Thursday, October 30, 2008

10 items or less

Last weekend we watched a Morgan Freeman video--not hard to do as he is *everywhere* these days. It was called "10 items or less" and was a very slow-food, slow-life, slow-paced kind of film--probably not for everyone, but I really liked it. 

So anyway, in one scene the two main characters share lists of things they really love and really hate--ten item limit for each thing. Yes, that is a very simple and silly idea, no extreme thinking out of the box there really, but it made me think about my list. I am still working on it, but will share...(of course I will--this is a blog--that's what it's for ; )

Things I hate--a beginning:

1. Giant centipedes
2. People with no manners
3. People who don't think
4.  Politics of all kinds

Things I love--a beginning

1.  Being alive
2.  Evening
3.  Good things to read
4.  Friends
5.  Where I am from
6.  Good food
7.   Good music
8.  Being outdoors

Right now it looks like the love list outweighs the hate list (although the hate list does not contain pet peeves). That seems like a good thing. 

Think about it--make your list. 
Add to mine.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Poetry and shooting stars

These things--these attempts to be poetic were written when I was 20. At that age everything is felt so intensely anyway, but I had a great lit. class at uni--taught by Prof. M. a cool guy from a small town north of Bountiful. (Great place names in Utah--you have to admit). Anyway, he taught us the importance of enjoying life, of rejoicing in the fact that we are alive and are sentient in so many gorgeous ways. We didn't have to write anything but MLA essays for his class, but it truly influenced me and I began to write.

Regardless of whether I actually wrote anything that was "good" or that anyone else might care to read--all of what I wrote was felt very keenly.

But, something strange happened when I came to Japan--I stopped writing. I think that one of causes was growth--growing up and away from being a teenager. Another was, in retrospect, an almost conscious decision to get away from literature and poetry and anything academic (not in any real book burning/anti intellectual rabid kind of way ; ) ) and just try to "live" my life in my own way for a while.

I have read a lot since then, but haven't written anything in forever. I think I felt like it was going to damage or alter me in some way.

All right, I'll shut up now...

This one is called:

Good things come...

When wind blows from deep darkness,
sweeping moonlit trails across the heavens

Watch the skies and wait for some small sign
hidden in the patches of sparkle strewn light.

Hold out for the star that's shot from the rest
and shines briefly but so well
that the night is left standing still
and trains moan low awe in the distance.

A better, updated version.

The wind blows a lot where I lived, both in southern and northern Utah. And in Milford, trains were always a part of my life--Grandpa was a brakeman. You can still hear the UP trains as you drift off to sleep.
And yeah, I moved on and more or less have grown up, but I am still grateful for and very fond of those who knew me before Japan. : )

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Run, stop, run

I used to run--three or four miles, every other day. I ran to lose weight, to still my thoughts, to stay in control of my twenty-year-old life. What I didn't know is that running right before going to bed can cause insomnia and so I just kept getting more more strung out in a horrible cycle.

No more running. I stopped after about six months of living in Japan and thought that I had found peace here and that this country had given me the gift of peace. Well, it did, but not after only six months...

This one is called:

Running for the Distance

I run through pools of subdivided streetlight
Only Orion and my shadow go with me

Sharp air cuts my lungs and once expelled,
lingers where I've been

Ice shines in the gutters, gleaming back at
yellow welcoming front porch bulbs

Trees huddle beside lighted windows
In the bitter cold their brances chatter--
trying to pass on gossip: the snatches of well-fed
suburban conversation

Sailing from high mountains, far beyond this road,
the wind whispers to me of distances in the darkness

As if to bridge them, I run on
deeper and deeper into the night

Don't need to run anymore. I like to hike and mountain bike and swim in the green pools of Nara and Wakayama. Don't exercise to lose weight, just to keep my balance. But I still count Orion as a friend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Long, long, ago...

It is not viewed as healthy to dwell on the past. This is not dwelling, more like reminiscing. I never got these down properly on paper at the time that they were written.

When I left Utah twenty years ago I was 20 years old and so wired that if you'd touched me I would have flown into a million pieces. Things are very, very much better now, not perfect, nobody gets that I guess.

Therapy would be nice, but not available in Japanland and money and time would surely be problematic. So...Why not therapy through a blog?

Here is no. 2 in the series of things I wrote long, long ago.

This one is called:

Parted by Darkness

I saw the moon rise
over the mountains
Light washed down whitened peaks,
bathing the trees,
illuminating distant, misty ridges.

I breathed deep the frosty midnight air and
searched across the darkness, wondering,
longing to know,
if you, too,
had seen this moon rising
over the mountains

I should follow up with a note or explanation, but may add more later. There are several more with the same theme.

: )

Stuff that needs to be put on paper

It doesn't matter if things get read or not. That is not the point.
Print is dead.
No one reads or writes poetry (except for the "creative" people at writer's conferences.)
Long gone is the acceptability of Longfellow, Blake and the Shelleys--not to mention Emily D.

OK, now you are rolling your eyes and saying "Whatever"...

This one is called:

Night Music for Small Ears and Feet

Warm summer evenings
were cooled by canyon breezes

you sang to me

On steel strings, calloused fingers found folk songs,
Dylan tunes and lullabies

Now I know what you played

Then it was all just music to me

You smiled when I dance around your chair

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