Thursday, September 28, 2006

The smell of rainy leaves permeate the trail this morning. As I go, I try not to think of my wonderful friend Shari too overly much. We used to see the trail together in all of its mid-morning Monday glory as we chittered and chattered and bespoke of His harmonies all around, even in the day of cloud. We also never had anything to prove in our semi-athleticism. If we walked, the talk was worth any slack in output. If we cried over some hardships, we kept hobbling on. Many times, we just giggled; she was the master of word association silliness and spiritual impromptu amusing wisdom. We had fun, more than.

In August, she moved to North Carolina. Her left-behind college son is somewhere here, moving in the dark, perhaps clustering with someone. The memory of her triathlete husband is most likely moving through the minds of some of his closest friends here, who are the most devout and running full-steam ahead. There were tears with them too: tough ironmen competitors losing a cherished friend.

I pass and pray by the opening into Shari's old subdivision where their house stands vacant desperate for a contract. I count the dark wooden bridges, recalled from the day runs, in order to gauge my distance and turnaround point. My pace must be different than everyone else's here -- runners are either ahead of or behind me. There seems to be a huge gap between me and others. I try not to think of that too overly much either.

Shari's e-mails from North Carolina talk about her resolve to "plod on, plod on". It's not easy for her to leave all comfortable familiar markers behind. She doesn't even know the bridges to count there in Winston-Salem. She runs mainly with the dog.

I want to quit and walk like we used to do when we simply felt like it. However, I feel indentured to the phrase I hear in my mind and spirit now: Plod on, plod on. The rain on the leaves agree. I try to chase any other thoughts into the nearby shadows.

Blessings and happiness to you, dear friend.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Yes, I'm happy to be learning about the circle of fifths and the tremelo and the chord movements. But, it's just exciting to be able to play Soldier's Joy here in this town, where I am right now. (I also like my mandolin teacher's wonderful facial wrinkles and how they connect to the music she plays, and how perhaps my developing ones can too -- my new fortysomething beauty adaptation, ha).

This weekend, we'll be traveling down south where they play the music in little places here and there. First Dad wants me to stop off Friday at Plummer's where his group is playing, and I'm welcome to join in. Then, we have the big family reunion cookout on our farm Saturday night where we've always been the entertainment (they even call us that!).

So this morning, during the schedule of my adult life here, there was a time and place collapse, and I was there, and there was here, and sixty precious minutes rolled all around happily.
We had four boys here yesterday, and I daresay, the play went well. When I watch Cody smile and hear him practice flexibility, I know that he's improving tremendously. After reading some of the entries on the Asperger-At-Home yahoosupport homeschooling group, I acknowledge that Cody has a mild case comparatively, and I should be thankful always. To be fair to the Christian mother who pointed out his deficienies, she did it out of protection for her young kids. As I explained further, she opened up her heart and trusted and the play time was simple boy fun with video games and outdoor running and big smiles. Cody was not confronted with a shut door, and he behaved fairly well. I should know ~~ I'm the mother who watches and critiques and pulls him aside and takes note like a scientist practitioner. The mother did not know me either like, say, many women in my church. Yes, generally, there are issues in Christian circles with accepting plurality, I believe; however, I don't want to criticize her specifically, even though her comments brought up a wave of fear and despair. Cody definitely has some social learning still ahead of him. I definitely can learn more about teaching him too, even in a more diligent way. I do become overwhelmed with the task, yet he gives me much back in return. It's difficult to imagine being the mother of any other kid.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Another Christian homeschooling mother, a pastor's wife, just tried to break up her boys' friendship with Cody. I've been quite sad since yesterday at co-op when he was rambunctious, acting out, socially wonked. This is Asperger's Syndrome rearing itself, and the reaction from the crowd is of misunderstanding, and oft, rejection. However, once I explained, painfully disclosed, to her, she agreed to let her boys play. I proposed setting time limits which we are going to do. It's just that Cody is such a good kid with a good heart. He loves his Bible time; he loves to play; he wants to do well; he wants to be a good friend. Christian mothers, please show automatic grace to others. My friend from the secular homeschool group offered us unconditional acceptance from the start for which I have supreme gratitude.

