Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My friend, Kinipela

Because it was this time of year
I will tell this story here...
an anniversary thank you
to the woman I met on a Thanksgiving night
five years ago...

Around my neck, I wear two pendants
one is a paddle and one reads
(the other side of that, "sixasone")
they are my most prized possessions
and I am seldom seen without them!

On a beautiful patio belonging
to my favorite people,
we are gathered with collected food,
to talk and drink...
and give thanks
it's a long table of sixteen,
overlooking the darkened
and illuminated lake,
most of us, are artists and a few neighbors,
and some others I don't know...
it's a time of transisiton for me
having lost access to my partner
and kids,
I am just glad to be somewhere...
anywhere with smart, witty, clever people.

Coming at me in long strides
is a woman over dressed for the occassion
(not to mention Havasu)
she's tall and blonde gorgeous,
in all black,
with a thick "foo foo" waist slinging
kind of belt,
fur something around her shoulders,
more "foo foo" hanging from her ears...
and around her neck...
(okay, lets face it, she was "foo foo" everything)
stunning, really,
but I admit, I judged
and thought, "Who is this bimbo?"
Little, did I know then,
this bimbo?
was destined to be my dearest friend!

Jennifer sat across from me
with her husband, it was their anniversary!
And was the sweetest, most engaging
creature I had ever met!
I was instantly crazy about her!

We had just started paddling and were newly
excited about the sport,
she expressed an interest,
promising to come the next day
I doubted it..."SHE, wasn't the type"
Judging again!

Yet, there she was on the beach
and every morning after that,
for the next three years.

Then there were four others
and we became "Sixasone"
falling in love with one another
and the sport,
we won medals and were inseparable,
Jennifer, the wonder glue
we came together for her,
as an assignment, a predetermined destiny...
an agreement
because she was going to NEED us...
because... she had cancer...!

In that short time,
she gave me, US,
the friendship of a lifetime
our happy golden retriever type
she was my confidante and inspiration,
so unbelievably brave...
I would have walked to the ends
of the planet for her and back...

The last time I saw her
it was a "sixasone moment"
all together, last January
helping her take down the
Christmas decorations
in her house, she was weak...
it had an ominous sentiment of
finality to it...
but I was in denial,
had to be...we all were!

That day we felt like "us" again,
funny, together playful
Sixasone, she said...
"until I look in the mirror and remember"
she concluded!

The bracelets that we wore with
our theme song of U2s, "Its a beautiful day"
inscribed on it, didn't feel right to her
with her frail wrists
so we traded, mine for hers, hers for mine,
and I had to choke back the emotion..
it was significant,

and it was...
I never saw her again.

Now I also wear her paddle
and her name in Hawaiian
What I wouldn't give to be able to call
her as I always did...
and hear her say "hi, my friend!

Happy friendship anniversary, Jen!
I miss you more everyday!

Pam Piper Rain

For Simple Light

Sometimes like today,
I want to weep for the gladness
in the day.
For the simple light
and things like the October ducks
running the waters surface
like scattered leaves
creating a liquid chime.

And for the words netted
and woven together to say so,
tipsy with their affect on my spirit.
For friends old, new and gone
who support my wild ideas
or challenge me with their own,
those missing and not loved
nearly long enough...but leave me
inspired for all time.

Glad for this body
that skates, runs, hoops, paddles
with ease...
floats, bends and dances with courage!
For a dog who is pure joy, everyday
in her love of life and the next smell.
(except the day the scary drum
not only got bigger it also had hair.)

To be surrounded daily
by happy dancing brightly colored
stick women who help me
celebrate the simple, the faceless,
the everything.

Glad for a harnessed and leashed cat
walking faithfully
beside her beloved dog
trying to keep up on little feline legs.
(allowing me to even drag her at times)

For movies and dance shows
that make me cry and "believe."
For poetry that never ceases to amaze
and a canoe shaped moon
floating on hypnotic rippled water,
for drums who wait patiently
to be played....

