Monday, September 28, 2009

dirty fingernails

There’s still dirt under my fingernails. I don’t want to clean it out. This dirt comes from the Land. This dirt comes from the ground that my feet walked across for the first time and felt free…light, Home. I want the reminder there for the times I need a boost. I have to erase the lines of past damage, the old habits and the old routines. I have to start anew. I love me – and I need me to survive.

I need some ground to put my feet upon so that my head remains close to this earth and not in the ever-changing and uncertain clouds of my thoughts and unkempt attempts at taking care of the whole, wide world. This dirt holds me close, serves as the in-between stuff that separates the gravitational pull of the earth and the atmosphere. The buffer that will keep me here on this planet, instead of up in space. The thing that keeps me from going into a magical, manic trip around the world in my head. This dirt under my fingernails is here to ground me.

A power plant will be built with this dirt as a foundation. It will wash out into my own shower and gradually fall out into my own house to spiff up the floor just a bit. A little extra to keep it strong. It will help to fill in those little cracks that start to show weakness. It will add weight where there is not enough and height where I need a boost. This dirt is not dirty – it is but one source of my clean energy.

I cannot clean this dirt form my hands. It is welcome. It is strength mixed with love. It is a reminder that there is a place where the world makes sense, if even for a week.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

learning to rise

I was healthy then. But also, I drank a lot.

It was the time of my life that made the most sense and yet was so hard.
I woke early every day. About 5:30 or 6:00. I was the one who made the coffee, who boiled the water for the rest of the crew. I was in charge of who did what in the mornings. 

Some of the students had no interest in responsibility OR waking up. They were late every morning and sometimes got left behind. It was a terrible thing to be left behind for the professor got very angry.

The days were so long and hard. Survey all day – over mountaintops and saddles then down hills, up hills, and over fallen trees. Always hungry. Never full.
There was so much to see, so much to find on the ground. Always noticing small pieces of stone in the dirt. There was not enough time ever to see the panorama of peaks and snowy ridges that surrounded us.

It was not until night that we were capable of finally observing life. To see the stars sparkling in the expansive Wyoming navy of a sky. Sometimes we saw each other’s faces over the flames of a campfire, but mostly, sleepy eyed and dazy, we only saw the stars. And this is when I felt the most me. Learning to rise into myself and who I wanted to be. 

Someone who wanted more from life than life had offered thus far and I was finding it at ten thousand feet, with the bears and the moon.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

can I keep this pen?

I had come up the elevator to the third floor. The office was newly remodeled and had fresh paintings on the walls. A collage of pictures, of all the twelve or so doctors that work there, greets every guest as the doors slide open to a large foyer. It led into a large reception area with windows covering the whole west wall. I see Horsetooth and Grey Rock. I can point to the exact crevice in the hills where my house is found.

There were not one, but four receptionists. I went to the one on the farthest left. She had the best smile. There seemed to be a problem with my health insurance and I wanted to talk to someone in person. I opened my packet of papers and started looking for my bill.

“I have a new address,” I said as I handed her the paper. “Let me write it down for you.” I grabbed at a different piece of paper, one that did not look too important, and jotted down my new address. Thank god, I thought, that I found a great place to live in such a hurry. And cheap, too. These medical bills are piling up.

“You have ink all over your hands,” said the receptionist, “Here’s a tissue.”

I looked down to see that it was not only all over my hands, but also on my new belt, my jeans, and it was making it’s way onto one of my favorite shirts. I couldn’t do or touch anything safely. 

I paused for a minute and looked out the window. I had just been thinking how easy this whole thing was and now I wondered when it was going to get hard. Maybe now?