Tuesday, November 29, 2005
It is pure. It is virgin. When you step outside after a fresh fall, it is crisp, smooth, and utterly white. It covers the most mundane objects in its peaceful, calm, beauty. It is silent.
It glows. It brings smiles and happiness to children's faces. One can build with it, play with it, or simply touch it. It does not resist, it is easily molded. But it retains its purity until it melts into life giving water in our hands.
It tells the story of creatures that have walked over it, going about their daily activities, leaving patterns on its surface.
But when it comes in contact with our machines, it turns black and oily. It dies. It recedes and turns foul, becoming a scourge to be burned away with salt and chemicals.
What does this say about snow?
What does this say about our machines?
What does this say about us?
Monday, November 28, 2005
I've been a bad blog host.
Thank you all for your comments that I had no idea I was moderating. Last night, I approved fifteen comments that had remained unposted since the seventh of November!
"i wurk in deh tecknowladgee feeld...i am teck swavey."
Again, sincere thanks for all your wonderful comments from the past several weeks. Please come back and comment more, as I've fixed the problem now. Don't leave because I'm a dork!
Besides, I blame it on Scott. He taught me everything I know....so there!
Friday, November 25, 2005
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures forever.
- Psalm 136:1-3
I barely remember it, but today I was reminded of it, and a few of the memories came back. My mother sent the following:
We have used these scriptures around the table every Thanksgiving since 1979 when I realized that my Daddy was failing fast and wouldn't be able to say the prayer at dinner, as he usually did. So that year for the first time we just read scriptures instead.
I remember this, vaguely. In that different time, that age ago time when memory for me is now floating clouds of almost imperceptible pictures and feelings, I can see it, as it were, projected in front of me.
In my minds clouded eye, there we are, sitting around the large Thomasville dining room table, so rarely used, but so filled with family during this time of the year. There are my older sisters, both married by now I think; one to a quiet man, the other, more recently, to a strange and funny man. There is my older brother, bushy hair and dark eyebrows. There's my dad, all dark eyebrows, glasses and bald head, and my mother standing next to him, apron on, a shock of whitening curls haloing her smiling face. And there's my grandfather, at the head of the table, for the last time, white hair, curved nose, horned rimmed glasses, and the light slowly fading from his eyes.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise; be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
- Psalm 100:4
My mother continued in her email from today:
That is also the year that I called Jean (who had decided not to come, but to wait until Christmas) and told her that she should come because something was going on with Daddy. I remember her sitting at our kitchen table later that afternoon, talking to Daddy and asking him, "Well, how are you feeling, Daddy."
I remember this, also. It wasn't strange, that my aunt wasn't there. She didn't come all the time, but she was usually up from Austin on occasions like this. She would often arrive after I was in bed for the night. In the morning, however, I would be able to tell that she was in the house because, permeating our entire two story house, would be the smell of strong coffee mingled with the scent of her perfume. It wasn't unpleasant, just another sign of the holidays. It was her smell.
On this occasion, I simply remember that she wasn't there during the Thanksgiving lunch, as was our tradition of those days, but then she appeared, much later in the day, and sat with my grandfather at the kitchen table, by the large bay window in our house that looked out over our ten acres. She found out then, that his light was fading, his eyes were becoming more and more clouded. He was an enigma to me that Thanksgiving, and I kept my distance, a little afraid of what I didn't understand.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good; for his mercy endures forever.
- Psalm 107:1
My aunt had asked him how he felt on that Thanksgiving day in 1979, and my mother, only today, related to me what his answer was, here:
...he replied calmly, "Well, I guess it's how you feel just before you die." She was stunned and assured him that he wasn't about to die, but it wasn't long before we lost him. New Year's Day, 1980, in fact. You were so young that you probably don't remember much about that. His brain was just shutting down because of the "hardening of the arteries" disease he had, caused by heart disease of course. He was a very kind, gentle man of high integrity from whom I never heard a profane word. What a treasure.
