When the Heart Decides

The Email

Meet me for a drink,
he writes,
there is time to spend freely
this starlit night under a Flower Moon,
it's been too long since we last spoke
there are things to say
too long unspoken.

The span of time matters not  

to lovers  who once kissed—
         under the spray of the sea beneath the crimson sky
in the hushed silence when sun meets sea—

two unlikely souls, unveiled
the flash, in your eyes
my desire, clear

perplexing it seems,
in spite of the number of years,
incredible it appears,

this passion
    you inspire
        continues
            to slide
                over my skin
                     smoothly
                        as sizzling wax    flows over the lip of a taper.

my days filled,
full without you,
dreams haunt me
from midnight to dawn
the void  
not definable,
nor unbearable,
only
unforgettable

sends me a'calling under this
Spring moon.  

Pick up, pick up, I plead,
it’s only a drink, a toast we will share
in celebration
of life, which
gives and takes freely,
let us celebrate
our enduring passion
ablaze beneath our polished exteriors.

There was silence,
between then and now
the memories once blurred
now dance beneath bright lights
in the dark behind my eyes
beckoning me
from my deepest sleep
calling me back
to my viaduct of dreams
where I stand

alone

watching the past, the moments we shared,

the first

to the last.  

You never see it coming
'till it's gone
the kiss of the lover
that steals your soul
and leaves a shadow
on the left side of your heart
lyrics heard in a dream you never wrote

My heart, serene
my head adrift
in the unpacking
of moments I buried
and shut away
after our good-byes

through the crack
I see
the door
of Room 619
your back to me
rigid
walking away
slipping out of sight
our final farewell

tomorrows came after

and another

another

until they were measured by seasons

no word came
no  liaison sought
imagining you
were imagining me
overlooking the why of our ending
until the reason for leaving
no longer recalled
and tears
no longer descended

tomorrows came

and another

another

until now.

His voice,
more a calling than a choice

Come to me, come to me.
Now.

to answer his plea
to go him
is where I want to be.

Knowing the risks
a voice in my head
muffled and faint
urges my feet
        to walk whence they came,

to be firm on the ground
leave the vapor of passion
that clouds my reason,
and promises a refreshed life.

The walk into his arms,
to answer his plea
to go to him now
is where I want to be.

Each memory once wrapped
delicately in layers of pink tissue paper,
then stored,
now savagely exposed,
dropped in haste
clothes strewn at our feet
our renewed passion
spent
on the sheets
of the rented bed in
room  619.
 

Do you or don't you follow your heart?  Of course, we always do the right thing, but what if we don't?  My protagonist is struggling with this same choice and since her hired gun (me) is wavering, she asked me to ask you, what would you do, go to your lost lover or walk away?

How Fast Can You Twirl?

When time is less, and life is more…

I am not one to lament, sing torch songs, or cry in my beer when I am standing in the middle of Grand Central Station of my own manic life. I am not that kind of girl. I hunker down—under the goose down duvet—and live off quintessential supplies required to weather the dark, dramatic times. To survive I will have at least one romantic novel. A story of a buxom redhead and a strapping lad who frequently rips the stays from her bustier before throwing her down on the sweet smelling grass in the Highlands.  In between trysts, the lad will battle the nasty British Officer who also wants the sultry maiden.

Also included in my hide-away-from-the-world-kit, is a new journal and a package of multi-colored Sharpies for jotting down my feelings in the appropriate color. There is at least one box each of Chamomile and mint teas, for sipping and soothing my weary soul during the mornings and late afternoons, while evenings is reserved for something stronger and hails from the vines in Napa Valley. I am not an emotional eater so chocolate is not a requirement, but there will be an assortment of exotic cheeses that promise to add depth and dimension to my thighs.  

In short, the first sign of trouble in River City, I scurry to town, gather my supplies, and run like a fox being chased by a pack of red cheeked, white haired, slightly manic men atop expensive horses, back home to slip my skin and hide under the plush feathers of the goose until whatever is passing overhead is gone. The key to surviving is to stay out of the line of fire. While I don’t know all the answers or how to win at the game of life, I am solider in the trenches and know a thing or two about how to survive a battle, even if it’s only fighting the speed at which the hands of time swirl around the dial. Time—or the lack of it—happens to be my latest trial, there is more on the Brenda list of DO NOW OR WITHER, than there is time in my days and nights to complete.  There is time available between the magical hours of 2 and 3 AM.  However, I am hording this hour for nocturnal festivities like slumber, dreaming, hibernation, soul surfacing, and total body power down.

