Day 4 Journey Journal

Today I finished off Louisana (leaving spooky Lafayette far away) & crossed Mississippi & Alabama, which states could afford “Welcome!” signs. The landscape was even greener if possible & kudzu not draped over the local wildlife.

Florida. I remember Florida drivers being so slow to get behind one was a cause for loud groans from everyone in the car. Well, times have changed. The highways now harbor a coterie of low-slung, neon-color cars with black-rimmed lights whose drivers live for the thrill of doing 70 in the 40’ space between them & the next car in front.

I watched this go on from the slow lane where I was still doing the limit… gasping to almost witness three collisions today alone. The windows are tinted at about 80% & I picture Weebles driving, madly shifting gears with evil grins. Maybe they get extra tickets to turn in for plastic combs if they can run a tractor-trailer off the road. I saw more than one 73 footer shimmy like my sister Kate as these devils of derring-do slammed in front with a bandanna to polish the chrome bumpers.

A good 90% of the truckers are polite & many hang back but boy they are like bull-ring livestock when in a hurry. These also follow a creed that if they can get close enough the energy field will push the car out of the way. However, I learned to drive in New Jersey & have lived in New Mexico where every car is larger than mine plus my third mate was a trucker himself. I’m not afraid. I can be dead on the road anywhere tho not a fatalist. It would be spectacular for them to scoop up my Volt for a hood ornament & save me gas, too. And I’m doing just over the limit if in the passing lane anyway – the lane next to the staties parked in the median, yeh? I move over as soon as I can & figure they left all road manners on the counter when they picked up their CDLs. If they’re that late, they should have started as early as I did. Bleah! Road bullies all.

Today I didn’t chant in Hindi. Today I simply prayed James Dillet Freeman’s Prayer for Protection through two of the three states. The CD didn’t work well from Disc 2 on, so I finally put in Train & shouted the lyrics out loud while slapping my legs to stay awake. It worked, but I sure needed the restroom at every stop!

Florida has discovered speed! I think I preferred the grannys in surf wagons pushing pedals to see which one worked to make it go.

It’s so humid here the bathroom floor is slippery. Shuffling works. Fortunately my flipflops have traction.

I am enjoying the accents & realized today I will never fit in if it comes down to speaking twang

This motel has the first plugged-in clock I’ve seen. Perhaps it’s a state thing, but all the other places I stayed either had no clocks or had put them under the bed unplugged. Just sayin’.

One more night on the road before arrival. I had a lovely stop in Mississippi at a rest area which was lush & green (I know I keep harping on the green, please forgive.) It has been over four years since I spent time under trees!

I am not a good travel-tourist. What I want to take pics of strobes by with just a glimpse. I cannot fumble for the phone, the camera app, etc. So the photos of this trip will be just a couple at rest stops. Mississippi has the prettiest I’ve been in, today’s was a park with a pet walk area, a people walk area, nicely tiled restrooms all spacious & cool. And their vending machines were stocked & worked (tho I’m still watching for the by now twice-baked cheese crackers.) The nice thing is the food carrier gets lighter every day. I still have Biscochitos, in case you’re wondering.

Today was simply a speed day. I think I passed a point where the ground started tilting downward, things got to moving so fast. I’m not a go Granny go gal in the best of times. I have a 4-cylinder Volt carrying a decent load. I think if these drivers hit the drive-in, they’d demand the movie be on fast forward.

I am in Crestview, FL where the bathroom floor is misted in humidity & there are few handholds to grab. I’m attaching some pics of my parkland rest stop & one of me which fully features my moustache… I got a look at that one & rooted around in the back for a razor to shave. It’s hellishly colorful to be spayed down to testosterone level in a humid climate. Of course I cut my thumb.

300 more miles to go. Palm trees. Swimming pools which haven’t been used since Covid years & bearing signs “No Refunds!” I’ve got the room next to the elevator but at least not on the freeway. If there were a storm, the sidewalks would sizzle & steam. Had a cool rinse & it’s time for my Arrival Coffee since all of you are caught up on the uber-zoom situation here in the east.

Please continue your prayers for safe arrivals & loving reunions!!

Sleep well in peace as I dream of jake brakes…

Carol

A Tree
A different tree with a droid trashcan admirer
Moustache Me

A World of Difference

You’d think I would know how unique T or C is when contrasted with the world. I hesitate to say the “real world” since I don’t know what that is for sure anymore. Surreality has replaced reality.