Twenty-six years have passed since that Thanksgiving. He was seventy years old when he died. I am now half that age. I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and am on medicine for both. My mother, and both her sisters say that I am the spitting image of Johnny Stroup, my grandfather. But I have to disagree just a bit, because while I do my best to be kind and gentle, I often am not. While I endeavor to be a man of high integrity, I often fail. As I do my best to be someone from whom a profane word is never heard, I am all to frequently profane. I am not Johnny Stroup, as much as I wish I could be, he was most likely a better man than I ever could be.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- Philippians 4:6
My last memory of my grandfather, before the funeral, is that of a man silenced by sickness. I see him lying in the bed, in that place that I hated to go to, that place where there were so many other old people looking at me. That place that smelled of urine and bad food. I was so sad for him, I remember that. He couldn't talk, he wouldn't eat, and he held my hand and wouldn't let go, and only stared at me with tear filled and silent eyes. It frightened me.
Soon after, he was gone. I was nine years old, and had only had a few short years from which to draw lucid memories of him before he became a ghost of the past. I remember distinctly that it was new years day 1980 when he died, because it was such a strange contrast of emotions for me. All things new were here, and all things old were passing away. An entire chapter and era of my life, and indeed in the cosmology of my little world changed that day.
Monday, November 21, 2005
...there's something in the fog...
Do you remember the old movie The Fog? I do. Not sure why. Probably because I never got to watch those kinds of movies when I was a kid (it was rated R). But over at my friend Brooks' house, we could watch anything we wanted. We watched Cujo, The Fog, The Howling, and other late 70s to mid 80s horror flicks. We even watched classics like The Birds and North by Northwest. The former were cheaply made, poorly acted, but they had the added benefit of having occasional partial nudity. The classics, of course, were better. As a teen, the nudity in the bad movies was probably the biggest...or even the only...draw those films had on me. They just weren't good to me, even then.
Still, one thing many of those films did well was set a scene. The darkness, the foggy mystery, the suspense, while contrived and formulaic, was fun and easily done. I'm reminded of the tension and weird sort of brown coloring that the first Omen film had. Whether it was just me, or the bad television I watched it on when I was young, or what, I've always had that sort of look in my head when I think of old horror films. The fog, the sound of a crow in the distance, or even the braying of sheep unseen in the mist. It's a strange sort of imagery, I know, and hard to explain, but still, it is my own.
Over this last weekend, we went to Green Bluff to gather some of the things needed for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Suffice it to say that it's been extremely foggy here in the inland northwest for the last week or more. So much so that most of the landscape and scenery that we are accustomed to was obscured by the fog on our drive out to the farm. But I noticed something else, something akin to the imagery I've described above. As we left the main road and entered the farmland that surrounds the little farm that we frequent for cider and pie, it was as if the very Earth itself was heaving a long, slow exhale. Releasing it's breath into the air in slowly rising rivulets of steam and fog, preparing to plunge itself in to the deep and dreamless sleep of winter. We could barely see around us more than a hundred yards, but all around us the fog was rising out of the ground, feeding the ever present orange and brown glow of mist that hung around us. It was amazing. Alas, we didn't have our camera, or I would have taken a picture. The picture above is the best I could find online.
Social Networking by Echo
Friday, November 18, 2005
its friday, but monday's coming...repost
This post is for Liz over at Letting me be... enjoy.
It's Friday, and all my worries and concerns about work are fading away. Machines are set, scripts will run, nobody will call me with problems, and the Alarm clock will not wail at 5:50am.
But Monday's coming.
Right now, though, it's Friday! And the world outside is cool and crisp! The sun will be out this weekend and the fall colors will be almost blinding in their brilliance! We will shop for provisions, we will play with the children, we will relax in the afternoon. We will pick up and give the house a good cleaning and prepare the garage for winter.
But Monday's coming.
But I can't help the good feeling I get when I know that Friday is here! I'll leave in a few minutes, listen to music loud on the way home, sing, waggle my head, and laugh at the other drivers who think I've lost my marbles. I'll pull slowly into my little driveway, and my son will likely run to the car and try to extract me from the vehicle as if I've been trapped in it for hours!
But Monday's coming, and I could wait ages for that.
But this weekend it'll probably snow! HA!!
Thanks Liz for being so encouraging.
: toadman : at Friday, November 18, 2005
Echo 0 Комментариев
Social Networking by Echo
Thursday, November 17, 2005
have you gotten those cigarettes?
