Feeds:
Posts
Comments

The Spinner

About 4’ in height, the garden spinner has three wheels of descending size.  Polyester ribbons affixed to each wheel were once brightly colored.  The flag at the base of the spinner, a stitched, unfaded red ladybug atop a green leaf, points to the direction of the wind.

For the last 20 years, the spinner has held court in the corner of the summer vegetable garden using the breeze, or the winds blustering through, to proclaim its presence. A gentle breeze moves the largest of the wheels first.  A thunderstorm madly propels all three. 

The spinner delighted young children playing in their sandbox or tending the garden. It gaily provided ornamentation at their high school Open House celebrations.  And it stands now, bereft of color, but still fit, in its garden corner.

The spinner has welcomed and harvested the winds of two decades.  It awakens in the Spring, grows quiet as Summer goes to ground in Autumn, and dreams away the Winter in the garage.

At first glance, it is now a tired old spinner whose day has passed.  Is it an artifact too long held for its memory?  While it enjoyed its sunny days, the bluster that overtook this place blew away its color and its more nimble nature.  Visiting this summer, my oldest remarked on its longevity and rightful place in the garden.  Just now, a puff of air moved its wobbly wheels, as it easily pivoted to reveal the direction of the unseen quality that powers it.

The spinner remains.  As stalwart as the day I assembled its plastic and polyester pieces, it fulfills its purpose to translate what is unseen to the visible world.  Not as pretty, but still a structural, kinetic marvel that defies a date with the landfill.

Things change, and sometimes, things remain.

If you really look…

A half sunflower seed shell appears as a carved-out canoe.

A platform of fallen bark shards accompanied by curling and broken twigs as sturdy as old fallen logs.

The soil, so solid from above, is strewn with composite pieces, glittering jewels, colored, clear, dark, and stacked deep.

Stray autumn milkweed fluff tucks in under the creamy yellow petal of a spring crocus.

The lilliputian delights of the soil become visible when a photograph is repurposed as a computer background.

And So We go

Leaving this place today.

Leaving is always bittersweet to me.  A feeling I should not go, this is home, a wild desperate thought of stopping in my tracks to stay.

Time turned, the deep life and memory of this place lifted and wafted away on every summer day since I left. Nothing remains but the energy carried by me as memory.

Artifacts beckon, touchstones where I grew up, what I thought. Yet, like the faded memory of my mother, all that remains is the essence I confer.  This place no longer reflects me.

The lives of others are lived here now. Their time, like mine, just passing through.

Life is an extraordinary experience, each day its own hello and goodbye. And today, to this place, I say goodbye for now.

Background processes

Have you ever had your screen and programs freeze up for no apparent reason – only to find a dialog box in the background is waiting for action?

Life is a like that sometimes. Without attending to the background, sometimes you just can’t get anywhere.

From the Window Seat

Flying through the sky I saw the distant shadow of this airplane against the clouds.  The shade tracked us into the distance and disappeared. I began to look closer and I saw…

A flock of cirrus clouds plying their way eastward beneath us

Endless rows of expressionless houses far below

The next state over, expansive tracts bisected by lonely roads

Still further, the checkerboard irrigation patterns of farming

A small town, a cluttered magnet from above

Wind turbines dotting in distant rows

Passing over the marshmallow fluff of a beautiful cloud deck

Wrinkles in the landscape below, a tribute to old elementary school salt dough maps

A jet passes us with ease at a lower altitude

The wrinkles pile up, then spread into flatlands

Small mountains look like exposed fossils of dinosaurs that once traipsed there

Arid, rolling brown land

Strips of brown and green soil, like a long row of exotic piano keys

Building clouds mirror mountains below

Another jet, passing through

The confused noodle of a dry streambed

Wheeling over mountains, the palette of the place I called Home. It’s spaciousness and tendency of quiet in magnificent wild spaces always present, even if I am not

The sun tracks across the lake, a blazing comet beneath me

New subdivisions, identical monopoly pieces

Old subdivisions, all colors, shapes, and conditions

Scrapyard, trucks and cars piled and peaceful in their final resting place

Rail yard, parallel lines stretch toward distant destinations

Rubber hits the road, touchdown.

Troubled Minds

Long before dawn, walking in a sleeping neighborhood.

Heavy thoughts match heavy cloud cover.

On the last circuit, a single twinkle overhead, then two.  Above, the cloud’s part, creating a long, cloud-lined corridor. Passage to a starlit sky, infinite with possibility.  Ease to the troubled mind.

A jet climbs the vault of the sky, streaming a hot pink contrail just above bright Venus at sunrise.

Bare trees silhouetted against deep pink clouds. The earth gracefully turns toward its guiding star.

Birds cleave the sky far below the air traffic—a cacophony of song not present even two days ago.

The airplane passes overhead and beyond, disappearing in the western sky leaving a pink track parallel to an aircraft that passed not long before.

The day has begun.

Putin, Trump, and my Ex

Common factor? Narcissism.

Trendy title these days. The infamous tendency to destroy a sphere of influence in dysfunctional pursuit of a delusional personal vision.

Globally, nationally, and domestically, the perp is identified by the debris field that follows them. A blight on any human community.

Oh Ye Cynic

Most people have an opinion on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you find it a commercial opportunity that pushes merch, candy, and expensive meals.  Or perhaps to you, it is a heartfelt and warm occasion, a day to remember those we love—be it friend, lover, or family.

The name “Valentine” is likely a do-over by the Christian church to take advantage of a much older pagan holiday, the Roman festival Lupercalia.  Itself, Lupercalia descends from fertility and ritual cleansing festivals that populated the ancient world in the months between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.

Lupercalia, on February 15, carried and celebrated the concerns of people of the day.  Following the sacrifice of a male goat, near-naked young men ran the bounds of the city or village, ritualistically sweeping bloody strips of the hide of the sacrificial animal over willing women and girls. The touch of the sanctified skin was believed to promote pregnancy, ease childbirth, and purify the community.

Lupercalia—and our Valentine’s Day—are among the festivals that signal the coming of spring.  Imbolg, Candlemas, Groundhog Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Easter all find their roots in the vernal equinox, a solar moment that translates to the emergence of the growing year, hope for fertile fields, and the greening of the earth in this hemisphere.

In this day, a semi-nude man swinging a shaggy hide around the city limits would result in more than one call to local law enforcement. Yet then, as now, internal strife and pestilence rend community and country. The events of the last two years remind us of our interdependence—of what we can do by working together, and how we will die to hold fast to our ignorance.

Valentine’s Day and its cohort speak to deeper tides than candy hearts and spring cleaning. While death is never far, we have these years been challenged for our survival. Whatever your take on “Valentine’s Day,” it is not a bad idea to consider each other with gratitude for what remains and for the seasons ahead.

The Snow Blankets

Glistening clouds of snow blanket the ground, the roof, the roads.

You may know these mornings.  Quiet, a dog barking in the distance, conifers silhouette a deep blue sky brightening before an orange-stroked sunrise.

Winter storms pass, leaving moments of unsullied stillness. Beneath the blanket and cold, some things sleep, some perish, some wait – much like memory. Other than the energy of our blood and bones we are only memory. Some memories finally pass, others will only pass when we do.

The sun will soon dazzle the landscape with its untrammeled brilliance, blinding thought to anything but glory. Then the blankets will fray to fluid and reveal again what lies there.