Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Direct Current

Ugh, apparently it is also earwig-on-the-bathrobe and biggest-centipede-I've-ever-seen-in-the-kitchen-sink season...!

I woke up far too early this morning, and spent a couple hours tossing and tangled in the sheets of my mind before finally falling back to sleep, past the alarm of course, lulled by the sound of gentle thunder and pouring rain...a comfort, to be sure. Naturally I'd left all the now thoroughly-soaked bags of garden trimmings out on the walk, thinking I'd wrangle them back to the alley in the morning...but thank goodness for the rain!

I'm anxious. Not about anything in particular, just a general lack of ease, and peace of mind. I'm restless, and it feels electrical, almost, like I need a ground, I need earthing. For a few dreamy moments this morning, I thought I might step out into the rain...it seems so long since the last time I did, although I suppose it was only a few months ago. What is it about standing in the rain that feels so good?

So I feel compelled, because I've been thinking about it more than I ought, to rewrought the thoughts I posted on metallurgy a few days back. They make no sense, really. Steel is just as heavy as iron if not heavier, and sharpness is irrelevant. It's true that copper and silver may be on the softer side, but gold is just as soft. And I think everyone knows how heavy gold is. So, just scratch all that, or polish it, whichever you prefer.

In a similar vein...if I were actually concerned about stalkers I'd just shut this whole peep show down, or better yet, relocate to a place that can't be mapped by electronic devices. Something came up recently that just got me to wondering, but it's not anything or anyone I am worried about, any more than I'm worried about being struck by lightning. Although, if I were hiking above treeline in the Rockies, that might be a different story...

Anyway. Tasks for today are few but many, house work and yard work and brew work and money work and before that work work, and more importantly this: replace every critical thought with a better one. Negative to positive, isn't that the way it goes?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Spider Season

Oh, my goodness.

This evening I picked a good half-gallon or more of beans (Northeaster and Golden Gate Wax), two large and lovely heads of broccoli (compliments of my Dad), my first stout cucumber of the season (with a couple more nearly ready), another zucchini, and a handful (or mouthful) or two of sweet peas and raspberries, along with a couple bright cherry tomatoes, and maybe a leaf of something here and there. A nice light dinner.

All the hugely sprawling tomatoes are now neatly staked and tied, after being flattened by rains and wind last weekend (and after weeks of neglect), the basil is growing in for a second cutting (half-pints of pesto already in the freezer for pizza and what-not), and there's room yet to plant more, for the fall season...kale and chard and winter greens, short-season broccoli, whatever else I can squeeze in...

My raised beds are a beautiful thing, and have far exceeded my expectations. A dear friend (aka "batman") was inspired/crazy enough to build them for me last Spring, and they are not only gorgeous but deliciously productive, due (no doubt) in part to their being filled to the brim with free composted horse manure, acquired via craigslist from a couple of friendly ladies and their farms, located out to the West of here. Everything grows like mad in those beds, and not only are they perfectly solidly square (including the exceedingly handy 2x6 top rail/shelf/stand/bench which I adore) but also perfectly lovely, with their corrugated metal sides that catch the sunlight and the houselight and the moonlight, from time to time. I totally dig them.

The rest of the gardens are coming along, too...they've been a bit of a mess this year, with as much rain as we've had until recently, and everything growing tall and flopping over onto its neighbors. I made an effort this year and last to fill all the space, and succeeded to a large extent, but there's (always) more left to do and I've realize that some of my choices about what to plant where may have been less than ideal. The blackberries I transplanted from the tiny shaded strip on the north side of my house over to the NW corner have thrived, in a way, but have already become unruly and so ambitiously large that I cut them back by half and they're still overrunning everything next to them.  The lovage I transplanted to a more central location was quite lovely this Spring, until it shot up to seven feet and fell over, heavy with seed. The borage I let go everywhere is a feast for all the bees and pollinators that grace my garden, but it gets all over everywhere and smothers what's around it, as does its cousin comfrey, which I've spread from place to place... I finally cut it back over the weekend and ended up with a good three big brown bags of cuttings, if not more. The marshmallow, too, grew tall and then flattened itself and its sweet pink blossoms, leaning onto the asparagus which finally seems to be recovering its vitality...they're now propped up again, though looking awkward. There's chamomile and catnip and sorrel and arugula and feverfew and more, all of them leggy and stretching out every which way, which is not what I had in mind when I put them in. I may have to rethink and replant, in order to create a more sustainable architecture. I'm willing to cut back and prop up to some extent, but ideally I'd like to let things mostly go on their own, and minimize the maintenance. There's so much else that needs maintaining...

