For Just a Moment, Time Pauses Long Enough for the Moonlight to Catch Up

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Dateline: May 18, 2019, Las Cruces, New Mexico

It is a full moon Spring night and I am on the back patio of a home I know so well. Not my home, but the home where I live sometimes in my dreams. A storehouse for that part of me that exists back in my homestate while I live a bit farther out West.

The decision to leave New Mexico was made a long time ago, and with time I can see many of the reasons were wrong and many were also quite right. That audit can only occur looking backwards.

Tonight, time pauses because I am back home. I am where I belong with people who care about me. I am in a place so familiar I don’t even have to think hard about it, I just need to be.

It’s not always so easy just being me. It has been a bit of struggle lately. A tug of war inside my mind, but tonight is a welcome cease fire. I get to let my guard down a little, a lot, quite a bit.

“I was drunk…the day my mom…got out of prison,” we sing in full, robust, well-fed, and drunk voices. “And I went..to pick her up…in the rain.” We’re all in time but off key, which makes the sound that much more perfect. Our voices blending into a harmonic patchwork quilt.

This is a celebration of birthdays for four people. One of the four is me, and the other three are people who matter a whole lot to me. We eat, tell stories, drink a little more and remember the past. The past and the present merge until it is just us and now and then. Tomorrow is something to think about later. It will come back, but we don’t think about that now. The Wayback Machine is running at full capacity.

More dried bark and wood chips go into the firepit, making flames leap up. We keep the unseasonably cold desert wind at bay with flame and firewater.

An iPhone, an Apple music account, and a Bluetooth speaker keep the old songs rolling. Current technology pushes the old, old songs back to our ears. Patsy Cline, Jim Horton, George Strait, Foster and Lloyd, the Mavericks, Johnny Rodriguez. That’s only an appetizer plate of the ten course musical meal we serve. The music is like seeing old friends, and we sing. And we drink. And we dance.

I’m dancing around the brickwork patio with my best friend’s husband and I find myself looking down. I’ve known him for thirty years, so there are few secrets left between us. I say “It’s been so long since I danced, I have to look at my feet to make sure I still remember how.”

“Karen, you don’t have to look at your feet, it’s like riding a bike.”

I raise my head and look him in the eye. He’s right, of course.

“Besides you always were light on your feet.” I smile. It’s an awful nice compliment.

As the final notes of “Heard it in a Love Song” wrap up, he spins me around. In the centrifugal force I feel just like I did back when we danced to the same songs at Corbett Center or at Cowboys bar. We laugh a little, and then we hug. It’s good and right and fun. We’re both a little older, but it feels just like the good old days, dancing together and singing along with the music while we do.

I find my seat, my drink, the next song on the playlist. We all go “yeah! This one!” or “Haven’t heard this song in so long!” or “What else do you have on the playlist?”

It’s easy. The simpatico of friends who are family. We have a new friend in our midst, and she sings the songs as loud as any of us. She’s instantly our family, folded in like she was always here.

“We have to howl at the moon,” she says and we all howl like a mangy half-drunk (full drunk?) wolfpack. She makes each of us howl in turn, giving constructive critique, the director of our backyard opera. When we all meet her exacting criteria, we’re asked to howl together once more, and we do. And it feels good.

The songs keep rolling and the stories told a thousand times before seem fresh again. We laugh and laugh. Everything is funny. No mean words or contentious topics are exchanged. No need for that. We are in our groove, where we know who we are and what we are and we have nowhere to be other than right here with each other. We’ve laid our burdens down by the fire. They will be there for us in the morning.

I look up at the full moon between the branches of a mulberry tree. I look over at my best friend and her husband dancing together, looking like they did so long ago. Back when they first met and love was new and we knew then like we know now that they were simply meant to be.

It’s good. It’s right. It’s a balm on my wounds, mostly self-inflicted, invisible but quite real.

A moment where time has stopped. We’re together. We’re happy. And we dance.

They’ve done this together once or twice before

—–

All photos ©2019, Karen Fayeth and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page.

I Keep Looking Over My Shoulder

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I think I’m being stalked. I’m not sure how to prove it or what to do about it but I am pretty sure I’m totally being followed. By an otherwordly entity.

