uber diaries part 1

She was a larger beautiful African woman in a beige mini van.  And as we took the 35W South ramp to 94 West, someone in a red truck who was taking the 10th Ave exit to our right, decided they didn’t want to do that anymore, and veered to the left, directly in front of us, almost hitting us.

 

I was immediately angry at the truck-man.  “What an idiot.  Doesn’t even know where he’s going does he?  Stupid stupid man.”

 

My driver just started laughing.  A gentle and genuine laugh.  “Ho ho… that man didn’t know where he was going did he!?  Very funny.”

 

And with laughter, I was put in my place.  My “I’m in too much of a hurry for compassion” was gently led to a better place.  A place where I could laugh with my new friend about how I normally don’t laugh in these situations.

 

Ten minutes later, as we were pulling into the Loring Park roundabout, a woman started crossing the street right in front of us.  My driver slammed on the brakes, and slowed to let this audacious day-walker pass.  And the walker just kept eyeing us.  Saying, “You better stop, because I’m walking here.”

 

Again, I got angry.  “Why did you need to be like that?  Why the attitude?  Why the anger?  You stepped out into traffic…”

 

And again, my driver started chuckling and changed my perspective.  “What an odd woman!  Where I’m from, brakes don’t always work!  Hahaha!  I’m glad they did.  Silly woman.”

uber diaries part 1

when there’s nothing to do, feel

As I was led into the pre-op room, the nurse started proclaiming, “They’ve had the news of the Las Vegas shooting on all day.  I keep telling them to turn it off, and they didn’t until one of the patients overheard me complaining, and seconded that the channel be changed to something more positive.  No one wants to be thinking of that before they go into surgery.”

 

And as I weighed his words, I decided that for me, I wouldn’t want the tv to be turned off.  Well, I do.  But I won’t.  When I have the privilege to turn off the suffering of others, I won’t.  I will turn it on.  Not in a morbid self-punishing way, but because I need to feel what they’re feeling.  It’s all I can do for now.  And when there is nothing to do, there is always someone to be or something to feel.

 

I won’t shut out the pain of another, just because I want to be comfortable.

when there’s nothing to do, feel

fall through the cracks

I know I don’t have it all together.  I know that in my head.  I know that in my heart.  I know that I need to set boundaries.  To say no.  To limit myself.  I know that things will fall through the cracks.  I will let people down.  And it will be ok.  I am a human, and I’m not perfect.  I know these things.

 

And yet…

 

There is a part of me that is relentless.  It’s faster than me.  It’s bigger than me.  It’s stronger than me.  And it wants me to do everything… to hide the above truths.  To pretend they don’t exist.  To try and have it all together.  To try and not let anyone down at all costs.  To be a steel trap of responsibility.  To have no limits.  To have no boundaries. To admit no weakness.  It tells me that when things do fall through the cracks, and I let people down, I will be cut off.  From love.  From belonging.  And I will be shamed into darkness, hated, and it will be just.

 

And so…

 

I breathe.  Deeply.  Four seconds in and five seconds out.  And I remind myself that this war is real.  This war does not define me.  The former truths will prevail and give me comfort.  Because we don’t need to have it all together.  We are loved.  We matter.  We belong.  Regardless of what falls through the cracks.

 

May we fall through the cracks, into the loving arms of God and each other.

fall through the cracks

camp showers

Summer camps are a lot of wonderful and terrible things.  Depending on the camp, there are different levels and types of wonderful things, and different levels and types of terrible things.  But in all great summer camps, there is one thing in common.

 

Terrible shower water pressure.

 

I think that the people who build summer camps must have an agreement that, no matter how luxurious or rustic, no matter how great or terrible the food is, no matter how overstaffed or understaffed the camp will be… the showers will have highly suspect water pressure.

 

Inconsistent water pressure that depends on the time of day.  Low water pressure that makes you wonder if using the sink might be better.  And sometimes if you’re lucky… it’s just cold all the time.  That’s a bonus that some camp architects throw in for good luck.

 

I don’t say this to disparage the aforementioned terrible water pressure.  There is no evaluation in my tone when I use the word “terrible”, only an objective analysis in that it underperforms what is normally expected of a shower.

 

Now, the coupling of terrible camp showers with the best that summer camps can be, is quite a contrast.  Summer camps, at their best, are bizarrely messy, dirty, and wild places.  They are intensely communal.  Sharing meals.  Sharing space.   Summer camps are often heavy transformational spaces.  The outdoors.  Focus on self and community.  Faith, spirituality, personal development.  The attenders of camps often sacrifice many American ideals (individuality, personal property, meritocracy, etc.) for the chance to build community, deepen connections, and grow.

 

So,

 

when I say that I sold my house, and have found two places (my new small apartment, with lots of communal spaces, and my community-focused gym) that both share the same summer-camp-culture described above… would you be surprised to learn that they also happen to have summer-camp-level showers?

 

Because they do.

camp showers

holes eleven, twelve, and the start of thirteen

A frosty Arizona morning

sitting in a chair

coffee in hand

facing hole number eleven

the old women and men march down the fairway

the birds chat and watch as

the sun rises slowly over the

burnt red tile roofs

an oddity to a northerner like me

where shingles are King

 

and the leaves are still now

with no breeze to make them

dance and sway like they did yesterday

reminding me of a flamenco dancer’s dress

at an evening ball

or a sundress running on the beach

 

and from where I am I can see at least ten different

types of trees each with their own

unique forms and leaves,

bark and story

perpetually hanging out with each other

on holes eleven, twelve, and the

start of thirteen

 

Gladys missed a thirty footer

and sent it another ten feet away

and as she cursed and stomped toward

her ball I wonder if she ever

notices her tall friends surrounding her

on holes eleven, twelve, and the

start of thirteen

 

cheering her on and inviting

her to be at peace and

remember many things including

growth is slow

and slow change, trees, and stillness

are beautiful

holes eleven, twelve, and the start of thirteen

757 Down Over ABQ

I have no idea how to be a modern poet.  When I first decided I wanted to put my poetry “out there” (read: into the nebulous sea of the internet), I thought, “I’ll start a blog!”.  And after a few months, I realized, “No one really reads blogs anymore.  (Maybe it’s just poetry blogs… or poetry in general).”

 

So, I happened to stumble upon a vast poetry community on Instagram (read: accidentally clicked a button that showed me someone who just had poetry as their IG posts… #crushedit #fatfingers).  I then found a vast community of people… who write poetry.  Who read poetry.  A community of people like me who just want to share their art with the world, with whoever else wants to read it.

 

All that said… I still have no idea what I’m doing.  Hashtags?  Followers?  Pretty pictures + poetry?  Just poetry?  Consistency of posts?  Mixing my personal life + poetry?  *sigh and shrug*

 

So, here’s one I put in IG that I didn’t put here.  The perfectionist in me is having a panic attack at their not being parity between my social media outlets.  Shove it perfectionist.  Art is happening.

 

757 Down Over ABQ

snow pond

As I stood by the pond

while the light snow drifted down

around me I leaned my body and

my face against a tree and gazed

and sighed at the

quiet beauty of the trees and

still water and cat tails all

being given a snow-bath of sorts

covered with their winter robes

and I

being the only one in the world

at that moment

to see it

and admire it

snow pond