Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SAD and sunshine

Looking back, I realize I have suffered from that odd depression they now call SAD or Seasonal Affected Disorder most of my life. When the days get short and autumn slides toward winter, I am perpetually cold and it is a struggle to get up and go each day. I always have because I am too hard-headed not to do what I feel needs or has to be done, but it gets harder as the years go by. Still, I can recall when I went to college in Flagstaff, AZ, which is high enough to 'enjoy' some real winter with Ponderosa pines, 12,000 foot peaks to the north east and nary a saguaro in sight! No, Arizona is not all desert! Those winters I sat through many classes huddled in a coat and feeling chilled to the bone. For one thing, I walked everywhere! I guess that is why I am now a confirmed desert rat.

Back in my ranching and mule-skinner days, I was out working and riding on many chill, gray, wet days. I'd come in at night and sit in a corner behind the old fashioned wood-burning stove until my jeans almost smoked yet still feel my bones were frozen and leaking cold out through my body. No, I do not do winter well! And yes, I know my dreams and plans of Alaska, especially being up there in the late winter when the big races are run, is pretty crazy but I think I could cope with the enthusiasm and the will driving me. But that's another story.

We have had less of the nice fall weather than often here this year. It went from the late summer rainy period right into the transition type storms and a number of gray days and then this past week the first real hard frost with temps down in the upper twenties here at my house. We sit on a ridge where it is not as cold as lower in the basin and a bit protected by the hills looming near to the east but even in "the promised land" as my brother calls it, we have winter. I want to hibernate but of course humans do not do that. Was I a bear in one incarnation? ~ Latina  shrug--who knows.

But the last two days the sun has been out bright and warm. I sit out in it as much as I can because that precious charge of solar energy is how I keep going through these shorter days and colder times. I was inspired to write a couple of verses which I will share at the end of this post. And here are two photos of the contrast between the gray times and the bright blue fall I love. It was about the same time of day --mid morning--in both, too!

To close I have to say I do not "worship" the sun in the sense my pagan ancestors did but I can surely understand why they  might have made old Sol a deity or the avatar of one. When you feel that heat and energy and your eyes dazzle with the light, you sense the presence of something very powerful, something without which life as we know it would not be possible at all. So in that sense, I may be called a sun-worshiper I suppose.

     Sun Fired, Sun Inspired

There’s still a lot of sunshine.
As I soak in healing rays
I sometimes doze or wander down
The path of my many days.

Good or bad but often strange,
What I’ve done and where I’ve been.
What would I try to modify
If I could go back again?

The sunlight cannot absolve
The wrongs or the pain I’ve known
Yet I feel them start melting away
As I sit here now alone.

I’ve always been a bit alone
Though good horses, dogs and friends
Have shared parts of my road with me
Until such partnership ends.

I miss them all; they are a part
Of the one I have become.
A little lives on in my heart
Of each and every one.

There is still a lot of sunshine
In the autumn of my time,
The warmth and light give life to me
And call from my soul this rhyme.

Sitting in the sunshine
Gives me life and light.
It has fueled all my days
And helped me through each night.

I still love part of darkness,
A chance to see the stars
But it’s sun that keeps me going
And tears away the bars

Of my regret and sorrow for
Mistakes that I have made
And shows to me a beacon
So I go down unafraid

Too that dark end-time shadow
Where for awhile we bide
Until a new sun greets us,
There on the other side.

Both poems GMW Nov 2014 
and (c) as all material here is.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Important Days

I'd be seriously remiss if I let today go by without comment. Veterans' Day is one that holds a lot of meaning for me. My paternal grandfather served in the Spanish American War--not with the Rough Riders, I think--but he was there. My dad was involved in World War II, my late husband was a Korean vet and my middle son was in the first Middle East War or Desert Storm. Many friends and former school mates etc. went to Viet Nam and some of them never came home. We owe all our vets, past, present and future, more than we can ever repay and we must never forget them--not just on November 11 but every day of every year.

Here is a verse I wrote a number of years ago that I read first at a Veterans' Day ceremony our VFW Post (10342, Huachuca City, AZ) held in the late 1980s, many years ago. I think it still resonates on the meaning of the day. To the right is a photo of me near that time wearing our color guard's uniform. I was a member but mostly the "official photographer" although I did march or take part in a ceremony now and then. I was very proud and honored to do so!

Veteran's Day
I hear the drum roll in my mind
and then I see, before, behind,
the Silent Legions marching past
to join the Great Parade, at last.

From Flanders Fields and Iwo's sands,
from nameless near and distant lands
where they have fought and bled and died
for to uphold the Nation's Pride
and secure the Peace and Liberty
today enjoyed by you and me...

Each heart with praise should overflow
and gladly search for ways to show
that we remember and we care
and at least in spirit share
their sacrifice, their gift, their pain.
We know they did not die in vain.
The torch still burns; we carry on
 the flame kept bright by those now gone.
They're marching still, they're fighting yet;
And so must we...lest we forget  (c) GMW

The other important day was yesterday, November 10. It is doubly significant because first it is the birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps which was formed even before the USA was officially a country, at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Semper Fideles! (That means "always faithful" and is the Corps' motto.) 

Also, in one of those strange non-coincidential happenings, it is the day that my beloved husband and partner left this earth, now eleven years ago. I always thought it was so very suitable that he left on the creation anniversary of the beloved military organization of which he was an active member for about thirteen years and a life-long member at heart. 

And here is a verse I wrote for that day. It has been around the world because another former active duty Marine found it posted somewhere and shared it through his extensive connections. (I can still find it if I google my name --Gaye Walton--as he credits my authorship.) I was humbled to learn of that but pray the words of my heart gave and may continue to give comfort to the widows and families of other departed heroes.

The Last Muster

Selfish in my love and needing
I resisted this final goodbye
But time marches on so relentless
And the last formation drew nigh.

I knew that the trumpet had sounded,
Knew you would answer that call,
Realized it was right, good and proper
And found I could smile after all.

Your step was not quite as steady
But you held your head high and proud
As you strode out to join your comrades
In that parade for the heavenly crowd.

Once again that small band of brothers
Stand assembled upon Fiddler's Green.
I blink when at once the young faces
Square shoulders and brave hearts are seen.

My eyes haze with tears as the sight fades
But I know 'tis the truth I have seen
And my heart spills pride, joy and sorrow
For my Hero, my Love, my Marine.
                                                   (c) GMW

God bless our veterans and their families today and every day. Remember, dear friends, that Freedom is not Free. We all must pay for it in our own ways. All give some but some give all. Go in peace--for that is the ultimate goal we all seek even when we are fighting the most fiercely.