Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cricket Moon: Close to Over

There are times at work when I feel like I'm being slowly yet expertly chased by Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, only instead of flashlights and gumption, they're equipped with blueteeth and blackberries, and they're actually cannibalistic zombie clones, on Abilify...  Listening to the corn syrupy-sweet voice of someone who is talking, to you, among others, about something you did, and then neatly pauses to insert "we" rather than stooping so far as to utter your name: this is the experience of my day.  "I don't think we need you for anything else", as if anyone had to tell me... I know I've set myself up for some of this--me and my shattered self-esteem plunging into a deep sea of despair from which I could not surface or even so much as rise to a professional level--but after ten long years of putting in (with all due respect) a hell of a lot more effort than most--yes, I did win my beloved snowboard on eBay at work, back when the dollar was still worth something, but no, I don't spend half my day gabbing with my family and friends or trying to figure out how to copy and paste--it's hard not to take the rather broad cold shoulder I've been getting at my job lately like a slap in the face.  A hard and clammy slap, telling me that every bit of energy I've expended here--oh, and I know, yes I know, it's all for profit, not for good--making anything work better for anyone, learning bottom up and inside out, putting others needs ahead of my own (yes, I have actually done so) and becoming intimately familiar with the unthinkable details of miles upon miles of heartless lines of data, all this was worse than for nought.  As much as I'd like to think that I've gained some valuable skills and accomplished some good deeds, all I've really done is given my time, my health and my hopes to a corporation, in return for a sum of money.  Perhaps at some point I may have thought this job might one day support a family, but in fact it has only sucked me dry.  To quote one of CM's old songs: now I know the price of signing contracts.  I am actually sick and truly tired of having conversations with disinterested parties who office-casually annihilate my new-born sense of well-being, and I guess I really don't have either the wherewithal or the smarts or the stomach to find a way of being okay with spending any more of my life-giving days on this magical planet in an increasingly non-cooperative, uncompassionate, uncreative, anti-poetic and counter-evolutionary environment.  You don't have to add value if you're doing something that matters.  There's no such thing as a win-win if you're not competing with anyone, and you can take the whole fucking project offline for all I care.  Sure I'm a team player, but my sport is not dodge-ball.  The bottom line is that I am not on board.  I'll be the stewardess in the parachute.  And I'll be the one who jumps at 40,000 feet, and dies from exposure and lack of oxygen... Fuck, it's Tuesday.  Hey kids: what happened to that girl in pigtails?

(Here I would entreat you to spare me the concession of adding a disclaimer to this post about how good I've really got it, you sanctimonious sons of bitches...)

On another, entirely different note, the moon is full tonight, the palest hazy green glow floating in an ocean of sky... It's the height of cricket season, the air is dry and cool, and it's moving real slow... it's that time of year when everyone is wearing summer like their favorite pair of underwear--comfortable as can be, but close to the end.  Driving home well after sunset with the windows down, top open, old motor mount back and shifting smoothly, a night like tonight can make even a little woman like me feel like getting out from behind the wheel and taking a long, easy ride on the back of a bike...and god I hate to say it but a smoke would be so good, right about now.  Fuck, is it Tuesday?

Well, yes, it is.  And it's a little after ten now, and I am nowhere near to winding down for the day.  I have a mind to take myself on a good long drive, find a grassy little spot by the river, drink a couple beers and fall asleep on the ground, with an eye on the moon... Is there something I'm supposed to be doing tomorrow?  Well, yes, there is.  But I'm asking myself tonight, does that really matter at all?  Well?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday's on the Phone to Monday

I fingered the keys as we talked about what was going wrong (last night it finally dawned on me that it's not a wiring problem, it's the ignition) and I handed them to him, being just a little bit careful not to touch hands...I crossed the street and caught a bus in seconds flat, enjoyed a relatively brief and pleasant ride in spite of large woman in Bud Light flip-flops hacking loogey on floor, took a small detour--I guess I should known something was coming when the bus driver showed me a whole page of reroutes--and was dropped at a corner not far from my destination, in high spirits for a Monday morning.  A few minutes later I arrived at my desk, ready for the day, and realized that something was missing: no computer.  I'd left it at home, despite giving it the eye over coffee and telling myself not to forget it.  I looked around for a replacement; no go.  I'd rather have my own, in any case... Caught the train and another bus, hopped off a couple blocks from home and then it hit me that something else was missing: no keys.  I'd handed them over that morning, even after considering slipping them off the ring, since I might need them or should at least have them.  Good thinking there, yeah.  Okaaay, what now?  It would take hours to go after them and there's still no spare outside, no extra in the garage... But wait!  I left one window open today, I know it... Fetched the stepladder from the garage and checked the bedroom first, just in case... not surprised to find it locked.  Kitchen, also locked; sunroom, locked around; all the rest, likewise, locked.  Of course.  So I turned the last the corner and made my way through the towering sunflowers and shrubby weeds to lean my ladder toward the little bathroom window...Slipped off my maryjanes and climbed up, pulled down the screen and tossed one shoe in, followed by the other (I must say there was something so oddly sweet in their muffled thuds as they hit the floor...), put one leg in and back out again...headfirst, I guess, the only way...with just enough room to turn around, just enough of a hand-hold to slip my legs out from under me, I stepped down a few easy moments later and found myself safely at home, just in time for lunch.  Oh Happy Monday!  Guess I'd best be off to work, now...