The peach and plum are covered in fruit this year, and both are ripening to gorgeous shades of, well, peach and plum... though I fear the ruthless rodents will set upon them soon, and it may be time to experiment with that whole rubber snake idea. Anything to keep them away, and unfortunately shooting them is less of an option in the city, seeing as how I don't have a pellet gun and it's not really legal to use one here.

It truly amazes me how bountiful this little yard of mine is... I've got more than I can keep up with, and more vegetables this year than I can eat. There are bees and butterflies and bats and birds of all sorts, and more insects and spiders (suddenly it seems) than I can count. There's something about having things growing and alive all around you, that keeps things real...

Ah, so, that's really all I've got this evening. I'd hoped to share a little about my recent and wonderful trip to the Lake with my family, and to wax philosophical about various things, and I know I've left out about a zillion things going on in the garden...but I'm past ready for bed at this early hour, so this will just have to do. Things could be better, but they could be worse. Gratitude for all the things that keep growing, and much love.


Don't you just have to wonder sometimes about just how many you might have, and just who they think they are? Or is it just me??

Shadows only show themselves in the light...

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Steel is sharp, and iron is fucking heavy. 

Silver is soft, and so is copper. 

Gold is hard. 

Up and at them

It's 8 o'clock already...

Waking up this morning, alone, at home, with only the whole day and the rest of my life ahead of me... feeling twice as rested as I have for the better part of the past few weeks, but half as rested as I really should... my first thought was of being awake, my second of the time (is 7:15 still early?), and then all that needs doing: I don't know where to start. It's going to be a hot one today and the garden dearly needs my attention while it's still cool out this morning, but just getting out of bed and taking a first few steps reminded me that everything hurts... It's all stiff and sore and in need of proper care, not hours of bending to lift and pull and cut back the tangled mess of stems and stalks and flowers and leaves that's been pretending to be my garden: plants on top of other plants and others under them, flopped down any-which-way, covering over all my best laid plans... time to uproot a few things and sow new seeds, and to get things set upright again. It needs doing.

It's weird to consider the possibility that no one will think about me today. Huh.

Okay, time to ignore these creaky joints and fix the gardens, it's getting late already... 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Because it is.

Sometimes it feels like my bed must really and truly be the most perfect place in the whole, entire universe, times infinty...Plus one.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Oh boy

I'm stumped, with no one to ask.

Last night in my dreams a man told me to relax.

Walking back to my place from the auto shop down the street I was musing on this, and how being in a state of doubt is just an extremely unrelaxing way to be. I feel like I'm on a tightrope, walking a wavering line between faith and fear...dangling in mid-air from a thread that's about to snap, and I might fall or I might fly...

I am fine, but not at ease. My hackles seem to be raised all the time lately.

I can't see clearly what I need to do right now, to set things in motion for today, tomorrow, the days and weeks that follow.

And maybe that doesn't matter at all.

I feel like I have the opposite of that problem that returning vets have, when they get back to civilian life and are overwhelmed by having to make so many choices for themselves. I don't seem to remember how to be guided by others, sort of...

Which is really kind of silly, when you think about how we're all just one big mass of matter and energy and all the separations we perceive and create and impose and experience are sort of really just a way for us to know and be more...every moment is a relationship, every interaction a union... I heard this analogy recently, in a conversation about what science does not know about human consciousness, comparing it to a headlight. The light only makes visible what is in front of it; it cannot shine upon itself, much less what's behind it...

All right, let's dial it back a bit.

Goal for next few days: relax, go easy. Take things as they come, do what needs to be done. Speed the body, slow the heart, clear the mind. Be present, be kind, be here, be real. Make room for love and joy. Get hugs. Embrace change. Go swimming.

Yeah...relax, goddamit!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Having trouble breathing in...

Whew.  What a weekend...after two hot and summery river-filled days, I got home late last night and spent a couple hours on the phone rambling with an old friend before finally crawling into my deliciously comfortable bed, just as the rain came. I fell asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow, to the sound of a steady downpour outside the open window. I slept pretty hard for at least a few hours, and I swear it seemed to rain all night....One of my very favorite things. So nice. I think there may have even been some more thunder this morning, but my memory seems to be failing me...