It’s the convenience & major hassles with the flip of a word, it’s ten-mile traffic backups on highways over water, it’s blinkers & stinkers & a constancy of watching my back, locking the car, mild panic attacks, inaccurately marked highways where the signs cover two lanes but really only are meant for one. It’s smiles, shuffling feet, air conditioning or the lack, it’s heat & sweat & outright lies. It’s nasty neighborhoods & untold stories bubbling up to be shared. It’s signs like “turn around, don’t drown” when the car is hydroplaning in a sudden shower bouncing off the road; it’s a wave I could have surfed on a beach coming over the concrete barrier as a truck rushes by with no regard to its wake in the same storm. A moment of blindness & prayer: I remain on the road.

There is danger in the everyday but glory too. I choose to see the latter. I keep my mouth shut & my eyes open unless I’m sure of my audience. I enjoy all I can & even the damp moments bring dry humor later.

I did the wash, forgetting I had put some spare money in the dirty laundry bag. Opening the dryer brought me $10 bills, wrinkled & warm & funny. I have stashed money all over the car & forgotten most of where I put it. There are some surprises coming when I clean it out at the other end!

There are no postcards to be had anymore so the stamps I bought remain in the address book, those I promised to send check mailboxes in vain.

It’s exchanging a scary situation for comfort & regard with courtesy as well. In other words, it’s all love flipping along heads to tails toss after toss.

The words are worn out. Thank you doesn’t cut it for the depth of my heart’s wholeness when in joy. It’s unexpected abundance when my daughter gifts me with road cash. It’s a cool bath after making the rounds of hotels full of workmen with no room for guests. America is hungry for dollars all over & profit edges out politeness too much. We have been living with a boot on our throats for so long any song is transcendent.

I live in this ineffable moment of Ek Ong Kar = One Creator Created This Creation.

The world I see of America today is no longer a prosperous one. Stores & restaurants are closed & when I set the finder for a restaurant, like as not it is no longer there. It’s hours of business set & not kept. It’s people sitting on corners with cardboard signs,

Now I know these have always been around. I’m not naive, but I am untutored in the 21st Century. My skills date from an earlier time which was not really easier but seemed that way. It’s the difference between hard water & that which I barely feel washing over me now. It’s deep drawls & unfamiliar accents which balk in my ears.

I’ll tell you what never goes out of style: Kindness, consideration, the holding of doors, greetings, smiles, having fun with strangers – like when I ask a group coming out of a restaurant if they’ve left any food for me & they laugh. It’s rainbow sneakers with matching socks. It’s in the delicate complexions of children flashing rose & pale in moments.

I feel like a bridge between the old & new. I am a cliche, early to bed & earlier still to rise. I haven’t much vim & too much vinegar for good sense. I have a deep love & appreciation for silly stuff: remembering that all the toothpaste is in the car as I stand in a bathroom with my supersonic brush. It’s bacon & tomatoes & a sneak of chocolate but now I buy a bag to eat just two. It’s secrets & uncovering thoughts with a meeting of eyes.

Ah! Life is the everything of all of itself. I can’t complain & hardly question anymore.

Love,

Carol

Day 3 Journey Journal

I left Seguin just before 7 under a darkling sky, heavily overcast. The land was so green I expected dancing leprechauns. After a hearty lunch (!) at Waffle House, the rain squalls practically washed me back down the road as I pulled through running water so deep I was hydroplaning. Of course it was between concrete barriers, but I planted my li’l car right over the white bumps passing for a traffic lane & checked to see if I had any oars aboard. I did not even care a whit about the traffic behind. I needed the middle so as not to wash up against the barriers.

The Kreuger book lasted until Lafayette, LA as the story twisted & corkscrewed around relationships, situations, descriptions. It was fascinating altogether.

I decided today was a day I could really use breakfast, so I dialed up restaurants on the Garmin. What? No Denny’s? Is this from the Mandela Effect when the name changed from Denney’s to Denny’s? I cannot bring myself to Subway for breakfast, just not that kind of gal. So I hit the road on Hyland’s Calm & wintergreen mints & stayed happy.

