Sunday, January 29, 2012

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair...

Last night, after a fabulous outing (with my aunt and uncle, the Austrian Hordes, Schatzy and Squink) to the wonderful and gorgeous Pinto Creek in Haunted Canyon Squink and I were on our way home... driving along on what I now know is the Red Mountain Freeway... no other cars to be seen in front of us or behind us, mere hints of the mountains visible in the dark night.  I was driving in my preferred lane for distance driving on multi lane freeways, the one just next to the outside lane.

Suddenly, a car speeds past me on our right, the kind of speeds that means that it was probably over 100 mph... though I don't know, it was fast, shockingly fast, and I thought to myself  out loud "w...". The rest was supposed to be "...ow" but I did not get that far because that car drove straight into the median wall and all I saw were sparks and smoke and the car spinning what seemed like at least 7 times and frighteningly in my direction.  I started braking, terrified the car would spin into Squink and I....  I would say it stopped a mere 50 or so feet. It was smoking, facing the wrong direction in the middle of the road... I was frozen with fear, time stood still and tears ran down my face. Squink did not see any of this thanks to the wonders of a gaming device that had absorbed all his attention.

I know we are supposed to stop and render aid but I had no clue where on this freeway we were, there were no car lights coming up behind us and I had a small child in the car with me... I decided the best thing I could do (for all of us) was to drive on to the next exit as I dialed 911 with hands shaking so bad I can't believe I actually pushed the right buttons... it felt like forever to reach the next exit and let the dispatcher know where the accident was. I was a mess, I could not give clear directions using proper names... I had to say things like "I am at the 202 and Recker", "the accident is east of me", the "202 north of the 60" The 202 is a circular freeway and was thus very confusing to the woman who had to deal with my phone call...

I hope this was the right choice. I don't know, I was up, off and on, all night with crash images in my dreams.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A man that myths are made of...

I think I've mentioned before how my maternal grandfather died while on a boat during a family vacation in the Galapagos Islands.

I may have mentioned, and I'm honestly too lazy to look for it now, that our guide and one of the sailor staff gave my grandfather CPR for the five hours it took our boat to make it to the closest island with a doctor. That is five hours of non-stop CPR. The old fashioned kind where you switch between mouth to mouth and chest compressions. Five hours. The name of the man who did this was Phil Kelly. A handsome Welshman with dark curly hair and beard. He reminded me of pictures of Hercules that I'd seen in my picture books.

Phil became a friend of the family, the kind that you won't see for years and years and years... where getting back in touch is done mainly through letters.

In spite of all of this, Phil never lost the mythical aspects I ascribed to him those many hours on the boat. I recall watching him trying to save my dear grandfather several times that night... Through the cabin door and an overhead hatch. He straddled my grandfather, occasionally sitting up for really quick breaks and to catch his breath... his eyes always focused on my grandfather.

My aunt got an email from him the other day and shared it with me and the memories of that night flooded back, grateful to hear he is happy and doing well and still sails.

As I recalled him and that first time I met him I started thinking how there are elements to his stories that are magical and mythical. How if I were a better story teller I'd be better able to tell you just how magical and mythical those moments were and if I could do so, I'd turn Phil into a mythological hero, as I feel is fitting as to how his life story, for one long night, intertwined with mine and created something worthy of storytelling for centuries to come.

Friday, January 13, 2012

And my favorite line is...

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way.

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

~ Pablo Neruda

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

And now he rides an iron horse...

At least he might... My uncle, my wonderful, handsome, kind and generous true cowboy uncle... The details, as were passed to me are that he fell off his horse on December 23rd in the late afternoon. He broke his back and was taken to the hospital in Flagstaff. At least an hour, maybe two, from his ranch.

He had emergency surgery and it was noted that he suffered damage to the T1 region of his spinal cord. The cord , however, was not severed. He was doing fine until a respiratory issue had him sedated and on a ventilator with a tracheotomy.

The news since has both flown by and been shockingly slow...

My father is not the best provider of news so I had to depend on my cousin, this uncles daughter, for updates. I am the source of information for those on my side of the family, my mother and aunt who fondly recall him and his twin as a recent high school graduates, following my father to bullfights and embodying the cowboy spirit  that they must have inherited from their father, my grandfather.

I don't know what will happen to him, for now I picture him surrounded by healing white light, prayers of a kind, images of recovery.

I am taking this hard, not sure why... it may be the fragile mortal coil and my parents and conversations this led to. It may be the recollections of my uncle as one of the few who came to visit us when we lived abroad; handsome with his beautiful new bride... feeling like there was no judgement from him, just a true uncle in the spirit one would love to have... my beaming at his delight that after so many years of not having ridden a horse that I still had my seat, taking my son for his first long ride, going with him to watch my father bullfight.... I suppose I am so full of heartache because I can't think of a solitary bad interaction between my uncle and me, I don't recall him even uttering a negative word about anyone, and perhaps the most touching of all are the kind inquires about my mother after my parent's divorced (a genuine interest in my mother's well being).

Anyway, this renders my heart heavy and so I put this out there as a request to get people to do what they do for people they don't know; prayer, positive thoughts, healing energy.

Bar Heart Moonset