Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Swansongs and Renaissance Boys

I've started it a hundred times probably.  "It is with great regret..." or "In the interest of my personal sanity I feel I must close..." or "Sometimes, it seems, all the stories have been told..." or even "It has come to my attention that I actually suck at this and to escape further embarrassment..." and "Swansongs are easy, comedy is hard..."

I planned on citing busyness and time, my lack of business acumen and digital savvy, the limits and questionable permanence of this medium as reasons to not continue.  I worked up some great justifications - based solely on fear, it occurs to me - about risk and protecting the boys from the big mean world.  A fear of actual success falls in here somewhere as a reason to not go on.

I put a lot of emotional and intellectual effort in this little corner of the universe, and that can be, actually, physically taxing.  I am worn out.  I feel as though a great party is coming to an end, an epic party, but, alas, all my old and new friends must leave, called away to their place; I feel the music slowly fading out, although it was so loud; the booze, though it was strong and free-pouring, has finally run out; I feel the early throes of dawn and I sense I must move on.

I've said to myself that I have learned the lessons I needed to learn here.  I've learned to watch and savor what the boys do.  I learned to watch them, their faces, their hearts, their souls, as they consider this life which they must learn to live.  I've learned to see things differently, I really have.  I've learned to think about love more deeply or, more accurately, I have come to understand the bottomless depth of love and the soaring heights of hope.  All because of two little boys and the call I had to tell you about them.

I entered into this month with a sense of wildness.  I felt the winds of change, and feared them.  Wildness scares me - my own, that is - and I was afraid of what I might find myself doing.  At the beginning of the month, I had decided that I must be done here.  There were a few things I needed to get done, some final stories to leave you with, a laugh or two, and, a heartfelt goodbye and an even deeper thank-you.  It seemed so wild and freeing to let this go out into the winds of time and hope for its best.

 But, you know what?

I am really not too busy, in fact my life meanders pretty slowly and freely; I've got the time.

I've never been afraid of effort, taxing or otherwise and, as Robert Earle Keen says, "The road goes on forever and the party never ends."

Only a fool would think he's has learned all a boy could teach him and I do not suffer fools.

There are always more stories to tell, and the wilderness is a helluva a good place to tell them from.

It's funny, one evening, one event, really coalesced my thoughts and focused in me a new resolve, a renewed vision, a different destiny.  Do you mind if I tell you about it?

(It's funny, after all this time, all these posts, all these words: I still can't figure how to start a story. Jeeze, I do still have a lot to learn.)

After dinner one night Zack wanted to show Marci how to make the paper owls they learned to make in school that week.  He began and, of course, Nick got started on one as well.  It, well, snowballed.

They were so proud to show their new found knowledge of owls.  Dioramas were necessary, obviously, to showcase their owls and serious crafting skills:

Somewhere in all this, in one moment, as we - Marci and I - were savoring the uncanny absurdity of it all I realized I must go on here.  For one thing, what other forum would I capture these moments in?  A scrapbook - mine are forgotten in a chest, lost to the deterioration of time.  Photo albums?  Again forgotten?  My own memories?  Inaccurate at best.  So, although so very flawed, this space on the Internet is where I choose to leave these love notes and pictures and, in all honesty, a big piece of my heart.

The final owl presentations were recorded, here they are:

Sometimes I like to think about all the different things the boys like to do - the crafting, the cutting, the coloring and pasting; the sporty things, the ball throwing, the made-up-backyard-games, bike-riding, stone throwing, hiking; the singing and recorder-playing the music appreciation the love of beauty, all that and so much more.  They notice a beautiful sunset, watch the setting moon, look at a cat or a dog with deep adoration.  They laugh so wholly and cry so fully.  They shape hope into dreams, they battle foes with sticks and imagination.  They play computer and video games and when told to stop pick up a book or a pencil and take their minds to another place.

They are Renaissance Boys... and I am so very proud of them.

Why would I ever stop showing them that?

I heard Nick say this as I passed their bedroom door, I don't know the context and... I don't care:

"...and we could hang them like kites from the ceiling and everyone would know they were dreams..."

I hope someday I can say something as beautiful as that...

As always, thanks for coming by.  I am going to continue on here at IHIWAT and, honestly, that surprises me.  My life always seems to surprise me and, well, that's pretty cool.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nananananananana, Thatman

I don't really want to be "that guy," you know, the one always showing off and bragging about his kids.  The guy that talks only about his kids, as in when asked 'what's up' he starts telling you about his kids.  I don't want to be the guy so focused on his sons that he forgets that he can still be himself, and not just someones dad.  I don't want to be that guy that shows funny pictures and tells you heartfelt stories, teary-eyed and earnestly, forgetting along the way, that he had once dreams and aspirations of his own.  I don't want to be that guy that lives through his kids...

