Sunday, August 27, 2017

Courage Found and Rewarded

Those Eternally Linked Lives 26 August 27, 2017

Everything I do counts
in the long tabulation of the 
centuries. “Be of good cheer,”
sounds in my ears. Sun reigns.
–Those Eternally Linked Lives 14

I heal. Again. Courage found and
rewarded. I rise to my problems.
One at a time I’ll overcome
both my new and my old fears.
We have cooler days and nights.
I can work outside more often.
Sun is less of a threat. My son
calls to say he may be able to 
move here sooner rather than
later. I rejoice. I am confident
we can work out and through
the minor problems, if he finds
his way to returning home. I
Already have good help, but the
thought of his near presence
comforts me in a new way. He
has respect for my independence,
but he wants to help. I stayed
unbiased while he wrestled with
it, but finally said, “If you can
work it out, I’ll be glad.” The
mysterious partner inside me
is grateful. This counts, too, and
helps me finish my work on earth.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Some Things the Memory Won't Let Go Of

Those Eternally Linked Lives 25 August 20, 2017

Finally, a letter from Yuri–three
typed pages, but my Russian is
half-forgotten. I get out my big 
dictionary. When I wrote to him
in late June, I’d been reading my
diary pages from when I’d stayed
with him and Vera twenty-two years
ago. He congratulates me on my 
Jubilee–eighty years–most of them 
writing. How they nurtured me back 
then, and they’re still alive. We both 
lost Mikhail, whom he calls Misha, 
and sends me a note he wrote Misha 
a month before he died. They both 
longed for their childhood villages–
gone now but never forgotten. Yuri 
remembers the yellow flowers under 
the cottage’s window. Mikhail remembers
being put upon a horse and seeing a 
pink sky, then falling off the horse. 
A recurring theme everywhere I went: 
the lost village, the rodina, birth village, 
lost and never forgotten. A holy grail 
to those who remember. He kept taking
me to see the village houses. Once I 
stayed in one. He took me into the taiga,
the wild forest, where his village had 
been until lost because of the push for
communal farms, and then the war
when twenty-seven million died
in battle or in prison camps. Some
things the memory won’t let go of,
as long as we breathe. We still love
those who loved us, and to whom
we opened our souls. It’s called:

reaching the heart.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Things Change All the Time

Judy with reluctant hen, early spring 2010, during chicken workshop

Those Eternally Linked Lives 24 August 13, 2017

We forget: things change all the time.
People change their minds. Our
weather changes. Chickens like their
routines, but they change where they
roost, sometimes hide their nests.
On an old farm, despite neglect,
things grow. A Rose of Sharon leans
through the fence to say hello. Little
blue flowers appear on the Wandering 
Jew. Figs ripen and some spoil from
all the rain. After a slew of problems,
a respite: a gift I’d given up on,
forgotten. I got hurt, but I’ve been
healing. I spoke some hard truth,
and was invited to speak again. I’ll
have students in September. My soul
settled in for my older age. I have
to consider my heart, my balance, and
how easily I forget. The weeds feel
impossible, but I know how to summon
helping hands. Wag and I do our daily 
walk steadily. I work on manuscripts
I’m determined to publish; plant a few 
more beans, find enough figs to sell.
My life resumes its normal rhythms.
Rain replaces the heat wave. 

My soul is peaceful once again.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Outwitting Other People's Worries

Judy with new books at book party May 21, 2017. 
Photo by Johnsie Tipton.

Those Eternally Linked Lives 23 August 6, 2017

Banishing fear has 
become a habit. Every time I outwit other
people’s worries, I stand taller in my own
view. All it takes is courage, helping those
who let me, and taking in gratefully those
loving hands that give me a reason 
to stay alive. –Those Eternally Linked Lives 18

I do keep staying alive. I could have died 
on Monday. Instead I fell as I raced 
across the road to avoid a speeding car. 
She wasn’t looking, she said. She stopped,
pulled me off the road, called nine-one-one.
Other cars stopped, including a sheriff’s
deputy. Then the fire department and
two ambulances. I recognized the voices
of David and Jerry. Claudia came up. 
I asked her to put Wag behind the fence.
Later she came back to pray with me. 
The phone kept ringing even during the
prayer. I did hit my head. A scalp wound
bled. John Bonitz called. Was I okay?
He heard a car hit me. No, I fell, but
she could have. I’m okay. Sheila called 
to say she and Rhonda were coming 
over. Then John and Wayne Cross
stopped to check on me. Emails and
phone calls. Rhonda checked my scalp: 
“It will heal.” Jeff took me to pick up
my truck. Emma stopped by, having
heard the rumor. Sally wrote from Alabama.
Katie, from Asheville. Then Keely, Donna, 
and Terica brought me groceries. Maybe
I couldn’t get to a store? Fruit and other 
things I never buy on my simple diet, 
but I’m enjoying them. Angelina says, 
“You could use this in a novel. I keep
telling people the car didn’t hit you.” 
What did hit me was people’s care:
 I had to be all right. I am. Healing 
well; reminding my children I want 
to stay independent, follow my deep
wisdom. Falling’s no fun, but once
again I learned: people love me.