have a couple feet of snow, or temperatures in the negative degree.  The kids could be very creative with their costumes, and it was always great fun to answer the door to find a whole passel of ghosts, goblins, witches, and monsters, all swaddled in warm clothes, waiting with bated breath to see what treat they would receive.

In my youth, the community would have a huge Halloween party at the County Fair Barn.  there would be all sorts of fun and games.  I am curious just who used to organize those parties.  I know they have not happened for a few years now.  There were activities such as bobbing for apples, and ghost stories told by the older kids.  And of course always food, lots and lots of food. A great diversity of flavors, aromas, and textures.   Each family would bring a dish or two, I don’t think anyone ever left hungry nor with energy to spare.

My siblings and I would go trick or treating the night of  Hallows Eve, spend what seemed to me, hour upon hour visiting houses, collecting our sugary bounty.  There were certain houses we all knew where the treat was spectacular, and they were always visited first.  When I look back now, I find it amazing that we could just about cover the whole town in one night, not that it was a large town. 

There were the fabled haunted houses,  the Hand Hotel and the museum, that were rumored to be the resting place of a myriad of ghost and other hauntingly spooky creatures.  Carefully planed, usually by Kel our dramatic oldest sister, visits to these places were always in order.  By the time we returned home, there was candy and goodies to last a illusory lifetime.

We shall see what happens this year, and maybe discover some of the more interesting kids in the neighborhood.  The hard part is the dogs, we will have to decide how to handle this, for they can be slightly disruptive.  Many of the little kids are afraid of them even though all the dogs want to do is play with them. 

I took a walk around the neighborhood last evening, and made a point of  saying hi to everyone.  Some looked at me as if I was a creature from another universe.   I suspect they are not used to it yet, but I have time.  I plan on making a regular stroll through the streets, maybe get people used to seeing me and hearing me greet them.  Then I can work my way up getting to know more of them, and what they are about.  How is your community today?


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A Look at History, To Find Some Solutions

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The most talked about issue on line these days is the financial crises.  Understandably people are concerned, worried, stressed, and depressed.  I have been reading the local paper more than ever lately, and have noticed an interesting trend in the stories. 

They have been publishing a few stories on survivors of the Great Depression.  I have noticed a certain things among the survivors, they are upbeat and positive.  What fascinated me about these people, is their sense of community during those times.  The Great Depression, with out a doubt, was a terrible time in our history.  There was widespread job loss (25.9 percent unemployment) and hunger, people were starving, literally.  So why is it that these survivors reminisce about the wonderful feeling of belonging to a close community.

The close knit community, made up of people who helped each other and fed one another, were the ones that seemingly had the least drastic of effects from the Depression.   They all worked together, some had gardens, and grew produce for themselves and their neighbors.   Others raised stock, pigs, cattle, and goats that they shared with neighbors.  Nearly all of the survivors remembered going to a neighbors hose to get raw milk and cheese that would be consumed by the whole community.  They leaned on each other, helped out those who had physical disabilities, and loved their families.  

I suppose, that if we are to take anything from these articles, it is the need for people to get to know their community.  Something that has been missing for a long time, is the tight knit community of old.  How often has your neighborhood had a get together, just to get to know each other and keep up with the happenings in every ones life.  Find the strengths and weaknesses of your neighbors, and let them know what you can do.  Don’t be afraid to talk with them and offer to help when you can.  Pulling together as a community and family, may very well be the answer to the tough times that may be just around the corner.

Soul Meets World had a very good post about the current economical fall out, and how it related to the Great Depression era, The Crashing and Burning of the Economy.   She had some very interesting facts in this post, and I enjoyed reading it.   Lilly’s Life  also wrote a very good article this weekend about our current crises, When Did Personal Responsibility Die.  The article is based on the fact that we all most likely had a part in bringing about this crises, not just the big wigs.  But most importantly, she started a comment thread with some very interesting and helpful tips to save money.

The blogosphere, is a community in its own right.  We each have our smaller community of friends and family that we visit regularly. I’m thinking we all need to blog the crises, and examine all the causes.  Come up with useful ways for everyone to save money, and help each other.  We have a voice,  a voice that gets more attention than many of us realize.  There are things we can do, we just have to figure out what they are. 

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Monday’s Writers of the Web

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Monday is here once again, and we all survived the weekend.  At least I hope everybody survived the weekend.  Of course it’s time to get back to my Monday’s Writers of the Web where I share sites I have found, or that have been shared with me. 

