Throw

Throw. Catch. Throw. Catch. A game of catch. Silly that it’s so much fun. The motion of the swinging arm. the solid smack of the ball in a mitt. It feels like the motion a human body was built to make. Maybe it’s a lot like throwing a spear, so it feels natural to toss a ball. It’s satisfying at any age, from toddler to elder. Playing catch is a natural activity as elementally human as eating or sleeping or . . .

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Muscles

I don’t want to look like Popeye, I just want to be strong enough to keep my health. So I’ve been experimenting with yoga, spinning, pilates, and water aerobics. I’ve discovered that the whole world is comfortable throwing around the names of muscles in the belief that they are communicating. I don’t know muscle names–guess I was too busy learning HTML or something, but I’m ignorant where muscles are concerned.

The instructor will say, “Tighten those glutes,” and I whisper to my neighbor, “Where are glutes? What are we tightening?” Or the instructor says, “Stretch that hamstring,” and I look desperately around hoping for a clue . . .

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Wish List

Wish lists were once the exclusive property of Santa Claus. Now the whole world is invited to view your list of most coveted items on amazon.com. Since there’s nobody out roaming the geographic regions distant from me who wants to give me anything, I use amazon’s wish list to keep track of things I want to buy but can’t afford yet.

I can imagine the reaction of someone who accidentally stumbled on my wish list: “She likes Cassandra Wilson? Oh, yuk!” Or perhaps, “Does she really read this crap?” Yeah, I think wish lists are better . . .

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Favorite keepsake

“No, don’t put that in the donations pile,” my mother said, “it’s my favorite keepsake!”

I looked again at the squat, ugly figurine: a troll of some sort with a chipped nose and the word Seattle on the base. I knew she’d had it forever. It sat on the tall chest-of-drawers in her bedroom.

“Why?” I said. I was hoping to get a story out of her, she’d been telling me interesting little snippets about her life as we packed her belongings. Now she turned away . . .

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Sunflower

Sunflower Light

Sundown sunflower light.
Honeyed motes of pollen
a mist against
the rubbed rhubarb horizon.
Alive in me
Eternal high plains gold.

Sundown.
Sunflower light.
Honeyed motes of pollen
a mist against
rubbed rhubarb.
Horizon
alive in me.
Eternal. High plains gold.

Me alive
in honey light
rhubarb sky
and sunflowers.

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Mountain High

I eased off my backpack and sat down on a smooth boulder. The feeling that I was lost had become more of a scream than a nagging worry. I knew I was heading south based on the position of the sun. I looked at the map for the hundredth time trying to figure out where I was and exactly where I strayed off the trail I had followed for two days along the continental divide.

There was no smoke or sign of human life. No sound of running water that might guide me down the mountain to a landmark or houses. A hawk cried high above me and swept into the grass about 300 yards away to pick up some small wriggling creature.

Should I try turning back? I . . .

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Bookshelf

I stopped accumulating books. Now I’m eliminating them. At one time in my life there were groaning bookshelves in every room in my house. They bulged with leftover text books, paperback novels, tomes on my ever changing current topic of interest, literature and poetry anthologies, children’s books, coffee table art books. My house was built of books.

My first epiphany was getting novels from the library instead of buying them and dragging them home permanently. My second epiphany was that 20 year old zoology or algebra books or books I didn’t enjoy the first time through would ever be needed again. They had to go.

Another eipiphany involved leaving my books behind in whatever location of was in when I finished them. Perhaps someone else . . .

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Shadow Play

With the sun barely peeking over the mountains behind me, my long morning shadow stretches out on the trail before me. One hip bears the shadow of an iPod. The other hip bears the shadow of a cell phone. I look like a gunslinger with pistols holstered at the ready.

The shadow takes me back decades to the time when I wore my twin gold cap guns to the Saturday matinees. The matinee featured stars like Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Rex Allen, all wearing six shooters. My cap guns, I was happy to explain back then, were indeed six shooters. They used a flat disc that only fired six caps before needing to be reloaded. The realism was awe-inspiring. They were my proudest possession.

My idol, Annie Oakley, wore . . .

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Dawn

I peered through the venetian blinds, roused by angry voices outside my window in the pre-dawn darkness. My bedroom was dark, so I felt hidden standing there with my pajamas and bedhead, listening to two drunk men yell at each other. One of the men was my neighbor. The other, although obviously drunk, had apparently driven him home.

My neighbor started toward his door, hurling curses back toward the street as he went. The other man reached inside his car and came dashing up the sidewalk with a baseball bat in his hands.

“Hey,” I yelled. I banged on the window, but . . .

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My Dream

My dream is to hike the length of New Zealand. I’d start at the tip of the north island and wander southward for about a year, with plenty of stops and side trips along the way. I’d see every inch of the most beautiful place on earth from the platform of my two feet.

I’d write about everything along the way, because I’d have a camper with internet access following me around. I’d sit at my computer after dark and record my day, upload my photos. Then I’d sleep in a real bed and wake to the aroma of freshly brewed coffee in the morning.

New Zealand is a small place. I just hope a year is enough time to see it all. . .

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