Toward Sunset

Recently returned from what’s become an annual November outing to Rancho Lomitas – a native plant nursery near Rio Grande City, in deep south Texas.  The ranch includes RV accommodations amid an amazing abundance of plants and birds.  This visit found me out walking as the sun set several evenings in a row, good therapy for sorting thoughts and settling restlessness.  This poem wrote itself on the third walk.  I was entranced while looking down due to the intensity of the sun in front of me.  The video way exceeds recommended size limits – apologies if it will not load for you; if it will, please enjoy stepping along. (On my end, works with either Windows Media Player or iTunes.)

Destination

October 15, 2020. I’m almost back from a month’s retreat from home base. I’ve been physically and energetically disconnected from computers and routines. In the next week or so I’ll be catching up on blog posts from others – another sort of cushion comfort! Come end-of-October, I’ll be traveling again …

This haiku was written in response to the visual impact of sky-gazing from the mountain over Cloudcroft NM (a place we return to at least once a year). In typing it up today, I realize it speaks also to my “destination” of adjusting to losing my son. Life seems a continual journey toward an ultimate destination difficult to envision. I savor interim pauses.

Good Grief

September 9, 2020. Two weeks now since my son’s death. He was here the seven weeks prior, seldom leaving the house except for a daily walk around the block. The Labrador and two cats blinked at furniture rearrangements and accepted my son’s desire to be left unlicked, unrubbed. That said, he spent hours observing the canine/feline maneuvers and interactions. It was soon clear they were meditative entertainment through long hours of “just sitting” in the living room. I’d peek at him from behind my computer screen … or gaze at him from my rocking chair … grateful for the nonverbal companionship he enjoyed. Pets don’t ask questions.

Labrador and calico have acclimated, but I keep finding the ginger cat prowling the now-empty room we turned into his bedroom and sitting on the doorstep – signs of searching: where’d he go? For seven weeks his energy filled these rooms, and that remains. I sense a smile of sorts penetrating the space, his pleasure that this cat is seeking him. Perhaps he speaks to her in ways I cannot hear – perhaps they’re engaged in an adventure game. So much I cannot understand.

Odd Hours, Odd Moments

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.     

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Spinning

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.

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Spectacle

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.)

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Curious Endorsement

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.)

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Aging Model

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

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