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3/30/2015

The Lost River


Hi I get so bored at night. I'm up, waiting for morning. Some nights, if I'm stressed, I just take naps. Not always, just the way it goes. So might as well get some work done, ha. Just revised this. Kind of a little story within a poem. I think this little legend would make a cool short film. :) C.A.


The Lost River


The Lost River, located at Natural Bridge, Virginia, is so named because its source and destination are unknown, despite desperate attempts by many to locate them.


So close.
They could hear the rush of water.
They imagined the stillness of its end,
but the true body, the beginning,
remained unknown. For many years,
full-chested men
set out on reckless rides
with restless horses;
the beasts grew tired
from the miles and the whip
and soon, they loped
with half-open mouths,
lips flapping to the breath game,
long teeth chomping to spit,
white foam lathering bits.
For decades, strange men
drank to exploding rock,
leaping over logs,
splashing through fallen leaves,
coughing up the muck of dreams,
hiking deep into the evergreen,
hunting, killing, searching
for the River’s source.
So close.
Later, some bit nails or scratched skin.
Others clawed at cheeks and chins,
and the wicked chase
drove them into mad fits,
a red-faced, grownup colic.
They cut permanent grooves,
carving into anything worth carving.
Names, initials, and the mess
of battle fields
spelled out the truth –
chicken scrawl showed the dates,
the horrible instants
when bone by bone, they suddenly
gave up.
Dropping the dynamite, struck
into tired, tight-lipped statues,
forced into stone silence,
they checked the sky,
guessing the weather
for the hard ride home.
So close.
And they returned to families
with no news, no notes, no souvenirs, no clues,
not even a single penny.
Some made fists, kicking their kid legs.
But in this startling quiet, the brave moment
when the forest settled,
just when all lost men had slipped away,
perhaps then came life.
Right then, the forest Natives, the watchers,
grew restless, finally waking, rising up
from their hiding places,
the glowing, fire-lit caves,
creeping out of thick shadows
like smiling, winking, slender, so-close-blue
flames. So close, so rich, they lived inside
the swallowing art of wet secrecy.
Together, big-eyed, camouflaged
by unknown homes,
they studied the damage,
knowing the truth,
that the River’s source was always present,
resting inside the mystery, the silent time
when the noise of horse men ended,
when the laughing trees whispered,
They are still coming.

C.A. MacConnell

3/28/2015

Photo and a Note to You

Down River
C.A. MacConnell

NOTE: We welcome comments on this blog. You can comment with a Google account or ANY Open ID email. Anonymous comments are now going bye bye. Also, on phones, poems are best viewed on full screen, as line breaks are carefully crafted. Rad.

Hollywood Morning


Wondering who crawled up on this sign to hang the necklace there. Someone straight in from New Orleans, no doubt. I wandered around this store and man, it's a history lesson in itself. Also, EXPENSIVE. I think I should open a "vintage" bubble gum store and charge $50/pack for stale gum. Ha. Actually, this place is rad. 70s TV is so funny. Much love to you. Here's a poem I just ironed out. Hope you dig it. A sweet love poem of sorts. Hope your day is full of love and light! I'm happy. Peace out, C.A.

Hollywood Morning

1
Around eleven a.m., she rises,
leaving the covers. Right on
schedule, she creeps away
to the kitchen. First time
making pancakes. Wrapped
up tight, he is still half-

2
awake, bedroom resting.
He hears the batter hit
the frying pan. He hears
her swear at the spill.
He hears the hot surface
spit and settle. He smells
the slight, accidental burn.

3
Soon, he stretches, facing
her buttered meal, her test,
her syrup, her small spoons
and dull forks, and under
the blinding table lights,
they echo-chew. Sometimes,

4
fights happen. Voices carry
over hardwood floors,
but after the silence, later,
someone or the world
gives in. Pulling his robe
close, he thinks hard-fast,
trying to focus, bringing back

5
details. Last night, she whitened
her teeth and slept like a baby.
Garbage night. Like always,
when she rested her head
on the pillow, he kissed her
first. He is the quiet type.

