May 9, 2020. COVID-19 makes for odd times, the new normal ever evolving. I feel my sense of time (days, hours) slipping further and further from the forefront of thoughts and actions. I’ve begun putting routine tasks on my calendar, but then I forget to open it, and oops! Two days late dosing the pets with monthly heart-worm preventive. This poem was written in those hours that challenge my dating the page: is it still yesterday or already tomorrow? I had great fun creating the collage, though difficult to choose which of the 40 photos taken of our first 2020 echinopsis cactus bloom. So many petals, so many angles, so intriguing to steadily observe, wishing I could slip between petals for a snooze.
April 29, 2020. Yesterday (another day isolating at home) included a nap, and an awakening that stirred up a poem. This is NOT a black&white image of my blue bedroom – somehow afternoon sunlight shifted perspectives right out of color ranges – for my eyes, and for the phone camera synchronistically beside me (I don’t usually nap with phone!). I’ve added an icon to depict inner spin with Uncertainty.
April 16, 2020. I saw the alert of an unusual alignment of the moon with respect to Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter. Wee hours of the morning, as moon is waning thus rising later, later each night. Clouds precluded photos the first two tries, but this morning at 3:00am the skies were clear. Whoopee! Then ooops … come back in an hour after the moon is above the trees. Still, I took one cluttered shot. (I did go back an hour later for uncluttered pics. None nearly as interesting, though.)
April 11, 2020. I’ve been sewing … first time in awhile! Making face masks to wear into grocery stores and such per COVID-19 expectations. In years past I did a lot of sewing, but not recently. Feels good to be back in the saddle, so to speak.
March 26, 2020. We humans do well to pay attention to wisdom beyond our own, channeled perhaps, direct perhaps, intuited probably. Some questioning (especially of the disparate advice regarding the COVID-19 influence) is inevitable.
Snow Sez is one of my favorite comics, and I have been distressed at his absence this past week. He was just gathering wisdom, it seems … delivered today. I took it immediately to my resident “seer” and she gave a nod. (But note: she continues cleaning her paws in traditional feline fastidious ways.)
(My mother would be 102 today … I sense her nudging me to lighten up.)
March 13, 2020. Today the governor declared Texas a disaster area. (No doubt others before have deemed Texas a disaster in some vein … this official designation stems from COVID-19 … health and economic issues.) We are headed into Spring Break, so my teacher husband will be off work next week; likely the week after that; unknown how long the panic and the virus causing the panic will prevail. I fit into an age bracket considered more vulnerable to this invasive virus, though I do not feel old (apart from several joints that ache). Difficult to believe this virus could feel any worse than my severe reaction to Shingrix back in November! Anticipating my 2nd Shingrix coming in April, I choose to remain optimistic that I will make it through that and this disaster. I expect to be reflecting a year from now on lessons learned while moving blindly, unsure what I’ll bump into next (shelves empty of essentials … canceled events counted on … local businesses shutting down) yet comforted by others sharing this not-knowing.
Last August, I sat for several days with an old lady named Bella. Bella is blind. Bella is quite old for a cat. Bella keeps purring. Bella taught me a thing or two. This poem, written with Bella, was subsequently accepted for the 18th annual Story Circle Network anthology: Real Women Write: Growing / Older, Susan Schoch, Editor — https://www.amazon.com/dp/0979532957 — paperback & e-book
January 17, 2020. As I open mentally and emotionally to the uncertainty of 2020 … this poem honors an experience way, way back in 1983 working for IBM in Boca Raton, FL … I became the lucky alternate when the guy chosen to attend a Santa Monica 4-week class could not go. The class was Modern Engineering, and its primary purpose was to encourage life-long learning. We were blessed with UCLA professors delivering all sorts of engineering specifics I had no immediate use for. But the experience was indeed mind-opening. Gone was my notion that “engineers” were a super breed. They were mathematicians, like me, theirs a specialized focus.
The Mobius band given on completion has been my reminder since that life IS continuous learning, that whatever is occurring right now is both temporary and influential on what follows … everything changing all the time. I look to the Mobius band as a “walking stick” to steady me through unorientable uncertainty along the path of 2020.
(A Möbius strip, band, or loop, also spelled Mobius or Moebius, is a surface with only one side and only one boundary. The Möbius strip has the mathematical property of being unorientable.)
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 16, 2019. We’ve just experienced the last 2019 full moon cycle, and I’m now experiencing my first Dracaena bloom watch. You may know Dracaena by her common name – corn plant. She’s a popular houseplant, needing little maintenance, little light, asking only that you periodically cut her back and replant the cuttings. My back porch is full of her long, floppy, dark green leaves. I received a cutting from a corn plant my Aunt Mary Beth left behind in 1990, taken by my sister for her office, divided multiple times. The single stalk I took in (roughly 10 years ago) has evolved to five plants in three large pots. In all that time, I never knew it could BLOOM! A little over a week ago, we woke to find one of the five had sprouted a long bloom stalk overnight.
Fascinated, I went googling to find my plant’s real name is Dracaena Fragranz Massangeana and she does occasionally bloom – a powerful fragrance and a blooming cycle of 3-7 days. I’m still on watch as Dracaena begins Day 9, with well over half her buds yet to open. Though moon phase was not mentioned as catalyst for blooming, I find Dracaena blooming along with the final 2019 full moon intriguing. The poem below emerged piecemeal. The first image is a collage of Dracaena and Moon – the 2nd is a series of photos showing (1) full bloom stalk, (2) a bloom amid unopened buds (with the prior night’s spent bloom clutching a gem of sap), and (3) bud opening.
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.