Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Sea

I dream of a time when I can visit the sea. It seems there will be something missing if I should never touch soft salinity of the ocean.

Sand and the Shadow
A shadow--long and distorted,
Its image pressed into wet sand--
The fog of once before dissipates;
Clarity and wisdom remain.
In awe, she stands still,
Watching rare, sacred silent waves
Slide over wounded sand.
Dancing ripples sparkle and fuse
Into a sleepy sun.
She sucks moist air,
Drawing the essence from a tranquil sea.
In this place,
There is purpose.
Finding her peace,
She shifts her weight slightly,
Forcing sand between toes,
And waits.

Shauna Chan©

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Cost of Living

Too wealthy to be considered poor, yet too poor to own a home or afford health insurance.

What is this phenomenon? Middle class? Not according to the stats in this city. The "middle class" refers to those raking in great annual sums of $80K. Not too shabby if you ask me. What about those pulling in a meager $35K?

Well you can't buy a home with $35K a year. At least not here. So, what's a person to do when they can no longer afford to live where they work? Where do you go when you've poured everything you have into exhorbitant rental fees leaving no funding for an escape?

And health care--what about it? What is it with paying workers just enough to entice them with the idea of having health care, but not allowing them enough to actually afford it? Dangled carrots of hope, this offered insurance is, swinging before your eyes just to keep you interested. Something is wrong with having to pay hundreds of dollars a month to keep insurance for your family, only to be hit with a huge deductible you can no longer afford--because you've been paying hundreds of dollars a month to have insurance!

Is it my imagination, or is there something wrong with this picture?

I worry about people. One can't complain too much or they are labeled a whiner. Some say if you have financial problems it's up to you to fix them yourself. Of course, that's easy to say for one who has more than enough funds. What about regular people? Those whose pay has not kept up with rising costs, what of them? What happens when you are bombarded with medical expenses, auto repair expenses, housing expenses all at once and no resources to fall back on? How does one handle these issues alone?

Contrary to what some may believe, people don't enjoy receiving handouts. Most people want to make their own way. I just wonder who has set the standard that we are all to live by. Who decided to create such a division between the "haves" and "have nots"?

It is a fool who craves the power to have it all, over everyone else. The many dependents inherited by this rise to the top can topple the perspective at a moment's notice.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pitifully Puffy

Yep, that's me, pitiful. Pathetic. No choice but to blame it on the hormones. I know, I know, a cop-out. Nevertheless, tis true.

The husband and I have discovered the presence of a tiny being residing comfortably in my belly. A happy occasion, to be sure. What a surprise! My first child is nearing the age of 10 years, which is quite a spread. No doubt a miracle has happened! And when the queasies subside, I'm sure I'll be glowing beautifully and hopping with joy! Egad.

Of course, in my condition, I've become self-centered. This is not a normal state for me. Normally I'm right there doing everything for everyone else, having nearly forgotten my own needs. So now, you betchya, I'm taking advantage. Haha!

The problem:
Because my husband is not from this country and has not seen his family in nearly 10 years, he's planning a 2-week trip this summer to visit them. He'll be traveling sans enlarging-wifee and kiddo. And while I support his need to see his parents and siblings, I can't help but feel a tiny bit abandoned at this time. Unfair? I'm not sure.

In the meantime, my face will contort into a smile when he mentions going back home. I'll be happy for him. I'll try not to be envious of his huge family. Okay, I just won't tell him I'm envious. His excitement pokes at my heart and brings back the aching loss of my own family. I'll try not to cry... in front of him. But while he smiles, I'll be remembering the brother I lost and the father I lost. It can't be helped. Though, I will remember, too, that my mother waits to visit with me and the kiddo this summer. We'll certainly enjoy each other's company, and smiles and laughter will hug us with soft security.

So, pitifully puffy I will go and reconnect with my own hometown--wearing a sweet smile and keeping my mind open.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Another Disappointing Day

What is it with these people?
I go to school early, to pick up my little one, park in the designated area of the drive-thru and sit for an hour--usually first in line. But ya know it never fails, someone, who arrives invariably late to pick up their child, parks their beast of an SUV right in front of me at such an angle-- so close to the front of my vehicle--that I will never get out! Who are these people?

"These" people are replicating at such a pace in this town. They are those who believe they own everything, so get outta their way! They are the ones who can chat on their cell phones, park their utes, apply eyeliner, and paint their nails miraculously at the same time!!

It's no wonder my blood pressure is up--I've been dodging the self-appointed owners of every piece of asphalt, every shopping cart, and blade of grass in the public park. "Public park" being a misnomer of course, as this piece of property is suddenly privatized by those whose beasts are allowed to leave their defacating mark on it. Anyone ever heard of a "poop scoop" around here?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Lot Dogs

I expect them any day now. Yep, the Lot Dogs will be on the prowl, in apartment building parking lots, feeding off those who are on their last leg.

I've watched them snoop around the cars of the victims, slapping glowing, orange-red stickers on the windshields of the unlucky. It's happened to me, too. And though I should have accepted my fate, because the inspection sticker was after all expired, I chose to fight them in hopes that I might save the others like me.

The Dogs know who they are, preying on the defenseless who live in low-income, run-down, pitiful apartment complexes. And the victims, who can smell them coming, run to move their vehicles anywhere but where they live--the grocery store lot will do.

Once the Dogs , or should I say, thieves, have managed to snare a vehicle, it will likely never see the light of day again. The "offending" car will be dragged to some tiny town nearly 60 miles away, where the owner can pick it up... for a price! You see, the owner will have to pay for the tow to the tiny town, as well as an "impoundment" fee. Ha! Brilliant, isn't it?

Of course, one might think, if you pay your rent you are entitled to park your very own vehicle in the parking lot where you live. Not so. If you are even a day late paying your registration or renewing the vehicle's inspection, you might as well be prepared to kiss your car goodbye! The apartment management could care less. In fact, our manager once said, "That's how they make money!" when asked about a towing company's practice of snooping around parking lots and dragging off cars.

I'm thoroughly disgusted with those who feed off the economically challenged and defenseless. I wonder how often the wealthy are victimized by towing companies. I wonder why towing companies are allowed to destroy the lives of people in this way.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

The Trees

The other morning, I stared at a beautiful sunrise--ignoring the cars that flew by--through a small oasis of naked trees. I missed home for once. Not the house, but the area I'm from--the empty fields, hills and forests. The spokes of the sun piercing bare limbs nearly brought me to tears. It's the beauty of the simple I long for.

Since the time I've been here, I've not felt at home. It's not for lack of trying. Besides, a place should grow on you after nearly 4 years. But, this place is clearly not for me. The ugly chaos of every day here deepens my sadness. Will it harden my senses, making me forget what was once happiness?

To add to my desperation, the oasis of trees is destined to be plowed down, once the land is bought for some commercial venture. Eventually, the pleasure to be had from the small pockets of nature will be walled-off, concreted-over and all but snuffed out. What's left is the manufactured-simulation of what the developers think nature ought to look like. This is progress.

My quest to understand the workings of this city continues. I'm an observer, to be sure.

The Recluse's Corner

Becoming a recluse was not easy. It took years of struggling to fit in and simply not. Though being a recluse means living in a solitary way, I'm convinced a person can be married and still achieve this state of being and do so happily.