He became the man who lived in the sky , looking out thru 9 foot windows from his room on top of Look-Out Point Hill . What he came to see was often elusive yet these discovered landscapes became the backdrops to his story . We don’t need to know his exact age , only that when his fingers and feet became cold ( which was an almost constant occurrence ) he wished for a woman’s heated body to warm them and her presence to chase away past events shrouded in the fog , the fog of these great northern hills that veiled all traumatic events . Sometimes as he shuffled thru the house he had built and passed the oval mirror in which he didn’t always recognize himself , he would remember the pilgrimage to India taken so long ago and with it his confrontation of doubts . He would still be deciding for himself decades later , just what it was that he really believed .
Smoking a cigar , I watched as he sat in the silence that night , a light snow of silver whitening the air and evergreens . Age is no obstacle to love or adventure and he told me about a woman and how he had followed her writing and came to know her without having spoken to her and when he did finally see her it was like hearing two songs at once . He told me this , ” She’s outgoing but not noisy , I could rule the world with her .” But wait … I’ve gotten ahead of myself … First , the tale of his divorced younger wife .
So many things in his life had been artificial until four years ago when he found himself in Alaska . Rivers , lakes , the ocean like dreams that were buried coming up . . . a man thinking he had seen it all until he watched as a herd of moose tried to cross the channel and became baffled by the fog and so continued to change direction until they all drowned . He said this afterwards , ” . . . never confuse movement with action – it is the stationary man who becomes truly himself behind the lens of his camera .” I was becoming at home in his world ! It was as though the entire population dreamed together and that dream burst thru in poetry , art and music . The poetry of things , the art of his portraits , the music he listened too . He was a hero to me as I observed him undertake an inner journey to find the hidden treasure of us all .
But he didn’t live in the sky yet on a day in August when he returned home to find a box unopened sitting in the corner with his name written on it. It was all too quiet . The silence struck him as if from a different dimension … the Outer Limits , the Twilight Zone , bringing him back to his boyhood when he would huddle on the couch waiting for the T.V. to warm up from the static of yesteryear … ghost images , terrestrial sounds , the picture endlessly rolling and flip flopping … ” where’s the picture “? Until his dad would wrap tinfoil on the antenna .
He put the cardboard box on the table and this present scene became an unflattering soap opera of staticky cross-hatch , a very sorry screen condition to be sure ! Inside was an abrupt note from his wife of two years and as he read , ” I’ve moved out with our son ” his vision blurred and he heard a small clean sound like the snapping of a flower stem . He looks at the kitchen clock , 5:00 p.m. , cold and dark . Inside the box , her ring , the first photo he had taken of her torn in pieces , his old record albums , smashed and the colorful hammock he had sent her when they first met , cut with a scissors – a box of exiled love . His one rule , ” if you don’t wish to be here , don’t come ” , suddenly obeyed and bringing complexities with it like indistinct conversations of background noises with phones ringing , beep , beep and birds cawing . And with it a memory of his 8th grade assignment to write a paragraph of what a parent or friend might say at your funeral . Only five percent of the universe is what we think of as ordinary matter … the rest is un fathomably dark . He understood his life with her now for what it was , a madcap romance . She of the palomino hair , cosmetics and perfectly architectural eyebrows who couldn’t possibly know at her younger age that it’s the flaw that makes a thing all the sweeter . Smoke and mirrors , he suddenly was done being captivated and opening the window he saw the air was thick with apathy . But where was his boy , his ” little prince ” , his son who was frightened of the telephone , who loved taking baths and was rarely without his harmonica ? Behold , the nightingale always sings sweetest at the darkest hour . And it would happen soon that he would meet the love who wrote and would become his late in life friend and who would make the days of sun burn away the fog , the alchemist to enter . . .
” O my brave soul !
O farther , farther sail !