I hope it didn't turn out like I thought it might. Maybe I was just imagining things, reading too much into it all, of course I was, it was ludicrous. But still, maybe I could have done something different.
I was in the little convenience store looking for a soda, that's all. I'd gotten my gas, needed to pay for it, and thought I'd pick up a drink, as I sometimes do. She came in right after me. Dark stringy hair, disheveled, and walked straight to the counter while I made my way back to the refridgerated beverages. I couldn't hear the whole conversation, but there was some question about pennies and cigarettes. I didn't understand, until I went up to purchase both my gas and my Pepsi, what exactly was going on.
She was shaking, desperate. Looking through her purse for just a little more. In front of her was spread out two envelopes full of pennies, and a pile of nickels and quarters. The conversation between her, and the middle eastern cashier wasn't heated, only strained and nervous. He looked at her, at the growing pile of change, and back at her again. She obviously wouldn't have enough for even one pack of cigarettes.
For a brief moment, I thought I should step in, and save her the embarrassment of not having enough money to feed her vice. I entertained the thought of purchasing, for someone who was much younger than me, and much poorer than me, a pack of cancer causing cigarettes, so she could have her peace. As I thought this, the attendant waved me up, so that I could do my purchase, and be on my way. It was, after all, getting late, and quite cold, and was threatening snow and ice again. The young girl glanced at me, and I shot her a crooked smile. She looked away and resumed the excavation of her purse for the needed money. I simply signed my receipt and took my own vice out the door.
When I got to my car and got in, I noticed that she had given up. She was walking forcibly back to her car, visibly upset and tense. She looked at me again. I looked away and resumed my ritual of getting my music ready. As I drove away, I wondered what effect my inaction would have. Who would hurt, besides her, because my heart and my morality had remained undecided? Would she lash out in her nicotine deprivation induced anger at some poor illegitimate child or children? Maybe she would finally decide that this vice was too expensive and dangerous for her and her family. But would she have the means to stop it alone? Did she even have health insurance? She was probably angry with herself for ever starting. Would I have made a mistake buying her a pack? Addiction is a beast, and not easily overcome without help. That night probably wasn't the time for her to start the battle. She would have probably been at peace, had I purchased her one pack. Just one. She was alone, and left angry.
This morning it snowed. It snowed just a little, only to remind us, and it's already gont now, but it snowed all the same.
This morning it snowed on People's Park, and Manito Park. It snowed downtown, and in the valley. It snowed on cardboard boxes and mansions. It snowed on Wal-Mart in the Valley, and on Hucklberries on the South Hill. It snowed on felony flats and on Mead.
It snowed on everyone, just the same.
Monday, November 14, 2005
is that you?
Originally uploaded by toadmaster.
Is that you? The one who I find so often under a pile of pillows in the living room, disheveled hair, imagining some sort of battle raging around your hastily built fort of cotton?
Is that you? The one who builds contraptions out of string, cushions and blankets? Contraptions for the delivery of any item of my choosing, so long as I insert an imaginary coin into the proper slot?
Is that you? The one who came to me this past weekend and pronounced that you were going to write a book called Max and the Dragon and commenced to outlining the entire story before the day was over?
Is that you?
Yes...I see that it is.
Social Networking by Echo
Thursday, November 10, 2005
good morning drive...
It's cold out this morning. Ice on the windows I'll bet. Yup. Start the car, get the scraper, scrape, then get in the car and wait. I need to get some anti-freeze wiper fluid. NPR or Music? Music today I think. I've had it with the news. Nothing but death.
Today! I saw music in the sky
I drove towards it in my car
And I turned left and I turned right
But I could never lose the light
That shines towards tomorrow night
Good. But not this early. Something else on this album maybe?
And if the bottle's no solution
Why does it feel so warm
And if that girl is no solution
Why did she feel so warm
And if to feel is no solution
Why do I feel
Yeah, that'll do. Better go now, I can see outside now. Backup, turn, forward toward the sun, to the end of the street, then right. There's the fog over the river. Turn left, toward the sun again, change lanes, turn right again. There's Milliways. I sure hope they named that little drive through coffee place after what I think they did. If they didn't, I wonder if they know about it? Oh well. Here comes felony flats. Lock the doors. There's the wall of art across from the Head Start. Too bad it's on such a busy street or maybe someone would clean it and people could take the time to look at it. Still, I like that Celtic knot painting. I wonder if I like it because it's Celtic, or because it's the biggest thing and easy to see while driving by it at forty five miles an hour?
