Friday, October 30, 2009

Kaleidoscope on Bonfire through BlackBerry Viewfinder

Kaleidoscope on Bonfire through BlackBerry Viewfinder, 10/30/2009

GL, 10/30/2009. Prevail.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28, 2009, journal entry

Four miles.

I awake at 4:30AM today for my run and am not convinced I am a morning person. I am so tired my stomach hurts, and all I want to do is to close my eyes instead of facing the blast of cold that will surely greet me when I walk out the front door. I remind myself that in all the years I have been running, right- AND left-brained, I can count on one hand the runs I regret.

I lace up.

DAMN, it’s cold. Probably 25 degrees, but, in complete contrast to last week’s run when the dark was completely shrouded in black and grey fog, today’s dark is lit with the stars of a clear night. In fact, it feels quite bright. I look up, amazed at the brilliance. I can clearly see my path.

I pick up my pace because it is STILL dark and cold, but I remind myself to pay attention to the path before my feet so I don’t trip and fall with my gaze looking upward. The moon is waxing gibbous, and the stars in the navy blue sky clump together like orange winter berries on an Autumn winter tree. I easily pick out the seven stars of the Big Dipper, which form a part of the constellation Ursa Major, and connect the dots as though drawing with chalk in a child’s coloring book, and the Little Dipper, also with seven stars, of the Ursa Minor constellation. Ursa Major and Minor, the Great Bear and the Little Bear, make me want to search my bookshelf for the Little Bear books by Else Homelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak that I saved from my own childhood. I love Little Bear’s imagination which has him flying to the moon in his new space helmet made from an empty cereal box and no feathers, and his wishes have him sitting on a cloud, flying all about.

The brightest star I see I believe is Venus. For some reason, I remember that Mars shines bright at night while Venus is the morning star. Nonetheless, even with the dippers and Lyra and all the stars of Ursa Major, I feel no limitation in my ignorance of the constellations because of my own imagination and my posture to be present in each and every moment. I draw lines that create sunflowers and the shapes of gathered raindrops and candies knowing I will later consult my pocket The Night Sky Guide, with the plans of finding a more in-depth field guide book on the stars.

This is not a run I regret.

My alarm is once again set for 4:30 tomorrow morning with a wind chime as my BlackBerry ring, and I remind myself that in all the years I have been running, right- AND left-brained, I can count on one hand the runs I regret.

And even if I only make it 30 minutes, the air costumed in cold ALWAYS clears my mind.


(Mary Oliver)

The spirit
likes to dress up like this:
ten fingers,
ten toes,

shoulders, and all the rest
at night
in the black branches,
in the morning

in the blue branches
of the world.
It could float, of course,
but would rather

plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing,
it needs
the metaphor of the body,

lime and appetite,
the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body’s world,

and imagination
and the dark hug of time,
and tangibility,

to be understood,
to be more than pure light
that burns
where no one is—

so it enters us—
in the morning
shines from brute comfort
like a stitch of lightning;

and at night
lights of the deep and wondrous
drowning of the body
like a star.

(from Dream Work, Poems)

GL, 10/28/2009. Prevail.

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009, journal entry, and Maple Leaves on Black Canvas

Five miles.

At 40 degrees outside, it is wet, cold, and windy on my run this morning, quite different from the clear crisp 25 of yesterday’s blue sky run.

I have convinced myself that it is important for me to go out today, so I hit the grey road, its surface like glassy eyes blinking in the drops of heavy rain. The thick water is so substantial that storm drains are flooded, unable to keep up with the stride of rain’s fast gallop. The wind blasts in my face, prickling my cheeks like small icicles that almost burn. My Brooks running shoes slosh through deep puddles…there is no avoiding puddles today…and I feel the squishing of water all the way through to my socks and in between my toes. Water trails behind morning drivers instead of the brush of wind they leave behind in summer’s heat which cooled me when I jumped in their wake. There is no avoiding these showers either, so I resign myself to be splashed heavily by these commuters and pretend I am a sparrow frolicking in summertime sprinklers. The orange of pine needles grows more vivid and floats in pock-marked puddles, like the flesh of pumpkins strewn down the street. The water penetrates my black headband that covers my ears, my pigtails sprouting over the top. No simple grey misting today. These drops are huge, and I feel each one. Today’s rain is serious in her work.

But even in the seriousness, I like the playfulness of the rain and wind. I hum to the rhythm of the swooshing sounds.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad!

I watch leaves take flight from the tops of maple tree crowns. They have a lilt to their gait in air like the bobbing bubbles a child creates when exhaling on soapy water through a toy plastic wand. It is their turn for a solo this morning as they are the only leaves I see darting in air like the feeding glossy swallows that whip through trees, stoplights, and lampposts. How can one maple tree have such vivid crimson foliage and another be a pageantry of yellow, yellow, yellow? I decide to make up my own lyrics.

