Friday, October 10, 2008

What I Know To Be True

Sometimes when we try to reflect on the big things in life, we find ourselves musing on the little things instead. Sometimes I think that's because we can't wrap our heads around the big stuff, and sometimes I think that's because it turns out it's the little stuff that really matters int he end.

A few nights ago, sitting alone in my private puddle of light, surrounded by the darkness of wildly beautiful land, I tried to think about things like the nature of faith, the origin of the human soul, and the importance of kindness.

Instead, I took a side trip down a less shadowy path, and started thinking about what I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, to be true. (I did, for a brief time, play with the idea that they are only true for ME, and what was truth anyway... but then I climbed firmly back into the narrow strip of light on the outskirts of my mind...)

Here is what I believe to be true:

Vinegar and baking soda mixed together makes a splendid and rather exciting mess.

Anything you grow yourself tastes better than anything you can buy, and dirt under your fingernails is a hopeful thing.

It is a good idea to wear comfortable shoes.

The stuff you need to carry in your wallet or purse will grow to fit the size of your wallet or purse.

Hitting your funny bone is not funny.

Aspirin actually works.

People do win the lottery, but you probably won't.

Anger is often returned.

You can still lose no matter how hard you try, and you can sometimes win even if you didn't.

Mice really are as afraid of you as you are of them, but they don't think about it.

Summer will eventually end, and so will winter, unless the world as we know it ends first, in which case it doesn't really matter.

There will always be someone better off, and worse off, than you.

Sometimes birds chase cats, and not the other way around.

A watched pot DOES boil eventually; it just seems like forever if you're really hungry and waiting to put the spaghetti in.

When it's a mtter of life or death, most of us will choose life, and there isn't much compromise.

Someone else liked the book you just threw down in disgust, or the song you just switched from on the radio, or the piece of art that made your brain ache.

There is never a real "never", and always an "always except".

Stubbing your toe hurts.

A dog can save a man (or a woman), and a man (or a woman, or sometimes even a child) can save a dog.

What we are afraid of in the shadows of ourselves is often worse than what really exists in the shadows outside ourselves.

Common sense is uncommon, real love is rare, and you are not alone in the universe because you just read these words, and you didn't write them.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hungry for Another Poem?

I was hungry the other day, and so I wrote.


I sometimes wonder what would
happen if I gave tomorrow
back, and said, "no thanks,
I've had enough".

Would moments I have not yet
tasted, simply cease
to be? Or would they linger
somewhere, some time
else, and still be there, but not
with me?

Is it still lunch if
I haven't eaten, still
enough if I'm still

Appetites are so hard to predict.

- Ronda Lawson

Friday, October 3, 2008

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days when you can't quite feel your feet on the ground?

Ever have one of those days when you look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened to you?

Ever have one of those days when you're afraid to open your mouth, because you're pretty sure nothing even remotely intelligent will come out of it? When the only thing clumsier than your feet seems to be your grasp of the English language?

Ever have one of those days when it becomes painfully clear that you should limit contact with the outside world, because you're likely to knock down the whole row of dominos?

Ever have one of those days when you can pretty much guarantee you'll be wearing some of your lunch on your shirt for the rest of the day, toilet paper will be magnetically attracted to the bottom of your shoe, your boss's name will magically escape you, and every bird within a 20-mile radius will be irresistably compelled to personally put you in contact with the less savory side of nature?

Ever had one of those days?

Yeah, me neither.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Sometimes I believe that human beings have a built-in desire to be seen and heard.

We wear the red hat or the short skirt or the tight shirt just so that we will be noticed, and perhaps admired, or we dye our hair and pierce our bodies, and create permanent art on our skin so that we will be recognized as different from the crowd...

We strive for the promotion not just for the raise, but for the job title on the business card, so that we have a piece of cardboard that becomes tangible proof that we are important.

We have something inside of us that screams to come out, so we turn to poetry or music or dance, or we create some physical object that quiets the yearning, and we call it art.

There is a fundamental need to have our existence validated, to be told that we matter, that our presence on this earth has meaning and value. At times I think we are frightened that without that validation, we will begin to disappear.

Sometimes I feel like the little kid poised on the end of the diving board, bouncing up and down with impatience, wanting to be seen.

"Look at me, Mommy, look at me!" I call into the silence.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A New Look

I think I must have tried on and discarded about a dozen outfits today before it dawned on me that what I really wanted was a new face.

Not that there's anything in particular wrong with the old one. I'm not crazy about the slightly crooked nose, or the chip in the front tooth, or the lines that life has etched around the eyes and mouth, or the softening around the jaw... But it's a face I've lived with all my life, and I'm rather fond of it.

Sometimes, though, I think it would be nice to not be me for a little while. Sometimes I think it might be good if I could take a different face out of the closet, and try it on for size. I wonder what it would be like to look in the mirror from someone else's eyes?

Would all of the inside stuff stay the same, or would the packaging somehow alter the contents? Would I like being someone other than me, or would I miss me? Would I try on a dozen new faces, like I do my clothes, and end up standing discontentedly in front of the closet with eyes and ears and noses scattered among the rejected shoes?

I found a jacket hiding on a hanger that I don't wear very often, and put it on this morning. It goes pretty well with my same old face.