I choose to be "that man" instead.

I honestly gave some thought to this, for once.  I took a look back through a lot of the nearly two-hundred-and-eighty posts I have laid down here and, overall, I don't think it sounds too braggy, does it?

I mean it's not really bragging if I show you something, like, say... the giant-ass LEGO scene they conjured and cobbled together with pieces from dozens of different sets.  It wouldn't be bragging because I would tell you that the boys spent hours on it inspired by the LEGO magazine they get.  I'd tell you that they wanted me to take a picture of it to send in to get published in that esteemed periodical.  I might go on and on about the nature of heartbreak, how I knew that it would most likely not be used - for one thing Zack looks demonic in it and Nick is, well, upside-down - but it's fun to try and such and all.  I then might point out that all I really want to do is have a picture of it here so they can remember the excitement in sending something in, remember filling out the forms and using cursive to sign their little release forms.  I'd tell how cute and earnest they were choosing the name "Jungle Palace" for it, how hopeful and optimistic.  It wouldn't be bragging then, right?

It is pretty cool...

It wouldn't be show-offy to show, say, a couple of interesting crayon drawings that I think are ushering in a new era of a more symbolic style art, a tentative, exploratory foray in to personal iconography and metaphoric thinking.  It wouldn't sound like too much of a boast if I wrapped some fancy words around it and tied it up with thoughts about hopes and dreams.

Nick did "Dragon-Fly At Noon"and Z did the, well, other one...

It wouldn't be bragging to show a paper dragon that Zack made because I could introduce it with the notion of invention and necessity and how, improvisationally, he came to invent the leaf-spring on which his majestic dragon hovers as if in midair, so convincingly brilliant.  But, it wouldn't be bragging because I wouldn't have to tell you the genius of what he did because it is so obvious. 

I'd just be being silly if I added this image and told a little story like...

I asked Nick what he was making after he'd been working on this orange construction paper and string creation for over an hour and he said:  "I do not know, I think it might be a Christmas ornament."  I could hide my boastfulness in a chuckle, and, perhaps, I'd add something about  mindfulness, being in the moment and the profound art of unitasking, which he is so very good at.

If I were to over-analyze an image, dissect it a bit, poke a little fun at it, find wonder in it; if, say, it were a quick sketch of what appears to be a rocket girl a snow suited girl a snowman, uh, girl a Rockette a figure, it wouldn't seem like I was bragging on it.  Would it?  I could ask myself why it seems feminine to me and why, for what strange reason, is she, well, sorta hot?  I could vamp a bit about Earth Mother imagery and, feminine mystique, and happiness and no one would think I just think it's a really great image and I wanted you to see it...

It wouldn't be showing off Zack's mad math skills if I showed you a difficult equation that he figured out because, I'd just say self-deprecating things about how I'd never be able to do it the way he did it and how he is being taught a far deeper and more accessible style math than I ever was.  I could laugh off my jealousy and make you wonder how much you truly understand math.

Seriously, could you do it that way...  now, see, that sounds braggy.

I could show this cool "storey bord in comic form" that Nick came up with.

We could have a laugh or two at his poor spelling:  "creashion" for creation, "asosheashion" for association.  I could chuckle at what is not his first adobe church with three crosses, and his curious habit of writing upwards when he works in graphic novel form.  None of that would be too boasty, just fun.

But, on this one panel, if I were to show it to you - yeah, I'd be bragging, because I am proud and stand in awe at the beauty and love and understanding and creativity and empathy that is in the heart of all children:

Well, so, is what I am doing here a sort of bragging?  Yeah, I guess it is, but, I am trying beyond measure to justify it and make it seem like I am not.

I still don't know what's going on in Marci's backseat so, here's a visual something you don't expect...

What makes it so odd is that is clearly a tsunami wave not a "blizzerd" and, I feel confidant, Nick might have been able to spell tsunami correctly, I mean, it already seems misspelled ...

Thanks for popping in today, I hope I didn't seem too smug.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

What's Missing?

When I was a college kid some of my buddies and I went to one of the guy's family hunting cabin in the backest, darkest woods of West Virginia for Spring break.  I guess it was well before anyone thought to spend thousands of their parents dollars to go to Florida or Mexico, I'm sure some folks did, but, not my crowd.

