Changing Seasons · Festivals · Flowers · Magic · Musings · Nature · Pirates · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure · Trees

Turkey Hunting Day

It is now turkey hunting season, I celebrate such a marvelous thing.  The pirate rose well before dawn, nearly still the middle of the night and left, I heard him rustling around, and then I fell back to sleep.  I woke at 6am from dead asleep to wide awake, strange dreams of college friends involved in strange events.  The coffee was still warm in the insulated carafe left with my mug on the counter.  And I made breakfast and wasted time watching TED talks for a couple hours.  Then I cleaned the bathrooms, and the kitchen, and did laundry and cat boxes, and organized my bedroom opening the curtains and windows wide.  The magnolia tree outside my bedroom window cast a stunning pink light over my whole room, to go with the rainbows dancing from the crystal in my east facing window.

Work done, I took my embroidery out to the patio, but the sun was hot and I was concerned for burning my nearly burnt skin from a long day at the Crawfish Festival on Saturday.  Only careful monitoring of my sun-screened skin, and making my sun loving pirate sit in patches of sun near the shade kept me from burning so early in the season.  And my awesome fishing hat.  I took my books and boxes, and needles and threads up the hill to where my freshly repainted metal table sits in the shade under a spruce tree.  I trucked up and down the hill for water, for lunch, for water for the dog, for laundry switching, for forgotten items or dropped things, taking time in between to clean the dog mess off the lawn on one trip, carrying a very angry cat up, only to have her realize that this was a lovely place to lay contentedly in the shade and get scratched regularly.

The pirate returned sometime in the middle of the afternoon.  I don’t even know when.  I just know that I embroidered for about 5 hours, happily content in my zone.  Finally he came up and lay in the sun on a blanket for about an hour as I drank a beer, and worked on my project.  The sun was setting into the evening, all day long the pink and white petals floated down on me like snow, but as the sun was setting it was magical, like a scene from one of my favorite movies by Akira Kurasawa, where the peach blossoms rain, tinkling like bells on a crying boy.

Love days like this.

Love, love.

Changing Seasons · Flowers · Nature · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure · Trees

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.

 

 

 

All things melancholy · Nature · Poetry · Trees

The Lone Tree

my own blood

my beloved

my heart beats loud in my chest,

i know it is because my heart,

it is not so good,

too soft, too big, too fragile

I find beauty in these things

the solemn melancholy

the smallness of me

against the bigness of the world

i revel in each of my broken branches

the storms that have passed over me

leaving me in pieces

i curl in upon myself

a moth not yet emerged

from its brown leaf cocoon

i do not want to leave this place

it is safe here.

i am a stone foundation

still holding back the earth

while a tree grows inside me.

i once dreamed that my hearth fires burned bright

that my tending kept it strong.

now i cannot find the matches

and the wet wood will not burn

these cold fingers are a revelation

i weep against the morning sun

leave me to my darkness

leave me to my cold bed

leave me to wonder if spring will ever come

i wrap myself in furs

and step naked into the snow

my breath like a dragon

it wraps around my ankles like a Scottish mist

the wind takes my hair

and i toss my head like a wild horse

only there is my shadow,

and i sidestep afraid

i turn to find comfort in affection

and only my own arms wrap around me

i stumble lost in the woods

and fall before her feet

abandoned.

my heart

it is not so good

it is fragile

soft

i stand in this place

and my breath it is like the reaches of space

i cannot find the air to breathe

as i see how beautiful

this whole world is.

and how unbearably

ugly

man

has made it.

.oldmaple

Musings · Nature · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure · Trees

What a Man, What a Man, What a Mighty Good Man

I want to see him, but he is having a bad week and he is miserable.  Our brief conversation leaves me with that feeling, the one you have when you have an argument with your very best friend, the feeling of wanting to talk to someone but you cannot talk to the one person that knows you best.  The next day is uneventful although always on these days, this new but small fear of being abandoned by the one I love appears.  That’s it, now I will never EVER hear from him again, but as I sit in the sun on my front steps, my book on my lap, eyes closed, my phone rings and it is his voice, calmer than yesterday.  There is no sullen, no pout, no days of suffering for speaking my mind.  Instead there is cheerfulness, acknowledge of the small place that I was right, and a carefree plan to spend the weekend in my company.  As I hang up the phone, I am struck by this.  I am the sunshine inside out.

