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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Drought Resistant

Where I live, everything is drought resistant including the people. A few drops of rain and things grow, bloom, and fade in record time. A lot of rain and profligate, fecund, overwhelming life bulges from every pore in the earth and sky. There’s no keeping up with it; plants grow 10″ overnight. The air is moist and soft; the sky looms gray and white like a blanket overhead.

We’ve had more rain in the last 30 days than we normally get in a year. It feels alien to step outside, where skies are always blue, the sun is always blistering, and skin is always chapped to find a time warp of tropical rain forest, jungle-like growth, humid breezes that make your daily moisturizer feel like 30-weight oil, and dark wet dirt.

“Where am I?” you wonder as . . .

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First Day of School

“This is Shelley,” she said. I’d heard about Shelley for weeks and had formed a negative opinion from the tales about her. Looking at her now I felt a catch of excitement leap in my stomach. Suddenly I was eager and nervous, feeling like it was the first day of school and I was 8 years old.

I held out my hand. I wanted to touch her. She shook my hand with perfunctory, too short, disinterest. I wanted to pull her hand back, enclose it with both of mine, stand gazing into her eyes with warmth passing between our palms like sunlight. She smelled of citrus. Her . . .

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Fun

the cliff hanger

Falling a couple of hundred feet at high speed: some people think it’s fun. All kinds of falling appeals to certain people: sky diving, bungee jumping, roller coasters and amusement park rides that hurtle you straight down as fast as the laws of physics allow.

I don’t like falling down. I don’t even like looking down. When I’m looking for fun I go out and listen to music, feet firmly attached to the earth. Or I get even closer to the ground and plant something in my garden. Exercise must be earthbound . . .

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A Great Day

I thought I was having a great day. I brought home a new painting, a bright whimsical scene with multicolored houses and lollipop-shaped trees. It cheered up my wall. Then the phone calls started. Upset family, depressed friends, friends in pain at the hospital, full moon outside the doors and agony under the roofs.

I selfishly wanted to enjoy my small stab of joy when I looked at the charming innocence of the painting and forget the needs of all these people who pulled me from the imaginary utopia of my perfect moment.

Could I do it? Would . . .

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The Season

Schools starts early so swimming season is over. The weather is not a factor. All the underpaid and sunburned life guards have to go to school, therefore, no more swimming.

The life we live moves farther and farther away from the reality of earth, sun, wind, and sky every year. Is it any wonder that we forget how and why our actions affect the earth that we are a part of, made of, live on, live by the grace of?

Unless you notice it on your electronic calendar, do you know when there’s a full moon? Have you been outside before dawn to . . .

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Mind Games

I didn’t much believe in God, but I needed somewhere safe to rest my mind, so I thought about Nancy a lot. Instead of praying, I envisioned running into her and getting some sort of affirmation, kind words, a hug. It got me through long years of hard times when my real life was full of condemnation, shame, and abuse.

For a long time I figured this was because I loved her and she loved me back in a nonjudgemental way. Now I realize that she dwelt in my mind because she was safe, she accepted me for who I was, just like God is supposed to do.

I wonder how much of what we think is actually nothing more than a search for a safe place to rest our thoughts . . .

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Ruin My Day

All those wisdom gurus give sage advice about not sweating the small stuff. But it’s always the small stuff that ruins my day. For example, if I go outside on a Saturday morning thinking I’ll find the Sunday paper waiting on my sidewalk, and it isn’t there (duh), I am foolishly disappointed. The silly thing is, I’m not worried that I can’t keep my days straight. I’m upset because I wanted to read the Sunday paper.

It broke my heart the other night when Ben and Jerry’s was temporarily out of “my” flavor and I had to choose a substitute ice cream. . .

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This Pen Don’t Write

It scrbbles.
It spells wrong.
It skips. Important stuff.
It tells. It’s supposed to show.
It assumes stuff–stuff like you should know what I mean.
It forgets the sensory details.
This is a damn lousy pen.
This pen don’t write.

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Print

Black fingerprint ink covered my fingers. I suppose it made sense that I was arrested. I looked guilty, I mean, I could see why the cops assumed I was guilty.

I was standing over Rodrigo’s body with a gun in my hand when they ran behind the stage. The gunfire brought the music from the stage to a stop. The quiet was eerie after the pounding of the music for the last two hours. I could hear the two cops breathing hard as they ran up to me with guns drawn and slapped handcuffs on my wrists.

Why did I pick up the gun? All I could think about was Rodrigo being hurt, I couldn’t believe it. I guess I thought if I picked up the gun it would all make sense: this gun hurt Rodrigo. I’ve done plenty of stupid things in . . .

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