Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Mei An

This thing. This terrible, lovely thing that walks into and out of the room. She is terrible, because her black hair shrouds her cool, deep eyes. She is fierce. She shoots only a fleeting look at me. And I wonder why I can't actually see into her. I can see into others, why not her?

Her mighty arms move up and down, flapping - a bird maybe, or more likely a space ship in orbit around an enemy planet. She disappears.

I can hear her, so I go to where the giggling is. She is crouched behind the big urn in the bedroom. "Are you my princess?" I ask her. My voice is not as demanding as I think she heard it to be.

"No," she says. "I don't want to be a pwincess." I am taken aback by her forcefulness. "I am a dwagon."

"Well, what about a Chinese warrior princess?" I ask her. She thinks about it. Her mind is wandering, and so is mine. One of those martial arts films with Lucy Liu, that's what I'm picturing. Powerful. Beautiful. Terrible, fierce. A sword flying around her head and attackers dropping to the ground in pain. Her expression, cold and determined.

Mei An's words bring me back instantly to the moment. "Does the pwincess say, 'wooo hooo hooo?'" I'm laughing because of all the things a warrior princess would say at that moment, I don't think it would be "wooo hooo hooo". I'm laughing because the cold Lucy Liu gaze that I had in my mind is shattered by Mei An's wide eyes and mocking head tilting back and forth and the pucker her mouth makes.

And while I'm laughing, she runs away in pursuit of another airborn fantasy. Now I see it. What I thought was a bird or spaceship in orbit around the enemy planet a few minutes a Chinese dragon, terrible and fierce and beautiful. I can't take my eyes off it as it flaps it's chaotic cadence down the hall and into the kitchen, and beyond, in search of a princess it can devour.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Wondering about the fall

It's a long way down
Long way
And when I look, it's my knees that do the talking
Also that space there to the right of my navel
And up just a few inches

That's where I feel the fall
Even if it doesn't happen

On a ride at Disneyland
I once felt the fall
I expected it and still my knees cried out
As did that place near my navel
Did I scream because I thought:
"This is it, the ride that breaks and everyone dies?"
I could even see the headlines in the paper

That's where I see my life end
Even if it doesn't happen...quite that way

But the thrill of the possibilities
Keeps us alive
And reassures our knees that we're still breathing
From that place near that place near our navels
And up a few more inches
A few steps back from the ledge
Or at the bottom looking up

That's where I'll be once again
Watching to see what happens

Monday, September 11, 2006


"It's non-fiction," she said. "It helps me understand." That reality was a dose, for sure. She was non-fiction, all of her, and he was reading stories and poetry at the time. The mistress that is his own imagination was begging for something tangible and knowing all along that the other side of the nexus, where material ends and the unseen begins, was the only place he ever touched the truth. The comment took him by surprise, he expected something quite different from his imagination. She was too often reasonable and he thought he knew what made her tick. "If you want to understand, you might want to find a good story," he said.

He wondered why it was that non-fiction kept him so far from the truth. "I have a lot of non-fiction in my life," he thought. "Every minute of the day, I think is non-fiction, I need more fiction to make sense of it all".

He stood in the sanctuary looking at the icon of the Trinity. The three beings, God, all of them, tilted their heads to each other. Spirit and Son to the Father, and Father to the two of them. He stood, his hands and arms limp at his sides. Up above him there was light, purple all of it mixed up, every color otherwise individual from the stained glass, but together purple. Purple light above, the Trinity straight across, and there was the back of the priest's head in front of him. That's when he knelt down, feeling ficticious. Part of a story. He was a character in this drama, but only a bit player. He was there to remember how the story ended.

"That's the thing," he thought. "That's the thing that keeps me coming back here. I can't escape the back of that priest's head, nor his face, anymore than I can escape the fact that I was preserved for some reason." He was not thinking it, but he was present in the midst of a restless grace. It was later when he wrote it down, '...restless grace'. "Hmmm, that's it." he thought, "restless grace is how God is. On the other side of the priest, that's what was there in the Trinity icon, grace that doesn't sleep." The remembering began.

He felt better, lighter when he stood up in the end. His non-fiction imagination still with him, waiting quietly for a time when she could tap him on the shoulder, "May I ask you something?" He would rather she didn't. But when she did, he was comforted to know that she also felt lighter. So he nodded. "Where," she asked, "can I get a copy of what you're reading?" She had come along too. It wasn't until later that he asked her how she had decided to read with him. "I couldn't help it," she paused, "...I found a story."

Some perspective

Steven Write stuff from another blog:

-Some people are afriad of heights. I'm afraid of widths.

- Can you cry under water?

- How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

- Since bread is square, why is sandwich meat round?

- Why do you have to 'put your 2 cents in'...but it's only a 'penny for your thoughts? Where's that extra penny going?

- Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

- What did cured ham actually have?

- How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?

- Why is it that people say they 'slept like a baby' when babies wake up like every 3 hours?

- If a deaf person has to go to court, is it still called a hearing? (kinda stupid)

- If you drink Pepsi at work in the Coke factory, will they fire you?

- Why are you IN a movie, but you're ON tv?

- Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money in binoculars to look at things on the ground?

- How come we choose from just 2 people for President and fifty for Miss America?

- Why do doctors leave the room while you change? They're going to see you naked anyway.

- If a 911 operator has a heart attack, whom does he/she call?