C.A. MacConnell

3/27/2015

Photo of the Day: Knobby Knees

Knobby Knees


People, animals, trees -- anything can change my perspective. Today I had a good lesson in knowing the value of silence. Growin' up, methinks. Well, a li'l bit.

Some people are so inspiring to me, you know.

I had way too much sugar. Love,
C.A. MacConnell

3/26/2015

Photo of the Day: Beautiful

Howdy. So I was walking down a path today, and I knew I shouldn't be there because the land was flooded, and I got so muddy, and soon, I was soaking wet -- shoes and socks and all -- but I kept going, and all of a sudden, this guy swooped down right in front of me and landed. He looked side to side, and I took this shot, and then he looked right at me, and I said, You are beautiful. He was so close to me, and he was not afraid at all. Incredible. I was touched to tears. The Creator was speaking to me today, for sure.



C.A. MacConnell

3/25/2015

My Walk Today. Taking You With Me.

Two Painters, One Snapper

Wagon

No Holes

 C.A. Mac

Coot, Mud Hen

<3 C.A. MacConnell

Whisper What You Want Me To Do

Lawrenceburg, IN

Elder's Meditation of the Day March 25, from the White Bison site: Creator, whisper what you want me to do. I just bought a book from this site. It's called, MEDITATIONS WITH NATIVE AMERICAN ELDERS:  THE FOUR SEASONS. Really enjoying it.

That's all. Been doing a lot of reading. So far, ROOM is my favorite. Nothing much to say this morning, other than that I'm just gonna rest and listen today. :) And keep creating. And try to be at peace with uncertainty, one of the toughest lessons for me in this lifetime. Maybe the toughest, now that I think about it. That, and letting go of the fear of past trauma.

Much love to you,
C.A. MacConnell

P.S. Also, learning a lot about flowers...got this gig with a flower company. I think I'm driving my boss crazy with my constant caffeinated questions. No doubt.

3/24/2015

Photo: From the Lost Gloves

Lost Glove 19
C.A. MacConnell

Katy Did or Didn't





Katy Did or Didn't

Last summer, nearly every night for quite some time, I could hear the intense sounds of two katydids calling out to each other. Well, the sounds grew closer and closer until finally one day, during the middle of the night, I woke up and started writing, and when I paused to look up, I saw this enormous katydid sitting on a wall photo. Seems that the poor thing thought it was a real branch, rather than a print. Or maybe she was an artistic type. Anyway, I think this one was female, but they both make shrill sounds when looking for a mate, so I'm not sure, but we'll assume for the sake of wording. She caused quite a scene in my apartment because the male one who was calling to her was stuck outside. I was trying to help her get back out there so she could go on her "date," but she was so delicate that it took some time. Obviously, I didn't want to hurt her. Eventually, I was successful, and she was free.

But then...as is my custom, I started thinking about it. Over and over. See, I am fiercely protective of women sometimes -- just a part of my nature. And later, I became all worried. I thought this:  Oh shit, maybe she was hiding out in my apartment because she didn't like the male one. I think most people think about important things like work and children and family events, but I worried about that fuckin' katydid for weeks. I worried that I might start chirping or some shit. Moral of the story:  You never know what you're dealing with when you hear a cricket. Or hows about this:  We're all singing to somebody.

Ha. :) This is what we're dealing with here. Love you,
C.A. MacConnell

P.S. Holy shit, I would love to do katydid impressions with Jim Carrey  or Will Ferrell. Hilarious.

3/23/2015

Charlottesville, 1996

Charlottesville, 1996
Artist Mike Doughty

Back in 1996, the Charlottesville, Virginia area had quite a booming music scene. Ha, I could tell you some Dave Matthews stories here, but I'll save those for another day. Actually, the whole Virginia area was rockin' around that time. This particular day, my buddy Sara and I were bored, so we drove up to Charlottesville from Roanoke, and we were just messing around, hitting Daedalus bookstore and such, when we came across this random, huge crowd in the middle of the downtown area. And when I looked at that stage, I saw Mike Doughty singing his heart out in his beat-driven, poetic way. All around, there were crazed, sweaty dancers -- people of all ages, shapes, sizes, looks -- and everyone seemed to be equally shocked at the noise. I still have no idea if the show was planned, or if it were just spur of the moment, but it seemed like a surprise show. Anyway, we were sure thrilled. I couldn't believe I happened upon such a cool show. I remember this day as one full of photographs, wanderings, wild ass dancing, beautiful weather, and many free-spirited, joyful people.

