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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/02/2005 :  17:34:17  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Paisley sky full of butterflies. Tens of millions thistle-thirsty. The Painted Ladies leave Mexico on their long journey north twice in a decade. They fly at eye level 15 to 20 miles an hour. Their short life span of six weeks. Three as a caterpillar and chrysalsis. Three as a butterfly. Delicately beautiful. With two inch wingspans. Coral and rose-pink with lacy black edges. Double rings on the forewings like bubbles, like Anniversary champagne. We were paddling about 100 feet out. Dozens of them around us. Brushing our arms and our cheeks. The wax on our boards smells sweet. They kept touching down stalled in ecstasy. They have tiny faces and they taste with their legs. Here for a couple of months. There's a Nature Center on the Santa Ana River where on Butterfly Day, May 7th, you can stand inside a sunlit tent full of just-released butterflies and feed them watermelon from your hands. I imagine this is a strange and wonderful experience. Like perfect water, or...Astral music.

Edited by - Ailinn on 05/17/2013 08:30:28
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/05/2005 :  19:23:04  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
~A Fairy Tale not Andersen or Grimm~

They lived at the edge of the world where the land and the sea converged. Where the dawn's unanswered question caressed the alibi shore each morn. He was in charge of practical miracles. Naturally the birds that alighted upon their branches sang a sweeter song. And the louvered light that fell through the blinds struck their floor at exactly the right angle. The latitude and longitude necessary for gravity to hold them spinning in place. Their filled cupboards spilling yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Random surprises appeared when guests arrived in disguise. Fruits. Out of season. Warm, fresh-baked bread. Sweet butter. Glassy olives. Cana-like wine. Even the bees brought their best honey to their table. So when the Census taker came knocking and her eyes went wide, he put his finger to his lips for Caution. The silence that fell was centuries old. In that stilled hush he took the quick knife to their hearts again. The pact and the promise. The flash of surprise. The blue light in his eyes alive under burning Heaven.
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2005 :  19:45:04  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
A bladed place of bright light and spiny branches. Borrego Springs. The desert's gilded world before the sun sets. He sleeps inside a wooden dream. A little sunset at his shoulders. "...pages and pages," he says, "Nothin' wrong with dreamin..."
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2005 :  17:19:23  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
"Read the headlines!" he shouts in the street and several windows open. And then close because a man waving his arms in the middle of the road is not much cause for attention. A woman comes out on a second floor porch. She leans over the rail reeling in laundry. Several blue uniform shirts, and small sheets with Smiley faces. She snaps them off the line with a whip-crack sound and folds them so quickly you know she's done this before. Many times. In her sleep. Now the sun starts to fall and the sky fills with wings to the ocean. Three cobbled blocks away. Where Salvation is the name of a ship that sailed under the bridge and headed out to sea.
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  07:51:00  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
The boy had been following me since Chancellorsville.... When I ran from that bloody battle, I ran without thought... All I knew was what my instincts told me; go East and go North;go home... After a week of this we reached the Palisades, the sheer wall of cliffs at Englewood overlooking the Hudson River in New Jersey where I would follow the river North and home... With the river and the cliffs at my back, I turned to face him... If you're gonna be here anyways, I said, then you may as well join me .... I threw the tobacco pouch at him and raised the whiskey bottle to my lips... He was just a kid; he had come from the Stonewall Brigade, the troop of students that had followed the great man from the Virginia Military Institute and on into battle before most of them could shave... When Stonewall went down at Chancellorsville, the boy no longer had a reason; General Jackson Was his cause and his country and without him there seemed no reason to fight on... My reasons were simpler: I was scared, I was tired, and I could no longer stand the thought of killing even one more man, and so, without much thought, I ran, and I kept running until I could no longer hear the screams or smell the smoke of the cannons.... The boy asked me why I ran and I said, Because I couldn't fly........ He nodded like he understood.... It was good to have somebody to talk to again, even a Reb.... I passed him the whiskey....
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  08:12:10  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
That night as we set the fire to blazing, we heard a rustle off to the right... I saw his eyes first and Reb raised his gun at the sight of a black man in the woods with a gun... Charlie had escaped when his Master was killed by a Union raiding party; he had no family left, so he just wandered away, keeping out of sight, heading for a town he had heard of called Nyack where the Underground Railroad was doing the Work of the Righteous...
As we sat on either side of the fire, Johnny Reb took out his harmonica and started playing Dixieland.... Well, I may have run, but I was still a Union man thru and thru, so I started in on Glory, Glory Hallelujah.... Charlie musta felt left out cause he started in on a song I had never heard; it sounded like a slave song and was about how all my trials, Lord, would soon be over.... At one point, I stopped, and said, Listen, boys, if we're gonna get along, let's do this thing righteous; one at a time and maybe we can all learn sumthin..... So, the three of us, an unlikely group if there ever was one: an old preacher/deserter, a young boy/deserter and a runaway slave, sitting around a campfire at the top of a cliff over the Hudson River on a cloudless night, sang Dixie, then the Battle Hymn, then All My Trials......... When we were done and the woods fell quiet again, I looked at them and their faces were wet and shiny just like mine.... I passed the bottle to Charlie and nobody said anything for a long while.........

Edited by - buckman on 04/10/2005 12:06:27
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  08:45:31  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
For Hank. "...I ran because I couldn't fly..." Good morning to New York!

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Karen Runk
Firefly

USA
4925 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  10:24:07  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Send Karen Runk an AOL message  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Hank, that is the coolest story. Really puts a picture to the song. Thanks so much for sharing!

