Almost October

Another month is fading out, sunshine giving more room for cloudy days and the sound of rain barely heard over the whir of the fan in the humid darkness.  No longer summer but not yet fall, the trees hang quietly dripping the last of the night’s rain in preparation for the next dark clouds blowing across the middle of the day to lash the window with blurring streams.

The green remains in the leaves which in turn remain on the trees, keeping them clothed for a little while longer.  Soon enough the autumn which in other places hails the brightest of colors, the crispest of mornings, the frost on the ground, and the smell of  raked up piles burning to ash.  Here, quieter colors tempered by quieter growth tempered by duller light, soggy mornings, soggy coats, and the smell of soggy mold.

Not always. Today can be confused with always. Today, the humidity is weighing me down.

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Born in the Heat of Summer

I’m an August baby.  We are wonderful people, generally speaking, and can light up a room like sunshine pouring in through the windows even in the cloudiest weather, provided there are people around us.

It might be just me and not every August person, but when there is no one around and the clouds stay too long, my mood grows dark and brooding like a coming storm. Maybe I should be like a flower, feeding and basking in the rain, finding strength and beauty in the gray world in which they live. I’m not a flower, though. I love the first day of rain, especially as it is watering the yellowing lawn, and revitalizing the plants and shrubs. The second day of dreary weather darkens my soul. I feel I’m being pulled down toward a drain where the rushing water sucks at my life, covering me until I can’t breathe.

When the sun returns, as it will, I slowly return to a more ‘normal’ state of mind. I love the sunshine, so answer this. Why do I not love the heat?  My body is revolted by it.  Tremors and fever are the result of exposure to heat, along with nausea and exhaustion. Summer means long hours in my air-conditioned bedroom. It means being unable to be involved in every family activity. It means the very thing I love causes the thing that I hate, and that hates me.

I’m going to fight back. I’m going to buy a cooling vest. I will go to Hawaii next year. I will love the sunshine, I will snorkel, I will look weird in the vest, and I will survive the heat.  It will be glorious.

I think I’ll get that vest very soon. This August baby is going to rock the rest of the summer.

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July

Bright sun blinds and reveals                                                                                                              At one and the same time                                                                                                              Glaring off a windshield                                                                                                                    Coloring a rose sublime.

Hear the sounds in the heat                                                                                                                  Of children laughing, playing                                                                                                                 Of water cooling and flowing,                                                                                                            Green garden hoses spraying.

Breathe in the blooming flowers                                                                                                        Smell the newly mown lawn.                                                                                                               Taste and see and feel                                                                                                                         Before July is gone.

Ball games, picnics, and fireworks,                                                                                                    Lakes and pools and streams                                                                                                              Willows swaying in the wind                                                                                                           And dancing in our dreams.

The hot and restless nights                                                                                                        Whirring from the fan                                                                                                                  Smiling at the memories                                                                                                                     Of when this day began.

July

 

Denise A. Carr

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This Year

This is the year I’m going to finish the book I have yet to start. I’m going to learn a new language, get back to my pen pal, finish a wonderful series of books, and take the final April birthday grandchild out for their birthday meal before it’s time for the September grandchild’s outing.

So many things undone, so much physical and mental downtime. Dear pen pal, I wrote you one letter on the stationery I’d finally found. During a mental white-out I threw away what I thought was a small bag of trash, forgetting I’d already thrown away that bag. What I really disposed of was a small bag of stationery and greeting cards, and one new prescription.

Don’t cry for me, fellow humans. I cry for myself rarely, as I usually can’t remember about what I was going to cry.  And now the end of July approaches, more than half a year behind me, but still months ahead of me. I will start the book I want to write. I will get back to that foreign language. I will write my pen pal again, on notebook paper if that is what presents itself to me. Hear me, April Boy? How is next Saturday for dinner?

I am a third of the way through the fourth book of the series. It’s slow going when reading aloud, but my mother and I will finish the fifth book by the end of the year! 

If for any reason I fail to accomplish any of the above goals, I will make new goals. Life will always have other plans to push mine to the back burner, where – if the heat’s on – they can simmer gently until it is time to set the world on fire. Or something like that.

One more thing. I will keep on blogging. 

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Standing in My Mind

Today I sit leaning back in the recliner
Dreaming of strength
Remembering better times
And seeing myself through the eyes of others.

In my mind I see me young and slim,
Independent, intelligent, indestructible.
Was I living in my mind even then?

Was it ever true? Was I shy,
Needy and broken?
Did I accomplish, did I grow,
Or did I hide inside of myself?

Ah, well, that is the past,
This is now and now is the time
I am standing strong and tall
In my mind.