Good to think about music and dancing on this day. Hey, rest in peace, Jay. Lost him, my close, close friend, in 2007. He used to play songs for my Mom in the park, and he was my music partner as well. We played for a lot of people struggling with addictions, and they really seemed to dig it. It would've been Jay's birthday today. If he were here, he'd say, "Don't get too close, sister. My breath stinks like ass. I ate that French Onion soup again. And about your racing head, just take a ride and sing and forgettaboutit."

But actually, today, I'm smiling and grateful. Why? Because I feel better than yesterday and the day before. And tonight, thinking about Jay is filling me up with a mix of nostalgia and gratitude. Also, excitement for the future. He was always excited about something. Truly, I am blessed. Sometimes I have a bad day here and there, or maybe a bad week, but then I happen upon some crazed dancers, or I feel and see the light inside someones eyes, and these miracles make it all worth it.

Hey, brother, yeah you, love always wins,
C.A. MacConnell

Photo of the Day: Killin Time

Killin Time
Artist Jason Ludwig

C.A. MacConnell

3/22/2015

Wedding

Temple of Love

Hi there. It seems that there are many of these similar "temples of love" around the world. I did some digging. Ha, I'm always doing some digging. Anyhow...here is a poem I've been working on for a while. It originally came out of a shavasana (ie, corpse pose in yoga) vision. Cool. Hope you like it. Hey, I'm sitting here drinking Seattle's Best, but I miss those magnificent Seattle Americano yum yum gourmet coffee specialties so much. I used to go to one place that served them in cups large enough to be a soup bowl. YUM. Also, the bastard who is now stocking the stuffed animal claw machine has caught on to my genius, and he is making my life very difficult by stuffing the animals in there so tight it's impossible to grab them. I'm one step ahead of you, mofo. Haha. I'm ridiculous. Love, C.A.

Wedding

You wore a white tuxedo, and then it burned
black. Charcoal. I wore half and
half – red and cream, no,
neon purple. Your hair was long, short,
medium. Mine was tied up,
and then the curls fell down, newly wild
and loose, a fire
starter. All scars, all tattoos were showing.
No veil at all. Repeatedly, you touched
my face, bringing it to the bright
life of lives. Long fingers. Sun beat up,
down, around your knuckles. One tear hung in your
right eye. You wore a top hat
until you didn't. A fedora, and then, nothing.
We were inside, high
class, peering down at slick, strapped,
million dollar shoes. No, outside.
We were barefoot, and the weather was even --
not too bright, not too cold,
just a muted shade of
sky caught between slate and yellow,
a natural shadow to hide all other
faces. God blurred the watchers.
We were frying on the desert plain. No,
we danced with cooks in a fancy
room. A grand piano. We were on the mountain,
and we were so
calm, and it was just us, and we were all that was left
of dawn or dusk.
Thunder, pouring, run. Yes,
huddling there together, we were overly concerned
about the lightning
for the rest of
our lives.

C.A. MacConnell

3/21/2015

Photo: Crow

There Once Was a Crow

My uncles and my dad used to torture us with "The Crow." They'd put a hand right behind the knee, right at the most ticklish point and EVER SO SLOWLY say the following:

There once was a crow
Who sat on a limb,
And when the wind blew,
He held on tighter and tighter and tighter...


Each time they said "tighter," they would squeeze and squeeze until we were dying with laughter, and there was no way we could escape The Crow, and then, just when we were about to throw up, they'd let go and say...

And then he flew away.

It's an Edgar Allan Poe kinda night.
C.A. MacConnell

Photo of the Day: First Brave Snapper

First Snapper

Yesterday, I spied the first turtle of the season -- a brave, muddy guy who was out doing some sunning all by his lonesome. I had the feeling that he was saying this:  I don't care what everybody else is doing! I can do this! He looked proud. That day, the sun was all his. I loved it. Made me smile.

