Once in a Savage Moon

It is in the city I live in, surrounded by neighbors I’d maybe wish to know better than I do, beyond the hellos, the waves, the talk of lawns and summer ending. Last night I imagined the moon and everything it brought to my mind. The rains were apparent, so I could not see it in its spectacular setting, instead, I visualized based upon the many moons I have witnessed in my life.

It matters little the overcast sky when we think about a moon, such full nature, such depth, when trying to wrap ourselves around why it is we seemingly exist on this planet, inside this solar system, our galaxy. I am not a scientist by any stretch, so I cannot speak much further than the simple analogy I learned in grade school when we all put together our own mobile solar system for Civics class in sixth grade. It might have been 1st grade, apparently matters as much to me today as it did way back when.

The absolute though is that fifty years later, I am still looking for the same moon, and counting on its appearance to let me once again wonder its spectacular vision. I have spent nights sitting on a bridge near my home watching the moon rise, and during such time wondered often what people might be doing with their lives at that very moment. I have a brother once caught me staring at a moon one evening out our family picture window. He said to me, ‘you stare at the moon too long, you become a lunatic, y’know, lunar and all that shit.’ He then walked out the room with a smile on his face. I closed the curtains. That comment haunted me for years afterward. i was twelve at the time, I didn’t know that day dreaming could be such a dangerous affliction in our lives.

But the moon always brought me back. There is no question the fascination, and what it truly does to our state of mind in the peak moments, weekend, couple of days it fills. I worked in mental health for many years, and knew the general impression a moon, without notice would have on our population, including the staff who often because they were designated as such, felt themselves better than the patients  own matter of being. I remember one day, seeing a patient of mine, discharged, walking down a city street near my home. I actually waved, and she waved back. There wasn’t this fear of revealing my private life to this person who struggled to such a point she needed other folks to help her find her way. i would imagine her take on the moon would often have a bearing on the confidence of her state of mind.

So last night, I listened to the weight of the moon. I wondered about life around me, and how people might be going about their own night, whether that globe in the sky would have any impact on how they thought about their own lives and those around them. I thought clearly i was comfortable, I had my dignity in the comfort of my own home, realizing not nearly everyone has that same luxury.

I went to bed around midnight, accepting the reality that my own Savage moon exists for everyone, far be it be only designed for my own benefit. Good night, moon.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

The Importance of Beauty

We live in a society of measure. Of mirrors and reflections and purposeful glances. We operate by sensing physicality alone, even when made aware of a far deeper context to what is beauty in our lives, in our society. This is an important subject to dwell upon in light of the ugliness we are experiencing in our own country, in the world itself. The idea of glamor far exceeds the recognition of beauty and how it operates in the well-being of ourselves, our friends and family, our planet.

I remember as a young child knowing what beauty was in an innocent mind. I watched Diana Ross on Ed Sullivan, I noticed the screaming young girls at the front of a stage at a concert for the Beatles. I was madly in love with Gidget or Marcia Brady of course. In all those examples I was focusing on their physical attributes, which gave me a foundation as young boy to know what defined beauty in my life. It wasn’t until I watched a dear friend perform her gymnastic composition on parallel bars that I began to know another definition. It wasn’t until I walked home with a school mate, though a couple years older than me, and striking in her glamorous demeanor that I noticed beauty in a different level.

In watching my friend perform I was struck by her commitment to what she loved at the time, an athletic prowess as a young woman, one that allowed her to become a state champion in her abilities. To me that wonderment of effort was beautiful to observe.

Later in life, listening to a friend of the family talk about what is important, as we crossed our familiar bridge on our way home from school, and descended a hill that held our neighborhood. She was teaching lessons as a 12th grader to a 9th grader, how important it was to love yourself before you could love others. In listening to her, I realized there was more than fashionable jeans, a chic style sweater, perfect hair to define the beauty inherent with my friend. She taught me about compassion and that began for me a different focus upon beauty in our lives.

One day as a twelve year old I was getting a ride from my sister to basketball practice. She asked me what was wrong as I slumped in the passenger seat. I told her I was lonely, didn’t know what to do about it. She stopped the car, turned to me and said you have to find a passion in your life. As a twelve year old, I blushed and imagined passion to be something sexual, and I couldn’t believe she was telling me this. She then explained the word passion is not simply about sex, it is about loving what you do, finding something that gives you the ability to believe in yourself because your energy is drawn completely to accentuating your own passion.

