Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Two Infinities:

1. Everything outside her…
2. Everything inside her…

Wooden Woman finds herself exactly in the middle
of everything.

Consider the weather.

From a stirring of air lifting a hair 
to supernovas,
a hundred million times brighter than the sun,
exuding brilliant showers of radiation,

Wooden Woman, even dozing in Big Chair,
inescapably partakes of the vast outside…

…while inside herself the weather is tropical,
98.6 degrees daily,
with occasional shifts into the fever range.
Inside weather remains remarkably steady…

… despite never ending crosswinds of joy and angst,
billowed ecstasy and fogged in depressions.

Tears of all sorts seep across the line
from inside to the outside,
whereby they safely evaporate up into heaven,
leaving Wooden Woman
still here
in the middle
of it all.

Neither ridicule,
nor atomic bomb,
removes her from her own center stage.

This is not overweening self-importance,
merely a statement of perspective.

Late one sticky summer afternoon
a dust devil kicked up dirt
in the field behind the house.
Bruisy thunderheads pressed down
and soon enough a door slammed.

In minutes the soft dust of the garden
howled into a piercing sand blast.
Reeling in windows,
scuttling cushions off the lawn furniture,
Wooden Woman witnessed the landscape’s
mass exodus eastward.

Lightning and thunder simultaneously exploded.
the trash can lid galloped through the yard and deftly leaped the fence.

They flinched under another flash and boom.
Engineer dashed out the door, protecting himself
with an elbow over head
and hand partially shielding his face,
the sand blast now mixed with spitting with rain.

Engineer had told Wooden Woman
how cows get electrocuted during lightening storms.
Negative seeking positive.
One is much better off with just one leg on the ground.


But Engineer had disappeared
into the dust down the fallow row of the farm next door.
echoed down the valley. Again.
And again.

Worse than thunderstorms or trash can lids
(leaves and debris still hitting the house)
 is realizing the exponentially greater loss now at hand.
A storm of guilt throbbed inside.  
Wooden Woman wandered back to the window
as if leaning her forehead into the glass
could dispel remorse. A minute, ten…

…BAM the front door blasts open.

ENGINEER charges in
holding high an extra large round pizza cardboard
(same color as the trash lid)
that he’d chased a quarter mile toward town.


Outside. Inside.
Caught in the middle every time.
We can do no less.

Wooden Woman calls this the paradox of body and soul.

Her best advice: Make the stories good.

Do good.
Be good.
Laugh at yourself.


“Humility is the luxurious art of reducing ourselves to a point,
not to a small thing or a large one, 
but to a thing with no size at all,
so that to it
 all the cosmic things 
are what they really are
—of immeasurable stature.” 
GK Chesterton


* *  PS no wonder everyone wants to write a book.
They find themselves right in the middle of every story.



Brian Miller said...

the middle is where we are...spin too far to any one side and you will be out of balance...yikes on the storm frying cows...and going out in it...it is oft a matter of perspective...and keeping that internal temp in check...

S. Etole said...

I was caught up in the action of your photos as well as words.

Lindsay said...


Craig and Bethany said...

Oh, that last line -- perspective ever encircling us -- maybe infinity is a circle.

I love how every paragraph, every photo is a stamp of position, the infinities barbells on either end. I feel the balance bar in my hand, something like honor and gratitude anchoring me in the middle.

I love. Wooden Woman for this, the invitation, the gentle arm around the shoulder to join her.

WordsPoeticallyWorth said...

An interesting piece that I enjoyed reading.

Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

Larkin said...

In media res. Center stage . . . without apology. How freeing to shuck off M.O.R. as a cultural notion of mediocrity or ennui or cowardice and, by golly, just celebrate it. Like the continental divide's view of weather for the soul today. Thank you!