Tag Archives: spring

Slate gray skies

Cold enough for down coat, hat, and gloves for the morning’s dog walk. I feel a little about spring as I do about Bernie. How grateful I’d be if he dropped out! How grateful I’d be if we had a warm, sunny day! I anticipate the lush riches of spring with a heightened need this year — unfurling maple leaves, nodding daffodils, the bold tulips and magnolias. All this time spent looking out windows framing grey, taupe, and dun!

This morning’s writing class was marred by technical difficulties. I breathed through it. Wrote through it.

Here are some double exposures I created two nights ago. The constant image is the star-adorned wooden box that used to house my sister’s Aquarian Tarot deck. The other images include: dome interior from Rome, a statue of the Virgin from San Rufino cathedral in Assisi, a quilt, a garden bowl of water.

My remoulade bombed. It looked like cat puke in the chowder. Not at all what I was hoping for!

Tomorrow, we pick up a $30 box of produce in the Fenway, an effort organized by a place called “The Neighborhood.” I want to support small markets and local farmers to the extent I can, so there is more sourcing to do here.

Off for a nap! Hope you all are managing as best you can. I’m not looking for silver linings at the moment, but I wonder if this experience will help me develop patience.

Let’s count

After a poor night’s sleep, I woke discouraged. ‘Why blog? Why tweet? Really, why bother?’ Things that seemed sustaining 24 hours earlier, seemed less so this morning. It alarmed me, actually.

Two cups of coffee and one dog walk later, I feel better. Nothing like a beautiful spring day! The sun’s out. It’s in the fifties. I didn’t have to wear down or a hat!

Let’s keep counting.

Five Zoom meetings this week. Four successful, one marred by a no show. Son #2 had better things to do, apparently. Maturing brain, I failed to teach manners, etc. But better things to do with a visiting friend from Brooklyn — really? REALLY?

Number of times I’ve wondered if DJT is a sociopath: too many times to count. Recent events confirm it. Incompetence, stupidity, and strategic vengeance only explain so much. He has more blood on his hands than all the most prolific serial killers combined (except Stalin, Pol Pot, and Hitler).

Spring robins are back! Saw at least five this morning. ‘Chirp-chirp-chirp!’ There they hop — through the green blades of daffodils, not yet blooming but nodding in anticipation.

Number of sirens wailing during 25 minute walk: three? four?

Number of new cases YESTERDAY in Massachusetts: more than 800.

Number of doctors and other health care workers who recently tested positive in Boston: something like 141.

Number of times I’ve seen a person on the red house porch on Jackson Street in 26 years: 0. Today, a woman with a lap top. “That’s 45 schools,” she says. “AND, all the faculty!”

Number of times I spray Lysol on the keyboard every day, even without external contact: once.

Number of yard crews suffered through yesterday: four.

Number of times I’ve looked for the tiny bottle of Purell that magically turned up out of nowhere and then just as magically disappeared: five?

God damn those elves!

Number of masks finished: 5. Number of masks half done: 5. Number of blog and instagram posts about masks: 5. Number of additional masks I plan to make: 0 to 10.

It’s an act of duty without clear cut benefit. I’d rather finish C’s quilt.

Number of email addresses collected for our hyper-local help chain: 11.

15: number of minutes I will sit and follow the breath today.

3: minimum number of pages that I’ll write. I expect pure ranting today but who cares?

2 or 3: number of yard waste barrels I will fill.

One delicious dinner planned. Fire up the grill!

 

 

Bibs and babs

K will be home tonight after ten days away. Ten days is a lot longer than six. I lost interest in food during this absence, which I can’t explain. Seems all I want to eat is an eight year old’s diet: yogurt, blueberries, pancakes, and cereal. I made granola. Finn got the rib eye.

When we returned from Denver all the boxes of my sister’s stuff felt oppressive — even the ones in the garage.

I emptied two more. To preserve the glorious and moving variety of my sister’s clip file, I’ve started on album on Flickr.

Writing stalls and twists in on itself. To “get to yes,” I have to reduce a task to its smallest component. Not “open laptop and log in” small — but almost.

Dog walks provide ballast. The flag iris, so regal last week, start to fade and wither while the Japanese iris rise up in tight buds or open flowers of the deepest purple. It’s a pretty time of year.

The way certain things back up while K is away can be managed –right? — the critical appointments, the hopes for a beach house rental in August. Assertive is what I’ll be. Instead of bitchy.

Meanwhile Father’s Day approaches. I know what I WON’T be buying. Check out the price on these swim trunks. I was blowing through Bloomingdale’s yesterday and this little ticket blew my fucking mind.

