I breathe in. The water will wash my wounds clean. I breathe out. My mother submerged me in water when I was a baby, to give me to God. It has been a long time since I thought about God, but I think about him now. It is only natural. I am glad, suddenly, that I shot Eric in the foot instead of the head.
Wait a second," Four says. I turn toward him, wondering which version of Four I'll see now-the one who scolds me, or the one who climbs Ferris wheels with me. He smiles a little, but the smile doesn't spread to his eyes, which look less tense and worried."You belong here, you know that?" he says. "You belong with us. It'll be over soon, so just hold on, okay?"He scratches behind his ear and looks away, like he's embarrassed by what he said. I stare at him. I feel my heartbeat everywhere, even in my toes. I feel like doing something bold, but I could just as easily walk away. I am not sure which option is smarter, or better. I am not sure that I care.I reach out and take his hand. His fingers slide between mine. I can't breathe. I stare up at him, and he stares down at me. For a long moment, we stay that way. Then I pull my hand away and run after Uriah and Lynn and Marlene. Maybe now he thinks I'm stupid, or strange. Maybe it was worth it.
As long as I can hear the sweet melody of your words, I need not; The angel’s secret, to be whispered in my ears As long as I can lace your silky fingers round my own, I need not; Pretty diamonds, nor big cash nor gold As long as I can watch the handsome sunshine of your face, I need not; Open skies, nor snowfall, nor the rain As long as I can gaze into the emeralds of your eyes, I need not; New colors, new wings or paradise As long as I can feel the tender tickle of your breath, I need not; The drifting wind, nor its call, nor caress As long as I can feel your soft lips upon mine, I need not; Melted sugar, nor the most expensive of wines As long as I can feel your warm body close to me I need not; A blanket, nor a bonfire's luxury As long as I can see you every morning I wake, I need not; A mirror, nor a cloud, nor shade As long as I can keep you in every petal of memories I need not: Dreams, nor desires, nor fantasies And as long as I can hold you in every moment that I breathe, I need not; Oxygen, nor blood, nor heartbeats.
I keep my kindness in my eyes Gently folded around my iris Like a velvety, brown blanket That warms my vision I keep my shyness in my hair Tucked away into a ponytail Looking for a chance to escape On a few loose strands in the air I keep my anger on my lips Just waiting to unleash into the world But trust me; it’s never in my heart It evaporates into words I keep my dignity upon my chin Like a torch held up high For those who have betrayed me Radiating a silent, strong message I keep my gratitude in my smileA glistening waterfall in the sun Gently splashing at that personWho made me happy for some reason I keep my sensitivity in my hands Reaching out for your wet cheek Holding you, with all the love The love I want to share, and feel I keep my passion in my writing My words breathing like fire Screeching against an endless road As I continue to be inspired I keep my simplicity in my soul Spread over me like a clear sky Reflecting all that I am And all that’s ever passed me by And I hope you will look Beyond my ordinary faceMy simple, tied hairMy ordinary tastes And I hope you will see me From everyone...apart As I keep my beauty in my heart.
Old Deuteronomy's lived a long time;He's a Cat who has lived many lives in succession.He was famous in proverb and famous in rhymeA long while before Queen Victoria's accession.Old Deuteronomy's buried nine wivesAnd more – I am tempted to say, ninety-nine;And his numerous progeny prospers and thrivesAnd the village is proud of him in his decline.At the sight of that placid and bland physiognomy,When he sits in the sun on the vicarage wall,The Oldest Inhabitant croaks: "Well, of all … Things … Can it be … really! … No! … Yes! … Ho! hi!Oh, my eye!My mind may be wandering, but I confess I believe it is Old Deuteronomy!"Old Deuteronomy sits in the street,He sits in the High Street on market day;The bullocks may bellow, the sheep they may bleat,But the dogs and the herdsman will turn them away.The cars and the lorries run over the kerb,And the villagers put up a notice: ROAD CLOSED —So that nothing untoward may chance to disturbDeuteronomy's rest when he feels so disposedOr when he's engaged in domestic economy:And the Oldest Inhabitant croaks: "Well of all …Things … Can it be … really! … No! … Yes! …Ho! hi!Oh, my eye!My sight's unreliable, but I can guessThat the cause of the trouble is Old Deuteronomy!
