Creative Arts and Healing
The dog days of summer are with us now in Tallahassee, but due to massive amounts of rain, the August grass has never been greener, nor the weeds so prolific. I'm home from my adventures North and am settling back into the familiar groove of life on Myer's Park Drive. In short term memory I'm gazing at lakes, though -- Seneca Lake in the NY Finger Lakes region -- and sifting through the slate stones by the shore, looking for those shaped like hearts -- rare, but for the dedicated seeker, also bountiful (I ended up with about 20)... And I'm still swimming in Pleasant Lake, scene of many happy childhood and teenage memories, back and forth, back and forth across the water, as I wrote in one haiku "testing ecstasy." I'm remembering the lakes, and knowing no swimming pool can ever take their place. What is there about a lake, a shimmering lake floating with lily pads, that arouses both awe and serenity?

It's too soon to think about sap rising and a fall teaching schedule, isn't it? I hope so because the motivation is slow in generating energy right now. Maybe it's enough to sweat as i prepare the soil for my autumn garden, maybe it's enough to frequent the public library
and dream of my own novel, yet to be born. Maybe it's enough to enjoy my adult daughter, who just found her dream job at a local architecture firm -- staying with us at home until her salary kicks in. Maybe it's enough to scroll through the achievements of past chapters,
amazed at how long and full sixty eight years actually is. What a privileged position to be in - not worrying about tomorrow, not worrying about health or money, or about what my final obituary will tell the world about who i was, what i loved, what i stood for.

As for the political scene and my hopes for America -- oh that would be too strenuous a topic to address, I fear. I remember the words of Rodney King, so simple and pure: "Why can't we just all get along?" I wonder how many languages that sentence can be translated into? Why can't inequality cease to exist? Why can't hunger be banished forever? Why can't
violence just be a word in old dictionaries?

On what is the idealist to base her hopes and dreams? Who decides what reality is? Who decides what's possible? OK, OK, the dog days of summer inspire such existential and
poetic questions in me. The body may be weak - from heat - but the mind chugs along
trying to fathom what's true, what's beneficent...

And the zinnias shout pink pink gold gold!! And the bees hover, sniffing out the
aphrodisiac nectar... Summer loves herself, it's clear -- she loves her overheated libido,
her wild rainstorms, her lightning slashes, her glaring unimpeded sun rays. Give in, she says, surrender to my inescapable embrace

And, from the air conditioned comfort of my study, watching the cardinals, so insistently red, land in my oversize avocado plant, I reach out to you -- in your summer daze, in your search for whatever is missing or calling to you -- just behind the slightly opened door --
dream a dream with me

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