One of the neighborhood library kiosks had a book he’d enjoy. I took it. That will prompt me to deliver a handful of books in return. A win/win. No money exchanged.

Last thought: I now know that whenever trump travels, my mood takes a big hit. For that reason (and because Mo hadn’t heard of Randy Rainbow), I’ll leave you with this. Can’t wait to see what he does with London.

Rolling into June

Just posted this in my Etsy shop (sidebar link). Even though I pieced it before I even knew I was headed to Italy, it has an Assisi feel to it.

Enjoy a few more pix from my April trip. I’m off to edit my little tail off.

PS With the sun out and temps approaching 70, there’s a festive mood among neighbors. “Enjoy the day!” says one. “No parka today!” I say to another. “Oh at last!” I hear up the street.

Sturdy bones and spring

Notes from a walk with the dog

Today my body claims her bones. I am tired and sturdy. Bones and I share purpose. The pavement doesn’t defy me. Nor the dog. High in the upper reaches of a willow, a dove coos a greeting, not to me but to spring so newly arrived. Do you see her there, next to the clouds?

Think of all the other kinds of tired! There’s fragile tired as after a haunted night without sleep and wired tired, often associated with a deadline too long deferred.

There’s marathon tired, the through and through physical exhaustion that feels laudatory and comes with a permission slip reading: REST.

There’s dutiful tired, arising when the body ought to be firing on all cylinders but isn’t because drudgery and resentment make their nasty claims.

Mourning is its own kind of tired, one that comes in waves with rhythms all its own.

There’s 4:00 tired, requiring no cause whatsoever and almost always attended by an overwhelming need to nap.

There’s the hand-wringing tired of anxious grievance. Formerly rare, now nearly constant, this kind of tired jangles with us through our days as we watch the news, listen to the unhinged tirades, or merely read about them because we can’t abide the sound of his voice. As we scroll through twitter and go to our trusted online news sources, this tired has us reading current indictments in full and praying for more.

There’s the tired of despair. This type of weariness is dangerous, bearing as it sometimes does an irresistible and irrevocable mandate. Nobody who wants to live should heed that mandate.

There’s the tired of age that comes when you bend to wipe the floor as you’ve done with ease forever and upon rising, your hand grips the counter. Maybe there’s a tiny groan.

Sturdy tired is nearly indistinguishable from sturdy energy. It offers a determined walk, a pain-free pivot, a place on a warm bench where you just know hope visits.

Hope visits. Spring bears glad tidings in its bird song, bulb blades, warmed pavement, wispy clouds — and it does so every god-damned year. How is such constancy possible in a world full of damning variables?

Without thinking too hard about variables shaping clouds and rain, I’ll take this magenta scarf, formerly my sister’s, and walk back out into a morning brushed with promise.

 

The light it speaks

Of spring.

Even before we’ve tinkered with our clocks, the light speaks of spring. Soft and democratic, it offers its glow wherever it falls, instilling a sense of hope.

Is this different from “radical hope” — something I’ve read a lot about since November 2016? Radical hope galvanizes. Forces us to say ‘yes’ to things, because saying ‘no’ is not enough (Naomi Klein).

Radical hope is an act of courage (Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark). Not for the faint of heart. Solnit writes, “Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists.”

Terry Patten writes in A New Republic of the Heart that “a radical robust hope lies on the other side of despair. It can energize and sustain us, inspire our highest capacities, make us a powerful positive force … and help us address our inconceivably vast challenges.”

Cynicism is easy. Hope takes work, builds community, etc. These are necessary reminders. Medicinal, even.

But yesterday offered a less dynamic sense of hope. Nothing catapulting or conspiring. Soft and inviting, it offered a whisper of spring.

Even when a slow-poke cocker spaniel (on a retractable leash no less), forced Finn and me to walk a stretch of Route 9 at rush hour, I was not diminished.

We negotiated past old and crusty piles of snow. Avoided the paper refuse that might house irresistible tidbits. The roar coming at us. Two tons of steel intent on getting to work. Car after car with their threads of exhaust. I remained open. Open to the assaulting noise. Open to vulnerability — aware of the risk — a slip here riskier than elsewhere.

Maybe because it was warmer yesterday, maybe because February really is the month when the turning of season makes itself felt, but in that motion and noise and ever present possibility of calamity, there was hope.

It came unbidden. Full of promise. Announcing itself with a flutter. Quietly.

Where does hope reside for you these days? Is it something you have to work at? If so, how do you do that?