Beatitude Point – Part 2 – continuing – Alec

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Joni was singing , ” I came upon a child of God who was walking along the road ” … from the classic rock station on my car radio when I once more spotted her along the sidewalk in front of Andersons Market . There’s something both quirky and old world about the way she looks in those clothes of hers and I see a strange charm I’m not use to .  Last Wednesday , while in the local coffee shop , she noticed me for the first time and I had been seeing her for months already . As I passed her table and rather embarrassingly stared , she seemed about to smile looking directly at me … a jewel light , like the living jewel in the middle of Amsterdam , the Hortus Botanicus , a rain forest in a glass house .  She was taking a break from her excessive writing and hours of cold coffee . I could say nothing , suddenly self-conscious . Her effect on me, an old man , felt unhealthy and she’s become a shadow running thru my days , slow days . She must be 10 years younger than me . I live with my long-term partner in Empire who I have loved for a long time now . And I’ve been distracted writing a screenplay again with a November deadline , so I leave the house for the Glen Arbor coffee shop, 8 miles away , just for a new atmosphere and to leave Gretchen to do as she pleases . Gretchen gave me a reverent silence when we met , a feeling of being neither hungry or thirsty . I find her in all my screenplays , a muse for sure . But this now unknown woman seems to be crafted deliberately for me , emerging from one of my unfinished novels . I haven’t told Gretchen about her yet but mentioned her to my friend Paulo , who it turns out , does know her . She’s the sister of one of his friends . I think of sitting across from her and asking her questions , lots of questions . She seems cosmic some how and I want to take her to Berlin to see the street art ,

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And Brussels to buy her chocolate ,

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Budapest for paprika , Florence to buy her silk ,

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Istanbul for perfume , a hat in London , a hand carved guitar from Madrid

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And an an umbrella in Paris

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and in Sarajevo , a coffee set , so that she can have her own cafe in her kitchen .

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Sitting , facing the north entrance door , arranging my papers and pens , drinking that first mornings taste of caffeine , I watch as she enters , setting her ipad on the same always table under the window as she pulls out 2 dollar bills and moves to the counter . She knows the help by name and greets them each , John the owner remains stoic as usual but Noah always perks up … and I’m a senior citizen eavesdropping , feeling very foolish . Oh restless heart … shall I ask her something before she reaches for that pen and becomes unaware of all of us surrounding her ? Too late as my mind stales remembering the smokey , moody ballad earlier from my car radio , ” We are stardust , we are golden and we got to get ourselves back to the garden . ” I know she would agree and now she’s already tranced into her written words .

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I’ll read the local paper instead of taking the risk of bothering her . If you want to get a feel of this community and also have a few laughs , the Dispatch Blotter of the Leelanau Enterprise is where to start . So here it goes …

Last Thursday , 7:13 a.m. – Bingham township – Three lost horses near the Leelanau Trail .

Last Thursday , 12:45 p.m. – Suttons Bay – Subject is harassing caller . He jumped out from the corner of St. Joseph and Broadway and called the caller names . Told him he would track him down .

Last Thursday , 2:56 p.m. – Suttons Bay – Subject entered restaurant and used vulgar language .

Last Thursday , 8:52 p.m. – Empire Township – Caller states five subjects down at the beach drinking and smoking . They came and went quickly . Caller thought it was odd .

Friday , 3:46 p.m. – Leelanau Township – 7 year old says brother , age 9 , is running away into the woods . Says mom is at work .

Saturday , 2:46 p.m. – Elmwood Township – Caller is reporting that cars are driving too fast in front of his house. Callers elderly father has to duck and dodge crossing the road to get his mail .

Saturday , 10:53 p.m. – Suttons Bay Township – Neighbor has been playing loud music into very early morning hours for past week . On going issue .

Saturday 11:26 p.m. – Leland Township – Caller is requesting a welfare check on daughter .

Sunday , 12:03 a.m. Leland Township – Caller reporting his wife has fallen out of bed .

Monday , 12:15 a.m. – Suttons Bay Township – Caller initially called to report loud music outside her home . Phone line stayed open and dispatch could hear loud screaming and possible struggle .

Monday , 8 a.m. – Suttons Bay – Callers neighbors door was open and their dog came running at her . Then the neighbor ran at the caller .

Monday , 9:42 p.m. – Elmwood Township – Daughter and boyfriend have not spoken to caller since Friday .

Tuesday , 7:47 a.m. -Kasson Township – Lockers and exterior walls were spray painted over the weekend .

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This is planet Earth … Galaxy , the Milky Way …. Year , 2014 .

Poetry Love Crown – The Visionary

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” For there is nothing heavier than compassion . Not even ones own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone , for someone , a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes .” – Milan Kundera , ” The Unbearable Lightness of Being ”

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Photo by Katerina Plotnikova

The Visionary

She bleeds inside with bloody garments

sits up late this night scribbling letters

then tears them up , piles of white tents

ascending disbarment .

She sees her living wound appear

thin membranes tween madness and pathos near

I am a living wound , it’s on my face

and there remains its trace

and there remains its trace .

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A descentant of Tamelane with jasper stone to purify

She is an opera plot

standing stage left about to die

as Sergeys arrow makes a swerving shot .

Her night becomes its paradise

only she can see before her steering sacrifice

overflows the vortex and the ending chime

of sunshine hours lost in maddening time .

Scenes nestle in her very hair

curling tight in humid air .

She sees her living wound appear

thin membranes tween madness and pathos near

I am a living wound , it’s on my face

and there remains its trace

and there remains its trace .

