A Different Dream

A crack broke the serene silence
On the day the bridge fell.
Ton upon ton of masonry tumbling:
So much for strength in arches and stone.
Now I stand with toes grappling into the clay,
The body fisher, I, pulling death from the river;
And every cold, white face is my own.

Where, O shepherd's dog,
Where is the house of refuge?
Where are the hands that heal
And soothe the pain away?
Where is the master calling, calling,
Who walks in light of day?
He washes the tears that are falling, falling,
And shines the light of day.

So I'll pull me from the river
And rest on this red clay
And waiting for the shepherd's dog,
And waiting for the shepherd,
Upon this bank I'll stay.


Cemetary of Dreams

Thoughts on Home, part the nth

Why does this topic matter so much that it should deserve so much consideration? Maybe because home is as much about the heart as it is about geographic placeholders.

It seems like every time I pause to consider life, I come face to face with that same old Jon Foreman song, "Southbound Train." And with each passing season, it only becomes more true, those most painful of words, that "I'm not so sure / that home is a place / you can still get to by train." True, they've meant different things at different times. When I left England, it was a pretty literal problem of bridging the Atlantic. Then too there was the feeling of time: home as a place in the past that could never be re-entered. These days it's more the sensation of falling out of time and losing synchronicity with the pulse of a world to call my own.

Maybe home is like tiramisu. It has multiple layers and each layer has a different taste and texture, but the unified whole tastes like a slice of heaven. Because place is important, but so are people. And then too, there's something else needed because I loved Agua Viva and my team in Brazil, but we were definitely not home there either. I think the final ingredient in the slapdash recipe is something a little bit harder to define, but it has a lot to do with time. We are shaped by our surroundings, but we also shape them, "like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood." That's a process that requires investment, interaction, and a generosity of years. And maybe that's why I'm the dunderhead that keeps returning to this topic like it's so difficult and intriguing: because I won't give it time. Always walking with silly, up-turned nose to the wind, wondering what excitement and new territories are waiting to be discovered elsewhere, never appreciating the wild world behind my own front door. Maybe I'm afraid to stay: after all, the pain piles up alongside the joy, so that even if we do manage to make our way to that place, we find that we are still learning how to grow up toward the light. Always running, always tripping and falling, mastering the art of standing up, and limping onward on borrowed hope.


Drops of Moonshine

How do I choose to live with my eyes open?

I am broken, but when a broken person looks at herself in a broken mirror, she thinks she's okay. The only time we know our own brokenness is when someone unties the shoelaces holding us together. A million jagged pieces laying helter skelter on the floor: every fragment a memory, a sensation, a friend, a sticky cobwebbed spider string here and a drop of moonshine there. Every forbidden thought you've ever had mingling indifferently with dreams of elves and courage.

It's a reciprocal relationship, this catching sight of brokenness thing. Sometimes the child yanking loose the knot is the sight of another person's splinters and seams. Through the lens of Marie's crazy shouting and shuffling, I see my own desperate need for attention that has been carefully smothered by the layers of social correctness. Sometimes, in moments of honest self-evaluation, I see myself for what I truly am and so unveil the unpolished spaces of a friend. I have known guilt and shame. You tell me your story, and I have lived it too, I have inhaled and exhaled through those same moments, I can read between the lines to the fuller meaning.

But is that all we ever get to see?

It is not naivete to peer through the cracks. Though the wallpaper of our world can be ugly, it has been slapped on over something beautiful. And then too, it is a rare room whose walls are entirely unbroken by a window, that glimpse of something else entirely. We have mystery. We have beauty. We have hope.

The wonder is this: that we feel so much pain, but we absorb it into our soft flesh while our skeletons stand strong. I am not untouched, not completely resilient, but I am still standing, and my eyes have been left intact. Though vision may fog, all mists clear in the light of the sun, and I will wake up to glory when the morning comes.



I'm the editor of DCCC's literary magazine, Pegasus. Apparently every year we have a guest author: someone who lives locally and has been published, who can give advice to would be writers and provide some insight into the creative process. This year, we are featuring Dennis Finocchiaro, whose works have been published in various magazines and even a book or two. As I was searching his blog for some of his flash fiction, I found this. It might be the most perfect thing I have ever read.

In Public

Vignettes. Bubbles. Suggestive dialogue. It's the good life :)


When It Rains

Eyes open, I eat the vision:
poets and philosophers alike
grasped the natural
and called it the numinous.
Cloud gray, pine green, dead leaves.
The rain falls on lake, on soil the same,
One for the music, one for the life.
In this moment, I am wealthy,
enriched by the immanent present
and the soul kiss of immanent Presence;
tasting color, touching song
knowing I'm alive
without dying to feel it.


Subterranean Homesick Alien

"The world has changed..."

"Be still, my child."

"The art of losing myself in bringing You praise-"

Wherever we are, whatever environment we find ourselves in, we mold our perspective to fit the shape and texture of that place. For the past month or so, my perspective has been that of a fish trapped inside a midnight fishbowl: looking out always on the same, dark scene, with little variety and little activity, save for the dubious delight of pacing back and forth over the same stretch of territory until the bottoms of my feet can see better where I am going than my half-blinded eyes.

It is painful to be reminded of what you once were. I was without horizons. Though the trees might rise up and limit the sky, theirs is a porous boundary line that cannot be compared to the unyielding, geometric undulations of skyscrapers and rooftops. In the world-that-was, I might dream of mystery, like what lies beyond the edges of the universe or the everyday wonder of the nature of a chair. Gargoyles and griffins are playmates when you dare let them close enough: better to laugh at an unsolvable riddle than to allow it to consume you.

When I left IMPACT, I didn't want to come home because I was afraid that I wouldn't fit there, like a square peg in a round hole. Now, I find that it is hard to come back to IMPACT, because every experience, however minute, is a chisel cut that liberates our form from the rock. I do not know how to show the meantime: the rough edges and the places where a shaky hand cut askew. "To be known and loved anyway." Do I dare be known again?