Enjoy my short story, published in Biji Magazine 2/2012:
Between Light and Dark, I Breathe
Every evening, I come down here and sit by my water.
Just me and my chair, in my own back yard, on my own patch of land. My own piece of this world.
I recline and look at the water travelling by in front of me. The ungenerous and unworldly may call my water a marsh or worse yet, “a swamp” but they don’t understand the beauty of what lies before me. The humidity and the wetness, the sound of water slapping on trees, the rustle of the cattails in the breeze, this is what makes my patch of land wonderful.
Folks who live around here don’t use the word “swamp” or “marsh.” We use the word “river.” This green steamy river makes our place in this world precious. In my ‘evening sessions,’ I perspire, stare in awe at the Cypress trees that hug the water’s edge, and mentally log the water lines on their trunks. They let me know where the water has been. Has it travelled up the tree some? Has there been any change from last evening? Will there be any change tomorrow?
There’s always change. These Cypress are nothing short of majestic. I sometimes stare at the mangled twisted roots at their bases and get lost. Trying to find some fairytale in the woody tangle and braid that disappears into the water. Sometimes, I see an elegant city that belongs high upon the treetops in some lost world, or sometimes it just looks like two skinny children tussling in the summertime, a mess of knobby knees and elbows, frozen in wood and water. Whose knobby knees and elbows?
I suppose one would call my special time by the river an escape from the day, but it’s much more than that. You see, I have money. Lots and lots of money.
Did I make myself clear? I have real genuine money. I buy things. Lots of things. Clothes and shoes that I couldn’t buy before.
Sometimes I buy pretty things just because I can. I have a car. I have a mansion with more rooms than I will ever need, and they all have lovely, expensive things inside them. People clean my house and do my laundry. I travel. I donate money. I do whatever I damn well please and I like it.
Often, I remember that 10 years ago I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. I have begged my mind over the years to forget how hard it used to be, but the mind has a way of making you always remember and when I remember it almost makes me cry.
You see, one day I just found myself a widow. Just like that. With children and no money or house. I didn’t have time to think about it then, I only had time to survive.
And I did, for years. I don’t know how I managed to get through it. I really don’t. It fills me with a great sadness when I think of myself so broken but trying so hard to get through. In the end, I did get through.
I guess when you have absolutely nothing, you just “DO.” You do like me and take any job that you can get, up to three jobs at a time if need be. I mean to tell you that you just “do.” And I did, for a very long time. Then as quick as I lost my husband, my money and my house, I gained a fortune.
I woke up one morning and made something sweet for my daughter’s birthday. There was no present, no cake to be had, but I had to do something.
So, I used anything I could from my pantry to make something sweet. With what was there I ended up making chewy candies. She loved them. Her friends loved them. The neighbors loved them. Next thing I know the world loves them and I have a fortune. I have a fortune because I was poor on my baby’s birthday. Isn’t that something?
In the past few years, in what I’ve heard referred to as the “winter” of my life, I have come down here to my water, my river, my patch of land just about every evening.
Here’s my secret. At the right time, the precise time between light and dark, it becomes magical. Like the stars aligning to make a perfect moment in time for me.
The stars, in my case, being dusk, water, me by myself, a barely tolerable amount of humidity and a warm breeze.
Everything is silent as the Sun trades places with the Moon. The air is still, the light entrances, and my body just melts into a warm pool of peacefulness.
You see I need that feeling, It mixes up my head when I think too long of my journey. So many hills climbed up and down. Up and down, up and down and after that birthday, I never came down again. So, I come down to this here river and I know there will be a few moments where everything stands still for me. I can remember who I was and accept who I became. In this small amount of time, I bask in the ethereal light, I bathe in the silence, I cleanse my thoughts with the warm, sticky air, I touch my hand to my clammy, moist chest to acknowledge my heartbeat and I can feel peace.
I inhale my surroundings and I feel free, if only because I’m protected by this tranquil undisturbed space that lives between the light and the dark.
And then it’s over.
I get up and leave the Cypress to the water, I go back into my large house, pick a room, and enjoy my pretty things.
"Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea."
Robert Heinlein (via thezobot)
That’s right, I pulled out the big guns and said “very special.” I know marketing. Anyway we do have a VERY special reason for picking Sports as our topic in November. No, it’s not because we are huge Gator Football fans because admitting that right now would be sooooooo embarrassing….wait a minute? It is because a very dear friend of ours has begun a heartfelt and admirable journey. One that just makes you feel good about people.Alison Segura, whom we’ve known for well over 10 years, will be running the 2011 Honolulu Marathon to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). She has made it a personal commitment to raise $4000 before the marathon and guess what? She’s almost there! Only $580 away! So Alison, Brian and I decided that THIS show can put her over the $4000 mark! How wonderfully cool is that. So come by November 12th and listen to wonderful sports stories and one deceitful lie, have some wine and help this woman reach her goal by finding it in your heart to give a $10 donation. It will make you feel better about yourself. Seriously. And who doesn’t like that.
Here’s Alison’s Link: http://apla.convio.net/goto/marathonalison
Here’s the info for our show:
5 Truths and a Lie - Episode 8
" Put Me In Coach! Sports Stories of Winners, Losers, Spectators and Conscientious Objectors.”
TBD – that’s right, TBD. We’re working on something, yeesh!
Saturday, November 12th @ 8pm
1503 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
(Parking is on the street or in pay lots)
I’m getting very excited about our November 12, Five Truths and a Lie show. Here is our theme: November 12 LIVE show, “Put Me In Coach! Sports Stories of Winners, Losers, Spectators and Conscientious Objectors.” It’s all about touchdowns and runs, goals and baskets, sticks and bats and, of course, balls… lots of balls. We’re talking about sports people & the next 5 Truths & A Lie storytelling event is all about our stories of playing them, watching them, loving them and, even, despising them. So whether you think of sports as an obsession or a pathetic display of ape-style aggression we’re inviting you to suit up and get your butts off the bench for what is sure to be… wait for it… the Superbowl of storytelling events!
we had a lovely plumbing emergency this morning. I was in the living room and overheard this conversation when they walked into my stepdaughter’s room.
Husband: This is my daughter’s room
Plumber: (looks at all the maps and blueprints that she has on the wall) Is she an architect?
Husband: No, she’s just weird.
Strangely, she would find this to be a wonderful compliment and so do I.
Next LIVE show is Saturday, August 20. The theme: I Can’t Quit You-Stories of Bad Habits, Addictions & Other Things We Can’t Leave Behind. I’ll announce storytellers soon! I’ll also post when the invite email is going out. If you’re not on the list & want to be, email email@example.com To stay fair, we won’t take reservations until the email invite is out & like last time, the first 40 to respond are in! Just like High School!