50° in Suburbia

It’s about 50° outside today, here in suburbia of Austin Texas. The skeletons of the trees declare themselves steady against the silver-gray sky, as if we are in the center of a cloud. No blue. No yellow. Just smoke and siren heard faintly in the distance. A plane makes it’s way, invisible and overhead. My neighbor starts his engine and pulls out of the parking lot. Only screen and metal frame stands between my skin against the air conditioned breeze. Black coffee goes from hot to lukewarm. For two days now it has been raining, a light drizzle then a steady rhythm, then it ceases. Although my head sleeps right up against my bedroom window, I barely hear it’s performance.

My apartment has some ants, but never have I encountered any other creatures. Not that they’d scare me. I remember flying B-52’s–roaches the size of your fingers, then cane spiders the size of my baby sister’s face, centipedes red and cobalt blue–their babies flooding out from the tub drain when we turned the water on after a long period of renovation–those renovations consisting of Jacks-of-all-trades attempting to repair utilities built in the 60s and 70s as we took showers outside with the hose for a few months beside my mother’s orchids.

I remember rain being not good enough of a word for the buckets of salt water tipped over our thin houses, the yard a river of floating fish and rats in the morning.

The sky has shifted from silver-white to pencil-lead in the short time of my reminiscing a place other than the place I am physically a part of in the here and now, and lately it has been like that–ash stains and air.

Birds are trying to get their words in and the thunder is all bass. Under manicured lawns and watched streets of suburbia, bones and scraps of shelters rest, swarmed by skins and furs of creatures I wouldn’t recognize.

I wonder where the deer go when it gets like this?

The wind moves my curtains a teasing dance–it’s “I am my own and I do what I please” aliveness always prevalent, provocative. Really I know I will write about all of it–the closet rooms and the king size beds, the bus stop and the red-velvet interior caravans, and about the way dirt is gold. Really I will praise this neighborhood in the way I praise the ocean in my chest. The separation is mostly invented in my mind–here vs. there. That time vs. this time.

Water of the sky is now heard dipping into puddles, and by the slush of tires on the road. The mud on a woman’s boots coming in from walking her labrador. A sweet carrying; a seamless returning.

Rain is never asking “may I fall right here?” “Is now a good time, or..?” “How much is too much?” “How would you like me to land?” And I think I’d like to be rain and wind and soot and clay.

A Letter to My Students,

Meditate on your dreams daily.

Allow no outside voices

to trample your spirit–

deep, deep down,

The Voice that Knows:

what words make you feel safe,

what thoughts bring you comfort;

what is illusion,

what is Truth. ~ you ~

Made of Love.

Made of Righteousness.

May The Sun Remind You ~

May The Rain Remind You ~

May The Goodness of The World

remind you, that

is what

you are ~


I was supposed to be $815 toward my sales goal, at the Alamoana Shopping Center when the flash flood began. Steadily restless beyond belief, with barely anyone coming in aside from a few distant trolley & taxi-riders, the heavy hushed downbeat of the weather on pavement outside, and the quick shouts of thunder that excited everyone’s nerves made me still in thinking: there is nothing like windward showers. Folding fresh-factory-made clean cotton into unnatural little squares, I leaned into the smell, noise and splatter outside the perfumed doors. It was like I was watching for the first time, the new computerized versions of classically drawn cartoons I once loved, being depicted as shiny, squeaky, and strange. I ached for home.

Back in my apartment room, downtown Honolulu, the rain just sounds like a bunch of little fingers tip-tapping on a fish tank–thud, thud, thudthud, thududud. I cannot smell, feel, practically taste the rain. Looking through the glass is watching the depiction of rain through a film. There are no swaying slender towerfull coconut trees, no clothes on the clothes line outside getting drenched, no hurried slamming of jalousie windows where water leaks through regardless of their closure, no centipedes digging themselves deeper into the ground, or furthur into the middle of a curled plastic tarp on the grass, no clean loving winds wrapping themselves around every room, and no soggy wooden porches in the  morning; just tiny clear beads of droplets rolling daintilly down the other side of the surface.

“If there isn’t anything you can do about it, cope”, my mantra ever since…well, ever, for moments of paused production over anything I can do nothing about. But this rain, the misty far-away, yet so-near Pali rolls by thick. I’m sitting on 55-            Kaneohe-          Circle Island-     gazing above and below, cars passing the slow, but I never did mind back then when it was a daily occurence, because that was the best 20 minutes. Between class, and work,    I was forcibly allowed to sit, and look.

Anyway, we are always sitting in the middle of many transparencies. I got off of 9:20 going-to-Makaha 40A bus after getting onto it 15 minutes before, and rain is all I am able to think about.

It stopped now, and the sidewalks have slick surface areas. Stepping off the bus I always feel out of my element, constantly watching my back because I don’t know people around town-side, don’t look the part, the eyebrow-lifting quick chin-up  “I-see-you” doesn’t happen for me here…and I can’t figure out how to step so that I am steady and stable…being in these shoes, walking over-through-into, these man-made puddles on Honolulu. I miss stepping out of them, the bare skin of my feet on the ground.