Friday, October 24, 2014

Cage Door

And then the moment comes when the cage door swings into place.

Suddenly one realizes that the course of the next years - perhaps really the last few years as well - has been set.  The creeping things that have edging up on one's life suddenly overtake one in one great overwhelming wave.  The die seems cast.

The illusion - and of now it appears to be an illusion - of choice and options seems stripped away.  Life - at least one's own life - seems revealed for what it really is:  a pre-programmed series of activities that leaves little to choice or chance.

Taxi to commute.  Commute to work. Work to commute.  Commute to dinner and the chores that need to be done.  And then comes the choice:  do I get the sleep that I need, or do something that I want to?  One cannot go forever without sleep.

The parts of life - one's own parts of life - get further and further wedged into the seconds and minutes that are available until, despondent, one is sorely tempted to start giving them up - after all, irregular practice does not lead to improvement and in fact just depresses one further.

Leaving what?  A rut.  A rut of work and responsibilities.

And then in a blinding flash, one understands why middle age crises happen.  Because others must come to the same realization, the same inward shudder as the door closes when there still seems to be so much of life left but it is seems beyond the reach.  The inward shudder, followed by the sense of depression, that comes when one feel's that life is nothing more than a shell of "musts" and "have to".

The sense that life is fleeting by while one sits in traffic, going to and from but never really doing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Autumn Moon

The Morning Breeze blows
the Sliver of White Midnight
through the Green Oak Leaves.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Always rushing.
Always about doing something.

Always busy.
Always fifteen things that needs doing.

"I need to be here."
"Can you stop and do this?"

Wondering if ever
you can get to the truly important.

Taking a moment
to stop and breathe.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Turning a Caber

The air is warm and the sun beats down as I settle the caber against my shoulder.

It is our local city games and we are throwing the challenge caber, a 12 foot 65-75 pound blue plug of wood.  If you turn the caber - get it completely end over end- you can advance to the next level.  This is my great challenge - in three years and 20 plus games, I have never legitimately turned a caber.

I keep working my way my way down the shaft of the caber, fingers locked together and the caber standing almost straight upright.  My head is locking it into my neck and my legs are out to the side as I bend lower and lower.  The caber shifts back and forth with the breeze or my actions and I have to wait and settle it back into position.

Finally I get to the near the bottom.  Proper technique is to get your hands to the bottom, give a short lift with your head and shoulder, and scoop your hands under the base.  I cheat this a little bit:  I pull up and then get my hands in position.  Fortunately the caber is light enough and forgiving enough that I can get away with it.  My hands are not locked but are on the bottom.  Close enough.

I pull up and stand up, remembering to mash it into my shoulder the way I was told to do.  The base of the caber is now up at waist level, the head probably 15 feet in the air.  The Athletic Director who is announcing has said something and the crowd  is making some noise but it is all background noise to me.  My world is now a blue piece of wood I have to make fly.

I start running forward.  There is no defined dostamce except that you have to demonstrate forward motion.  I cannot tell how far I have run but I do not think it is far.  I stop.  The caber starts to fall forward.  I take my hands and pull them up to my crown as the caber head falls.  The end of the caber rises and the head hits the ground.

And I start yelling.

All of my frustration for three years of trying, all of the times I said I could not or believed I could not, all of the times circumstances were against me when they should not have been - all of this I channel into my yell, willing the caber over with my sonic emotions.

And over it goes, making a small "poof" of dust as it hits.

The crowd breaks out into cheers.  My fellow athletes - especially the ones who know how I have struggled with this - cheer.  I am jumping up and down, screaming like a madman.  And not caring.

Today I turned my first caber.

Today was a very good day.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Quail

White and brown puff balls
burrow into hay and dirt,
chirping at bug snacks.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Closing Doors

There is nothing quite as hollow sounding as the sound of a door closing in life.

We go through multiple door closings of course, be they with friends or interests or careers.  Life moves on, we move on.  Things change.  This is simply a part of life that we acknowledge.  And as a part of that flow of life, doors close.

They are doors of different appearances, leading different places.  At one time they may have ushered us to a friendship that was deep and abiding and seemed as if it could go on forever; at another one may have been that interest that consumed our lives.  The career we thought we wanted was behind this door, while over here was that one thing that we were convinced would revolutionize our lives and our understanding of ourselves.

And now we are going through, closing them behind us.

They may not have been bad.  They may have had their purpose at the time.  The door closing may not have even been our idea.  But the time has come - after all, a hallway with nothing but open doors makes it confusing to understand what doors we should continue to go through and doors which no longer serve their purpose let heat and light leak out for no purpose.

We pull the handle.  The door comes to the sill - maybe we have to pull a little bit harder because humidity has made the door swell or maybe it closes too quickly versus the strength we put into it.  Either way a hollow "thuk" sounds as it closes.

It may have been for the best of reasons.  It may be necessary.  But there is still nothing quite as sad as the sound of a door closing.