We all change the world for better or worse with every breath we take, every act of cruelty or kindness, every act of love or hate, and with every smile we give someone, and with every tear, and each and every move we make.
OLD EYES is a song I wrote for a (now departed) ‘old’ friend of mine, who taught me rather a lot about life, although I didn’t realize it at the time. He was a beautiful soul, a gift to me, and OLD EYES is my inadequate ‘Thank you.’
This magnificent bald eagle was perched motionless high up in a tree beside the Bridge River, focused intently on catching a glimpse of silver scales flashing in the fast-moving water – breakfast for his growing family, and a slow, grizzly death for the unsuspecting salmon. I watched him for a moment or two, his head darting back and forth, his yellow eyes skimming the pearl gray water, his pinions disheveling in the biting wind. He ignored me, and as I coaxed my Canon to come to life in the chill of the early morning, I snapped him as he left his perch, diving at 105 miles per hour, but he disappeared in to the canyon before I could get his prey on film. Man! I hate that! Anyway, he put me in mind of a song I wrote not so long ago, and used (in part) as the opening to Chapter Twenty-one in book #4 – The Gathering Dark – in the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series.
Most of you probably know by now that all of the chapters in all of the books are preceded by a poem, prose, or a song to set the mood for each chapter. If I’d had this fellow then, I think I might have included him….
Last night I dreamed of black roses
With blood dripping red from their thorns
And the sky was a strange kind of crimson
That never did change with the dawn
And I stood there and stared at an eagle
Its yellow eyes stared back at me
It was caught up in flight and soon gone from my sight
And I wished that eagle were me
Last night I dreamed I was flying
And my wings took me out into space
As the stars drifted by me I wondered
Why no breath of wind kissed my face
It was dark, it was cold there and empty
Each glimmer of light far away
And part of me wanted to run from that place
Another part wanted to stay
Last night I dreamed I was aching
For somebody warm in my bed
Just someone to hold me, but nobody told me
That I’d wake up lonely instead
And I cried for the sand and the sound of the sea
For the softly whispering foam
And I do confess it’s a mystery to me
Why I can’t seem to find my way home’
(Above) Scanning the waters.
I love flight, I always have, and I’ve flown in most kinds of planes, I suppose, from hot-air balloons, to gliders, to MiGs, to all sorts of commercial planes. The only one I haven’t been up in, and would still love to experience, is a Dassault Falcon 7X. Ah, but I managed to live vicariously… a little, in enjoying Tom’s and Jenny’s journeys in theirs.
Despite the sense of loss and longing at the conclusion of Black Roses, it seems to me that we’re all searching in one way or another, and however far our journeys may take us, we’re just trying to find our way home….
Today, we were supposed to ‘scan’ the Digital Version of the Time & Unforeseen Occurrence seven-novel series, due to be released on July 1st, 2015. We’d just received the final document from the printer’s and we had to check the alignment of circa 6,000 pages. When I read the word ‘scan,’ I foolishly thought it might take an hour or two – at most, but it didn’t, it took all day. I do confess that we might have made it through the task a little faster, but we’ve missed our friends, and the story, and we found ourselves reading sometimes, instead of ‘scanning,’ when a particularly delicious segment caught our attention.
Tom and Jenny, the leading gentleman and lady of the story, were nibbling on strawberries, sipping on champagne, and soaking in a hot, round, fragrant bubble bath in Jenny’s photography studio, tucked away near TYAX, in Canada’s Coastal Mountains, and far away from their family home in Maui. And winter was on the wing….
Here’s an excerpt from Book #6 in the series, entitled The Fairing Sky:
‘The lake waters thundered against the shore and the northern wind roared angrily, hungrily, as Tom and Jenny watched the first few flakes of snow fall silently and then disappear into the midst of the squalls of swirling, ill-fated leaves, stolen from the swaying trees all around them. Soaking in the warmth of their bubble bath, grateful for the shelter, Jenny hoped that they had brought enough warm clothing for what was sure to be a bitter morning. A large, wet, burgundy maple leaf stuck to the bathroom window, like five groping fingers hoping to hold on for the night. As it slid slowly down the slippery glass an inch or two, Jenny noticed a black spider attached to it, furiously attempting to spin a web, an anchor to help it ride out the raging storm.
Tom lifted his leg, and with his toes, he pulled the hot water faucet toward them, infusing the bath with fresh, steaming liquid, while Jenny poured another capful of lilac-scented bubble bath into the mix. Tom reached over and grasped the bottle of dealcoholized champagne, filling up Jenny’s glass, and was about to fill his own when they heard a shrill scream coming from Gabriel’s room.’
Ah, the joys of parenthood, no? We read the next few pages too… we couldn’t help it! After spending a decade creating the Epstein family saga, we feel that they’re family to us now, and we’re officially junkies, as we seldom go for more than a day or two without visiting with them, either in the first seven books, the sequel (due out in October 2015), or in the final book, the one I’m tidying up now, but I haven’t had the time to enjoy immersing myself in the journey lately, as our upcoming tour is taking all our time.
If you’d like to read the first five chapters of the story on line, you can do it free at my Web site, with my compliments. Here’s the link – http://jesseleighbrackstone.com/first_five.pdf . We’d love to hear your thoughts about the story.
Oh, the featured image at the top of the page is a lake not far from the TYAX Lodge, and closer to our house, going the other way. We think it’s beautiful, but then – we’re a little biased.
G’night, Godbless, and may you always hear the whisper of wings.
Darlin’ and I have pulled two thirty-six-hour shifts in the last four days, and we’re… not operating on all thrusters, to put it politely.
