I Meditated This Morning

I mediated this morning. It’s been a while.

6:27 AM.
10 minute timer set.
Comfortable chair
Bare feet square
Hands on knees
Three deep breaths
And a neck roll.

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

How long has it been since I did this? Why does my mouth make that noise when I exhale? Are thoughts supposed to drift across my mind? Or is it my forehead?

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

Is it funny that my thoughts are the Wicked Witch of the West on her bicycle? with Toto’s there too. Are those my thoughts, incarnate? Isn’t that bird chirping loudly? I love spring. Is it a lark?

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

Nightingale? Lark? Remember that in Romeo & Juliet? Was that movie in the 60s? Or was it the 70s? Wasn’t Judy in college when we went with mom to see it at the Pleasant Hill drive-in? Isn’t there a 55+ community there now? It was a double feature with The Great Gatsby. Robert Redford. Mia Farrow. That was weird.

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

Wasn’t Romeo and Juliet great though? Olivia Hussy was Juliet. Wasn’t she actually 13? How did they get away with that? Mom made us leave before it was over. We were so mad.

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

Mom said it had gotten too late and she had to get to bed. Right in the middle of the movie. We couldn’t believe it. How long was it until I saw the entire movie after that? Was it years? Remember back then you had to wait for a re-release? Then on the way home we got caught waiting for a train. For about an hour. Was the movie over by the time the train passed? It was Karma.

Breath in. Ummmm. Breath out. Soooo.

Alarm rings.
Times up.
That went fast.

I should do that more often.

Launching Bears

It was 3:00 AM in early UVA spring 1977
Me slumped in a straight back dorm desk chair
Beginning again after a short hot pot break
Hazily typing a nearly due
“Compare and contrast” anthropology paper
I finish a line
I hit return
My IBM electric’s platen zooms high-speed right
Slamming into my recently filled Boynton mug
(Bears-cheerfully-holding-colorful-balloons)
Launching bears into flight across the quiet dorm lounge
Shooting an International Coffee Suisse Mocha spray
Ceiling high and room wide as my favorite
Mug crashes into a hundred sharp shards

Sigh

My college career in a single early hour vignette

Maine Memory

The bridge rumbled loud above our heads
As we scoured rocky Maine tidepools
Seeking starfish amidst the copious golden kelp
Flipping stones, scaling boulders, puddle jumping
Searching for life signs beneath clinging shells
Slip-sliding our way nearer the churning sea

Mist not rain dampened our slickers and
Fogged my glasses, wiping away drops while
Seeking the five pointed cherished prize
A champion photo op of the highest degree
All the time knowing while precariously climbing
The full emersion exploration is our actual joy

Picking Sides

Their tragedy opened ancient wounds.
Long ago fossilized in thick lead vaults
(Have you ever seen Napoleon’s tomb?).

Now pain is exhumed as the heat of loss melts
Glaciers’ frigid layers into streaky puddles.
Aqua tears flow into forgotten gullies.

Now it’s knotted stomach and fitful sleep.
Isn’t this the definition of Advent?
Or reclaimed doughy tenderness?
The price of ubiquitous window peering.
“Vicarious pain is real,” said the missing limb.

Now those crusty lacerations bleed thick fresh
Blood oozing red, raw and open in the new heat.
And dreams touchably vivid in anthropomorphized
Humiliation and sympathetic sadness steep black.

Now I’ve picked sides (my side).
Imagined reasons.
Crafted stories.
But as a wise man said back when my heart was torn out
“The fact that the sympathizers like you better only goes so far.”
So I’m sad for me (or her) all over again.

At the Soccer Game

My late summer walk across a steamy stadium lot
A thin young man in the wide hunter green head
Band restraining long thick curls brings on
Weighty full emersion nostalgia while blinking
Red, green and yellow river spanning lights
Oddly comfort presenting a holiday invitation
Sweet familiar smoke mixes with humid air
While sweat trickles down the back of the shirtless
Man walking ahead of me in camouflage shorts
And a full-sleeve tattoo swirling wildly in contrast
To the Philly Sports team logos tattooed on his calf
And ankle 76ers red white & blue and Union crest
I wonder where the Phillies are as his girlfriend
Pulls out of his reach as he drunk ambles turning
Left his incongruous billboard body mesmerizes me
The beer spilled 3 rows back that made slinky step
Progress toward my shoes whispers a sickening frat
Party aroma snapping maudlin memories back to now
At a certain point everything is evocative