My tongue is in my hand…

Archive for March 2009

It’s late afternoon, coming up on dusk. Men and children outside doing more than nothing and less than anything, look up. Surprised, they send messages inside. Women preparing food in kitchens step out, leaving stove tops unattended.

Bare feet press into the asphalt, then the dirt, making small splashes through the puddles; kicking gravel water onto a full black skirt swaying just above the ankles. Child jumps up to claim their spot on the left hip. Going across the street to get a better view, and look at the cedar.

“Did you hear about the robbery down the street? ”

β€œDo you need help getting those birds?”

And back to our boxes, the beans may be burning.

I am currently drinking Arbor Mist and listening to The Royal Greens, while burning incense that is supposed to be light hearted, like background music (that’s what the description said). Three of my nails are painted Eggplant frost, which is dark purple, in case you couldn’t deduce that from the name. I’ve got on these fuzzy pink and purple and black socks, my sweats are pushed up to my knees. I”m pretty happy to be here right now, just like this.

There were a lot of things I felt today, a lot of things I thought this week, but right now, all I can think about is being here. Glad everyone is asleep. I could be asleep, or I could be doing paperwork, or cleaning, but, I’m not.

And God, that incense smells good.

And I really like this song “No Matter”

I think I’m going to do some poetry, since I’m not hitting on much here right now (and don’t really want to be πŸ™‚

This was in “news of the weird” in Creative Loafing for this week (March 18-24)

“This adds an extra dimension people will appreciate.” said Hobart, Australia Mayor Rob Valentine in December, announcing that at the annual Taste Festival later that month, performance artists would entertain in the restrooms. According to Valentine, the performers would also supply soap and towels and would “recite [a] favorite poem, or tell…a story” while concert goers “used the facilities.”

This has made me laugh over and over today. Just picture it.

First of all, it’s ridiculous. Who wants to perform in a bathroom? And, who wants someone to read them a poem while they are in the bathroom? What kind of performer would take that kind of gig?

Sam, you would be at an advantage here πŸ˜‰

I wrote this down yesterday. The paper is sitting on my counter, then my desk, waiting for me to do this with it. That’s why I wrote it down. So with no further thought on it, that’s what I’m doing.

I was walking on a soft gravel path. It’s at a newer park. It’s the small gravel that doesn’t trip you up, the kind that wouldn’t stick into your palms if you fell on it. And it’s rained recently, so it’s extra smushy as I make my way. It’s an easy path. It leads to a boardwalk that goes through the woods, by a creek and eventually leads you to a cement path that cuts between two hills and then brings you back to the gravel. It’s almost warm outside. I don’t have my ipod, so it’s just me and the thoughts in my head. And Him. We forget, but He’s always there. And when we talk, He listens. And when we listen, He talks.

I was walking, anxiously rubbing the the oval plastic thing that remotely locks/unlocks my car, thinking about a conversation I’ve been dying to and dreading to have.

You may not get the answers you’re seeking, but it’s okay to ask those questions.

For some reason, that felt good to hear. And I knew He was there, talking, so I nodded and kept running my fingers over the smooth plastic, kept walking, kept my sunglasses on my face to hide the tears in my eyes.

And that thing you want…that one thing you want the most…Not right now honey. It wouldn’t fit. It’s going to be a while.

My jaw tightens. But someday?


The tears are really stinging in my eyes now, my throat is tight, keeping down the sob. But can I…Can I at least have a taste sometimes? To keep me going?

Yes.Yes, you will.You do.

I stop for a while at an overlook of the muddy creek. I watch the trees reflecting in the water, I think about what it would look like if I could paint that. How I would show the ripples in the brown water as it bends the dark skinny trunks and branches, the white-blue sky…Following up on earlier thoughts, this comes:

And you’re right, there are human things you can’t save yourself from-shouldn’t try. Heartbreak, humiliation, you have to feel these things. You have to live every part of life. It’s what you do. Live, record living, interpret it, weave it. That’s yours above all.

I take comfort in that, that it’s mine. It hints at the sincere purpose I knew when I was much younger.

I start walking again, breathing harder as the path inclines and reaches the top of a hill that, looking back, seems less intense than it felt. I’m back on the gravel. There’s this bird, a large bird, wings spread, gliding over me and away. Another joins it, follows it.

And what about when it was just you and me? How was it?

It was good. I was great, actually.

Okay then.

Okay then.

