For These Gifts, I Am Thankful

Raging storms
That shift minds
And open hearts
Snowflakes falling
Family texting
Simply saying
I’m safe, we’re fine
 
A lingering hug
A loving look
A soul shouting
A kindness
A touch

Drifting to sleep, unencumbered
Chasing fears back under the bed
Waking to whispers, uncharted
Wonder unfiltered, explorer of moments
Dreams forming, shaping futures
Grateful moments, amidst challenging times
Grasping, reaching, achieving, and growing 

In all ways, always growing

Joni Kovarik | www.bizdevbiz.com

What’s that? (you were about to say?)

“What’s that?” (you were about to say?)
If
history, the past is a record of things said and done before
And the
Present is sum total of things that are being said and done right now
That makes
the future the result of things said and done tomorrow…
Given what
Has gone before and what is transpiring now…
Just what
Were you about to say?

inquires,

Paul@relationshipliteracy.com

Last Night I Dreamed of a Dead Woman from Long Ago

Six nights ago I dreamed about a long-dead friend and have felt obsessed about it ever since. Just finished looking at old pictures of her I found in dusty high school yearbooks. She graduated in June of 1976 a year ahead of me. Her name was Jo Anne.

We didn’t hang out much at all in high school. We became friends many years later after she tracked me down to Richmond, the capital city of Virginia, where I lived and attended grad school in the mid-1980s. She wasn’t my girlfriend. We were never lovers. More like I was her confidante – Continue reading “Last Night I Dreamed of a Dead Woman from Long Ago” »

Dogs a digging, writers a writing

It occurred to me this morning that I can no more stop expressing myself in writing than Schnitzel, my canine companion, can stop digging in the sand.

When we go to the shore I watch him dig, dig, digging away (see illustration) and wonder, “Why is he dogging there, Does he sense something beneath the sand I cannot? Is there a hidden treasure? Why is he so devotedly digging, apparently for no apparent reason?”

After digging at these questions for some time I uncover that Schnitzel’s reason is well, unreasonable. Schnitzel has no “reason” whatsoever, nor is there is any meaning to be made. There is little to no reasoning to Schnitzel’s capacity for living. Schnitzel chooses to dig because it is simply in his nature to dig.

He does not dig to entertain or inspire me (although he does). He will dig for as long and until he wishes to do something else: fetch a Frisbee, or bound down the beach cheerfully chasing after seagulls in the sand.

I note (perhaps you have as well) I literally and literately like to ponder and play with wisdom and words that alliterate in my writing. For me it is fun, appeals to my sense of whimsy, and it gives me pleasure.

And now I stop and reflect: How very different am I than my faithful playful canine companion? He digs, runs, chases seagulls because it is fun, gives him pleasure, and sheer joie de vivre. A snout full of sand is as much fun for Schnitzel as a peck of puns and plays on words is for me.

We are not so very different after all.

Do you dig it?

The Gratitude List & Embracing Hesitation

I AM in love.

With the journey I do not yet understand
With the upstarts I have not yet met
With the magic that new beginnings are
With the people who surprise me generously
With the smiles freely given and received
With the wonder in the eyes of young ones
With the sound of truth being told

With the simple ability to breathe without having to think about it.

I am of the mindset there is always more to be thankful for. I wasn’t always. There was a time when I felt like a sadder person whose life was colored by more loss than I thought I could handle. And it all started when I was very young. So if it is true that “God/dess” gives us only as much as we can handle, I AM grateful for how I have handled what has been given to me to address.

Abundance and Gratitude is an Attitude that can be cultivated and doing so is a lifelong process. We, humans, have been given both the ability to communicate and remember what  we have said and done and have the capacity to learn from it. What worked for us at four doesn’t work the same for us at fourteen or forty. Nor should it. I AM grateful for how I have evolved and continue to do so.

I feel I AM again the person I was when I was about to embark upon college. Self-reliant. 18. A loaner car of a Dodge Wagon packed to the max with the sum total of my worldly belongings. Few clothes. More books. A box of my life story in journals. Going where I knew but one person. Leaving behind no room to return to. Only a future to embrace. Pure excitement and no hesitation. My body hummed with a knowing that all was as it should be.

Three decades later after many starts and stops and stumbles, I feel as though I AM again in that space of pure possibility and nothing will prevent me from realizing what I have envisioned. I AM committed to believing that what I can dream, I will manifest.

Had even one person introduced me to the idea of intention and my energy being so exquisitely and purposely directed when I was that tender age…what more would have come into being? Oh, here is the surprise behind that curtain: It has all been perfect as it has come to pass. Not that I could see that at 27 or even 34. I see it now though. And that is presence that matters.

Regarding that last moment before we figuratively or literally leap into something new and daring, what is YOUR personal “surefire” way to diffuse any hesitation or procrastination?

May you be blessed with the courage to say yes to your grandest visions, hesitation-free.

Om Shanti.