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After the Rain

So many gray days, no blue peeping between the clouds, and then – a day of light, fluffy white clouds drifting through a blue sky and my desperate dreams of primroses and crocuses become a reality.  I love planning the planting, eager to weed out the weeds and feel the soil move as I prepare it for bright and varied colors and kinds.

Though I can do so little to make this happen I will enjoy doing what I am able to do.  I will enjoy teaching my grandchildren to do things for me, and it will still be my garden.  I think of myself as author, producer and director.  But what if it rains every weekend until June?  It won’t. It can’t.  After rain there is always sunshine and clouds for dreaming and trees adding leaves.  It’s spring and my garden will grow and it will be watered and fed, and after the rains I will sit on the back porch and saturate my soul with sunshine and flowers.

After the rain.

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Raining on My Sunlight

It is so hard to look out at the gray rainy weather and dream.  This is the day for dismal thoughts and dreary outlooks.  At least it’s not a monsoon, and I’m not out in the wind. There’s the Pollyanna side.  I don’t feel at all Pollyanna-ish about it. I’m ready to shop for plants and flowering shrubs full of life and color, but not in this weather.  It takes the light out of the day and brings an early nightfall and I sleep when I should be lit up with the joy of writing.

Ah, I just had a gray memory that was also bright.  My grandma’s eyes changed from gray to blue-gray to bright sparkling blue depending on emotional state or the color of her clothes.  I had bought a gray coat that I loved.  Grandma loved it, too, so I gave it to her, not because I am such a wonderful person, but because I loved Grandma more the coat. One other neat thing happened when we transferred ownership of the coat: I discovered I was as small as my little Grandma!  Unfortunately, it didn’t last, but it was a sweet gray time.

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And once again

I feel like I have been here before, my giant squirrel cage pushing my past into my face, the horrible gritty feeling of being in the wrong lane, or going the wrong direction on a one way street.  How can I possibly have missed my way when my way is stationary, only my mind traveling relentlessly in what feels today like ever-diminishing circles. Mommy, mommy, my cage is too tight!

There I sat, my lifeline in my lap, spewing dreams and old news in no meaningful order, and suddenly had  the terrible sensation of living the wrong life, writing the wrong words, failing to achieve, or even to remember the goal. Aaah! I can’t breathe!

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Fickle Muse

Dreaming awake turning one way repeat
Feeling the blanket, sweat on the sheet
Hear the voice of the Muse soft and so sweet
Promising words with pattern and beat.

Gentle wind blowing ideas to me
Longing for freedom, longing to be
The message, the message that others will see
As I follow the vision entrusted to me.

Line after story run through the night
Muse breathes to my soul until new day’s light
Hope filling heart pouring from a great height
Fingers are poised yet the page remains white.

Faithless Muse taking those thoughts far away
Finding a new soul with which to play
Again the filling, then taking away
Leaving sorrow behind to fill the new day.

Cruel Muse.

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Another Day Another Daydream

I dream. I eat. I breathe. I hope and pray. I love. And I daydream.

Looking out the window I see the clouds which hold the triggers for the dreams, past present and future. I can drift backwards through the seasons and the years to find the seeds of today in those occurrences which through good or bad times shaped and molded the person I was becoming. Moving ahead through decades I recall highlights and lowlights and some no-lights. It’s odd to see the dreams I had as my younger self who still lives within me, pushing, pressing, trying to get out and have another chance. She looks at me with hurt in her eyes, silently blaming me for missing out on all of her dreams, as though I asked for us to be struck down.

Now I am back here and now. The clouds still float by changing shape with every wind, winds too harsh for me but producing gentle beauty. But dreams are not daydreams, and the past yields lessons and memories, not daydreams.

I watch the clouds and travel with them to another land. I’m a star, an actress of untold depth who is not diminished by aging but rather increases in making her audiences believe in her character. The imaginings travel the world, doing good works, changing the face of the future through her passion and eloquence.

I float above the clouds as I run to a marathon, feeling the breeze on my sweating body and welcoming its cooling touch as I press on toward the finish line with one hand pressed to my chest, feeling the pounding of my heart and the rasping breath against my ribs. I win.

I remember watching ballet, then beginning to dance alone or with a partner. Again I have the sensation of flying, and using every muscle to its maximum. Exhilarated,  I then choreograph and star in a great ballet. I take my bows, accepting the adulation of the crowds as my due.

A moment later the dream is lost as my eyes catch sight of a hawk soaring above, looking for prey. How down to earth can it get? Just like that the real world is back. It’s time to work my way up from the recliner and into the bedroom to lie down and sleep. Perhaps I will dream of flying, or singing, or riding, or being young and clever with lost friends and family at hand. Maybe…

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