Monday, March 20, 2006

D. Bowden
Photo by D Bowden: "Pink Reflections"
Taken at Daytona Beach, Florida 2005

It’s the silence I like
while the world sleeps
no rude interruptions
no disruptions

Lobster Dinner in Maine
by D. Bowden Oct 2005
Ink Drawing by: D Bowden 1983
While vacationing in Maine many years ago in early summer when our children were small, one of the things my husband wanted was a lobster dinner fresh from the coastal waters. We knew from past travels that the small, privately-owned crabshacks serve the best seafood, even better than the fancy restaurants. The place where we chose to stop was right on the shores of the Atlantic. It was a place with peeling yellow paint with white trim on the windows. Inside we found large tanks that contained live lobsters with plastic clamps on their claws. The kids were fascinated, for this is the first time they had seen live lobsters. The man behind the counter took a few out and let them crawl around the slippery, metal countertop. This proved to delight the children even further, and they laughed and clapped their hands with glee. The man then asked my husband, "Which one?" My husband hesitated, for he was not used to choosing his food while it was still walking around. Randomly, he pointed at one of them, since he didn't know what constituted a "better" lobster. The man dropped all but one back into the holding tanks and then took the one my husband condemned to death and much to our children's dismay, plopped the wriggling creature into a waiting pot of boiling water. What sounded like squeals came from the bubbling water, (which is really the sound of air escaping the shell, but try explaining that to three children under age six) and sounded to the kids as if Mr. Lobster were in sheer agony. That's when we realized we had made a terrible mistake by allowing the kids to witness this execution no matter if it was a mere crustacean. To a child, life is life, killing is killing, and killing is BAD. My husband sat there alone eating his twelve dollar lobster while I consoled three sobbing children.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

You Make Your Own Luck
D. Bowden

When I was a little girl, I asked my father if he believed in good luck or bad luck. The answer he gave me at the time was confusing then, but later was a life changing memory. I have come to understand completely what my father meant when he said to me, “There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck, – you make your own luck.” As time went by and I grew older, I began to experience the hardships and struggles of a more complex life. I tried to find ways to cope with problems. However, when things did not go my way I resorted to whining, complaining and crying. Then when that didn’t work I would try praying to God, and that was about as useful as waiting for a genie to take my troubles away. It took awhile to realize that whining, complaining, crying, wishing and praying were not going to help me. Several years ago, I reached a point in my life when I was at wit’s end. Considering all of the things I had tried in the past to cope with the difficulties of living, which did not do any good, I was at a loss of what else to do. All I could do is sit there and brood about all the “unlucky” things that have happened to me. I was seriously afflicted with the “poor me” syndrome. Suddenly it was as if out of the blue the word I was focusing on– “unlucky”– stirred up memories from my childhood and the long ignored advice of my father. “You make your own luck.” I was at once enlightened! I realized after all the years that had gone by that I had the power all along to make things better. Instead of sitting around whining, complaining, crying and praying, I decided to pull myself up by the bootstraps and make my own luck! I had to do something positive instead of sitting around waiting for others to “rescue” me. I have passed on my father’s words of wisdom to my own children. When they complain when things are not going their way and how unlucky they are, I tell them, “There is no such thing as good luck or bad luck, -- you make your own luck.”

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Mechanical Beast
D. Bowden 2005

Looming, mechanical thunder,
Blaring horns screaming in the dark,
Disturbing those who slumber
Along its clickity-clack path.

From some far off destination
The metal dragon slithers in
With its long rattling tail
Swaying disjointedly behind.

The beast rolls closer towards the town,
Wailing, billowing steam,
As if in a jealous rage –
All are asleep, and it cannot!

Churning off into the darkness,
Its distant bleating can be heard
As it grumbles and complains,
Toward its own somnolent place.