Friday, April 16, 2010

Out There

Again, in honor of April
being National Poetry Month
a poem that I found last April
and carried around
for awhile
as a "tailsman,"
I clutched its little poetic hand
with a sense of fake faith
and then let go
somewhere along the way...
forgetting where I put it.

Last week end it fell out
of a book I was researching
for an upcoming poetry workshop!
And I reread it and
low and behold...
the words were real!
The warmth dancing along my window sill.

A year later!
The wonder and power of poetry...
proven again!

Out There

Out there
you'll see it all.
The floating ends
will meet and mend,
and you will find yourself;
your fully formed,
though always changing,
self of selves.
Every clumsy backward look
will pay for itself.
Every tear you cried,
or wanted to cry,
will set your broken bones.
The rips in your heart
will no longer
need to be guarded
by steel girders,
banyan trees,
or even rice paper.
Not so much as a
dragonfly's wing
will you need
to cover the bludgeoned place,
to protect the private you
you love so much
and hope to save intact
from what has seemed years
of relentless pummeling.

Go and live and love
in peace, my friend,
for surely there is love
to enfold you,
and life to be feasted upon:
Love will be the more
you've wanted.
You will know it
when you see it.
You will love yourself
as no lover
has ever had the courage
to love;
and the warmth you've wanted
will line your pillowcases,
dance upon your windowsill,
and hide
at the ends of your socks...
awaiting your toes!

Deborah Mears

Photo by Ed Earley

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Too much information?

Power shopping got a long list
of things to get
took me three weeks to get here
so its three weeks long
with a thousand things in my head
I am at the fabric table
all smiles over my find...
multi colored animal prints!!!!!

Really? Yes!
I recognize another 'odd something'
has happened to me
of late,
I am hooked on Project Runway,
and want to make my own clothes???
In my dreams there is
a sewing machine
that shows up nightly
teasing me,
taunting me with its bobbing needley parts
and magic making capabilities,
but for some reason
my friend, Alicia always sells it
before I can claim it...
(??? who knows)

This is only funny because
I am the last person
in the world that should sew
and never even liked it
(failed that part of Home Ec,
remember when they called it that?
I called it Home Ick..ha)
A sewing machine shouldn't
be near me or in my dreams
...but there it is!
Go figure!

Back to my fabric treasures...
to my left two women
peer curiously at my find
truly it looks like safari print
meets the Easter bunny
meets hippie gypsy!
They can't resist asking me...
"what are you making?"

I swear my head begins to spin
and I feel this sly smile
form as I launch into this monologue...
and literally can't stop.

"Well, I am making a holster
for my bubble wand..."
this is all it takes to make their faces go slack
"What?" they say in unison.

"Yes, bubble wands you can
buy them over there on aisle 15
for two dollars
they make great hostess gifts
or when a friend is having a bad day
and needs some bubble therapy
my late friend Jen gave me an Easter basket
with bubbles and now I celebrate her
and the temporary everywhere I go
I bubble wand in the snow and rain on the lake
and hopefully while hula hooping but
that's not going very well right now
anyways my friend Jodi made me a holster
for my bubble wand shes so cool she
wears a witch hat
all of October and well nevermind bout that
I really like the holster but I want to
make something simple and easy
cause I don't sew and really shouldn't
but if I did I would turn these into
some pants for my friend Sheila
cause she always
wears the strangest fabric
anyway back to the holsters
sometimes I think
the extra fabric makes
it looks like something
that belongs in the privacy
of your bedroom
cause the liquid part doesn't show and
no one knows what it really is
and they wonder and it's embarrassing at first
cause they don't know how to ask me...and..."

I notice they back away a little here...
but the fabric cutter lady starts grinning
catching the spirit of this oration
and says "You should sell them!"

"Oh, I am, its going to be in a kit called
Celebrate your Wild for turning 50 and 60
and stuff like that I have these
Wild Woman designs
little stick figures without faces
and there are
poems to go with them
and its going to have pinwheels,
candy necklaces in it and
Wild Wear Bobble Bands too."

They look completely bewildered now
like I am talking another language
...but they ARE still standing there
while my fabric lady cuts
my swatches so I continue on...

"Oh and I am having an Art show
at Studio Seven
where I learned to dance with the owner of it
whose a great instructor
especially cause I had
no business performing
or dancing kind of like sewing I suppose
but I did cause she wouldn't let me quit
and it changed my life and
now I am having a workshop there also
and maybe hoop dancing someday...
hmmm well... I think thats it here's my card
thanks for listening
gotta go buy more bubbles- Bye"

Off and running
I couldn't even look back
fearful of the expressions left in my wake
I don't even think I took a breath
but hey, they asked...right?
....was this business networking
at its finest or
too much information...
maybe they will call
and just maybe
they will duck down
the nearest aisle
the next time they see me coming...


Pam Piper Rain

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Any day on the Lake is...

It's a bright blue Saturday,
and a question I never had
is about to be answered,
can you paddle backwards,
crash into another boat and ...
and still win a race?

