Pug Corner – Frankie at Twilight

sunset dusk twilight sky

At the end of every day, right before the last of the light fades from the sky, I take Frankie out for an evening stroll. Provided the weather is not against us. Frankie is not fond of the rain. In the late summer and early autumn, it is still warm here in the South, even as the days grow shorter.

Frankie looks forward to sniffing every blade of grass, marking every tree or sign post she comes to, barking at any squirrel, and greeting every dog and person she encounters with a full pug smile. This is a great way to end the day.

Most walks, while flights of fancy for my pug, are the same routine to me. I hope there won’t be too many people or dogs. Frankie forgets that she has business to attend to when there is someone to say hello too. I pray there won’t be rain. It makes for a long night if Frankie can’t take care of her business.

It was a twilight that we walked one night after moving into a city flat. There is a lot of bustle around us, cars passing, tall buildings, lots of shops and restaurants and a sports arena.

BuckThere is a lovely garden in front of our complex where we walk each evening. The property is lined with tall trees that separate us from the office park next door.

Nature feels controlled and industrialized here. Until a deer appeared. The big buck jumped out into the garden, turning a routine evening to wonder. It stopped and stared at me and my pug for only a moment.

Frankie did not even bark. It was so alien to her she could not decide what to do. She froze and then the majestic animal leaped away, over the shrubs between us and the next property bounding toward the river.

My mind wiped out the city around me and saw the buck in its natural habitat, a clear view from us to the river as it would have been had the city not been there. My dreams were odd that night. Frankie slept as she always does, soundly but for a few bouts of snoring, the magic of twilight gone. For the moment.

My Library – Random Thoughts

One day I would like to live in a library.  Or more correctly, I would like to convert my home into a library. I don’t have room for all my books in my small city apartment. But one day.  And not just some little cozy room with a few built in bookshelves, but something grand. Like the citadel in Game of Thrones. Only no chains on the books. Like below- grand architecture, perfect book preserving climate, that goes on and on.

ancient antique architectural design architecture

 

img_1054For now, I have a few shelves, some over-stuffed with my lovely books. Inside these books are some of the loveliest and nastiest people I have ever met. Some human, some dragons, some of various origins. It is here in these pages where I see possibility, where I find hope when I can’t find any in the “real” world.

img_1059There is a section in the classic, Lord of the Rings, where Frodo Baggins laments that he has thought an attack of dragons would do his fellow hobbits a world of good. Only, when it comes down to it, he only wishes to save them. I suspect we all feel this same conflict at some level about our fellow humans with whom we share this tiny pile of space rubble.

img_1056In Brandon Sanderson’s trilogy, The Stormlight Archives, there is a character, a king by the name of Taravangian. This king appears to all the world as a feeble, old man albeit kindly. And on most days, that is true because Taravangian often wakes up as an idiot. He doesn’t have the strength or intelligence to be duplicitous.  On other days, he is a genius. On those days, he is, well, scary. I won’t give away any spoilers. But I do suspect there have been a few Taravangian type kings to visit their wrathful genius in this world. It’s so much better if the villains can be kept on pages in black and white.

Well, tonight I am an idiot so I am going to do some grammatical edits and read one of my glorious books for a spell before sleep takes me.

 

 

 

Story of a Life In an Attic

IMG_0596In 10 days from the writing of this, I will move to another place, closing the door on decades of my life and starting something new. Today, I packed up my attic, separating trash from treasure and skipped rocks through the story of my life.

KateandStuff 028I found loads of pictures, thousands of pages of writing going back as early as 1981, material for hundreds of books I won’t live long enough to publish. I found music and memory in old journals.  I found an old flask among my daughter’s high school things that still had liquor in it. That made me laugh.  I kept the flask. She looked so innocent back then. You’d never think it, huh?

IMG_0585There were all my daughter’s beanie babies. At her birthdays from about the 4th birthday to maybe the 8th birthday, we used to hide all the beanie babies as a bit of a treasure hunt and the children would trade them in for prizes.  I couldn’t manage to let go of those either.

I found the last bill I paid my daughter’s private school. The last of her college stuff she dumped off before taking off for New York. There were yearbooks, grades, college acceptance letters, honor roll certificates, team pictures, and all that kind of thing.  Video games, old music CDs, a score of broken phones and sunglasses, shattered bits of memory and life, somehow all the pain absolved as the bad went into the trash and the diamonds made from all of it found places in well-marked boxes.

That was all the stuff I expected to find. Maybe not some of the writing. That was lovely as I had wondered where I had put so much of that.  Then I began to find things from my life, before my daughter came along. And so the story of my life played tunes in my head. In a recent blog post, Janet Reid, Queen of the Known Universe and agent extraordinaire, wrote about the The Distinction Between Rhythm and Cadence,  something Mr. Harry Chapin demonstrated as only a master of words can.

Yeah, he thought he was writing about his life and his wife. What’s genius is that we all have this thing that is the story of a life, not the same story. It was a wife for the song writer, a child for me, a husband or father for someone else. But holy shit, these words came crashing back to me today. I could remember 23 and 15 and then 35 and on until I this very day.  So, from the grave, I give you Harry Chapin as he recalls the story of my life.

 

IMG_0597IMG_0600I can see myself it’s a golden sunrise
Young child open up your eyes
It’s supposed to be your day.
Now off you go horizon bound
And you won’t stop until you’ve found
Your own kind of way.
And the wind will whip your tousled hair,
The sun, the rain, the sweet despair,
Great tales of love and strife.
And somewhere on your path to glory
 You will write your story of a life.

 

911newyorkafterAnd all the towns that you walk through
And all the people that you talk to
Sing you their songs.
And there are times you change your stride,
There are times you can’t decide
Still you go on.
And then the young girls dance their gypsy tunes
And share the secrets of the moon
So soon you find a wife.
And though she sees your dreams go poorly
Still she joins your story of a life.

IMG_0601So you settle down and the children come
And you find a place that you come from.
Your wandering is done.
And all your dreams of open spaces
You find in your children’s faces
One by one.
HouseHunt 034And all the trips you know you missed
And all the lips you never kissed
Cut through you like a knife.
And now you see stretched out before thee
Just another story of a life.

So what do you do now?
When she looks at you now?
You know those same old jokes all the jesters tell
You tell them to her now.
And all the same old songs all the minstrels sang
You sing ’em to her now.
But it don’t matter anyhow
‘Cause she knows by now.

Nanowrimo2016So every chance you take don’t mean a thing.
What variations can you bring
To this shopworn melody.
And every year goes by like a tollin’ bell.
It’s battered merchandise you sell.
Not well, she can see.
And though she’s heard it all a thousand times
IMG_0598Couched in your attempted rhymes
She’ll march to your drum and fife.
But the question echoes up before me
Where’s the magic story of a life?

Now sometimes words can serve me well
Sometimes words can go to hell
a3b6e4e3-c51e-46cf-b9b1-588b25e40f5cFor all that they do.
And for every dream that took me high
There’s been a dream that’s passed me by.
I know it’s so true
And I can see it clear out to the end
And I’ll whisper to her now again
img_0445Because she shared my life.
For more than all the ghosts of glory
She makes up the story,
She’s the only story
Of my life.