O daring joy , but safe ! are they not all the
seas of God
O farther , farther , farther sail ! ”
Walt Whitman , ” Passage to India ”
She loves two men – neither one knows . The secret is hers and when she sees them she is both sad and happy as though she has just made love , remembering when loving a man had once been effortless . I found scribblings in the side margins of one of her books , a book of poetry , poetry of a golden earth where a muse from South America has been dead for more than 40 years and where a century old birdcage elevator lies stuck on the first floor like a sacrament of grace in its idleness .
The penciled scribblings , a list of men ( no names , only numbers ) , some husbands , some not :
# 1 : married , submissive unhappy love
# 2 : illicite passionate love affair love
# 3 : older artist fulfilled love
# 4 : mafia terror abusive love
# 5 : healing past life love
She is working on a novel that will never be resumed . The setting , a small hamlet along Lake Michigan where she once went swimming in the cold water with her dress still on , emerging and feeling quite sure she would never die . She possessed a peace of mind during that period … a time after 4 years of independence and freedom without debt , no house , no car , no taxes , no husband , no lover … So she went off to see the world , it’s variety … and to be brave and challenge her courage , a courage others came to misunderstand . And on her return home , words came flying at her like the wings of a dragonfly hovering before changing direction in mid air . But she caught them as if she had a super power and the equilibrium between freedom and responcibility merged into a simple , strong urge to just write , an urge that was a blow of fate while some thought of it as a betrayal when she just wanted to write the truest sentence she knew . She told me this : ” It was one of those days , the day I realized there was entire life behind things , all things and a feeling that I just can’t take it , this beauty there is just so much of , begging to be acknowledged “. So in just one day , a moment in a day , a day when the sun rose again as orderly as a book of prayers , her heart bowed to love and on her knees she vowed to stop her selfishness … and to stop her courageous , independent and nomadic ” all on her own ” life . ( it wasn’t a believable look on her anyway ).
But she loves two men … one who stands in her future , the other a guru who brings her from under the red dome of her stubbornness to be alone and opens the elevator that flies to the top of that building , breaking thru the pinnacle into open sky , quick as a move in a tango dance , soaring into a world that enters her closed eyes . What happened , you wonder ? It was simple , a story told with deliberate casualness by one of those men who gazed at her over a cup of coffee after telling it . A simple story of his visit to the Grand Canyon and how much more amazing and beautiful it is when you see it with someone holding your hand . And the future was soon to come forth in her love for the other man , the one behind the camera who would , in a ” one moment in time “kind of day , tell her he did not ever want to disappoint her . Her secret would be out soon . . .
Lone tree photo by Mikko Lagerstedt Photography
music score : Anathama … ” A Moment in Time ” ( 2006 ) Full concert from Poland
the shades of yellow evaporate
her lips swollen with you
scenes she no longer can tolerate .
eyes of a doe , eyes of a doe
winter a cold heaven of snow .
pools of mercury keep
the night collapses deep
teal shadows saturate
unknown dwellers assassinate .
I saw her hold Chopins heart
sealed tight in a glass jar
a song held in her hands … little lark .
eyes of a doe , eyes of a doe
lips frozen with snow .
I see her once more
that wing on her shoulder
a broken limb
his hymn only a pseudonym .
her ballad is lonely
wailing in worship
on and on and on
she waits for the night to retaliate .
eyes of a doe , eyes of a doe
spring seeds beneath the snow .
Paintings by William Turner
Music score : Back to Black Album by Amy Winehouse … Nina Simone , Feelings ( 1976 )
Self-portrait : bulgaria 2013 I was born twice , first as Peggy in Grand Rapids , Michigan in 1951 and then again in a Bulgarian village in December of 2013 …. Today I was sent an achievement award : It says ,” Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com . You registered one year ago ! Thanks for flying with us .” I thank WordPress and my beautiful followers and visitors for giving me wings … I am very grateful … truly …xxx
Aele Labbe Photography
” I never re-read what I’ve written . I’m far too afraid to feel ashamed of what I’ve done .” Jorge Luis Borges