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Tag: creative writing

Hemingway and the Dog.

A large, dark cloud throws a shadow on the plants lining the wall. The thunder gods rumble across the sky and I run to the window to affirm – it’s early, too early. I hadn’t slept but a few hours the night before and woke up at the crack of dawn. My phone says 6:45a.m. and I slump down on the couch just in time for the rain.

Listening to the drops beat against the windows, feeling the thunder in my gut is a tonic. So much so that I’m dozing again – a deep, restful nap that lasts about an hour. I’d dreamed of a dog. It’s balancing on the roof of a car and I’m trying to stop the car from moving, but the driver doesn’t hear me, doesn’t see me, and hits the gas. The dog falls, unharmed but shaken. I cradle it in my arms. The dog is medium sized, tan, almost white.

When I wake, the rain has passed and the sky is a pleasant shade of blue, clear as the day is young. The breeze feels soft and cool. I know so because I crack a window to smell the sun shinning on wet pavement, pine and summer adding to the aroma. Sleepy and unfocused, I reheat the coffee that was left in the french press from the day before. It would take a minute or two, so I settle back in the front room to stare out the window. There’s a rocking chair on our porch that isn’t rocking. A stray dog runs by. It’s medium-sized, tan as a toasted bean, black face. It looks stressed, scared. Through the open window I whistle at it and it looks towards me, briefly. Now I’m outside on the porch because the dog is heading for the main road, Woodward and 8 mile, on a busy Friday afternoon. A tall thin lady with short pink hair is speed-walking after it, in pursuit of the spooked canine.
“Is it yours?” I ask as she passes.
She doesn’t look at me.
“No. I just don’t want it to get hit.”

Two cars stop near the intersection. Heads are leaning out the windows. Everyone is watching the dog and the dog is still darting this way and that. I walk down my steps and whistle at it. Calm, detached. The dog seems to respond to this so I keep whistling. It turns from the cars, dodges the lady in pink, runs towards me, but crosses to the opposite side of the street before it gets too close. Now the dog is sprinting down the street toward the innards of the neighborhood. Wouldn’t have been the first time I’d caught a stray and brought it home.

The lady in pink whisks by me again. She’s still following the trail of the dog. She still doesn’t look at me.

I’ve burnt the morning coffee. I’m back in the house recounting the dream I’d had from just an hour before, wondering where all the wonderful “breakfast” smells are coming from. It’s not until the coffee is really cooking that I remember. I’d put it on high in a large pot, nearly a whole french press full, and now it’s reduced to a thick, brown sludge. I drink it anyway.

An older man on a green bike rides by. He has a blue sweater, round glasses, a blue knit hat and a brown satchel. He looks like Hemingway, I think. He looks straight into my window.

Detroit Cycling

 

Music selection this week is Basenji “Don’t Let Go” because I reviewed it at Indie Shuffle recently and it’s still stuck in my head. Also, in reference to the song title, I’ve been thinking about how stubbornly we hold to things that are no good for us. Holding on can be a pretty romantic idea, or a masochistic one. There’s a duality to everything.

Doing things a little different for this post because I don’t feel like rambling. My head never stops rambling and lately it hasn’t gotten to the point. Instead, here is a simple anecdote that hopefully can say more in the spaces between than I can with my words. It’s called:

Detroit Cycling

be well. love often. enjoy.

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With my visor down, I am invincible. Cars can’t touch me, prying eyes can’t touch me. Not the wind nor the rain, neither the light or the darkness can touch me when the visor on my Basecamp cycling helmet is down. Don’t I look like I can’t be fucked with? That’s because I can’t.

Two beers deep. Always two. That’s the magic number. Two sits with me right. Two of coins. Two of cups. Two of swords. Two of wands. Just the two of us. I like twos. Life is easier in twos. Threes fuck everything up. With three, doubts arise. Confucius says, “When three people journey together, their number decreases by one. When on man journeys alone, he finds a companion.”

What Confucius doesn’t say is that sometimes that happens all backwards – one man journeys alone, finds a companion, and that companion adds a third into the equation – then there was three and life became fucked.

I’m only swearing because I have the visor down. It makes me mean, a good kind of mean. The kind that can go super fast even if the relative speed isn’t all that fast according to a stop watch. My burning thighs say I am fast. Also, the ticking of my heart.

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. It’s pumping strong and hard and I’m flying around curves. Adrenaline quiets the madness. His touch also quiets the madness. His touch is like words upon my pen, dripping from a tip that presses upon a page that receives their touch, wears their meaning, becomes the word – touch. Touch me.

His touch is therapy. His love is maddening and his touch is therapy.

There’s a kink in my back. No matter which way I squirm, it’s still there. I’m riding harder and faster because adrenaline will make that go away, too. All forms of pain washed away with stimulation. Speed is so addicting. Sometimes I wish I were the wind. My Mayan chart says once I hit 40 I’ll turn into wind, incarnate. People will know my words far and wide.

For now, the wind has stopped whistling past my ears tucked neatly under my helmet, which means I have stopped. With stopping, feeling returns.

