Sunday, November 16, 2014

worth more than

I got to thinking about the Lady of Shalott this morning.
She couldn't stop weaving.
And she was all alone in a tower.
Some people think Tennyson wanted to say something about the creative process.
How those who paint or write are isolated.
And compelled.
That although life surrounds them, are separated by the very task set before them.
It has made me ponder the message of all art.
The personal message of the artist.
Seeing life only from a distance as the Lady of Shalott did, as a reflection in a mirror seems a terrible fate.
And it was for her.
Sir Lancelot for all of his bling and jingle jangle really wasn't worth floating down a river over either.

I think when the mirror cracked from side to side, she should have jumped up and cried, "Hooray, I'm off to the market," instead of seeing 'curse' written over her in black letters.
I guess that is part of my personal message.
The color of everyday life is worth more than a tower full of woven magic or a fleet of glittering knights.

then I realized

As I was driving this week,
homeward bound along a narrow country road
I realized I was feeling something...
something just beyond grasping...
What was I feeling?
And then I realized it was happiness.

tooth clencher

A dinosaur with clenched teeth bars the way.
Out on the street in front of our house.

Our neighbor's work truck, topped with ladders is casting the most amazing shadow.
It fills the street.
A giant tooth clencher.
Probably a T-rex, or maybe a fearsome dragon.
The shadow just beyond is equally amazing in its appropriateness for the moment.
It looks just like the tower of a castle.
Like a turret.
Castle and dragon.
I'm pretty sure there is a princess or two and probably a knight out there.
Out in the shadow.
Does the dragon sense it?

The angle of the setting sun made the dragon grow and grow until it crossed the street AND the sidewalk.
Then someone came and parked on the turret.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

sound of courage

My Dad loved bagpipes.
He was proud of his Scottish heritage and that pride influenced the musical climate of the home I grew up in. Ballads and anthems, pipes and drums, they swirled and eddied around the living rooms of my childhood.
When my parents came to live with us here in the city, we trekked off to hear bagpipers whenever we could,
watched them compete,
watched them march in parades.
We especially loved the Delta Police Pipe Band. 
Their evenings were always a wonder.
When it came to the place in the program where the lone piper entered the darkened auditorium, my father always gulped back tears.
He was a veteran and I know that bagpipes made him remember.
It's because bagpipes are the sound of courage.

Veterans are gathering outside businesses for the annual sale of poppies.
As I waited in line to pay for my groceries this week, I heard pipers somewhere out in the parking lot.
There is a wildness to that sound, an irresistible call.
I felt a surge of unexpected emotion and tears rising like a tide.
I felt such sorrow for the suffering here and around the world, now and ever.
The battle for freedom is waged against forces of darkness with such immense courage and sacrifice.
On that day, it seemed to me, bagpipes were the soundtrack of freedom.