Bon Nuit

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~Because I could not stop for death

He kindly stopped for me

The carriage held but just Ourselves

And Immortality~

…Emily Dickinson

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Heavy-hearted today from the news of the death of an old friend.  He and I had a relationship many years ago that was tumultuous, intoxicating, magnetic; I was young, and stumbling down my own path with blinkers on. He was along for the ride, holding on as best he could. It ended badly. The demise of that relationship coupled with financial and career problems prompted me to make the biggest move of my life, that to start afresh in America.

However, thanks to social media, the passage of time, and hindsight, we were able to find a good footing with each other. All that had happened was well and truly past, and as with such pasts, we came to understand somewhat the reasons for things, we found some answers to those long-forgotten questions. We had gotten on with our lives and had turned out just fine and were so very happy to be reacquainted again as welcome old friends.

He passed last night after a few years battling illness. It actually seemed positive for a while, after various forms of treatment seemed to have done the job. But I guess when the spirit knows its time, when all human avenues have come to a cul-de-sac, death will not be stopped.

We shared our last conversation two weeks ago in which he wanted me to know how happy he was to have been a part of my life. That I had a loving husband and family. I told him to come see me on his way out.  He said he would.  Today I find myself scrabbling to remember dream messages or waking messages from yesterday…but I find none.

I am certain that there is more to the Universe than life on this planet. My friend is a wonderfully warm ball of love and light, a collection of all he has amassed from his time here and he is taking all he has learned to his next life, wherever and whenever that may be.

I weep for him today. As does his family, and so many friends around the world.

It’s never goodbye or resting.

It’s simply Goodnight, my friend Ken.

 

Friday Fictioneers – A Royal Past

Photo courtesy - Sandra Crook

Photo courtesy – Sandra Crook

A Royal Past

Word count:  100

The Duchess got out of bed against doctor’s orders. With knobbled fingers, she gripped around the room until she got to the window. There, she watched the village below; modern cars, modern women, and if she craned her neck she could see the farm boundary.

She nodded slightly, and a slow smile creased her aged eyes; the Duchess had known many a farmhand in the barns as a young woman. That recklessness had earned her a lifetime of solitude by the Queen, and though she may have been denied her passions, memories of every encounter lived on in her heart.

Friday Fictioneers – Momma

Photo courtesy - David Stewart

Photo courtesy – David Stewart

Momma

Word count:  101

Momma’s house has been empty for years. Cousin Willie mows the grass regularly; says he won’t stop until he’s got a toe tag. He never goes in though, and he never touches the flower beds. Just cuts the grass. See, Momma disappeared seven years ago, one year to the day that Daddy died in the mountains. She never stopped grieving; loved that man with all her soul. She raised us kids until we were old enough to fend for ourselves and then one day, she vanished.

I was only eighteen; wasn’t near old enough to lose her.

I miss my Momma.

Harnessing the wrong horse

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Doubt. I named it. Immediately after an impromptu inner pep talk. During the talk, a fact so certain and real lit up my heart.  It brought forth a brief, and not often felt certainty and acknowlegement. Couldn’t help but smile. Was allowed to view truth.

Doubt is crafty; often barely heard or seen or felt. The inner dialog hums like the continued strum of a guitar chord and doubt weaves its way in and around the sound.

Doubt is devious. It grabs like a wretched Granny with a bony claw at memories it knows will capture your attention, and throws a harness over the neck of that ill-flogged horse. This only serves to stall progress.

Doubt seeps into life in some form or another. Sometimes it’s palpable, “I don’t know if I’ll have the strength to carry anymore moving boxes.” Sometimes it’s trivial, “Hmmm…I don’t think the chicken’s gonna turn out the way I wanted.” And sometimes it’s a whisper, “Why can’t I…?” “I’ll never be able to…” “What’s wrong with me…?”

The self-doubt prose is so finely honed that we only become aware of it when we question the wheedling whine. We have to confront it, and shove it aside to reveal the treasures it doesn’t want to be discovered. It has no choice but to step aside when faced with truth.

The trick then, is to remember that fleeting feeling of gloriousness from a potential met. That solid gold in the heart like light pouring from an open book.

Remember it. Feel it. Doubt will reel from it. And that worn historical horse can go live out its days in pasture.

Friday Fictioneers – Elite Art

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Elite Art

Word count:  100

Peter watched “Patty and Selma” maraud their way through the gallery. He loathed these fat, loud types who gained entry on a coupon; it ruined the experience for the wealthier patrons. Mr. Tewkesbury glared at him from beside the guest of honor, and Peter felt pleasure seep from his chest in anticipation of the inevitable scene.

“…I dunno what it’s about Steph.  All I know is I need more alcohol to care!  Bottoms up!”

The women’s cackles were a terrible contradiction to the formality of the occasion.

Peter cleared his throat, “You are ugly and loathsome, and you don’t belong.”

 

 

Resting.

It used to be that I’d pull one of my boss’ chairs askew and sit in the dark inner office to meditate. Or I’d find fifteen minutes when I got home before picking up the kids to sit and be still on the bedroom carpet; my fat kitty’s presence palpable beside me and the view of the woods known beyond closed eyelids.

I haven’t meditated in a long while; the humdrum of daily life clawed me back into waking, getting ready, bus stops, work, shopping, exercising, cooking, homework, dinner, cleaning, housework and now rehearsals. And, somewhere in there a modicum of sleep. It’s shameful to say that I have no time to meditate because there is always time; time is here, time is now. I spend hours alone at work; I could easily practice but I don’t.

Like a mental, gentle flick of the wrist, the idea is often dismissed.  The irony being that I won’t truly discover why I balk unless I investigate.

I miss nature; her sweet warmth and soul-rejuvenating properties. I miss the Sangha. The awful weather combined with my schedule has made it an impossible venture. I miss introspection. Real, deep, swimming-in-your-soul searching.

Perhaps I’m hibernating; resting while I coast on what I know, with my foot off the soul accelerator. Continuing to abide by my truth; offering lovingkindness to all I meet, addressing emotion, and accepting thought. Getting by satisfactorily until I feel ready to go swimming again. And all the while, aware of that tricky voice which speaks up with reprimands about one’s lack of ‘doing.’

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Friday Fictioneers: The Light Treatment

Photo courtesy - Dawn Miller

Photo courtesy – Dawn Miller

The Light Treatment

Word count:  98

Linda brought every single lamp out calmly, and set them down carefully. They were Roger’s lamps; part of his “household” collection. They had gathered dust along with a variety of stools, hat stands and cat ornaments. Roger was away this weekend, at some antique show so Linda took the opportunity to do some purging.

Composed, she picked up the first and bounced it around in her hands, felt the weight of it before raising it high above her head and smashing it to the concrete. She awarded each piece the same treatment; a fitting retaliation for Roger’s infidelity.