~ from cats, dogs and nature to the flowering of body, mind and spirit ~

Thursday, June 28, 2012

return to story

An interesting presentation of "story" is:

"For the more we look at the story . . . the more we disentangle it from the finer growths that it supports, the less shall we find to admire. It runs like a backbone--or may I say a tapeworm, for its beginning and end are arbitrary. It is immensely old--goes back to neolithic times, perhaps to paleolithic.  . . .  The primitive audience was an audience of shock-heads, gaping round the campfire, fatigued with contending against the mammoth or the wooly rhinoceros, and only kept awake by suspense. What would happen next? The novelist droned on, and as soon as the audience guessed what happened next, they either fell asleep or killed him." 

This excerpt is from E. M. Forster's "Aspects of the Novel" that came highly recommended by various authors. I'm not yet sure why it is held in such high esteem, although I've only begun. Maybe I'm one of those simple neanderthals referenced above? Since I do not have a literary background--no college or literature courses under my belt--many of his references are beyond me and, I admit, of little interest. I read, and write, for enjoyment, expression (of self or see that in others), and to obtain various levels of knowledge from mundane to mystical to life-changing, and in reciprocity, to share what bits I've learned of life that may help someone else on their journey. Forster seems a bit arrogant and judgmental, however, the volume is thin, written in 1927 so of a different age, and I am, in spite of myself, intrigued to read what else Forster has to say about writing a novel.

All that said, I do realize, even at this point, that what Forster is apparently trying to get across in this portion of his lectures is that a novel is far, far more than just a story in a timeline. And that readers are different than the listeners of by-gone eras.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


My 16-yr-old niece Kenzie and her new  boyfriend;
he's stable and reliable. She met him at
Colossal Cave, AZ.

Love the 'dreadlocks' on the Saguaro at
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Mount Lemmon, with Tucson to the left and way below.

Mom and Kenzie in Sedona, AZ.

Kenzie at Grand Canyon.

The road to Jerome, AZ.
We survived the 158 curves in 12 miles!

Tuzigoot National Monument, AZ, with the
Verde River valley.

Kenzie at Montezuma Castle, AZ

On our way home, between Phoenix and Tucson, got caught
in the first significant dust storm of the Monsoon season.

My family was visiting for two weeks so we had a full house! Air mattresses are a great invention. The first week, we hosted Mom, my brother David, and nieces McKenzie (16) and McKayla (12). Then, took David and Kayla to the airport as they had commitments back in Missouri, while, during the second week, Mom, Kenzie and I took off for sightseeing up north. We didn't get to Sunset Crater or Wupatki ruins; maybe next time. Dear hubby Ron stayed home and took care of the dogs and cats. :-)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

the backpack

I sure would love to take this residual stuff that's making a sticky mess in the bottom of my pack and leave it behind. 
It's hard to get out, though, as it's just a layer of goo at the bottom that hardens in winter and melts again in summer, getting all sticky--it clings to everything it comes in contact with. Although that can be good, because I can put an old belief on it like a rag and wipe up a little bit more each time as they bind together.
In the winter when it hardens, if I bang the pack against a more solid surface, some belief or memory stronger and more empowering, then bits break off and I can up-end the pack and shake and the bits come tumbling out like sharp pebbles that have been weighing me down. But if I'm not careful, they fall and get caught in my shoes, crippling me when I try to walk until I have to pause, look inside, and remove the pesky things.
What I'm looking for right now, though, is the 'goo-be-gone' that smells so citrus-fresh and comes from the Source of Love--from the fruits of all the blessings in my life, the sweetness and juiciness, the beautiful green softness that is the nest of rebirth and renewal. I know I have that bottle of 'goo-be-gone' somewhere; I've caught a glimpse of it before when cleaning out my pack and it took off the rough mud that had built up over years of hiking in all kinds of weather, and it dissolved the gum of all those repetitive thoughts I chewed on and worried over--the thoughts that stuck like burrs to the inside, along the zipper that kept me silent.
But I have to wonder . . . Even if I manage to remove all the goo that is in the bottom of my pack, will it not really matter? I mean, here I am in the midst of changing backpacks! I've been taking out of the old pack the few things that I treasure, that I want to keep, gently placing them inside the new pack. And I plan on just leaving the old one behind, thank it for its service and toss it in the dumpster where it will be buried and composted by the immense power of Mother Earth.
So, really, that old pack with its sticky goo in the bottom is of no use to me anymore. It contains the past that no longer serves, and do I really want to keep digging at the stubborn mess in the bottom? Nah.
I will just toss away the old pack of the past and create new memories of the present wearing the bright purple pack I just bought--the one with all the flowers on it! No need at all to keep picking at the goo trying to get it out, or covering it up constantly with pretty bandannas and yummy snacks. Just let it go, leave it behind. It's as simple as that.
Gosh, how we want to make things so complicated and hard sometimes. Trying to get at it, pick at it, find it again, going back to it over and over ad nauseum. What a waste of precious time and energy that could be spent exploring new trails.
Yup. I've changed packs before so why not again? I change my clothes, so why not the pack?
New backpack for new trails. Move on. Let go.
After all, it's not the pack or what it contains that is important. 
It is the journey--here, now, in the present--that dances my soul ... that is what is important. 
This piece was inspired from a writing prompt via a 30-day course I'm participating in...

Monday, June 4, 2012


There is a point we often must come to
before we can partake of the
Our fruit begins growing again
almost immediately
after the bounty has been harvested
and the blossoms of inspiration
have fallen.
Growing slowly
ever present within the leafy bower
that never vanishes
remaining full
hiding thorns and fruit alike.
Only knowing the sharp and sweet
are there when we get closer
when we explore the fullness
during the between time--presence.
Not the time of harvest when we
show off the fruits of long labor . . . 
fruit bright, glowing gold
blatantly obvious against contrasting green.
The between time--
after the last ripening 
and before it comes again--
the long cycle of between 
so beautiful and bountiful 
in its passage of presence.
Welcoming the entire cycle
grow and acquire
the points of Truth and Wisdom
that can be brutal if
we don't see them
in this moment.

Points in our journey
making themselves known
very clearly and sharply
whether we want them to or not.
The only way we aren't
hurt, scratched, tender flesh ripped
is when we open our hearts
look closely and see
the thorns on the way to the fruit . . . 
on our journey through
leafy hideaways where green fruit gestates.
No point in trying to eat the fruit too soon
before we are ready
for we will only taste the bitterness 
of grasping.
When we simply enjoy the process
welcome the long between
of growing awareness,
the pricks are less often
the way is to soften
as leaves glow with invitation
to sit in the shade
pour waters of loving-kindness
and bless the moment.
Then, before we realize
there is once more golden orange light
everywhere within the tree of life
and the juicy ripeness squirts out
--no thorns touch us--
bathing us in passionate sweetness.

I don't know if all orange trees have thorns, but those in our yard in Tucson do!
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