Taking Shape


The house is taking shape
Its roof and rafters
Its angles and shade
This feeling of home
Imbued in its textures

It climbs to the sky
A modern miracle
Crafted by artisans
Who measure and saw
And fit the design

But the house takes time
Its innards still bare
Window cutouts vacant
Soon to be filled
By vinyl and glass

And this hope leans in
A comfortable fit
Reaching out its arms
Like this slanting roof
Pointing up to heaven

Now the rain comes down
Pounding down from on high
Obscuring the obvious view
Turning shadows to fog
Sliding off its shutters

But I can imagine it now
This skeleton filled out
With laughter and dreams
The patter of feet
Coming down like rain

Because this is home
A future representation
Of a fascinating ideal
Its essence clearly evident
In this consequential shape

That needs a little more time.


Be Careful

“Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.”

be_careful_largeAs human beings, do we really know what we should be wishing for? I know for me it’s been a roller coaster ride, this thing called life. And sometimes when I wish for something hard enough it comes true. Then I realize it wasn’t the “thing” that I wanted, but the feeling of euphoria that should have accompanied the “thing.” When that euphoria doesn’t happen I feel empty.

So I’m saying, “Be careful.” I’m reminding myself of that, and of all the times when things looked perfect but they really weren’t. Because if I don’t learn from my mistakes I will keep making them again and again. Because if I don’t warn my heart and soul about those wishes I will keep hoping they all come true. Experience can be a great teacher, but the soul wants what the soul wants.

I’ve made a lot of changes in my life over the past 5 years. I’m no longer the pessimistic soul I used to be. I no longer make excuses for the things I do that hurt others. I own them now. I’m always careful to apologize when offenses occur, and I hope that in being careful I can somehow change fate. I wish for more than just physical objects now. I wish for no ill will. I wish for a better appreciation of what life gives me, even if it’s not what I think I want or need.

I only wish now that the people I appreciate always know it. I wish now for the patience to not get annoyed when things don’t go my way. I wish now for good sense and solid judgment, for a better understanding of myself so I’m never blindsided by the things I do. I wish now for a quiet meditation in my soul that will see me through the inevitable rough patches still out there on the horizon.

And I’m careful. I’m careful not to wish for the impossible, because sometimes the impossible is that way for a reason, because I’m not supposed to have whatever it is. I’m careful to stay in my lane, because veering can be dangerous. I’m careful because I’ve learned to be, and that’s alright with me. But that doesn’t limit my dreams. It just puts them more in focus.


Autumn Blues

starbucks-pumpkin-spice-latteI’ve never liked fall. There’s just something not quite right about it. It’s supposed to be this cool interlude between the harsh extremes of summer and winter, but it’s instead become an excuse to eat and drink more pumpkin themed fare.

It’s become a Land’s End kind of time, where magazine cover boys and sparkly runway girls wear trendy sleeved ensembles instead of the sleeveless ones they wore just a month before. They drink overpriced lattes from Starbucks and hang out at malls waiting to get noticed.

I’ve got those autumn blues, the ones that stain my days orange and brown, like the leaves all over the previously immaculate ground. I see the birds flying, and I realize they’ll be gone soon, south to plantation land, to seek their fortunes. Fall as way station between the two best seasons has gotten old.

I love extremes because I know what to expect. When I roll out of bed in summer I know it’s going to be hot. I know that all day long it’s going to be hot, that I’ll feel the sun on my face, that I’ll be wearing shorts. And in winter I’m good. I know it’s going to be cold, that the harsh winds will comfort me. I know what I’m getting.

But in fall it’s the opposite. Each day is an adventure unto itself. I wore sleeves yesterday, and no sleeves today. Some days are hot while others are cool. Some days are even enigmas within themselves, starting off with frost and ending with a heat wave. I don’t like uncertainty. I never have. I like things buttoned up, the t’s crossed and the i’s dotted. Autumn can’t do that for me.

So I’ve always despised it. It’s like the day after a holiday. When is the next one? Why do I have to live through that day? It’s a humongous letdown after something so pure as summer, a poor servant in waiting to the stupendous winter that is waiting in the wings. It’s confusion and chaos in the middle of perfection.

And yes, I like pumpkin spice lattes as much as the next person, but just like with egg nog… you can drink it year ’round. Get with the program, fall.


The Diving Board

diving-board-after2-1024x576The diving board stretches out over an expanse of ground that should be a swimming pool. There should be cool, clear, sparkling water at its edge instead of the light blue turf that otherwise adorns the space in its rectangular glory. At first glance, upon driving past, it appears to be a standard swimming pool, its color a trick of the eye, but day after day, in peripheral glances, it eventually becomes obvious. And for some reason, at some point, someone must have thought it aesthetically pleasing, feng shui for dummies as it were.

I try not to swivel my head when I pass these days, because it just makes me sad for some inexplicable reason. Maybe it’s because I can imagine the home owners desperately wanting a pool but not being able to afford it. Perhaps it’s because I can see them inheriting a home with a pool in so much disrepair that it wasn’t worth trying to save. So they bricked it in, but they didn’t have the hear to make it a patio.They wanted to pretend, and I know a little something about pretending.

I should get it, but I don’t. I should understand their motivation, but I can’t. All I can see is the board stretching out over nothing but shattered dreams. I want to stop there sometime, to walk out onto that board and watch it shake with my weight. Perhaps some kind of magic might transform the blue turf underneath into a deep abyss. I can even now see the breeze rustling the surface of the non-existent water.

And I realize that in my own strange way I am them. I am the home owners who could have had something special and were forced to settle for something not quite the same. For me, though, it’s not this diving board. It’s not this imaginary pool. It’s the sum of my own life decisions that have brought me here. I am settling in my soul for something less than what I want from myself. I am reticent to get out of my comfort zone, to take that metaphorical dive.

So I want to get up on that board sometime, to look out into the possibilities, to stare down my own acceptance of what I can change, and hope I don’t get caught.


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