I don't understand much of anything these days, and everything in my work life seems to be in a state of uncertainty, which is exciting on one hand, but it also drives a person like me wild! That's putting it mildly. Let's just say my apartment, my car, and my mom's house are very, very clean. And then some. Too much stress. But you know, like this turtle, I keep trying to turn it over to the universe. I keep trying to let go of fear. I still won't give up.

Making muscles right and left. Too much stress.
C.A. MacConnell

3/20/2015

The Body: It Carries Us Whole

Sleepy me, after unloading daffodils, tulips, pussy willows (my favorite, sure read into that you pervs), and other oddities from a big old truck yesterday. I got enough dirt on my head, I thought I might sprout a beanstalk from my scalp. No filtering. 100% genuine Mac. :)

The Body:  It Carries Us Whole

Like most people these days, I take some ridiculous pictures of myself, but to be honest, I never like any of them. I suppose I do it to reach out, to be a part. And truth be told, Leos like attention, yo. But ironically, I also have a strong internal critic that's a real bear. Every day, the onslaught of low self-esteem creeps in; sometimes, it's present all day long. I'm sure everyone has this happen to an extent -- some worse than others. When it gets bad, I call people. Walking helps. Baths, meditating, being with animals, being with nature, helping others, enjoying art, acting like a goofball -- all of these things provide temporary relief. Or I write to you.

Over the years, I've repeatedly worked on the esteem issue, but it's been a process. Here's why:  as a kid, I had no solution for my severe depression. Desperately, my mind sought an outlet, and my brain latched on to my self-esteem, my physical self, and my ability to achieve, and there was (and is) a real, constant beating. But I have come a LONG way. Right now, this thought comes to mind:  Fuck that negative mental goo.

Well, I was listening to the radio the other day, and I heard a writer talk about her body view. She told the story of when she visited a California nudist place (I lived at one for a while). At this particular one, when she ventured into the sauna and glanced at the other women, she found that they all had nearly "flawless" bodies, in terms of society's stereotypical standards. She looked down at her belly, her thicker legs. From the Midwest, she'd had two children, and she was fuller figured than any of the women there. At first, she felt like she didn't fit in at all.

Then she sat down to meditate, and she thought about how each supposed "flaw" represented a piece of her life story. She wasn't living in a perfectly healthy way, but she had the following sudden internal revelation:  if she hated her body, she was also hating all of the experiences through which her body had carried her. As the heat sank in, she thought back over her life; she began to honor the ways that her body told her beautiful tale. Maybe she hadn't had time to tone up, but that was because she was present to raise her children and watch them grow. She hadn't always treated her body well, but it still continued to perform for her. Without retaliation or resentment, her body had selflessly continued to give back. It represented who she was, and she realized that she had to love this outside shell in order to honor her whole being. If she were going to feel complete, she knew she had to forgive herself and love the physical form that had carried her on her journey thus far.

Listening, I thought about the ways that I've picked apart my body over the years. I'm short in stature, and my chest is small, but my back is quite wide for my size. It's weird. I have large, callused feet, but you know, I have awesome balance. People in yoga used to comment about it all the time. I always wanted to be long and lean, to have endless, thin legs, but my strong legs, compact top half, and great balance kept me safe for about 20 years when I was riding horses. Really, in my adult years, the only times I fell off were when the horse fell down with me. My hands are horrible -- incredibly dry, callused, and cracked (but very clean, ha) -- but these hands have written two books, as well as countless other works. Also, I have two hands. Some people do not. I have a slew of imperfect tattoos and scars, and my belly isn't ripped, but all of these marks tell my history. My body has carried me through great trauma. My body has carried me through great healing. With this body, I have given talks to thousands of people. With these arms, I have hugged people and animals. Maybe my voice or smile helped someone laugh. Maybe I helped to save a life. With this physical self, I have felt and expressed love.