It is early in the desert
clear, calm, crisp even
tents go up, real estate claimed,
team banners hung,
Santa Fe hangs a strawberry?
Whoops, sorry, that's a chili!
paddles hang, woven into a line,
flashing in the sunlight
in polite silence waiting to
be used...!

Smiles of anticipation
familiar and abundant,
greetings among teammates
and competitors
(this is Christmas morning
to paddlers.)
We are twenty five strong this year
from newbies to returnees,
the comaraderie solid
and sincere.
This 'paddle family,'
one to be proud of!

We show up with our usual crap
for a day at the beach,
some more than others,
my pile has less to do with paddling
and more about fun between races.
(the usual... hoops,
bobble bands, pinwheels and bubble wands
and my hand me down chair is even fun!)

The energy high and electric
for a day of paddles and playing.
Races of many divisions are assigned
novice, (newbies) Open, Co ed, 5k,
Senior masters, Masters and Golden
(50 and older)
which I and other long time paddlers
have finally earned the right to do...
(yaay, ...really!
this a great collection
of really cool strong women.)

Because of all the categories
the opportunity to race
many times is asked
and answered with resounding yes's...
Course this looks easy on paper...
then we get there and realize the only time
in between a race...
is the time it takes to walk
across the dock to get into
the next departing boat,
trying to catch our breath
and maybe...look for that missing lung
and then off the horn goes again!

We end up in so many races
that by the end of the day
when they hand out the medals
we look blankly
at one another and ask,
"was I in that race with you?"
Its a blur of a day with great stories
with water and competition
at its center.

The first race..
(and don't worry,
I won't write about all of them,
just the ones I remember)
is a Co-ed 5k, three miles,
I sit seat five
which I have discovered
is a pretty fun ride, going wild and fast
as opposed to the front
where I usually sit
with its seemingly
endless resistance and pull.

Out of the start
we are planing the water
three guys and three gals,
seasoned paddlers and friends
its clear right away, its going
to be good... and gold!
There is the magic
in the momentum of gliding,
hitting and swinging together
and flying to the finish line.
Feeling that "effortlessness"
that was long ago promised,
when we first started paddling.

Our feet never touch
the ground the rest of the day.

The next two are sort of sad tales,
a crash on the turn
gets first time novices a DQ,
(and that's not short for Dairy Queen either.)
another team, while in obvious gold contention
stops at the flag instead of continuing on,
the steers person not realizing
there were two more turns to make...
oh so painful!

But she finds redemption in
a later race
a win, that someone in the line of high fives
calls "the best example of canoe racing
they had ever seen!"

Sitting seat one
for this one,
(so much more responsibility than seat five)
It is my job is to set a pace
everyone can follow
and stay with,
one I can hopefully keep consistent
the entire way.
We are bow to bow
with four other crafts
into our first turn,
a flawless twist around the flag
shoots us out in the lead
and we stay there
thru two more perfect turns.

There really is nothing else like
the hard earned open water
the 'hut hos' fading from behind,
the encouragement of
teammates in the wind,
the rhythm of six paddles like one
in and out...
sometimes the win is in
the feeling of paddling well!

But the turns are a challenge this year
so many crashes and near misses
always the same lane,
always the same boat,
number 202 begins to look like a battleship
with its chunks and scrapes and dents.
Got to be the flags,
they must be too close together?
Can't be us!

In the last race
our earlier co ed team
comes together for a shorter version
of the first!
Like horses headed to the stable
we are out in a modest lead
until the first flag takes us into
the tail end of another turning boat
CRASH, Bang, Rip?
seat five looks wounded
and the steersman's paddle
is sailing thru the air
(pretty sure there are
NOT extra points for this)
oh no, this is bad!
As a good will gesture we try to retrieve
the floating paddle
which requires paddling in reverse!
There is lots of yelling and confusion
no one is paddling in the same direction
"go back, no, go forward,
forget it...JUST PADDLE"
unable to retrieve the floating paddle
and certain everyone's okay,
we return to forward motion
now in last place
trying to shake off the drama!

The sheer determination takes us
past all the other boats
to surprisingly finish in the lead,
the shoreline is stunned,
WE are stunned.
We wait for the other boat to limp in
minus a paddle and
they are actually smiling
seat five just laughs and says
"its all good, when we have a day on the lake"
now that's Ohana!
But we earn the name
of "Havasu Paddle rammers."

When my own arm is twisted later
into steering a "fun race"
I am appreciative of the skill
it requires,
and although I did not hit anyone,
I did take in two flags instead of the one
turning 40 feet of 400 pounds of boat
not an easy task!
And not alot of fun!

Leaving the beach,
Heavy with medals,
the fun factory at overload
the recounting of events get bigger
and more entertaining as the evening
did we really paddle backwards?
Knock a paddle out of someones hand,
finish a race too early
and win so many?
Seems so!
The magic is back
and it begins with a paddle in hand!

Pam Piper Rain
photo by Ed Earley