Honestly, I can't say how many of us went, I want to say six, but it might of been more.  (You know, it's funny, I think all but one of those guys has read my blog at least once here on the good old innerwebs.)  It had been a long trip (winky guy) getting there and we'd been nearly lost and the van we'd procured was a wild ride to say the least.

Our relief and joy at finally getting to the old cabin was palpable.  In a frenzy of activity, we unloaded the van and picked bunks and opened windows and gathered wood and, well, put a lot of beer in mesh bags into the nearby creek to get it cold... a lot of beer.  We were laughing and carrying on and hootin' and hollerin', guitars were being plucked, other cabins explored, I think we made sandwiches and, eventually we seemed settled in.

The dark that only deep country woods can offer came on the camp, we made a fire in the grand old fireplace, settled in to the mish-mash of old chairs and rockers, and, in what I would guess was the first actual moment of silence since we arrived, someone asked, "who's missing?"  Another voice said it, too, and in the early throws of drunken silliness we all accounted for ourselves, assuring ourselves in humorous and clever ways that all were present.

But, for the whole weekend, none of us could shake the feeling that someone was missing.  It became a sort of joke, the kind of running joke you use to assuage a feeling of unease.  It was funny, but, late nights, after uncountabble trips to the creek, when the honesty of good friends and not-so-good beer unfiltered the conversation, each one of us admitted to be a bit shaken by the feeling.  We all felt that someone was missing, that we'd forgotten someone, and, oddly, we all felt bad about it.  A few of the guys thought we were probably just missing some of our other buddies who hadn't come along.  There was talk of ghosts and hauntings.  Some even had more philosophic and existential explanations, sophomoric at best, but, at least an attempt to understand the feeling was made.

I have forgotten more about that trip than I have remembered.  I'm not actually sure how many guys went, which ones were on that particular trip - there ended up being several - or any of the smaller details about the sleeping or eating or guitar-playing arrangements, but, I can recall that feeling of an unnamed thing displaced, that awareness of a spot reserved but empty, a missing piece.

It's four o'clock in the morning right now, I woke up in the quiet house to the wind blowing through the trees outside, shaken awake by a dream in which an old dear friend, a guy from that trip, was desperately trying to tell me something.  I can't get back to sleep so I'll tell you a story.

It is night, and the boys are settling down under their big, comfy red blankets and I am reading in my room across the hall.  The door silently opens, and a little boy/man stands in the doorway, blinking against the brightness of my reading lamp, a limp, beloved, somehow sickly looking bear hanging stoically in his tired hands.

"What's wrong, Zacky?"

"I dunno... I'm tired but I can't sleep."

I lift my blanket, the universal sign of offering a snuggle to a child.  He perks up a bit, shuffles over and spoons his bear as I spoon him.

"Is something bothering you," I ask again.


"What do you think it might be?"

He mumbles something a bit unintelligible, which he does when he has something to say, but, either doesn't want to say it, or doesn't know how to say.  I do the same thing.

I try to prompt him by telling him that it doesn't have to be perfect, if he could just tell me a word or two, then maybe we could work it out together.

Quiet and warm, he sort of breathes a sad sigh.  I wait, the bear sniffles, or was it the child?

"I just ... oh, I don't know.  It's just that..."

"Go on," I whisper.

"Well, sometimes, it just seems like...  no, it just feels like something's missing."

My heart cracks a little and I try not to cry because I feel that everyday, in truth, it could be my motto.

All I can't think to say is "I know, buddy, I know."  And we hug a little tighter, the bear sniffles again and I try to think of the right things to say - to him, to myself, to the quiet room, to God, but the warmth of a solitary tear is all I can seem to offer him.  He turns, looks me in the eye, and says:  "I know, Daddy, I know."

Somehow unburdened a bit, he hugs me one last time and shuffles off to bed, dragging his sniffly bear by the arm and he is gone.

But, that statement echoed through the corridors of my mind all last night, it careened through my dreams I think and is still echoing this morning, keeping me from sleep.

Sometimes, it does feel like something is missing.  Sometimes it is a missing friend, a loved one, maybe a lost pet or opportunity.  But, sometimes, well, sometimes you just don't know.

In my pocket I carry a St. Joseph medallion.  It is on an old, ugly-brown piece of yarn, once a necklace and was made at church school and offered to me from one of my sons.  There were two once, but the other is lost to the madness that is a closet full of odds and ends.

