Sunday, April 02, 2006
We had an uneventful journey to Florida, and spent this afternoon at the ocean. It always amazes me how calming the ocean is, how it spawns in us feelings of peace and tranquility, when by rights it ought to fill us with the same awe, the same feeling of insignificance in the face of grandeur, that the heavens do. They are both so much greater than we, seemingly infinite, remote, untouched by our fears, hopes, dreams.

One thing I have always wanted was to have a home on the ocean -- the lonely grey New England Atlantic to be exact, although I have come to love the turquoise Florida Atlantic with it's beautiful, beautiful breakers and its abundance of orange and white shells. In my dreams, it's a home where I wake early with the sun, drink fresh orange juice, and write for hours sitting on the beach, facing the waves. Today, walking on sand pounded almost as hard as pavement by the breakers, the wind tugging at my skirt, I had another thought about this dream... fortunately I was able to hold it in my mind until I returned home this evening...

Umbilical Cord
By Pamela K. Taylor

I thought to sit by the ocean today
Pen and paper in hand
To let the wind blow through my mind
The waves roar poems in my ears
And I, ever the faithful scribe,
To write their verses as my own

But before I could rise
From the darkened alcove
Of Erato’s laptop shrine
I saw before my eyes
Paper splotched with salty spray
With patches dissolved completely away
Sheets flustered by sea breezes
Turning their corners up at their heels
Or carried away in flamenco whirls
By lusty, gusty ocean troubadours

Then I remembered my old roller ball
Many a year he has pined
For my fingers’ secure embrace
Supplanted by keys and buttons
Patiently he waits for their return
But master keyboard is a jealous lover
My hand crabbed
My muscles cramped
At the thought of clenched exertions
And hours of scribbled longhand

Take the laptop then
Beneath the umbrella’s shade
A beach towel for a table
With care to keep the sand at bay

For what
I asked
An hour or two
Until the batteries run low
Right in the middle no doubt
Of the surf’s most intimate whisper

A cabana I needed
With screened veranda
Opening upon the shore
A table
A chair
A stool for my feet
And my precious electric umbilical cord
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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