We spend the day running errands, taking pleasure in one another’s company, laughing, teasing, playing, working.  He climbs the small roof and trims back the sycamore.  All I had hoped for was the branch that was brushing the chimney, he climbs up on the high roof and trims the branches up high, and when he climbs down again, I high five him though is face is poised for a kiss, which I also give him.  I say, you did so much more than I ever expected.  After I have taken all the brush to the curb, and begin to clean up, he pulls my lawnmower from the shed and starts to mow.

We polish off the day with beer, and pool, and then hot tub, we both fall asleep exhausted.

Today after hiking the back edges of our favorite park where I laugh at myself, saying, I am afraid of heights because I know how damn clumsy I am, the likely hood of tripping is so great that the fear hits me in the pit of my stomach.  Though last time I felt he was unhappy with my fear, this time he says, it is true that if you trip and fall up here it can be bad it could mean a big fall into a deep crevice.  Exactly I say.  Exactly.  We pass the tree where on our first outing together, which we have both deemed “not a date” because the date came months later, in a snowstorm, we stood and drank hot tea from a thermos, it warmed my laryngeal voice.  I remember thinking as I drank it happily in the biting wind, oh no, how well do I know this man?  He could have just drugged me.   I tell him, well over a year later and he laughs, he is not offended by this revelation his first words to me as we were setting up camp on our first overnight together were, you never know I could be an axe murderer.  As we realize that this is the tree on which he hung his backpack, well off the beaten trail, we stop and kiss, and though we are both sweaty, he wraps his arms around me and holds me tight.  In a little while we are sitting on a bench, and he has said something which makes me tell him say something nice a game we play when the teasing goes too far.  I like how much you love nature and hiking.  Yeah.  I say.  Yeah.  That was a good one.

I am sunshine outside in.

 

Musings · Trees

Star Trek Girl

Dressed and ready to go, my body tells me something else entirely.  I call in very late, later than I ever have before, and then go back to bed.  I sleep for four hours.  I do not notice the warmth of the morning as it turns to a cold and damp afternoon.  Not sure if the cutting back on the hours of the custodians is to blame, my room is not cleaned every day.  Everyone at work, in both schools is sick.  If it isn’t the incessant and ongoing cough it is the continuing saga of the stomach virus.  I knit all afternoon while watching Sanctuary, then Shameless, and then a Chinese movie called Aftershock before Morgan joins me for three episodes of Star Trek.  We decide that we should change the dog’s name to Spocko.  He responds positively.  Now it is late and when I take the dog out I notice a sparkle in the evergreen boughs of the cedar that lines the eastern side of the house.  I look and see that a few droplets of moisture are hanging, it is cold enough that they are staying right there, they may freeze by morning.  But right now at this moment they are like nature’s Christmas lights sparkling from the street lights.  I can see my breath coming out in big clouds.  The dog is eager to sniff, the damp brings out all the unsniffed smells.  Come on Spocko I say.  Lets go in.

