In a day’s time, Roberto Tiberius has gone from puppylike couch dog to doe-startling Rotweiljäger. It’s the mountain air, I tell ya, it has filled his canine lungs with the remembrance of his natural abilities, the truest call of the wild.
Bobby kayaked with us up the New River, tussled with a HUGE year old Griffon-Labrador mix, chased a birthday girl and her friends all over the lawn…who is this guy? We’ve been together since June 2012 and I feel I’m still learning about him.
This morning, we meandered up the road by our cabin for a Sunday morning constitutional. It was a sweaty climb to the top and a relieving bounce back down to the cabin. Bobby led the way back.
Suddenly, a fury of barks and growls emanated from the cabin area. A scared-shitless wide-eyed white-tailed doe bounded from the trees onto the road where I stood. I quickly entered into a “don’t trample me” mantra while sharing Bob’s barks to warn her to stay away from me.
Bobby clipped at her like a gambler chasing a sure bet, delicately curbing her down below. He took off into the treeline. I knew he was alright because he was still barking. By the time I had changed clothes, Bobby was back in the cabin.
I ♥ my dog.
Nothing more refreshing
than a cool kiss on the neck
from the mild mountain breeze
welcoming us back
to where we call Escape
to what they know as
-Von Simeon 07.16.16
(NOTE: This occurred in May 2015…)
Once at Murphy’s I am consumed with the idea of a beer. In one day I embraced mortality twice; surely, my libation limitations can be excused this evening!* Besides, the two male cousins before me, busy with setting up our pool table, have earned my trust, now and forever. I sip an ale and cherish the simple act of drinking.
A pool cue placed in my hand, and it’s my break. As I line the chalked tip between the 1st and 2nd balls to my right, the green felt bubbles. I blink to correct my contact lenses, then line up again. The smooth wood rod punches through my left grip, a sure shot, but instead, I scratch. I offer a self-deprecating comment to my company and giggle, then return the cue ball to start position. I attempt again. I fail again. The pool table is a tide moving quickly towards shore.
No one else sees this but me.
I look to my love and consider for a moment telling him, but his response will be a logical one: you’re coming down from the adrenaline rush, dear. This makes sense, except, I’m as calm and steady as I can physically be.
Perhaps more beer…
The cousins take to the table and I’m benched, nursing my ale, when I feel a wave of energy push against my right side. Moving only my eyes, I witness a furry, bearded man wearing a brown plaid shirt, hands clasped to his chest, eyes squinted inebriatedly. He smiles warmly then takes my hand as Jerry introduces us. “Ed, my name is Ed, I don’t know if I said it already…Ed.”
I find Ed to be comforting.
Jerry suggests we visit Ed’s studio. A break in the action? Sure. Brews are grouped aside and pool cues are chevroned to indicate, “We’ll be back.” A right turn from the cloaked billiards room over to the smoke haze of the outer patio, down the slicked side stairs and into the rain, the same murderous rain from our descent earlier. The audacity, I curse, as I bunny hop over puddles towards the adjacent building.
One key opens one door, another key unlocks another, then we’re in the presence of track lights and shiny instruments. Is this the universe interfering, or am I just plumb lucky? On the floor lies a six-string bass. Along the wall, a banjo, an acoustic and electric guitar, and a framed photograph. Jerry points and Ed blushes momentarily. BF doesn’t know who’s in the picture, but I’m well acquainted from my Kentucky days: the greatest picker in all of Appalachia, Mr. Doc Watson. To Doc’s right is our studio host, smiling and squinty-eyed.
Jerry goads him to play, which I know as an artist, we don’t need much cajoling to do what we love to do. Ed eases down onto a stool as I lower to the floor before him, cross my legs and cradle my hands, rocking into a cozy sit. “This is a song about a girl…” Ed starts as he fits his pick against the 3rd string and fingers his chords. The acoustics, so well tuned in the room, send me a fit of chills. He strums and sings with reverence as he shares his pained story, about the girl who moved on. My spine follows the melody and my shoulders meter the down beat. Where the cousins are I don’t know, all I know is this irresistible urge to sway. Side to side, side to side, as the notes play in the white light surrounding us. His words mute and I hear, “There, there. You’re all right. Everyone’s all right,” in a soft, wise, feminine voice. I’m cradled in a maternal embrace, a baby swaddled in a tight blanket of light. “There, there,” she sings. The terror of the last hour simultaneously manifests, actualizes then dissipates.