I try to fill up at the half-tank mark cuz distances between services can be long. In a quest for gas, I left the highway at Schulenberg  (“Halfway to Everywhere!”) looking for a Shell station & found an Exxon. I’m still mad at them for the Exxon Valdez incident but I know it’s a good gasoline, so I pulled into a small station with premium @ $3.99, a total bargain at $1 less than everywhere else. Next door to the quicki-mart was a tiny donut shop with breakfast burritos so I ate there for $2.50 & picked up two packets of salt for the next meal. A total treat!

I was a bit surprised to see Louisiana names pop up since there was not even a sign that said “Welcome” or “You’re now in LA”. The shape of the road sign backgrounds changed from the star to a klutzy boot & the names went from Texan to French.

So, here’s the real grit on the smooth finish. I arrived in Lafayette & pulled into a parking lot with a dollar general type store for a place setting. Well, I got a butter knife out of it. Every woman had a headwrap. They looked to me like giant sweat bands. It was uniform. I thought living in Nashville was Deep South but guess not this deep. A whole different culture. The roads & turns around this complex were confusing & fast-traveled – it took me 30 minutes to cross the street & drive the block to the Baymont for my reservation. When I saw the huge black iron fence around the Baymont, I switched to second thoughts. When I asked the hotel clerk if my car would be safe in the parking lot, he shrugged. “Why don’t you go see the room, so you know where to park to watch your car?” he advised & handed me the key to 324. I stood at the door to the room looking vainly at the teardrop shaped lock with no slot, wondering where to put the key. Seriously, I’m not in the 21st century yet…the maid came down & smiled kindly as she held up the key to the teardrop & the lock disengaged.

I walked in, looked out the window, looked around the room, walked out & asked for a refund. The clerk asked why. “I don’t like it!” I said putting on my best impression of a bulldog (not a far stretch for this face.)

“Why?” he asked again, “I want to know for, you know, quality control, so I know what to tell the manager” Which tiny Indian man walked out of the back office at that moment & said, “Refund her.” I cannot tell you with good descriptors nor could I explain to him & when I insisted, I said “women’s intuition – my gut does NOT like that room.” Besides, how’m I going to guard my car from the third floor if a troop of robbers make it over the 6’ black iron fence with spikes – did I mention the spikes?

I peeled out of there & headed for the next town, about 34 miles up the road & had to circle to three places. At the Quality Inn, the man in front of me drawled how his colleague had checked out because of the bugs in the room at which point I left a bit of rubber from my new sneakers peeling out of there. LaQuinta had an opening at 7:30 (this was 4 p.m.), so no go, but they let me use a super-clean restroom.

I found a Studio6, a bare bones, super-efficient, sleek, we-thought-of-everything + an ironing board/iron. It is super! Clean! Efficient! OMG, I write this sitting in the laundry room as I’ve sweated through even the clothes I didn’t yet wear. They have giant luggage trolley for my five separate bags plus the computer gear I cart in at every stop. I ran a cool bath & sat gratefully in it. (All the water outside of T or C has been silky.)Temps are way high & humidity at least ten degrees higher. (Hence headwraps?)

Now a dramatic storm gathers itself outside as I sit on the bed typing away. A fella outside just put on a jacket so it’s cooling down. The television came on all by itself once I got settled in & I will unplug it if it tries that again.

I may be far too parochial to travel well. But I’m tenacious & that helps. I am also totally blessed to get to where I’m going & have some humor about it all. And I’m not out of Altoids yet. The kudzu is abundant everywhere & I’m in for the night except I’d better get quarters out of the car before the skies reopen.

Love to all –

Stormy highway
Looking East

Trains & Motels

There is still a romance about awakening to train horns from a distance, a music from the rails so long as one is not up close to them. That one drawn-out note & then a steady rumble of passage. Life was simpler traveling when one could afford a ticket.

I see the occasional pedestrian on the highway – it seems Texas does not forbid this everywhere as other places with their “NO!” signs at each entrance. The men I’ve seen (only two) are sunbaked, dark of visage, carrying only a little. They probably had nothing to begin with but have picked up small items along their treks. I zip by with a fleeting regret that I cannot help them. My car has no room & I have no faith of escaping unscathed by encounter.