Walking quiet now. I’m gathering these remembrances of before, before, before. When it was just us. The peace, the drive, the assurance…the broken,Β  heart wrenched prayers, petitions, the release, the high, the soul deep joy, the laughter, the creativity, the movement, the easy calm, the defiance, the leaving it all behind, the standing on the top of a mountain all alone, the strength, the certainty, the burn, the grace, the daily miracles, the everything you need…

Don’t you know you’re better broken? Don’t you see where you are because you’re broken?

Right here with you.

Right here with me.

I was sitting in the shower when I heard: Whatever it is, I’m right here. Whatever it is, I’m right here. I’m right here, I’m right here. Whatever it is. Over and over I heard it.

I was driving, thinking about what I needed to do and it came like this: A laugh, and, You don’t need to do anything. I questioned this, because if I don’t do anything, nothing will be done. Trust me, it came, Trust me. And another laugh. A grandfather’s belly laugh, wise and sure. I shake my head. Okay, okay. I tear up a little. TRUST ME, honey, just TRUST ME. Watch me take care of you. I smile, still teary eyed. Okay, okay…

Excerpt from work email: (Names removed)

“(Person) was just released from (psychiatric hospital) and is quite psychotic/aggressive. (Manager) felt you would be best to work with him since you are most experienced and good at what you do!”


I went to the farm Tuesday, the day after it snowed. I forgot it was still there. I pass that road every day and act like because we don’t live there, because we don’t own it, it no longer exists.

But it does. It’s not a person who’s died. It’s an ex. Who got married. And had kids. And lives in the same town. And goes to the same grocery store.

I parked my car at the top of the road, where Uncle Allen used to park his 18 wheelers. Across from the place where my grandparent’s house used to be. Facing the gravel road that forks, one road goes by the barn, to my house. The other, to the left, takes you past the fields, the place the sawmill used to be, the unfinished grits mill, to Steve and Allen’s houses.

I stood looking at it, it was always so beautiful in the snow. So out of this world. And so fun. Pulling 3 or 4 sleds behind trucks and 4 wheelers, going down that hill that lands you in the creek…we would spend all day out there…

A car passed by and I just waved. Blonde girls in SUV’s do not typically make people feel threatened. I started sobbing thinking how I was trespassing. On my land. Because it wasn’t mine.

I saw something move at the barn after a loud sob. It was a goat! (We left them because no one was going where they could take them). I had to see them. I walked to the barn, trying to not leave tracks in the snow by stepping on the places it already melted and the ground was showing through (though I doubt anyone would notice). I got to the entrance and it just took my breath.

The soft dirt. The sweet hay smell. The weathered wood. The rusted tools. That barn is over 100 years old. It’s red with silver patches of tin on the roof. I remember we used to come up here and feed the goats sweet feed and hay, hauled water up there in that black bucket…

I reached around the stall door and let myself in. I tried coaxing Peanut over. Peanut and Mary Frances are the only ones left. They grew up in the cow pasture and didn’t get the face time the older goats got when they stayed at the barn and I would feed them and visit. The cow pasture was large, it went into the woods. You could never see them if they didn’t want you to.

I hid behind the door as another car went by. Peanut finally came up, licked my hand. I had to Baaa a few times first. It’s funny, but it works! It always has!

Our goats are big. They aren’t those tiny little things some people have.

I thought of my Paw Paw (he’s laid to rest in the church graveyard across the street, with Maw Maw and the rest of the family that’s not up and running anymore). I thought of Daddy and his brothers and how much it hurts me to lose the farm so I can’t imagine how it hurts them.

I stepped out of the barn and looked into the woods, the path you could take to get to my house if you didn’t want to take the gravel road. It was still snow covered, the trees draped in it, the rest of it quiet on the ground. Still and pristine. We always held the snow with us for days after it had lifted from or puddled up in other places. I wanted to run into that forest and lose hours the way I used to…

But I took a deep breath, I turned around, I ran back to the car, jumping over snow, still trying to minimize the tracks. Why? Haven’t they been washed away already, won’t it all melt into the ground soon enough, before anyone can do anything about it? I looked at my mailbox. It seems wrong that someone else should have our addresses, our road with our name on it.

I cried a lot that day. The thing about loss, about grief, is that it carves out places in you. No matter what else happens, what else you have, what else comes along. Things cover it and soften it and fall into it, but sometimes what feels best is someone tracing over the crevices and acknowledging the design.