Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Hopes Shiver, This Ghost

The women I like are strong women...little wonder with the mother I grew up with. I understand the special challenge that biology gives to women, and I am fairly interested in all the different ways they try to solve the conundrum of children and career, for example, or the simpler but still difficult issue of marriage itself. My last lover left me, I believe more to stay single than to leave me. At least she said so often enough. And yet in doing so she took on another different sort of relationship aimed at giving a young and talented man a chance to thrive. She adopted a young Mexican illegal who just happened to be an amazing baritone with a yearning for opera. Then they worked out solutions and what happened, he was able to go to Canada and become legal. So now he can't come back to the States but he is legal going to school for his opera in Vancouver. This took most of two years to set up. She has a singular and unique path. So do her children. One has ties to Japan and a Japanese wife. Her daughter is going to get a Masters at the London School of Economics. That daughter has already spent a semester at university in France.

My wife was arguably among the best cross cultural specialists in child welfare in the state of Oregon before she crashed. What a tragedy her loss was...she raised a couple kids in the course of her work, both girls. One of them was totally institutionalized when she took her on, deemed hopeless, but she worked and eventually that kid became a dental technician and survived easily on her own. The other kid was born to street gutter drunks. She took that kid and engineered a life that led to a higher math degree at Yale and a 100k a year job out of the gate after graduation. Neither of these kids could have done it without Ann. There were of course many others.

My Hopes Shiver

If you would hold still
Then I could touch you just so
And we would rise up
As if we had wings.

You insist on your freedom
And my hopes shiver,
Come apart at seams
I didn't know could be there.

You aren't what you seem.
I have to admit
I'm not either. I am less
Without your magic.

January 4, 2009 10:45 AM


You might notice that seams figured in yesterday's post too. And I wasn't done this day with looking at women separating from me in the interests of freedom, not wanting to be saddled with a man. January is the month when my two lovers since divorce have left me...There might be something about me that doesn't make me good sticking material. Hmmm. I live entirely too easy alone, I think. My women all come to a point where they say they don't understand what I want with them...Yet from inside, I know I am a "married man". It is how I love. I come home.

This Ghost

The sea should swallow
Me and take me down.
This is how I think this day.
You unwind me as you go.
I'm left on the sand
Behind you, thin, gray.

I know you're sad about this.
You have to go now.
I've become this ghost,

Trying to follow you home.

January 4, 2009 11:15 AM


  1. These two are a little poignant for me right now :)



  2. I didn't get a chance to comment yesteray, although I sneaked a quick read. What I wanted to say is that I'm not surprised to learn about your mother, given your strength and your spirituality. Even if it's from walking a different path, you know God.

    Now, for these -- I'm also not surprised that you love strong women, given your intellect and sensitivity.

    "My hopes shiver" is a beautiful description of the condition.

  3. Michelle, like a bridge over troubled water...

    Karen, At the time I found my way, we had no idea about the rest of our lives. Mom was off to Iran as partner and helpmate to her husband, at the end of her teaching career. I was on the streets of San Jose.

  4. Christopher, (((Christopher)))

    Very close to home.

    Only the last two lines of the first poem seemed wrong to me... you are no less. You have your own magic, which makes you who, and what, you are. I'm not correcting you, of course. ;) Just telling it like I see it.

    I replaced a leaky tap outside my house last night, redid the plumbing. My boyfriend said "see, you don't need a man." Ha! Men are good for much more than plumbing. ;-)

  5. Hmmm... i am dreaming of the perfect relationship.
    i see the ravens
    with their noisy wingbeat
    yet they often
    choose to play
    doing summersaults
    around eachother

  6. Rachel, I know what you are saying. That's not really how I meant the word "less". Magic is an enhancement. Wholeness is complete with or without magic. I don't know about you and your relationships but in mine I get to be "more than I am" breathing your air. This opens doors for sure in the spirit world. I do have my own magic, my own wholeness, on offer as well.

    The reason for relationship on the level of souls is creative. Enhanced creativity arises out of relationships when they are themselves whole and healthy. Thus the poetry coming from Maire is still in my life but probably would not have been had I not been with Maire. The music returned fully to my life because of Frances, and had I not been with Frances I probably also would not have music in this way now.

    Ann gave me my adult form in twenty three years of relationship. Who knows if I would even be alive without Ann. But before Ann I had a life and I was whole for that time too.

  7. Jozien, I do my somersaults with you. :)

  8. Christopher, exactly! We do see it the same way after all, I think. You are enhanced by your relationship experiences, and yet you take away who you are, who you have become when a relationship ends. You don't lose that. You do lose the specialness of being together, but that's another story.

  9. It's all so confusing and volatile. It's beyond words too often, but you have some mighty fine ones here, although I hate to see the hurt.

  10. Ghost, Thank you for providing me with transport. I hope the captain is tractable, will go where I hope.

    Erin, Yes, to sit here gathering my thoughts is very different from being on the front lines of my love. I can sit in a metaphor here but the sweat of exchange doesn't bead up here. This is why I distrust blog relationships for more than friendship. It is too easy to mix metaphor with reality here. So I write beautiful words, and what I write is basically founded on fantasy. There is not a thing wrong with that, so long as I don't confuse myself, or you.

    So I take a risk. I trust that the Power Greater Than Myself that I rely on for sobriety will also serve me here, give me the right words, so that fantasy stays fantasy and reality is not lost.

    Because you are right, Erin, much of what I write about in its fullness becomes something beyond words, just as the deepest love is wordless.

  11. My father was an alcoholic who never came to terms with his illness. Despite the fact that he was a strong, often violent, presence in our lives, I think he was a ghost to himself.

    You write beautifully, Christopher, especially on the difficult subjects of loss and pain.


  12. I have been trained in my life to have no secrets, if possible, that the risks of keeping secrets far outweigh the risks of telling them. I don't mean your secrets. I mean my own. And I don't suggest this for everyone, but only for those in extremely dangerous conditions, like alcoholism.

    I have been trained in my life to hold on to your secrets as if my life depended on them staying yours to tell or not. This also is required only if you move among problem people as I do.

    I am sure we can rarely guess correctly the shape of another's heart without an invitation in. This requires giving up secrets, at least some.

    To a man of my experience, when you say just a few things about your father, Crow, you tell me a whole story. There are only so many things alcoholics ever do. Alcoholism simplifies an alcoholic's story. He or she becomes more like other alcoholics and less like the individual he or she could be. By the end there are only a few character themes left, all else is long stripped away. This is due to long term consequences of lack of power and extreme self centeredness forced by the alcohol.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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