Today is push day – close to 400 miles, fifty over my self-imposed daily limit. I am no longer hypnotized by the driving after that distance as the scope & speed & sheer volume of vehicles brings on an adrenaline rush that sustains itself as I try to see everywhere all at once. Exits fly by like jumping fleas – signs up, signs gone elsewhere: I blinked. I am thankful for those way-up-high signs & familiar logos. They give me a point to circle in upon.

This is my first drive across the lower portion of the States. Route I-10 cross states I have never been to with Louisiana & Florida (unless I count one brief church rally encounter with Jacksonville in the latter.)

It is a marathon of focus, a test of feathering brakes & hitting the gas, watching for patterns. I keep an eye on the Freightliners, the Kenilworths, the box trucks; if they change lanes I check to see if I’ve room to do the same cuz something is in the way. I eye auto carriers suspiciously for anything about to fall off – as if. So, there’s a predictive element here, a series of judgment calls changing momentarily. I feel as though I should be donning goggles, slapping driving gloves against my thigh as I settle in the car. Instead, I put a white-light bubble around the Volt, my Sparkle Plenty car. I draw it clockwise all the way around, over & under & then I settle it inside with me. I draw Reiki symbols, an old ritual for safety & grace. I am entering an arena of sorts & I am ready, as prepared as I can be.

Motel rooms are to sprawl in tho I have “areas” – all electronics on the cabinet with the TV (which remains untouched.) My suitcase is slung on the king-size bed – it seems there are no luggage holders anymore. Motel rooms are the final resting places of ironing boards & irons & I wonder if these just get dusted as it’s likely no one uses them. I’m not sure there are even fabrics that will take to ironing anymore. My wrinkles hang out with body heat (sure wish that worked for my face!)

By evening, I am gathering stuff into piles again for easy scoop-up in the morning. The soaps are back in the ditty bag, handy shelves emptied so all is on a surface for visibility. Anything not used is piled in the suitcase for fold’n’sort at departure. Instead of checking under the bed these days, one must look at all the plugs for chargers.

The privacy of a room after a day on the road is grand & well-deserved! On arrival, I close the darkening drapes & turn on the lights which creates a cave of my own.

The coffee is unpalatable for the most part but there’s a mystery about it of whether this cup will be any good. I think some suppliers grind corn into the mix, tastes are so strange but, hey, I’ve been brewing the same stuff for years & I am not in my element anymore. In fact, I will need to now create this as I go.

Travel is still exciting whether for adventure, life changes or sightseeing. I can be more fearful if I choose but anything going wrong would be a fireworks display on the road, it is a gambler’s dream of statistical extremes. My faith is secure as it would be an arrival at destination, whether in Florida or anywhere else more heavenly.

I make a prayer of every encounter since that’s what works for me.

Blessings to everyone on the road today. Stay out of each other’s ways, stray not from approved paths, let us each & everyone arrive alive-o. For me, another motel to stretch out in…not that I need much room. Just some plugs, a fridge & safety to close my eyes & know my Blessings on each temporary homecoming.

Day 2 Journey

From the beautiful green surroundings of Fort Stockton, TX to the highly commercial Seguin, TX, the roads are long & complex, braiding in an all-for-one fashion where route signs pop up & layer over one another.

Texas was a highly militarized zone, according to the forts listed on every other exit. Now wind turbine farms line upraised mesas like the feathered headdresses in old cowboy movies, eerie & huge. Distance from the road does not lessen their menace. I avert my eyes & watch for another car somewhere along the stretch of beautiful Texas countryside. I drive I-10 at 75 while the speed limit is 80. As in most things Texas, the limit exceeds my wish for speed, set as it is at 80. The cars I see approaching in the mirrors pass by me fast – little old me who thought 40 was too fast on the street where I lived in T or C.

My Volt performs valiantly. We hustle East as though magnetized to the bold & glaring sun. I move through discs 3 to 8 on the book on CD in the player, This Tender Land, by William Kent Kreuger. It’s one long drive to Seguin. In all that distance, there was only one sign for the city at one complicated turn.

Basically, I follow 10 but this braids with county roads, frontage roads, street crossings & signs of numbing complexity. My GPS provides a steady instructional chatter: BE in one of the two left lanes, BE in the right lane, like the Highway Guru she is. I am her faithful follower.

