The gift of the wind chimes

I pause in my morning visit with my journal to breathe, to listen to the wind chimes outside my window, and to feel the warm coffee flow down my throat to warm my entrails.

The wind chimes are in the background almost always, because we live on a windy hill, and the song is always the same, infinite in its variety and comforting because no matter how the wind blows is the promise of music — the world’s energy not exactly harnessed but borrowed (perhaps) to find music in the gentlest breeze and the harshest storm.

The wind chimes were a gift, and they are a gift to this day. Gifts are like that, aren’t they? You always remember that someone gave this to you. They are a bit of someone else’s soul saying, “I thought you might like this, or need this,” and when they were right the memory of that person lingers with the gift for as long as you have it and longer. And if the gift was an act, the memory lives all the longer.

The wind chimes have no set melody. The melody is the wind.

The awesome explosion

I have come up with a new simile to describe myself lately. It can be yours.
Every day I jump out of bed and step on a landmine. The land mine is me.
After the explosion, I spend the rest of the day putting the pieces together.
Now, it’s your turn. Jump!

— Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing


He jumped out of bed and saw the possibilities, all scattered and beautiful and stretching out to the horizon.

No, don’t go picking them up and examining them to death, he thought to himself, just look out at all the life.

Here is a shining star in the sky beckoning with joy and hope, here is a thought that will make someone feel more alive and ready to face whatever it is that’s holding them back, here is a magic racing car that travels to other worlds, and here is an idea that no one ever thought before in quite the same way you just thought it.

My oh my, all the possibilities and potentialities and what the day could be. Which to choose? All of them!

Seize this awe and tuck it into your heart to power your day, because it’s an awesome world and the more you respond with happy awe, the more your day will be happy and awesome.

The zen of early rising

Sometimes, pulling myself out from under the covers at 5 a.m., I resist the urge to climb back in, and instead I go to my writing/reading chair and start to write, and something pretty good comes out. It’s like some force in the universe wants to keep me from seeing what I would see if I awaken, so it lulls me back to sleep. But we need to wake up and see eventually, so the universe rewards me with a bit of insight when I get up anyway.

It will be easier to do now that we have “fallen back” and 5 a.m. is what 6 a.m. was 24 hours ago. I’ve thought before it would be nice to live in Standard Time year-round even during those months when others live in Daylight-Saving Time, waking an hour before everyone else and living in a quiet standard world that may be darker but wits are sharper because they’re refreshed and uncluttered.

“We get an extra hour of sleep tonight” — or we get to start the day an hour earlier with the same amount of sleep. That latter thought feels a bit more … empowering perhaps.

The Halloween fear

© Marilyn

Somebody noticed months ago that Halloween night is a full moon this year, three days before what was sure to be a raucous election and in the middle of the ruckus caused by the reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“What could possibly go wrong?” the somebody asked sarcastically.

Continue reading “The Halloween fear”

A meal for the ages

“I’m alive, confound it,” he cried, feeling mortality chill his bones. “I loved myself enough women to have a horde of offspring to keep my memory alive, but it never took, and here I am childless, no one to carry a trace of my DNA to the next generation. I failed in the prime directive to reproduce and keep the species going, so I sit here scribbling evidence that I was here in lieu of passing along my genes. I pieced these words together so that when my dust is scattered to the winds, something tangible will remain that says I lived and here is my offering to the future, not in the form of a bright young scientist or poet to save the world but words, words that if you read and absorb properly, perhaps you will learn to be what my never-born child would have been, and What I Was will live on, my white plume of honor and glory and words to live by and love by —”

“Are you quite done now?” she asked. “Can you sit down and eat your supper, or do you need to orate a bit longer?”

“I am not quite done,” he conceded, “nor do I expect to be done anytime soon. I see possibilities in every sunrise and the dance of puppies chasing each other, but I also feel the glory of a sunset and the contented sigh of the old gray dog under the dining room table. Here, there is life worth preserving and sharing and loving.”

“Bully for you,” she said, setting a plate of oh so very delicious looking food under his nose. “You’ll live even longer if you eat something.”

He looked at the food and gaped in awed pleasure. And years later, after his ashes had been scattered to the wind, the critics mourned his passing and spoke of the poetry that sang in his description of that meal.

Up through the time machine

I met some old friends for conversation last night, and they each offered me an insight or two.

“Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation,” Ray said, encouraging me to leave something for posterity to chew on.

Henry was in a reminiscent mood, and he hummed me an old Lapland song with the refrain, “A boy’s will is the wind’s will, and the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”

And Ed, always the mysterious one, told me, “love is the every only god” and went on to explain, and he was right as always.

It mattered not that Ray told me this in 1990, and Henry in 1858, and Ed in 1940. All three of them are not especially mobile these days, but they left their words for safekeeping, and I traveled through time to retrieve them.

I suspect this is one reason we write books: to still be talking to friends after we’re done talking. And so, should this combination of words happen to reach you long after I’m dust, I encourage you to be the friend that Ray, Henry and Ed have been to me, and write the future a letter.

After twenty years

Most people who know me know that I am a huge fan of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, ever since I first heard the lush minor hit they made when I was 13 years old called “Buy For Me The Rain.” I have made it my mission to let people know there’s a lot more to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band than “Mr. Bojangles.”

Continue reading “After twenty years”

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