Santa Fe post #10 Where troubles melt like lemon drops   Leave a comment

Yesterday, I met a nice optometrist who examined my eyes. I asked if he was a native of Santa Fe and he told me that he was from Connecticut but has lived in Santa Fe for 50 years.

“I was on the city council when we were debating whether to add the second stop light in town back when Santa Fe was mostly the Plaza and Canyon Road. That’s the Santa Fe I loved, not now. But, still the mountains, the clean air, the museums are all here and that’s what I still love about this place.”

He saw that my previous doctors are in Nebraska.

“One of my common expressions comes from Nebraska or maybe it’s Kansas. I say, oh what is it I say when someone asks me how I am?”

The office worker said, “How are you, Doctor.”

“Fair to partly cloudy,” he said without missing beat.

Thursday night, we went to the Railyard Park and watched 150 artists from 49 countries process in their native garb through the park to music that changed to match each specific group’s country coming down from the gazebo-like stage and into an open area. I thought about how much my mother would enjoy watching this, the bright dress of men and women, the skin colors of every hue, and the welcome of Santa Feans to this international group. All appeared to be enjoying themselves, dancing and smiling. It seemed odd to feel so far away from my family who are living, but sense my dead mother to be close.


Friday was a difficult day at Unit J. No workmen showed up this week to begin repairs from the fire. Ed’s feeling that his plans are altered and not sure how to proceed. I’m still waiting to hear a start date for my new job, waiting for the new building’s completion and as I’ve heard many times in Santa Fe, “manana, manana”

mañana |mənˈyänə|


in the indefinite future (used to indicate procrastination) : the exhibition will be ready mañana.

ORIGIN Spanish, literally ‘tomorrow.’


The optometrist also said “manana” and told me that it could be two years before the building is ready. But it’s already been two years according to the woman who hired me. There are just a few things left to do on the building. Yikes, what if it is a month or two or more.

I visited the dog park with Brando and Tucker about 6:30PM on Friday. I like to hear the names of dogs,  “Here Chumley, C’mon Frankie, Good boy Oscar.” When we get down to the sandy arroyo that opens wide, it’s Brando’s sign to tear around in circles and entice Tucker to chase and wrestle. I love watching him do that after being stuck inside without even a good observation window. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains looked glorious in the early evening light and I felt myself relax. This place is a sanctuary for all of us, a place of freedom from worry, almost.  The great thing that happened at the dog park on this Friday in July was the bluebirds. Bluebirds have become a symbol of goodness and love for me. That’s a bit saccharine, but here’s some bluebird back-story before I tell of bluebirds at the dog.

My mother loved the “Wizard of Oz” movie and all the Oz books.  I watched the film more than once with her when I was a child. A few months before my mother died in March 2008, she promised to send me a sign of life after death if she could. We agreed that she would send me a bluebird. The day after her funeral I went to a local store to make copies of photos of mom to give them to my brothers and sister. While waiting for the photos to be copied, and feeling very sad and wishing I had not tried this so soon after her funeral, I heard a song playing overhead on the store’s sound system. The words I heard were “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” I smiled. I never hear this song played unless it’s when the movie is aired. Then a few days later, I put a disk in my CD player.  I had not listened to the entire new CD. It was a collection of duets by Ray Charles and other artists. I popped the disk in and Ray Charles sang, “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” I had not realized that song was on this disk. Wow! Bluebirds again from mom’s favorite movie. I returned to work a week later, and checked my email. A friend sent me photos of mama animals and their babies and the background music was “Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.” Unbelievable! I told the story of bluebirds to my brother who called me a few days later to say that he heard the song on the radio at his workplace. A few days after this, his girlfriend called him on the way to his house and said turn on your radio. Yes, the song was playing again! The first Christmas after she died, and the first Christmas that none of my children would be there on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, I was feeling sad and lonely. Ed had fallen near the woodpile and was relaxing with a pain pill on the couch. I ate a bowl of cereal and thought how much this day did not feel like the night before Christmas. I turned on the Free Speech TV channel and the program was on E.Y. Harburg the man who wrote, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and many other famous tunes including ‘Brother Can You Spare a Dime.” Harburg was a great activist songwriter in his day. Wow! Here I am missing my mother and another bluebird song connection.  I don’t know if I’m sending vibes out into the world at these times and I’m met with responses of the bluebird song from my mother’s favorite movie or if I’ve never noticed how often it’s played before, or if there is some power or god or afterlife. I don’t care. It’s a wonder and wonder is good.


Somewhere Over the Rainbow

music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg

 Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow
Why, oh why can’t I?

So Brando and Tucker and I are walking a trail at the Frank Ortiz dog park. I’m inhaling the scenery and they’re sniffing every thing in sight from roots, the back end of Chumley, to air just air when I see a bluebird. At first I thought it might be an Indigo Blue Bunting that I’d see once in the country in Nebraska, but that bird was the most vivid blue and this one was blue but not so vivid. I tried to follow it with my still highly dilated eyes in my seven year old, too-many-prescriptions-back sunglasses, but it disappeared quickly. Disappointed that I had not been able to follow it further, but smiling that I had seen it, I saw another and then four more. Standing there in awe, six more bluebirds fly over my head. Smiling and crying. Thanks, mom. You knew I needed a flock of bluebirds today. Whether my mother sent them, or not, my heart knows that intent is what matters and I know she would send me hundreds everyday, and maybe does if I take the time to notice, I just know her intent, and these bluebirds remind me of something that Ed Lowe told me long ago.  “Once you have your mother’s love, it never leaves you.” So chew me up world. I have something you cannot take.


What Awaits

She moves like a memory

the way water rubs itself

against rock walls

a flow and ebb

absolute marks on stone or flesh

her body lean and solid

across pink prairied sky

oil on canvas


Said she’d send a bluebird

to the plum tree outside my window

a sign of the life after


I’ll watch the window soon

with blue longings

and recall how she moved when old

and I’ll know how to become




Posted July 9, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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