I’ve driven the roads in America before, but do not ever remember the amount of recap tire treads littering either side. Orange barrels hold space much-needed for trucks which barrel along like hippos, swinging to either side of the traffic lanes at times. I always pass trucks with a prayer & while pressing pedal to the metal. To even glance at these seems a challenge I am unwilling to take. Trust in the Lord but get past fast.

The drivers are polite to me, allowing lane changes graciously with far more ease than big-city counterparts. No one hovers in my mirrors. I am thankful!

The heat is tremendous. If I stop at a rest site, I am careful to not touch the car other than to open the door. The morning started with a delightful overcast but as I traveled, this burned off. I am wearing a sweat band, even in the a/c comfort of my Volt.

America is in no way prepared for the electric car. I’ve come over 600 miles without noting one electric charging station, not even where I’ve stayed overnight. If we give up gasoline production, the roads will be an endless procession of stalled cars – quite a dystopian ending to Henry Ford’s dream.

I stop frequently for breaks. Texas has many rest stops, many picnic areas, lots of opportunities to break up road monotony. Exits are well-marked. Each section of grass growing in the median has its own mower. I cannot imagine the road care needed for this gigantic state. Over 600 miles & I am not close to Louisiana yet, with Houston & Beaumont still to come. I think I’m past San Antonio.

I am not being a tourist. On the road, I’m a fiend for getting where I want to go. This trip I am stopping only as needed & sometimes allowing a break at a pull-out where I emerge, breathe, smell grass (heady after years in dun desert).

Somewhere along the way the time changed & jumped an hour ahead. I was confused until I decided all the devices are wrong & I’d get to where I was going when I got there.

I pray my way across the state & will continue to do so. In heavy, speeding traffic with just enough room for me to slip under the truck mirrors, I chant a Hindu mantra as this keeps me calm & focused regardless of the intensity of traffic swirling & skirling all around.

I know all prayers go to God & indeed, count upon this mercy. No steering with two fingers here; I’m holding the wheel at 2 & 10 steadily, watching the miles count down on the GPS until arrival.

It has been an intense & heady day. I leave the road early because I’ve put in all the mileage I can take. I ignore restaurants for my own simple salads & wish I’d packed a place setting where I remembered I put one. Eating everything with a spoon is as intriguing as eating everything with a fork – I’m taking turns with whatever implement surfaces. The plastic knife already broke but the edge can still stab the cheese, I’ve found.

Ah! I’m seeing the USA in my Chevrolet, America is asking me to call …

Road Trip

Irony has a predictive element that’s disconcerting. It loops around to preen & rub, trailing a tail across my knees. The Dodge Ram Van I bought with mother’s estate money brought this great vehicle into my life but it had a flaw in a cracked battery somehow unseen by the inspector. I left Pennsylvania as a camper with a puppy & found my first stop was to a dealer for its replacement. A new battery & I was “OMW” across the country, returning to New Mexico’s Truth or Consequences, which had taken me in & tossed me out years before.this

I departed T or C this past Saturday morning, heading to stay at a friend’s place in Las Cruces. This short hop provided a chance to do some shopping for travel supplies – “road food” I called it, plus giving me 75 miles on a trip of 350 planned to start Sunday.

Sunday morning brought me a dead battery with its spectacular sunrise & the two tubs I had reduced my life to from a two-bedroom two-story apartment. AAA replaced this & I left ‘Cruces for El Paso & points east in a nervous frame of mind. Once the buttons don’t work, there is a bit of suspicion about pushing them again, a frisson of ‘will this work?’ Fortunately, mechanical problems are so much easier to resolve than others & after a couple of stops & starts to tank up, my confidence returned & I pressed on, mulling over history’s repetition. Like Hollywood movie plots, there is just as much same-same.

I recognize the situation for what it is: resolvable. I also accept I am on my own, on the road & many angels are sharing the space. I am not afraid. The future doesn’t frighten me as the past once did. While not repeating mistakes, I search for what will serve me now. As then, I am unsure what this might be or even where; I am only certain it is worth the search. And it is all I have to do, after all.

As an old woman, I am also an old friend, but these ties do not bind. Travel is its own true love. I could speculate on many why’s but truth tells me I find validation in movement & seeing fresh vistas, landscapes and faces. Two days on the road show me the faces today are determined & not a little harried. People seem pressed for time; the road is full of speeding cars while speed limits sprout orange flag-ears warning: “We mean it! Don’t speed!” For me, Texas’ limit of 80 is over my comfort zone & I hover at 75. Which actually is by no means a hover! I seem to have a dim memory of watching the sway of Conestoga wagons with the same intensity.

