Beautiful Spring

Pear Blossom

Pear Blossom

Jonquil

Jonquil

Petunia

Petunia

Cherry Blossom

Cherry Blossom

Petunia

Petunia

After our ritual of Sunday breakfast we decide to go to a local garden store, he picks out vegetable plants and I pick out flowers.  I add salvia and sage to the front garden, petunias to the pots hanging on the garage, he plants herbs in the garden by the front door.  It actually feels good on my back for whatever reason.  Sitting on the ground, more comfortable than standing.  Take note.  In the back he weeds the garden bed and then rototills it, while I use a unique tool he has to tear up dandelions.  I bring beers and vegetarian chili out to the patio where we eat and continue working.  I sand a piece of aluminum I found in the woods, and spray paint it, art making.  

His aunt feeds treats to the dogs from over the fence while he tills a spot for more raspberries.  And she thanks us for the big pot of purple flowers hanging in her backyard.  Our birthday gift to her. 

Playing outside in the yard for about four hours.

Gardening is good for the soul.

 

 

 

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Top of the Lake – amazing transcript and some thoughts

Have you had the chance to see this amazing mini-series.  I will admit the pirate found it boring, not enough testosterone I guess, but I found the series very compelling.  Ever since I started watching Mad Men, I have loved Elizabeth Moss who plays Robin, and who doesn’t love Holly Hunter who plays GJ.   Anyway in the last episode GJ who is a guru that many women flock to, and live in shipping containers at her encampment (perfect sized house?!), gives this speech to Robin, who is a detective but also whose whole life is crashing down on her head throughout the whole series, while she doggedly investigates the unexpected pregnancy of a 12 year old girl.  If you have  not seen it, I highly recommend it. 

Robin :“I don’t know how to keep living.”

GJ :Who is she?
Um the detective.

GJ: oh I remember the detective.  So you’re on your knees.

Robin: Nods

GJ: Good.  Now die to yourself.  To your idea of yourself. Everything you think you are, you’re not. What’s left, find out.

Robin:  I’ve just realized who I thought I was, who I thought my mother and father were…

GJ:  Stop!  Stop Thinking!

Coffee

GJ:  You crazy bitches don’t have everything…Have you people paid your trailer rent, no freeloading, fifty bucks a week. You’ve gotta work. No closing your eyes.

Robin:  GJ, I need to help Tui.

GJ:  You picked the wrong way to help someone, that one, she wants to help Africa!  Like the airplane put on your own mask first!

Robin:  How do I help myself?

GJ:  Why should I tell you when you don’t listen?

Robin:  I am listening

GJ:  NO!  All you hear are your own crazy thoughts, like a river of SHIT, ON AND ON! See your thoughts for what they are! Stop your helping! Stop your planning!  There’s NO WAY OUT! Not for others! Not for you! We’re living out here, at the end of the road at the end of the earth in a place called Paradise, how’s it going perfect? 

All shake heads

GJ:  NO!  You are madder than ever.  To Robin:  You are tired?

Robin nods yes.

GJ: So lie down right here, be like a cat, heal yourself.  There’s no match for the tremendous intelligence of the body.  Rest.

I am writing this as I sit, now weeks and weeks into major physical issues.  I haven’t been writing much about it, but it all started with plantars fascitis, which I am pretty sure came about with the wearing of  barefoot style toe shoes, combined with increased meat and alcohol consumption (inflammation).  The booze has come to a screeching halt, back to  my two or three beers a week, or approximately one bottle of wine a week (or less really, had only one beer this week) at most after a three month abstinence routine, and the meat consumption will go back, even if I have to make two meals.  Back to beans and whole grains.  But then I strained a tendon in my foot the one on the medial arch.  Then I started wearing orthotics (but stupidly only on the one side) and my back went.  My back literally said: UM! NO! Thought I had it fixed, sans medication, but then after a short break from the chiropractor, it came back with a vengeance,   Next week back to the massage therapist, in just a few short minutes chiropractor.

Okay, my body says, this is not working. 

I loved this quote because I know just exactly how this wanting to die to yourself feels.  I have been experiencing this for months, for years now.  Have been trying to write about it, don’t want to write about it, don’t know how to describe it, don’t know what to do about it,  I am frozen, more or less like my back.  Like my joints.  Frozen in place.  What’s next?  Thinking thinking thinking. NO DON’T THINK, don’t plan, just rest.

Anyway, yesterday, as I was deciding my body wanted a day of rest, I found finch feathers outside on the lawn.  I have never ever found finch feathers, blue jay, crow, pheasant, grouse, turkey, but never finch. 

Finch is a sign of happiness and celebration coming. 

Maybe. 

Maybe not.

Image

Suze Orzmann is Boring

I do not hide that I am a teacher, although in this climate, I am sure that there are people who are gritting their teeth, as they read this, and thinking lazy useless child hater, and unions, with a vile hatred.  I love kids.  I love learning so I love teaching, and the union has saved my ass a couple times, from some shit that should really not have happened, but they do an important job.  Union haters forget 16 hour days, 6 days a week, with poor compensation, and no benefits other than money.