I have shouted “what do you want?!?!” but the face of the man following along remains passive, as if my shouts are lost to the cosmos.

This stalker goes by a few names, but we’ll go with Man in the Moon for the sake of ease and understanding. MITM keeps showing up everywhere lately, getting real close and glowy.

In the small morning hours when I head out to work, he’s there, peering over the hills and looking quite chilly yet magnetic. As I ride the train, he rides along but fades away as I get closer to work.

In the evenings as I drive home, he’s there hanging low on the horizon looking quite handsome. The evening attire is more of a warm and inviting yellow tone. He hangs out over the Bay and turns the tips of saltwater waves a golden amber. They wave as if beckoning me to dive in.

I try to ignore his intense gaze and then take a sharp curve in the road. For a moment I think he’s gone but then voop! there he is again, a little less bigger-than-life when taken from that angle but still there staring down at me with persistence.

I thought it was just a couple coincidences, but I’m pretty sure that the moon is chasing me. And maybe flirting with me too, just a little.

For all the world that big shining Snow Moon looks just like a gigantic cosmic Snickerdoodle.

He’s so charming, I just might take a bite.

———

Now tell me this doesn’t look like a snickerdoodle.



The full Moon as seen in Japan on Feb. 25, 2013. Credit and copyright: Masashi Ito.





Photo from Universe Today.




Getting The Hang of this Panorama Thing

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When Apple introduced the new iOS6 for iPhones, it came along with a new camera feature called Panorama.

It’s a way to take really wide angled photos. The OS has a pretty clever little interface to help make it easy.

As I’ve been traversing this big ol’ city of New York, there are a lot of great views that are hard to capture in just one frame.

I posted a fun panorama view of the New York City Public Library a couple days ago.

And herewith, are a few more of my favorite panorama shots from the week:


This is the beautiful Lincoln Center where we saw War Horse. I took this as the show let out and New York was bathed in that magic hour light. This is by far my favorite shot using the new technique.



Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the onboard camera app using the panorama feature.



Here is a shot from the American Museum of Natural History. I’d tried doing the panorama technique on the TRex skeleton, but the buggar was just too darn big. This was an awesome display of various skeletons ranging from a dino-era horse to a small dimetrodon. It was pretty nifty:



Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the onboard camera app using the panorama feature.



And finally, we have Katz’s Deli on the Lower East Side. You know, where Harry met Sally?

It’s also about the most amazing deli in New York. Oh the corn beef! All piled high on a reuben with swiss and sauerkraut. Yum! The perfect egg cream. The knish to die for!

This photo just makes me drool. I may lick my computer screen…

This photo is also a bit of an amazing feat considering how many people are in the photo and everyone is moving around. That would usually cause weird pixel jumps and odd stuff, but other than one woman with a distorted head, it turned out pretty good.



Copyright 2012, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the onboard camera app using the panorama feature.



Digging this new feature! More NYC photos to come.



In The Small Hours

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Recently a new meeting appeared on my calendar at work. It’s a new group and a “core team” for an emerging and rather exciting new project that crosses many functional teams. Many global teams.

It’s a good sign that I was invited to the table and I take it as the step forward that it is.

However.

The meetings are set for 7:00 in the morning once a week in order to accommodate as many time zones as possible. Seven in the ayem. I rarely like rising by seven in the morning, much less well before so I can rise and feed the cat and get dressed and drive to work in order to be there by 7:00am.

That said, I find these early mornings to be a little odd and endearing. As much as I hate rising before the sun, those wee hours are also sort of fascinating.

This morning I stepped through the door from my building into the damp morning air. A fairly thick fog lay hugging the pavement as streetlights lit it with an ethereal glow. It was so quiet. Odd because in just an hour this same stretch of road will be backed up with the traffic of parents dropping their kids off at the nearby school, and punk kids walking and screaming and laughing and being obnoxious teenagers. Plus kids wailing at the nearby playground and the rumble of trucks and cars and the world coming alive.

But for these few precious moments, the world is silent. Quiet fog like the paws of a night animal sneaks and swirls through the streets.

Even with extra caution to avoid local deer and morning walkers, my usual twenty minute drive to work takes just ten and I think “hey, I’ll get to park in that one awesome parking spot right by the front door” but of course that’s not true. I’m not the only soul wandering the quiet workaday streets.