Here's the bridge. I wonder what it would feel like if this bridge fell out from under all of us right now? It's a long way down to the river from up here isn't it? Oh, and there's houses down there. It must be weird to tell people that you live under a bridge if you live down there. I think that's Browns Addition down there, but I still don't know this town as well as some others. I could be wrong. Here's that funky stop light that's under the railroad.
Art is [obscured by a weed] Everyone.
I like that Spokane has art painted around under the bridges and stuff. That's cool. That weed covering the word for is interesting isn't it? I wonder if anyone thinks that it's possible for Art to not only be FOR everyone but that art IS everyone. Probably not. Not sure I think so myself. Oh well.
Right, the entrance ramp onto the freeway. I wonder when we'll ever make it to visit Seattle. Sheesh. I sure would like to get these windows fixed. Re-tapeing them over and over again is getting messy. $250 a window is outrageous though. I'm going to have to turn up the music.
We lay on a velvet rug
by the open fire
She blew air on my eyelids
I cried "What's it all about?"
As she kissed my hair
She said "There, there.."
I like this song. Good vocal range for me. I enjoy the sentiment also, though I don't think I'm quite as fatalistic. I still think there's a certain kind of magic in the world. Still, I get what he's saying.
Change lanes, fast lane. Up this hill now. Man, these ruts are bad. I wonder how much money Spokane spends on fixing these ruts every ten years. Maybe they SHOULD ban people within the city limits from getting studded snow tires. I don't know. I can see both sides of the issue I guess.
Sheesh, what's this guy doing on my tail? Better let him pass, he looks like he's in a hurry. Not me, at this rate, I'll be early.
I wonder if I should get Galm to let me do a class about female circumcision in our Medical Antrho class. I might be good at it. Then again, I might suck at it. Besides, it's his class. Oh well, maybe I'll just try to do the Symposium again this year...
If my heart were a ball
It would roll uphill
I wonder what that's a reference to? Oh well, cool song at any rate.
Wow, 28 degrees. Exit for Four Lakes and Cheney. Whoa.. what's all this slowing down business? Oh, I see.. might be ice on the overpass. Don't anyone screw up, ok?
Here's Cheney. It's amazing how this place reminds me so much of Boyd, TX. It's like Boyd, TX, but with a University in the middle of it. It's like a giant Hostess Cup Cake of a town with the creamy filling of a University in the middle. Appropriate, since all the stuff that's good for you is on the outside, and the creamy filling and added fluff is in the center. Heh..
Parking sucks. Hope I don't have to park too far away today. Yeah, this is a good spot.
Man, I need some coffee.
lyrics - Marillion - Anoraknophobia
track 1 - Between You and Me
track 4 - When I Meet God
track 7 - This is the 21st Century
track 8 - If My Heart Were A Ball, It Would Roll Uphil
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
where I want to live...
Where do I want to live? I want to live in a world where good and evil are more clearly defined. I want to live in a world where angels mingle among us in the form of wizards and elves. I want to live in a world where honor and integrity are commonplace. I want to live in a world where fighting demons really means, fighting demons. I want to live where I can see magical things walking around. I want to live in a world where Gandalf fights the Balrog. I do not want to live in a world of grey.
Watching The Lord of the Rings over the weekend again stirred my imagination to want all of this. I want to live in Middle Earth, a place I know almost as well as this earth. I want elves and wizards, hobbits and dwarves to be real. I really do. My heart leapt as Gandalf fell with the Balrog, so much so that I had to stop the film right there and put in the next DVD so I could pick up the battle where it left off. The first time I saw the film, I wept real tears with Frodo, Sam, and the others, after Gandalf fell, even though I knew he was going to fall, and I knew he was going to prevail. But I still wept because I was with them, right there, in Middle Earth. I was in the story, I know it so well.
