Tradition

Between routine and randomness there is tradition. Tradition is what pulls the scattered pieces of our lives together and provides us with a sense of belonging and togetherness. We find ourselves in the simple moments that we share with those we love. It’s in the aroma of mom’s pot roast dinners on a cold wintery night, it’s in grandpa’s instructions on the right way of tying a fly, it’s watching the kids on summer days playing at the same beach I once played at as a kid. It’s in the stories the old ones tell about what it was like in the olden days. It’s baked into grandma’s secret peach pie recipe. It’s in keeping memories alive while pairing yesterday with today for the young ones——these are the things that we hand down—-it’s in the reverence of those who’ve passed on and the gift of those tomorrows yet to come.

We’re lured back to the sea, to the beginnings, where it all started. Standing at the edge of this vast American continent, thousands  of lonely miles traveled beyond the stifling east coast, across Great Plains, over the mighty Rockies, beyond the Great Divide, down the Mississippi River, across the Grand Canyon, riding the Colombia River, leading us here——It’s here, the end of everything and the beginning of all new things——what a beautiful journey this life has been.

Salty air on the tip of my tongue, the smell of Eucalyptus trees, the fog rolls in, recedes, then once again comes and goes. Time is a circle, love a straight line fading into infinity. The Pacific Ocean crashes foamy waves in front of me, leaving seaweed, driftwood and seashells scattered at the high tide mark. Like people and the remnants they leave behind. This sea is the womb of mother nature, the place where life was unexpectantly given birth. If eternity had a scent it would be found in the pungent smell of the ocean . We carry the rhythm of her waves in our pulse. 

My family has been coming to this seaside village for generations. I would love to stay here forever, but traditions aren’t meant to be kept, they are intended to be passed on to those still unfolding and finding their own way. It’s at these yearly seaside get-togethers that the young ones learn from where they’re come and what they’re a part of. I’ve been looking for god, but I’ve discovered she has always been here in my friends and family. 

We take our early morning walks out on the old wooden wharf. Somewhere on the planks below, Harbor Seals bark as seagulls circle and fight over scraps . The fog brings us in closer to one another. We have our favorite restaurant with its buttered sourdough bread that’s dipped in a bowl of steaming clam chowder. We scour the nick-knack shops for the perfect keep-sakes. At night we go to the boardwalk with its Big Dipper roller coaster. The young ones raise their arms high in the air as their car careens down the steep winding track. Everything is a blur of bright lights, screams, clammer and electrifying commotion. The old ones go into the confection shop where taffy can be seen stretching like a long string of rubber. Behind the glass a woman is creating gooey homemade chocolate clusters. If one is lucky or skilled enough to knock down lead milk bottles with a baseball, for a moment you can be someones hero—-for five dollars that’s a bargain. We are all kids here once again. Even the oldest and the youngest can ride the Carousel. The Calliope blares out old time songs as we stretch out from our pumping horses to grab the brass rings that we toss at the Clown’s mouth. It’s all bright lights, dizzying motion, loud laughter and the smell of caramel corn—— all incased in the dampness of the ocean’s night air.

We’re always coming back to where we’ve always been, simply sharing time together——-and such is tradition. 

Ghost ships

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Soundtrack “Fire”.  Go to “View Original” and then press play before reading.

Trapped inside ourselves, this is it, the unsolved puzzle we must learn to live with, to struggle with and sometimes against, faith is encrypted with voodoo, the supernatural and magic are difficult to untwine, truth is temporary and dissolving, love like Atlantis lies hidden beneath myth and fantasy. Every love story is a ghost ship——a weary captain keeps night watch—–lost on rolling seas—-why do these tattered sails push us ever closer to the edge——towards oblivion.  No matter how hard you may try, some worlds will always be flat.

All of that which is true, is what works for a moment, be it love, science or salvation. Allow love to find you——be in love with something or someone before you cease, before all that you are sails off the edge. That’s all I know, cause upon second glance everyone loses their battle with gravity.

