My uncle was a Catholic bishop by the time he died. He had a booming voice that spoke well and sang terribly. He told the most terrifying ghost stories I've ever heard, about haunted cabins and murdered newlyweds, during which he would convincingly scream at the t(more)op of his lungs like a man flung off a cliff. For years his parish was in East L.A, and he would take groups of us on tours through the neighborhood in the big white church van. He gave nonsense explanations about the sneakers hanging from the powerlines, and he tested the van's brakes, lurching me and my cousins violently forward, after which we would laugh and hold our strained necks. He spoke fluent Spanish and was respected in the community of immigrants from El Salvador. There are Vietnamese families who credit him with their establishment in this country. He was prone to exclamations like "Son of a bitch!" while playing cards with a group of his relatives ranging in age from seven to thirteen. I can still see him lit up by the lights of a pinball machine, grunting, shouting, and kicking its legs. I can't remember if he presided over his brother's funeral, but I remember him being the first person my mom called on the night his brother died. A bunch of us went to Alaska with him once, and he cut it too close getting to the evening mass he'd agreed to say. He ditched my mom and the other car full of cousins, so he could go fifty and fishtail down a one lane gravel road. I can picture him sweating, pulling on his priest clothes as he jogged back to his place. "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. "(less)
people who get married are fools; people who want children are narcissistic; people outside the academy are simple-minded; people inside the academy are narrow-minded with no skills of value; people in your apartment building are phony; people at your grocery store ar(more)e smug.
You've been like this so long. And there was a time I enjoyed the banter, and would pull up a seat alongside you on your pedestal as you went on and on and on, knocking down everyone you could see from your vantage point.
But my ears are saturated. And we have friends who are married, who have children, who work in and outside the academy and who live in apartment buildings and shop at grocery stores. And I like them.
I am tired of sitting beside you at wedding receptions, or baptisms, or graduations, seeing you smile and wish congratulations, and then turn your back and sneer. And climb up another rung to a higher pedestal.
Find the high mountain road.
This is the road that takes me to a higher sense of self.
I feel so much traveling this road; pity, angst, anguish, joy, thoughtfulness, loathing, fear, anger, sadness, happiness, peace, tolerance, acceptance and compassion.
I stumble and fall
Feel(more) joy for accomplishments
Loathe and accept the necessary conditions of life
Find empathy and compassion for failures, mishaps, or wrong doings.
Tolerate symptoms of unconsciousness
Locate the middle ground, the beauty, the harmony and peace in a sliver of the day.
The high mountain road is my teacher, my guide, my counsel. It reminds me of the person I want to be.
I've shed layers of myself in the form of leaves
rusted with water, folded like the laundry
they glide to the ground serpentinely
a roost to the rooster
a mouth to the monster
Along this mountain road - a highway of foliage
(more) travels behind me like a one-armed bandit
waiting for the chance, a monocle romance, to abduct me.
Along this Mountain Road
It was one of those days when the air shimmers it's so hot. And if you're from the mild weathered Pacific Northwest like me, then this is like the craziest shit you've ever seen. Almost crazy enough to mention as you take your first steps going up. But(more) it stops being cool right about that time when you look up and realize that the once thick, tall trees are thinning and your glorious shade is retreating. And by the time your new sneakers, which have been continually crackling against the brown gravel dirt road for the last three hours and kicking up dust, have slowly turned into used-to-be-new sneakers, then this hazy hot air thing has become your own personal hell.
If your like me you look at the so-called friends trudging next you, silent as strangers, and you think to yourself, "Why in the fuck," (and you pause here after your profound mental exclamation of fuck), "did I come with them?" Yet somehow this exasperation is like a shot of red bull. Feeling anything passionate at this point, is a high point, you realize, and then find that you're so desperate for happiness that you smile at the lame pun. Now you're really going. Your steps drive into the steep trail and agonized pulling becomes deliberate pushing. Forward, forward and up, forward and up and just possibly out.
If your like me this is what you've been waiting for, that moment when things suck so much that you just have to get into the zone. Relish the effort, embrace the tightness in your chest, and smile like nobodies business when you get to the top. Below you, your friends are still trudging, unable to see and feel and have experienced, the true beauty of the mountain road.(less)
this whole life feels like your climbing up a huge mountain road. sometimes you have all the supplies you need, sometimes you might run out. when you run out, you stop at then nearest place near by, or you ask a friend closest to you and your on your(more) way again. no matter where your destination is, its always a bumpy and steep one. and most of the time, when your almost to a resting point, a point in your life where things will be perfect for a short amount of time, you stumble upon a tiny rock that bring you back down 50 ft. the mountain toad of life is very hard. and the only thing that will ever get you up it, is determination, the will to succeed, and a great support system to help you when those pebbles slip you up. luckily i have all of those to help me, and ive come a very long way up my long rocky, mountain road. the beginning of the journey you start off with a huge group, and on the way you may loose a few, and you may gain a few, but always remember the journey up the mountain. when you get there, you'll want to share the story with your kids and grand kids one day.(less)