Put Me in Pigtails

"We need more girls who know how to braid."  A few words of encouragement to a younger one who was practicing close to us had started me thinking about it.  The S curve: snake in the grass, cutting turns in powder, riding waves, half of infinity... I examined myself in the mirror for quite some time before I finally decided to make the part and put myself in pigtails, for what I think must be the first time since I was a young girl.  It reminded me that I used to braid quite a bit, for a while, and rather well--yarns and strings, lines and locks, mine and others.  I'd forgotten the pleasure of it, the twist and pull of different directions drawn together into a single trajectory, snugly wound yet loosely hanging, separate yet inseparable, if only temporarily.  I remember also, fondly and clearly, a lovely braid in particular which I wove of a friend's long tresses while we waited for a wedding on the June grass, his red and white gingham shirt, the two lines meeting and becoming one...A sweet afternoon.  So was today's, in the way that can sometimes happen when one drops in, unexpected.  I was in the neighborhood, and wanting an opinion about the new look, and hoping for a swim, and thinking of borrowing a few things, not really knowing who if anyone might be home...Why not just stop by?  And with that one move--or perhaps two, with the pigtails--the whole course of the day took a decidedly happy turn: hours spent gabbing; an hour of half-skinny dipping in the warm and cooling waters of the Saint Croix as the sun sank over the ridge, passing yellow to orange; yummy bites on the patio, before heading back; more talk and a sofa each; then home to bed...and now I'm up too late again, I see, but it's good to be here, good to wear braids, good to have a little sister... Good night.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Long, relaxing day today.  Massage in the morning; cafĂ© au lait, zucchini fritters and mango in the afternoon.  A walk to the river and upstream, in the evening, sharing the parkway with hundreds of bikers who approached casually, chatting in pleasant ways. Fungi abound on the boulevards, and yellow jewelweed is in bloom.  Across the Franklin Avenue bridge, hundreds of spiders are weaving their webs, with the moon close to full upon the river, and not too much wind.  Under the oaks on soft grass I ran for a while, in the fading light, despite my knocking knees, and thus I have arrived at home again, Two-Hearted, enjoying the harvest of seasons past as I withdraw from nicotine: yarrow, raspberry leaf, sage, mullein, red clover, kinnikinnick. A nice blend.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ante Up

I'll see you, Wednesday, and I'll raise you...

Friday, August 13, 2010


White Pine, planted by my grandparents, taken down by the wind:

And one a bit smaller, taken down by who knows what:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ah, Friday

A MAJOR adjustment today and then Otis Redding on the Sugar Shack, enough to make a person want to roll back the sun roof on a hot summer's day and drive the length of Lake Street all the way home, all right with the world.

Two weeks into my spinal reclamation effort, and what a profound difference.

The crickets are singing, the last of the tomatoes are now semi-firmly staked, little bro is on the way with microbrews from WI, and then we're headed up north to take things easy for a couple days.  I'm told there are melons on the vine, pickles in the making and squashes galore, and much more, I'm sure... I'll report back on my return.  Until then, good luck in your endeavors.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Plants are returning to my consciousness.  Tonight I begin work on a formula for my spine, which has given me a run for my money today, if you'll pardon the expression, and take inspiration from these companions in time:

Motherwort, Obedient Plant, Japanese Painted Fern (and Toad Lily petal)

and the spider returns tonight, to weave again...

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I guess waking up every morning feeling like I've been hit by a bus is just a normal and necessary part of the experience of reclaiming my spine, but I must say it's really not the best part of my day... Despite a rough start, though, I had a mostly pain-free, relaxing and good long workday on Saturday, in which  I: 
blackened my toast, twice
watered the plants
pulled some crabgrass
trimmed the tree
repaired my busted gate
trellised 3 clematis, with cuttings of maple (stolwijk gold still lives!)
discovered a new colony of fantastic fungi
planned 2 fence plantings
untangled and rewound my trailing morning glories
came up with 2 great ideas involving windows and art
kneeled in a swarm of little biting ants
took out the compost
dumped an entire bag of trash on the compost heap
saw a butterfly poop
got a squirt of lime juice in my third eye
concocted a cocktail of lilac mead, white brandy, lime, nasturtiums and lemon basil flowers (with a couple borage blossoms, for good measure)
joined sis and hub for a swim at the waterpark
rode the big slide
dined on amazingly delicious comfort food not grown or made by myself or anyone I know (mmmm...Brasa)
spent some quality time with my newly tuned piano
put myself on ice
slept with ease through the night...almost...  

Sunday, I:
slept in...sort of
dreamed strange dreams
ate guacamoleees for breakfast
contemplated moving to Hawaii
found nothing I was looking for on craigslist
mowed the lawn
fixed the lawn mower
saved big money at Menards
packed $88 of groceries into one little bag ?!
sipped sage brew on ice, with a twist of lemon, quite nice
missed the old folks at home
spent 3 1/2 hours staking those sprawling-ass tomatoes (and still only 3/4 of the way there...)
was kindly delivered a perfect bag of veggies from the sweet land up north. gracias...
received at least four dozen mosquito bites on my back (going to suck, with no back scratcher! although those damn ant bites are so much worse...)

Also, I :
realized (once again, continually) that I totally lucked out in having a great little place here 

Oh, and Friday I:
got my piano tuned
saw its guts, learned its workings
found out it's probably worth more than twice what I paid for it
spent the evening with one very dear friend
took a handful of nice portraits, more soon :) 

Not bad for a few days. Is it really August already???