Since this weekend seemed to be such a reminiscent time for me, it’s only appropriate that the first site I mention is a memoirs.   I put out the call on Twitter for any one with a short story, blog novel, or poetry site form me to add tonight.  Well I got a good one for you, The Life of Jenny and Margaret, are the memories of a woman growing up in 1930’s  rural Kansas.  You have to go to her August achieves, at the very bottom to start the story.  The very first post is about her and her friend exploring an over grown street across from their property.  While walking up the street, picking flowers, they come across a seemingly mystical cottage, with a wizened old woman.  Who might this woman be, the Wee Wee Woman, or perhaps the Wicked Witch from Hansel and Gretel.  You’ll have to go read the post to find out what a young girls imagination saw.

The next site I wish to share is one that was given me by one of my friends at Plurk, my helpful bibliophile, Butterflylitgirl.   This site has a number of short stories, and fiction to read.   Aston Daigle, is in the process of writing a Na No book.  What’s a Na No book you ask,  He explains it on his site like this.
“The month of November is National Novel Writing Month. They have an annual contest, where writers try to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. They’re motto is, ‘no plot, no problem.”
Sounds interesting doesn’t it.  Well he’s not just going to write one Na No Book, he’s going to write two.  He has already started his October Na No, and it’s described as
“The October book, the one I started this morning, will deal broadly with the themes of terror (although it won’t be a horror or terror story), persecution and, if time permits, redemption.”
He has a few other short stories and fictional writings on his site.  I’ll be spending quite a bit of time at Aston Daigle, exploring and reading all I can.

Now, on to a story based in my home state.  Denver Cereal, is authored by Claudia, and is just what it sounds like, a cereal blog novel.  If you want a very good introduction to it check out Claudia’s FAQ page.   She post’s pieces of the chapter through the week at Denver Cereal, so you can enjoy a little bit, more or less each day.  The completed chapters are posted in their entirety  at Stories by Claudia on Saturdays.  I am thinking of  Denver Cereal as almost a daily drama, or soap.  This is going to be fun to try and catch up on, and then follow.  She mentions that her inspirations were Tales of the City, and Sex in the City.  This find is also courtesy of  Butterflylitgirl .

I mentioned last week that I was watching Poetry Playplace and her 30 poems in 30 days project.  She just happens to be Butterflylitgirl, AKA Megan, and has taken on the challenge of writing a poem each day for 30 days.  Each poem is based on a specific assignment, and Megan does a wonderful job of explaining each assignment, and giving useful links to help in completing each assignment.  I know from talking to her on Plurk, that she some times struggles with the poems, and deals with the same inspirational issues the rest of us deal with.  Her poems are full of feeling, and paint an interesting picture.  One of my favorites is a poem about some time she spent in a Laundromat, watching people, it’s called Laundry Day.  If You want to follow along with Megan, and participate you are more than welcome.  Megan even told me that it’s OK if you don’t do a poem a day, but if an assignment speaks to you by all means join in.

Healing Yourself Heals the World, is a site authored by Holly Ord.  Holly is following Megan in the 30 poems in 30 Days project.  Her poems are stark and clear, they paint a picture worth seeing.  She also makes a few post’s about how hard it is to do this project.  Holly says that 30 poems in 30 days has reclaimed her creativity.  You should check her site out, and read her poems, they are well worth the visit. 

The final site I want to mention is Zen Moments.  It’s full of heart wrenching and thought provoking stories.  There is only so much I can say about this site, for it leaves me in a state of introspection each time I visit.  You have to visit and read some of the stories to understand what I mean.  There is one in particular that struck a cord with me, The Cab Ride I’ll Never Forget, and I would recommend that everyone  read it.

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Feeling Reminiscent, For Some Strange Reason

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I can not explain the reason, but I have been feeling reminiscent this weekend.  I have not accomplished much, and have not had a single seed of inspiration all weekend.  I wonder if it’s the change of the seasons or something else that is placing me in this strange and uncomfortable mood.  I refuse to say depressed, for that is far from the truth, just kind of stuck in a rut.  It’s funny, but when this happens, I have a tendency to reminisce back to those fond and familiar memories of the good times in my childhood.   I prefer these remembrances to those of my previous post, for obvious reasons. 

We lived not far from the county fair grounds, about two blocks.  Our house was on the corner of one main street into town, and the street leading down to the fair grounds.  During the summer time, every Sunday, the local ranchers would gather at the rodeo arena to practice roping.  My brother and I would run down to the arena as soon as we saw the pick up trucks  pulling horse trailers make the turn to the fair grounds. 

They always let us sit up on the cattle chute, and release the steers so they could chase them down and rope them.  In our minds, we were taking part in a rodeo, and thought ourselves something of a cowboy.  We would sit on the steers in the narrow fenced chute lead in, thinking we were really something.  We had more fun watching those old ranchers play at their chosen sport than just about any other thing I can remember.  Of course we had our cowboy hats and boots, and always wore blue jeans and pearl snap shirts.  We were the picture of young cowboys.

