I Say Possible

La Tigra Gothic

La Tigra Gothic

I want to be a believer. I used to be. I was one of those people that said things like, “everything happens for a reason ,” “there are no coincidences we create our own reality”. But what I learned after moving to Mexico was that it’s much easier to believe such things when life falls into place, for the most part.

But when things fall apart…for years , well, one wonders how there can be reason behind cruelty and deceit , illness, poverty and suffering. Perhaps I was naive to assume that everything happening for a reason meant a “good” reason.

Still, I have an eternally optimistic side, I cultivate a cache of hope —that there is meaning—that life is not a random series of insignificant events.

Sometimes life rewards my tenacity.

Several months ago, I set out for the U.S. in search of a few months of work. I hoped to make enough to publish my book, buy Felipe a chainsaw, and make some much needed repairs to the house. Though I had very nice visit with my mother, and landed my first paid writing gig, I didn’t make any money. Still, because of my battered but prevailing belief system, I felt it was as it should be.

I came home and like a good citizen, I set my resolutions for the New Year: publish my book, finally learn to speak Spanish well, and keep the house from crumbling to rubble. I had no idea how I’d achieve these objectives. I’ve been in Mexico nine years and still have the annoying habit of saying, “en el pasado”, or “en la futura”, rather than learning the eight gazillion verb tenses of Espanol. I couldn’t imagine what might finally cajole me out of my laziness. The other goals required money I didn’t foresee making, and I had a debt to pay and a ticket to the U.S. the buy before May.

Then I received a message from an old friend.

“What would you think about coming down to Nicaragua to do some service and wine training with my staff?”

I replied, “Possible.”

The job is not exactly what I imagined doing in the U.S.  It’s MUCH better. Better money, in a fabulous location doing the most fun restaurant job there is. Obviously, I’ll be required to upgrade my Spanish, and there will be money embark on our projects.

 

Of course all this amazingness reminded me of a poem.  It is how I feel now.

BELIEF IN MAGIC

By Dean Young

 

How could I not?
Have seen a man walk up to a piano
and both survive.
Have turned the exterminator away.
Seen lipstick on a wine glass not shatter the wine.
Seen rainbows in puddles.
Been recognized by stray dogs.
I believe reality is approximately 65% if.
All rivers are full of sky.
Waterfalls are in the mind.
We all come from slime.
Even alpacas.
I believe we’re surrounded by crystals.
Not just Alexander Vvedensky.
Maybe dysentery, maybe a guard’s bullet did him in.
Nonetheless.
Nevertheless
I believe there are many kingdoms left.
The Declaration of Independence was written with a feather.
A single gem has throbbed in my chest my whole life
even though
even though this is my second heart.
Because the first failed,
such was its opportunity.
Was cut out in pieces and incinerated.
I asked.
And so was denied the chance to regard my own heart
in a jar.
Strange tangled imp.
Wee sleekit in red brambles.
You know what it feels like to hold
a burning piece of paper, maybe even
trying to read it as the flames get close
to your fingers until all you’re holding
is a curl of ash by its white ear tip
yet the words still hover in the air?
That’s how I feel now.

 

For the next three months VSVEVG will be posted from Rancho Santana, Nicaragua. 

 

 

 

 

 

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“What Makes You Enthusiastic About Life?”

Bucketing: not my favorite task.

Bucketing: not my favorite task.

My blog buddy, Britt Skrabanek asked me to write a guest post for her Life Enthusiast series. It was my first guest post and I really enjoyed the process. It’s an interesting question to ask yourself, “What makes you enthusiastic about life?” I was quite surprised by my response.  Thank you Britt for including me in your excellent project and for making me think.

Britt’s blog is one of the few I enjoy enough to have delivered directly to my email box. I smile to see it there even before I open it. She spreads joy. What more can we ask for, really?

This is the link to my post at A Physical Perspective, if you’d like to know how I answered her insightful question. While you’re there: This is a one of Britt’s recent posts I really enjoyed.

I also highly recommend her latest book, Nola Fran Evie. It has strong, well developed female characters, it’s a little racy, and you’ll  learn about the All American Girl’s Professional baseball league! It would be a superb beach read if you’re taking a vacation to get out of the cold. But it’s an excellent book for any season.

Write on Britt!

 

 

Living Poetry

When I was in my early twenties I lived in Iowa City, Iowa, in the midst of some of the great poets of our age: Marvin Bell, Jorie Graham…Gerald Stern…Mark Strand

I waited tables at a decent establishment, the professors of the Iowa Writer’s Workshop often dined there. They were all decent people, but Mr. Stern only one I really looked forward to seeing. I even had a little crush on him, which baffled me because though he was kind and charismatic, he wasn’t really my type: 30 years my senior, with a grey halo of hair and a santaesque figure.

Now I understand why I was infatuated with him. I read and wrote poetry, but Mr. Stern lived poetry. The poem I recite this week could easily have been a monologue I greedily eavesdropped on while waiting on him.

Living poetry is what this project has been about. By devoting myself to internalizing great poems I hope to make poetry my home, the place that I come from.  Mr. Stern gave me my first inkling of what that might mean. With gratitude and respect, I offer my recitation of Gerald Stern’s, Bolero.

Writing Spies: Five Dos and Don’ts

And they’re off! Another great NANO post from Kristen Lamb. I won’t be participating this year, I’ll be busy with my first ever paid(!) writing job. I’m with you in caffeinated, unkempt, spirit Nanoites. Write on!

Kristen Lamb's Blog

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Piper is back to guest post once more. I’m scrambling to catch up after being flattened from travel/work. Le sigh. Also have to get my NaNo tools together. Coffee, candy, energy drinks, stun gun, duct tape. So enjoy your Halloween. It’s kind of like New Year’s Eve of the Writing World. Party hard and have your fun because tomorrow….

Anyway, if you happen to be working on an action or thriller or some book involving those of the intelligence community, this post will help tremendously. Great writers ALWAYS do their homework. No one cares about our glorious prose if we goof something that five minutes on Google would have answered. But for the stuff maybe Google CAN’T answer? We have Bayard and Holmes…

By Piper Bayard

Spy thrillers are a staple of genre fiction, and a good “Bond” never goes out of style. However, a bad “Bond” can have those…

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