I want to live in a world where our battles are honorable, meaningful, and real. I want to battle real evil, not the imaginary demons in my mind, or in the minds of others.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
I rarely do this, but I just have to mention to whatever readers I might have, that Robert Salsbury, who writes the blog The Unbearable Bobness of Being has posted two fine prose/poems at his site tonight. I think these two are some of his finest work. The posts are:
But a Spark
Bob's currently trying to quit smoking. I can't imagine, really, what that's like. I suspect it's pretty hard. I'd bet there's alot of internal angst and anxiety churning around inside a person who's trying to quit a habit like this. I'd also expect to see failure from time to time. Nobody's perfect. Bob's been doing well, I hear. These latest two from him are evidence, I think, that he never needed his vice to be creative.
So, I've been looking at my stats this afternoon, wondering how it's possible that I've gotten over 7700 hits since February of this year, when I added the counter. I'm sorry to say, and yet not exactly surprised, to find that people don't find their way to this blog because of the content, the witty or creative posts, or the sentimental writing. Nope. They come for the picture of Jon Stewart (click on the picture for a larger version).
Oh well, at least I'm the one with the picture, right? I didn't take it, no, it was done by TV Guide. I wonder why my site comes up with it in the Google image search before the tv guide website? I don't even remember where I got the picture, but I suppose if they have a problem with it, they'll let me know. Until then, I guess I'll just hang on to the picture and get more hits. Who knows! Maybe I'll get to meet Jon Stewart, or get to see the Daily Show live! But I doubt it...
Social Networking by Echo
At four am they start to trickle in, talking louder than is usually allowed this early elsewhere. They've been wreathed in silence, however, on the fifteen or twenty minute drive to this small town meeting place. They breathed in fully the coveted early cool moisture that is still lingering before the dawn for they knew that this would pass away soon. The heat would come and the dry air return as the moisture and coolness sank back into the earth from whence it came.
Wearing overalls with tiny blue stripes over denim, and covering their grey heads with feed store hats or John Deer hats, they drove away in that pre-dawn hour to come together with their peers over coffee and donuts. There's dirt on the white tiled floor, there's cigarette smoke in the air, the counter is coffee stained and cracking with age and use. The lights are fluorescent and harsh, the questionable cleanliness of the tables is thrown into sharp relief.
This place is beautiful. It is a welcome place in the minds of it's patrons during this special hour. They aren't here for the coffee, for the donuts, or for the ambiance, though they soak it all in. They are here, right now, because they can connect with each other. Before most of the rest of the world gets out of bed, they will be back at their farms, their ranches, and be getting on with their day in quiet solitude under an unforgiving sun.
This post inspired by "West Texas," a poem by A. Scott White: link here.
Monday, November 07, 2005
i guess the russians love their children too...
Birthday parties. Kids birthday parties. They're crazy, they're loud, and the amount of presents is often indicative of the kind of family the kid is a part of, it seems to me. For example, way too many gifts either equals too much emphasis on things or too many people invited. Too few gifts either equals too little money and too few people invited, or too little emphasis on letting their kid have one or two things that they actually want. I find myself over analyzing gatherings all the time, especially ones like this, where American excess is ever-present.
But these people were Russian. You wouldn't have been able to tell from a distance. Russians, unlike we were taught in the 1980's, look just like Americans. In the 1980s, we were told that they were all evil, wore grey suits and fur hats, and were always drunk on Vodka. We were told that they were evil atheists bent on a Communist global transformation. Given this stereotype from my teenage years, I was surprised to find them dressed just like me, and buying gifts unknown to the proletariat masses. There were, in fact, too many gifts. There were giant gifts. Noisy gifts. There were so many gifts that one entire table at Savage Land in the Valley was filled to capacity with garishly covered boxes of all sizes. Our little gift bag with two small gifts in it seemed out of place...cheap...especially since, from the discussion of people's careers, I had the highest salary of anyone there. A first for me.
