“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

10.31.2014

truths and not truths on the end of october


the homeless man sat down in the front room of the business yesterday, neverminding that my hands were full of photographs and the clock was ticking away fast to a deadline, telling me lies and truths, asking for money in exchange.  a fair deal if the stories are good enough, i think.  his were full of navajo code talkers and weren't new, though he had changed them up a bit from the last time we'd heard them in a downtown cafe.  perhaps he'd been perfecting them, editing them under the texas stars.  he said he slept on a flatbed truck a mexican family was loaning him the use of every night, and at last he shuffled off down the street, needing tarp in case it rained, he said, glad for a new sleeping bag he'd picked up somewhere.

almost november and the wind is up outside, the cold is coming, and there is a first quarter moon in the sky.  we gain an hour this weekend, an hour of darkness leading us closer to winter.  i  imagine it with a lantern in its hand, guiding the way, shushing me when i talk too loud.  i'm not ready, but i follow along.

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10.26.2014

hiding places and small stories


this year's pumpkin is smaller than last year's.  i thought at first less boastful, quieter, a bit more shy, but then i tossed a garland made of left over paper edges across the back of its chair, and thought perhaps not.  perhaps just a bit more more sly.  the queen of her own parade.

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i worry, you know, that i should have more - i've said it before, and i say it to myself all the time, that i should have something to teach, something to tell you that's deep and wise, but this week changed my mind.  this once again awful, sad, heartbreaking week in the world, when i found myself burrowing deeper into books that comforted me, books offering nothing more than just a good story. i swallowed the words like warm tea, like cherry flavored medicine, as if my mother were there, reading me a bedtime story.  it was late friday afternoon - i can pinpoint the moment - when i felt the shift in my soul, when i knew without a doubt those were the stories i want to share here. stories small enough to tuck into christmas stockings.  i have nothing to teach, but i have more than enough to share.  until that moment on friday afternoon, i couldn't have said that with absolute sureness, but then, there was that moment, the news on the radio in michael's office drifting into my office, and i knew it was enough.

the year is continuing to move by so fast, november now just a heartbeat away.  i feel as if i've been tied to its coattails, flying in the wind.  a piece of that garland in the picture above.  i already know my word for next year - movement.  that's how sure i am of myself, of the rightness of this.  it may not be much of a shift in the stories, but it's a shift in the storyteller, and who knows where that will lead?  i am still navigating, still finding new paths. months ago i lost the back to an earring, one that belonged to a pair of diamond studs michael gave me the year my father died.  gold.  shiny.  i thought it would be easy to find.  i shined flashlights and looked and looked and wore my bare feet across the carpet, but it was gone.  until yesterday.  i looked down and there it was.

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today is warm and full of sunshine.  i look outside at the bigger scatter of leaves outside the door and see that autumn is a bit more serious about showing up, but then remind myself that though the ginkgo across the street has gone all yellow, the big one on the corner is still green.  this morning the shadow of a hawk fell across the grass, silencing the birds - i tried to find it in the trees, but they are still good hiding places, and i never did.  

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10.19.2014

somerset life and sunday morning


keeping my toes warm.

i'm once again in its beautiful pages, toes and all.  so is this place i call home.  so is the lovely, lovely katie in a fabulous yellow dress.  when michael saw her picture, he asked if that wasn't his old fishing hat she was wearing. ummm . . . yes.  yes, it is.  i stole it from him sometime last year when he bought a new one, when he said the old one was too worn out.  i thought it was getting just about right.


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i've been running a slight fever, an autumn ritual for me, all allergies and sneezes, and have done nothing the last few days.  it comes and goes, and i do the same - to work and home, staying caught up on everything except cleaning the house.  i read, buy groceries when i run out of cat food, do the laundry when i have nothing left to wear, read some more, watch football on the television, read some more, sneeze a lot, sleep not enough.  i've not been writing, not much, just a word here and there, saving them up for a sentence later.  the sun is warm, the temperature cool.  the breezes blow in all that stuff that makes my eyes water and my sneezes sneeze, but i leave the door open anyway.  i don't think it makes a difference, in fact think it maybe helps.

sunday barely after noon and the neighborhood is full of barking dogs and dozy cats.  leaves skittering down the street, the songs of birds everywhere.  the shadows of leaves shake in the wind and butterflies flutter by.  the grass is still green and ditto the trees.  the ginkgo across the street has lightened to a pale green, and also the tops of some trees i can see in the distance.  east texas autumn.

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full of good stuff.
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available online or at bookstores.  

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