That lesson from my sister, the walk with my friend, the athletic prowess of my schoolmate, all of those pieces of my life gave me opportunity to recognize a more holistic approach to understanding beauty in my life.

Certainly as a young man, I was still drawn to the beauty of woman, the wonder of her elegance, in the summertime, the fascination of her stylistic manner of wardrobe on a cold winter’s day, how intriguing it was to know she would be cognizant of a look she wanted to have in the midst of a bustling society. I remember knowing a woman who I watched cross the street one day, wearing a striking rain jacket and green knee high rain boots.

Her image has stayed with me all my life, as did the day she and I were lounging in her apartment, and I commented on her jeans, and she gave me a smile and said she had been wearing them for eight days. I thought that was the coolest thing, her sweet comfort level with her own self image caused me to feel beauty about her person, well beyond a physical characteristic.

I think the deeper context of who we are is often easily forgotten about, put aside, neglected. I have a brother who in his elder life, now sits in an art museum and curates the lovers of a gallery in his home town. We had a chance to visit him one afternoon, and he was so in his element – he knew the history of all the works in the gallery, and his smile radiated as we walked through the rooms. I took his picture afterwards because I wanted to have a record of the beauty that shined from him internally. He looked to be a happy man.

Beauty for me holds a lot of different values. Seeing a band perform live, watching my students reach fruition on the stage with their efforts. Observing a student find their way in a classroom studying a subject they have never understood. Seeing students take chances and risks knowing one another beyond a superficial level. Watching my family evolve as I see my two children continue to strive for happiness in their lives rather than letting hardships discourage them. Having close friends dear to your heart that are there to support you, laugh at your whims, share dialogue and understanding for your own passions.

That word passion comes back every time I struggle. The passion to seek, the passion to address needs of concern, the passion to love. We are a vulnerable lot easily drawn to the pain in our lives rather than seeing the beauty of who we are and accentuating beauty in the lives of those around us. My hope is that the people around me, those I am closest to, can see beauty for what it truly is, to give meaning to what is important, beautiful and eternal in our lives.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Humanity Pleads Perfection

If while our lives compete

silence stands beyond our wares.

 

Pre-disposed to finding value

in a fragile state of mind.

 

We dig humanity, its pitfalls

suggested to be given advocacy.

 

Wanting to forge forward in valor

a calculated appraisal of possibility.

 

When suggestion speaks necessarily

give allowance no matter scrutiny.

 

Find your peace in the beauty of time,

for this or ever complication subside.

 

We are resilient in a time driven desire

to find peace among masses the same.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

Summer Dreams

Wish for a chance to capture such beauty

As lights our horizon, an accentuate calm.

Satisfy urgency, sweet like the palm

Solace upon heart sought serenity.

 

Silent eyes seeking accessible paths

A walk is meditation in such air

Having found freedom, surreal is where

Let go of resentments, wild wanton wrath.

 

A forest, instill beauty, while fountains pour

Sky streak across a somber universe

Might love break out spectacular verse

While slow is familiar seasonal lore.

 

Yonder the people in casual stroll

Swoon a spiritual familiar knoll

We Wonder Love

David

DAVID GRUNDY

Glance close in my eyes

will the love be receptive

is it as real as it feels inside

when upon your eyes

I look to see your truth.

 

If when I let you see me,

might the caution you feel

be my own strength of

wanting a world of respect;

in ignorance we know love.

 

In my eyes, is a forgiveness

for I human, my own insecurities

yet passion has been my hero

my family, my world is a design

beyond His how contains love.

 

Oh to know me smile, to laugh to cry,

sweet sister & brother – no family deny.


© Thom Amundsen 2019

I wrote this piece for this man’s family whom I went to high school with. I knew David to share a cup of coffee with him on occasion at the Croissant Express in Minneapolis back in the eighties. Always pleasant, always engaging, we held a natural affinity to our home town, Wausau, WI. I felt near his final years, I could call David my friend, such a beautiful young man.

Taking A Walk

a walk in the woods

quiet serene streamed light

we listen to silence

rustling breeze

we can hear the sound

begin from across the lake,

until in our world, we sense the true

nature of a forest,

maple, pine, birch,

a history of love in recluse

taking a walk

one day I realize

we are all the same

when climbing our trails