Ok, this is not a haiku nor a poem. I hope you can forgive the deviation from my norm. Today I read a piece by Seattle writer Angela Garbes. It resonated deeply with me, so I wanted to share with you, my friends.
Published in the Seattle Met, “As Seattle Grew, I grew Up” mirrors my own experience. I, too, spent my ‘feral 20s’ wandering Capitol Hill, where I lived the better part of 10 years of my life. Seeking the urban as a cyclist seeking a car-free life, and the vibrancy I imagined coming with concrete. Years making mostly minimum wage, yet able to survive. Gentrification just starting to squeeze. I being able to rise up the wage rungs quickly enough to stay above the flood waters of economic calamity.
My revisits come filled with memories. Oh, “this was here”, and “that was there”. Then “what WAS here”? Memories combine with memory’s absence; strange feelings, ones that I’m not quite used to.
“Cities are meant to change”. Seattle’s changed, quite a bit. Driving home how time has passed, how much older I’ve become. Things I’m not quite ready to accept, so they keep rearing up. Such is the way of things I guess.
Well, I’ll finish with a haiku: it’s what my soul wants.
these old concrete walks echoing my youth’s footsteps urban memories
Seattle’s winter taught me something new: deserts hate me. In the deepest cold of February, as the upper left coast shivered in a frigid, deeply embrace, my skin burned. Cracking, peeling, bleeding, the lack of moisture in the air brutalized me. Far more painful that I remember.
Over the years I dreamt of journeys through the Southwest. Wandering the desert canyons, a soundtrack featuring R. Carlos Nakai, perhaps tied to a writer’s retreat, I explore the zen within the arid land. Tranquility filling my soul.
Now I fear my skin crumbling off my bones. Needing to bathe in moisturizer. Not the most pleasant imagery.
Perhaps my mind exaggerates. It often plays such tricks on me. The dream still lingers. No harm, I guess, in holding that. Maybe the tranquility compensates for the damaged skin.
Such randomness within in my mind.
Unfamiliar with R. Carlos Nakai’s music? His native flute music carries me deep within, speaking to my depths.
‘Watermelons Are Not Strawberries’ is a work-in-progress, as I continually seek to better understand myself and increase my awareness of how I react to challenges related to my experiences as a mother. The photos reveal to me how uncertain and obscure my life became with motherhood. At the same time, there is an undeniable clarity in how my daughters lead the way for me to follow a brighter path as I journey through my everyday life.
My favorite image from this collection. I adore how the girl’s dress blends so well with the tree’s summer-lit leaves.