Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Peace of Tata

Asking our Tata to describe himself would result in humble words
"I am a simple man, " he would say
"Who is blind in one eye and can't see out of the other."
The he would flash his little boy grin for being so clever

Underground for over 40 years he toiled
Intense was the heat
The camaraderie of men
The depths of the earth
... his daily reality
When he ascended to earth's surface at the end of his shift
He entered the heart of his domain

In his heart, he was a gypsy
Lover of adventure
Taker of journeys
Fearless of an endless road
Knowing every back road in Southern Arizona
And the treasures they beheld
Usually taking his journeys solo
To explore or to ponder
If invited we would jump at the chance to go along
Not knowing what there was at the end of the road
But knowing there would be a story to tell

In his mind, he was a philosopher
A lover of words
Written or spoken
He used and loved them all like friends
His philosophies of love, acceptance and kindness he shared with us
Anytime we were willing to watch or listen

In his hands, was his power
Immense size they conveyed an obvious strength
Strong enough to crush earth
Bring grown men to their knees
Strong enough to intimidate by balancing his whole body onto
But that was only a disguise
The true power of his hands resided in their grace
Graceful enough to be the first cradle for a newborn addition to the family
Graceful enough to scoop ice cream for you until you burst
Graceful enough to wipe your tear or stroke your hair
Until you felt like everything was going to be all right

In his spirit, he was a volume of contradictions
He was a lover and a fighter
A loner and a family man
A disciplinarian and a teddy bear
He was both the cowboy and the Indian
He analyzed, debated, appreciated and understood both sides
Creating the environment to do the same

Tata is in his brand of heaven now
His Lazyboy chair
Western novel sitting on the arm
Boxing match on the television
A lap generous enough for us all
Finally getting that long awaited hug from his oldest daughter
Able to share an arm wrestle with his son
And nearby, a path beckoning his gypsy heart to go for a stroll


Tata's favorite Western book by Louis Lamour:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Realness of You

The realness of you
Not the recurring fairy tale chronicled to your friends
Not the buoyant depiction a mother paints
Not the lights – the soaring details of your life
Not the potential of who you could be

The realness of you
Pain you orbit your life about
Baby that exhibits itself in your cravings
Science project that you call home
Puppies who are frantic for your lap

The realness of you
Person you can’t face in the reflection
Woman who acts like a girl
Depression you wear like a shroud
Sweatshirt you wear until it is limp

The realness of you
Stifled cry for comfort
Know-it-all  armor over your heart
Cagey friends you just met
Ignoring the hands reaching out

The realness of you
Dread of growing up
Permitting the little girl to stomp on your life
Looking for the quick fix
Surrounded by family who loves you still

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

An Echo in the Bone

by Diana Gabaldon

The seventh book in the Outlander series, An Echo in the Bone, continues the 18th century story of Claire and Jamie.

Claire Randall is a modern-day time traveler, who in previous volumes has traveled back and forth between the 20th and 18th centuries.  In this latest installment, she remains in the 18th century, in order to be close to her Scotsman husband, Jamie Fraser.

This story was enriched by the strength and longevity of their relationship.  Their bond and knowledge of each other is tighter than ever. We see a depth in their relationship that is closer to real life.  The sex was not as frequent or adventurous (which I
 missed), but they are getting older and this is a reality for many of us.  Their lives have more layers - children, grandchildren and many more people who rely on their wisdom and authority.

Clair is still seen as a "white witch", due to her ablity to heal and know the future. While Jamie, has softened a bit - more contemplative and less fiery.  No worries, he's still the sexy, kilt-wearing hunk of a man that we have come to love.

We see much more of the family - Brianna, William and Iam play big parts in this story.  And, we can't forget the lovelorn, Lord John Grey - he has still got it bad for Jamie - and that's always a good thing.

Diana Gabaldon, has once again hopped back and forth between the two hundred years in a smooth and seamless manner.  This time she tells the story through letters written from Claire and Jamie to Brianna.  Brianna and Roger are now living in the family home, Lollybrach, in Scotland and they have painstakingly preserved the letters and kept them in order through the centuries.

William, Jamie's unknowing illegitimate son, is a duplicate of his father.  He is serving and quickly rises in the British Army and has grown to be a courageous and respected leader.  He is very close to his adopted father, Lord John Grey, who continues to hob-nob with the rich and famous.  I enjoyed the cameo appearance of a nude Benjamin Franklin. His intelligence and eccentric beliefs we quite entertaining.

Ian Murray, Jamie's nephew, who in past volumes lived and married among the Native Americans, was extremely valuable when it came to getting out of a bind - which Jamie and Claire notoriously find themselves in at irregular frequency.

I would highly recommend this latest volume of the Outlander series. Less smut, more history, always entertaining.