Sunday, July 11, 2010

GiST 251: Oak Mimosa Magnolia

Grace in Small Things 251

My Oak at the farm has fallen. It is and always has been my favorite because it is home to a Mimosa growing out of its trunk and a magnolia in the V of its top branches, I've watched that little magnolia reach up out of the bough of this pin oak for ten years. I know exactly the summer it was born. Exactly how long it's grappled with its decaying cradle. The oak has been there since my great Uncle Henry's time. Around 1900. That's the Mimosa towering over the top of the tree. That's the Magnolia peeping out of the V in the center of the photo.

1. Nothing stays the same

2. Everything lives on the back of everything else

3. This is me

4. This is you

5. We are the same.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

GiST 250: Barn Swallows

Now that Grandma's barn is abandoned, the swallows are building hundreds of intricate mud nests.

The barn on the left in the back is where I photographed the swallows.
There are also owls in the top of the silo. A bleached pile of mouse bones lay at the bottom of the ladder well.

The swallows are in these rafters

Funny how the barn falling apart is representative of how I feel about Grandma who is 99 next month and hanging in there, but the swallows remind me that life is built on impermanence and the resources left behind.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.
~ John O'Donohue~

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Signs and Visitations in San Miguel de Allende

Yesterday, after the drama of the storm, it rained steadily for some time. At about 9 o'clock last night as I took Choco out for his walk, it was still raining lightly. I opened the front wooden door, and then the outer metal door (which is sort of an open gate/grate-like thing.) We went out. I then closed the wooden door behind us and reached to close the metal door and there was a rather large lizard (well, not iguana-size, but not chameleon-size, either -- probably 8" long and a US quarter-size diameter) right by the latch (where I had just had my hand.) Startled the beejabbers out of me.

Frankly, I don't know how I hadn't knocked it off. My hand must have actually touched it. At any rate, I gasped. The lizard looked at me. I looked at the lizard. The is something so very, very old about a lizard's gaze. The lizard didn't move. Okay. I thought. That's weird. It was on the door, but didn't move when I rattled and slid the latch, swung the door open and shut. Maybe it's dead, I thought. But no. It was clearly looking at me. I looked back. Okay. I thought. I'll walk Choco and it will be gone when we get back. It wasn't. So I had to gingerly get in through both doors, then latch and close and padlock the metal door (which I do at night) which involved putting the lock on less than an inch from the lizard. Hell, less than 1/2" from the lizard. I really didn't want the lizard to panic and run up my arm or something. It didn't. I was relieved.

I kept thinking about the lizard. It wasn't dead, but maybe it was injured. No. What would an injured lizard be doing on a crossbar three feet off the ground on my door? Maybe it really was dead and someone had put it there as a hex. (I do live in a neighborhood of curanderas and witches, and this is not as completely far-fetched as it might seem...) Don't be ridiculous, I thought.

So I went upstairs and puttered around for a couple of hours. At about midnight, I was starting to get into my nightie and get ready for bed and I decided to go see if the lizard was gone. It wasn't. It looked at me. I looked at it. Back upstairs I decided the storm had either knocked it off an upper terrace or it had been washed out of somewhere and had climbed on the door to get safely out of the torrents of rain. Then I remembered that lizards are like snakes in that they go into a state of torpor when cold. The lizard must have gotten wet and cold and then crawled onto the metal door, which undoubtedly made it colder. Okay. I went to bed.

I got up at 8 to let Choco out. The lizard was still there. It looked at me. Shit, I thought. I carefully opened the door and closed it behind us. The sun hadn't yet cleared the hill and it was still cool. We walked. We returned. The lizard looked at me. I carefully opened the door and closed it behind us. I decided to wait until the sun had fully hit the metal door for at least an hour and the door and the lizard had a chance to warm up. At about 10, I went to the door. The lizard was gone. I looked everywhere around the door. Gone.

Pondering the Visitation of the Lizard, I consulted my Medicine Cards, which reminded me that Lizard is the Dreamer and the energy is from the Dream World of Symbols and Shadows. Pay attention She said, looking at me with her old, old eyes. To your Dreams, your Fears, your Synchronicities, your Inner World. Pay attention.