*Breathing in, I know this is my in-breath.Breathing out, I know this is my out-breath.*It's very simple, but very effective. When we bring our attention to our in-breath and our out-breath, we stop thinking of the past; we stop thinking of the future; and we begin to come home to ourselves...Don't think this practice doesn't apply to you. If we don't go home to ourselves, we can't be at our best and serve the world in the best way... Our quality of being is the foundation for the quality of our actions.*Breathing in, I'm aware of my whole body.Breathing out, I'm aware of my whole body.*Breathing mindfully brings us back to our bodies. We have to acknowledge our bodies first because tension and suffering accumulate in the body. Breathing in this way, we create a kind of family reunion between mind and body. The mind becomes an embodied mind....We can't do our best if we don't know to release the tension and pain in ourselves. *Breathing in, I'm aware of the tension in my body.Breathing out, I'm aware of the tension in my body.*When we look at the suffering around us, at poverty, violence, or climate change, we may want to solve these things immediately. We want to do something. But to do something effectively and ethically, we need to be our best selves in order to be able to handle the suffering...*Breathing in, I am aware of a painful feeling arising.Breathing out, I release the painful feeling.*This is a nonviolent and gentle way to help our bodies release tension and pain. It is possible to practice mindful breathing in order to produce a feeling of joy, a feeling of happiness. When we are well-nourished and know how to create joy, then we are strong enough to handle the deep pain within ourselves and the world.
No." I pulled away just enough to lock my eyes with his. His crooked smile sent shivers down my spine. His eyes were a deep blue darkening more as the minutes passing between us were getting hotter. "I will be the one using you, and you'll love every second, every breath, every stroke and every fucking inch of me," he said, his lips ghosting above mine.
I am deep in my willed habits. From the outside, I suppose I look like an unoccupied house with one unconvincing night-light left on. Any burglar could look through my curtains and conclude I am empty. But he would be mistaken. Under that one light unstirred by movement or shadows there is a man at work, and as long as I am at work I am not a candidate for Menlo Park, or that terminal facility they cynically call a convalescent hospital, or a pine box. My habits and the unchanging season sustain me. Evil is what questions and disrupts.
I used to be a poet.My words were traded in marketplaces like pieces of gold.Merchants bought my verses for as much as they paid for saffron and Indian jade.Now I am old...drunk on wine and candle fumes.Alone in this barren room, I speak my psalms to the night air so as to entertain moths before they go off to die.I used to be a poet and my words were gold.
I continue to stare, my eyes missing nothing, remembering the moments we just shared together. But in all that time she does not look back, and I am haunted by the visions of her struggling with unseen enemies. I sit by the bedside with an aching back and start to cry as I pick up the notebook. Allie does not notice. I understand, for her mind is gone. A couple pages fall to the floor, and I bend over to pick them up. I am tired now, so I sit, alone and apart from my wife. And when the nurses come in they see two people they must comfort. A woman shaking in fear from demons in her mind, and the old man who loves her more deeply than life itself, crying softly in the corner, his face in his hands.
My Floating Sea""Pastel colors reflect in my opening eyes and draw my gaze to a horizon where the waters both begin and end. This early in the day I can easily stare without blinking. The pale sea appears calm, but it is stormy just as often. I awe at the grandeur, how it expands beyond my sight to immeasurable depths. In every direction that I twist my neck, a beauteous blue is there to console me. Flowing, floating ribbons of mist form on these pale waters. In harmony they pirouette, creating a stretch of attractive, soft swirls. Swoosh! The wind, its strength in eddies and twisters, smears the art of dancing clouds, and the white disperses like startled fairies fleeing into the forest. Suddenly all is brilliant blue.The waters calm and clear. It warms me. Pleases me. Forces my eyes to close at such vast radiance. My day is spent surrounded by this ethereal sea, but soon enough the light in its belly subsides. Rich colors draw my gaze to the opposite horizon where the waters both begin and end. I watch the colors bleed and deepen. They fade into black. Yawning, I cast my eyes at tiny gleams of life that drift within the darkened waters. I extend my reach as if I could will my arm to stretch the expanse between me and eons. How I would love to brush a finger over a ray of living light; but I know I cannot. Distance deceives me. These little breathing lights floating in blackness would truly reduce me to the tiniest size, like a mountain stands majestic over a single wild flower. I am overwhelmed by it all and stare up, in love with the floating sea above my head.