But I digress, I am an art teacher.  I am a creative type.  And I despise testing.  I never tested well.  I scored poorly on my SATs, significantly better on my ACT’s.  And I was a high 80’s low 90’s student, basically because I am lazy, not in the sense you imagine, I would rather spend my time following my bliss, than working for a paycheck, or a good grade.  My grades improved significantly when I changed my major to art, and I suspect, that they would have done the same if I had changed my major to creative writing, or even landscape design, or homestead cooking.  Or knitting.

I went through a stage where I was reading alot of feel good stuff, wiccan handbooks, gemstone rituals and magic, Oprah.  But I became sick on Oprah, I think it was the day I watched her carry on and on about this fabulous cable knit sweater she had found, so fabulous she bought one in every color.  I felt horrified by this as I watched a woman in my school, a new refugee, walking down the hall in flip flops, during a snow storm.  As I watched a student, who had two shirts, wear one day after day, because his other one was in the laundry, watched as the kids teased him for his filthy clothes.  And I utter lost interest in her when she started her school for south african girls.  Awesome.  What about your own country?  I know, she is a saint.  Saint Oprah, I praise thee.

One day I was reading Oprah magazine, and Suze Orzmann was talking about money.  She is like a standardized test though, its all about the end result.  She said in the article she only had one pair of earrings.  That NO ONE should own more than one pair of earrings.  I went to my jewelry box and looked inside, which pair would I find a new home for?  Or in the vein of Oprah send to some child in South Africa?  Of course here she is on the Oprah show, and in the Oprah magazine, talking about one pair of earrings, I imagine Oprah has one in every color.  Fabulous.  Would I lose the fake diamonds?  The real pearls I splurged on as a graduation gift from graduate school?  Would I lose the tiny squares of abalone?  The steam-punk disks? The earrings I made that look like doves falling?  The tiny copper skulls dangling from a copper chain?  The copper hoops I bought in Arizona?  Hers were silver hoops, if I remember correctly, I don’t have any, maybe I should go out and buy some?  Or settle on the copper ones?

I wear alot of black, it is a habit of artists, that I embrace, it hides coffee stains, and paint stains, and chalk rubs in easily on black, so does clay dust, and glue particles.  I am an art teacher, not an office worker.  My mother in law (de facto) wants to buy me striped shirts and paisley sweaters, and flowered blouses.  No thanks I say, I prefer plain.  Later I tell the pirate, I would rather accessorize, wear something that is a pop of color or is funky, as a necklace, a bracelet, a handful of rings.  But even in that regard I fall short, because I also like to fly under the radar.  I don’t want people to notice me, because I am not flashy, or sparkly, or fabulous.  I am just me.  And I like it that way.  But as I stare down at my jewelry box full of memories, and bits and detritus of nature, and collections, and a life lived, I realize that Suze Orzmann is boring.  My bills are paid, I am saving money, and I have a few things that I would consider to be of some quality, but the best quality of all, are the tiny beads and baubles that make me feel comfortable, happy, content.  Not to say I couldn’t live without them, like hair, I could LIVE without it, but I would rather have it.  Not to say I have to have one in every freaking color.  But if I had to throw out all but one pair, I think it would be an ugly thing.  Because without the bits of my life that are, cheap, classy, raw, earthy, ugly, stupid, and beautiful, I would not be the full person that I am.

jewelry box

And what the hell?   One pair of earrings?  Even my refugee kids pull bits of colored string through the holes in their ears.  Maybe I should just do that.

What color though?

Snarky morning writing.

i would rather be outside.

The moment I set my feet in the house, I am preparing to head back out again.  He greets me in the driveway, kissing me, he is dirty and sweaty.  I sit on the steps in the sun and tie my boots as he pulls out the grill and gets it ready for dinner, first grilling of the year.  I pull my grandfather’s rake from the shed, and MY shovel, the little one, that I find easiest to use.

I pull three buckets of lilac shooters out of the garage, and head to a soft patch of dirt about a third of the way through the back yard.  They will not bloom this year, but maybe next year a few will be there, it isn’t just for me that I plant them, the birds, the butterflies, the bees, the ladybugs, the sweet nectar that maybe someone will suck from the tiny blossoms.

The news isn’t good, but they have nothing really to report that takes more than five minutes.  The local news recaps what I just watched.  I change the channel.  By morning they have only thirty more seconds worth of information, I watch only for the weather report, and have to sit thru half an hour of repeating gossip to get to it.

I pour my coffee.

I put the dogs dish under my arm.

I sit out in the hard blowing breeze, listen to the windchimes jangling.

Watch the clouds race across the sky, and marvel at the sunlight shining like lace around the edges of blue patches of sky.

Fuel for Tuesday.

