October 6, 2018. Today the U.S. has taken a turn many of us deem disastrous. But why sit home and follow the predictable senate vote? Better to brave traffic tension, spend the hours with meditative peers. Not a word uttered about the politicians’ games. From the silence, I’ve come away determined to keep a beginner’s mind, to follow whatever comes next with curiosity, to remember that nothing happens in a vacuum, nothing escapes eventual change.
This verse formed in my head as I drove toward today’s gathering – an intention mantra of sorts. The image is yucca seeds, gathered temporarily before separating to spread yucca essence beyond original setting, mixing into varied landscapes.
September 27, 2018. This poem emerged from a diverse spirituality group that meets every other month. We each share something responding to the session’s focus – then we sit in silence. Silence can be relative. Certainly sounds normally unnoticed take on new significance when human clatter subsides.
Last week I took in red yucca seeds and a quote from Florida Scott-Maxwell in response to the challenge: What can you see when you are able to look past all your comfortable assumptions, judgments, prejudices, and fears? There were several seed-related responses, and the various seeds/interpretations were swirling in my head as we began what would’ve been silence … but for the old fan directly above me.
September 24, 2018. In a reflective mood, looking forward – an energizing mix! Here’s a love poem to go along with sharing my news: partners for years (we gave each other time), Gary Kendrick and I became husband and wife on Friday – Autumnal Equinox – also 16th anniversary of meeting on Austin’s pedestrian bridge over Town Lake.
The owl in this image was purchased by my mother back in the ’80s when visiting me in Florida. This bird made of shells has been with me since Mother’s death in 1990, reminder of her wise guidance through changes. The butterfly (also from the ’80s) and the owl sit side-by-side near the front door – encouragement to go on out and embrace inevitable change.
September 4, 2018. We drove Saturday to Odessa TX, to spend Labor Day weekend with good friends. Not a new drive – a couple of known paths from our house to San Angelo, one obvious path from there to Odessa. Only … somehow we missed a turn and by the time we noticed the road no longer looked familiar, we were waaaay past that turn. Unwilling to forfeit time retracing, we proceeded to the next town (Goldthwaite TX). Studying Google Maps on my phone, strange changes kept occurring. Our printed maps were all in the truck that tows our Airstream – not with us in the Prius.
Goldthwaite further frustrated with no indication where its roads out of town would lead. But Lady Luck presented herself in a Welcome Center. (Who’d expect such in the middle of nowhere? And open on Saturday!) She sent me back to the car with a county map stating on left edge: “To San Angelo”. We were not yet aware at the county line our road dead-ended into a T … with zero indication what lay ahead in either direction.
Oddly, I have an urge to drive that way again (intentionally) for photographs. I’m relying here on images from maps and a photo of a similar pasture. Maybe next Spring when the wild flowers are blooming … to San Angelo for lunch and back again, with a map and Garmin along for the ride …
August 9, 2018. We have come home from our two months of rolling east then west and back to central Texas. Good to be home in spite of the heat, in spite of the backlog of mail and chores! The collage reflects one of many moments that triggered poetic response – foggy morning in North Carolina, headed toward Max Patch on the Blue Ridge Parkway. No chance to capture with camera what my eyes zeroed in on – so I scribbled haikus to hold the memory. Later, walking up to Max Patch, on trail’s edge was one more solitary golden leaf – hurrah!
May 29, 2018. The school year wraps up this week, setting my teacher partner free to travel. He has been prepping our Airstream, and I have been busily tweaking reservations along the path we’re targeting this summer. Some returns, some new locations. All of it flexible should we change our minds! Our minds are crammed full … no question we are overlooking something (to be further tweaked down the line).
In our yard, every day something new blooms … bringing regrets that we must miss this to venture toward the other. This collage blends purple coneflowers with datura, both prolific bloomers frequented by bees.
April 30, 2018. April brings beautiful wildflowers to Central Texas. My favorite is the pink evening primrose, Oenothera. My first April here (1987) the median strip between walk and street proved to be primrose territory. A bonus the realtor never mentioned. Thereafter, I was careful not to mow until after the blooming! Until … in 2011 a new neighbor on the block (from out of state) created a stink about my “weeds” and sent a cop out to read me the rules. I had multiple cats and zero doubts that no rats lived in my median strip. But: rules are rules and fury is fury. I made sure I’d never be asked to mow that strip again – paved it with sandstone slabs and spite.
Now, every April, I wish I hadn’t. This year, I offer a poem to honor the missing pink and a collage to convey imagined petals – petals much larger in proportion to walkway than any Texan’s bragging might suggest; but hey, my imagination knows no limits!