cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Alternate Wilderness Adventures

My first husband, father of our sons, loved to go camping. It took a separate closet in the basement to store all his gear. He spent winters drying beef jerky for snacks and fixing meals to be reconstituted later with water on his summer trips. He used the kitchen oven so often I was lucky to get a meatloaf in edgewise. He also mixed his own gorp, which is now called trail mix and sold in grocery stores. Solomon, a ninety pound black Lab who was his best friend, and our sons accompanied him. For years he kept journals chronicling his adventures.

Recently I posted Memoirs of Two Innocents Abroad, several installments about the first big trip we took together – to England and France. Originally I wrote long detailed letters to my sisters back home which they saved for me to keep as a remembrance of our travels. They are part of my “Family Treasures” to pass down through the generations and have survived my moves after our divorce for the past twenty-five years. This summer when they resurfaced, tucked away and forgotten in an old shoe box, I was distraught. My letters are written in long hand, which is not taught in my grandchildren’s schools. That was the impetus for translating them into a typed form on my blog so they could read my stories. Now I am planning to have copies bound into a simple notebook to give them to my sons and their families for Christmas.

On a regular basis my former husband now a friend, who lives near by, invites me out for coffee. I mentioned to him my idea for creating a travelogue. He jumped in with his idea of including his camping journals, which he had copied over the years on his old manual typewriter. I was delighted to merge our stories. To get things started he brought me a shopping bag full of journal pages to go through and maybe condense.

As I began to read I found myself in a minefield of exploding memories and new emotions. I never knew the man revealed in his writings, though I was familiar with many of his stories. I never saw the soul mate possibilities between two people who chose different trails and confronted different wilderness adventures. We are both adventurers who strike out on our own. We are survivors. We’re story tellers. I mourn that I never saw him truly. But, though I think he sees me now, or at least is willing to listen to me, he stops short of wanting to plumb the depths of me. I will not tell him of my revelation. I celebrate that we are friends.

Ranier Maria Rilke writes of a “love that consists of two solitudes which border, protect and salute each other” across a divide. For me this is reality.

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Haiku Challenge Number Nineteen: Deep and Truth

Buried hopes surprise
Dreams unanswered may come true.
Live with open eyes.

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Haiku; Haunt and Release

Past ghosts lurk unseen
Wash over dreams, obscure truth.
Flee by light of day.

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Haiku – Shine and Potential: Aging’s Own Perogatives

Colonoscopy.
Hardly topic one would chose
To write poems about.

Doctor blew my mind
Checking out if I’m the one
He’s supposed to treat.

“You can’t be the one.
You don’t look your age, my dear.”
Talk about delight.

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Transportation: A Haiku

Words are tiny things.
Yet span continents and worlds
Bridging human hearts.

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Last Vestige of a Marriage

Last week I stayed at a timeshare resort in Mexico that my second husband and I owned and visited for almost twenty years. The resort was a dream place for us since we were not really luxury sort of people. A former girlfriend of his convinced him to buy it with her. She sold him her half after we married – hence time in this beautiful place was an unexpected gift to us. It was the place I most felt like a couple – away from his all-consuming work, cell phone and internet connection (at least for the first ten years).

Last week, now divorced, I went alone. I felt his presence everywhere. I remembered the first few years when the resort was new and almost humble in its beginnings. The “kitchen” was only a counter in the living room with a couple of electric coils covered by a roll-top-piano sort of lid. Not many people sharing time at this splendid resort last week would believe that things were once just basic and functional. We loved remembering how things used to be. Now there was no one I could share those funny old memories with. Thoughts of him filled the apartment I was in, which we had shared two years ago for the last time. One afternoon while I was waiting on a bench for one of the electric golf carts that transport everyone where they want to go, I felt a bolt of memory more intense than the others. We had sat on that very bench waiting for the same golf cart countless times. His presence was overwhelming. When I got home I cried. I hadn’t felt the physical pain of grieving so profoundly before. I didn’t know why my grieving had held off for so long. It has been two years since our divorce. Grief is a mystery and keeps its own timetable.

At the end of the week I went to the customary owner’s breakfast and update on new plans and programs for the resort. I learned that my contract had been flagged to remind member services to let me know of a new development concerning my contract, which I still shared with my former husband, as well as my three sons. The member services representative asked me if I was aware that my former husband had tried to have me and my sons removed from the contract. Since that was not doable, he made his new wife his beneficiary. I was stunned. My dreams and memories went up in the smoke of illusion. The cold hard dose of reality put out any vestige of my old flame.

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Haiku : Janus Season

Stark tree trunk, gray sky
Replace lush of green leafed limbs.
Beauty’s changed her face.

10 Comments »

Haiku: Precious Days

Silver moon, warm sun
Sapphire sea and diamond sand.
Golden being home.

16 Comments »