January 7, 2020. One week into this new year, new decade … one I have anticipated for its promise of transition in my personal life. I go through a month-long process each December focusing forward and creating a mandala to guide the coming year. I named 2020 Navigate Uncertainty given mid-year expectations. Well … 2020 is showing its character up-front, in this first week!
We were camped at Lake Mineral Wells State Park (west of Fort Worth TX) when 2020 arrived. Image (from my Austin yard) is last night’s sunset in west … behind it a cloudless eastern sky dominated by a high bulging moon.
December 6, 2019. We returned to our haunts near Rio Grande City the week of Thanksgiving. One very good birding location is Salineno World Birding Center located on the Rio Grande River and thus in danger. The current expectation is a wide caliche roadway between river and birding, nothing to spoil the birding center so long as the birds aren’t repulsed by construction. (But there are those insisting we need a continuous WALL …) If anywhere near Salineno in the November-March months, this place is worth the search. (The birds go elsewhere to breed summer/fall.)
I’ve been thinning and tweaking photos since we got back, looking for a green jay image that captures their playful energy. Today, I encountered a poetry form that so fits the experience of watching green jays – birds flapping around noisily, people holding still quietly. I don’t think I’ve seen a puente poem before, and this is certainly the first one I’ve written. Thanks go to Ken Gierke @ https://rivrvlogr.com/2019/12/06/finding-direction-puente/ for stirring my creativity. The puente form puts two perspectives together with a single common thread, and I knew immediately which photos to collage together to show the two “sides” of Salineno: birds on the far side of a large Mesquite growing laterally; birders a few yards away on the entrance side.
November 20, 2019. Seems Brie gets into just about everything, even my meditative moments. I concede laughing and then snapping a photo of my cat constitutes breaking the trance … but it led to an enlightened attitude on the spot and a poem later that day. I will post it now as an odd-ball “gratitude poem” for this Thanksgiving … a bit early as I’ll be traveling during the holiday.
October 19, 2019. Monarchs have begun appearing among our blue mist blooms … any day now we expect a large number to swoop through on their way South. This is an annual delight, but now comes with a complication named Brie. She’s spending prime outdoor hours indoors – unless I’m available to go intervene on behalf of the Monarchs. Monarchs seem quiet swift in rising if a cat appears. But. Brie is under restrictions! I found her huddled on the kitchen counter with bananas, clearly pouting.
October 3, 2019. Had a relaxed nap this afternoon in my zero-gravity recliner – recently moved into the living room to increase wiggle space in the den. When I woke, I was staring at two images blurring together, becoming one big tug on my imagination – a waking dream. I lay back awhile exploring possibilities, then got up and did the obvious next thing: I wrote a poem.
The oil painting (perhaps by my grandmother) is of Texas bluebonnets along a country road, near Cuero, Texas. The cat is one of many feline figures decorating various surfaces in my home. Positioning cat within the frame was not entirely imagination – my angle looking upward (glasses nowhere near) contributed. I’ve reconstructed what I “saw” as collage.
Tomorrow I plan a repeat nap, same space. Who knows what I’ll see?
September 10, 2019. This is Mary Oliver’s 84th birthday. This is also a day of numerous stirring poems in my morning read … including cats with whom I have a life-long close affinity (thank you, Cate) and Karma (thank you, LuAnne). Synchronicity arrived to tie it all together nicely: my cat Brie delivering an opportunity to practice good karma on behalf of a not-yet-adult green anole. (I call those lizzies.)
Cate’s poem: https://zenofhen.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/unbecoming-2/
LuAnne’s poem: https://intentionalinterplay.wordpress.com/2019/09/10/karma-dharma/
No camera in hand when I went to investigate Brie’s yowls. And when I returned with camera, my subject was hiding deep, deep in the succulents. Hence, this image is a collage of today’s planter with prior lizzie as stand-in.
July 31, 2019. I’m still vibrating from Monday evening in the midst of purple martins amassing at dusk — preparing to migrate into South America. For a few evenings in July, the sky darkens with wings swooping down from way up high, collective perpetual motion, each bird merging into position, settling to rise again, resettle. Quite the party scene! Not sure if they wait for sufficient flock size, or weather cues, or perhaps the just-so moon cycle? One morning their signals dictate, and away they go — migrating amassed.
I first experienced this rush in 2014. We’ve missed out in recent years due to summer travels, but this year home early enough. This collage is from 2014 photos (I had a real camera with me that night). Some challenges an iPhone simply cannot meet. And no camera (still or video) can capture the energy of all those wings! Nor the compatibility of humans in awe.