(Annotation:  Sleep is said to be overrated, but I am rather pleasant, almost charming, some even tell me I am witty and smell good when I’ve savored the hours between midnight and sunrise for sleep. It’s a rumor but lets not spread it, we wouldn’t want others to know I have a good side.)

Lately, as in last two months, I’ve been a victim of hit and run time bandits. Like a woman dressed to the nines in designer labels carrying a Gucci bag and matching wallet with unlimited credit on all of her platinum cards (me with my list of to-dos), foolishly walking through the center of Down and Out Central (me breezing through life oblivious to the warning signs).  The woman minding her own business is knocked down only to see her assailants running away with her precious possessions.   After, she stands on the street corner dressed only in yesterday’s newsprint and disbelief (me sitting atop my bed in my threadbare awareness).

Where is the time I so carefully allocated to all my tasks? Why is Chapter 16—the final chapter of my novel—not edited?  Why isn’t a blog post-posted? Why isn’t the short story I started, finished? Why is it when I have grand plans I can’t catch a break?

Of course, when I am firing on all four pistons I keep a steady eye on the horizon watching for signs of those sneaky little time snatchers and life upseters, but my head has been in the clouds and preoccupied with matters of the heart, thus the signs flitted by unnoticed. It wasn’t until I was sitting in the airport yesterday morning–waiting to catch my flight home after an exhausting business trip—did I see the fading sparkle of a time bandit’s afterglow did I realize I was behind on my life and a victim of a hit and run.

So here I am signing my torch song and looking for love in the all the wrong places.  I didn’t resort to sobbing in my beer. Rather I inhaled a deep, long luxurious breath, held it to the count of ten, released it at the same pace, and resorted and de-cluttered my list. I counted my tender mercies, rejoiced over an email from an Editor at The Sun Magazine, wrote a post, and moved forward with Chapter 16. As for those pesky time bandits,well, I have opted for a new fashion accessory-a slingshot.

How do you cope when you dance as fast as you can and your life twirls on by?

Where I go when I am looking for live in all the wrong places…

 

Writing Rituals

There is no place like home

I don’t have any specific requirements or rituals to observe in order to write.  I don’t require total silence to write. I have actually written entire sections of my book sitting in hotel lobbies, on boats, and trains.  It doesn’t bother me if the MP3 player is blasting Van Morrison or Handel's Messiah, or even if the television is droning on.  I can write in the morning, in the mid afternoon, but since I live a dual life, most of my writing occurs at night.  I don’t need to eat or drink, or do the Mamba, make the sign of the cross, offer my first-born, or even light a candle and chant OMs to my Yogi, to write.  As far as writing rituals go, I am virtually ritual-less.  I confess to preferring a keyboard, spell check, and access to the internet for spontaneous fact checking, but I can write anywhere on anything, EXCEPT, when I am home for the holidays.  

Breathe deeply I told myself as my mother opened the door. My pulse raced. My blood ricocheted off the inner walls of my veins.  The heart I slave to preserve at the gym is showing classic symptoms of Arrhythmia. The minute my barely five foot mother opens the front door I start twitching.  In one hand, she is holding a serving spoon piled high with some new concoction she has made in anticipation of our arrival, while in the other hand she holds a Waterford highball glass filled with Johnny Walker Black Label. She welcomes us by giving us her cheek and says, "Try this, I just made it," before thrusting the spoon towards my mouth. I hear the familiar sound of music pulsating through the Bose speakers and elevated volume of television in the den as I walk through the front door.  There is a second TV competing for the same air space coming from somewhere down the hall.  