Grateful for a day like today
to dance in delight
for the wonder of simple light
and weepy gladness!

Pam Piper Rain

Monday, November 23, 2009

Musical Noise

Dusk light on the beach
with drums, didgeridoos,
a menagerie of musical instruments
and the ever present... hoops and bubbles.

We sat in a line rather than a circle,
along the waters edge,
drumming to words like rain,
light, dark, and hurray...
(hurray? yeah, that one was hard)

There was a beat, a rhythm...(well, kind of)
a musical noise, maybe
(reminsicent of the cupboard pots and pans
and being twelve
or... more like five.)
A musical noise...that sounded surprisingly better
when I wasn't playing but listening
from a distance
(hope that doesn't, I am sure it doesn't.)

We passed the drums between us
like musical chairs,
discovering the biggest had the smallest voice,
the lightest weighted one had the deepest tone,
I thought they each had a spirit of their own
(not sure anyone else agreed...too woo-woo?)

We didn't really attract any 'joiners' except
for a homeless girl who seemed content to
just hold the drums and feel
the lingering vibration,
(which is sort of woo-woo as well)

But there were bubbles in the dark,
beautiful sparkling
bouncing splashing orbs,
a farting instrument
(as annoying as the wig Ron wore in Thriller,
the one we finally burned)
stories about a frog lullaby and trash cans
that stood where there
had been a beach wedding years earlier,
a tinging triangle,
(the only instrument left to me to
play in the HS band)
and lots of teasing and laughter.

We promised to return next week
with chairs and fire wood
and maybe adult beverages
(which I am SURE will make us sound better)
and maybe a little dancing and Thriller reunion?

So it seems it has been created...
this "drum line-circle something,"
and I have a young dance instructor
with the ability to make big things happen,
to thank
and my crazy fun "let's DO it" friends
who can't and just won't say NO!
And that makes me very happy!

Pam Piper Rain

Photo by Ed Earley
(as always, thank you!)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Like banging your head...

When we walked into the Yoga place
yesterday morning,
I was already having a great week end...
not one of magnificence but tiny pleasures,
poetic moments of light and sweetness.

Like the two bowls of oatmeal
with melting brown sugar
a syrupy bed for the dried berries
to sleep, temporarily,
a pumpkin spice latte,
coating lips with foamy warmth,
calm water under paddles and voices of humor
behind me,
herons in flight or resting ankle deep in water,
a hula hoop demonstration in saturday sunlight
and my 'cancer fighting friend' on shore
with an apparent ring of light around her head.

All preceded by a night of singing out loud
with old friends and old songs
in a celebration of time passing,
the perfectly written movie,
that creates tears while smiling hard,
free popcorn, perfectly buttered
for three funny friends content to share
it all gleefully.

(Did I just use the word gleefully? hmmm?)

The yoga class is my first in twenty years
and Marlo, the dance instructor
is teaching it...
and yes, it seems I yoga like I dance,
(no surprise)
as bendable as old dried out stick
hurting, cracking
and did something just go pop?
won't EVEN try to stand on one foot,
but I can and out
and I only mutter "crap" once
(out loud that is)
And I love the warrior pose,
so powerful and strength giving,
and when we are asked to
breathe in LET and breathe out GO
my eyes leak a bit
as I feel the 'one' who needs to go...go!
In a wing flapping flutter
of released energy!

When it is over,
I am all smiles...cause its over!
Describing it later as
"I liked it, not while I was doing it,
but afterwards,
kind of like banging your head
against the wall and
wow, that feels good to stop!
(sorry, Marlo)
But really? I was revitalized and peaceful
and walking on air...

And later...when I walked out with a new drum,
a new friend and the 'drum circle dream'
actually having a time and location,
as well as five people who have promised to show up
the weekend became...a magnificent one!

So if you have something to bang or play,
we will be at Rotary park
on the beach at sunset
making some noise...stay tuned...

Pam Piper Rain

Photo by Ed Earley