I drift off for a while. I don't know how long, but when I open my eyes, the Oscars are still on and Alex tells me that Sid has gone and this makes me a little sad. Whatever the four of us had is over. He is my daughter's boyfriend now, and I am a father. A widower. No pot, no cigarettes, no sleeping over. They'll have to find inventive ways to conduct their business, most likely in uncomfortable places, just like the rest of them. I let him and my old ways go. We all let him go, as well as who we were before this, and now it's really just the three of us. I glance over at the girls, taking a good look at what's left.
I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closedThe drunkenness of old timesIn the wooden seaside villa with its deserted boat houseThe roaring Southwestern wind is trapped,My thoughts are trapped.I am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closedA bird is flying around your skirtI know if your forehead is hot or coldOr your lips are wet or dry;Or is a white moon is rising above the hazelnut treeMy heart's fluttering tells meI am listening to Istanbul with my eyes closed
I'll buy you a blow-up doll. I'm sure my mate won't mind when I explain how hard up you are."She didn't bother to punch him this time, just glared with promise of future retaliation. "Very funny. You wouldn't be laughing if you knew how sexually frustrated I am right now." [...] "The last time was when that SilverBlade sentinel was in town for a communications meeting."All amusement left Dorian's face. "You serious? That was months ago." A very long time to go without intimate touch. "Merce, that could get dangerous.""I know. Do you think I don't know?" She thrust her hands through her hair. "Damn it Dorian! It's getting to the point where I'm starting to wonder if some of the wolves would be good in bed. [...]"Cat and wolf isn't a ... um ... normal combination.""And Psy and cat is?" She made a face at him. "Yeah, yeah I know. Cat and wolf is strange." [...]"How about one of the Rats?" Dorian's eyes gleamed.
I am back in my beloved city. The scene of desolation fills my eyes with tears. At every step my distress and agitation increases. I cannot recognize houses or landmarks I once knew well. Of the former inhabitants, there is no trace. Everywhere there is a terrible emptiness. All at once I find myself in the quarter where I once resided. I recall the life I used to live: meeting friends in the evening, reciting poetry, making love, spending sleepless nights pining for beautiful women and writing verses on their long tresses which held me captive. That was life! What is there left of it? Nothing.
I realized I still had my eyes shut. I had shut them when I put my face to the screen, like I was scared to look outside. Now I had to open them. I looked out the window and saw for the first time how the hospital was out in the country. The moon was low in the sky over the pastureland; the face of it was scarred and scuffed where it had just torn up out of the snarl of scrub oak and madrone trees on the horizon. The stars up close to the moon were pale; they got brighter and braver the farther they got out of the circle of light ruled by the giant moon. It called to mind how I noticed the exact same thing when I was off on a hunt with Papa and the uncles and I lay rolled in blankets Grandma had woven, lying off a piece from where the men hunkered around the fire as they passed a quart jar of cactus liquor in a silent circle. I watched that big Oregon prairie moon above me put all the stars around it to shame. I kept awake watching, to see if the moon ever got dimmer or if the stars got brighter, till the dew commenced to drift onto my cheeks and I had to pull a blanket over my head. Something moved on the grounds down beneath my window — cast a long spider of shadow out across the grass as it ran out of sight behind a hedge. When it ran back to where I could get a better look, I saw it was a dog, a young, gangly mongrel slipped off from home to find out about things went on after dark. He was sniffing digger squirrel holes, not with a notion to go digging after one but just to get an idea what they were up to at this hour. He’d run his muzzle down a hole, butt up in the air and tail going, then dash off to another. The moon glistened around him on the wet grass, and when he ran he left tracks like dabs of dark paint spattered across the blue shine of the lawn. Galloping from one particularly interesting hole to the next, he became so took with what was coming off — the moon up there, the night, the breeze full of smells so wild makes a young dog drunk — that he had to lie down on his back and roll. He twisted and thrashed around like a fish, back bowed and belly up, and when he got to his feet and shook himself a spray came off him in the moon like silver scales. He sniffed all the holes over again one quick one, to get the smells down good, then suddenly froze still with one paw lifted and his head tilted, listening. I listened too, but I couldn’t hear anything except the popping of the window shade. I listened for a long time. Then, from a long way off, I heard a high, laughing gabble, faint and coming closer. Canada honkers going south for the winter. I remembered all the hunting and belly-crawling I’d ever done trying to kill a honker, and that I never got one. I tried to look where the dog was looking to see if I could find the flock, but it was too dark. The honking came closer and closer till it seemed like they must be flying right through the dorm, right over my head. Then they crossed the moon — a black, weaving necklace, drawn into a V by that lead goose. For an instant that lead goose was right in the center of that circle, bigger than the others, a black cross opening and closing, then he pulled his V out of sight into the sky once more. I listened to them fade away till all I could hear was my memory of the sound.
