Life as an Extreme Sport

Wild Monsoon Waking

Sometimes, you hear lyrics but you hear them wrong… and end up liking your version better.

it’s the rain that i hear falling dropping down my face like tears
a wild monsoon waking
it’s marching at the window crossed crowded boulevards
my lonesome heart bleeds clear
the fog rolls thru my doorway slowly pulls around me near
the death tolls ring again
darling where did it go when was it over why

hear me waiting

a stranger so long becomes a ghost it’s what i fear the most
the pain that i see coming
the clouds roll thru; now my quiet vigil begins
it’s the storm approaching that i feel
darling where did it go when was it over why

hear me waiting

Tick-Tock Friar Jacques

I originally wrote this when I lived in Bellevue, by myself in the spring of 2001. It has undergone minor revision, but not much. Ryan and Jen borrowed that chair, then disappeared from my life, taking the chair with them. I miss the chair. I miss them.

She sits. The room is lit only by the faint courtyard light spilling in through the front window. As it falls into the room, the light passes through a small stained glass window, fracturing into a multitude of colours. This creates interesting patterns on the stairs, walls, and ceilings. Patterns for her to lose herself in.

She breathes raggedly, jagged and shaky breaths underscored by the tears coursing down her face. Some slide off her nose and cheeks, dropping silently onto the tan chair supporting her. Glancing down, she notices once again that the stuffing is pouring out of the side of the chair. Instead of thinking, as she typically does, that the chair should be reupholstered, she smiles. It’s the first one in a while, and feels a bit strained on her face. The chair, with its overflowing stuffing, seems like such a silly metaphor for herself.

Slowly she becomes aware of another sound. She holds her breath with a hiccup and waits, and hears it again. Identified, it’s the clock. Tick, tick, tock.

Tick, tick, tock.

She smiled again, a bit looser. A bit wistful. Her wrists fall to her side, hands loose and losing everything they hold; she begins to sing, lowly, “Friar Jacques… Friar Jacques…” Memory fails her, and she hums the melody when she forgets the words. In time to the ticking of the clock, she repeats the end of the song until she falls silent once more.

Ding, ding, dong.
Ding, ding, dong.


Don’t they, the eponymous anonymous, always say to write what you know? In that case, this might be the truest thing I’ve ever written. It very well might be the best.


It was the mood that changed. Not the light, although the sun was setting, and not the volume, thought the world was subdued as night fell. It was the mood.

She sat silently, hands folded primly on close-pressed knees. Around her the shadows melted together and the mood mellowed, from a frigid stillness to a whimsical melancholy, mellowing into a rich, full-bodied regret. The pale pink room had once suited her, but now she sat it in rarely. Tonight was an exception brought on by the soft red and blue of an international letter. It sat, unopened, to her right, on a table covered in doilies rescued from a cast-off sale after someone’s grandmother had died. The slightly frayed, off-white doilies reminded her of her own grandmother, and all the missed opportunities she embodied. It was fitting that the letter, fraught with its own missed opportunities, sat there. She was in no hurry.

Instead, she took in the room, slowly, as one does when one wants to absorb all of the moment. She noted the orange light of the sun, and how it scattered pretty rays through the dancing dust motes. She knew if she went outside she would see the grander version of this light breaking through the larger dust motes of clouds. “God-light,” she remembered with a cocked head and smile. She raised her hand to swirl it through the motes and light, and watched as the wind currents changed and encouraged the dust to different directions, where it had been and come from and gone again. There was a metaphor lost in those thoughts, and that thought brought another half-smile.

The silver caught in the light. It needed to be polished; it always needed to be polished. The ridges and valley’s in the metal made it difficult to keep clean. The stones still sat in their loose but-not-to setting, catching occasionally in bright light. Still, after all these years, she wore it, because what else was she going to do? Take it off and hide it in the back of a jewelry box, where she would see it every year as she cleaned out all the jewelry never worn? It would break her rule of less, the rule that said if it wasn’t used, worn or looked at it after a year’s time, it went. Sell it? There was no one who’d pay what it was worth, and few who’d understand how she could place so much value in such a cheap piece of metal and stones to begin with. No, wearing it was the only option for someone who refused to let go, give up or give in. At times the wearing caused regrets of its own, but they were fleeting and temporary and ultimately prevented things that would have caused more harm in the end.

“All the musings in the world won’t change the fact that it still needs cleaning,” she thought, considering getting up to clean it. But getting up would be avoiding the issue, and the ring wasn’t going to become any more dirty in the next hour or however long it took her to make her way towards that letter, and cleaning it could make things worse. The last time she cleaned the ring, she ended up in bed for three days, overcome with memory and grief.