I have not seen enough to say with any authority what has changed but there is a sense of rushing about similar to anthills. I’m not decrying it here, just commenting. I’m sure I seem like another ant to fellow travelers. I sense people are trying to make up for lost years, masked by the effort to turn the great ship of state from its seeming port of no return. While some see a golden calf on its horizon, others search for a way to reverse the course.

There is no returning to a past which was not really as satisfactory as its memory. But the travel forward must be understood as an attempt to recapture an idealized “what was.” I do not have that expectation even understanding. I’m on the same loop as everyone out here driving with me. Of course we all want to believe we’re on a unique passage which will bring us to a personal Eden. I’m happy for a clean road stop & a friendly face.

The unknown is interesting & gathers my attention. I know my passage adds at tease of energy to the mix already enriched by hopes, desires, dreams, ideas, feelings. I drive without expectation other than to accomplish the goal of reaching an unexplored area for me: the southeast U.S.

For now, the driving is all there is. A road trip is a suspension of both belief & disbelief. The miles ensure change but truly, is there real change? Yet I am still discovering America & myself, rooting out old emotions & beliefs to be replaced with a mysterious new. Might be I will simply stay the course already set & on repeat mode.

But what else is there for me except pursuing the dream?

Stuff

The biggest distraction of all is stuff, especially the bigger, better, faster, more stuff. I understand that we need things….a coffeemaker, a car. Obviously, we must wear clothing & shoes. Even with shoes for walking we need a car to get anywhere outside of the immediate surroundings. To leave the village is an accomplishment of no meager portent. If the village cannot support us comfortably, if that bugbite of travel needs to be scratched so the itchy fluid spreads through our systems, we go, simply to assuage it. The comfort zone becomes more comfortable in the rearview mirror instead of the windshield.

Spending a life accumulating stuff is worthwhile until it no longer rewards but impinges. I have done the mostly impossible for so many: once again sold off or given away 95% of mine. Wherever I go, I will again begin gathering more. What I leave behind will be received or purchased & circulated. My bits of energy & DNA move into another household to affect the individual who needed more. I am become that “more” as a means of showing self-love. However, my “less” is my way of showing self-love. Can you follow that?

Stuff is convenient. I love having a washer/dryer, yet some very intriguing interactions for me have happened in laundromats. I’m sure there were great conversations taking place on the banks of rivers everywhere as folk slapped fabrics against rocks in that vain attempt to remove the stuff we didn’t want to carry along. I cannot carry these appliances off in my car on a journey, so I trust in rivers & rocks.

With all that I acquire comes obligation such as the need for cleanliness with every bit, or at least the need for some tampering. Food needs to be cooked, households need to be tended…my words need to go out into the world carrying observations & insights, entertainment & exposition. Perhaps these will influence enough perceptions to even end the need for stuff! Hmm, not likely, but valid.

I let it all go once the decision is made to do so. I hang up the phone where I’ve made plans to travel, looking around & an immediate fierce need to be free of everything arises. Then I can get different stuff!

O Lord, spare me from this need. Bring me austerity & understanding that a coffeemaker cannot burble enlightenment, but the ritual of making it, sipping it, the enlightenment of enjoying it, can bring me to a stillness where I can perceive a glimpse of it out there.

Putting on my shoes urges me to walk on in discovery. The car beckons departures & arrivals both to new destinations & familiar. For example,  how many times have I returned from the desert to the ocean & the reverse?

Some are rich enough to assure their stuff can remain in place while they come & go. I need to turn it out for pennies on my dollars to lighten the needs for this living journey wherein I gather my being for expression, spinning value from experience. I cannot keep two households, so I invest in only the one where I am in the moment.

My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to live my best life not in a sole focus of getting. It is to find that extreme of balance where I have enough, need little more & can divest investments with clarity & ease. My asset base is in thinking, spending my wealth is the means of this word exchange: I write while you read. I spin a whole cloth of perception for your expenditure (or keeping.)