The Madness of Art

Can’t you see the beauty in it.
Blank in its formless shape a potter begins to mold her creation.
Whisking paint across an already smudged canvas he screams…
Can’t you see the beauty in it!
How can you not. My god!
Pounding, Slamming, Crying out for understanding.
What do you want of me says the singer?
Forcing the melody to a page of lines from the clouded head of creativity.
A hum too faint to be audible becomes a chorus of the first line.
Meanwhile out back in the garage the high pitched whistle of white hot light whispers.
Forged from rusted steel, iron and sweat.
Can you see the beauty now?
Maybe you if you stand back…over there…
How about now?
I understand this madness all too well.
Words coming so fast I can’t think.
The artist knows of this madness.
A madness that can’t be squelched.
Like water from a fire hose it comes through them.
There is no relief from this stream of the unconscious pursuit of the perfect.
For there is beauty in the ordinary that makes things extraordinary.
It comes and it comes and it won’t stop.
No amount of sleep, drugs or therapy will make it end.
It only dulls the din of wanting out of his head.
A self expression so pure only the artist knows the madness of art.
Can you see it now she cry’s.
Backed into a corner slumped down, brush in hand… it is done she smiles.
The torch of molten creativity has faded like a boiling tea pot removed from the flame.
The madness of art stops…only to be torn down and begun again.
Can’t you see the beauty in it!?

 Spoken Words by Gerald Grinter

Gifts of Peace

There is nothing quite

As endearing as listening

To your pet

Sweetly snoring

From the foot of your bed

At five in the morning.

 

In that final hour

Before the day commences

He is a gift

Of Presence.

 

All is well.

The world is at peace

Enfolded by the murmurs

Of his slumber.

 

 

On Living, Dying, Death, Loss, Grief, Ghosts, and Moving On

The events of my father’s death followed by my mother’s and all that arose afterwards were pivotal events in my life. They are, I would imagine, for the majority of human beings around the world. My writings on these topics took place over time and have evolved into the narrative contained within the following series of essays, ruminations, photographs, and poems.

Death is an everyday aspect of life, and yet in our culture perhaps the least visited, the least discussed, the most disturbing, the most feared, and the most liberating. Bereft of a cultural web of community grief and loss, we nowadays hurry the dying out of view and the dead into the ground or into an urn or whatever just so we can get back to what we really have reduced our lives to: being too busy. In the process of freeing ourselves up to be so busy we have unwittingly robbed ourselves of something intimate, indeed of something which can be a rich affirmation of life and purpose.

Loosely I lump the following as my “Death of my Parents” canon, and it’s much more than the deaths of Mom and Dad. Each is fully self-contained, although they do flow one to the other. Some are long, while others are short. Most have photographs, and a few have lots and lots of pictures. I list them below in the chronology of which I published them on my website, William Dudley Bass on Earth at the Brink, although as with blogs they show up in reverse order with the last one posted at the top.

I invite you to dive on in and join me on a certain timed yet timeless odyssey.

1. “Death with Father,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/death-father/.

2. “My Mom & Death,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/mom-death/.

3. “During My Mother’s Dying,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/mothers-dying/.

4. “Mom Passes On: Ruminations,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/mom-passes-on-ruminations/.

5. “The Morning After We Buried Mom,”http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/morning-buried-mom/

6. “Daddy’s Ghost,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/daddys-ghost/.

7. “Barreling Across America with my Daughter Morgan,”http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/barreling-america/.

8. “Dad’s Old Chair,” http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/dads-chair/.

Thank you, dear Readers.

William Dudley Bass
March 5, 2012
Seattle, Washington
http://williamdudleybass.com/

NOTE: This posting and all the articles, photographs, and poems listed first appeared on the Author’s website, William Dudley Bass on Earth at the Brink, @ http://williamdudleybass.com/ & reappears here with his consent. Thank you.

Copyright © 2012 by William Dudley Bass.

 

Six Words Make A Story Short

Here Are Six Very Short Stories:

It’s all true, and a lie.

Got fat. Lost weight. Drank beer.

Climbed mountain, lost pants, took nap.

Clouds ripple in moonlight. She screams.

“Hey, you! What time will it…?”

Pink escalators spun candy to heaven.

 

More Tall Tales for Tight Whales

Corpses wash up in surf. Crabs!

Two lovers walk. Smell. Stop. Retch.

Police sirens wail. Stuck in sand.

Seagulls spin; dive. Bones shine wet.

Sad, old men drink whiskey straight.

A baby coos. Her mother laughs.

Cool breeze over watermelon and wine.

He whips around and drops the _____.

Cannibal baby love! Dorothy ate Toto.

Ebenezer Grinch adopted Little Sammy Who.

Chainsaw kicked back out. Goodbye legs!

Raw Foods Daddy forgot blender top.

Gunshots. Jumped up. No underwear! Shit.

Barbie meets Barbie Lou. Ken happy.

Socrates, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, You.

 

William Dudley Bass
January 6, 2012
Seattle, Washington

(NOTE: I felt inspired by “Very Short Stories,” a November 2006 article in Wired Magazine. Funny as hell. Check ‘em out @http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/14.11/sixwords.html.)

P.S. Hey, your turn!

 

*Notice: This collection of very short stories was first published on my website @ http://williamdudleybass.com/MyBlog/words-story-short/ and is reposted here with my permission. Thank you.)

© All copyrighted 2012 by William Dudley Bass.