Leaves from maple trees are flying all about
Bright autumn colors, their plumage does shout
“Red, yellow, orange, to the moon we are flying!”
These are a few of my favorite things

When cold rain falls
When biting wind breathes
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad!

I can’t help but smile as I jot this down in my small journal, its own pages damp from the wet leaves I collect and water seeping through my pocket.

I am soaked after my five miles. I feel certain that the glitter from yesterday’s costumed run has been washed away in the torrents. I take off my headband and eggplant purple Adidas jacket and am delighted to see crystals of glitter still adhering to the fabric.

After five wet miles I can still see the glitter
Leftover from my costume, I cannot be bitter
Running in rain, whether it is autumn or spring
These are a few of my favorite things

When cold rain falls
When biting wind breathes
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad!

Maple Leaves on Black Canvas, 10/26/2009

GL, 10/26/2009. Prevail.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

October 25, 2009, journal entry, Right-Brained Running Supplies on Glass


(I am all about costumes these days.)


The sundresses I have worn this summer in pink, purple, and orange, gold, brown, and green, blue, white, and black, flow to the floor in my office, alongside the bird painting I adore by the New York street painter in oil on canvas, beautiful panels of drapery. I want to drown myself in the sight and feel of these fabrics as the Wheel of Seasons turns and remind myself of how fabulous I feel when I wear them.


Goddess Schawn’s daughter Miss Ava tells me of her Halloween costume this year, “I want to be a ghost in white but I am afraid I will scare myself.”

She is wise.


Tomato plants and sunflower stems in gardens have been cut to their base, leaving behind only a few small mounds of red and green-yellow to rot in brown dirt.


Wind blows leaves down streets, playing squirrels scampering around golden maple trees.


I ran long yesterday, nine miles, and when I reached for the honey-lemon Halls cough drops in my eggplant-purple Adidas jacket pocket, none could be found. Apparently they dropped from my pocket and tempt me to retrace the steps of my stride as though following the bread crumbs of Hansel and Gretel.


Pumpkin-colored pine needles that carpet the grey path up the steep hill of Lincoln Park to my hummingbird marsh pond have been swept into round piles that, once again, remind me of turning tomatoes, tree crowns, and pumpkins in their gradation of color.


Thick sticky lines of spiders’ webs drape from the marsh’s cattails, stitching them together, stem to stem in a fence, the grey sunlight intermittently baring their existence, divulging secrets, but in wind, immediately recanting to grey clouds.


I love the sundress I wear for today’s costume fundraiser 5k fun run. MY dress in circling swirls of pink, purple, and orange. I love the purple and orange flowers I pin to my hair, the purple satin elbow length gloves, and the purple scarf with silver streams that streak behind me as I run in the 25 degree crisp temperature.


For most of my life, I have hated my body, tall and slim. Self hate…that clumsy teacher. Yet as I am in my 40th year, I feel wickedly happy, wanting to celebrate a Goddess praise dance in this run.


I am tall, almost 5’ 10”, and when I wear my Danskos in purple, sparkling paisley, and multi-color yarn velvet, I am close to six feet.

I am not necessarily coordinated and have been known to trip over seams in hardwoods, have dramatic falls leaving my knees tremendously bloody, and have more than once, shown that I lack the graceful coordination needed for beautiful tall basketball players running down the court.


I am building my house. It is of brick and wood, from foundation to beam, sash to sill, threshold to door, glass window to mirror.


I am tall, at almost 5’ 10”, and when I wear my Danskos in purple, sparkling paisley, and multi-colored yarn velvet, I am close to six feet.


Daily, I wear my scarves of bright lime green and purple and grey and my silver jewelry of trees and fairies that say, YES! I AM this, AND so much more.


I run in my Goddess gown and regalia, and remind myself that my costume, the beautiful outside, glitter and all, joins the inside of me, reminding me that THIS is me.


Take notice.

This is me.

I am as beautiful as I feel.

Right-Brained Running Supplies on Glass, 10/25/2009

GL, 10/25/2009. Prevail.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 20, 2009, journal entry, The Steps of My Stride in Autumn through BlackBerry Viewfinder

Six miles.

It is dark when I leave at six this morning. In my black running tights and deep eggplant purple Adidas jacket, I meld with black.

The moon isn’t visible, and the fog is grey-thick. I am careful. I have run these roads and paths so often that they have become part of me. Once, I almost stray from the path I barely see, but my feet sense the change in surface. I trust my stride, my feet, my muscle memory.