After Savage Land, we dispatched to a modest house in North West Spokane to destroy a pinata. "A Pinata," you might ask? Yes. She was told that they do this. So she got one. She's always saying this to my wife. About school pictures of her kindergartner she said "They tell me you are supposed to hand these out to you friends...so here is a picture of Nicholas for your son Ian." They tell me... I wonder who she's listening to for this information. My wife and I had to tell her what to do next at the birthday party at Savage Land. She didn't know the proper routine. What came when? What do we do next? Does the song come first, or do we do it after the pizza comes? When is it right to "make a wish?" All these things that seem common to us, were new to her. After telling her what the cadence was, what the order of events commonly was, it also seemed very arbitrary to me.
Is this American culture? Is this how they interpret it? They want to seem American. They want their children to grow up American. They don't speak Russian to their children and apologize to us when they 'accidentally' slip into the chewed words of the Russian language amongst themselves. They shower them with gifts for which they likely do not have the means. But this is America. This is the land of debt. This is the land of plastic and imaginary money. This is the land of future means and possible gains. This is the nation of faking it until you can pay for it...that's American culture. Welcome to America.
Friday, November 04, 2005
My body has gone
But my eyes remain
I saw someone today that I didn't recognize. He looked older than he should. He was tired. His beard was more grey than it should be at his age, and he seemed out of place, I know he felt out of place. He usually does.
I watched him go about his day with deliberate movements, and carefully choreographed reactions and responses, belying his own insecurity. I saw him pour over his family accounts, re-budget his life, their life, and I could feel his nervous anxiety about the future.
I watched him struggle with temptation, with his career, and with his friendships. He's a good actor, this one, but he occasionally wears thin and just wants to hide and dream that he is completely alone in the world. He doesn't mind alone. Alone is comfortable for him, but not entirely. But he needs little.
I shout my name in the public places
No one seems to notice
No one understands
He loves his wife, and his children deeply, maybe too deeply, if that's possible. He doesn't communicate his emotions well, he buries them inside, locks them away, lest someone mock him. He fears this above all else. Mockery.
She said there's a house in your mind
An attic of treasure, a forgotten pleasure park
Waiting inside you in the dark
Don't leave it behind
Today I saw an older man. A man who isn't much different than the younger man that he used to be, only with more and bigger concerns. Life concerns. He is someone I don't recognize right now, but I hope to someday get to know him a little better.
When I was a child I had marbles
They brought admiration and fame
They were pretty to look at and marbles
Was always my favorite game
lyrics - Marillion - Marbles - Invisible Man, Genie, Marbles II
This is the last of the greatest hits that I'll post today. I might dredge up a few others in the near future, but for now, I'm going to take a rest and do other things. I hope I don't frighten off any regular visitors with this new format, but I also hope that I draw in a few others who might have been driven away by the previous content. Again, thanks for stopping by. If you like what you see, leave a comment. If you don't like what you see, thanks for stopping by anyway.
walking in light
Originally uploaded by toadmaster.
Don't get to close, my son. Be careful, as you walk in the sky, so close to that wonderful and fearful fire. But enjoy yourself. Don't let my fear become your fear, just be wary.
Climb as high as you want, think and say what you can, come to your own conclusions, with these wings that I can help you create. But be careful up there where the air is thin and minds become disoriented. Up there, where you can drift for days on a sudden gust, or fall for lack of air.
Be careful up there, as you climb to new heights, as you get closer to the light than I ever could, as you try to touch it's rays and know it better than I ever could. Just be cautious, and remember that I'm here to catch you if you burn your wings. Always.
Here's another from the synaptic greatest hits collection, enjoy:
I wonder if my rope's still hanging from the tree
By the standing pool where you drank me
And filled me full of thirsty love
And the memory of water?
I remember the feeling of the sun, on my face, and the wind in the cotton wood tree, alone. That's what I remember the most, being alone. We had land, and everyone else was older. Much older.
The ancient rock under my feet, lost in my thoughts, in my daydream life. I remember running through the dry, dusty land that we had, from gully to gully, Buster panting at my side, my light brown bowl cut hair sweeping my face.
I wonder if a king still fishes there
His back towards the burned-out air
His laughing catches singing loud
The memory of water
The stock tank was the color of dark chocolate. It was a soup of mucky, thick, water. I remember standing on the man made dike and looking down at the water, imagining monsters, and seeing snakes. I remember the time my grandfather and I tried to catch a jar full of minnows in that tank, and all we got was a jar full of Cottonmouth Water Moccasin, its angry eyes looking out from behind the cursive text of the mason jar with indignity.
