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  • Writer's pictureRaymond Niblock

A moment on the porch.

Updated: Jun 20

Where is my mind today? Right now, it is in the breezy June heat on the porch. Our dogs are out here keeping me company. There is a comfort in that. My husband still sleeps. He enjoys sleeping in when he can. I shall not wake him. There are chores awaiting me. A late breakfast to cook, a yard to mow, perhaps some weed eating, or, as some say, weed whacking. But for now, I’m content to defer those things, finish my coffee, and let my mind wander as I gaze into the powder blue sky dotted with a handful of puffy white clouds.

It is a delicious thing, time, when one knows to accept it. I dwelled with several memories and musings this morning, including the thought of my birthday tomorrow. I also remember my father, who was a great man. Affable and kind, he was wicked smart. I learned a lot from him, and I try very hard in our shared profession to make him proud.

Walter R. Niblock, Attorney, 1927-1999

My mind flew to a couple of friends who have departed. One is my friend, Carl, and the other is my friend, Jennifer, whom I regarded as a sister-by-choice. These instrumental people call my vision west toward New Mexico, where we all once thrived. It remains a land and place I love beyond measure. Ever since I rolled across the Caprock into the Pecos River Valley, where I saw Capitan Mountain looming in the distance with my military school’s gothic towers before me. Love at first sight accompanied by a relentless call to return.

Carl and Jennifer each had highly calibrated bullshit detectors, a quality upon which I often relied in matters spiritual. Carl’s departure was known to me and imminent. Jennifer’s end was a secret, and I did not find out about it until much later. I had premonitions but no evidence until it was too late for J.

Fraternity brother and friend, Carl, although he might prefer a more formal introduction: Brother Carl Joseph Clack.
My friend, J. She was my greatest fan and my most fierce critic.

I grieve her loss. We had unfinished business. I miss my friend Carl terribly, but our business was completed. What a luxury and a satisfaction I will not put into words here. I intend to keep it like a delicious secret for the rest of my days, however long.

I have much to be grateful for. This time on the porch is my opportunity to remember while the dogs inch closer to my chair. One lays her head on my left foot. The other, beside her, looks out appraising the afternoon heat and the occasional passerby. Taking stock is vital for me, with many to remember and expectations of experiences awaiting. Today there is a tug of storytelling. I need to get back to the writing desk, my muses tell me.

I decided a while back to defer writing the sequel to my first novel so I could focus on getting it into as many hands as possible before the fall election. So, the fact that I haven’t been writing has nothing to do with me having nothing to say. Quite the contrary, because the urge to start writing now is irresistible. I also have another story in me besides the sequel screaming to get out. More in the realm of fantasy, that one. In that story, I want to tell bout a man who has lost everything, and in his search for meaning, he finds everything in an unexpected time and place. That story is the one particularly pulling at me right now. A story that will be the product of dreams, belonging, kindness, redemption, and generosity.

My husband, Jesse, sitting on the Back Sand Beach of Reynisfjara, Iceland

Perhaps this story, likely to be set in Iceland, is there to balance the scales a little bit. I need to embrace more kindness because it seems I have not felt all that kind in the lead-up to this coming election. I have been immersed in a war of ideas. It is exhausting. Perhaps a transformative Icelandic journey will remedy that, because my regard for many on the opposite side of the great debate seems at a low ebb. It is expensive to hold others in low regard.

I need to wrap up this reflection, but I am compelled to say there are so many unmentioned things and people for which I am grateful today. Too many to count. I will leave them there for now, and pet our lovely dogs who know nothing but unconditional, unmitigated, love.

Mazzy and Tuesday

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