"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The boy with the dandelion

has dark skin and watchful eyes. An immigrant boy. A migrant. We are all of us the one and conflicted over the other. He picks dandelions and twines them into a braid. His father digs carrots and picks lettuce. His arms are brown and muscled and ready for work. The morning is misty and overcast, and the fields are muddy and wet, but the boy is barefoot and learning our ways.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Black River

The rain falls and water creeps up the back of the farm. A field of rolling green spelt has turned into a lake. It changes the view at the horizon. It shouldn't be there.

Water was rushing over the road when we returned from our farmer's market yesterday. We barreled through with the farm truck and water splashed over the side mirrors. I wouldn't have risked it in a car. Mill Creek has left it's banks. It spreads and spreads trying to find the path of least resistance.

This all makes me think of my novel, Black River. I've finished it and now I have to begin the irksome task of composing the query, a writer's least favorite thing to do. It's a tidy manuscript at 105,000 words. Short for me.

We have problems but I'm glad I don't have to deal with the ones my protagonist farm boy has to confront.

The rains fall as the ice caps melt.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do Your Fingerprints Tell a Story?

We have new ID's at work with a chip in them. An electronic reader can know everything about you off that chip. They must be worn in lead-lined protective sleeves, lest random readers on the street capture the essence of you, like the sun burrowing through your clothes and the wind lifting a skirt. Do you think this is science fiction? Some new genre I'm delving into?

They took our fingerprints for this new ID, prints of all four digits on each hand and then separate ones of our thumbs and then the lone digit finger as identifier. They had trouble getting my prints. I have evidently worked the print right off the pad of my fingers. Did you know such a thing was possible? It is.
Notice I have no nails as well as no fingerprints.

The technician said they have trouble sometimes getting prints from masons and concrete workers and bricklayers. Add to the list gardeners and farmers. How about writers? All this tap tap tapping.

I had to wash my hands and apply corn huskers lotion. Twice. She was about to give up but finally got a set she thought would be "acceptable" and sent it off.

What if she hadn't been able to get fingerprints from me? Would I be allowed to move incognito through this new world obsessed with identity? Having gone through the lengthy process, do I feel more secure? Safe in my job, my identity, my world? This much I know: I felt somewhat special with my unreadable fingerpads and disappointed when she was finally able to "read" me.

How about you? Have you worked the fingerprint off the pad of your fingers? If so, how would you feel about that?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mother - from playground to wheelchair

An Epistle on Turning Fifty

First you lose the impatience of youth,
linger over emerging bulbs
and let the phone ring.

Mirror mirror on the wall,
from the first aching step out of bed
to grinding the next day’s coffee,
I am my mother after all.

I rub the bump I’ve developed in my palm
and gauge the knob on my wrist.



Not that this is me, mind you, but my mum is home from the hospital (yay!) and the infection she picked up there is gone from her broken leg, and I felt like sharing this poem with you. She is navigating her own home with a walker, and I take each aching step with her.

Life, a circle. From the playground to the dance floor to the yoga class to the acquiescence of a cane to the necessity of a walker to the resignation of a wheelchair, but back to the walker now! How far can we go?

Happy Mother's Day weekend to all of you who balance your lives like flamingoes on one leg, make time for creative endeavors, and carry the world on your backs.