On my wrist I wear a braided bracelet, given me by the other boy, I don't know where he got it but, I like the way it hugs my wrist, and, when I see it I think of them, those boys, my heart.

I draw comfort from these and sometimes I think they are what I am missing... nope.

How can I tell an eight-year-old that that feeling might never go away?  It never has with me...

I don't know what Marci's been posting about the boys on FB lately, I haven't been on there except to post a link to here.  I have been trying to listen for some funny stuff on my own but I never seem to write them down.  Forgive me?

I did hear N say this, from behind the bathroom door as he sat on the pot:

"There is a light above my stove..."

I cannot even imagine a context in which that could make sense...

Thanks for stopping by.  I write in the basement immediately below the room the boys sleep in and I can begin to hear shufflings and coughs, I know a boy will be up and looking for me and, I want to be there so he doesn't feel like something's missing...

Monday, November 11, 2013

On Cursive (On Donner, On Blitzen ...)

It is inexplicable the pleasure Nick and Zack seem to get out of writing in cursive.  I couple of years ago, if asked, I would have probably suggested that it was an arcane and unnecessary skill.  I was wrong.  We all must learn to sign our names and to whisper affirmations to ourselves:

We all, at least once in our lives, must write...

... antidisestablishmentarianismists the words above.  In cursive!

And you never know when you might be asked to write a little something about yourself:

Nick is "a funloving and encouraging friend."  "Gosh" is a lucky kid to have him as a pal.  What more could one ask for in a friend?  Zack has a couple of cats and is eight, just the facts, thank you.

You know what?  They didn't spend a lot of time on learning cursive, they enjoyed it a great deal, gained a real sense of pride and ownership in something personal and, now they can sign their names.  Good stuff, I think.

Now, could we learn to type, right, and, perhaps, if it is not asking too much,  LEARN TO SPELL!!

Do you remember learning cursive?  I do, I remember it had to be perfect and we had to do it just so and we worked on it long and hard.  It was around the same time we were supposed to be learning our multiplication tables as well.  Yeah, I still don't know what six times seven is, or eight times six and most of the nines are a mystery to me.  But, I can sign my name, by golly, and, frankly, it's come up a lot more times.

Forty-three?  No forty-eight, right... crap.

Something funny I heard in the backyard and forgot to tell Marci ...

"Wait!  I have to dial in the wind diocity..."

Dammit, Jim.  I canna dial in the wind diocity - it's at nine to the eighth power now and that's, well, that's... a lot.

Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be going all rogue and wild this month, you remember, I should be "going where the wildness led me" and all.  It's funny, one of the things that has me concerned is finding suitable blog fodder around here that won't come back someday and harm them.  In other words, I don't want to seem mean.  Well, I keep finding stuff I want to show you... and, well, you, boys.

Thanks for coming around again, I won't forget your kindness.  See you next time.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Battle Cards and Something Else

Lately I have been speaking on wild things and stories, with a hints of spirituality and sacristy and somber overtones of sadness.  I think what I need is some fruity nuance... yes, some silliness. 

I really don't know what the boys call them, I say "battle cards" and they seem to know what I'm talking about.  There are/have been hundreds over the past few years.  I like them, the first several are Nick's, I am still looking for Zack's actually I don't know whose are whose here, I believe there has been some unauthorized backroom trading.

In absolutely no discernible order:

Vapor - attacks with "Dark Slash"

Silgard - seems to be cursing

Sunflower - dances happily

hip luck - has an electric tail

VENIS - not what it looks like

Crock - dude's got a 90-point "skrach"

Slash - "evolves from slish"

creeper - creepy

Ripper - sings Sinatra on the side

Pip - sings opera, mostly Wagner

Crind - a Dead-head I once knew

These are from a new, larger format, a full sheet of paper:

Jack Hogwarts Widdow - "buckaner"

The requisite math - always show your work

Silver ian Dragoon - a Samari Musketeer

Z's requisite math.

Blue Ninja - just because he's cute.

I would guess there was some sort of meaningful connection I could make between these images and story-telling or wildness, even sadness if you'd give me a minute or two.  I could go on about respecting creativity and fostering it and nurturing it like the tender shoots that ...

Nope, I just want you to see how silly it all can be, or, perhaps, how simple it all once was.

Oh, I almost forgot...

... and a lunch survey:

Enough meat, good.  Brown apples, not so good.

Something I heard a child say and it made me laugh:

"Did you know that Goldilocks lives in Iceland?"