May heaven bless these connudra. May my balance stay intact or at least keep up a flow attempting that. For as long as I need a coffeemaker to spin tales, may the “sins” requiring this acquisition be forgiven so long as it births inspiration & excellence for myself & others.

May my ideas be blessing, illumination, expressions of the divinity which seeks the more of new vistas, the inspiration of other environments. May my thoughts entwine & urge, soothe & offer whatever is ‘needed’ to my readers for whom the weave of these is that whole cloth I talked about above & perhaps the nourishment of their souls.

The original seeking for me has always been God. I return again & again to the release of what is for what will be next. For me, it has always been the journey & not so much the arrival.

I follow a plan I didn’t even know I’d made & perhaps I did not. I’m a minion, bringing about the will of Creation with every article, participle, verb & noun.

Read on my friends, share this difference, this refinement of offering with me! Have fun here…learn, hopefully marvel, consider & share as I have with you.

Separations

Time has become a mercurial substance, balling itself up in clusters on the calendar…a series of lunches or volunteer commitments cluster together until they resolve one by one. Until the moment they separate & each takes an identity of its own. Usually just when I thought I had it all together…it comes apart discretely.

I remember when my days were an unthought routine: up at 6, commuting by 7:30, leaving a bit early since traffic was always an unknown factor. Arrival, coffee, meetings, a lunch hour, emails, calls, an afternoon break for another coffee, gathering my life back into my purse to head for the garage park. Home to another routine of dinner, TV, conversation, chores & bedtime.

It’s different now or is it really? I cannot get far from routine even when I think I’m doing so.

I miss my little cat. I tell myself tiny stories, but I cannot keep the back door open or I will spend the day watching for her & her friends who came by for dinner & a shoulder rub. I cannot complain at 2 a.m. when she’d wake me for a night’s run & I’d bumble to the couch to curl into a different sleep, into strange-lit secondary dreams.

When I named her Dream, I did not think she would so easily become one. I did not see her ever hurt or stressed or physically unable to alight upon any height like a butterfly rising. She barely made contact but would suddenly appear in the space. She had a rusty voice & never hesitated to tell me what she was thinking. “Time to get up & let me out.” “Time for me to eat, whatcha got?” “Time for us to get to sleep…” Tho this last was a rarer call than the others. Sleeping for four straight hours in the daylight does not lend itself to sound slumber all night.

I cannot talk about her ending except the very last moments in the vet office when she rested her face into my cupped palm & breathed out her essence into my hand.

Was I being cruel to expect her to travel across the country with me? I had great accommodations with a large kennel which would hold litter within. I had plans on shifting her to a roomy carrier which would perch atop my wheelie suitcase entering the motel. I even had a bungee set aside (a blue one) to tether that for security. I had a harness, a leash, a plan for her food & comfort. Literally, with a snap of jaws it ended. Though I think I have cried it out, I have not cried out enough about the awful event. I know how quickly things happen, especially tragedies. I avoid thinking the unthinkable until it drapes itself across my eyeballs, unavoidable.

It comes enfilade, this watching of corners where she appeared, plumed tail tall & waving. It is never direct but by a corner & around a slant, I see her earnestly making her way. The baby next door squeals & I alert thinking Dream must want to come in now, must be at the door, must be slipping along the windowsill to let me know it’s time.

Like so many blameless happenings, I want to assign a blame. I want to take away the sure & certain terror she felt & remove all pain & wobble from her flight. She always walked fast, fur electric around her: a voice, an appearance, a pass-by, a dream within a dream.

A moment of horror & a life changes. Her brokenness becomes my memory when all I want to see is so completely different from that. A moment of sadness & my life is my own again, alone & awaiting, a-waiting.

I miss you, my baby-girl. I miss our conversations, your slanted looks, your comic demands. We weren’t a cuddly couple; you never spent an afternoon on my lap & I was quite content were you even on the couch nearby. You knew if you stared hard enough, I’d rise to resolve your want. I knew if I called out the backdoor at the end of the day you would dash toward me, each footfall prodding a vocalization.

My heart slips a notch, my eyes refill. Only recently after our year together did you stay near enough for me to stroke you, tho you loved being brushed. Only recently did a hope stutter-start that you might one night climb into bed with me & sleep by my side.

We steadied each other; studied each other. Love is sometimes a nightlight or a match-flame, nothing like a bonfire of vanities, but lit nonetheless for in all darkness, one candle is enough to illuminate a world.

