NOTICE

Article L Section 8, of the Texas Constitution guarantees the right to everyone in Texas of freedom of speech, expression, and association. Unlike the First Amendment of the United States Constitution which only protects against the government depriving a citizen of speech, expression, or association, the Texas Free Speech provision prohibits anyone, public or private, from depriving a citizen of his or her right to freedom of speech, expression, or association. Hajek v. Bill Mowbray Motors Inc, 647 S.W.2d 253, decided by the Texas Supreme Court in 1983. The ACLU has been notified as well as the  FBI. Leaving me in peace is highly recommended.

Remembrance

i awoke before dawn to a childhood dream

that was most sweet.

The air was heavy with moisture and wild jasmine.

The gentle hum from the fan soothed me back into  a blissful state of

half wakefulness.

i thought of the days when

i slept in my grandparent’s screened in back porch and the air was so cool and so sweet on h a muggy summer’s night..

Of mosquito netting and the soft lapping of Lake Tawakoni, punctuated by the laughter of one of my aunts.

Through the soft muggy pre dawn iremembered with contented sighs

of running through fields full

of butterflies.

The musky scent of the horse as I rode on a hot summer’s day

Of catching fireflies.

And later, when I grew older

The laughter of friends sitting around a campfire.

The stars gazing down blessing us.

Of the monotonous drone of of the car

the baby resting in innocent bliss in his car seat

as my beloved John and I

drove throughout the night.

to parts unknown and previously unexplored

And i lay there, nestled in the cusp of sweet nostalgia

i remembered

that i am loved.

30 Day Tai Chi Challenge

The 30 day challenge has been over for a while now. And I let it kinda slip out of my mind. I thought, surely, I would never win. There were so many entries, so many wonderful people doing tai chi and being far more creative than I could be. All I had was my imagination, my power point  software and a desire to spread my pics all over social media.

Well, today I found out I won.

I am stunned. I am infinitely happy. And I am stunned. And very very humbled. I am over the moon.

DDR’s  tai chi community has been absolutely wonderful. They are sincere, kind, funny and without any pretense or agenda. I am so glad I found them. My Dharma teacher and my Tai Chi teachers are the BEST.

This has been the best summer ever. Last year, I was struggling with depression. I was grunting and straining through issues I didn’t fully understand. We didn’t even have a car. Now we have a car, our bills are paid, I’m studying Dharma with my root teacher and focusing on simplifying my life.

Life is so precious. Life is so sweet and so good.I want to drink it down like nectar.

And I can’t wait to spend my gift certificate.

I won!!

It Happens Every Night

Carmyn hated night clubs. She preferred to do her drinking at home in her room or at the drive in, where she could see a trashy horror film for a buck fifty along with her companions Earnest and Julio. There it was quiet, with the exception of the speaker attached to her driver’s side window, There, the hollow dialogue filtering through the heavy silver device sounded as if the audio was bounced off of the moon before arriving at it’s assigned destination.

Carmyn really wanted to be there now. She preferred the silence and semi privacy the car provided her. She liked the darkness, the thick acrid scent of the mosquito coil burning in the ash tray. The taste of white wine along with heavily buttered popcorn was satisfactory. And the movie, whether it was good or not, provided enough diversion to keep from contemplating her mind numbing existence of work and sleep.

Tonight, however, she didn’t get to watch latest science fiction action film. Instead, she sat at the bar of a dance hall that squatted at the back lot of an abandoned lumber mill. Tall pines obscured its ugly orange and black painted clap board siding that hid the rot more than it provided any aesthetic sense. And the tree break provided an adequate noise dampener, keeping the sound of the bands down to a dull thump-thump-thump.

The Pines was a little bit country and a little bit disco. On one side you could go over to the country side and scoot boots with the local rhinestone cowboys to the tunes of Mickey Gilley or Eddie Rabbit. On the disco side, a falsetto glitz dance floor complete with mirrored balls dangling from the ceiling that threw light colored confetti everywhere was thumping out the beat to the latest Bee Gee’s hit. The lead singer was no Andy Gibb and couldn’t touch the high tones, but he was cute, relatively sober and did an adequate job.

