My mind is like a pool of water on a river, ideas are swirling around me but the mind is still and calm, like a deep well, a river pothole, cold and dark.

My eyes, they are clouded, by long strings wrapped in a circle, by small black dots that I track as flies and realize later they are not, by short eyelashes swirling in my field of vision.  Eventually, your brain will stop noticing them.  Or perhaps, I think, I will paint them on top of everything I paint.  A final glossy layer separating my eye from my mind.  Can I have those photos of my retina? I ask.  Sure, but you have to show them to us when you are done. I wish I had time to paint, I think, with college graduations, spring gardening and commissions, and perhaps the newest obsession of knitted Christmas stockings.

My ear, it was bleeding, I did not know why, with my eye now a clear pool with autumn leaves floating on top, I feel frightened.  Later, after I am told its just an abrasion, I blame the black flies.  Which is more vicious? Black flies or Yellow Jackets?

My skin, it itches, black flies again.  My nails embedded with dirt as I plant medicinals, bee friendlies, dye plants, cooking herbs, and annuals where Tom has dug up my perennials with the snow plow too many years in a row.  I envision thyme oil, lavender oil, beebalm tea, pokeberry colored wool, and stinging nettles as I dig.  A. helps me pick out the annuals, and plants rocks in the dirt to make them grow.  I lament the absence of bees.  But orioles stab at orange halves and hummingbirds hope I haven’t been lazy about filling their feeders.

My heart, it is no longer strong.  It echoes empty.  It trudges through the sludge.  It aches with each step.  It loves more than it should.  It is just enough to get me through.

So I drink expensive Scotch, and Honeyed Whiskey, and seek out the best less than one hundred calorie beer I can find.  And only drink wine that tastes good.  Even if it is less often than I would like.

I have paintings in my mind though.  And my fingers ache to paint them.

Instead, I paint the yard with flowers and plants.  I paint the world.

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