Sea Worthy

He sits beside me, a man I respect very much, and asks me how it is going.  Okay I say, and then we start to talk about relationships.  Later as I sit crying as Rose is torn from her doctor, saying her last good bye to a mirage on the seashore, I think of our conversation.

I picture myself on that grey, windblown, threatening to rain shore, looking out to sea, a widow, still standing on her walk.

I know exactly how Rose feels.  She and I both know we will never see that ship at sail again.

Still, sometimes, I scan the horizon for the sure sign, the flag flapping, and yet, I know it is sunk far below the deepest cresting waves, far beyond what I could see with even a spyglass.

I have a sea worthy vessel, this I know as I climb into his bed, he who is not cuddly or affectionate, really, wrapping his arms around me, kissing me, intertwining his feet with mine, I can feel the love coming from him, though the words are rare.

I tell my friend, the ship builder, that I know I am loved.  You can love the person, he says to me, but not love the way they behave.  That is it, I say, I get that.  In the end he says, you make that commitment, and as a MAN, he emphasizes, you KEEP it, UNLESS, there is some kind of abuse happening.  I tell him, no matter what, no matter what is said between us, I absolutely never feel a threat to my person.  He tells me of her anger, and how it concerns him, but that he knows, that is something she has to work through, and it will be easier for HER if he is there for her.

We have been having these discussions now for all of five years.  He the one who told me back when my skin was flayed, and my pain like an anchor, that whomever left me, had lost SOMETHING, something special.

Our decisions, he says, define us, the choices we make, make up the foundation of our lives.

In my mind’s eye I stand beside Rose, on that Norwegian beach, I lay in bed beside the woman in Six Feet Under, as she dies alone in her bed, surrounded by her art.  I stand beside the sea captain’s widow, on her walk, I catch a ride on the ship of a pirate, though the work on this deck is not always easy, the ship is sea worthy, but sometimes, I take the duty of sitting the Crow’s Nest, waiting for a ship, to rise from the deep.

Though, if it did, I would die from the anguish.

 

 

 

 

First Week of Fishing Season (aka they are not biting)

My mom is on the phone telling me how my brother always wanted to fish the first day, but up in the area I grew up in, the water was usually frozen over, and covered in a deep layer of snow.  Down here, the first day arrives and it is pouring when we wake, after an hour or so the rain has stopped, so we put on our hip waders and smart-wool, and go, what I do not account for is the howling wind and soon the fat lake effect snow flakes that catch on my line.

sexy

This outfit is more attractive to me than just about anything else a man can wear.

The next morning we pack the car up and head north, and fish in a small Adirondack stream, before heading to a warmer location.  And then the next day spend several fruitless hours fishing the Schroon River with a cold piercing wind, my line either tangles or snags again and again and again and I am frustrated beyond words.  We move to a smaller feeder stream and he puts me in a sheltered location where I cast the line out and it immediately snags.  At that moment I quit, utterly.  I take the dog and we sit on the sandy bank in the sun, while the pirate fishes.  I feel no guilt or shame at quitting, the damn trout aren’t biting anyway.

The thing I like best about this place, other than the friends that have become family, is the peacefulness and solitude of walking here.  I never encounter anyone, and never have the fear of encountering anyone who will ruin my walk.

Later W. and I explore the waterfall that for my own reasons I have named dragon teeth falls.  She is like a forest fairy, climbing up and down banks, saying hi from somewhere over my head and blending in to the beige and brown of the melting forest like she is a part of it.  She is.

icicles

icicles2

dragonteethfalls

I feel, though, like a stupid and lumbering rhinoceros, I don’t know why but I am in a very low spot, energy wise, and maybe psychologically.  I am working through a lot of stuff, and frankly much of my life has improved significantly in the past few weeks, and maybe months, but there is still some things to work out, and sometimes I feel like I am standing on a stone in the middle of the river, I know I will be taking another step, but right now I cannot see the stone that will be the place for my footing.  I keep telling myself that this resting period is part of the process, because it just feels dull and lacks life, and I find myself seeking more natural sources of healing.  Fixing my nutrition, massage therapy, removing chemicals, returning to yoga.

But then there are times the universe seems against me, the one time I go to Clark, viola, bitch.  The one time I go to yoga, viola, esoteric yoga freak teacher, who is a strutting peacock.  You aren’t doing yoga until you breath like this and then he does this weird thing with his stomach.  Okay I guess I am just here to find peace and serenity, you don’t have to call it yoga.  I feel snarky, and when they all make odd faces and hiss in lion pose, I find that I cannot help but snicker, later I feel guilty for my judgment.  Maybe I just won’t go at all anymore, rather than face this, this ugly feeling that this guy is an idiot, or worse that I am still in the shallows, waiting for the fish to bite, while I tangle my line.  Still on the high road, not even knowing that below is a waterfall, still walking the same path, not realizing the woods are scattered with others.

In the long night, I realize that long ago I stopped collecting treasures for my little box, and I need to once again begin to fill it.  I think the first thing I should start with might be this:

Rhinoceros.