Eating Locally · Fishing · Flintknapping · Nature

Clearing the Blues Away

The wind is cold as we go out, he has attached a new scope to this old 22 rifle, my job is to site it in.  Meanwhile he has a beautiful 444 Marlin rifle that he is siting.  Someone has hired him to kill a buffalo for meat.  His friend M. was hired to do the same for some Onondagas that have a farm on the outskirts of the reservation, they will go together to the farm.  I am talking to him as I load 22 shells into the 10 round clip, I lose count.  Shit, am I a felon right now I ask him, I lost count is it 7 or is it 8.  I stop and just shoot with what I have in the clip.

The temperature is a surprising 45 as we drive out to see where this farm is, in my old stomping grounds.  We talk about trout fishing as we ride up the curving road along the edge of the creek.  In my head I am recalling the sweet taste of trout pulled fresh from the water, I want to go, I say, right now.

In the afternoon, I wash the dishes as I watch him boiling skulls in a big bucket on the veranda.  I go out and take a few minutes to finish the last of a collage I am making to help raise money for my friends school in South Sudan.  And then I take the cypress knob I bought from some guy at the stone tool show last summer.  I proceed to doodle on it with wood stain pens.  Until the sun starts to set, all peach and pink in the sky.  My legs are cold, and my cheeks and the big toe of my left foot.

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I have spent the better part of the last 7 hours outside.

I can almost feel the blues like cobwebs being swept out of me.

Changing Seasons · Flintknapping · Healthy Eating · Nature · Small Joys · Uncategorized

Looking for Rocks

I explored a new park, it is fun to discover all the wild space this town has to offer.  It is one of those places everyone loves to hate.  The endless cloudy skies (absent this summer) short days of endless snow and seeming perpetual darkness that make up six months of the year are tiring, exhausting, for me depressing.  This is why I took up snowshoeing though, and though I only get to enjoy it on weekends because the darkness keeps me from doing it during the week.  I thought at first that the park was a wide field with a worn dog path along the edges, until we ducked under some trees and emerged onto a wooded path.

The pirate is tinkering with flint knapping, two sets of eyes scanning the ground for Onondaga Chert, we tease each other like two kids, sword fighting with reeds and whipping each other with them as they break, brittle, on our shoulders and thighs.  I emerge first onto the long swath of engineered flatness of the Onondaga Creek.  I look upstream, then down, and a dark brown and sleek muskrat scampers across the path.  He emerges and immediately goes to the goldenrod and wild aster and picks me a bouquet, which later I drop on the ground as I see skinny microscopic bugs crawling on my arm, but it doesn’t change the endearing quality of the gesture.  I tell  him how my grandmother used to tell me that a boy who brings flowers to his mother, or grandmother, will make a good husband some day.  My memory of it in the wooden cupboard kitchen of the ranch house, the smell of cigarette smoke and lavender, and the scrap of the red vinyl and chrome chairs across the tiled linoleum.  The taste of root beer, and gouda cheese, shrimp cocktail and Bugles swirling in my mind as we bang rocks together, sniffing them for the tell tale smell of the rock we are looking for.  We find a couple that obviously have some of the chert in it, but mottled through it, it breaks brittle in our hands and not tearing off as it should to make a stone knife.

Later I read my book in the sun as he burns junk mail in a barrel, and plants fall lettuce in the garden.  After an hour I go inside and make second batch of hot pepper jelly and pickled jalapeno peppers.  He BBQs chicken legs as I make salad with raspberries and walnuts and mashed potatoes with chunks of sauteed mushrooms and garlic.

Later as he lay on my bed, my head on his bare chest, laughing about something, I cannot recall what I feel blessed despite the struggle of adjustment.  The cats hiss at each other as his low cat wrestles with my little Sadie girl for dominance.  His boy fights fiercely for a role he will not win.  As she, still happy from her brief excursion outdoors, rewards us with a long cuddling purr.  Pirate kisses me good night as he goes to his bed.  A gift of space that I am so grateful for, my promise to never have to share a bed full time with another again, made to myself after the asshole left me.  The endless nights of good rest the best thing that happened in my life in those long seconds, upon minutes, upon days upon weeks, upon months after he left.