The Beginning . . .

Any Place on the Circle

Joan Ann Lansberry

October 31, 1996

W hat an unusual time to start a journal! Or perhaps it's not. Celtic neo-pagans regard Halloween as the beginning of the new year. They believe death begins the cycle of life. Where ever you point to on the cycle of death-birth- regeneration, it is all an unending circle. So this is as good a time to start a journal as any.

I used to keep a journal twenty years ago. Can it be that long ago? And then for a couple of years ten years back I also recorded the events of my life. I got re-inspired by a web site of someone we are to meet this coming Saturday. Becky kept a journal which she called "Real Life Test" when she began her transition from male to female. Her story is full of tidbits to help the reader visualize what was happening to her.

And thus this journal begins. Halloween, with the chilling air of the changing seasons, is always a moody time of the year. As leaves decay, I think about my own mortality. What if I don't get the fifty more years I hope for? What if death comes early? What have I done with my life? Am I living as fully as I can? For that is the only revenge against the eventually all too certain grim reaper.

For instance, if I were to write a poem every day, I would have 365 poems in a year, and shortly have an impressive body of work. If I were ambitious, I could do that. Can I be that ambitious?


The moon
slowly rises in the sky
She is round and full.
Wispy grey clouds pass by.
For awhile the moon is not seen,
She shines undercover.

JAL 10-31-96

November 2, 1996

Joan and her honeys Julia and Laura visit with Becky

Rebecca proved to be a very gentle spirit. She expresses her femininity very well physically. Perhaps six foot tall, yet she is so delicately thin and fair complexioned. There is hint of a southern accent in her soft-spoken voice. We had a delightful visit with her and look forward to many special times with her.

We took her to our favorite Chinese restaurant. The people at Lucky's are so friendly and the food is always tasty. The Chinese restaurant has an unique feature: the fortune cookie. These are sometimes quite prophetic. Today's message was special.

"He who hurries cannot walk with dignity."

It spoke to me. Often at the dry cleaner's where I work as a seamstress, I try to hurry. Yet the more I hurry, the behinder I seem to get. Things get done wrong and have to be done over. I break needles. Quite a lot of needles! It is a home machine, never meant for constant hard use. Extreme care must be taken while working on those heavy jeans. Maybe I need to slow down. I know the owner is concerned with production speeds. However hurrying doesn't seem to be the answer.

Also when you hurry, you can't hear the deeper Spirit working in things. Like a cat chasing its own tail, you don't realize you're only chasing yourself. There is a Buddhist saying which expresses this thought. "Do not hurry. All you can ever come to is yourself."

And one's self is best met slowly.

November 3, very early in the morning

Sleep eludes me, for many thoughts are racing through my mind. I am recalling other times when the fortune cookie Oracle spoke in my life. Sometimes She has quite a sense of humor.

It was in February when the gem and mineral shows come to Tucson. These events are the greatest of their kind as dealers from all over the world come to Tucson bringing a plethora of Mother Nature's little crystalline works of art. It was the last day of the shows. The vendors in the motel rooms would be packing up and moving out the next day. However there was one dealer who was selling tourmalines that I wanted to return to.

Laura, my honey, and her son Anton went with me as I assured them I was only going to see one dealer and wouldn't be gone long. They waited in the car for me and afterwards we would go to a restaurant. I went directly to the dealer and found he had a last day clearance sale. Everything was a lot cheaper now. I walked around and around the room with a little paper plate, filling it up. I could now buy so much more than I could before. The quartz crystal with perfect dark green wands of tourmaline through out it was most fascinating. An amethyst imbedded with gray and silver flecks had its unique details and immense appeal. An irregularly shaped, but very dark blue piece of tourmaline called deeply to me. I piled the plate.

When at last satisfied, I paid for my little treasures and hurried back to the car. A very hungry Laura and Anton awaited me. "Do you know how LONG we've been waiting?", Laura asked, pointing to her watch. Anton said,"I would have tried to find you, but I didn't know where you were." "Didn't I only take fifteen minutes, like I'd promised?", I asked, most perplexed. "No, it's been close to an hour!" Laura said with much exasperation. I apologized profusely, truly amazed. For it seemed like I'd only been there a few scant minutes.

Our appetite for food was all the more keener for the wait, the food no doubt better seasoned by it. But I burst out laughing when I read the words of the 'Oracle':

"To he who waits, a moment is an eternity."

Main Journals Index