Author Archives: abclarke

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The Ringmaster

“It’s all about the motions we make near the end of our rope,” said the Ringmaster as he sat on the hay bale, boots covered in sawdust, hands deftly weaving a new whip from the cord the rope maker just gave him.

“A flick of the wrist, the wind cracks, the end frays, and the punters gasp. A slice in the air, the lion bleeds, the whip hardens, and the roar stops. These are things you must master to survive in the ring.”

Gently coiling the whip, he stood, walked to where the acrobats stretched, and picked up a trapeze board. As he ran his rope through the metal hoops screwed to the plank I saw the whip was not a whip at all.

“A curve of your hand, a coil through a loop, a support that you hoist, and lovers can fly. A wrap with another, their rope that you twine, nets that you weave, and all can fall free. These are things you must master to thrive in the ring.”

Motioning to the men who were setting up the circus he untied the board, and took his rope over to where they worked. He effortlessly knotted his cord with theirs so when done I could see no joint, then walked in a large circle around the dirt field the men had covered with their tent, laying line as he went. He stopped near the end of his cycle and rather than close the loop, he laid down the end to form a doorway into the ring.

“The steps that you take, the rope that you lay, marks but the path to where you are. It is spent rope. Do not mourn it. It’s the motion you make near the end of the your rope that opens or closes what comes next. These are things you must master to understand the ring.”

Leaving the rope behind, he walked to the center of ring, put on his top hat and turned slowly to me.

“You asked how I became a ringmaster? Well, I will tell you. Each day I was handed rope I practiced. 

“Oh yes, some days in anger I whipped in a frenzy so the blood ran deep, and I was ashamed. Some days in fear I wove so tight there was no give in my grasp, and I was alone. Some days I stumbled and some days I danced. But each day I was handed rope, I practiced. Understand this and you will know almost all that is required to be a ringmaster.”

“Almost all?” I asked.

He smiled, wrinkles in his eyes, and whispered. “Look around. What would I be without this ring?

“The crowds would not come without this ring. The children would not laugh without this ring. The performers would not eat without this ring, I would be nothing without this ring.

“The last thing to understand is that there are no ringmasters. The ring we weave is the master, and we but serve through the motions we make near the end of our ropes.”

Thanks For Nothing

“How was your weekend,
What’d you do?”
“Nothing.”

The quiet evening.
“What’d you do?”
“Nothing.”

The walk together.
“What’d you do?”
“Nothing.”

The passing touch,
The fingers twined,
The gentle kiss,
The knowing smile.

The clothing folded,
The flowers tended,
The shared repast,
The hearts we mended.

“How was your weekend,
What’d you do?”
“Nothing.”

Thanks for nothing.

Not As It Appears

“I am who I appear to be,” said the man. “Only most of me does not appear.”

“I am who I appear to be,” said the god. “Only most of me is not apparent.”

“Ah,” said the man. “You and I are not so different.”

“Yes,” said the god. “And no.”

tip of the iceberg - Wiktionary

Not As Vanilla As It Seems

As I held her, she laughed.
Because I didn’t know whether she smelled of

Roses,
Lavender,
or Vanilla.

And I laughed.
Because I knew whether we wander

English gardens,
or the hills of Provence,
or Aztec temple grounds together,

I think only of how she smells as I hold her.

How to Plant and Grow Vanilla Beans | DoItYourself.com

The Time Of My Life

Yesterday
I had the time of my life
And it was amazing.

I roamed the ends of the earth
Consuming all I experienced
And touching those I love.

Today
I am having the time of my life
And it is amazing.

A specter roams the ends of the earth
Consuming all it experiences
And touching those I love.

Tomorrow (if granted one more day)
I will have the time of my life
And it will be amazing.

Windows

They say you can see the infinite
From the windows of your soul

And you must keep them clean
To gaze upon the face of God

Yet the holiest of places
Are full of stained glass

Flowing Past

Some droplets flow smoothly in the river
Carrying Huck and Jim

Some droplets slam on the rocks astride
Grizzlies seizing salmon fighting death forging life

Some droplets ooze into the ground
Sneaking past beetles, burrowing past roots

Some droplets rise high, so high, and peer down,
Then crash in a fury of sound and light

It matters not
In the end
All reach the ocean
Touching on their way

 Soft rain on the South fork of the American near Placerville CA

Thoughts #7

The way out of the darkness is obvious:
First, admit you cannot see;
Second, listen so you may learn;
Third, speak so others may find you;
Fourth, reach out to find the world around you;
And fifth, feel what you feel.