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Worthington Aberdeen’s Blog » 2009 » April

Archive for April, 2009

The Kept Woman

A face
Lace white at the window
Of a dark, European summer
Languishing on dire afternoons
Over careful gardens
And stone lips
Retreating blue hyacinth
And empty hands gesturing
With fixed finger-tips
Impossibly reaching
For generations
Captive and longing
Pristine and pining
An eternity of lost worship
And the silent unfolding
Of internal white orchids.

The Invitation

THE INVITATION

 

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.  I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

 

It doesn’t interest me how old you are.  I want to know if you will risk looking a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.

 

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon.  I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.  I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.

 

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

 

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true.  I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul, if you can be faithless and therefore be trustworthy.

 

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

 

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

 

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.  I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

 

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here.  I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.

 

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.  I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

 

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

 

– Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder 

The Corbin Bowl

THE CORBIN BOWL

The collective discontent of a hot Saturday night in June hung in the bowling alley bar room with the smell of stale carpet and never cleaned beer spills. A cross-section of ages and cultures clung to round tables and their long-awaited song selections on the Karaoke Machine … Betty Davis Eyes, Gypsy, Yesterday, Bohemian Rhapsody … 

The music and the booze told a tale of another time and place when perhaps they were younger, stronger, and happier. Here, they could be free from judgment. They could bare their soul to a room full of strangers half lost in the lyrics on the screen and the odd shadows of synthetic fire in the back of the makeshift stage.

One man sat alone with a pitcher of pale, domestic beer. Another sat with a guitar and a glass of water. Other assortments of friends and uncomfortable dates sipped their two-drink minimum to avoid talking or listening. There was a table of “regulars” that sang their “regular” songs. There was a man that thought he was Elvis and another that thought he was Tim McGraw.

And then there was the woman that sang The Rose. She was not quite right. Her unnerving manner and far away eyes revealed a long and lonely road. Love had escaped her. She was neither lucky nor strong and her untenable life played out here where no one really listened and no one really cared. Painfully off key and disconcertingly off rhythm, her words tripped over the melody. She was drowning. With childlike movements and a not-so-present smile, she was cut. She bled and ached, spilling her imperfect humanity all over us …

“Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows, lies the seed that with the sun’s love … in the Spring becomes the rose.”

How is it possible that in this astonishing and remarkable world, she had never learned to live? As the last few notes of her ill-fated song washed into background noise … you could hear the crash of bowling alley pins outside the bar room door and the thud of heavy resin balls bouncing and rolling on lacquered wood with the screech of shoes and groups of young girls … that only came to watch young boys.

The Evergreen Cemetery

The Evergreen Cemetery 

The man was somewhere else

Somewhere with loud memories

Shadowing his white face

Stepping gently across his busy mind

Held carefully within his trembling hand.

The gray lights of recollection

Shifted around him

Like a fog switching upon the sea.

 

All was tantalizingly still

Until the wide-eyed hares

Catapulted without warning

Through the measured arrangement

Of stones and careful flowers.

 

A rain of life came down

Suddenly

Upon the reflective and the dead

As the wind stirred the edges

Of calculated ribbons

Left in haste and slowly succumbing

To this ceremony

Of one.