--Hope Swann

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love Thursday Eleven: Me, Mammers, and a Balloon

See how happy Mom is after riding in her birthday balloon?

More Love Thursday at Chookooloonks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Love Thursday Guest Post: Gideon's Bowlful

I slept all the way to 6 AM this rainy Monday morning, and I might have slept longer if the demon I adore, a big black cat with a deviated septum who snerks and snores and stakes out the best part of the bed, hadn't begun wailing for food. He can't smell, and although his bowl is rarely empty, he lives with the persistent notion that there is no food left in the universe. I usually give in and get up and march him to the laundry room and put his hard head down in his bowl, and he snerks and snorts and dives in, eating like a stray who hasn't seen a meal in weeks.

But blissfully, this morning Gideon meandered heavy footed down the stairs, wailing all the while, and presumably found his way to his own bowl where there was no doubt food waiting. I rolled over in my warm bed next to my warm husband (who also snerks and snores), and he cuddled closer, waking briefly to say "We had a good weekend, didn't we?". I nodded into his shoulder, a strange feeling spreading in my chest - was that - could it be - happiness?

We had a completely unremarkable weekend by most standards. I went shopping for baby clothes with my pregnant daughter, an errand more of fun than necessity since the wee bairn is just now the size of a small apple, and Sunday night I cooked meatloaf and mashed potatoes for my son home from college. But I got out of the house without a panic attack, and I didn't cry over the baby clothes, or have a fit when the grated carrots went all over the place, and for two nights in a row I slept. Remarkable.

For a long time now I've been wandering heavy footed and wailing, certain that there was no sustenance for me in the Universe, and even when some well-meaning person shoved my head down into my full bowl, I refused to eat. I don't fool myself into believing that a handful of meds have healed me completely, but this morning Gideon found his own way and I went back to sleep, hopeful that I might be finding mine.

---J. Caroline Boatright

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Carlos' Trick

The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.

--Carlos Castaneda

Friday, October 2, 2009

Beckon Lovely Again

I'm still crazy about Amy. (see old post here.)

Once again Chookooloonks has reminded me about Amy Krouse Rosenthal's wonderful videos 17 Things I Made and The Beckoning of Lovely. Here is her The Beckoning of Lovely one year later...

AND Amy is making a movie, but she's not doing it the Hollywood way...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kids on the Ocean

I've stolen these from my friend Sue Camarados who found them on the web. I'm grinning. Thought you might too.

Children writing about the ocean:

1) This is a picture of an octopus. It has eight testicles. (Kelly, age 6)
2) Oysters' balls are called pearls. (Jerry, age 6)
3) If you are surrounded by ocean you are an island. If you don't have ocean all round you, you are incontinent. ( Wayne , age 7)

4) Sharks are ugly and mean, and have big teeth, just like Emily Richardson . She's not my friend any more. (Kylie, age 6)

5) My uncle goes out in his boat with 2 other men and a woman and pots and comes back with crabs. (Millie, age 6)

6) When ships had sails, they used to use the trade winds to cross the ocean. Sometimes when the wind didn't blow the sailors would whistle to make the wind come. My brother said they would have been better off eating beans.. (William, age 7)

7) Mermaids live in the ocean. I like mermaids. They are beautiful and like their shiny tails, but how on earth do mermaids get pregnant? Like, really? (Helen, age 6)

8) Some fish are dangerous. Jellyfish can sting. Electric eels can give you a shock. They have to live in caves under the sea where I think they have to plug themselves into chargers. (Christopher, age 7)

9) The ocean is made up of water and fish. Why the fish don't drown I don't know. (Bobby, age 6)

10) My dad was a sailor on the ocean. He knows all about the ocean. What he doesn't know is why he quit being a sailor and married my mom. (James, 7)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Grace in Small Things #197 of 365

1. How the internet can make me laugh...

2. This post showing yoga having the same benefit as drinking...

3. This post of Carrie Fisher's about her weight and shape.

4. This post about trying to open plastic packaging