No, I did not, but, that actually explains a lot...

Hey, thanks for stopping by, I mean that.  I have some more stories to tell, but, I guess I didn't know how to tell them today.  You know, a couple of weeks ago I would never have dreamed of adding as many images as I have today, but, right now... I don't seem to care.  I guess this is where the wildness led me.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

An Untold Story

The story may not always be happy or luminous or grace-laden, but, every story is a beautiful story. Some just want to be told, maybe for the first time, perhaps the last, not knowing that it is already a part of one bigger, unending story. One story looping, maddeningly around itself to where a piece seems isolated, nearly ready to fall away, but closer inspection reveals its place in the one story we are all telling.

The house next door will soon be for sale. An older couple lived there. They bought the house new in the fifties and lived in it until they both passed away in hospital last year in less than the span of a year. One year they moved in, one year they passed on, what of the years in between?

All that is now left are hints and clues. Hints. They were neighbors for more than ten years, one can come to know a neighbor in that amount of time... or not. He seemed crotchety and she seemed sad - angry sad.

Hints and clues... someone said they drank a lot; that he had been a vet (determining which type never came to mind); that their son had died, questionably, alone. Curiously, they had a pool, well maintained, oasis-like, surrounded by a patio. They seemed somehow haunted by happiness.

Yes, that's it, haunted by happiness. Because you can imagine the house full of happiness and hope. A young son, a beautiful, modern home, a pool, solidity. Church, school, athletics. It's good to imagine their holiday meals and family arguments. Is it good to imagine, or is is good to remember? As we imagine, we remember.  We remember our own childhood happiness, seeing it around us, dreamlike as though we were imagining it.  We  like to imagine an other's, as we remember our own now.

One sees a lot when one is looking. They story tells itself when you let it in.

The old man, who rarely ever went out, is talking to the landscaper who mows his yard. He is bent, the older man, down farther than he seemed just yesterday. The conversation is lost in the wind. The landscaper nods yes and the man seems to straighten a bit, stronger somehow, and reaches out a withered, shaking hand. That landscaper takes it and pats the old man's shoulder with his free hand and turns to his truck.

Only then does the old woman step out of the garage and into the late summer twilight. She is in a housecoat and holds a tired looking dust towel in her hands, wringing it imperceptibly. She steps a few feet into the driveway, the man, with a new confidence in his step, walks towards her and turns to stand next to her.

Their collective, almost intense gaze is set upon a basketball pole and backboard and hoop, weathered and broken and rusted. A chainsaw starts and you know. You know that that whole thing is coming down onto the asphalt court below, and, along with it all the hopes and dreams, love and energy a once-young-couple once had.

The chainsaw revs, the landscaper walks forward, looks to the man, seeming younger by the minute, nods and begins his cut. The wood is dry and the old grain gives way suddenly with a snap and the pole falls, a final bow, and shatters, splinters, rings, smashes. The woman brings the dishrag to her mouth. The old man watches intently, head high, proud somehow. The landscaper works quickly cutting the pole into a few sections, loads them on a trailer. He uses a coal shovel to get the most of it, then sweeps it clean with a push broom.

He says a last goodbye to the couple, and walks toward the truck, clearly determined but a sad shake of his head and a tug at his hat says something else. The old man, turns, confidently and walks in to the garage and out of sight. The woman is left, stooped and holding the towel so tenderly, and watches as the truck and trailer pull away. Just as the trailer's last wheels bump up onto the road, she takes a step toward it and raises her hands a little. It is gone and she puts the rag against her face and begins to sob.

Finally, she turns to go into the garage, and the story ends...

But it doesn't because she comes back quickly with a broom. She leans a dustbin against the stub of the pole and determinedly, hauntingly, sacredly, ritually, she begins to sweep the whole of the basketball court, edge to edge, crack after crack, hope to dream. And she imagines what was not, or is it that she remembered what is?

She finishes, and stands, quietly for a moment, alone as sure as she ever was. Then she walks to the garage, but she stops, suddenly, leaning the broom against the house she goes through the gate, walks straight to a blooming, healthy rose bush and takes a single pink bloom and walks inside.

Here's the thing... I have no right to tell that story, and yet, it was a story that was told to me, as I watched it unfold, filtered through my grimy, spider-webbed garage window, next door, a few years back.