Karen Runk
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  12:04:36  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Thanks, KR... I was watching Ken Burn's Civil War on PBS and thought how cool it would be if we had a little tale about American Trilogy coming out of a chance meeting between three guys... and then, it just happened in my head and came out whole, like you see it, all at once... Thanks, Hank

http://www.mytown.ca/outsiders/beukema/
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Doug L
Firefly

Canada
5432 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  12:14:24  Show Profile  Visit Doug L's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
I figure a lot of stories follow us until we
turn around and share a smoke with them.
One of your finest, Buckman.
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  17:14:06  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Thank you, Doug....
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  19:20:53  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
"My husband's chief complaint was that we'd included
too many people who believed in outer space.
He made no distinction between those who were intrigued
by the problems of the Hubble Space Telescope
and that much smaller group who personally knew
someone kidnapped by aliens. Outer space
was all the same to him, endlessly uninteresting.
I have to admit I was bored myself
by the Hubble Space Telescope. I kept thinking
of the Artist's Renderings I grew up with, how close
you were to Martian canals, for example,
with figures in the foreground to add a sense
of perspective and a little drama. But I'm one
of those people who believe any movie
can be improved by including a giant insect.
I like it when the aliens walk among us
and no one's sure they're there, when they take somebody
up in the ship to examine him, but you never really
find out why. They leave so little evidence behind,
and what there is gets covered up so quickly.
Mostly I keep it to myself, these interests.
It's nothing I count on, and you can imagine what he says,
this and that about the world, the one he cares for.
We wash the dishes, make sure there aren't
any more glasses leaving rings on the piano.
If aliens had been around for so long
you'd think we'd understand
what they want. Instead we don't even know
if how they're acting is smart or stupid.
When it's time to walk the dog I say I'll take her
because I enjoy going into the yard at night.
The sky's spread out above me, clear and chilly.
Ordinary planes are up there, lights flashing off and on,
and of coursr the stars, and all the uninhabitable
planets, and then the others, where right now maybe
plans are being made, where everything's almost ready.
No one can say it isn't possible, not for certain.
I like waiting just a moment for something to happen."

~Lawrence Raab~
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  19:30:05  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
In 1996 and again in '98 Stu was treated for esophageal cancer. At one point he was the most radiated man in North America. They tattooed him so they wouldn't overlap the radiation and compromise his spine. Starman, I called him. Terrified. Mick was the only one he would talk to. Stu lost his voice. Couldn't speak for months. Finally when he started gaining weight and his voice came back again he called Mick on May 19th and sang Happy Birthday to him.
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  19:40:40  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
As Mick's illness progressed he tried to stop writing. "I wasn't going to write anymore, Ro. Wanted... Just thought the flow would... Stop because... Because... I'm too damn tired... But the songs, Ro... The songs... They're there. The songs won't leave me alone." They'd wake him up. He'd call and sing new stuff he was working on. When he'd call at work I'd close my office door and take the phone out back. Reps who came by and saw the phone cord running under the door would tell Barbara and Stu, "I'll come back another day." I'd sit on the loading dock with a pen and a yellow pad and Mick would say, "Get your head clear, Ro. Is it clear now?" We'd talk about everything under and over the sun. He was constantly curious. "Here, talk about this," he'd say with no apparent transition. Then he'd pull the threads together and I'd see the woven whole. "Hahaha," he'd say. He was a genius. With language. With everything. A magician. Yet heartfelt and true. Such a rare combination.
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2005 :  19:53:54  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Let me tell you a story about The Lost Hotel where you check in by the season. The reason I suppose is the view. And the one who is waiting for you. Patiently waiting. How people get broken and partially fixed. Just a little piece of the puzzle missing. Grey cardboard where there used to be blue. Upon arrival there's a complimentary First Aid Kit. Scotch Tape, Elmer's Glue, and Kindergarten glitter. So life at The Lost revolves under a constant bright sky. A shining ribbon woven into everything thought, spoken, or dreamed. Sure, you've seen the road that goes there. When you were on your way to somewhere else. A bookmarked memory. A fleeting thought caught in the corner of your eye. A faded sign beyond a curve that said ~Pavement Narrows and Ends~. The way the veiled trees gathered. A curtain that appeared to open and close.
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Susan Newbury
Sitter

USA
76 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  11:01:28  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
When Mick reads the board every night, and I'm convinced that he does, I know that the first thread he reads are the posts by Ailinn.

Your writing so enriched his life, Ro.

Susie
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  16:22:26  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
I agree wholeheartedly... This thread [Ailinn's parts] have greatly enriched all of us... Thank you so much, my dear... Hank

http://www.mytown.ca/outsiders/beukema/
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2005 :  19:54:58  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Dear Susie,
Mick so wanted the Board to continue. I too believe he reads it every night. Here comes his big closed-eye grin again. For old friends and new friends. The love and the words. His ever-growing family.
Our hearts to you in Oregon!

S & R
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Ailinn
Windchimer

1841 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  19:18:28  Show Profile  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
O taste the sudden truth he speaks through sleep to you. Bend nearer to his breath. The Hallows shall be lost. And all of Eden. But the cycle, like the season will return in healing time. So sayeth he, the seeker of the Grail.

~Book of Durrow~
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buckman
Firefly

USA
2703 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2005 :  19:37:55  Show Profile  Visit buckman's Homepage  Edit Reply  Reply with Quote  View user's IP address  Delete Reply
Visiting Cloud Peak with Priest Tenge in Fall

Human existence in this world:
Duckweed cast adrift on the water.
Who can ever feel secure?
That is the reason
I took up a monk's staff, left my parents,
And bade farewell to my friends.
A single patched robe
And one bowl have sustained me all these years.
I'm fond of this little hut
And often spend time here-
We are two kindred spirits,
Never worrying about who is guest or host.
The wind blows through lofty pines,
Frost chills the few mums that remain.
Arm in arm we stand above the clouds;
Bound as one, roaming in the far beyond.

-Ryokan (1758-1831)
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