A Little Wisdom

double rainbow

My wisdom comes in short bursts

Of learning out loud

And in silent contemplation.

A sprinter I am

A marathon runner not so much.

Learned to hear with my heart

To feel with my navel

To listen with my eyes

To let my soul nourish me.

My very own soul

With its own character is enough

When others are unavailable

Are involved in their own lives.

I learned to demand less

To request more

Of myself, not of them.

Learned a little blue Agave syrup

Goes a long way to sweeten the pot

That has always been sweet

If only I had noticed along the way

Those rainbows will always have colors

That I can devour for breakfast.

All rights reserved.  ©2010 by Sara Fryd

A Painter’s Daughter

blue ford

Before I knew the words to describe a rainbow,

I could mix the colors of heaven,

of mountains; of Arizona in the spring.

Each morning in darkness before the molten Phoenix sun

would crest the parched desert,

Papa would sneak out the door

quiet as a whisper

to paint this house or that castle.

Peeking…

With one eye around the blinds covering the window

I heard more than I saw.

Sounds my Papa made loading his royal blue

1948 Ford pick-up [truck] with ladders and brushes,

turpentine, putty, tarps and cans.

Oh, those magical cans of paint

that could change the heart of a room

from sullen to sunlight

from dreary to delicious.

Some knights ride into a little girl’s heart

on horseback or steed

large, tall, strong with white mane flowing.

My knight drove a short, wide blue ‘48 pick-up

with a three-speed stick shift on the column

and white wall tires;

pulling a bed filled with cans of colors streaming

for all the rainbows that surprised us after a desert storm.

For all the saguaros, yuccas, Joshua trees in need of renewal.

Mostly though…

for one little girl

who wanted her room the blue of the sky

after angels washed it with an August storm.

A Rock Slice

On my desk is a plastic baby doll dressed in pink (another story) and a large glass jar with a lid.  In its former life on my desk at work, the jar held trail mix of raisins, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, and sunflower seeds for visitors, now it holds treasures of shells, sand, notes, and rocks.  It also holds two prized possessions – an orange rind rose and a rock slice. a rock slice

When you are veterans of a Holocaust, have been homeless for most of your teenage years and twenties stuff and money matter most.  They matter more than shelter or food, because stuff can be traded for food and money buys food.  My childhood home was one where money, material items (stuff), and food mattered.  Often we believed they mattered more than we did.  They argued about everything; even the plastic covered couch and who had the right to sit on it.

I spent most of my childhood learning how to become a “success.”  I have a very different idea of what that means to me now than what it did then.  From my teens on, I spent most of my time trying to succeed at becoming financially and materially successful according to the values of my parents, which meant education, nice car, good job, great house, money in the bank.  The American Dream personified.

In 1992, there was a recession that hit Southern California harder than any earthquake I have lived through.  I lost everything of material value – my job, my house, and all my stuff.   Everything I had worked for my entire life, with very few options (or so I thought then), and very little money left.  California became a bad dream as I moved near my family in Phoenix, Arizona.  Probably should mention here that I married in 1967 to escape Phoenix and the family, so having to come back divorced and broke was a fate worse than prison or death (one and the same in my book).

One day, contemplating my financial failures with daily reminders from the family, I wandered into Van’s Rock Shop on 7th Street in Phoenix for lack of a job or anything better to do with my time than write or listen to them.  I must have looked like death walking, wandering up and down the aisles of this block long store.

A young female clerk came over and tapped me on the shoulder.  I thought she was going to ask me if I needed help.  When I turned she handed me a polished rock slice – pale tan with colored concentric rings of dark rust and orange (like a slice of an old cut tree).  I told her I didn’t have the money to pay for it (it was $1.98).

This beautiful young woman with a sandy blond pony tail whispered, “It’s a present.  Remember it took millions of years of stress and pain to create something this beautiful.  It’s yours.”  I clamped my jaw shut, my eyes filled with tears ready to drop, and I nodded “thank you” to keep from sobbing.

I have a clear glass cookie jar on my desk filled with treasures.  My rock slice and orange rind rose are inside.  Remember it takes millions of years of stress and pain to create something this beautiful.  It’s free, it’s yours.  May I share them with you?

All rights reserved.  ©2009 by Sara Fryd

After Shave

aftershave

The car engulfed
with waves of mulled citrus mist
warmed by your face watching mine
in the mirror from the hallway
as I lacquer on deep burgundy
candy apple lipstick
before the sun awakes early
April morning.

Memories of orange blossoms
permeating the night sky
on Route 66…
the beige top down on
the old black convertible with red leather seats
When I was eighteen and Steven French kissed me
behind Paradise Mountain
where the sheriff watched
with the gigantic flashlight
and I was told “good girls” never go
alone.

Underneath the auburn henna
graying hair peeks.
Longer jackets of fine silk smooth the hips
and lengthen the torso.
Longer skirts cover the knees.

And still…

I am overwhelmed by emotions
that smother my driving
North on the 605
with one whiff of warm mulled citrus
transferred from your face
to my sheerest pink silk blouse
during our dark, early morning embraces
that still make my knees week an hour later
my heart pound.
Remembering again how it felt
to be wide-eyed, eighteen
and waiting for my prince.

All of Them Were You

all of them were you

I’ve loved a lot of men

you know…

Some of them were true.

I’ve loved a lot of men

you know…

Though none like I loved you.

Some loved me back

some didn’t care.

One kissed my nose

then touched my hair.

Questions asked…

then left unanswered

Who came before?

Were they romantic?

Why is it men have such needs to know?

Who came before?

Then how many?

What of your thoughts?

Now here’s a penny…

I’m not a contest or a prize.

Only female…

often unwise…

Why who I’ve been with should it matter?

I’ve been alone more than together.

Please, stop questioning

what I can not answer.

I’ll love you now until September.

For when the leaves begin to fall

I may not love you

then

at all…

All rights reserved.  ©2009 by Sara Fryd


America

San Francisco by Sara Fryd

He spits in his rag, washes my car window

A sign of the times

What sign is that, I ask myself?

That America is in trouble?

That our veterans have no place to live?

That a roof over one’s head is not a necessity

For a Marine?

Who fought for our security and more?  Who now

Sleeps on the ground next to his wheel chair.

Since he has no other place to sleep

Except the grass beneath his sleeping bag.

Roll up a $20 bill and gently place it in his palm

His fingers close around it.

His eyes remain closed, his breathing slows.

I turn my eyes to the cerulean sky recalling

I have no job, nor means of support…

Still…

I have $20, a roof over my head, food in my fridge

And there but for the grace of God…

Go I…

 

All rights reserved.  ©2009 by Sara Fryd

And the World Held its Breath

peace accord

The world watched and

held its breath

as two previous enemies

agreed to lay the past to rest

for once and always.

We who have grown up as

children of one war or another

prayed that this would be the

greatest miracle of all…

a sign

a beginning

an omen.

That maybe in our lifetime

the world would know…

…Shalom!

And each of us who

so cherish this fragile planet

could continue

with the important job

of making this place

more special

than we found it.

*signing of the Peace Accord July 1993