Her hands settled back in her lap, folded in that precise manner over her knees. Several teachers, over several years, had tried to break her of that habit, but it was ingrained for reasons she didn’t quite understand. It wasn’t the normal way to fold ones hands, in a typical interlaced pattern, but instead the fingers touched the palm of the opposing hand and then grasped, giving her a very prim resting position.

She was not at rest now.

“Why now?” she wondered, yet still did not move to find out.

By now the God-light had faded, the room falling closer to dusk. The wind was picking up, and pushing the oak leaves back and forth in a gentle pattern outside the window. The moving shadows created animated patterns across the wall. They had often laid together here, piled on the couch in a manner that only comes comfortably to couples well accustomed to one another’s bodies, and daydreamed as the sun set and the leaves blew across the walls and ceilings. They’d listen to the wind, or soft music, and tell each other inspired stories. That leaf, the one over there, all alone and trying to get back home. The family of leaves there with the proud father and harried mother and brood of smaller leaves. The one here, floating gently away from all the rest, spinning out on its own. At fall, with the harvest of nuts and happy squirrels, their stories turned towards ones of the change of seasons. One of them would inevitably bring up the story of the grasshopper and the ant; it varied, depending on the year. Some years, she was the righteous ant, prepared for the upcoming months of cold, and other years, he was the ant so well-prepared and she was the flighty grasshopper.

In the end, she had been the grasshopper, caught unprepared by the cold and storm. And like the last bits of summer, he had blown far, far away, and she was in the dead of winter, wondering.

There is a point that comes in the deepest part of winter, when the days are short and the nights long and cold. The world is wrapped in gray wool, wet and wrung and quiet. People, plants and animals have all hunkered down in their various stages of hibernation; they’re all waiting for the same thing. At this deepest part of winter, the collective world shudders and exhales, and all wonder the same thing: will spring ever arrive?

She was afraid of the letter. She was afraid of its contents, of whether it would signal the end of her so long winter, or if it were an indication of more to come. She wasn’t sure she could bear any more cold; it occurred to her that it might be simpler to simply not ever read it, to keep the potential promise of spring in alive. But that would be avoiding the issue as much as cleaning the ring would be.

Her right hand rest gently on the letter and she imagined his hand there, resting after addressing it. How had he known she’d still be here? Had he checked, or simply guessed? Did he linger over her name, wondering if it was still the same? Did his fingers trace the outline with any sort of longing, or was it addressed in a hurry and dumped in the out-going mail before a mind could change? She traced her fingers as she imagined he might have, through the gentle whorls of the address, and told herself that rushed letters never formed such soft curves.

Slowly, she picked the letter up, still imagining what he might have done. She ran her lips along the sealed edge, wondering if his tongue had traced gently along that glue to moisten it. She tried to catch his scent in the paper, but if it had been there it was gone. Did he hold the letter to the light, like she did, looking through the envelope to catch meaning from the contents without opening it? Did he press it to his face before he mailed it, as she pressed it now, and hoped she knew a part of him was with it then? Did he think anything at all, or was there just another gust of cold waiting for the opening?

Picking up her letter opener, she decided it was time to find out. Slowly she ran the knife along the seam so probably kissed by his lips, until she stopped as she always did, nicking her finger enough to draw pain but not blood. “A bit of pain to prevent unreal moments,” she whispered as she drew the letter from its cage.

She paused another moment for composure, laying the opened envelope to the side. As the final moments of daylight slid from the sky, she opened the folded note and looked for signs of spring.

Semper Amemus

Oiy – more language I probably mangled.

Semper fidelis
Pari passu
Amor vincit omnia
Semper amemus

Semper fidelis En bien aimer
Pari passu Por tous jours
Amor vincit omnia Mon coeur est a vous
Semper amemus Je t’aime
Pari passu Je t’aime mon amour
Amor vincit omnia Joie sans fin

Semper amemus
Semper fidelis
Semper amemus
Semper fidelis

Joie sans fin
Mon couer est a vous mon amour

Semper amemus
Semper amemus
Semper amemus

Mon amour, joie sans fin
Je t’aime
Je t’aime
Je t’aime

Alto to Mezzo – Soprano

I’m not sure what to make of this, in retrospect. I have no real memory of it, so am not sure of the intent.

Gloria in excelsis Dei
Sed libera nos a malo

liquid fire flowing in my veins
burning with every thought of you
your touch – ice
water to quench my thirst
I burn for you

le feu liquide entrant dans mes veines
br˚lant avec chaque pensÈe de vous
votre contact – glacez
l’eau pour Èteindre ma soif que
je brËšle pour vous

caught halfway between a snarl and a sob

the pendelum must swing both ways,
indifference to obsession
before it finds its balance
how do I tell you I love you in a complete innocuous way

and I am beyond wishing for your touch
I am beyond wishing for the feel of your lips touching mine
I am beyond wishing for my own happy ending
I am beyond wishing for you