Saturday, September 12, 2009

From Sandra Jo

I received the following email from my first wife several days ago. It refers to several poems on my other website, The Kiss 1961 and Other Poems of Passion and Love:

The nostalgia underlying If Only Life Were a Dream Sweetheart, touches the experience all humans have. It's a sweet piece that can speak to all times in our life when we consider choices made. Buddhist philosophy suggest we regard life as a dream . . .

Greetings, I attempted to post the comment above on your blog. I have no idea what happened to it.

I remember The Kiss . . . either the poem or the telling of the relationship.

I particularly like Trying To Forget. There are a few lines that touch the deep shared human experience that wants to be free of self imposed suffering.

I go to a friendly writing group who meet once a week to read our squiggles. No critiquing to speak of. More of a discursive view sharing along with some impressive offerings. I have attached my offering this week.

Best, Sandra

The Reluctant Traveler and Her Companion

Okay, I’m scared to step out into unknown territory. Aware of the increasing tendency of trepidation and the shortcomings of confining myself to my familiar paths in this life, I decided to drive to Colorado.

The decision was triple faceted. The retreat I signed up for was in the mountains. I would be living in a tent for two and a half weeks. Already, in my mind, there was no way I could possibly pass the new rules of air travel. Down comforters, sheets, pillow, toiletries, magnifying mirror, at least 50 lbs of books, not to mention clothes to save me from freezing at night and becoming prostrated by heat during the day. Oh, and shoes. Many shoes. Other facets were the flexibility of movement and to bolster up my flagging independence.

Friends were surprised I would even consider driving given what they know about me. No directional hard wiring. I once spent thirty minutes seeking the on-ramp to Boulder out of Denver. In the middle of this search, while meandering through a darkened neighborhood, from which I could see the Interstate, I stumbled onto a police car. With relief, I parked and approached. The two policeman were hunched over the steering wheel concentrating on a map. When I requested directions, the driver, threw his body over the steering wheel while saying , “Oh no, I hoped one of us knew where we were.” I had a moment of profound groundlessness. Then with a friendly smile he directed me to the Interstate entry, which I didn’t find.

In recent years I do what my family and friends do . . . take the opposite direction than what I think I should. It works.

So, in preparation for the Colorado trip, Jeanne brought me maps from triple A, Bob discussed my journey and I marked my maps. Robin gave me my companion. He came from Costco and cost $99.00.

Not being just any old Tom, Dick or Harry, Nigel, my companion, spoke with a distinctly British voice. Being an Anglophile, myself, I love the way he says, “. . . take the motaway”.
The day of departure held the promise of adventure along with a passenger seat that looked like a sale's table at Radio Shack – IPOD, CD player, recorder, cell phone, dual car power jack, batteries, cords and chargers. And, of course, Nigel.

The word GPS does not begin to do justice to the comfort I derived from my companion. I pulled off interstates with a care free mind, unknown before.

Nigel and I disagreed only once. I decided to take the route laid out on my map when returning to Washington. Fortunately, I knew how to shut him up. When I knew he would no longer object to my decision I turned him back on. After all, I missed him.

Nigel and I had a thoroughly enjoyable journey and look forward to many more. We may even visit Seattle . . . some day.

Sandra Harper writing from Bellingham, WA

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