Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Stolen Child

Away with us he's going,
The solemn-eyed:
He'll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal-chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.

-W. B. Yeats

I have just finished reading The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue, which is based on the above W.B. Yeats poem. It is the story of seven-year-old Henry Day and the changeling who took his place in the 'real' world. The story is told in alternating chapters with the changeling telling his story:

...I am a changeling-a word that describes within its own name what we are bound and intended to do. We kidnap a human child and replace him or her with one of our own. The hobgoblin becomes the child, and the child becomes a hobgoblin. Not any boy or girl will do, but only those rare souls baffled by their young lives or attuned to the weeping troubles of this world. The changelings select carefully, for such opportunities might come along only once a decade or so. A child who becomes part of our society might have to wait a century before his turn in the cycle arrives, when he can become a changeling, and reenter the human world.

Then Henry Day's his:

I am gone.

This is not a fairy tale, but the true history of my double life, left behind where it all began, in case I may be found again.

My own story begins when I was a boy of seven, free of my current desires. Nearly thirty years ago, on an August afternoon, I ran away from home and never made it back.

Keith Donohue has created a fantasy world that is believably real and easily fallen into by the reader. By the end of the book, when Henry Day and the changeling come to terms with what has happened to them, these characters were so real to me that I cried for them both.

I highly recommend this book.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mood Indigo

You Are Indigo

Of all the shades of blue, you are the most funky, unique, and independent.
Expressing yourself and taking a leap of faith has always been easy for you.

That's appropriate. I have a touch of "the post-travel blues" today. Mood Indigo is one of my favorite songs-love the Rosemary Clooney-Duke Ellington version the most.

-Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills (1930)

You ain’t never been blue, no, no, no
You ain’t never been blue
Till you’ve had that mood indigo
That feeling goes stealing down to my shoes
While I just sit here and sigh
Go along blues

I always get that mood indigo
Since my baby said goodbye
And in the evening when the lights are low
I’m so lonely I could cry
For there’s nobody who cares about me
I’m just a poor fool that’s bluer than blue can be
When I get that mood indigo
I could lay me down and die

You ain’t never been blue, no, no, no
You ain’t never been blue
Till you’ve had that mood indigo
That feeling goes stealing down to my shoes
While I just sit here and sigh
Go along blues

(I did try to find an audio clip of the Clooney/Ellington version to link to but could not find one with her singing.)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Why Is It That.....

just when you decide not to blog interesting things start happening?

Yesterday morning I was out at the airport and watched a small plane crash on take-off. My husband and I were standing on the edge of one of the grass runways talking to a group of people when I heard the sound of a small aircraft engine behind me and turned around to find the plane attached to it in the sky above me about 20 feet off the ground. I followed it with my eyes as it flew over my head and then immediately dropped down toward the ground. From the sound the engine was making I could tell it never reached full take-off power and that the pilot was now trying to put the aircraft back on the ground before he ran out of runway. He didn't make it.

The plane was still off the ground when it was about ten yards from the end of the runway and I was shocked to see it kind of crab in the air to the right. The nose of the plane turn in that direction too as if the pilot was trying to bank the plane at the last second and hopefully miss the wire and post fence that was about ten feet past the runway. It didn't work. The aircraft went through that fence, through the second fence that was about five feet beyond it and on into the field on the other side. It then bounced high into the air twice; still moving at a fast pace. Its third bounce sent the tail high enough in the air to cause the plane to somersault forward and land on its roof. It was still moving so fast that when it hit the ground a huge plume of dirt and grass exploded into the air.

There was about five second of stunned silence and then people started running to the accident site. At the end of the runway we could see the tracks the landing gear wheels made when they hit the ground and followed them through what remained of the fences until they disappeared and then saw a large area of squashed grass where the upside down plane had first slammed down and then slid a few feet. From where the plane hit to where the plane ended up there were two small deep furrows leading up to the aircraft formed by the bent propeller blades digging into the ground.

The plane lay upside down in the grass looking slightly flattened. All the glass in the windows, including the windshield, had blown out on impact. The aircraft looked as if it was still in one piece but when I looked closer I could see that the tail was no longer connected to the fuselage. The pilot and his passenger had already crawled out of the wreckage and were sitting on one of the wings. Although both were banged-up with cuts and what would soon be bruises, neither was seriously hurt.

There is an old pilot saying, ANY LANDING YOU WALK AWAY FROM IS A GOOD LANDING. Someone has added this bit to that saying: But if You're Walking You Probably Broke the Airplane. I think that saying now has more meaning for the pilot of that airplane than it did before.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Double Nickels

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door…
Turn around and you're tiny,
Turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of your own.

Today is my birthday and when I woke up this morning this song was playing in my head. I never did the “young wife with babes of my own” thing but at different points in my life I have asked myself the question, “Where are you going?” I’ve never had an answer to that question because I never had a route mapped out for my life; instead I have followed the path wherever it led me.

For the most part, my life has been lived “the wrong way.” I didn’t finish high school-hell, I didn’t finish junior high school. I didn’t go to college until I was 34. I didn’t get married until I was 39 and, as I already said, I’ve never had children. Although my life has never been what is called normal and at times had been very chaotic I can truthfully say that with every passing year it gets better and better.

Still, there are days when I look in the mirror and wish the lines that are forming on my face would just disappear. Days when I wish I could go back to the time when I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. Days when I wish my body would stay in shape without too much help from me like it used to do.

It is said that that every seven years our bodies have completely replaced old cells with new ones, which means every seven years we, physically, are a totally new person. The first in this cycle of change is the change from infant to child. The next cycle is from child to adolescent. The one after that from adolescent to adult. For a period after that the physical changes become more subtle and we really don’t notice them. Then around the age of 40 we (especially we women) become more aware of the changes in our bodies. Oh my, in our youth obsessed culture we definitely become more aware of the changes in our bodies.

Some people believe that every seven years in addition to the physical changes in our bodies, “[t]here is a natural release of energy …which encourages you to move forward and make changes.” And that this change “is a soul's demand to be seen as an individual, not as a collective.”

Since the age of 42 I think I have been more focused on my soul’s demand to be seen as an individual than with the physical changes in myself. Going to Spain and walking the Camino was a major energy release and my walk changed me in ways that I am still grappling with today. Today I turn 55, double nickels, the last year in one seven-year cycle and the lead up to another. I have been feeling that there is another big change coming in my life and and I am afraid that I may not be able to handle it. Then this morning my husband gave me this birthday card:

Inside it reads:

Yes!'s often just beyond your No's.

I'm pretty sure the little girl just ignores the sign. For the next stage of my life I will do the same thing.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Who's Your Mommy?

This ad for a website listing condos in the Denver area ran in Saturday's Denver Post. Now, either this image has been Photoshopped or that girl's mother is

one of Margaret Keane's waifs......................or an alien.