There’s a duality to everything- stopping and going, staying or leaving – a two-fold choice to most things. Tonight I will choose between succumbing to my fears or rising above them, as is the choice every night.

I will choose between doing the writing or thinking of writing, as is also the choice every night.

Love is also a choice, a brave and complex choice that comes with its own string of dualities. Much like cycling, Detroit cycling, joy and pain come with the package. The choice lies in whether or not we keep going, keep pushing towards a positive goal. Progress isn’t always so obvious, you know?

Some days are triumphant, some days it’s enough to just show up, and some days you get rained on.

 

 

 

The Cup, The Key: The Quiet Act of Knowing

Been a minute since I asked these cards about writing. What I asked is if I posses the skills of a writer, not so much because I believe I don’t, but  I figured if I got some disheartening cards back I may have to re-think what I want this chapter in my life to look like.

What I got was an affirmation of the time – exactly what tarot is, mind you – a window into the tools one has in front of them, the option of energies either to use, or not. For this I turned to my very first tarot deck , The Da Vinci Tarot. Seemed fitting that while revisiting old doubts I summon an old deck, the deck that was with me 2 years ago when on the road writing From The Other Seat, the deck that birthed the idea of incorporating tarot into my blog as a way to lighten the pressure, and to offer fodder as I continued to explore the act of writing.

I still love the dark romanticism these cards evoke. Even on the positively inclined cards the images appear wistful – perfect for the writer’s mind. There’s a seriousness to the tone of this deck, it begs that you consider the balance of light and dark when interpreting the message.

So here’s what turned up. They all popped out on their own in this order: Ten of Chalices, Four of Swords, and the Knave of Chalices.

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As a quick intuitive interpretation, Ten’s are a completion and an end to a cycle. Ten of Chalices says both, yes, you have everything you need, all the passion is there, either you’re nurturing your talents or the energy exists for you to do so. But ten’s are also the end of a cycle, not to say it’s all going to go to shit afterwards, but with every ending, there is a new beginning, and there will be a change, a shift. How have you shaped your perception? How will you have used that nurturing love of, say, a mother and her baby? How will your baby grow?

That question follows into the Four of Swords perfectly because this card signifies a sabbatical, a much needed time out. Swords signify thoughts and assessing what those thoughts mean. The Four of Swords is recharging the batteries and making sure that these thoughts are yours and yours alone. I love how the figure in this image looks entirely confident and totally at peace, as if he’s Siddhartha, having come back from a long walk in the valley you see behind him. He knows the answer, or at least has a sense, he’s got the key there in front of him, but he’s taking his time. There’s no hurry, the journey will continue when the time is right.

Timing is key, for the right thing at the wrong time would no longer be the right thing.

And this is why taking a step aside to make time for inner contemplation is so important. One must cultivate the patience to wait for the right time.

The description in the Da Vinci Tarot reference book calls it “peaceful receptivity”. One must have a clear state of mind before making any decisions on the future, and this card signals a time to calm the mind, to find a quiet place all your own, trust in the process, and be open and objective about the path ahead. The figure in the Four of Swords is receptive enough to adapt to anything that might challenge this sense of peace – he’s found equilibrium or is currently seeking it. He’s not taking advice from others, he’s looking within and collecting his own personal strength. The Four of Swords is one of my favorite cards because it tends to come up when a sabbatical is needed. I love sabbaticals, I just took one actually, so I feel like the card that answers my question, whether I posses the skills of a writer, is the third in this spread.

In the third card, the Knave of Chalices is renewed passion. Knaves, or knights, refer to young energies, sometimes young people. It could be that a young person will inspire you, or that a new burst of inspiration is just in its beginning phase, but the fact is – it’s there. It’s naked, and vulnerable, innocent, wanting; emotions pure and simple, raw and abundant, observing the world in a new way, with new words to color what it sees and feels. It’s love, new love, for a person, for a task, for life… for whatever. Life is presenting this now, or it’s coming very soon.

Mid writing this, I got a call about a job, an editing position. I think the initial phone interview went well. They said they’d follow up next week. Promising.

Almost immediately after, my roommate beckoned me to the kitchen where an owl sat on the window ledge. It flew away and was replaced by a pair of cardinals singing to each other, male and female. Owl omens are usual seen as the harbinger of death, could be a metaphysical one, but with death is renewal. Cardinals are a see as a message that you’ve been visited by Spirit. Knaves, cardnials, cups, and keys – the air is ripe with new love, opportunity, and the support is there from a divine quarter, telling one to keep going.

Anyway, I’ve lost focus, gone off the metaphysical deep end, so I’ll leave this here. Musical selection is The Tallest Man on Earth – The Gardener. His lyrics are wrought with symbols and they really speak to me. Hope this post was interesting in some way. Mostly, if anyone is reading, thank you. Happy to share this space with you.

Be well, love often, and enjoy!

Human

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The first impulses of the heart, sun looks so golden

Holding you here with me

In mind

Your body had to fly

Your body had to fly

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