So this is middle age, unexpected, unpredictable, with all those promised existential unanswered questions. With age has come the harsh realization that I will never fully know another, at least not in the way youth had once opened up friends and lovers to me. Does age make us cautious, suspicious——to many broken bones, careless wounds and loves left undone—-if she should read this, she’d hurt what I felt. She interpreted my words better than I, although the poetry came through me, it was born of her, such a mysterious muse, mi amore.

God plays tricks on us all, allowing the fictions of falling through time and occupying space, as we grapple with this thing called life. Come walk with me, and let us pretend our love goes on forever and ever——-beyond the map, and then together we’ll pass through to the other-side of oblivion*****

God, Sex and Love

https://victoruriz.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/05-hero1.m4arain-on-windshield-rholinelle-detorres

I’m sitting here alone in my room after dark, with only one standing lamp giving off a sunday evening glow.  If you were here and the night became still, I’d have you tell me stories about your childhood.  Your soft warm voice would put my worrisome mind at ease.  I want to know you better, and to have you trust me like old friends do.  Its so strange, I feel as if I’ve always known you, perhaps it was in a different time or place—or maybe a thousand lifetimes ago, your face is so familiar, like those in my dusty old photo-album that stare out at me from yellowed snapshots, leaving me with that sad aching feeling deep inside my chest, a mourning for days lost and moments that have placidly slipped by, unnoticed except for my thread-worn memories and aging keepsakes.  At times the past feels as if it just occurred yesterday and then at other times, it feels like all these random events belong to another person from a different lifetime, do you know what I mean?——Maybe we once wandered down dark rainy streets of some unremarkable small town in the midwest, surrounded by an ocean of corn fields—ducking into smokey old taverns with the jukebox playing the likes of Merle Haggard, pool-balls cracking and the local yahoos giving us that familiar glare that says, “What the fuck are you two outcasts doing in here?”—-do you think this is possible?  I do—but I’m a poet and a dreamer and such dubious notions occur to me all the time——-maybe you don’t know what I am trying to say and perhaps you never will—-but for now, we can share our stories and see where they leads us.

I imagine you cooking us supper, preparing it with those immaculate small hands of yours; hands connected to your arms and then to your body and finally to a heart beating deep inside of you.  And I can see you smiling as you go about adding this and that to your unwritten recipe. Evening closes in and the kitchen is filled with that comforting aroma of seasoned dishes simmering on the stove, it smells like home.  It’s no big deal to you, but as for me, I’m enjoying the tenderness that comes with being fussed over.  I don’t know how you do these things, mixing all those mysterious spices and ingredients together, but I believe that sharing food is an act of love—

I watch you move thru space with an effortless grace; with athleticism and agility—oppressive gravity is envious of your dancers finesse. Unlike me, I trip over my own untied shoelaces. I dance like I cook—horribly.  I lumber, I lurch, and then stumble——as I trample across the crumbling ground of my faltering days.  My refuge has always been found in the eloquence of words, even on those darkest of nights when sleep eludes me, I am able to blend them silently together inside my frenzied head like watercolors that beautifully bleed and melt into one another.  The sharing of words is also an act of love. It’s really all I’ve ever had to offer anyone.

I remember on a whim you and I headed up north on highway 1.   The road traced along the rocky coastline, and everything was as it should be, with you sitting in the passenger seat smiling as the radio played the song Hero. Across bridges and up hill and dale we carried on as the rain fell on our windshield making the world appear blurry and dreamlike.  Back then, we had no plans or outside distractions, we were sorting out this thing called life in real-time—-no past, no future, just you and I naïvely melding into one—and so it went—so on and so forth….forever and a day….and for the time being, that was good enough.

We holed up in a dumpy sea weathered motel and drank cheap wine, ate cheese with sour dough-bread and made love. Outside the world was dreary and gray with a damp fog blowing in off the sea.  We had nothing to do or nowhere to go, so we drank more wine and shared our secrets of God, sex and love.  We took walks on the windy beach until we were soaked and tired and then we went back to our musty old hotel room to talk.  I lit a candle and we stared at our shadows on the wall as the flame flickered, we shared our thoughts in hushed voices, quietly falling in love, with the divine surprise of stone being sculpted into art.

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