Days lost in the fog of fever
While rain pours outside silver smeared windows
Another day it rains
Now the feast drowns the famine
Clouds cling to the wet hillsides
Like lonely children
Trying to find their place
Amongst the blackened moss and fallen needles
The dog stays close
He has never seen me sick
Heard me cough
Remarkable the sensitivity of our four legged friends
How much I have to learn from them
Start by looking
The sound of the hard rain against the metal roof
The rush of the running creek
That has been silent since spring
Now I am grateful for the beetle kill
In a twisted sort of way
Presently burning in my woodstove
A plentiful supply
In lower grounds
Flooding streets where pavement breaks
And here above the asphalt
We are washed clean
I remember every person who reached out
During the fires here
And each offer for us and our critters to stay
When it was our time to be at risk
I remember every person who did not
Which do I choose to be
Now that I have the choice
Lest I forget my family and friends
As their time of need
Swells upon them
My first journal was a diary, one of those little baby blue faux leather books with a decorative lock and key in which I put false hope. Paul Proknoun, my boyfriend at the time, stole it, ripped it open with ease as the faux leather was no more than thin cardboard, and inspired by what he read, I suppose, shared wild but untrue stories and a passed a photo around class he must have torn from his father’s hidden Playboy magazine of a woman he said was me. I was not yet in a training bra and although in hindsight perhaps I should have been flattered, I was not. I was mad.
Privacy is not something I take lightly. You see where and how I chose to live, don’t you? And trust once lost takes close to forever to regain.
Perhaps it was this experience and resulting anger and fear that later inspired me to burn ten years of journals and memories of teenage angst rather than risk them falling into the wrong hands. As if anyone would have really found them that interesting.
And perhaps it is because of this infatuation with privacy and trust that I raised my son with my journal open at my bed stand and knew it was as safe as I kept him… and his.
I imagine there was a time or two when in his youthful anger and inevitable mother-hatred stages he may have stolen a peak as I imagine too the weight of guilt that then pressed upon him was punishment enough. Besides, I bet there was nothing there of interest to his then adolescent mind. Middle aged woman angst?
Similarly I have trusted my husband like few I know can. And I consider this an irreplaceable and indispensable element of our beautiful marriage.
In a big plastic storage box from Wal-Mart stacked on a cedar shelf down at the Little Cabin labeled MEMORIES in black sharpie ink are the results of the thirty years since then, that fated year of burning, erasing the past, allowing room for the future, now tucked in a box filled with spiral bound pen and ink recollections that may never be seen a second time. And more than likely, none of those words and stories are worth a second glance. At least, I don’t need to remember them.
There still remained plenty of angst. Writing about loneliness from a moonlit desert with my head and shoulders sticking out of the tent in which I found myself alone, escaping another failed relationship. Frustration, poverty, hurt, confusion… Finding nature while scouring the New Mexico mountains for the elusive magic mushroom and seeking solace in the solitude found on the top of a wild mountain with my dogs on each side of my skinny tanned legs sticking boldly out of my levi jean cut offs.
Maybe someday I’ll read them over. Do something with them. Maybe not. Maybe someday my son will want to read them – I told him he could – though I think he knows me well enough and respects my past as… past. Over and done with. Maybe a curious grandchild, a little girl who sees me as the strong tough woman I am now (or will be hopefully when and if she comes into my life) and finds comfort in knowing that I wasn’t always this way. That I too have weaknesses. Faults. Soft mooshy spots. Insecurities. Problems that exist only in my head, but there are pretty weighty. That life isn’t always easy, and probably isn’t meant to be, because easy for the most part is pretty dull…
To date, I can say my life has been neither.
I don’t know why I am sharing this with you now
I guess I’m just feeling reflective
Thoughts swirling on the shifting surface of brown waters
With the waters rushing down our dirt road
Chartreuse green pasture
And wild waters of the Rio Grande
Writing from a state
In which I am living
But from which I may never belong