I am here because I worked too hard and too long not to be here. But although I told the university that I would walk across the stage to take my diploma, I won’t. At age fifty-seven, I’m too damned old, and I’d look ridiculous in this crowd. From where I’m standing in the back of the hall, I can see that I am at least two decades older than most of the parents of these kids in their black caps and gowns. So I’ll graduate with this class, but I won’t walk across the stage and collect my diploma with them; I’ll have the school send it to my house. I only want to hear my name called. I’ll imagine what the rest would have been like. When you’ve had a life like mine, you learn to do that, to imagine the good things. The ceremony is about to begin. It’s a warm June day and a hallway of glass doors leading to the parking lot are open, the dignitaries march onto the stage, a janitor slams the doors shut, one after the other. That banging sound. It’s Christmas Day 1961 and three Waterbury cops are throwing their bulk against our sorely overmatched front door. They are wearing their long woolen blue coats and white gloves and they swear at the cold. They’ve finally come for us, in the dead of night, to take us away, just as our mother said they would.
Though I myself am an atheist, I openly profess religion in the sense just mentioned, that is, a nature religion. I hate the idealism that wrenches man out of nature; I am not ashamed of my dependency on nature; I openly confess that the workings of nature affect not only my surface, my skin, my body, but also my core, my innermost being, that the air I breathe in bright weather has a salutary effect not only on my lungs but also on my mind, that the light of the sun illumines not only my eyes but also my spirit and my heart. And I do not, like a Christian, believe that such dependency is contrary to my true being or hope to be delivered from it. I know further that I am a finite moral being, that I shall one day cease to be. But I find this very natural and am therefore perfectly reconciled to the thought.
Seeing her look at me this way causes my soul to leap from its rest and give of what I too have been feeling. Her eyes compare to that still river raising light from the moon that passes through the sky. I am now as indestructible and as fragile as I’ve ever been as she reaches out for me to grab her and hold her tightly. The burning inside of me initiates a pure joy and peace that I haven’t felt in so long. To love and be loved has become the most incredible experience ever granted unto me. She is now my every breath and the very beating of my heart. I hold her close as the tense weave of my muscles break free and give warmth to every part of her.
DisciplineI am old and I have hadmore than my share of good and bad.I've had love and sorrow, seen sudden deathand been left alone and of love bereft.I thought I would never love againand I thought my life was grief and pain.The edge between life and death was thin, but then I discovered discipline.I learned to smile when I felt sad, I learned to take the good and the bad, I learned to care a great deal morefor the world about me than before.I began to forget the "Me" and "I"and joined in life as it rolled by: this may not mean sheer ecstasybut is better by far than "I" and "Me.
I stand still for a long time, holding the note, and let it all sink in. Her leaving is almost palpable like a gale-force wind that’s rolled into my life in the span of a single evening and left behind all this incalculable destruction, both inside and out. Yes, the tempest has passed, but the air around me feels different. I can hardly breathe. Nothing is the same without her. As the lone survivor of her particular storm, I begin to wonder just exactly what I’m supposed to do now.