The tall multistoried edifice where I work looks imposing in the darkness. It is backlit by floodlights and the mist swirls high above the penthouse suite. The windows of the building are mirrored and in the daylight, this provides both security and uniformity. All you see is a solid wall of reflection.

In these dark hours, I can see into offices. There on the eighth floor I see an executive in his office bustling about. He looks almost frantic, pacing around the space. I suspect he is on an early call and the stress of the business day is already nattering in his ear.

I can see that lights were left on in The Big CEO office area. He has a nice office. I’ve actually been in that space, just once when he wasn’t there. I wonder why the lights are on because he’s not in there and his admin isn’t at work yet. Did someone forget and leave the lights on?

I can see multiple computer monitors on his desk and I wonder how many emails he must get in a day. Maybe it’s not that many as he has not one but two executives as direct reports. I bet they get all the email and he gets to be the “face of the company” and attends marketing events and drinks something expensive and drives something expensive and I bet he is working from home today anyway.

As my tummy rumbles I wonder if the executive suite gets breakfast catered in.

It’s too early in the morning to eat. My tummy is both hungry and nauseous. In about an hour I will be ravenous.

It’s so early that the main door to the main building is locked. During the day it’s open to all visitors and staff, but this morning I can’t actually remember where the badge reader is located. It’s not right next to the door and I recall it’s cleverly hidden in what looks like a light pole. So cleverly hidden it’s impossible to find.

I wave my badge around everywhere in the vicinity like a mad multi-limbed Shiva until I finally hear that satisfying click and I open the door and enter the lobby.

The security guard nearing the end of his overnight shift looks at me with knitted brows and doesn’t reply to my chirpy “good morning”.

It’s ok. I was faking the chirp anyway. I wouldn’t say hi to me either.

Pushing the up button to call the elevator, I’m happy to see the doors open immediately. I believe that when the elevators aren’t being used, all cars return to the first floor. It’s usually a dreadfully long wait during business hours, but not today. I ride up to my floor, stride to my office and flick on the lights. Immediately I put on my wireless desk headset and dial into the call.

And now someone in the parking lot can see me, my form bustling about my office as the stresses of the day begin to whisper in my ear. As I announce my entry to the call and greet the team, I already feel weary. I began mentally running through the day’s calendar trying to remember when I can actually leave work and head home.

I came in early so I can leave early, right?

Alas no. Pesky time zones. I have a call to an APAC country very late this afternoon.

And this is how my employers get their money’s worth out of me.




Not my building but surprisingly similar. This building is in Minneapolis. Mine is not.



Photo by drouu and used royalty free from stock.xchng.



Tis the Season

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On this rainy, cold, dark Tuesday morning, my alarm went off extra early as I have meetings with London today, and that eight hours time difference is making me blue.

There I lay in my dark room, pondering my life and what it might take to get me up and out of the bed. The Good Man slept quietly next to me.

I froze in place when I heard outside my window a low moaning sound. It was a little otherworldly. It started very quiet and then grew in volume.

Well. I’m a child of New Mexico. You know what I thought, right?

La Llorona.

I’m not even kidding. I started *freaking out*. La Llorona here? In California? Did she follow me here? Does she live here now too?

My heart began racing as I remembered all the nights as a child I lay awake in my bed listening for La Llorona, straining my ears to hear, swearing I’d be ready to fight off her ethereal form and survive her grisly plans.

I clenched up, my stomach hurt, I bent to listen as the wailing increased in intensity. That bitch wasn’t going to get either me or The Good Man. Hell no!

And then the wailing became very loud, following by a hiss and a loud “RRRROOOWWWR!”

Oh wait, it’s just two cats fighting.

Sure. Ok. Right. I knew that all along. I’m a grown up. I’m a good kid. I’m in control of this stuff.

Relief washed over me. I joked to the now awake Good Man “what a sound to wake up to, huh?” and chuckled like my body wasn’t raging with adrenaline.

I got up to face my work day, pack my lunch, have some breakfast and shook my head at myself.

In my defense, a chilly, damp, dark October day….that’s La Llorona season. I’m just sayin’…..

: shudder :






Image found at Soda Head.