Mom is alone since Dad journeyed north to read poetry to the angels.  You wouldn’t know that given the deafening volumes of the electronics.   Mom is fond of three things, Johnny Walker, noise, and cooking.  Sometimes Johnny is second to cooking, but not by much.  Of course, my mother is going to threaten to sue me—as she normally does when I make fun of her in my posts—as soon as she reads this. She looks upon our visits as a reason to try out new recipes and turn the volume on her gadgets to ear piercing levels.  Thus, I spent all of last week eating my meals from a spoon, sampling her inventions and wearing cotton plugs in my ears.  By Thanksgiving, I was rotund and considered consulting a specialist about a gastric bypass and a hearing aid.   Nearly mad (as in crazy, borderline insane, fragile even) from not writing and having to lie flat on the bed to zip up my jeans, I contemplate purchasing polyester pants with an elastic waistband to accommodate my new shape-round, and checking into Motel 6.

Now fat, and nearly bonkers from not writing, I still have to deal with my sister’s mangy mutts that look better in a photo than up close and personal.  Yorkie terriers are all about focusing your attention on them.  They will stop at nothing—even defacing your personal property or nipping at your toes—to obtain it.  Where you sit, they sit.  If you don’t look at them, they will sit on you.  If this doesn’t work, the mutts will walk up and down your body—assumes you are in seated position or asleep— followed by wet pooch licks, chomping on your hair, biting your toes and ear lobes. If physical abuse does not procure the attention they desperately need they resort to petty theft.  They go after personal objects, such as underwear, bras, MAC make up brushes, a computer mouse, the pair of reading glasses on your nose.   The mangy mutts are not discriminating.  They figure if they have something of yours in their teeth and run around the house a light speed you’re going to chase them.  They’ve won.  No writing is possible under this sort of duress. 

While I don’t have rituals, I do need to write (maybe that is my ritual, the actual act of writing). When I don’t, my head clogs with the words desperate to get out.  It feels a lot like a sinus headache.  In my desperation to relieve the pressure in my head and lift the weight off my chest, I resorted to hiding in bathroom.  My laptop and I fit snugly in the empty bathtub. I managed to write an entire page before the dogs found me.  Right behind them was my mother with a slice of Banana Bread and her amber filled glass.  Later, my sister walked in and sat on the toilet seat to chat. In her defense, she came bearing gifts, a glass of hearty Merlot and a box of Ex-Lax. She suggested I consider writing a fam-moir.  The jeans I sweated bullets to slip over my Latin thighs are choking off the air to my brain and the third glass of earthy Merlot she is holding in her hand looked more like Nirvana and less like another 120 calories. It went down without effort.  As for the dogs….. well, one day I will have them stuffed or maybe offer them up to a hawk.  (For sure my sister is going to sue me now).

Do you have any rituals and/or what stops you from getting he words out?

Dear Pilgrims, We Give Thanks

Finding Grace

 

Pilgrims of the Mayflower

Wooden Structure on the Mound

(In the Forest clearing, left of the Maize fields)

Plymouth Rock, New World 

Now relocated to the heavens and beyond

 

RE: Finding Grace

 

Dear Pilgrims

 

I appreciate all each of you endured. Your mark on the generations who have come after, lingers. We honor the tradition you started in celebration. It is a day of thanks, a day for acceptable excesses, a day for family and friends, a day of appreciation, and for some, a day of remembrance. The pilgrimage is never ending. There are rest stops along the way, respites, half way houses, moments of genuine peace, where love is found, where hope springs eternal, where dreams are lost, buried, uncovered, and where we all come back to where we started. For some, our journey is not unlike yours.

 

I realize there isn’t a one-size fit all journey each of us are on. It is said the road we travel is unique. For some it is fraught with tears, love, loss, bewilderment, confusion, and sadness. But for most we travel the road of the unknown. On my travels it surprised me to learn some do not travel anywhere; rather they tread the same ground they were born on. The only difference between them and me is the shoes upon their feet. It’s a wonder to me these people don’t know they have never ventured beyond where they started. I have on occasion envied this way of life, but never longer than the breath of the moment. I would not trade my path of thorns for another’s bed of daisies, not even if theirs promised answers to the questions I seem to favor asking.

