Sunday, June 28, 2009

like a chariot at the trumpet call when we're all unsaved....

I've started a few blog posts in the past week. Never really got further than a sentence or even a couple words. Each time I open the post, I scratch what I had done and try again. This time though, I decided to open a whole new post and just share with you the only words left hanging in the past one I've been trying to construct/reconstruct:
"There was a point last week where I was holding a half full garbage bag of weeds with my teeth..."


That being said, I see a pretty big discrepancy between the life I lead at work and the life I lead when I'm off the clock. There is some cross over. I have a struggling but beautiful garden which I water every day while I practice hack...which isn't much different than what I do during the day hours. But for the most part, I lead a bit of a different life away from work. Should you have met me yesterday afternoon, you would have seen me stretched out on the grass at the Edmonton International Jazz Festival, clean (well, relatively at least), wearing casual flowy (even bordering on feminine) clothes, leaning up against Patrick and drinking a beer. The only tip off to my day job would be my tan legs ending abruptly in very very white feet which are hidden in steel toes all day long.
You wouldn't have guessed that I spend my mornings and afternoons pulling weeds and garbage out of mulch beds and ditches and water features and construction sites. You wouldn't have guessed that I have the ability to heave a 50 pound garbage bag of dog shit into my one ton dump truck and cart it to the city dump. You wouldn't know that I can securely strap two john deere Ztrack mowers onto a 12 foot trailer in less than 2 minutes and should one of those 4 straps come a little loose, that I can jump out at a stop light on Anthony Henday drive and tighten them all back up before it turns green.'d never guess I can carry a bag of weeds with my teeth while fielding a phone call from the subdivision supervisor and directing my crew onto the next task. So many life skills. ha.

I have been reading a lot of poetry lately. I can't read poetry in my head. It's always, most definitely an out loud thing for me. The words slow down when I speak them. They don't just fly through my head while my eyes run along the page to catch up. Instead they linger in front of me, I can see them, dissect them, turn them over until I can feel the pulsing of their meaning. Patrick moved here this week. Moved. Permanently. I am so happy and have so much more to say about that but I can't translate it from smiles into words yet. Anyway, seems how Patrick is here now and part of everyday life, he's been getting to/having to listen to some of the poetry that has been surrounding me lately. I've become completely taken with Lisel Mueller recently and so have been seeking out her work. Today I like this one:

Why We Tell Stories

Because we used to have leaves
and on damp days
our muscles feel a tug,
painful now, from when roots
pulled us into the ground

and because our children believe
they can fly, an instinct retained
from when the bones in our arms
were shaped like zithers and broke
neatly under their feathers

and because before we had lungs
we knew how far it was to the bottom
as we floated open-eyed
like painted scarves through the scenery
of dreams, and because we awakened

and learned to speak

We sat by the fire in our caves,
and because we were poor, we made up a tale
about a treasure mountain
that would open only for us

and because we were always defeated,
we invented impossible riddles
only we could solve,
monsters only we could kill,
women who could love no one else
and because we had survived
sisters and brothers, daughters and sons,
we discovered bones that rose
from the dark earth and sang
as white birds in the trees

Because the story of our life
becomes our life

Because each of us tells
the same story
but tells it differently

and none of us tells it
the same way twice

Because grandmothers looking like spiders
want to enchant the children
and grandfathers need to convince us
what happened happened because of them

and though we listen only
haphazardly, with one ear,
we will begin our story
with the word and

Thursday, June 11, 2009

you are the blood flowing through my fingertips...

I'm laying the the back yard in the hammock. Its warmer out here than it is inside. Summer finally arrived today. 29 baking hot degrees. I loved it. I worked for Habitat for Humanity today. It's hard for me to explain just how much I loved it. I had to wear jeans and a t-shirt in the blistering heat and so ended up sweating buckets, but it was beautiful. I like building things. When I woke up this morning, I heard the paving guy outside doing the finishing work on the sidewalk by my newly paved road. He was singing. At 6 am. All to himself, while he pulled posts from the ground. At that moment, I knew it would be a great day.

The birds above me in the tree are squawking loudly at me. I don't think they like me swinging right under their nest. But I feed them, so sometimes you just have to put up with it. Sorry birds.

Buck 65 is playing on my iTunes and I am in a pretty perfect space. My garden has been hurting in this painful drought but I plan to spend most of tomorrow laying in the backyard in my swim suit, practicing hack, reading and jumping through the sprinkler as it waters the garden. I remember Bethany spending large amounts of time weeding the garden this time last year. That's not something we have to worry about right now as nothing...and I mean NOTHING is growing except for the odd dandelion.

It's sometimes hard to remember that my life is what I choose it to be. With so many circumstances out of my control lately, I feel like I've been swept along without any ability to know really (and yes, I'm fully aware of what this sounds like) who I am. There have been glimmers though of me reminding myself not of who I am, but who I want to be. Each moment, each circumstance, each decision and response has the potential to bring me closer to that person I intend on being. There's no space for me to say "well, I'll do it this way this time, but ..."
I've been trying to act in a way that doesn't follow what I feel like doing now, but how I think the person I want to be would act. I've been discouraged by the amount of times I find the discrepancy between the two, but also encouraged by the discovery that I do indeed have the strength and courage to follow through on these decisions. It gives me faith in myself and hope for what comes next.

As I say that, I'm reminded of a poem by Galway Kinnell called "Prayer"

Whatever happens. Whatever
what is is is what
I want. Only that. But that.