verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Oakley Dokely

It was a late call about someone in great distress.  I turned on the back lights and opened the office door. Come on in, I said.  On his heels came Oakley.  She had come to help out--to be available, just in case.  I asked that she wait in the waiting room while I assessed the situation.  She quickly took her place in the darkened room, quietly waiting.  I was reassured that she was there. She had unintentionally become my anchor. After I awhile, I asked that she come in and sit close to him.

We sat together quietly.  I watched her watch him.  A sturdy stance and softened eyes provided him kindness and strength. Urgency gave way to calm.  Air began to circulate again. With no words spoken, Oakley gave him a home, a future, a reason to smile.  She liked him and let him know it.  Suddenly the world was safe again.  And so was he.

I don't exactly know how she did it, but I know exactly what she said.
To me, she said It will be ok.
To him, It already is.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010


This is one serious diva.  She lives at the flower shop in town.  She loves to sprawl among the petals and ivy, looking very lovely, and very Rubenesque.  I go there just to see her.  She graces the shop as if it grew up around her.  Quietly dignified, her presence is enormous.  She floats about, overseeing the entire operation while ever-so-elegantly greeting her guests.  She has a very solid handshake and like any stylish diva, beautifully manicured nails on four silky paws. Lovely and understated. Poised. Savvy. Delicious. Several women work for her, all busy arranging vases and cuttings, tying wreaths and wrapping bouquets.  All she has to do is look at them--a single glance--and they acknowledge her command.  It all happens very quietly.  Such a good, good manager.

Getting in and out of the shop presents the opportunity to engage directly with her. This is an important  part of her business strategy.  You see, she lounges right at the door.  Though somewhat problematic for the uninitiated, in order to get in or out of the shop it is necessary to gaze at her longingly.  Accolades help.  Exaltations help some more.  Noticing her gorgeous brown eyes and fine sturdy tail finally will earn you a long and approving gaze.  It will also gain you entrance into her shop, and as long as you have tossed her a little treat, she will step aside and bid you farewell as you leave.  But you'll be back.  And she knows it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Prelude to a Memory

I am just back from Prelude in Kennebunkport.  This was my second tour. It's Down East meets Who-ville.  Every single living, breathing thing is wearing lobster-themed Christmas rigging, complete with Bean Boots, hand knits, toggle coats, lobster cracker wreath hats (no joke--see below), and bees wax hand balm. The shops are be-decked in glitter and garland, and tables of hot mulled cider, cookies, dog treats, and stocking stuffers are all wrapped in stereophonic Christmas tunes.  Fa-la-la-la-la, La-la-la-la... Streets are closed and the crowds flow. Sail boats are buttoned up along the dock.  A large green wreath with a gingham bow hangs on the town pier. The town square is home to a plump and merry Christmas tree--the perfect backdrop for a family photo. The ocean sparkles.  Historic colonial inns reveal blazing fires.  Everyone is cheerful and happy.  Everything seems perfect.

We are walking towards the car.  We are crossing over the bridge that leads to Dock Square.  A man sees us from across the street.  He's yelling something.  He's walking very quickly towards us.  We stop.  His walk has become a charge.  He's yelling louder. His fists are clenched, his neck is taut and his eyes bulge in rage.  He's yelling as if he knows us.  He comes right up to our faces, and is firing off words and urgencies and blasts of cold, cold heat. We speak to him quietly.  He yells more.  He suddenly steps towards us.  My heart...I am very aware of the icy water just below us on this narrow bridge.  I look at Pam.  Fear.  Neither of us can move. We are madly working to understand what is happening.  He's well-dressed, young, very handsome--something about being thrown out of a bar, but we know he isn't drunk.  WHAT KIND OF TOWN IS THIS? he yells.  WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS? he demands to be told.   He is becoming more desperate.  So are we.  He shouts so loudly that his voice cracks, breaks. His eyes are wild--desperately looking at us...or maybe to us. He finds us, and then loses us again.  He comes in and out of Now. Fear, his.  He yells again about the bar.  He hollers that he is an Iraq vet--that he has seen three tours in Iraq--and WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS....

He lunges closer.  His desperation grows.  He wants to smash us into pieces, and he wants us to save him from wherever he is.  A crowd has formed across the street.  They are watching.

They are just standing there. Watching. 

We talk to him but he can't hear us.  His terror engulfs us like fire.  He's stuck far away, lost in Iraq.  Somewhere way back in Now, unmetabolized.  We can't bring him back.  All three of us are trapped. Here we stand, on this bridge, in this town. Not here, not there. 

And they are just standing there, watching.  

Joy to the world....