 

It’s widely known that I am looking for Ponce de Leon’s diary and covet his fountain of youth so I might sip the sweet nectar and live long enough to rewrite War and Peace. I wonder why Margaret Mitchell and Harper Lee wrote only one book.  I want to know where the Knights of Templar buried all their damn treasure so I can hire the chefs from the Food channel to cook dinner for everyone not under a roof. I still shudder when I recall Wounded Knee. Why can’t we find a cure for Cancer and Aids? Why our troops fight a battle not ours to wage? I wonder why we have not yet learned, after all lives lost in the Civil War, WW2, Bosnia, it’s easier to coexist and accept one another for what we are inside rather than wage war against one another. 

 

But lately, dear forefathers and mothers, what weighs me down as I reflect and look over this land we dwell and built upon is what have we done with the spirit you carried in your souls, the courage required to leave your family, homes, the daring you needed to cross the ominous Atlantic for shores unknown. Where is the nerve you found when you reached these shores to create something from nothing? Where are the strengths we pride ourselves in: ingenuity, faith, energy, and the drive to solider on in the darkness of adversity?   Where is your spirit in us?    I know it’s there within but we can’t seem to find it. We’re looking towards the leaders we have elected for answers. We’re throwing our hands in the air, complaining, feeling angry and hard done by, questioning our choices, and asking, what is the plan. We’re asking why they have not figured out this is a time for laying aside differences and joining forces. If ever we needed inspiration, it is now. I don’t find comfort as used when I looked across this land. I know it is a time to forgive, to give thanks, to rejoice in what I have, but I am struggling.

 

This year I give thanks to my past, to my ancestors who tilled the soil I reap, for my parents who pushed me to follow my dreams, and encouraged me remain true to my voice and beliefs. I give thanks for my children for their unconditional love—even when I am struggling with how-to and mess up—they continue to give. When I look back over my life and count my blessings, they reside at the top of my list. I look into their eyes and know they will ask questions as I have done. I know they will travel their own journey. For them, I wish that they remember to look beyond their own lives, to stand strong and true, to be brave, to carry out, to have faith, to strive beyond the middle, to create, to rebuild, and to live in harmony and coexist alongside others. 

 

I hope my children make a difference in this life they live. I pray they do not lose faith in their spirit, or lose trust in themselves when there is nothing around to give them faith.  More than anything, I hope they remember where they come from, and regardless of what life hurls in their direction, they continue traveling forward. 

 

Giving thanks, 

 

 

A descent of Native Americans

 

 

 

What is your wish of thanks this year?

 

Just Imagine

Believing in the possibility

Just imagine get-out-of-love-free-cards,
good-byes without impact,
new love with ease,
lovers without baggage.
 
Love with expectation,
commitment without fear,
unacceptable compromises,
independence and union, understood.
 
Just imagine love stories with plausible possibilities,
affection between midnight and dawn,
afternoons at the Ritz,
and Saturdays at two.
 
Tête-à-têtes over coffee,
holding hands in the park,
after arguments, and over dinner,
between breathless surrender,
before business trips, and during sleepless nights.
 
Just imagine beginnings after endings,
middles with do-overs,
endings with new beginnings,
and love at every turn, without thought
or consequence, evaluation, or regret.
 
Honesty in your lover's eyes,
doubt over which pizza toppings,
and not in your lover's words.
Trust in kind,
belief unquestioned.
 
Just imagine love without walls,
phobia, or long lasting memory.
Love like a toddler out for a stroll,
wobble, wobble, wobble, and plunk,
butt meets the floor and its back up again for
another spin on the red brick floor.
 
Blending of flesh an electric tingle,
like socks fresh out of the dryer,
the brush of a kiss on your lips,
a blustery spring wind whispering of possibility.  
Fuzzy logic, champagne bubbles trapped,
desire boiling off your skin
like a vapor.
 
Just imagine a cushion of billowy passion clouds,
Elvis tunes piped in your head,
a life that is not dot-to-dot,
explosive first kisses,
little tremors exploding throughout,
falling instantly, and forever after,
a believer in love at first touch.  
 
Hands fitting together,
glove over hand, second skin,
and knowing those hands belong on your body.
Losing awareness, finding paradise
in the arms of  a lover,
seeing love in the  eyes, feeling it in the kiss
left on your check,
in the caress.
 
Just imagine surrendering your heart
without expectation,
knowing your heart will break.
Just imagine love as it was designed,
and how it was meant to be enjoyed,
without fear,
and give it freely, again
and again.

Just Imagine

 

What else can you imagine?