I want to think again of nothing.

Photo by Connie Kinsey

I want to think again of nothing.  There must have been a time my brain wasn’t churning, churning, churning.  The incessant monkey mind silenced.  But it’s probably a pipe dream.  I read recently, that even in the womb we dream. If we dream, we must think.  But about what?  Surely not the things I think about all the time.  Surely not.  Please. All that thinking just wears me out.

I want to think again of recess – that wonderful part of our day when we left it all in the classroom and went outside to the bright sun.  I usually played jacks.  When we came back in, the teacher would read aloud from a chapter book.  What glorious days were those.

I want to think again of the latest book I’ve read.  To ponder where the story is going and imagine the characters.  I want to be lost in that scenery, invested in those lives, living vicariously through both protagonists and villains.  If one is too busy to read, one is too busy.

I want to think again of the sounds of the forest and the garden.  I want to sit in my garden, close my eyes, and just listen to the wind rustling through tree leaves, the sound of animals scurrying here and there in the forest, and hear the heart-pulling yet peaceful call of the mourning dove.  Who is she mourning?  What is she mourning?  Does she too want to think of what was?

I want to think again of endless possibilities of what I might be when I grow up.  All the possible pearls one might pull out of the oyster.  The curiosity about where life might lead me.  I’ve been led and there aren’t a lot of years ahead of me.  I think of the inevitable things.

I want to think again of nothing. Blissful, peaceful nothing.  Still and quiet.  Feel the wind on my skin and sound of mourning doves and the scent of late-blooming roses.  I want to close my eyes so I see nothing—nothing that needs to be done or fixed or some other unpleasant chore.

Nothing.  I want to think again of nothing.

A riff on the poem Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver

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Where I’m From

Photo by Morten Andreassen on Unsplash
I am from moving boxes and the smell of Kiwi shoe polish on combat boots.

I am from a home that was a group of people not a place.

Where the only constant was the Naugahyde sofa my brother teethed on,
And being the new kid.

I am from cross country road trips on Rt. 66 and missing an exit in St. Louis.  

The Wigwam motel in Arizona and bathrooms you had to put a dime in the slot to use the toilets.

From mountains and oceans and deserts and verdant forests.

New telephone numbers and addresses and looking at maps to fix myself in space.

From “Daddy do we need gas yet?” and not “are we almost there?”

Where network television offered a constant – I watched Gilligan’s Island in California, Hawaii, Virginia, North Carolina and then as re-runs in every state since then.

I am from “You don’t sound like you’re from around here.”

I am from the places that when folks ask where I’m from, I say everywhere and nowhere.

I am from Taps at sunset and men chanting cadence while running, standing with my hand over my heart at the movie theater when the national anthem was played.

And classmates whose fathers never came home.

Long-stay motels while waiting on housing and using an ironing board to do the worksheets my last teacher gave me to work on until I got back in school again.

I am from 30-day leaves, the ever-present green Stanley thermos in the car of the moment, and crisp uniforms.

And not being able to hang anything on the always white walls.

New churches, new schools, new friends, and all new clothes for the new climate.

I am from 29 addresses before I was 29.  

And now I am from a ramshackle barn in a ramshackle state where I’ve lived and loved for 37 years.  On a dirt road where home is now a place as well as a group of people.  Where I hang things on colorful walls and throw boxes away. Where I’ve had the same phone number for eons and friendships older than a couple of years.  

I am from Almost Heaven in the heart of Appalachia and happy to be here.
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