Appreciation and lack thereof.

Oh..she breathed,

her eyes lighting,

spilling their appreciation

between us

like so many pearls.

Pools of need.

I stepped back

out of the brightness,

of her eagerness

to appreciate.

The brighter she became,

the darker my mien.

Don’t you see?

It is not me you should be looking at,

but the painting.

A different kind of drowning.

With crooked feet,

With thunderingly wicked feet,

Rain dashed across.

It danced, it pelted, it smote, it swallowed,

it rolled…

It seemed to call my very name.

But just when I thought I would drown

within its thunderous call,

this…

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I carry thunder within my body.

But this?

This lives within my soul.

Gatlinburg.

Nestled between the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, is a pretty little town in Tennessee.

Having only about a day and a half at our disposal, we decided to take it easy and stroll through the main street in downtown Gatlinburg. Packed door to door with stores, gift shops, craft fairs, bars, restaurants, haunted houses, Ripley’s Believe It or Not kinda places for kiddos, the place is ideal to while away a sunny day shopping, people watching, beer sipping….just chillin’…

We started the day with a hearty breakfast at Crockett’s Breakfast Camp.

The place is delightful!

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Old Fashioned Cinnamon Candied Apple Waffle. This was seriously good stuff! All warm and cinnamon-y, not too sweet. Yum!

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Huevos Rancheros

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Florentine Eggs Benedict

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Fortified with good food, we stepped out into the milieu.

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Good old Moonshine. LOTS of places to try out this particular beverage steeped in illicit history.

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Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits that are generally produced illicitly. Moonshine is typically made with corn mash as the main ingredient. The word “moonshine” is believed to derive from the term “moonrakers” used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey. The distillation was done at night to avoid discovery. ~ Wikipedia

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The seat of a Harley Davidson.

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People settling in to listen to some live, soulful, bluegrass music.

Almost all these breweries offer free samples of moonshine which come in many flavours. Peach, Strawberry, Cherry..

After some moonshinin’, we took a trolley ride..up..up..up..

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A short trolley ride takes you to a small plateau with a stunning view and a souvenir shop.

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After which, we carried out some yummy pizza from the Smoky Mountain Brewery.

< Sorry, I forgot to take photos! I was too busy yapping with my friends. :) >

It’s a wonderful place to sit down and enjoy some hot food and a chilled beer but the kids were tired. So we decided to forego the pleasure and carried it out instead to…

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The chalet we rented for the weekend. 2 bedrooms (1 King and the other with 2 Queens), 1 1/2 baths, fully equipped kitchen, dining area, living room with TV. It was clean and comfortable.

And so ended our first day.

Bright and early the next morning, we headed for Pigeon Forge where we went up in a balloon!

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Just so!

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And made a friend. Of sorts. ;)

Often, while traveling with family or friends, and having a grand old time, and between you-stand-there-and-I’ll-stand-here’s, one quite forgets to take photos of the town itself, by itself. And besides, one can’t just pull over and make everyone wait while you ogle over a never before seen flower through a camera lens.

Unless its the moon of course. Then all bets are off. ;)

Rising over dark mountain silhouettes, he dazzled us all.

Rising over dark mountain silhouettes, he dazzled us all with his bright silvery light.

Sorry, I do not have better photos to share. I hope you understand.

But do visit Gatlinburg when you have the chance. One of its main attractions, which we were unable to do this time but have thoroughly enjoyed in the past, is hiking. The Smokies are full of lusciously green hiking trails!

Haunting.

What is it
that rises
to the subconscious..
a call, a whisper, my name
as I was then, not now…

eons ago..

Souls live on
or so it is said
while bodies wither away
like so much dust,
taking with them
all that was.

But how can that be..

for there are memories etched
in my very bones,
as surely as they are sewn
into my soul,

that ache…

that ache with a wild tempest,
a mad riot of longing,

that cry out to me..

deep within those odd moments
of pulsing vulnerability,

remember, remember…

The fortress of one’s heart.

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Its incredible how one’s needs can be so contrary from one moment to the next.

Or maybe vociferousness is not for me.

The day was warm and the park beckoned. I reached for the camera but then left it behind.

There was a need for silence. I did not want to capture an outward display of appreciation. Instead, I took it inward. I wanted it to implode within and drown me in its presence. To let it pool in the center of my being and then let it burgeon with the stillness of the woods. Tender, quiet, restful. A balm, a solace, a gathering of the wayward sinews of breath and then, a releasing.

An unraveling, a crumbling of the walls of the fortress. And then, a gentle rebuilding.

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Though, I simply could not resist taking a quick photo of this gorgeous greenness with my cell phone camera.

Choices.

Seeing birds in cages always makes me sad. Heart broken for the wee one that has only ever known the confines of a cage. Its wings bound and limited by the span of its metal bars. Its voice imprisoned by four walls.

Birds are meant to fly. To soar. To sing. To feel the wind and the sun upon their wings.

They are meant to be free, is it not?

Prison of my choice.

Bars of tree trunks, base of the earth, and the sky, the dome above me. This, my dwelling, is the cage of my choosing.

Framed.

Framed.

Flight.

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Are you ready? said the little bird.

Its going to be a wild ride!

A tremor shook its wings, a shiver ran through its hollow bones that carry the call of the wind within their narrow confines, and the trembling, ever consuming need to soar higher, ever higher…upon the wide blue expanse that seems endless…

and eternal.

Follow me! said the little bird.

Its going to be a wild ride!

Carry me with the strength in your eyes. Do not let them falter for we are partners in this wild bid for freedom. I will lend you my wings and you…you lend me the truth of my existence, of my ability to rise above all else.

You are my witness.

Yes! Yes! I promised.

And I raised him with the strength in my eyes, and the matching hungry bid in my soul, and how we soared together, until he far outstripped my strength, and I could see him no more.

I had witnessed his rising.

With him, I had surrendered.

Closing my eyes I heaved a sigh.

I was undone.

It had been a wild ride!

Falling.

What was it that I remembered

of you, and me?

I did not approach love cautiously,

nor even with a mad rush of longing.

But there it was.

All along, a knowing.

A fact. Like breathing.

I loved you.

I was in love with you.

I knew it all along

without knowing it.

What is it that I remember

of you, and me?

I remember…

falling in love.

With you.

With a you, and me.

I remember you and me.

The point is…

The point is…

The point is to write, to paint, to create, to play..

to sing..

for creating is the song of the soul.

It is a setting free of all that abides within.

The light, the joy, the love….

the hunger,

the thirst for life,

to feel it, to hold it,

living, alive,

within the palms of your hand,

and the hollow of your throat,

and softness of your gaze.

And that is what creation is, is it not?

Something living, pulsing.

Within and without.

Something that sets you free.

And what does it matter if it be good or bad…

or indifferent…

if it sets you free?