2008-My Watershed Moment by Barry B. Wright

Women Looking onto the water

Yesterday changed everything.
Where do I go? What do I do?
Questions scratched on a wall before the abyss.
Once my Springs were full of scented flowers and warm gentle breezes; they flowed like honey for me.
Daily, from golden cups, I copiously drank their intoxicating mixture of nectar and life’s festive dream.
I had made it.
Atop my perch upon the mountain I felt safe.
Then the winds thundered through and toppled the oak tree.
What now? Why now?
Fate’s smiling and deathless face has struck me deeply; it carries no answers but greed; it has shattered dreams with its fierce pain.
My climb wasn’t easy. Can I do it again? Of course I can.
I know nothing less than to win.
I have achieved great things.
Or, so I thought.
Hubris, my blindness, barred my way home.
Money, too much money, often shapes what’s wrong to make it seem right.
Truth becomes lost in the frenzy of perception’s ninety-nine percent and the one percent’s hold.
No longer do I want to bathe in the flicker of their incense.
Their faces, shadowed and cold, flow in the water by me.
Does guilt-free sleep lie beneath its surface? I think not.
What will excite my mind again?
It must not be the same.
If my life ended, how would I be remembered?
Would I be remembered for who I was or who I became?
Reading the fullness of my story is what I would prefer; not to be forgotten as the one they no longer could reach.
Time is the currency I must follow.
My friends are the people I care for best; they can do me much harm if they leave me.
Their forgiveness is paramount; in it lies hope; without it future’s potential is lost to a tapestry fixed in the past.
My abilities are steady and sure; they will navigate me to where I need to go.
But my choices, they must change; they must answer what I truly am.
Does wisdom follow my aging or does it lie beyond my reach?
I guess it depends on who is watching.
Opinions flow easily where knowledge is lacking.
No longer at war with myself, days fly by where once only seconds dragged on.
I own my fate and for the first time I know it.
If it is true that you are what you were when, then this year is my watershed moment.

An August Morning Better Spent by Barry B. Wright

Girl Under the Window

It was 4:00 A.M. Rain smashed against the bedroom window; howling winds pushed tree branches to and fro along the siding like fingernails across a chalkboard.

Too driven by daily routine to remain spooned against my wife, I carefully, so as not to disturb her, slid out of the comfort of our warm bed and into my slippers. Grabbing my dressing gown from the chair beside the door I put it on before heading downstairs.

I stared out the living room window. Ugh! Depressing, I thought. It’s more like the grey days of November than early August. An involuntary shiver seemed to emphasize that very point as the wind threw another bucket of water at the window.

Normally, I met each day with vim and vigor but today my oomph was beginning to poof.

I must change my perspective; I must re-focus. Some soft jazz and a shave and shower should do the trick, I thought. And, sure enough, by the time I returned to the kitchen for my granola, milk and fruit, I was loaded for bear.

To my surprise, my lovely wife, who usually slept late on weekends, was curled up on the loveseat under the side window in the living room. I could not pass without stopping to drink in her beauty. I had to touch her and smell her hair. Close to her, I knelt on one knee. Her eyes opened and she smiled.

“I didn’t mean to awake you,” I said stroking her hair.

“You didn’t. Go get ready while I fetch you your breakfast.”

As always, I had prepared my gear the night before and had left it in the mudroom. Unless I got a lucky break in the weather, which seemed unlikely, my forty kilometer cycle today would likely be a difficult one.

Fifteen minutes later, after she gave me a very warm, lengthy and lascivious embrace, I cycled away feeling somewhat flushed and reflective.

The tall trees on either side of the road afforded me a brief but pleasant respite from the sheets of rain. I glanced back at our home. Our bedroom light turned off; at the window was her outline; then, the curtains were closed.

The land opened up into flat fields on either side. Nature was furious and I was her prey. Cycling into head winds was grueling as rain pellets stung sharply and slashed at my face. I had prepared with my weather-proofed gear but, nonetheless, I felt soaked through and through. And, I had barely begun.

It wasn’t long before my senses came to a consensus that my mettle was not up to the challenge…today.

I turned for home.

The house was dark and quiet as I slipped out of my gear. I hung each item on a makeshift clothes line in the laundry room and dried myself down.

Butt naked, I ascended the stairs to the bedroom.

Climbing into bed, I snuggled up close to her and wrapped my arm around her waist. Her hand touched my thigh and followed it up. She moaned and backed in closer.

“We’ve got lots of time,” she giggled. “That silly husband of mine is out cycling in that mess and won’t be back for hours.”

For a flicker of a moment I froze, stunned by her remark. That is, until the light bulb in my head went on.