Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I arrived home this evening to find a bee hive in my backyard, which was something of a surprise... I'd recently talked of it with the hive's keeper, and was on the fence at the time about whether or not to host a colony this year.  I didn't last year, partly because my hive didn't survive the previous winter, for somewhat mysterious reasons, and partly because I was not inclined to entertain the possibility of another visit to the emergency room, and the epinephrine and prednisone and rather terrible what-not that followed... I have to say, it feels strange to regard the hive with a certain sense of dread, instead of joy, and beyond that I'm just not sure it's sensible for me to risk getting stung again at this point, or possibly ever.  I've come to realize recently, or at least to suspect, that many of my health issues may be related to something called "histamine intolerance", which is a seemingly complex problem having many potential causes and relationships, not least among them being hormonal imbalances (prime candidate.), digestive disorders of various sorts (check.), allergies (apparently.) to certain foods and almost all noxious things, auto-immune complications (possibly.) and general stress (obviously.).  I rather feel at this point that it's almost without question that if I were to be stung, I would most certainly react quite badly--perhaps in a life-threatening way--and in spite of my preference to maintain gung-ho attitude about experience in general and particularly with regard to "Nature", I cannot say that I wish to know first-hand how it feels to stab myself in the leg with an epi-pen.


I'd be happy to have the bees grace my garden, but--


I don't know.  Maybe it would be good to get stung again, and learn what might happen.  Assuming that what happens isn't sudden death, I might be okay with that.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Winds and rain

I didn't get to bed until midnight, somewhat inadvertently.  I popped a small handful of calcium and magnesium in the hope it would induce some drowsiness, and tried reading for a half an hour or so, but I found my eyes straying from the story in front of me and darting anxiously around the room, following motions that weren't there. Under-tired and under-rested. I set my book down and fell to sleep uncomfortably, through a flood of bright light streaming out from under the lampshade into my closed eyes. Eventually I turned it off; I don't know when. It's now twenty after four. Birds are chirping. I woke up forty-five minutes ago, coming out of a dream of the sort that's not terrible, but really makes you not want to go back to sleep. My heart is shadowed, my mind is not at ease; my spirit is unsettled... I can hardly bear the idea of going to work today, to sit in one place, and watch a screen all day. I will come home diminished: less thoughtful, less inspired, less alive. I make it a point to keep things in perspective, and be grateful for what I have, especially having so many people close to me who are struggling to get along. We all make our own beds and we must dream in them, or not at all. We all make choices, and compromises. I do not want to give myself to my job today. I could take the day off, but I won't; I can't. I will need this day later, far more than I do now. So I'll choose to forego sleep; I'll choose to be free as soon as I can; I'll choose gratitude and try to do and be well. I'll forget my dreams, though they leave their mark, and will set aside those that do not serve me. Perhaps tomorrow I will be met by something more empowering and sweet, like a letter from a dear friend who lives a world away, like the sun burning through the morning mists, like a hug before breakfast. I'll hope for a good day. Winds have a way of changing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

honey bends gravity,

light on the back

of a rounded spoon.

the bees are here,

but where are you?


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Spring Sings

I find what I find, but I don't know what I'm looking for...
I don't know what I do, and I don't how it is that I do it.  The only thing I know is that as soon as you have someone in front of you that is waiting for your voice, close your eyes and sing
-- Concha Buika, (roughly quoted) from the BBC's The Arts Hour

Lots and lots to write about... been thinking about many things lately, of religion and culture, of Christianity and Buddhism, of capitalism and ecology, of action and inaction, of climate change and the change of seasons, of love and companionship, of time, and of things growing...

The garlic has sprung up, just in the past few days, as have many other little green life forms... daylilies, peonies, allium, hyacinths, crocuses, tulips, squill (with blossoms!), chives and garlic chives, strawberries, sedums, mint and comfrey and lemon balm, Jacob's ladder, windflowers, and many others, I'm sure, that I have yet to find...

Today my niece sang to me, over the phone (with a bit of backup from my sister), the song my sisters and I performed for our grandfather's memorial.  She had remembered us practicing it together, with her dad playing the guitar, all those months ago...At just shy of three years, and under the excellent tutelage of her mother, she has learned the words and the melody, which she hopes now to sing with the three of us, when we find ourselves together again.  Her voice, so sweet and so clear and so tuneful, was the best surprise I've had in, oh, maybe forever.

The head of the long running Harvard study on happiness summarized the study's conclusion in five words, "Happiness is love. Full stop." 
-- some commenter, on an aptly written piece about David Letterman 
in the New Yorker magazine

Monday, April 7, 2014

Significant Cutback

Ahhhh, Spring.  It has finally arrived.  

By Sunday afternoon, our recent snowfall had nearly melted away, and with the temps pushing 60 and a whole day to do as I pleased, it seemed a fine time for pruning.  So I listened to this guy (and a few others), and I believed him when he told me that I could not kill my peach tree, not to be nervous, and it's the right thing do, folks...etc.  

Before (sort of...)

and After (omg what have i done???)

You probably do not recall, since I didn't post about it at the time, that I had a bumper crop of peaches last year, from which I put up several pints of peaches in syrup, and some half-pints of salsa and jam, as well as a couple quarts of frozen fruit and a little puree, in addition to some sickeningly rich ice cream (next time: sorbet).  Not to mention the couple gallons I gave my neighbor, and all the ones that gotten eaten, by me and my dearest loved ones, and by the goddamned squirrels--though I did salvage any number of their cast-offs, along with those sampled by the birds and ants, and the many others that ended up on the ground.

Anyway, I've now cut this lovely tree down by half, at least, and I do not expect she will be bearing much fruit this year. Peaches, I have learned--somewhat late--only fruit on their last year's growth, so they require pretty heavy pruning every year in order to maximize yield and retain a manageable, if not ideal, shape. Fortunately I started out with a tree that had pretty good form.  Unfortunately I let it grow, pretty much unchecked, for its first three (or four?) years, which were likely the most critical to developing a well-formed, productive tree. As butchered as it looks now, I probably should have cut all the longest branches down even further, to two or three feet or so, but I just could not bring myself to do that to such a sweet and lovely being that has brought me so much joy, and scrumptious pleasure.  It'll need at least a few leaves, and perhaps the hope of a fruit or two, to get itself (and me) through this season...maybe next year I'll cut it back again, to where it ought to be, but here's where it stands for now.

The plum got a good trimming, too, though not quite as severe.  There's something about pruning that makes it just a little too easy to get carried away, you know?  What's that about??  I guess the nice thing about these fruit trees is that you don't really need to check yourself; they'll recover from the harshest cutting, even if it takes a few years... In the meantime, I've got much, much more in the works for this come on back now, ya hear?

Oh, and the worms are up, just in time for the Resurrection.  Blessed be!  In the name of the Invertebrates, the Bacteria, and the Fungal Host...