Sunday, March 31, 2002

Oh what worse punishment than to be misunderstood. I feel like I just got my license yanked and I wasn't even aware I had the first parking meter violation. I am the villian of all sorts of acts of omission and commission, and I have no idea what my motives, means or methods might have been, when they started, or how I can 'stop' being a BAD FATHER. This same week, I am also a BAD MANAGER for suggesting reduced clinic hours to reduce expenses. All around, I am a dismal failure this past week. Ah, but tomorrow is Monday, and presents new opportunities to exercise my incompetence and insensitivity! TGIM!
REUNION: A poem written mostly in the plane, after my xxth highschool reunion...see some images that prompted the rare poetic impulse.

The cabin pitched left as we banked to avoid
The next in a series of towering moist masses
Of earth's warm breath, cloud mountains
Flat topped, I thought like Jack, I could step out
And be in a land above reality, beyond time
Where there are giants, singing harps
And poor boys become rich from magic beans
And never have to grow up.

Belly rushes as the cloud-tops like a floor just below us
Opened in a chasm plunging thirty thousand feet
To checkered patterns in unknown pastures.
The camera takes light, making a digital memory of images of billows and caves
And I am flying in my heart where I first saw Peter Wendy and Tinkerbelle
Swoop and dive with arched backs in pure freedom, going home.
It has never left me, and I have never found it
In time we drop below the clouds, to another reality. Soon I will revisit my roots
A Lost Boy reunited with the past, an amnesiac stepping out of a time machine.

Somehow we have reappeared, briefly, from and in various states
with a hope for reunion, back here in our home town,
adult images of our children-selves, more now like our grandparents.
I survey the crowd of painfully half-familiar faces in elation and panic.
What do I say to these morphed images of former classmates?
Should I even hint to any of these others how I have been altered by separate times
since we shared together the British Invasion, Viet Nam, a dead president, men on the moon?
Why have we come here? What are we hoping to find?

I watch a hundred familiar strangers seeking some sign in each others eyes
Handshakes back-slaps hugs, like ants rubbing antennae for the scent of recognition.
the eyes are concealed by missing decades, and we are almost anonymous, and yet
These people somehow belong to me, random cohorts of time and chance
struggling to bridge the isolation of ages in brief flash of contact
We share only as much of our selves as can fit on the back of a business card
It is strangely alien and familiar here, "home" among "friends".

Were we united in those days, by more than the school colors, the fight song?
Can we possibly find here a re-union or at least an ambiguous peace
between the memories of the child we were and the realities of the adult we have become?
It cannot be permanence or continuity we expect to find by coming here.
Nothing is the same. If buildings or neighborhoods still stand they are smaller and bleaker
Than our memories of immensity and brilliance and expectation.
Maybe it is enough, though, to have revisited the alleys we walked and
To have called each other by nicknames we have not heard in 30 years
And to know that, once upon a time, we were quickened by and shared together
The ghost of that age, the spirit of those times that were uniquely ours
And we are all the same, at least in that way, forever.
I needed to know this, and so I came.

Then my flight away from this place lifts up
Into the gray fog and drizzle over Alabama, rising perceptibly as if lifted by a giant hand
through a white featureless opacity that seems to go on forever and
I wonder who I am, in this nether world between earth and sky, past and present.
The mist brightens and begins to tatter, color comes back in imperceptible blues and yellows
Once again, I live in the world of light above the clouds
That exists always, like the past, beyond and without need of my awareness, and as real
As my ant-like existence down there, all these years,
Under fog that obscures that world from this.
I am high, in Never-never Land, and am tempted to take more pictures of it, but do not.
I have enough zeros and ones, memories and meaning,
Enough cloud images and illusions of things solid and firm to know
Both worlds are real, and I have found my place in each of them.

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Having one of those baselessly optimistic periods this week: have met some potential new friends; gotten the youngest safely back to college and barely missed seeing him off on an archeological dig to Israel...he has decided instead he might pursue a Rotary scholarship in theology at University of Edinburgh (?); survived another generation of professional-resume-printing for yet another job (Ann's) where we are currently in the traveling-hopefully period; and seen some of the first signs of spring. Somedays life seems worth living and today, inexplicably, is one of them.

Saturday, March 16, 2002

I am hoping to resurrect any shreds of creativity that might have survived heavy doses of work-toxin over the past 10 months. This may include some images of my life, as digitized thru my Nikon, and in vignettes created in as many words as this harried life will allow me to think, write and post. This is really for me, maybe my mom, and any friends, should I ever possess one.