There is more I can imagine, somehow hear, inside this story.  Perhaps, when the son had wanted the net a dad had labored hard and rightly on a birthday while the boy was at school to surprise him when he bicycled home and onto the expanded driveway.  Perhaps they did it together, hands on shovels, pouring the cement together, perhaps initialing the wet slurry.  I would hope that is why the man seemed so proud, because he had done it, he had loved a son, truly and wholly.

Perhaps the rag was a piece of a Led Zeppelin t-shirt she always used to dust the trophies on her sons shelf - his last outgrown shirt.  She had it in her hand as the man suggested the old pole come down.  Perhaps it still held some small piece of a boy who shot free-throws in the late summer sun.

I can imagine her going out, years ago, of an afternoon and sweeping the acorns and oak leaves off the court so he could practice.  Doing that as gift to him.

I wonder if, and, in the wondering understand it to be true, the landscaper had been the son's childhood friend.  His tip of the hat one to the memory of late night pool parties and endless hoops in the November wind.

And the old rose bush to which a single perfect rose clings as I write these words?  What if the proud father had planted it the day the boy was born, everyone had said it was to be a girl, and she had tended it some forty or more years now?

Or perhaps...

You may wonder why I include this here, what has this to do with my sons, my now, their then?  I could easily point to a lesson here, somewhere.  The simple truth is everything doesn't always work out.  But, that is a plain and irredemptive place to end.

I could speak on the importance of paying attention, listening, watching...

I could start again, deleting this, afraid it will seem too sorrowful.

Or, I could tell you the truth.

The story used to be mine.  It is yours now.  It is back where it belongs, back in the one true story which is ours.

Things you don't expect to hear down the hallway:

"...and no enchanting the ball!"

Damn rules...

Thank you for listening, there are a few more untold stories I need to return back to the main one.  Stop by again.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Solstice of Sorts

Imagine, if you will, a boy standing amidst a circle of towering stones, bigger than could ever be considered, yet stacked and carved and made into a sacred space. Today a spectacular thing will happen, the sun will rise up through an opening in the stones, shine down a long corridor walled with rock and the light will illuminate the altar of their ancestors.

A crowd is thrilled and the air is filled with questions:

“Will it happen again?”

“Will they be happy this year?”

“Have we done enough to get us through?”

That is what the boy senses most, will they make it through, for this is the winter solstice, the grain is all harvested, the hay is ready for the animals, the fruit is drying, the mead is made. Now, they must wait it out. The storms will come, the cold will hurt and the children, the boy included, will be afraid.

“It is all good,” his father reminds him. “We know that the days will get longer now and we are sure the spring and planting and the birds will all come back again. It is all good.”

For so many weeks now the boy has noticed the days shortening, not just seen it with his eyes, but, somehow he sensed it. A sense of fear, dread perhaps, sometimes seeps into his bones like the cold of night or the chill of death he is all too familiar with.

But today, although it is the longest night, tomorrow's will be shorter. Although the winds will be blowing and the rain will be frigid and the ground will be muddy and the animals will be uncomfortable and the work will be hard and their bellies will rumble, there is a hope in the collective soul of his people.

Taken from a different, perhaps deeper perspective, the boy knows that as the winter comes so will the stories of his ancestors, the stories of his people, the stories of great deeds and battles, struggles and triumphs. He will learn these stories, he will own them, he will become them.

Two boys are playing in the early Autumn evening sun.  A battle rages between them and an imagined enemy. They dance and spin and thrust with swords and lances and daggers which appear to be simple sticks but dreams have transformed them just as they have transformed the boys into warriors, heroes, men.

A banner is fabricated and raised high above a corner of the yard which is an “imaginary garden” which must be protected at all cost.  It is festooned - as should be all sacred places - with flowers and sticks, a fence is the canvas, nature is the palette. Their earnestness is deep and palpable, the effort as important as laughter or sadness, history or presence.

The play-set is a place of rest and recuperation. Safety. A place they know, a place they have never not known, a sanctuary. A place that is theirs.  A citadel.

Today is the last day to languish in the after-dinner sun. Tonight the clocks all fall backwards, the hours change, the cycle changes. Before bed a fire will blaze instead of the brilliant setting sun; the music will play instead of the laughter, heated threats and yells of imagined battle. Tomorrow, it will all be different.

A solstice of sorts.

It is where the wildness led them... and always has.

From Marci's "Things you   Wait, I can't check her FaceBook page...

I've been writing down some of my own, anticipating that:

"You can't bounce it up and down like a squishy heart..."

Or can you... ?

Thanks for stopping around here, even if things do seem a little, well, different.  Actually, I stand in amazement that you do.  Thanks.