Tuesday, May 13, 2008

steady aim

May 13th, 2008

7:40 am

A chilly damp morning thick with fog.

“Might want to click on the lights,” I say to S.B. as we hug at the door.

The mass of white-gray has lifted a bit. Is not as low to the ground since the sun’s started its round. But still, the headlights. They feel important this morning.

“Love you,” she says.

“Love you too.”

And I do. And I wish I had been in a better mood this morning when she rolled over only to find empty space in the bed.


Thousands more people dead today. From cyclones, earthquakes, driving through heavy fog. And as far as I can tell, there should be no reason to ever wake sour. Not for me or S.B., or anyone. But we do and the best remedy is to focus on the big picture. Whatever your big picture is.

If you don’t have one, I recommend getting to work so that you do. For reference. For focus. For purpose and direction. To remain steady and aim true.

Use the brush strokes of experience. The lines of days gone by. Use the colors of the day.

The deep red of the neighbor’s pickup truck.

Yellow-green of the lawn down the street. Cut too short too soon.

The mottled brown of the little wet bird that flew up as if to land on me when I was out early, in the thickest of it, letting the dogs run, shit, pee. How the bird zipped by my right ear. Looped around. Came back and hovered inches from my face. When the world slowed so much that I could see myself on the wet surface of its eyes. And I was reminded that this will be a good day, a good life, if I always remember those big little things.

A bird in the big sky.

Me in the small fenced yard.

Our paths coming so close.

Only inches apart.

And I wonder, what did it see in my eyes?


I watched her walk to the truck. Hop on up inside. Hit the ignition. Turn on the lights. My little art teacher in the big pickup. And I couldn’t help but smile and be thankful for this. Because this is how it’s supposed to be. Wanting light and warmth and safety for someone else more than you could ever want it for yourself.

Good to be here this morning. The fog now lifted. Sky a robin’s egg blue. Dandelions all puffed up into fuzz waiting for dew to dry so that seeds can spread as far as wind or wings will carry them.

Another stroke of the brush. Dash of line. Dab of color. In this big picture made up of us. Learning from each other.

Keep the strength. A steady aim. And keep on keepin’ on.

8:05 am

~ K.J.

(copyright © 2008 by k.j. stevens)

Friday, May 2, 2008

spring storm

May 2nd, 2008

12:33 pm

Train down the tracks. Rumbling and thumping. Shaking the core and blending with the sound that passenger jets make as they amble through dark clouds.

And thunder comes.

Deep within the eardrums. To shake big fat raindrops from the sky.

There is a storm out there. Ready to break loose. Tear apart this early Friday afternoon. And take away this nearly perfect day. One ripe with creativity. Fit for writing and for drinking.

But it’s too soon after noon to pour anything besides water. And since my fingers are on the keys. Putting together today’s entry. I suppose we’ll call this writing and get right at it. Straightaway and sure.

We aren’t in Alpena anymore. Mount Pleasant’s dead and gone. And we’re far enough away from Saint Paul that we don’t have to worry about all the things we had hoped we’d be.

After all, we’ve made it. And we’re here. No money in the bank. Bills piling up. But goddammit, we’re here. Solid and true. Still at the words. Working with balance. Heart and mind. Dreams and reality. Everything we thought we’d find if only we’d buck up, shed the bullshit, and move ahead like a man.

A blast of lightning through the sky. White hot and instantaneous.

The past seems so small. The future so big and growing. Inch by inch, like Little Man asleep in his bed. Teddy bear pulled tight to his cheek.

And day by day with S.B.. Doing whatever it takes to build this solid foundation. Our home away from home. Decisions to be made. Vows to take and uphold.

More thunder. The jets. Another train. The rain has discovered its rhythm. Is serenading this concrete and blacktop world with the promise of cleansing.

And the grass is getting greener.

The leaves a brighter shade.

And solid is the core that shaking creates when we are unafraid of the storm.

~ K.J.

(copyright 2008 by k.j. stevens)