Category Archives: Life

Out of the Ordinary

I awaken into the new day.

Already my mind is considering all
that has been. Is contending with
all I might do or be needed to do.

Do I pause ... to ponder 
The ordered way land, sea and sky meet, as the
the sun peers through the trees
the clouds form and fold
the light sparkles on the lake
soft ripples hint of a soft breeze.

That my lungs fill with fresh air
perfectly composed to supply
blood, uniquely equipped to carry
cells, satisfied and content.

That my legs lift and support me,
step one foot to the other 
with balance on sturdy ground
that promises to carry me into the day.

Do I consider this ... the ordinary?
that the day will take shape
as it does and always has.
that intake of air 
will refresh again and again.
that gravity will have its way
as it has this day and every day.

This ordinary.
This gift.
This miracle.

Not guaranteed
Not promised
Not deserved

And yet, why?
why do I overlook it?
why do I suppose it?
why do I rush past it?
Why do I forget to give thanks?

In the anxious of always,
we've been given the ordinary
to make life out of.
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Climbing down from my control tower

Control … such a buzz word. Who has it? Who wants it? Who’s in it?

Don’t be so controlling! we say. Because we want to have our say. We want to have our way.

What if, 
instead of loose-ing our control,
we climbed down out of our control towers?
down the steps from the platforms
where we otherwise attempt
to play God with our lives?

"But..." I say, "from here I can see it all!
All incoming traffic
All outgoing traffic
What approaches and what departs..."

From here I can see everything!
It's clear. I'm clear for take off.
"You're clear for take off," I advise myself.
"Runway 4-9, four-niner, clear for take off."

Oh my, why?
You're not cut out for this kind of work, Wendy.
It takes a cool head to be an air traffic controller.
Confident.
Detailed.
Conscientious.
Certain.

Make a mistake and people die!

Lotta heart disease in this profession.
Lotta cardiac arrests,
Lotta blocked arteries,
bypass surgeries,
early retirement.

Who in their right mind would willingly assume
control tower duty over their own lives?

Me,
I'd rather listen for instructions
from a voice I recognize and trust.

Wendy, you're clear for landing on runway 2B.

Roger that.

I wanna be that kind of book

I pick the book up from its assigned resting spot and attempt to flip through its pages. Each one sticks to the next. I can’t for the life of me get them separated. I fiddle with the edges. I try and slide the corner. I gather a handful of pages hoping the random shuffle will loosen the page I want. No luck. Thunk, thunk, thunk, go the chunks of text.

Clearly, no one has freed this book from its hot-off-the-presses status. But how… without licking my fingers? Such a Pre-Covid thought, that. In my bag I have a contraband water bottle, perhaps some moisture from that? Or maybe my gloves with fingertips designed to slide a screen would do the trick, but where are the?

Oh good grief. Yes, yes I did it. Surreptitiously, I dot my index finger with a dab of saliva and successfully work one page away from the other. Crinkle, crinkle, slide. There it goes. One page down. Only 373 more to go.

(I had the same experience at Harris Teeter yesterday, trying as I might to release the grip of the plastic bag opening without defaulting to stripping my mask from my nose and mouth and licking my fingers. Suffice to say, after setting my two gala apples on the cart left by the produce manager in order to recruit both hands for the task, I finally gave up and set both the apples and the unopened plastic bag in the bottom of my basket.) But I digress…

Today I pick up the same book from its assigned resting spot, but this one is in a different location. A more traveled location. A more popular spot. This book, I know right away, has had many visitors stop by for a visit. Its pages fall easily, one from the other. Its surfaces are crinkled and easy to grip. Its printed words seem to invite me in:

Look here and over here.
Turn to this page, now that. 
Oh, here's something you'll like! 
Wherever you want to go, I am with you. 
Just as I have been here 
for all those who have sat where you are sitting
and accepted my invitation to excursion through my pages.

I had what seemed an odd thought just then…

I would much rather be this book than the other, the one so seldom opened. I prefer risking a ragged interaction or two to sitting idle in a forgotten corner or at arms reach from an uninterested patron. I would rather be a book that’s read, that’s sung from, that’s paged through. I would rather be dog-eared, crinkled, scribbled upon or even mended after a bout of overly enthusiastic use, than pristine and shimmering, on display in some out-of-the-way spot gathering dust but inspiring no interest, no interaction, no comment.

Yes, me and that Velveteen Rabbit, we’ve done some communing over the years.

A toy, played with, is beloved. Real, even.

A book, read and re-read, beloved, too. Alive, even.

I wanna be that kind of book.

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