at the lakehouse

one of the most remarkable changes i saw this summer was during my visit to the lake. my best friend from childhood had a bunch of us out to her parents’ lakehouse near gun barrel city, texas.

it had been exactly 4 years since i’d been there. at that time it had been less than 6 months since her mother passed away from cancer. the house hadn’t been updated since her parents built it in 1971. the dock was in disrepair. the boat was not functioning. there were heavy drapes, vertical blinds, and banana yellow carpeting.

her father remarried. his new wife took charge of the updating. inside the house felt fresh and vibrant. hardwood flooring replaced the carpeting everywhere but the living room floor, still undecided and bare concrete. i recommended sealing the concrete. the heavy drapes and vertical blinds are gone. the dark wood painted white. a new dock was built. waverunners and a new boat were added. a fire pit. a huge storage shed that is completely organized. it was reminiscent of a brady bunch reunion. where everything is sort of the same but entirely different.

not sure why i didn’t take any pictures of any of these changes.

IMG_2126

my friend’s dad built these awesome bench swings. this one used to be in the yard, now it’s on the upper level of the dock. it says waistin’ time.

IMG_2216

it was so lovely spending time floating around off the dock. because of the drought, the lake was 6 feet lower than normal.

IMG_2217

this is the hootin holler. a must stop when visiting gun barrel city.

IMG_2229

fireworks from the fire pit.

IMG_2246

this area was completely overgrown with ivy last time i visited.

IMG_2255

remnants of fireworks the next morning.

IMG_2278

lakes are so peaceful in the morning.

IMG_2280

i had never seen the pool table before because it was always covered and always had things on top of it. apparently it’s in need of repair, but since it’s an antique the repairmen didn’t want to take the chance of  damaging it. my friend’s father said he’d be dead when it’s taken out of the house. i’m glad he put his foot down.

the worst part is the person next door who owned 3 lots died. the lots got split. 2 mcmansions were built and a tiny slice with trees is left between their house and the mcmansions. if someone builds on the lot it will ruin everything.

change is the most fascinating of all phenomena

did a late summer cleaning.

always start with the surface. sweeping all the dust out from under my bed reminds me how dirty the air is living so close to the BQE. although, all 7 apartments where i’ve lived in NYC have gotten really dirty really quickly. the air here is dirty.

i came across an “autobiography” that i wrote in my Life Stories class senior year at Elon. my immediate reaction was, not much has changed. how could that be? so much has changed. my voice has definitely changed drastically for starters. my friends have changed, my circle has changed. in some ways nothing has changed at all. how can that be?

the most gradual change rests in the deepest depths. the karmic lessons. maybe that’s why the only lasting change must come from within. in some ways i feel like i’m still inside of the cocoon. no matter how deep i go, there’s always another layer to peel. i feel love, joy, and gratitude for the friends who have been/are present on the journey.

from a writing prompt, what i want:

what i want…i want to be happy.

i want a job i love.

i want enthusiasm and energy.

i want to never lose my mind.

i want a perfect boy.

i want to give,

to contribute,

somehow make a difference.

i want my dreams to never end.

i want to be tan

and i want to be healthy.

i want to conquer.

i want to read more books.

i want my parents to be happy.

i want to think about others.

i want to live in Spain.

i want to travel.

i want to go to South America.

i want the earth to be clean.

the craziness to end,

the suburbs to explode.

i want to make art,

and i want to make money.

i want to learn how to blow glass.

i want to use public transportation.

i want the days to be warm and sunny.

i want to see frogs fall from the sky.

i want to eat good food.

i want to not lose touch with my friends.

reality.

maybe someday kids,

a dog,

and a cat.

i want to play.

i want to feel,

want to be,

want to want.

i want to be successful,

good things for other people.

i want to see the leaves change in the fall.

i want to swim in the Mediterranean.

i want a Picasso original.

i want to meet someone i love.

i want to run through a field

of wildflowers

and tumble down

a grassy knoll.

i want others to have good thoughts of me.

i want to look at the stars

through a telescope.

may 2001.

full circle

last week when we were at the wtc memorial, my father mentioned that someone from the church where we belonged in new jersey was a survivor.  he couldn’t remember his name.  he said my mother would know.  since we left new jersey when i was 5, i didn’t think much about it.  i was certain i didn’t know him.  over the past week i’ve spent some time watching videos on youtube with survivors telling their stories.  i’d pretty much avoided most of it over the last 10 years, but since visiting the memorial it seemed to be calling me.

i’ve found the stories of survival and healing to be inspiring and rich.  it also helps me to understand human emotions and behavior.  it reminds me that all people deserve compassion all the time.  you never know what someone has experienced.  the videos i watched presented stories of compassion and love, resilience, will, struggle, triumph, loss, anguish, pain, confusion, horror, fear, bravery, anger, relief…this one moment in time had it all.

last night i came across this one, told by brian clark.  i clicked on it because he was speaking in mesquite, texas, a suburb not far from where i grew up.  i thought, mesquite?  really?  anyway, he rescued stanley praimnath and they became fast friends, brothers.  he tells a profoundly beautiful story of his experience and what he learned from it.  i started sharing part of his story with my mom today and she said, “brian clark?  he went to the reformed church in wyckoff.  he was in our young couples group…”  i found it amusing that it all came full circle.

ordinary magic

recently, i’ve been giving more of my attention to my dreams, waking and sleeping.  a couple of weeks ago on my way home late at night, i was deep in thought.  thinking of how disappointed i was that a relationship that seemingly had so much potential didn’t work out,  i felt betrayed that this person i trusted completely disappeared from my life.  it  made me question what i was doing with him in the first place.  my thoughts were interrupted.  from across the street a dog was running straight towards me barking viciously.

i had spent time over the last couple weeks working through exercises to let go of the anger, sadness, and hurt i felt.  i worked on breathing deeply, meditating, and writing.  i went to a dance class, immersed myself in books.

all of those things i did were helpful, but it wasn’t until after i screamed “NO!” with every fiber of my being twice at this scary dog that i really felt a release.  the dog backed off and ran back across the street.  i was relieved, not just because i wasn’t attacked, but because i realized that i needed to scream.  i didn’t only feel relieved, i felt empowered.  i felt closer to being myself again.

that night while sleeping, there were bulldogs in my dream.  friendly dogs, we were just hanging out.  in the morning i looked to see what bulldogs symbolize.  “…that some protective force is helping you move forward in life.”  it was reassuring.  most of the time i am aware of the connectivity of the universe at large, but i think i needed a reminder.  i needed to reconnect.

the same source says about viciously barking dogs:  “…conflict within yourself,  may also indicate betrayal and untrustworthiness.”

paying attention to the ordinary, everyday magic of the universe makes me feel whole.  it’s a special treat.  this is what life is, a dream, a gift.  the magic is all around us all the time.

it used to be

it used to be

when i thought of you

i smiled,

BIG.

 

words i used to describe you:

fun,

brilliant,

patient,

thoughtful,

insightful,

kind,

witty,

comfortable.

 

just the right fit,

[you were]

like a favorite pair of jeans.

 

now everything has changed.

 

when i think of you,

no smile at all.

 

words i use to describe you:

closed,

cold,

idealistic and narcissistic to a fault.

 

 

afraid of being vulnerable–

afraid of life, three parts dead.

[you are]

a pair of jeans

with holes in all the wrong places,

not worth patching.