Archive for August, 2008

Dreamcatcher

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , on August 30, 2008 by rodzink

The windows are wide open.  The night air is beginning to cool off and whispers through leaves of hickory.  I watch their little bodies..  Chests rise and fall with slumber…  dreams… We watched Lion. Back home, I’ve carried them from the truck and put them to bed…I can now rest… The Cherokee would say, “Dream and be at peace.” 

School has begun… my summer schedule came to an end and my time with the kids got smaller….  This is where I return to my routine of eating lunch in the school cafeteria… Leave notes for them…. Wait and capture every second I can get….. dream of my week with them.  This summer, Baker and Belle learned how to make Dreamcatchers.  Now, these things are hanging all over the house.  The webs are supposed to capture “good” dreams, while letting the bads ones pass through….  Like a spider, Belle checks them in the morning and claims to see the worthwhile visions of last night.  I hope she can, for without dreams, our goals are nonexistent… our steps are aimless…meandering… lost.  I know of some of their dreams…. I’ll wait to see the others materialize.

 

Baker tells me that he is going to be a professional soldier… a fighting man.  He hasn’t decided yet if he’s going to be involved in the Civil War campaign or rid the Phillipines of the Japanese occupancy.  He runs the neighborhood with an arsenal that I can only imagine. I’ve swept up thousands of airsoft BBs, stood there as he points out the whelps on his legs, back, etc.. from direct hits… always with a smile on his face.  Each rock…  a shield from flying lead and armor-piercing 7.62s…. The shadows, and this changes often, are either troops moving through Virginia from Grant’s onslaught…… or part of some post-modern global warfare.  Regardless, he is always victorious.. a returning hero… writes his own saga.

Belle is going to take care of animals…  It’s currently unclear whether this is going to lead to becoming a veterinarian or farmer.  She has what it takes to become either… intelligent… caring….. down-to-earth….. Our poor cat is the frequent target of Belle’s affection and, at times, coerced make-believe surgery.  Nevertheless, she dreams….writes stories… draws pictures…..  Her bedtime journal has sketchings and words of her love of  animals.  Witnessing her love is beautiful… I often wonder how I’ll feel when she brings home that first boyfriend and I notice that sparkle in her eyes……. 

The Dreamcatchers hang above their beds… on their bedroom doorframes… in the kitchen…  I recently noticed that the kids have placed one in my room…  Baker has asked what I hoped to find….. As I sit here tonight, staring at this artwork at my doorway,  I hear many of their dreams…. I am beginning to recognize the dreams tangled in my web…. Good ones…. ones worth working for… ones worth seeing through…  As I pour out the last of my coffee and turn off the light, I pray that good dreams find me…. again….. and I’ll take the time to be grateful for kids that care about Dad’s dreams…   “….for the moon never beams without bringing me dreams…….”  Edgar Allan Poe.

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Mountain Opry…One Night in August

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , , , , on August 16, 2008 by rodzink

 

Zoology

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , , , , on August 7, 2008 by rodzink

The zoo…..  A depiction of society… its clusters, circles, brackets….  The carnivores… the herbivores… omnivores.  We spent the day at the zoo, staring through thick glass and steel wire…. glaring at beautiful and exotic animals in unnatural settings.  Caged…..  emasculated…. controlled… scared… anxious…. uncertain…. Comparatively undeniable….. 

The kids viewed the animals with fascination… Belle strutted back and forth while the flamboyant ostrich chased her… The silverback gorilla leaned his back against the glass, ignoring us…  the king of the jungle locked eyes with Baker….   

The kids haven’t recognized it yet, but I couldn’t resist the social overlay… sitting poolside at the community swimming hole….  The cool spot on the Serengeti…. To the right of the entrance, the carnivores… the lioness and her pride….  Adjacent and nearer to the shade, the familial troupe of primates… In the farthest corner, enjoying full sun… the gazelles.. elusively grazing with complete view of predators…. The scavengers, perched strategically, awaited to prey on another’s kill and, of course, bear the stench… 

Finding a place far from reach, where the predator/prey relationships do not apply, we find a silent, almost nocturnal perch.  I often feel nonexistent in this setting.  I do, however, hope that my children find their places in the food chain….  The zoo is tough.  While walking, Baker asked me what would happen if someone opened all the cages and let the animals loose….. Instinctively, the animals know to stay in their respective places… They seldom socialize….  Comingling will always result in conflict….  gossip… bitterness….. false accusations…. jealousy… Ultimately, someone gets eaten…

We more-so resemble the wildebeest….  enjoying the routine company and consistency of others… venturing on predictable migratory routes… trying to avoid the treacherous river crossings….  unnecessary encounters….  Limit eye-contact with the hyenas… but lower your head, stand your ground, and, when necessary, charge head-on…… 

Inside the car on the ride home, after a day in the heat, eyes became heavy… The silence was nice… For a couple of hours… no roaring.. the sparring had subsided..  no quest for jungle domination… Baker, Belle…. tonight, they were grazing in the grasslands….. playfully bounding in the cool of the evening….

Concentration

Posted in Where Angels Perch with tags , , , on August 1, 2008 by rodzink

The tent..  a 5′ x 6′ two-man dome… small space… cozy.  Tonight was date-night with the most beautiful little lady I’ve ever known… We put up the tent and opened the flaps, allowing the breeze in… mosquitoes out.  The cyalume glow cast shadows on the blue interior.  Talking, giggling… holding my little girl.  Nothing mattered outside the thin walls for the time.  Baker was at the movies with a friend. He needed it.  I needed some one-on-one time with Belle.  This tent…. reminded me of my outlook.  Representative of my social life.. my family.  Closed to the unwanted.. unnecessary…… but encircling.. fully covering that which I must keep…. 

 

Annabelle Elizabeth….  I listened to her talk.  Ask questions…  Immediately, I was back at a tea party… struggling to stay in a tiny chair…  holding a tiny cup with two fingers.  I cannot recall a more enjoyable date.  I sat at that table, surrounded with fine China, enjoying the luxuries of life:  holding her hand….  kissing…..  learning some game from her where we clap hands and repeatedly call out all the names we  know.  Concentration?   She took me to her world…  I have since tried to view the world through her eyes….  I have learned so much.  I hug for no apparent reason…  play at any opportunity…. measure time in small increments….. pet stray cats….  catch butterflies….. wade into the creek with my shoes on… drive across town to have lunch with her…..  leave love letters and drawings in each other’s backpacks…….  I am uncontrollably in love.

I have laughed myself silly over her conjured accents…. hip-hop moves…. singing at open-mic karoake night….  clogging at the Mountain Opry….. Watched with pride as she climbed from the pool to receive her 1st place ribbons for the backstroke…..  Fearless… DragonFly….. hippie, comedian, girly-girl and tomboy all mixed up…   I’ve learned so much. 

 

Inside this tent….  Just the two of us… My thoughts wandered back some months….  We pitched our tent along the creek.. setup camp.  Baker had roamed to gather firewood.  Belle rolled out my sleeping bag and called me in to our weekend getaway.  Inside, she had pulled a couple of books from her backpack and offered a selection of nighttime reading… I remember lying there listening to the nearby owl… She read….  It occured to me how close to heaven I was at that moment…. Angel inside…. angels outside….  Within minutes, her eyes were closed. 

Concentration…..  eight times eight… sixty-four… I’ll go first… you go last….   The names trailed off…. Ultimately, I lost…  Apparently, I repeated a name…  my hand-claps were out of sync.  She laughed out loud at me…  My “concentration” is direct…  my efforts… dreams…  focus…  within the thin walls of my “tent”, my small “social circle.”