I am recalling the first time I got together with the pirate.  How he was wearing these crazy gloves that split his pointer finger and middle finger and his ring finger and pinkie finger into two separate gloves.  He held his hand up and said “live long and prosper”  later he made some comment about being a sleestack from Land of the Lost.  But it was the Star Trek reference that caught me like a fish on a hook.  Sometimes he tells me he likes me because I am the Star Trek girl and sometimes he doesn’t even seem to believe that I really like Star Trek.  The truth is at various times in my life I have not even owned a TV, and I rarely watch commercial television, and my TV watching like all the things in my life goes in grand cycles, sometimes I watch a lot of it, some times I don’t watch any.  The thing is, I have always watched Star Trek, since I was five years old.  When we were teens, my brother and I would stay up late on Saturdays, after SNL and watch it on the Utica station.  Sometimes we would stay up in vain, and they wouldn’t show it.  I watched it on the dorm TV in college, and in the years after college the only reason I watched TV at all was to catch the Next Generation, or Deep Space Nine, or later Voyager.  I missed most of Enterprise because I had to pick up the X from school on the nights it was on.  I wish he had stayed with whomever he was screwing back then, I would rather have the memories of watching Scott Bakula, than the memories of being dragged away from it just long enough to miss the end, and have the X close the door to the office while I went to bed.  When I was a college student and we would play Trivial Pursuit I would cross my fingers hoping for a Star Trek question.  One time I said that Star Trek was a strong influence on the philosophy of my life.  I still think this is very true.  That and Bill Peet, children’s book author and illustrator.  I love that my daughter comes downstairs after studying, ready for a break and says, hey lets watch a couple episodes of Star Trek.  I make jokes that make her giggle, she laughs at the crazy dialogue.  I tell her the next time she is giving me a hard time I am going to tell her Knock it off, SAW Bones.  She thinks Shatner’s performance in A Piece of the Action is the best acting he ever did in his life.  I tell her that the episode we watched last, the dark matter one celled organism floating in space and eating the Vulcan Starship Intrepid, called The Immunity Syndrome, is an episode that is entirely a euphemism for sex.   It is though.  If you watch it you will see what I mean.

I did nothing at all today.  As I write this Spocko is fast asleep at my right thigh and Sadie is fast asleep on my left shin.  I will turn off my lights and let my mind wander to the outer reaches of space, where my imagination was built, and my dreams may some day come true.

Black Ink Drawing · Changing Seasons · Treasure · Trees

Deep Quiet in my Laughing Place

The day is bright and crisp, the drizzle ended in the night, and the puddles on the sides of the road are not yet dry.  I hang my laundry on the line and then take the whining dog with me to the park.  The leaves on the trail are wet, it is muddy, but in some places the mud has frozen, and the dark leaves are curled up and fringed with a white lace, and the bright green moss is softly heathered with ice.  I walk far today, taking a fast pace for most of the way, by the time I get to the end I feel a large drop of sweat fall from under my wool hat, I take it off and realize my hair is soaking wet.  It is quiet today, more than usual and I am not sure why, but it is a deep quiet.  I breath it in, happy for the respite, knowing in my heart, with my heart, that someday I will have to give up teaching, otherwise it will kill me via my blood pressure.  A bird, perhaps a heron, croaks somewhere ahead, the dog stops and I stop beside him, my hand on his warm black furry head.  We listen and it croaks again.  I mimic it, the dog turning to look up at me as I do, and it answers, recalling his attention.  We talk back and forth a few times, the dog walking ahead until he hears it again and then stopping to listen.  We stop sometimes to listen, even when there is nothing to hear but this quiet that permeates the woods today.

Meg's Trail

My muse may have in fact returned.  I tear out the sweater I intended for the pirate.  All five balls of yarn worth.  Now what to do for Christmas?  I have tried on numerous occasions to get his sweater with the run in the arm to “fix” it, more like measure it, and he won’t let me.  I think I will give him a box of yarn for Christmas and then say, now can I please borrow your sweater?   But Thursday I woke up with the idea for three drawings, and this morning a forth has been added to it.  I let it stew in my mind, sketching it small, adding little animals to the simple drawings.  What a difference from the angry zombie drawings, these are cute and whimsical, I wonder if the ideas are, in part, inspired by Geninne (blog and art here).  This morning I pulled out my sketch book and put out the first one.  I apologize for the picture quality, my card reader is dead, so its the crappy cell camera until I can get a new card reader.

Five Trees - Micron pen drawing

I love how the trunks of the trees look like little legs and they make me think of the art of my kindergarten students, which I am sad to say, there are an unusual number of them still drawing in the pre-K style of single head with arm/ears and legs and big eyes.  Even still, even after my lessons, which means that they are brain wise in a far diminished developmental level. This frightens me.

Perhaps I am regressing?

Changing Seasons · Flowers · Music · Musings · Nature · Photos · Small Joys · Strong Woman · Treasure · Trees · Zen Buddhism

Love thyself….

