Friday, October 21, 2011

Journal Entry

this is what happened
the wind changed
vertigo
freefall
gravity

suddenly
life is loss, dismal
barren landscape
blue-gray chill
angles my spine

secrets
unsung songs
the path vanished
blurred and distorted
sighs of regret

this is what happened
leaves swirled at dawn
counter-clockwise
consolation
weightless as a zephyr,
grace

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Seeing Through the Poles

When we decided to make our home in this rural paradise called Sonoita, we were very clear on a couple of things: 1) we were going to live a long way from everything – family, shopping, doctors, etc. and 2) the scenic beauty and unlimited views were well worth the disadvantages.

Soon after moving in, we learned that the electric cooperative to which we all belong was planning a major upgrade to service in this area which would involve placing 60’ tall poles to carry the necessary voltage directly in the line of sight of some of our most beautiful viewscapes. As a concerned citizen, I tried to inform myself of the facts, attend forums where the co-op presented their case and the residents of the targeted area spoke of their objections. It often became heated. There were options that would have greatly lessened the impact to our neighborhood but would have had drawbacks for the co-op. I also learned that I have limits to the degree in which I wish to be an activist. I watched some people spend tireless hours and energy trying to fight City Hall, county bureaucrats and corporate intransigence. I was never one of those warriors, though I admired them.

In the long run, the battle to preserve our beautiful views, pristine horizons and rural atmosphere was lost. As one of the long-time residents responded when I whined about the poles, “do you want electricity or don’t you?” She had a point.

The poles are now a fact of our lives. None of us realized that there would be so many of these concrete monoliths. I have not yet been able to drive to town without feeling a combination of sadness and anger at how they have changed our environment. So here is my challenge: how do I learn to see through the poles to still cherish the beauty of this place, free of the angst I now feel?

It is a excellent metaphor for life. Who doesn’t have obstructions that prevent life from being what was planned or desired? When you focus on the obstruction (whatever your “pole” is) you cannot see anything else. The negatives in our lives can make us joyless and despondent, and, worse, convince us that we are powerless to change our feelings.

So my lesson begins. I’ve been told, in various ways, to just let it go...get over it! I know I must. I must drive to town and smile as I always have at the longhorns grazing in the grass, the changing colors of the beautiful Santa Ritas, and the spectacular clouds I love so much. I can do this. I can choose my attitude as easily as I choose my clothes. I can sit on my patio and breathe in the beauty that cannot be negated by a bunch of poles.

What poles?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

October Renaissance

The morning is all color and shine, 
a late summer having sighed
its farewell with a chill inflection,
slight but determined.

I envy autumn’s tenacity,
how it dresses the trees and hills
with fire and flash, if only for a blink
of the eye, bittersweet with promise.

Each season leaves its singular lesson;
I learn I can balance on the thinnest
beam of sun and draw nourishment
from the briefest moment of warmth.

Remind me, kind October, of brevity,
of precious passing time, and I shall breathe
your vibrant grace and drink the tender air,
guardian against shadows and cruel truths.

N.C.