In those days it was not uncommon for the local ranchers to welcome us to their ranch.  We often helped during the hay season, bucking bales, and playing in the fields.  I don’t think we really helped much, for most of those bales weighed far more than I did.  It was fun for us to believe we helped, but I know it was mostly my father who helped, and we were always with him, just about anywhere he went. 

I can remember quite well riding out with dad in Shasta, an old 1970 yellow Chevy pick up truck, to get hay for our horses.  He had a method to loading the truck that allowed him to get the most on it in one trip.  I used to think it funny to see the hay stacked up above the cab and hanging off the sides.  He would take the hay to our little barn, in the horse pasture, and stack it neatly.  We of course would go play in the haystack, and eventually have it knocked down and scattered all around. 

All of us kids, Kel, Tinaliegh, Toad, and myself would have little fights in the summer.  Since there was no snow we used what was available to us, hence was born the horse shit fight.  I think possibly Kel was the instigator of this, but we all joined in.  There was never a lack of ammunition, and it really was not all that messy.  Although I don’t remember Mother ever having a fit about it, I’m sure she was not pleased either.  We spent much of our free time in the summer down in the horse pasture, it was our fantasy land.  We had to be there anyway to take care of the horses and feed them, so we thought we might as well make it fun.

It’s nice to remember back, and realize that which makes you, you.  I don’t think its a bad thing at all, but should be kept in its proper place.  So when I get in these moods, I will allow some reminiscing, and then force myself to move on to what’s important.  The here and now, no mater how disheartening, is what needs to be focused on.  Sometimes one has to extradite themselves out of the past, in order to save the present.  That is what I’m trying to do, so bear with me, I’ll find my way back.

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Playing at Poetry Playplace

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Poetry is one of those forms of writing that can be unbelievably descriptive and emotional or vague and open for interpretation.  I love to read poetry, and try to interpret the intention and feeling of the author.  It is not always so easy, and I fear more times than not I get it completely wrong.  I have been visiting a few real good Poetry sites, and reading to my exhaustive pleasure.  There is something about a good poem that seems to add a flavor of  direction and comfort to my thoughts. 

Never before have I considered attempting to write any poetry.  Lately I have been conversing with a few friends on Plurk that are writing poetry.  One of them Megan has  set up a new site, Poetry Playplace,  where she is doing a series 30 poems in 30 days.  It’s an idea started by John Hewitt, but she missed this years edition.  So she’s going to do the series herself, I believe as an exercise in writing.  I thought it sounded like a good idea, and decided to follow her.  Originally, I was not going to attempt writing any poems, but as she has gone along, I found myself drawn to her assignments.

The first assignment was "Write a poem about your childhood. Explore an actual event that has some emotional significance to you. Avoid using any description of how you felt about the event then or how you feel about it now. Instead, try to make the emotion of the event come through in your descriptions of what happened."

Now this is difficult for me, for a few reasons.  The first, and probably hardest obstacle, is that I was brought up to not show emotions, for they betray your vulnerabilities to all including an enemy.  The second is my inability to fathom some emotions, especially my own.  When you add in the factor of childhood, a time in life of not understanding, yet wanting to learn, you add another level of difficulty.

I did a considerable amount of soul searching, and recalling childhood memories best left buried in the dark recesses of forgotten remembrance.  How’s that for an oxymoron.  I chose a time of my very young childhood, exactly how young I really don’t know.

We all went to a sitter that was know by all the kids as Grandma Clark, however she was not any of the children's grandmother.  She was a strict disciplinarian to say the least, and had some very unusual beliefs.  One of these was that left handed children were the spawn of the devil, and meant for no good.  I was left handed, or at least showed tendencies to be left handed.  While I was at her house, she tied my left hand behind my back until I became dependent on my right.  So I guess you can say she truly had an effect on me and changed a specific aspect of my life.  So that is what I chose to write my poem about, if you can call it a poem.

The Evil Left Hand
Everyday, I was consigned to her.
She was Grandma to all, hardly.
Always nice when necessary.
Until all parents disappear.

Turning to me, rope in hand.
Those words, I shall never unlearn.
"Lefties are, Devils spawn,
Righties a gift of God’s good."

Binding of the Devils spawn
brings forth Gods gifted.
Day after day, Months on end.
Perpetually timeless until return.

No longer will I be, Devils spawn.
Converted for her beliefs.
Never to be lefty predominantly.
Gifted to be, right handed.
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