It is the greyest of days. The breeze is warm and I start a fire in the morning just to take the edge off. The power is out, and I pull out my French Press to make a cup of decaf from the stovetop. I remember that somewhere in my camping gear is a percolator. I should find it. I think. I would rather not have to use the power variety, either way I have to heat the water. Is gas cheaper? I do not know.

I start cleaning, preparing for the upcoming festivities, guests who are coming allergic to cats, I wash every throw blanket and vacuum the furniture, I vacuum the basement too, because that is where I keep the litter box. I need a filter for my air purifier, I cannot seem to find one, like many things manufactured today it had an end date, and then you could not simply replace the filter, you had to replace the whole thing. Which brings me to another activity of the day, my drill/driver was not working because the batteries were no longer recharging. The new battery cost more than a new drill. We wonder why our world in such dire straights right now, even the things we can replace at what should be just a part of the cost and far less packaging must be replaced with new. It is great for profits, but it is unsustainable for the earth. I have at least two repair jobs to do with the drill.

I have been in one of my funks for sure. But suddenly this morning something broke free inside me. It was real and pure. I have this notion sometimes that awareness is like a dream or a dessert, that it only comes on special occasions, it is esoteric, it is fleeting. But that notion is not entirely correct, it is more like the waking world, a plate of pasta with meatballs, and it comes everyday, if you are quiet enough to see it. I have to learn to be happy with what I have. Perpetually dissatisfied, questing, looking and withdrawing. Then the gates open and the ideas are like sunshine in rays from the clouds breaking through the melancholy and turning the sky pink with the pleasant feeling of it. It does not pour in, it seeps in slowly. And then it builds until it is on, just as the moon is rising.

I woke with this notion that half of my problem is replaying this role I took on in the past. I have to walk away from that. Reading all those blogs, people telling their stories made me realize that my experience was not unique. But it also made me see patterns in others that I repeat too. I am suddenly so aware of it. It feels profound.

I feel a sense of joy that has been missing for a few weeks. I have been feeling kind of lost and really stressed out and uncertain of my future. I try to be meditative on my wooded walk but I have been indulging in both positive, dreamy thoughts and some negative ones, replaying old wounds, I keep coming back to trying to just walk. I stop to smell the scar on a big tree that has fallen across the path. It smells like perfume, I hear the sound of the breeze pushing through the dried head of Queen Anne’s Lace. I send a picture to the pirate, I ask him how his hunting is. Later he sends me a picture of the 9 point monster he killed. I go over and raised right I try the liver and onions he offers. I actually LIKED it! It was not as bitter or as gritty as I remember it being. And he breaded it too and I love caramelized onions so much they only added to the wonderful flavor.

I do not stay long, but return to make my own rich venison stew. It is bubbling on the stove as I listen to Joss Stones, Soul Sessions. The house is chilly, but clean and tidy the way I like it best.

Queen Anne's Lace Dried

I soar,
I, tender, hold my damaged wing
Focus outside, focus outside, focus in.
the aperture clicks away incessantly,
how do you take a picture of what echoes, cavernous inside of you?

It is not the treats, it is the meat and potatoes
It is not the numbing
but the raw opening onto this brutal world.
It is not the raging storm without, but the soft patter of the rain within.

I fly over myself, I turn and turn,
eagle eyed, searching for prey below
and then in a breath
I am jumping mouse,
blind and on top of the mountain, at the end of his journey.

It is not the flowers that dance in the summer field, but the crimson and golden leaves, the bare trees, the small buds of before spring, the ambrosia scent of the blossoms, and then the thick green of summer again.

I smell the fallen tree
fecund in its potential,
but what is the smell of dying dry?

The dried up flower speaks.
I stop.
I listen.
I cannot tell you what it said.
But in a puff I understand.

I break open the egg and see that inside is not just the yolk.
The hen warms it,
she sees no change,
but then there is a crack,
and the existing life is revealed.
How does the hen know to sit upon her nest?

The light shines through the clouds,
the sun rises,
but without the darkness and the moon.
There would just be endless light
or endless dark
but how would you know?