I sat in my car, listening to this woman speak, and I felt an immense amount of gratitude. Her comments on wholeness echoed in my mind. If she hated her body, she was also hating all of the experiences through which her body had carried her. It was an eye-opening moment for me, and I certainly don't feel this amount of relief from the inner critic all of the time, but hearing this message was helpful, for sure. I was reminded that my body is a vessel; it represents the richness present in my life. I'll take it.

C.A. MacConnell

3/19/2015

Photo of the Day: No F'n Rules

No F'n Rules

Ha! I love this. Happy evening,

C.A. MacConnell

Battle History: Then and Now

The area of Ft. Thomas, Kentucky is full of battle history -- stories involving brutal Indian battles, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, and even World War I & II. Over the years, this area has played a role for the military in numerous ways, and there are many writings about the history here, but I felt a lump in my throat when I read one article that reported that the land holds a burial ground for at least 600 Indians, and that they still find arrowheads. It's also the home of the 1896 murder case of Pearl Bryan, who was found decapitated behind the area that is now the YMCA. They never found her head, but people believe that her ghost is roaming around Wilder, Kentucky in a music store. Odd indeed. Anyway, I was poking around these parts, thinking about playing with contrast and photos, and I became fascinated by the whole scene and vibe, so I took some shots here. The whole place was screaming with feeling...and I must admit, I was spooked. See what you think...

Today, in the heart of downtown Fort Thomas, there is a Veterans Hospital, a park, and some empty basketball courts, a baseball field, and this amphitheater, a stage just waiting for you: 


Even the museum is quirky:


Now, last but not least, the strangest yet. On one end of the park here, there is a place called Alexander Circle, where there are about 15 historical mansions. At one time, the buildings were used to house high ranking military officers, and when they were first built, the homes were magnificent. From a distance, they appear to be quite beautiful, holding the essence of castles:




But actually, these buildings are vacant, and up close, one can easily see how they continue to deteriorate:






When walking through there, the vibe is strange, ghostly, quite chilling, and I must say, it feels dangerous. And apparently, it IS indeed dangerous...obviously, something just happened here:


And here:




But no place is without its beauty:


If no one told you yet today, I love you,
C.A. MacConnell

3/18/2015

Photo of the Day: To Light

To Light
C.A. MacConnell

The Spiritual Value: Each Human Experience



The Spiritual Value:  Each Human Experience

Today, this is what I see. As I grow, I learn more about true intimacy -- delving deep into others' aches, quirks, joys, and pains -- but there is a balance within this exchange of giving and receiving, and it can be tough to navigate. Sometimes, connections can become too much, and I may focus too much on others' outsides. If I dig too deep into the complexity of another person's life, and I get too "wrapped up," so to speak, I devalue my own experience. I become anxious, tired, lost, confused, and too intense. I forget to focus on the moment. I suppose someone developed a word for this = codependency. Personally, I prefer the term, "wrapped up."

And then there is the other extreme, the opposite situation; that is, there are the times when I feel like I haven't done enough. A few years back, I attended a music awards show with my friend N. The two of us were looking spiffy that night. You know, rocking out, feeling all cool. He had just freshly dyed his hair blue-black, and it was as slick as ink. What most people didn't see was that he was struggling with severe depression, but in spite of it, he looked styling, and he was thrilled to be there, as music was his passion. But that night, I was distracted, caught up in my own struggles, and I wasn't really hearing him. The next year, on the night of the exact same event, I attended N.'s funeral. Police had arrested him on an old, minor charge, but he had a severe brain disorder, and he didn't get his medication while he was inside the justice center. He died in his jail cell.

I will never forget. Be present, be there. Notice.

Balance. When and how to give. There are always surprises, and there is no way to plan for these curve balls, whether they be torturous of joyous. I don't claim to be a guru, but I try to turn situations into learning experiences, turn them "back on me," study my part, focus on what I'm doing, and remember that we all have an entire living, breathing world inside our hearts. That is where the spiritual value comes in -- honoring each mysterious and precious human experience. The journey begins with me...so I that I can best learn when and how to give back.

Good morning, you are alive.
C.A. MacConnell