Tuesday, March 11, 2008

spring break here, time to get outside, watch the chill go away, see the first of the grass and flowers spring up. most of all, time to let the little ones know who would spend more time with them if he could. took the 2-yr.-old to the park one day, fresh, cold, blue sky & windy, and we were walking around, and the park has these stone checkers tables, with stone chairs by them, a couple of them are up in an old oak grove, very pleasant on a nice day. i always walk by them and say, too bad i'm not retired, or i'd be carrying a set of checkers with me, and i could sit down and enjoy a stone table like this, right on the spot. but as it is, twisted mind that i do carry around, i try to engage my children in an absurdist game of "king-me" where we push any old acorn or stick forward, on the table, as if it's a piece. the 2-year-old is one of the few who actually got it, but i've noticed that 2-year-olds are good at this, though i'll never give up trying with any of them. so we're sitting there, pushing acorns and sticks at each other, going "king me!" you can't king an acorn, because you can't fit another acorn on top of it, due to its roundness.

i had a moment of clarity, there, in the fresh spring sun, that had more to do with fathers & sons, and being there for them to come around and play with. my own father, i came back to several times, a few of them i was ashamed of who i was and what i'd become, yet we'd do jigsaw puzzles, or something, and he was always there for me. i know now, lucky enough to have a household of boys, well trusted with boys, i feel grateful, hope i'm worthy of the task. the last one is just now learning to use the potty, to hang from the rings in the playground, to play "king-me" and get the joke. we leave the acorns and sticks on the table- maybe the next people will take up where we left off.

the six-yr.-old's idea of a good time is to fill up the bike tires with air, and go over to mcdonalds to get a kids meal. the first flowers are sprouting near the sidewalk on our way. also, a telephone pole, laid to waste by a driver, who left glass from his windshield on the side of the road. don't know who that was, or what night it happened- winter's been long, people went a little bonkers, maybe. for him, the days of staying up making cardboard cars from the cars movie- with cardboard axles, buildings, etc.- are over; he's into pokemon now, and we make pokemon characters, or pokemon cards, and fill in information about their attacks, their power, etc. one of my favorites, "psyduck," has as its attacks, delusion and migraine. he doesn't use the cards to play actual games, that i know of, but he does try to remember their attacks, their evolves, which characters evolve into which others, etc. he's like a walking pokedex (encyclopedia), and he'll break into a conversation, say at the mcdonalds, to tell me what one character evolves into. it's an enormous and imaginary world, but then, so is the one i live in, and i realized that, at the mcdonalds, he was now too big to play in the little play-space; too big to sit on the clown's lap; and, when he got home, he gave the little plastic toy to his little brother. all of these, enormous milestones in their own right. life goes forward; we hurtle into another warm-season.

meanwhile, what little time i have to write, i'm doing quaker plays. april's is called Second First-Day at the Interfaith (you may have to scroll down- the permalinks do not work well on this blog)- it's a quaker tribute to an old and crumbling building, our home for years, a thoroughly local play, kind of focused on the material plane with a gentle poke at the spiritual. it's not entirely finished, but it's almost ready to perform, and i do hope to do it in april or soon after. then, also, the one on top of it, more serious, Good Tidings of Yule, just finished (redone) tonight, about a plane crash in africa, written originally in 2006 for the unitarians, who rejected it- but i'm quite proud of it, and have now adapted it better for our own meeting. would have done it this last season, as a christmas play, but i fell off a ladder. now, at least i can say, it's written, it'll work for the kids we have. finally, the big potato, down in our hearts, also known as not quiet on the home front, absolutely not finished, maybe i can get it done this week also, but i've lost quite a bit of it in computer crashes, not to mention packed away the books it was based on, somwhere. all the while, avoiding working on my tesol presentation, for my grand entrance to new york city, a big moment for me personally, as the east coast is the place i started traveling, an old friend, a place with a voice. and they may not know all about me, being all wrapped up in their own stuff and all, but i've gotten used to that, i've been out here in the big valley for thirty years or so. playing music, writing stories, doing plays, getting by, and i'll bring with me memories, & see if the place has changed any.

it reminds me, the band is playing at the mix, in carterville, saturday night, don't miss it if you're in the area. after that, it's back to the clown's lap for me, another term will start. but hey, my father read the walmart stories, and liked them, and that means a lot to me- and my older sons & daughter do some writing too, which i really like, whether it's facebook superwalls, blogspot, daily kansan, you name it, they're out there, putting a mark on the world, making me proud. the stone-table checkerboard- it becomes e-mail, after a while, but the fresh clear smell of an oak grove, pine needles, you can't pile that stuff on top of itself, it blows away, moves over, lets the new spring come up, & show itself.


Blogger Peggy said...

Wow, Eli is getting so grown up! I guess he's into the "That's for babies" stage. I'm glad the ice is gone and spring is starting to poke through.

12:52 AM  

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