How can you return to one, when you are already there?
How can you take refuge in the dharma when you are already under its shelter?
Recognize what is already there.

How can you search outside yourself for love when you already have it like hot magma melting the boulders in your life stream.

Dried Queen Anne's Lace
Buddhism · Musings · Trees

My Secret Garden

You lean your back against these freshly mortared walls and prattle on about yourself.  The sun is shining brightly on your face.  I lean with my back to brick to your back listening.  You have not breached the wall, do you think you have?  You ask me if I am there, you think you can see me, but all you see is my reflection in the still pool at your feet, the one that is fed by my life stream waters.  I tell you I don’t want to talk about what I am feeling, you ask me what and I shake my head.  I hide my depths, and the secret flowers of my soul, and the oak that grows, you see the branches and feel its cool breeze but you do not see the solid trunk or its reaching roots.  My heart beats silently here like one that has been carved in the deep grooves of bark.  An arrow draw through it.  Only my initials are visible or readable.  There is a door to this garden, but you have not yet found it, and I doubt you are even aware it is there.  My clever mortar is it not invisible and so perfect?  I smile my broad smile that has melted the hearts of millions, but yours I do not think it melts so much.  It just pretends to, like an acorn wrapped in chocolate, bitter and hard underneath that foil wrapper and sweet goodness.  Or wait, could that be my own heart?  For a moment the garden spins, and I wonder if I have maybe built it on some merry go round, but then I realize it is just me noticing that the earth is turning and time is passing.  Your princess calls to you and I am left leaning against the wall alone.  A bird lands on the opposite wall and begins singing.  You call from afar, I am with you my darling, but I am waiting to see what the bird will do.  I have already forgotten you.  But only because I am sure in time you will forget me.  There it is bitter heart.  I wander with my hands passing on the trees looking up and thinking they can hear my whispered breath.  Its a beautiful day is it not? Every day is beautiful I say for the tree.  No it is just the sound of my own thoughts.  The sun has set and the moon has risen and now the birds are beginning to sing again.  I rise from my slumber in the mossy patch near the sycamore tree.  The mist is damp and cool and I put my palms together and pray.  I pray for nothing.  Just that this moment is what is is.  I remember things said and things passed and worry about the future, I ask for just this moment, because the rest is too much to bear.  It is as though the now is a thread that will break from the pressures that may come.  I ask for the strength to bear them.  I go and sit with my back against the wall, it is still a little warm, I wait, but you do not come to me.  I always wait alone.

Changing Seasons · Nature · New York State Parks · Photos · Trees

On the same page.

Birch Tree on bluff overlooking Lake Ontario

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We walk early in the morning, sun bright in our faces the wind on our backs.  I am suddenly charmed by this little town, its charm more evident by the slowing down and taking it in step by step.  I take the time to notice the water and the small shed under the embankment, and I find my hands itching to watercolor paint, though it is by no means my medium of choice.  As we walk he takes my big strong hand into his own, it feels good to hold a hand bigger than my own, stronger than mine.  I take in his profile and the smile wrinkles all around his eyes, I tease him unmercifully which makes him laugh as his cheeks get rosy in the headwind.  He takes me to show me the magnolia trees he has planted all along his property, and the robin’s nest in the top of  the maple, not a sapling and not yet a tree.  The nest has robin egg blue yarn and dryer lint and pieces of plastic string in it.  I tell him my family tradition of planting a tree for the deceased, he says he likes that tradition.  We go over to Fair Haven State Park.  The wind is strong, two buzzards dance on it, the waves crash hard on the beach.  He stops so I can take photos, my own face chapping in the wind, my long hair whipping my face, my down vest is cozy and my heart feels warm.  When I turn around he is watching me, and for a second I feel self conscious, but it passes, as though it was a mote of sand.  As we walk back to the car he opens the door for me.  He makes no show of it, it is done with no quest for thanks and when I do thank him, he laughs and asks for what.

For what is there though simple is good, is great, because when it was not, it was awful.  I give thanks for this one day.  It feels like the first chapter of a book that promises to be good.

He tells me, I think we are on the same page.