Friday, February 7, 2014

Down In The Valley A Heart Remains

Thoughts that have been mulling in the noggin, but finally took form tonight.

  Down in that valley my heart remains
A piece forever stripped from me and
Laid bare, out on the terrace
Sitting on a green Adirondack chair
There pulses a piece of myocardium
in that tech booth laughing with creators
and dreamers
and shapers
of young women’s lives
and I wonder
if I need that part of my heart
in order to live

Like soldiers in a jungle or a desert
I was once part of
the band of brothers, sentry of sisters
fighting the fight to keep young women’s
hearts in tact
minds alight with curiosity
Asking ourselves if we were crazy
which we always knew we were
but a good kind
the kind that Ralph Waldo said
was what great men were

And now in my civilian status I continue the good fight
of shaping the inchoate minds of our future
I still challenge them to challenge themselves
and let their gray matter vibrate to their own
But through open doors of wonder and new thoughts
New worlds
And Yet
I feel alone sometimes
Like no one knows what it’s really like
to have been there
only my fellow crazy soldiers who have ever
been in that valley
on the farm
could know, could understand, could empathize

Time is a healer.
I know that to be true.
Time creates the distance necessary
To make a new place home
A new work, mine.

But I still wonder about that piece of my striated muscle
that continues to throb in the room behind the great window
where that hodgepodge family sits for mass meals
Or up in the fields where the deer roam with soccer net turbans
Or up in that large room where I sometimes sighed
sometimes huffed
sometimes laughed
and often pleaded, “Be Honest with Yourself, Have you really given your best effort?”

All I know is, I did
give my best
In the lifetime of years where I shapeshifted from friend
to sister
to mother
from teacher
to coach
to director
from neighbor
to colleague
and now,

outsider even.

I do think it may be similar to what returning troops feel
Once discharged
Back in country
A little directionless and
feeling a hole in one’s heart
the kind not easily healed 

A piece forever was stripped from me and
Lives down in that valley
Laid bare, out on the terrace
Sitting on a green Adirondack chair
There pulses a piece of myocardium
in that valley laughing with creators
and dreamers
and shapers
of young women’s lives
and though I know I don't
need that part of my heart
in order to live.
I wonder will it continue to beat
outside of me
so others can 
hear the spectral love
the way I heard it from my predecessors?

And I think, maybe that's why from my first day 
traversing from the plantation home
across the quad
past flagpole and into the creative arch 
I felt the special
that is that place
where hearts remain
though people move on.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What a day this has been . . . .

Can't even process the series of strange events today. . . . finding it hard to sleep. So the day starts out with me walking the dog very early in the morning so I can crunch the ice off my car. Driver's door is frozen shut so I have to climb over the stickshift from passenger side. Whatever-- I'm used to this.  Kids not ready when I finish walking dog, taking out trash, thawing car, taking shower. I flip a gasket. Again--been there. Blast the kids to school so I can get to a conference up at Far Hills Country Day. Get there. It's cancelled. Apparently an e-mail came to me last night at 11:15--- but I went to bed at 10:15 (I know, that is the piece that's weird and never happens.) Anyway--awesomely I get to see Maedean Kramer at FHCDS for a hug, eat a Cocoluxe Breakfast Pizza and pop in to see my peeps at Purnell. SOOOOO awesome to see everyone even if briefly, but surreal too, like I was just gone on a long vacation or something . . . love me some rolling hills especially in the lovely snow. . . so that was weird, but weird good -- anyway THEN I'm driving back and feeling hungry and I have two chocolate croissants from Cocoluxe I could eat, but I bought them for the kids as a memento (because we used to go there for a treat) and I'm like DO NOT EAT THE CRIOSSANTS-- because I'm feeling bad about the gasket I flipped on the kids this morning --- and so in driving past Cheesequake Rest Stop-- I'm like-- I've got time, I'll grab something to eat and look how cheap that diesel is!! Let me get some of that, too, since my tank is less than 1/4.  So I pull up to the pump that has diesel (and other fuels) -- but there are only two that have diesel and I pull up to the one with the diesel because my car is diesel. And I say "$30 diesel please". And the guy fills up my tank and I pull away and I'm like 500 yards into the rest stop parking lot and ENGINE LIGHT---- DEAD CAR. What the )(@*$@#(*?? I look at the receipt-- HE PUT REGULAR IN MY CAR!!!!!!! This has never ever, ever, ever happened. I'm livid because I know this has effectively busted my car in a big way! AND now I'm not going to make it back to my afternoon classes-- I might not even make it back to pick up my kids!!  So after putting my hazards on and running down to tell the guy who filled my car he's an idiot and him telling me, "don't tell anyone, lady, I'll lose my job" I'm like-- you make this right and I won't tell anyone, dork, and you can't make it right because now I have to get towed, and you know what AAA won't come because I'm the the GSPkway!!!! Gah. So I call 911 and the "Parkway Authority" sends out a tow guy (who is AAA certified, just saying) and I tell him what's what and tow truck guy knows the Sunoco  manager who is very accommodating and sets all straight at least in terms of the "We'll pay for everything, don't you worry" part of things. But he's out for blood and wants to know "who did this." And not that I want to throw anyone under the bus, but this is my Jetta we're talking about and you don't mess with my Jetta-- "It was Dave." "Are you sure? Because the number on your receipt is Mike."  And for a second I start to doubt myself, but I'm like no, Dave handed me my receipt. I will not swear that Dave pushed the button, but he is the one who finished out the thing. So this is a hooked up operation and manager guy pulls up "the video" because he still thinks it's Mike. BUT-- video shows-- it IS Dave! So perhaps Dave KNEW he screwed up and when he punched the receipt he tried to frame Mike? Who knows--- but I don't forget a face-- especially when it's like 5 SECONDS prior!! Geeeeeez. So my little Jetta is at the VW hospital and the guys at Enterprise and I are on first name basis now since I have had rental cars more times in the last five months than EVER.  Oh my. . . .and do you think it ends there??? Um. No. But for the other piece you'll just have to wait and see if I post in my Mommalescence blog-- because that is all teen craziness. . . . This part -- this was, I believe, as my car has done pretty much since I've owned it-- absorbing all the bad vibes and taking a hit for the team. I KID YOU NOT!! Any time something has happened to my car it's been on a day when I flung invectives to the universe-- and then UDA 42R, as I affectionately call her, has conked out. Weird? Perhaps.