I pull my wound close
Like a favorite old shirt
Ignore the stains and frayed spots
Tell myself I am safe from
Dragons who disregard
Trolls who look away.
This is my armour.
Armour so heavy it weighs me down
I cannot move beneath her weight.
So I lay quietly, loving my old shirt,
And she begins to sing.
…Just like in that rock opera, Tommy, by the Who, and my mind ping pongs around elaborate operatic productions until I am
By my wound
So I lay quietly, loving myself and my old shirt,
And she begins to sing
A wordless song
Of fiery dragons and treasure
Of grace and honey bees
So I hang up my dear old wound on a branch
Plant flowers at her feet.
Make soup and biscuits.
Wait for the tide to rise.
And I set sail
with the dragons
with the trolls
with the honey bees
with my heart.
Georgia Lynn Hicks c. June 2013
I exploded into life on May 22, 1952, shooting across the room into the waiting arms of a surprised nurse who wrapped me up, stuck me in a baby bin, and made sure I was fed and rocked at regular intervals until Mama came to. George Leon Ketchum had arrived squirmy screaming and bloody – named George for my father and his, Leon for my mother’s dad. My Daddy was out to dinner when I arrived. He returned to learn the truth about me and went back out to drink. The next day he delivered the bad news to my still groggy mother and they commiserated over their bad luck, deciding to make do with Georgia Lynn.
They always called me Lynn, though, because Georgia just screamed “not George”.
I grew up most of the way in the Rogue River valley. Our play yard was vast, consisting of rivers, creeks, meadows, pastures, orchards, fields and wild forests. My best playmates were big sister Janet (the first family disappointment) and our beloved black lab mix named Blackie. When Dad went to hit us we could dive for the dog, and he’d growl and bare his teeth. After awhile Daddy figured out to tie up the dog first.
By the end of every summer I was brown from the sun, with calloused bare feet, brown hair streaked with golden light. I had gashes and gouges healing into scars from our toys at hand – trees to climb, rocks to pitch, slopes to scramble up, fences, old barns. I recall running “like an Indian” with irregular steps, trying to move swift and silent. Mama used to tell me she was going to ship me off to the reservation with the other wild Indians. I remember snaking out into high grass and patting down a circle. Hidden, on my back, chewing on sweet grass, staring at the sky, imagining. Once found, blissful enjoyment might be interrupted by a bath, a dress, stupid lacy socks, ridiculous shoes. I’d get dragged to church, or to visit some relative, and hear constant variations of, “Georgia LYNN! Sit still. Don’t get dirty. Stop picking at that. Keep your shoes on. BE STILL!” And I would try to wiggle out of the scratchy nice clothes and shoes and dream oh dream of being on that reservation with my wild kin.
I am a grandmother. Waited a long time for this. Practiced a lot. It is a good kind of person to be. Eli’s grandmother. He is so beautiful. Rosy, sweet, soft, present. A rumble of physicalness in flow. He’s so overtaken by a sneeze, a sound, a fart, and nursing - godsmacked by nursing.
My child is such a great mother. Relaxed, real, a little anxious, a lot falling in love with her child.
And here I am again, falling in love with her in a new way.
April 4, 2012 I quit my job with the state. Now my state is happy summer. Hoping for the best. Seeing what’s next. Enjoying my new grandson. Unemployment won’t take me but I can’t seem to apply for work anyway. In search of a human living.
Homemade hand mixed, hand rolled noodle dough is very satisfying to make. Gentle coaxing and ignoring the imperfect bits are the most important elements. Other than that - flour and eggs.
You sit here for days saying
This is strange business.
You have the energy of the sun in you,
but you keep knotting it up
at the base of your spine.
You’re some kind of weird kind of gold
that wants to stay melted
in the furnace, so you won’t have to
Say ONE in your lonesome house.
Loving all the rest is hiding
inside a lie.
You’ve gotten drunk on so many kinds of wine.
Taste this. It won’t make you wild.
Give up, if you don’t understand by this time
that your living is firewood.
This wave of talking builds.
we should not speak,
but let it grow within.
From: The Illustrated Rumi, Coleman Barks
My family is beautiful. The ducks on the pond are beautiful. The sunshine and blue skies of Xmas Eve were beautiful. The gray misty coolness of Xmas Day is beautiful. The shiny rain slick holly and berries are beautiful. The cedars swaying in the breeze are beautiful. My daughters laughing in the kitchen are beautiful. My husband napping in the next room is beautiful. My son in law reading by the Xmas Tree is beautiful. The friends who danced this morning are beautiful. The Shakti Sanctuary Kundalini Women are beautiful. The Sisters of the Good Death are beautiful. The slipping by of sweet time is beautiful. The sing along Fiddler on the Roof at the Olympia Film Society is beautiful. Gayle and Nick are beautiful, wrapped in love and light, are beautiful. Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws is beautiful.
Wrap up in a garment of love and present yourself to the world. Your gift is just you, right here, right now, as you are. My nose is runny, my self esteem is shaky, my love is big and awkward, I am too self centered. This is my gift to you, I am willing to be seen, so that we can see you. We need to make it real. Right. Now. Talk to me.