I knew we were in trouble when we each downed two caramel and walnut brownies, and we’re not supposed to eat those – we’re diabetic! (But boy, were they good!) Drastic times call for drastic measures!
Renewed in strength from our sugar high (which never lasts long), Darlin’ headed out the door to fix our friend Mike’s computer, and I looked at V’ger (my research computer) with solid determination, and set about sorting out the day’s tasks when… it farkled! V’ger, my trusted friend, who searches throughout cyberspace, where no one has gone before, for the data I need to write my novels – farkled! I mean, I could understand Mike’s computer coughing and spluttering – I’m pretty sure Noah used it on the ark, but… V’ger? I began to smell a conspiracy, and narrowing my eyes, I mentally ran down all the people who might want to sabotage (or delay) our tour, but… I couldn’t think of a living soul – unless we count the devil. Well, I suppose he’s not technically a living soul, but that’s another blog post. Undecided as to whether or not I was paranoid, or merely a victim of acute sleep deprivation, I decided I’d better ‘handle with care’ what was left of my gray matter, and turned to R2, my writing and photography computer (he’s never been on line – I don’t trust cyberspace), hoping to salvage a brain cell or two of sanity, and look what I found….
It was another day like this one at first – after too much work and worry (uncharacteristic for either of us – the ‘worry’ part), and… not enough time, we hit desperate some time in mid-July.
My hair needed washing – a mammoth task then – before I cut 27″ off it because it was coming out in handfuls and wasn’t the thick, healthy mane I’d been used to all my life. (Oh, it’a all right now, but I was sure I was going bald for a month or two, and I just thank God I didn’t! Menopause – aaargh! ) The house needed cleaning, the dishes needed washing, and the laundry wasn’t done, but… we didn’t care. We needed a break, and we needed it badly, so we grabbed the first items of clothing we found, dragged our weary selves into Buster, and headed for the beach, located three driving hours from our house, in Canada’s hotspot – Lillooet, and ooh, was it nice! We parked Buster in the shade at Fraser Cove Campground and paddled, frolicked, and soaked up the sun on the shores of the mighty Fraser River. My mind shifted into reverse… and began to drift….
Here are some of the images I coaxed out of R2 today, when he and I and Darlin’ spent a lovely day at the beach – again.
Buster in the shade up above the volcanic rocks on the beach.
Darlin’ paddling in the mighty Fraser River
Me, looking like an accident, but thoroughly enjoying the 5 mins I am able to stand before I need to find my wheelchair.
Darlin’ doing his physio exercises (he has a dicky back). The bridge in the background is an old wooden ‘heritage’ landmark, and is, of course, unused nowadays, to preserve it.
A closer look. Isn’t he luverly? If I hadn’t already seen an angel, I’d think they looked like this.
Just drying off and soaking up the sun. Mmm….
Darlin’ loading my wheelchair in to Buster.
Time to go home.
An osprey friend of ours, heading for home too. We named him Elvis a couple of years ago – you should see this fellow dance around the rim of that nest! It’s hilarious!
Ah… the places we can go…. I had a wonderful day, despite how it started. If tomorrow doesn’t behave itself, I may have to revisit Maui.
Clicking on the widget (I like that word!) at the top of this page (the little square thingy with the horizontal lines on it), our countdown ‘clock’ told me that we have only sixteen days left until it’s time to tour.
Sixteen! I stared at the number and froze…. All of a sudden the 101 tasks we have to complete prior to leaving, seemed like a thousand, and sixteen days, a woefully inadequate amount of time. This deadline business does it to me every time. Can anyone out there relate?
Some people like structure, and love deadlines, and do their best work under pressure, but I’m definitely not one of those. If a deadline fan were a roaring whitewater river, I would be a gently flowing stream. I don’t like to rush through anything in life – y’miss too much that way. Now, I’ve been told that I’m a workaholic (and they say it as if it’s a bad thing) too often to wonder if I’m lazy; I know I’m not, as I frequently ‘work’ sixteen-hour days, but most of it doesn’t seem like work to me because I love what I do – all of it, and I doubt that activities that give us pleasure can count as ‘work’ in the negative sense, and I’m certain that they don’t require the ‘aholic’ addition to the word.
Anyway, as ‘frozen’ as I was, I just had to get a different perspective if I wanted to be productive today, so I uploaded the 386 images from the memory card in my trusty Canon, and peace washed over me like a river. Here’s why:
Aren’t they beautiful? I have a couple of dozen gorgeous photos of the deer, and it’s so hard not to share them with you, but I don’t want to tax your bandwidth to tilting point. (Tomorrow, God Willing, I’ll post a couple of shots of Buster, our tour bus/RV.)
By this date, according to my ‘to do’ list, I was supposed to have this blog completed – y’know, with an eyecatching custom banner and all the fun-to-play-with bells and whistles that I want En Route to have, but as you can see, I haven’t managed it yet (good thing I’m not in sales). It’s more complicated, technologically speaking, than I anticpated, so I’ll have to do it in increments and hope that you don’t mind. Sigh….
Oh well, Darlin’ and I have almost finished recording all of the twenty-six songs we’ll use in concert this time out (we perform as a duo and use computer technology to back us up, which allows us to have multiple instruments, harmonies, and a full-band sound that works amazingly well on stage), which is great, as all we need to do now is tweak (mix) it a little, and that’s always fun to do! Speaking of which, I’d better get myself back in to the studio before Darlin’ thinks I’ve left him. We pulled a thirty-six hour shift yesterday (and a little of the day before, I guess), so we’re a tad sleep deprived today, and the audible gurgle emanating from the vicinity of my stomach tells me that it’s time to eat again too. Sheesh! Who has time to dine?