My second piece of prose “Bull’s Eye” was published recently by “Montana Mouthful” a literary magazine out of Missoula Montana. This was in their latest“Haunted” issue on page 15. They also were the publisher of my first prose piece “Looking for Abraham” back in their August Secrets issue on page 29. Both were blind submissions so I guess got lucky! In both cases, having a submission deadline got me focused and finished– even though my inner critic was whispering “not good enough.” I’m so glad I followed Natalie Goldberg’s advice “Let others be the judge of your work”.
“Have you also learned that secret from the river; that there is no such thing as time?” That the river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.”
― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Over the July 4th weekend we took our annual trip camping up the McKenzie River here in Oregon. The river has its beginnings at Clear Lake, from springs that immerge from lava tubes at the North end of the lake. It then runs down a steep grade in a series of gorgeous waterfalls & pools before running free. The water is sparkling clear. Being by the McKenzie River is healing, but being on it and part of its energy in our kayaks is akin to a spiritual experience.
I find peace in rivers, especially the McKenzie. They provide inspiration for my art & poetry.
The River Called to Me
With a voice born out of eternity
Fluent in all languages
By my sparkling water
A silver ribbon in a dark forest
“McKenzie Rapid”- Gelatin print & stamps over pen & ink. The feeling of being in the midst of a rapid in a kayak is so exhilarating. I tried to capture the energy here.
How did it happen that the U.S. government has forgotten the well being of its own people? I watched the “March for Our Lives” rally broadcast this morning from Washington D.C. heartsick hearing the Stoneman Douglas student speakers express their pain from the mass shooting at their school. Equally heartbreaking was hearing their frustration from the lack of response from leaders who have done virtually NOTHING after the myriad of massacres that have occurred in schools and public spaces across the US in recent time. I substitute teach part-time in high schools. It’s sad that every time I walk in the door I feel I am not in a safe place anymore. Students feel that every day.
There was a pivotal point in one student’s speech where he said we should “arm teachers.” I sucked in my breath saying to myself “oh not this.” The student went on to say, however, that teachers should be well armed with pencils, paper, books and good enough salaries to teach. The crowd roared. As an educator, I know how underfunded our education system is in this country. We fund wars across the globe, give tax breaks to the rich, but neglect the safety, education, healthcare, & mental health care of our own people. WE MATTER.
If anyone can make a change in this country, these kids can. They have started a movement and I am right there with them. For now, all I could do was write a blog post & make a picture (but that’s what artist’s do).