Hank slid a beer in her direction. She caught it and held it between her hands.  “Got to stay for a bit longer, sis. Sorry about that. The new bar back hasn’t dragged her ass in yet.”

“She’s stoned again,” Carmen said. “Marleen is always stoned and always late.”

“The beer’s on me. And if you see a guy you want to take home, let me know and I’ll find my way home.”

“Not gonna happen bro, but thanks.”

“Find someone. I won’t have a sister for an old maid.”

“I don’t give a good goddamn what you want,” She said not unkindly. ” I’d rather be an old maid than to hang with any of these leisure suited shit bags.”

Hank shrugged. “Suit yourself,” he said and walked away.

Being alone was preferable and she watched him return to work with considerable relief.  She couldn’t wait to get home and be alone in the cool darkness of her apartment. . Everything in the disco was too bright, too loud, too flashy, and too fake. She saw several men take interest in her from the far side of the bar. One with a fro the side of a rain forest smiled and raised his glass. Carmyn looked back down at the beer between her hands and wished it was wine. This was  a cheap brew, and tasted it. It was like the men in the room. Cheap, glitzy, good for a one night stand that hit hard and fast and left you unsatisfied..

Screw that. Her vibrator was more considerate than these turds.

A sharp thump against her shoulder interrupted her brooding . She automatically scooted over, thinking perhaps the person wanted to get onto the next bar stool. She continued to gaze into her drink, hoping that it wasn’t some guy wanting to get friendly.

“Hey. You.” The drunken slur came out more like “heah-oo” but it wasn’t a masculine voice at all, but rather a female one. A female in a red mini with a black rhinestone top. She was the same skinny broad who picked a fight with Carmyn every time she came to pick her brother up from work.  “Carmyn  Iz tlaking to oo.”

“Go talk to someone else,” Carmyn said tiredly.

An over manicured hand grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around. Carmyn thought at first the band had stopped playing. But it had not. Nobody had noticed the skinny woman  swaying in front of her. The ugly woman with no front teeth, a massive badly dyed red hair and wearing enough makeup to make Tammy Faye proud.

“Oh look,” Carmyn said, “It’s Miss. White Trash of 1977.”

Miss White Trash’s brain was too alcohol addled to give Carmyn’s statement much thought. She had one thought on her mind, which was apparent by the horrible drunken scowl on her face.

“I tole you to stay away from Hank. Hank is mine. I tole you I’d kick your azz if I caught you near him.”

“Go away.”

“I done tole you. I love shim and hes mine and I’mma kick yo ass if I see you near him again.”

“Go home Charline, you’re drunk.”

“I tole you.”

“Hank is my brother.You know that,” Carmyn said while at the same time realizing that arguing with a drunk was hopeless.

“I done tole you.”

“Yeah, yeah sure, whatever,” Carmyn stood to leave. Miss White Trash swung. Carmyn  bitch slapped her. She fell hard on the floor, her knees up, with a bizarre expression on her over done face..

“I’mma kill you.” The wretched drunk screamed. “Imma gone get mah gun.”

“Get it then,” Carmyn said. “wrap your lips around it and blow it till goes off.” She motioned toward Hank who was still mixing cocktails..  “I’ll be in the car.”

“Sorry, sis. But you know how she is. This happens every night whether it’s with you or someone else. It’s just something she does.”

“Whatever.”

Hank sent her out with a coke and rum in a plastic cup and a straw. The screaming drunken woman’s threats were eaten up by the sound of the band going thump-thump-thump- into the night. Relieved, Carmyn made her way to her car, got in, locked the doors, and waited for Hank to get off work so she could wash her mind of the petty filth and trash that she was afflicted with.  She watched people go into the club and go out again. The wind picked up and the trees swayed gently to a tune only they could hear.

Carmyn sat in the dark and sipped her drink. And thought dark thoughts. When she slept she would dream dark dreams. And in the morning, she would awake and tear her life apart.

Praying at the Slopes of Kilimanjaro (short Fiction)

When Della was eighteen, she fell in love. As lovely as she was, Della could have her choice of boys. Yet, she shied away from the cute guy next door that all the girls sighed over, and she paid no attention at all to the star of the high school football team who tried in vain to court her.