I remember the sword battles I had there, beside that inland sea. I was a king, alone, fighting against invisible foes.
Your taste is blood and ecstasy
But I must drink you all alone
You're freckled like a speckled egg
A dove, but this bird has flown
O stay with me sweet memory
O stay with me
So many things that only I remember. The long, silent drives between our home and the city, alone, in the back seat. The long summer days by the creek breaking open cattails and watching the cotton float away on the breeze, alone. Finding animal skulls on our land, and imagining the monsters and devils that lurked just beyond my own vision.
I wonder if my rope's still hanging from the tree
By the standing pool where you drank me
As pain flows through me like champagne
Of the memory of water
Long time has passed, it seems, since I wandered here, in my memory, in the landscape of my childhood. I wonder what my children will remember of their childhood surroundings. City streets, small backyards, sidewalks. All the things that are mostly absent from my own childhood memories.
lyrics: Marillion - This Strange Engine - Memory of Water
this old house...repost
As promised, I'm going to repost a few oldies, just to get the ball rolling. Alot of people (even my mother!) seemed to like the following post, for whatever reason, so here it is again, unchanged from the original, though I think it might do with a re-write someday.
There'll come a time when all of this is over
Something else will grow and take it's place
The brand new car: scrap metal in a junkyard
The children playing will grow up and leave home
The house we live in was built in the early 1940s, before World War II. All the houses in our area are of this age. There is not, however, any feeling of decline. The yards are well kept, the houses well built and well maintained.
I sometimes think of the other eyes that looked out the same windows as I look out now, on to a street that hasn't changed all that much in sixty years. Surely the trees are taller, the bushes bigger, and the grass filled in a bit. Wouldn't the people who lived here before be surprised to see sprinkler heads sprout up out of the turf at seven am? I don't know. I don't even know if they had sprinkler systems in 1940.
As I look around the house, especially in the basement, and in the garage, I see the signs of the previous occupants, and I am reluctant to wash them away, fearing that some memory might be forever lost. In the basement, on the old shelves in a side room, dark, single light bulb, with concrete walls, there are scrawled in pencil the names of jellies, jams, or preserves. Cataloged for all time are the efforts of some housewife at preserving the local fruits of some bygone summer. In the garage, there are more penciled words, the names of rose bushes, forever reminding me of the efforts of some gardener of years ago. Also, from a more recent owner, or maybe the same owner in latter years, in a paper bag found in the garage, a receipt. "One wig, blonde." Cancer, I think to myself. I imagine an old man, sitting by the bedside of his lifetime love, in our house, watching her slowly slip away. Sadness and loss has been felt in this house, but also happiness and joy.
Put it away this dream you can't stop dreaming
Put it away this anger and desire
The open road is infinitely hopeful
Take all those memories and throw them in the fire
Whatever I am, whatever I have become, whatever I will be, I will be the sum of my memories and my experiences. Will I learn from what I've seen, heard, done and remember? I hope so. What pieces of my own story will I leave behind at this house? What will future owners learn about me? Already they'll notice a few things. A minor change here, a new bush there.
Houses hold on to stories. Their very bones reverberate with the past. The older the house, the richer it's story, and the deeper it's character. I love old houses for this reason.
lyrics: Marillion - Marbles - Don't Hurt Yourself
Social Networking by Echo
all things new...
I've changed something. I've started anew. I've moved the cumbersom beast and started all over again. Maybe it'll be better this time...only time will tell.
I've moved the origional incantation of this blog to http://www.penguinhosting.net/~toadman/blog/oldblog/.
I'll repost some of the good things from that old blog here also. This new incantation of my blog has been a long time coming. I've thought of doing it for some time. What made me do this now is the fact that my blog had become so large, with posts from the distant past (2002), that it took too long to upload the whole thing if I wanted to make a minor template change.
Anyway, that's enough chit chat for now. I'm going to take this blog a different direction now, somewhere I've been wanting to go for some time, but haven't had the maturity to do so. I hope you'll hang around and see what happens. Thanks, of course, for hanging around this long.