Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's Been Surreal

Odd real life images have been flitting into my existence lately. There's the woman who carries peanuts with her on her walk and feeds the crows. She passes my house and sets peanuts along the fence and the crows follow along like they're her personal flock. This morning on my own hike to the bus stop, I was startled by (and startled back) a family of raccoons. They were down in a ditch foraging for raccoony tidbits and all five of them turned in perfect syncopation and wrung their little paws like a fidgety Greek chorus as they watched me tromp on by. Around the corner and down toward the lake... there was a ring of fog lying just around the shore, making the lake look like something freshly risen from its Brigadoon-like hiatus. The lake was so beautifully still that it looked like glass with sailboats that had gotten stuck to it during it's previously molten cool down. Along the way I played soccer with a succession of apples that had fallen into the road from someone's tree. And then there were all of the curious characters on the bus ride - I'm certain I was one as well. All in all, it's been a fascinating meander through the morning since ohgod o'clock.

I didn't sleep well and was up at 4:30.

I woke up contemplating something that Laura and I discussed a couple of weeks ago. We talked about these good lookin', upstanding guys who seem to see beyond the "uglier" physical bits of us to find the beauty in our souls. At the time I equated it with not seeing John's wheelchair and the scars and all that went with being a paraplegic, but seeing the amazing man who was riding it. But, I don't think that's all it is. I think, in looking at some of the man choices Laura and I have made, and we have a propensity for picking the walking wounded out of a crowd and glomming on like nobody's business... I think we choose those blokes because of that woundedness, because it gives them the ability to see the caring, kind women we are, because they're less concerned with how the shelter looks than with how well the shelter will hold up. Just my early morning overly caffeinated theory for the day. (What say ye, HB?)

Speaking of , I fell into an amazing conversation with one such lad last night. It always spins me to find a kindred out there in the madding crowd. It was one of those gigs where both of us were talking fast and furious, trying to cram as much into a limited time space as would allow. I think the conversation lasted about an hour (I really have no idea), but could easily have continued on for... hell... days. It was great. It was just what I needed. I needed to be able to voice all my whack ideas and ideals without judgment of any kind, and I also needed to hear about someone else's woe to remind me that it's all relative. Life is what we make it, sure, but we don't usually get to choose the shitstorms, only how we deal with them. He talked about issues in his life and kept saying, "but it's nothing compared to what you've been through." Oh, please! While I'm bitching about an earthquake, someone else is trying to stand tall in the middle of a tornado, someone else is freezing to death in the snow, and some lucky slob is walking on the beach enjoying cervesas (right up until the hurricane leaves him clinging to a palm tree for dear life).

So, back to the sleeplessness... I'm freaked, that's why. Not just a little freaked. Not just oh-dear-what-to-do freaked. I'm talkin' full blown mad cow eye freaked. The big walk is just a week from tomorrow. And I'm totally freaked about it. Excited, yeah, that too, but more nerved up than I can recall being for any other occasion. Why? Because I want to do it justice. I worry that my body will try to stop me in my tracks - that my sometimes gimpy knee will choose next weekend to act up, that my previously broken foot will try to vex me. I don't care about blisters - I've been walking on blisters for months. I don't get to have my iPod with me (rules of engagement) and I'm not sure I know how to walk without my tunes. How do I keep the pace without Clapton axing out a perfect beat, without Mraz be-boppin' through my shoes, without 3 Doors Down driving me along with the sheer power of their ranting style, without Collective Soul yanking my spirit along, or Tunstall, or Raitt, or Keb Mo making me feel like being an average human being is just okey dokey, and all the other musicians I've come to refer to as my psyche's Walkin' Entourage? No worries, this is all just mostly normal Barb-arisim. I'll be fine. I'll walk down the miles.

Anyway, that's my story for today. Look at that, you get about four posts in one. Trying to make up for lost time, I guess. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Courage does not always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow."
~Mary Anne Radmacher


  1. Barb, ugly bits no idea what you mean I'm sure your beautiful in your own way, anyone who's says your ugly might just need to have their eyes tested (once they been put back in as I'd comedy style knock them out). It's us guys that are the uglier side of the species, okay some woman just look to much like men but hey we'll leave them out of it :P..
    You'll do fine on the walk just listen and you'll hear the beat those tunes should be in your soul by now..
    Your gimpy knee and broken foot won't choose to act up...

  2. I think its the kindred flawed-folk who can see what matters-- its just extra shocking that this time, the chaps in question happen to have looks that make us think they were carved outta cream cheese **WEG**

    And being my sista from anutha mista, I know you've already got those tunes burned in yer brain pan. You'll be fine. And this way, you'll be able to bond and grab strength from the other walkers, instead of being disconnected. I agree-- there's something to be said from good ol' auto-pilot walking. But in this case, the common cause & the strength of the group will more than replace your Entourage.

  3. I feel what you are saying ... one week for our walk also, and not only am I walking..I am also doing the Luminaria Ceremony. I fear I will not have the impact that most ceremonies have had in the past. I walk with you sister in spirit. Our strength together will get us through this special weekend. AND yes you will be fine! Chills cover my arms as I type this, for a great cause. ILY very much.


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