In the black, through the ViewMaster of my mind’s eye, I look back to the steps of my stride so far this Autumn as though looking up the treads and risers of a staircase. Winter’s harbinger remains chilly, yet I see color in her own steady, resolved march. The storms of Winter will come, of this I have no doubt, but I sense I will find the spectrum of color there in the midst, too.

Tomorrow morning, I shall lace up my shoes once again, running, breathing to the steps of my stride.

GL, 10/20/2009. Prevail.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ritual of Forbearance

(on cleft palate surgery)

With black ashes in her mouth
a woman sits in the confessional
rocking, holding her son
his mouth burnt, broken bread.

She pulls his tongue,
a molded salad of cherry gelatin,
by its black fishing-line thread
and wipes her shoulder
where his swollen, seeping head lay,
spilling, staining pulpy red juice.

Under the heat of tight-fisted bulbs
she collapses
like a fence on blackened grasses
and crawls away from the yellow
coyote-eyes of complicity.

Passing each aisle,
sterile chemical rooms,
her flesh scrapes the bark of wood pews
holding the glass jars and vials
of cotton gauzes, tongue depressors, salves, and syrups.

She begs a lustrating,
craves the acquittal
which she begins to receive
in the shift of the breeze
as a cool, carded-wool

taken from a stack of cleansed white cloth
dipped in a ewer of water
pressed against her forehead,
the sleeping baby gently placed to the wood cradle.

GL, 10/18/2009. Prevail.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 14, 2009, journal entry, Things that Are Grey

Six miles.

Things that Are Grey.

It has been raining all night. At six-thirty in the morning when I head north to my marsh pond, it still rains.

It is a grey day. The scene before me feels sketched and shaded with the grey charcoal pencil I keep in my journal. It’s the mysterious side of black, the silver of the moon’s changing shapes hiding behind grey clouds.

Rain taps the grey road like clattering workboots on the ground. Running through loamy grey puddles, my shoes become wet and spray water like startled gravel.

I run straight up the steep grey hill in Lincoln Park once again to my hummingbird pond, and even more amber pine needles have fallen and form a thicker mat on the ground, softening the high impact of my run, saving my joints for yet another rainy day. The grey rain has intensified the color of these pine needles to a strong harvest pumpkin orange. Even tree trunks, both stout and slim, look grey and slump-shouldered, though here and there I see a vine of crimson ivy winding down rocks like blood streaming from a broken lip. At the top, rain stipples the polished surface of the pond. Squirrels still scamper and scratch in their preparation work, their reddened fur tinged grey, and ducks trundle about. Stepping to the water’s edge, I look down and imagine I see my own reflection in the silvery-grey tones of a mirror.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest fair of all?

I hold my breath as I do not want to disturb clotted silence with an unconsecrated word.


It was not easy to lace up those running shoes on this grey morning. The Harvest Lady’s rain does not entice me to lie down in its grey-drenched green grass like the invitation of Summer’s warm streams. Still, I close my grey-green eyes. Feel the rain on my skin and imagine I am under Falls of water which enters me drop by drop, cell by cell, joining the air in my blood's river like sap running through the body of a tree.


Suddenly, it feels important for me to remember, to acknowledge and honor grey as an essential element of the human experience. That while grey is said to be a balanced neutral color seldom evoking strong emotion, to me it does. To me, it is a strong, mysterious color of moods with gradations of shades that change as much as variations of reds, yellows, and oranges, from the complex and noble charcoal to the simple grey of the pencil I use to write. Reminds me I am a sentient being, and those around me need me to be my genuine self in grey just as much as in color.

I need for me to be my own genuine self in color and in grey.

Breaking the ritual silence, my breath comes easily, unforced.


Grey is the color of iron, the smell of life’s blood force, and steel, the metal of strength supporting words of comfort and encouragement.

The color of the sunrise still hidden in ribbons of misty-grey fog.

Of loosened winds over water and the grey path where my stride takes me.

The silver-grey of the shining crescent moon.

Of blue and black stones, grey and shadowy, and the silver jewelry I prefer over gold.

My grey temples that the colorist in my favorite hair salon has convinced me looks striking with the highlights she gives me.

Grey, the color of my favorite glitter (though I like them all), a jar of which spilled when its lid loosened in my purse a few months ago. “Toss the purse,” a friend said. But I delighted in the cloud-like magical poof that mushroomed each time I pulled my wallet out at the supermarket checkstand.


I pull out my long grey scarf and my glitter-striped black and grey tights that I will wear today beneath the folds of my long black skirt and my sparkling paisley Danskos. I shall not only wear the three silver chains I love with my favorite silver pendants of trees and fairies, I shall also add a long, knotted string of pearls in yellow, white, and grey (when I am not working). I shall don silver bracelets and rings and spray myself with silvery glitter.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who is the fairest fair of all?