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O craving heart for lost flowers

the curtain hangs silent for decade hours

music swirls a vexing cry

the fragile canvas cracking , paint is dry .

She floats , feathers on body and brow

it has always been as now .

She sleeps with phantom bones , no lover is kind

the heritage of a vision mind .

She sees her living wound appear

thin membranes tween madness and pathos near

I am a living wound , it’s on my face

and there remains its trace

and there remains its trace .

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Photos by Ellen Rogers

” When the Japenese mend broken objects , they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold . They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful .”

 

for my noble daughter , Denise … Xx

Beatitude Point – Part 2 – Francis – 2014

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How long is 7000 years ago ? Is it part of this moment , 11:02 a.m. in October . I see my fingernails caked with dirt from living this summer in a tent in the backwoods and history is facing me . Sleeping Bear Point , the place on the way to someplace else : … standing at the dunes tip now feels like I could swim there . The whole point fell into the water once . You think you know everything about something . How much could there be to know about a big pile of sand . Then you realize you don’t know anything at all . Down the coast lays Pyramid Point and in the other direction , the town of Empire . Their names of antiquity , telling , making me proud to live here . As I’ve gotten older I realize I’m certain of only one thing … Days that I can feel the world in orbit are better than days when I cannot .

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Standing above the Bay , I see the northern expanse of the dunes , that languid golden pink length of sand , so much sand , looking so soft , especially when the sun sets and rises . The dunes have an abstract , cryptic beauty and the light changes everything in view . To see these dunes is to be aware of primal forces , the air , earth , fire and water create a strong emotion . Every grain of sand was once part of a rock . The winds and waters shifting over and over again evolving new formations . If everyone on earth suddenly vanished , would cats and dogs de-evolve into creatures more akin to their feral ancestors and would they be standing on a mountain stone climbing to Venus ?

I love strange beauty , not normal beauty , not popular beauty , not the kind where your friends agree with you , but just the opposite . Life is not supported by the sand – nothing grows here and if some little sprout manages too , the sand blows and smothers it . The dunes are an acquired taste , a developed love . I want to hike from the top , down to Lake Michigan in the west but knowing this distance is deceptive , that it is so much farther to the water than it looks , I want to understand the ways of these dunes that I’ve climbed since childhood .

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My name is Francis . I live here now . The year is 2014 , the year of the Ebola Virus outbreak , the Syrian war and when ISIS seizes large regions across the sea . A Malaysian airplane went missing with over 200 passengers aboard , months ago and still never found . Record cold weather roared across the United States and Peter Gabriel is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . The new Apple I-phone 6 just came out , water vapor is detected on the dwarf planet Ceres , my son’s girlfriend is obsessed with ” Doctor Who ” and my brother just discovered that the social security system has had him registered as a female since his birth in 1952 and so his retirement benefits are in jeopardy .

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Cat Stevens ( Yusef Islam ) is going on tour this year , the last time being in 1976 . His music captured me tight the only year I went to college , walking into a record shop , hearing ” Peace-train ” , ” Morning Has Broken ” , ” Moonshadow ” and ” Where do the Children Play ” . I was stunned then and I can hear the music drumming in my mind , a heritage of memory in its pleasure still . And what about the album cover – you know , the one with the sun , tree and the path with the Tillerman drinking tea in a fairytale of colors … the first album I ever bought . Just last week I heard him interviewed on Public Radio – ” I get the tune and then I just keep on singing the tune until the words come out from the tune . It’s kind of a hypnotic state that  you reach after awhile when you keep on playing it , where words just evolve from it . So you take those words and just let them go which ever way they want . Moonshadow ? Funny , that was in Spain , I went there alone , completely alone , to get away from a few things . And I was dancing on the rocks there … Right on the rocks where the waves were , like , blowing and splashing . Really it was so fantastic . And the moon was bright , ya know , and I started dancing and singing and I sang that song and it stayed . It’s just the kind of moment that you want to find when you’re writing songs . “

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I  wish you could hear the sounds of my place , a place of strange language , words within the waves of a Great Lake . I wish I could take these background rhythms everywhere with me and when I opened my mouth , that is the word you would hear . Just writing this , I feel both a tremendous sadness and joy , a wanting from within , something ecstatic . I choose my words carefully about these feelings . I don’t know what this is or where it came from or just when it began . I never thought I could find so much in the passage of a distant white sailboat below the dunes . Something has changed , last night my brother ,Dave , gave me an old journal written by his dead friend and part of me wants to mark this as the moment of change , although I know that it isn’t . The change is something that has come more slowly , perhaps it even began before I fell in love that first time , or second or third . What that change means I don’t know , just like I don’t know if I’m happier or sadder than I have ever been . There is a purpose in all this although I do not know yet what it is . There is so much more that remains . For most of us our stories can be written long before we die , there are exceptions among great men in history but I am not one of them . It is a crazy world but a world that is somehow still brand new to me and now I’ve turned into a writer where I was before an artist drawing life like a silent stow-a-way . These are my new words , written words as I sit for hours in this lone coffee shop where today I spotted an older man with a spark in his eyes who slowed down to take a look at me while John Mayer works his magic singing “Gravity” thru the radio playing amidst the coffee aroma and life goes on .

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Gravity is working against me

and Gravity wants to bring me down

Oh , I’ll never know what makes this man

With all the love that his heart can stand

Dream of ways to throw it all away .

Gravity is working against me

And Gravity wants to bring me down

Oh , twice as much ain’t twice as good

And can’t sustain like one half could

Its wanting more that’s gonna send me to my knees .

C’mon keep me where the light is

C’mon keep me where , keep me where the light is .

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