I feel, in a word, remarkable.
My snake dance to the charmer slows to an erect sit. Ed has finished playing. I awkwardly clap, hoping it’s not ill-timed. The cousins are ready to head back to Murphy’s but not before I take a few pulls of healing smoke. We leave, without Ed, from the glow of the studio back into the steady rain.
*: minutes before this interaction, the male cousins and I were near-death, sliding down the face of the mountain during an impromptu storm. This is the recovery from said event. Hence the beer.
I’m working on two poetry exhibits for the coming Fall season. One to do with the Divine Feminine and the other on mental transformation and healing. Yup, big topics to chew on, but like my large five-rose tattoo, when I do things, I do ’em big.
Pulling some sketches out for inspiration, and others to revisit. The continuing visitor in my book is “the purple woman,” so named because she either appears bathed in purple, or she’s cloaked in purple. I’ve been seeing her all my life, yet in the past six years, she’s been manifesting in my visions quite regularly.
Hoping to try other mediums and tools to convey my visual art this year. Perhaps need to wander over to the Arts District and learn from the local masters. Won’t you join me?
Even into the darker blue, the Gulf waters felt too hot. Surely there’s a cold spot somewhere, I thought. I wanted to swim out further to find that magic place, but I needed a spotter. I came with three of my favorite fellas, but they were gathered around our table for the day, too far to yell, “Get in here!”
Spinning slowly as I tread the water, I spy a guy with diving goggles on. I paddle up to him, “Hey, I was just coming to get you…”
“Yeah, I saw you were diving. Wanna go out further?”
“But I can’t touch the ground…”
“That’s okay. Me neither.”
He makes like he wants to leave, but my one-minded state won’t let him. I tell him, “Just 10 more meters, nothing scary…”
“30 more feet?”
We both dive to the bottom. I can see his white long-sleeved top to my right. Below us are lovely, wavy patterns drawn onto pale beige sand. I surface. So does he.
“I’m Von,” I finally introduce.
“Jordan. Are we close to the sandbar?”
I laugh, “Hardly.”
“Let’s look for starfish.”
We continue diving and surfacing to no avail. It feels as if the water’s getting hotter. My new pal complains of the heat. I could use a non-salty drink anyways. Jordan and I reach his floating commune, which turned out to be local relatives; he is visiting from South Florida.
“Yeah it sucks down there,” Jordan laments.
I float onto my back as I pull Speedo suction cups from my eyes, while singing,
“The West Coast is the Best Coast…”
I have a writer’s callous.
Very few people in the 21st century maintain a writer’s callous, the telltale indentation on your dominant hand where you normally rest a pen. Composition after composition, frustrated hand and head viciously working together against time, all the answers having to come out of your tired phalanges. And yet, even as I type on Chappie with my tablet and my smartphone both in range, I still freewrite by hand. Zealot for abuse? Nah. Just a sign I’m still alive.
And free to write.
We do take advantage of that free-om, us Americans. We put all kinds of nonsense out in the 0s and 1s and it is protected (for the most part) by our Bill of Rights. But I know not every person with Internet access has the free-om to type their authentic opinions. We know from following international news that simply voicing an opinion can shut down a digital nation. Look at what all occurred with Twitter during the Arab Spring. Jobs and lives were lost simply by Tweeting. Tweeting!
I celebrate a personal free-om today: the ability to write what I feel, in the comfort of jim jams, folded legs on the couch. This was not my position last year. I was not allotted a journal. I was on a strict schedule. I was not allowed to leave a building for seven days. The absence of a pen and paper was much more disabling than the locked doors.
To those who write despite despair, I honor you. May you continue wielding words as weapons.