I am who I am.

Today I am grey.

I bow.

Today, I shall HONOR grey.

GL, 10/14/2009. Prevail.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Kaleidoscope on Pink Candle through BlackBerry Viewfinder

Kaleidoscope on Pink Candle through BlackBerry Viewfinder, 10/8/2009

GL, 10/13/2009. Prevail.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

October 10, 2009, journal entry

15 miles.

My baby needs a shepherd
She’s lost out on the hill
Too late I tried to call her
When the night was cold and still
And I tell myself I’ll find her
But I know I never will
My baby needs a shepherd
She’s lost out on the hill.

I chant in each breath’s intaking and outgoing while the cold enters my bones. I wish for my black wool cape.

Cold wind stings my eyes, draws tears.

I’ve finally surrendered to black running tights after refraining, finally ready to give up my running skirt to cold though I’ve long added the extra shirt and gloves to my ensemble.

My eyes blink and squint in the cold, gold brilliant sun.

The Sun coldly moves south while the Moon, in her changing yet returning shapes, cycles monthly.

Autumn has taken the lead in the quartet of seasons though Winter waits with her cold instruments.

Water sits in cold-grey piles, frozen, caught red-handed. (I hope home and business owners turn the sprinkler timers off.) I don’t like running on ice.

Red-leaved shrubs line the center of a curving cold-grey boulevard like a stripe of gumdrop candies on the roof of a gingerbread house.

In the cold, I am glad for the large cool-blue polar fleece vest I am wearing. I weight my pockets with my hands without hindering my pace.

Cloisters of choice apples, plums, and peaches on trees. Orange, red, and blue beads are strung tightly on trees’ branches. These cold berries are provision for Winter’s birds.

I am acutely aware of my stride, the alternating rhythm of each leg in cold.

Mats of golden pine needles, thick layers of toy pick-up sticks, like miniature old wood, drop to cold ground and make way for new growth.

The air is active. Its motion in cold numbs my hands and skin red. I’ve been out for two hours.

The warmth of the Sun from the South and the cold of the Wind from the North.

The veil continues to thin.

And I continue to listen.

My baby needs a mother
To love her to the end
Up every rugged mountain
And down every road that bends
Sometimes I hear her cryin’
But I guess it’s just the wind
My baby needs a mother
To love her till the end.

I chant as the cold enters my bones.

(from Emmylou Harris, “My Baby Needs a Shepherd”)

GL, 10/10/2009. Prevail.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Haiku 13


Closed window curtains
Chimney’s smoky grey ribbons.
Wind rustles pages.


I close my eyes. See
Dark fluttering underskin.
Bats beat their webbed wings.


A life in seasons
Deep red fascial muscles.
Changes are holy.

GL, 10/10/2009. Prevail.

Monday, October 5, 2009

October 3, 2009, journal entry, Things Sprinklers Sound Like

10 miles.

Things Sprinklers Sound Like

Quails, with their tear-drop plumes draping from their foreheads like cast fishing poles, calling in their three-note chi-ca-go, after roosting nightly in trees and shrubs, choosing daily the run in which to fly.

The scratching of squirrels in a chase up kingly oaks. Beneath, gradations of full-bodied acorns to the finely ground of cornmeal from traffic bring to mind the green-to-red coloration of tomatoes and turning crowns of trees.

The warmth of the strong summer midnight rain rushing through leaves as I lay on green-drenched grass.

The whooshing and whishing of trees and leaves in wind, and ocean waves crumbling beach coasts with their touch.

Not butterflies playing leaf on urban city sidewalks.

Not cone bracts playing slumbering or nesting bumblebees on amber pine needled- and red ivy-weaved grey paths.

Not the frosty chill of an October morning, its crepuscular gusts of icy cold that rush my face like biting, prickly rain.

Not the black-billed magpies with their azure wings and long tails, rampant and unpredictable, high spirited and expressive, loudly chattering their rapid series of chak notes interspersed with the important maag message to their steely blue-black crow cousins.

“Good morning, Mr. Magpie,” I say to the first one I see, bowing.

One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
And seven for a secret never to be told.

I chant to keep the cold from creeping into my bones.

The copper and the gold,
The new and the old.
They say it heals all wounds,
But time, it can bruise
A deep purple and blue.

The veil thins but I am listening.

I hold golden acorns, leaves, pumpkins, and seeds in my hands.

Fire lights the palms of my hands.

GL, 10/3/2009. Prevail.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Kaleidoscope on Light through BlackBerry Viewfinder, 10/2/2009

Kaleidoscope on Light through BlackBerry Viewfinder, 10/2/2009

GL, 10/2/2009. Prevail.