Monday, September 9, 2013

I am a Dweller on the Threshold

It has taken four days to settle, to draw inward

 for a month-long stay at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico 

to compose stories...write this life....and 

it has taken four whole days, just to begin.

Four days---not to clear the mind, but

 to dampen the senses, relieve the quickened pace of

change that happens not in hours, not in minutes

but in moments.

I walk the heart labyrinth for guidance, asking

when and how (?) shall I begin,

for each afternoon brings shape-shifting light

and I cannot look away

from a leaf on sun-baked sandstone

a rattler coiled silently in the portal,

multi-hued outcroppings and shiny stone cliffs.

I wash my clothes and hang them on the line,

and cannot take my eyes off 

the deep blue mountains and gold sand hills,

the spires, and buttes and gypsum-strewn arroyos

the bones, stones, and dried piƱon wood. 

How (?) shall I begin?

I draw deeply the fragrance of antelope sagebrush, 

walk a couple miles to dinner each night, and poke

the earth's skin with my stick.

There is no stillness in this outer world:

animals and insects are jumping, running, fleeing,

above and below, in front of and behind

hummingbirds buzz, a deer poses

lizards sprint and rabbits dash

in my peripheral vision, ravens light 

and lightening strikes 

a dizzying theatrical performance, this earthly world.

Amplified and untethered, how (?)

how (?) shall I begin?

*Title: I am a Dweller on the Threshold  -Van Morrison


  1. I think you already have begun, my sweet. I think your brain (and heart) are as full as a soaked sponge. Just squeeze and see what flows out.

  2. Over stimulation of the senses, but in a good way. I like your sponge analogy; thank you, friend

  3. I can't think of anything to say that Lindy hasn't already. I'll be visiting Ghost Ranch next week, just for a day, and you have made me very anxious to get there. The writing and the photos are full of beauty.

  4. If you've never been before, fasten your seat belt. The beauty is rather annihilating! Wonderful people, too.

  5. Your words captured me...I was sorry when they ended. Beautiful, lyrical, soul-grabbing. You are so talented...thank you for sharing. I am deeply moved--and I needed this in this exact moment.

    1. Writing teachers often tell us to figure out, who is our audience? After much thinking on this, I've found I've got one goal: to hopefully make the reader feel something. I am so happy this piece moved you!

  6. Breathtaking images . . . . I won't even get into the fascination with the 4 days that it's taken you to settle, 4 being a number that speaks to orientation -- directions, seasons, etc. I am deeply envious of this experience you're having -- and taking it all in at the same time. My own mini-experiences with quiet (I'll write it) and space/light perception (since seeing the James Turrell exhibition are giving me even more appreciation of yours.

    1. Oh Deborah...thank you for the idea! Of course, 4 directions. I'll have to work on that. It would fit in so well for a longer piece. Thank you for always making me think "further."

  7. Now I know where you are. I've been there, although only passing through on my way to Abiquiu and beyond.

    In my living room, there is a copper basket filled of the sort of souvenirs I favor. A piece of those resonant red cliffs lies buried in the collection. I believe I'll bring it to the top, as a reminder that what lies within needs an occasional assist to become visible.

    1. Yes, the red dirt. Today is the first day it rained in 7 days...and the different shades of red flowing into the dry arroyos is remarkable...which I had my paints! Thank for your lovely thoughts, Linda.