Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Forever August

*Underwater photo by Laurie W. Wajima

Forever August

Today the thermometer
beneath Guard Station One
read 72 degrees which explains
why it’s easier to get into the water
and harder to swim three-quarters
of a mile, a modest distance
for Barton Springs lappers.

We’re in a drought,
measure rain by phrases like —
Did it rain at your house?
We had a 7 inch rain here —
which means the drops
were seven inches apart.

We've had hotter summers.
Several years ago, it was over 108

for days, temperatures hitting 118 degrees,
119 degrees. We call these the dog days
and stay indoors, drink gallons of water
mixed with electrolytes.

Tap water tastes bad, brackish.
Austin water used to be my favorite drink.

Barton Srings, which has been 67 degrees
for thousands of years – a phenomenon derived
from the temperature in underground
limestone passages where water flows into
the springs — is up five degrees, nearly 10%
warmer than normal.

Sometimes, in December the pool
temperature will drop —
if we’ve had a deluge of freezing rain,
for instance, cold coming from above
mixing with warmer water flowing
out of the earth —
but what does it take to heat
an aquifer five degrees?

use one up?

©Susan Bright, 2006

Susan Bright is the author of nineteen books of poetry. She is the editor of Plain View Press which since 1975 has published one-hundred-and-fifty books. Her work as a poet, publisher, activist and educator has taken her all over the United States and abroad. Her most recent book, The Layers of Our Seeing, is a collection of poetry, photographs and essays about peace done in collaboration with photographer Alan Pogue and Middle Eastern journalist, Muna Hamzeh.


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Blogger SB said...

Many people are finding this page from Google searaches looking for information about Laurie Wajima, our brilliant train painter.

The post entitled "Inside the Train" has more information.

Tragicaly Laurie was reported missing on Tuesday, Sept 12, and on Saturday the 16th her body was found in Lake Mokoma about 150 yards from her parent's peir. She'd gone to PA for her sister's wedding.

We will miss her deeply.

If you email -- -- I'll pass your concerns to her family.

8:38 PM  
Blogger SB said...

Obit: Laurie Williams Wajima

Laurie Williams Wajima, formerly known as Laurie Ann Williams, went to meet her Lord on Sept. 12, 2006, at Lake Mokoma, in Laporte, Pa.

In addition to her parents and husband, she is survived by her siblings, Christopher M Williams (Stacy) of Montoursville, Pa., and Amy W. Sundaram (Prasanna) of East Providence, R.I.

Mrs. Wajima attended the Williamsport and Muncy public schools but graduated from the Stony Brook School, a Christian School located in Long Island, N.Y. Following high school she graduated from Smith College in Northampton, Mass., with honors and majors in English writing and photography. As part of her studies she attended Oxford University in England and traveled extensively in Europe and Africa.

After College, Mrs. Wajima moved to Austin, where she started twobusinesses, one in Austin and one in Galveston, Texas.

In 1994, Mrs. Wajima moved to Williamsport, Pa., where she took a position as a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch. In 1997, after her marriage to Dr. Wajima, they moved to the Yokota Air Base (USAF) near Tokyo, Japan, and they resided there until late in l999, when they moved to the Washington, DC area. In 2000 Mrs. Wajima became a financial consultant with Smith Barney and later with Mass. Mutual. In 2005 the Wajimas moved back to Austin, where Dr. Wajima assumed a new position.

Laurie Wajima enjoyed downhill skiing, swimming, yoga, painting and photography. She had planned an art exhibit of her paintings this month in Austin. Recently she and her husband attended the Mesa Community Church. While in Williamsport, she was a member of the Pine Street United Methodist Church and the advisory board of the American Rescue Workers. In Japan, she served as the station chairman of the American Red Cross at the Yokota Air Base and taught English in a Japanese Catholic girls' school. During the time she lived in Japan she traveled to China, Singapore, Korea and later in Mexico and all over the United States. In Washington she was the city group team captain for the Susan Komen Race for The Cure. She was a member of the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the Mokoma Conservancy.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at the Eagles Mere Presbyterian Church. Friends may call at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Mokoma Conservancy, PO Box 220, Laporte, Pa. 18626-0220.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I went to high school with Laurie. We were good friends - I even went to Pennsylvania once to stay with her and her family - but we never stayed in touch after. Last night I had a vivid dream about her after not thinking of her for years and years. I got onto Google this morning to find out what had become of her, and found this page. I am just gutted by the discovery that she is gone. It sounds like she had a rich life. Her paintings are beautiful. -Richard W.

10:56 AM  

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