Friday, March 29, 2013

2 out of 3

It was I who suggested White Rocks and even as I said it the ghost dogs began barking in my head.  In a thousand twisted ways I have more history on the ground of the desert than I do within the green valley where I was born and raised.  I survive the city; I live the desert.

Inability to believe does not automatically make one immune to superstition.  The last time we camped in the belly of the skull valley 2 out of 3 dogs from camp were dead within 3 months.

I think that number is suspiciously high especially considering 1 out of 2 of them was mine.  “There are no coincidences in life only hidden agendas.”  His strong sure words hang in spring wind over a decade old whispers in my ear, blown down from a mountain top high above the SLC valley.  They find me as I snuggle into a seat of stone reading a book about a tragedy on Mt. Kenya.  A book where a woman falls to her death; about what a falling body looks like.  I read this on a piece of rock where I watched that dog, before he died, fall from.  He fell 30 feet.  He was climbing the steep rock and then he saw me and he had to get to me even if it meant falling.  “Don’t you find it strange how often this dog gets hurt?”  I had asked BC not knowing what lay ahead for him; a dark unguarded road & a careless driver. The same way I said regarding the clump of chain-smoking meth-heads who were our old neighbors, "They look like they backed over their own dog." Not knowing what in fact they had done was dump my sister dead or dying in her apartment to rot and for us to find days later.  Words can be wicked.       

In the desert I never write.  My head is quiet.  I read.  And I watch.  I move around. The dogs follow me about, just me.  I start to wonder why but not quite long enough to figure it out.    

From White Rocks it is a thirty minute drive past the barbed gates of Dugway to the edge of the Simpson Range.  Below Erikson's pass on a mud bound twisty cow road nearly hidden from view is a little ranch house.  Access is limited seasonally.  No phone.  No internet.  No one.  Lost cows, mocking crows, Tommyknockers, and an army of junipers that shift shapes in the night.  What I wouldn't give for that to be me...           

It has been a long time since I have missed that dog which seems incredible unfair as I recall his last minutes trying to do on the edge of death what he tried to do his whole life, get to me.  He died in the back of a car, a car stolen and recovered, from in front of a house where a friend once lived but has long been deported from, leading down a sidewalk where my sister once stood and I think I understand life and death.  As you go your life fills with ghosts.  Some you treasure and others you avoid.  Until one day you find that the dreams of your living life are so outnumbered by the ghosts of your dying life you are no longer scared to join them.

 There are no coincidences in life only hidden agendas.   

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

what gravity doesn't know

 It doesn't know Beach.

a walk through Salem

There is a moment when you catch the view of life out of someone else's eyes.  Today I looked into the mirror and saw my sister looking back.  It wasn't anything spiritual or magical that brought her to me it was an equation of genetics + heavy eye make up + unruly hair = Wendi 

 I suppose as her little sister it shouldn't surprise me how much we look alike, her in the past tense and me in the present, only it does. Sometimes I see my brother-in-law staring at me his head cocked sideways and I have to wonder what he is thinking.  
The hard part is knowing this is nothing more than costume make-up, a practice run for a party.  Just making sure I still know how.  For me this is for better or worse my 40 year old face.  For her dark lines, heavy mascara, and weathered skin were part of her prison and she never saw an age as old as 40.  She died at 36, I think... 

She lived and died on the edge of Never Never Land.
Not as Wendi Bird but as Peter Pan.

And I remember she is the reason I don't like to wear make-up.