Wednesday, October 29, 2008

a morning like this

October 29th, 2008

8:32 am

Chloe the dog is at it again. Convinced she will catch a squirrel one day. Tearing across the big backyard, running below a black squirrel that's doing a high-wire act. From pole to pole. Both of them barking. Until the squirrel jumps from pole to tree then down into the neighbor's yard. Taunting Chloe from behind the chain link fence. Chloe sits there. Ears up. Hair on her back bristling. She will have another good day. Out in the yard. On patrol. Later when Ted the cat wakes from his slumber, he will join her. They will work in tandem. One of them sneaking up on squirrels, the other standing guard. They are quite the team, our cat and our dog. It's amazing how much joy they find.

Especially on mornings like this. Another one thick with dying leaves, cold and gray.

Trying very hard to strike a balance today. Childcare and work. Writing and giving my son attention. He is watching television. Satisfied to be on his own for a while. Watching Clifford on PBS Kids and playing with his wooden train set. I feel guilty though. Being in here. Putting fingers to keys, while he is in the living room. But I can't be by his side every minute of the day, and a little television hasn't killed anyone that I know of, so a bit of boob tube in moderation will be my saving grace. And his. I'm sure he gets tired of being with Dear Old Dad all day every day.

Head is still brimming with everything, so this writing will be useless. It's only meaning coming in the form of making room. Helping me to move things around upstairs in the noggin' so that I can get back to the real writing again. But there's no sense in talking about it, writing about it, because doing so only ruins it. And the more it is ruined, the harder it is to get back to it. Do it truly. With love.

We could all use some love about now. The economy struggling. Leadership failing. Morals going down the tubes. Everything acceptable and everything goes these days. Nothing is shocking. Our senses are so deadened it's hard to snap out of it, see a bit of good, and smile.

My Mom sent some pictures to us via the wonders of technology. An email link sent me to a website, and this morning all three of us (Me, Little Man, and S.B.) sat together and watched a slideshow of our trip up north. Mom snapped off fifty-five pictures during our short visit. And though I tend to give her a hard time about always having a camera on hand, I'm glad she took those pictures. Sent them to us. Helped us get a little more mileage out of a visit that we wished could have been longer.

Little Man tossing leaves into the air. Colors of fall all around.

S.B.'s sweet smile. The three of us standing near scarecrows in my childhood front yard.

My Dad and my Mom. The land I started out on. Just a little kid. Running through the fields. Traipsing through the woods. Climbing trees. Wanting that time of being outside, lungs full of clean air, being in the country and quiet, to never end.

But it has. I'm all grown up. Living in the city. Not doing enough to make sure we can get back there. Be safe. Happy. Secure. And it is killing me. All of this trying and not succeeding. All of this waking and hoping, working and writing, with nothing to show for any of it.

It is always just me. A writer past his prime. Plugging away at keys. Still determined to bring a better life to my family by way of words. But never getting close enough. Never being good enough. But never being weakened so that he stops.

Instead, I just keep going. Like a dog. Chasing squirrels. One that does not know how or when to stop. Because I have love. Always on the rise. Pushing me. And I'm amazed at how much joy this world can bring.

In pictures. Without words.

Little Man playing in leaves. Colors all around.

S.B.'s sweet smile.

Our little family.

So needed today. Especially on a morning like this. Another one thick with dying leaves. The creeping cold. And the promise of more gray.

~ K.J.

(copyright © 2008 by K.J. Stevens)

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