In other news, the stars were merry this morning at 5:30, twinkling on the trail as we headlampers ran towards our course mark. I went five miles for the first time in a long time, thanks to the aid of Maggie, a new friend who turned off where I did, up by the lonely Reactor and baseball field, up up and up towards the ending lot. A few miles, a bunch of stars, a swath of grace.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The script called for me to choose two volunteers and have them imitate my crazy dance in order to illustrate Elisha following Elijah. A couple of first graders came up to the stage, and I instructed them to watch me carefully so they could copy the dance. After kicking my arms, legs, elbows, knees outwardly wildly, I asked them to perform the same thing. But the little girl crossed her arms, shook her head, and said, "It was too silly. That wasn't a good dance at all. I won't do that." Ah kids .... they're just too rebellious these days. And mature.

We went to the eastern St. Louis area yesterday to visit my sister; late into the night Cody, his grandmother, and aunt did the X-Box's Dance Revolution. Every so often, my eyes would slit open where I had collapsed on the couch, and I would glimpse my mother prancing on the arrows, staring at the techno screen, reliving flashdance (in a way) granny-style. I think she's going to be ready for the Trot off Your Turkey 5K this November.

Monday, September 11, 2006

A flight.

A familiar street ~~ college students brisk by, two fiftysomething women in bright bike gear wobble from seat to store, an occassional big-eyed toddler girl stretches up one arm to link to the above, a bright-eyed street scraggler glides away among the people who walk the sidewalks during our town's September Thursday night festivals.

I sit at a plastic table in front of a custard store. Behind me, the J-school takes notes. Behind it, my husband and son scamper around the columns, a requisite response to the cracked open campus which tonight permits an alum to introduce his son to collegiate pomposity, and the customary frivolity to test it.

In front of me move five stationed women. One glistens on the accordian; another perks up next to her bass; my friend shoulders her guitar; two dulcimer ladies wave their magic, wondrous wands. Their music reminds me of my days as a highland lass in Scotland, reminiscent of the old festivals where Robert Burns and I used to kick up our heels. Or not. But, I happily sit back as the music washes over me and is remindful. Returns me to a land. A field of Queen Anne's lace and daisies. And, I am young all over, and gleeful. I smell the place which reopens again with the melodies. I kick up my feet and giggle, and whirl.

I have secret hopes of being in the group, yet am just checking in on them. They know nothing about my playing or singing or Dad in the Ozarks who can burn "Earl's Breakdown" with me along with him.

The women are enjoying themselves. The bass player singer belts out her tunes without any effort. She grins as she directs her vocals to a passerby-er, "Hey good lookin' what you got cookin'?" I met her just a week ago at a local venue for a disco reunion concert with Sister Sledge and KC and the Sunshine Band; she and four of us forty-something women formed a Conga line and chugged around the sports arena, waving at the band on the stage who waved back, hipping along until we were out of the limelight, laughing crazily.

Now she is on stage here, streetside, grinning mischieviously at me and those playing around her. All of the women frolic on their chosen instruments. The accordian player occassionally grabs her guitar and mandolin and leads her girls into new sights and sounds. Her eyes are lit, alive; the wrinkles on her face upturn to the captured flight of the chords. All unknown concerns she carries melt away. The dulcimer women pounce prettily upon their strings, oblivious to anything but their precise mallet placement upon their most perfect pling. Pa-ling!

I keep staring, listening, returning. Keep sending my family away to wander. It's just I'm stricken with the desire to be like these musicians, aging into tune and memory and cadence and dance. As I clap, I send out a plea for invitation. If not with them, then with someone who knows the same field, the same calloused finger tips, the same practiced lightness of being.

The walk to the car is happy, despite the concerns I carry. Tomorrow, I will seek more of this music I know that I am a part of. A pling! A promise.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Which Major Romantic Poet Would You Be (if You Were a Major Romantic Poet)?

You are Percy Bysshe Shelley! Famous for your dreamy abstraction and your quirky verse, you're the model "sensitive poet." A vegetarian socialist with great personal charm and a definite way with the love poem, you remain an idol for female readers. There are dozens of cute anecdotes about you, and I love you.
Take this quiz!">quiz!

Quizilla Join
Make'>">Make A Quiz More'>">More Quizzes Grab'>">Grab Code