Farewell, my kitty-kitty dream. I shall not forget your grace & gravitas. I am not diminished for having loved you well & a year is worth a thousand griefs. I know you have been lifted above all of it: but you were mine when you were you & I shall love that beyond time.

ISO Tomorrow

When young, being old is inconceivable although being “older” more desirable since there is a perception of freedom. In my day, children weren’t so closely guarded tho rather more closely guided. What a difference a couple of letters make.

My upcoming cross-country journey won’t be an outburst of fast food, rather I’m carrying my own as much as possible or obtaining something healthier along the way. It will mean nights of sleeping in “strange beds” as opposed to my familiar futon upstairs which I’ve already abandoned for the couch downstairs, trying to be in the same room as my dying cat. I am already practicing, yeh?

After the initial burst of utter rightness about relocating (I said to myself, “Wow! Everything in this room must go!” as I hung up the phone after making the arrangements. It was exciting!) I switched on & off. I did not give up the thought that letting go of possessions making my life more comfortable was the right one for me in the moment. I did roll through some fear tunnels where it was dark & full of slippery images: “You’re too old for this.” “You don’t know what you’re getting into” And then the litany of “What if’s??” all needed to be ripped out by the root until the journey became the only reality possible.

There has been much shocked reaction to “You will own nothing and be happy.” The two seem mutually exclusive in a society bent on acquisition to stave off evolution. But my blood remembers lifetimes spent owning nothing – some in poverty, some in spiritual commitment. Owning nothing means looking inward for entertainment, for learning dependence on others is not weakness, but rather an exultation on the strength of having friends, of the kindness of strangers manifesting & of the interesting experiment of austerity. This attitude has set me outside many perceptions where owning it all brings joy. For me, it meant more cleaning. I have always stood outside the corral of public opinion, sometimes waiting to get in but lately just walking around the edges.

As with walking a dog past fenced-in canines, the noise level is savage. The container dogs howl & yip at freedom enjoyed by others, carrying on as though their tails have been ripped off. The uncontained dog is an existential threat to their ways…an awakening when the dream is all they know. The unknown is to be feared.

I don’t perceive myself as a threat to others but I join many on the road now as a threat to the “system,” a way of life increasingly unsatisfactory. I mind less now having only three or four outfits, with the “decent” one, the Sunday best suit, hanging way back in the closet unworn. It was always a sign of material wealth to have a full wardrobe & vary outfits each day. I used to be like that but realize now it was an effort to fit in & assure acceptance. To be wearing the same clothes over & over – even though clean each time – was detrimental to image. Um, just not much caring about image anymore. No makeup, goofy hair, porky shape all equal a relaxation of the rules comprising my chain-link yard. From where I once barked at others, I now pace to the gate to undo the latch.

Thus the journey becomes the arrival.

In the Beginning: Crossroads

That place I cannot now remember where all was potential & possibility. That place shining white without stain of experience. In this intersection of time equaling space I choose past & future. I look at the nexus of divine being human.

From here, the lines radiate, presuming pathways. They lap the choices made & yet to be. Alternately flashing “future” & “past” their lights splash inside my soul, balanced in attraction while offering distraction & a yearning which travels both directions.

There are only two roads out from this infinity nexus. They look smooth but I’ll need mile league boots to navigate. And the GPS I follow becomes God’s Potential Service. From here, the paths proliferate & overlap: what is & what is to be, what can be & what’s next. As their signs alternately flash “past!” “future!” I understand their balanced perspective. A bit of this & that levels me out & I progress.

There is only entropy & syntropy. Falling away always involves growth. Infinity hums along, its catchy tune bouncing my steps. Choices appear as signs – innocence this way, knowledge that. The guardrail is the adamantine flow of time. I have no way to leave this road.

Where I go from here is unimportant when stacked against actual movement. After all, movement is a Sign of Life, molecules dance their atomic blueprints, stem cells blast toward more growth with innovation & grace.

Held high in the jaws of Fate, I am helpless if my feet do not touch the ground. I am given a [sometimes] fatal shaking, emerging again from my navel to separate between control & consent with a wet “pop!” A tiny paw of awakening stirs to stretch, feeling what I cannot yet see.

Awakened, I walk on.