Della had a great love. A tremendous love. A true, and wonderful and devoted love. And she couldn’t wait to get out of class to rendezvous with him.

Della had fallen hopelessly, passionately and deeply in love with Earnest Hemingway. There was never a day she was without him. She spent her summers in Pamplona and gazed over a sun drenched balcony as they watched young men in white suits and red bandannas spill down the corridor of bulls. She fought along side him in Farewell to Arms. They enjoyed wine and sunsets in Florida and sunrises in Cuba. She loved him completely and totally.

And it didn’t matter to her in the slightest that he was dead.

His death, as far as Della was concerned, was incidental.

Della was not the one who captured Hemingway’s soul and placed it in the dog eared copy of The Snows of Kilimanjaro that she kept. But she was the one who discovered it. She stole the book from the library, and told the librarian she had lost it. She paid for a replacement, which was not much, only a few dollars she saved up from her baby sitting job. She tucked the book away and kept it beside her always, and never told anyone about her secret love affair.

Sometimes he spoke from the pages of the book. He told her stories that she never thought to jot down because as far as she was concerned, they were just for her. Most days–especially lately–he kept silent. But that didn’t matter because she could still feel the warmth of his soul through the pages of the old book. She could catch the scent of his cologne through the aroma of dusty silver fished pages. And she still walked up the slopes of Kilimanjaro every day and sat and waited for him to come to her.

Sometimes he did, and she could see him just as bold and alive as he was when he was young and strong as he was before the war. But mostly, it was just the faint catches of presence that she felt.

Della was young. Della was patient. And she could wait. Because for her, a moment with him, was a lifetime, and she strung those lifetimes along like pearls on a string.

Expecting House Guests

Yes, it’s that time when I clean and purge. I am expecting guests. So, it’s time to toss out the irrelevant, the useless and the melodramatic.  It is time to sweep away the cobwebs and dust, rearrange and polish the furniture, and put up new drapes. And in true Southern style I will also bake canapes and pour out decanters of wine, tea and lemonade. I will welcome my new guests into my home and make them feel welcome and appreciated. My new guests are agents, editors, publishers and fans. The door is open, just come in and make yourselves comfortable. I will be in shortly.

My tai chi teachers tell me, “you play tai chi with the body you have for that day.” In other words, if you are tired, stiff and sore, you want your “playtime” to be slow and gentle. If. however, you feel strong and energetic, your ‘chi’ time can be equally dynamic. Therefore, on days when I am sore or my joints ache or my asthma kicks in, I opt for a slower moving flow. On days when I feel like I’m full of vinegar, I will do something stronger. Last Sunday, for instance, I did 50 Yang style Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane and 50 Chen style Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane. Today, I’m sore, so I only did the practices that David Dorian Ross hosted on this morning’s Flow Show. Time will tell if I feel up to another flow session later on today. It’s important to stay mindful of what your body is telling you.

I have found this to be equally true when it comes to my daily meditation practice. I go to my meditation place with the mind and body I have for that time. If I am exhausted, physically and mentally, then I will do a gentle loving kindness practice. If I feel stronger and more dynamic, I may do the body inventory practice. If I feel that I need to readjust my attitude then I can focus on the five hindrances or five aggregates practices from the Mahasattipatana Sutta.

The important thing is to do whatever works.

The 30 Day Challenge

DDR’s 30 Day Challenge ended yesterday and it was a hoot. I thoroughly enjoyed every single day of the challenge and can’t wait to do it again. I love the flow of chi and I am excited to continue my daily practice. Oh what a difference a year makes. I am so utterly happy with my life right now. Yes, we are still broke but we still have each other and I still am able to write, paint, meditate and flow. I have three books on deck I’m currently working on and each will be sent to agents this fall. This is going to be a great summer.

The Heroine’s Journey

The crane soars, rests, kicks, stretches, searches for the needle at the bottom of the sea.

Brush knee and push. Single whip, watch as the snake creeps down.

Then princess of the mountain and the valley pay their pipa while old monks sleep, chop wood and flares their capes.

Animals too, come to hear the music: the bear, the monkey, the tiger, the deer and dragon

come to play.

Let us all.

Come to play.