Friday, September 13, 2013

Story: Chapter One

Chapter One


There once was an orphanage, set back in the hills that rolled along the base of the Cascading Mountains. Distant and far off the beaten track, there were tales of travelers who had never made it that far. Oh, they were always heard from again, it wasn’t that. But they would have a quizzical look when the journey was mentioned, and were seen to roll an eye when the destination was brought up.

Now the orphanage was not the type one imagines. Not dull white with peeling paint and grubby children hanging out of windows, nor even uniformed, clean rows of unsmiling urchins on concrete steps. Not hardly. The orphanage at the foot of the mountains was a glorious affair, castle-like, with parapets and gleaming marble floors, pillars carved with golden birds, a silver basin filled with sweet, clean water in every well-appointed room. And children, of course, everywhere! All ages, with all the colors of hair and eyes and skin children are known to come in.

Unlike their fine surroundings, though, there was not the air of aristocracy or idleness about the place. No lounging in chaises with fans and barely concealed yawns, no wiling away of senseless hours. Rather, travelers coming closer noticed the trimming of hedges, picking of fruit, painting, repairing, stacking, filling. The drawing of water, swing of a hammer. The sounds of singing come over the air between the large trees all around, and in their shade rest the young ones, being held or bandaged or whispered to by smiling older children. A sense of peace envelopes, so no matter the ordeal or the length of the journey, the traveler always soaks in the beauty while making their way to the open door. The grand front entrance stood ajar always by day, and the smells of old oak and the patina of years greeted any hands that traced its smooth carving.

Deep inside, past carpeted halls, gleaming chandeliers, vaulted ceilings and stacks of volumes in the library, fine furniture and desks, the din of murmuring voices could be heard. Around a marble table in the center room, the planning room, sat ten or so adults and older children in various poses. A stack of paper had fallen to one side, and the voices were raised. Finally, a gentleman of some twenty-eight or nine years stood and rapped on the table, hard, but when this garnered not a glance, reached into a nearby wardrobe. He pulled out a small bell, that when struck, made a sound much louder and more musical than an observer would expect. In the reluctant silence that ensued, he stated clearly, “We will get no further in this way. We must proceed in a manner that respects the lord of the house. Each one will prepare a recommendation and will be given an audience. We will adjourn for today.”

Chapter 2

Friday, September 6, 2013

Life I Love You, All is Groovy

Simon and Garfunkel live is wafting beautifully through my speakers and the poignancy is a physical ache, of memory, and my eyes keep senselessly watering. I wipe tears away and more come down.
I finally bought the album on iTunes as I haven't been able to find mine for years. By years...I mean I started listening to the tape when I was 14 in my blue bedroom downstairs, and bought the cd sometime in my early 20's.
So I think it's the lost years coming up at me out of the mist that are causing emotion.

Shadowy former self, smiling and remembering me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.
*        *        * 

 My summer break from blogging was not intentional; simply enforced by no time, especially time alone. If you can write while someone is saying, "Mom. Mom. Mom.....MOM!!" every two minutes, more power to ya. Bless their sweet young souls.

In short, my year "off" from teaching has led into another year of not teaching, well, school anyway. The year had good places and rough places, and mostly I realized just how terribly tired and sick to death of everything I was. And that it takes a long time to get over that -- and you can't regulate it.
So this year I am gearing up to teach piano and voice lessons, which I have sure had a lot of myself, and have taught before, and though it's a lot of work, I am the boss of myself.

Today is Friday, after a long weekend of trying to go camping with varying levels of success...or no success if you count that both kids were sick, Dylan had to work one of the days, we had one evening together as a family, the batteries would not work so we were cold and in the dark, and I had to leave early with one of the kids and spend 3 straight hours in Hinton Emergency with no chair in the room. THAT SAID, it was a wonderful time, peaceful, with mountains all around and the smell of the camping trailer (which I adore). Also I was giddy with the sense that no one could find me there. HA hahaahahahaha!! That is the BEST feeling ever, for me. I was seriously giggling uncontrollably for awhile the first night, so happy to be free.

Everything worked out, kids are getting better, the first school week drawing to a close. Yesterday I had so much to do I was working from 7 am to 11:30 pm and dropped exhausted into bed. And five minutes later I was out on the couch playing Plants vs Zombies, because that game is addictive and should be banned in all states and provinces. :-/

This year will be much busier, as I have at least 20 students coming to my home or me driving to theirs. That will be good, because I need structure or I'll be wandering in a music, writing and reading haze without a clue, speaking to trees and butterflies and catching snowflakes on my tongue for long unknown stretches of time.

*          *          *
When I listen to Simon and Garfunkel the world sometimes seems too full, and life too long. The faces of people I've known and memories spin away and I'm left wondering why, why do we feel so much and lose so much? Why are longing and loneliness constant companions............
Sail on, silver girl, sail on by,
 your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way.
 See how they shine!
 Ohh if you need a friend, I'm sailing right behind.
 Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind. 
When I listen to Simon and Garfunkel, the world sometimes seems so small, and life too short. The people I love and the memories of their kindness leave me wondering and breathless with the sweetness of the lives we share. And poetry and music are friends that draw colors on all the world.