A haze has settled over us here, with many square miles of smoke hanging heavy in the moist air, so thick it burns the throat. A nice breeze kicked up tonight and cleared things up a little, but it looks like it may be while longer before the fires die down or the winds change. It's not easy to breathe, and I feel the need to lie down. 

Before I do, I'd like also to mention one thing that crossed my mind today, because it seemed important at the time. I was thinking about some of my recent posts, and what they mean to me versus what they might say to anyone else. If you're reading this, you're likely already well aware that I tend to do much brooding here, and in some ways that's important and cathartic and what-not, and in other ways, it feels like I may be showing some disrespect, by not putting a better foot forward. Like a nicely pedicured foot in a comfy flip-flop, instead of a gnarly ingrown toenail in a heavy boot, if you see what I mean.

I've enjoyed so many blissful times, these past days and weeks and even years, and I am sorry that I don't get to read about many of them here. So, long to short, I'll try to accentuate some more of the good stuff here, as the summer goes on. Nothing but now.

There was one more thing. Maybe two.

One is--and actually this is the second thing, I'm really just trying to remember what the first one was--I don't exactly regret that I didn't do so but really wish I had been able to muster the nerve to impress myself and my ship-mates by braving the rope swing from the high bridge, because conditions were pretty ideal for it, and I feel as though it might have propelled me not only into the river but over some greater fear that has been standing in my way... or to put it another way, it would have set more than my body in motion, I think. Plus it would have been fun, exciting, and exhilarating, if ever so slightly risky... Ah well, the bridge still stands, and I'll be back--and swinging.

The rain pummeled the gardens last night; now all the flowers are doing push-ups and the dogwood is down for the count. The lovage is leaning, the comfrey needs cutting, the blackberries are becoming a hazard, no one's cut the mustards, and so many other things are just all over the place that it's starting to look like no one's taking care of things here. But... all the veggies look great, the beans are sky-high, calendula's blooming bright, there are peaches and plums and peapods and nothing needs watering... It's summertime, and it's been beautiful, and I'll breathe in every bit of it that I can. 

now my memory

coming home from my last trip, walking steady through the motion of strangers at the airport, this music in my ears and my ride waiting for me




Friday, July 3, 2015

After the Full Buck Moon (Blue Moon Coming)

Some insight found here, today: http://www.mysticmamma.com/the-theme-for-july-2015-is-growing-pains/

This morning in my dreams I got into a fight with a polar bear. It all got kinda real from there. Intense, weird stuff.
Oh and this, too: http://www.mysticmamma.com/everything-passes-everything-changes/

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Everything one thing at a time

Maybe I shouldn't have downed that grapefruit soda before breakfast today.

I got approximately nine--that's right, NINE--mostly whole hours of sleep last night and yet still woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Wait, no, scratch that--there is no "right" or "wrong" side of the bed, there is just the good side and the bad side...I mean, the better side and the best side, the East side and the West side, the yin side and the yang side...or something like that.

Anyway, today should be a good day. It's not. Mainly it's not because I have a lump in my chest the size of Alaska and its rugged wild beautiful coastline keeps pushing saltwater up into my eyes... 

I’m coming apart.

I know that these words evoke a certain sense of helpless destruction, as in some kind of breakdown, and that implies some kind of mental instability, etc. but it’s not quite like that. By way of analogy, let’s just say your car breaks down; when that happens, it usually means it’s time to fix it. Whatever is broken must come apart in order to be repaired. More than that, it’s important to pay careful attention when disassembling things, so that they can be put back together when the time comes. It’s true that upkeep and regular maintenance can help prevent certain things from deteriorating, but sometimes parts just wear out or fail, sometimes unexpectedly. Now I seem to be running about as well as my old 850: missing one (vital) cylinder, with a major oil leak, bad synchro, sagging bumper and various temperature control and electrical issues, among other things. The minor stuff is mostly fixable with sufficient time and commitment. It's the burnt valve in the heart of the machine that's the real problem...

I need a leave of absence from my day-to-day life. Not a holiday; I want to work, hard, for several weeks or longer, on something I really care about, and truly accomplish something. I want to learn something, do something, be something, someone other than who I am right now. I want a major disturbance, a total interruption, an all-consuming, fever-inducing, heartstopping, breathtaking, boat-swamping, prairie fire-like transformation. I want a trip, a journey, a detour...and for that I must also have a destination, however temporary. I want good company, too, of non-dead friends who actually live near me, or at least a few kind-hearted strangers with good intentions. Somehow I have inadvertently, both with intention and without regard, isolated myself into a state of profound solitude that no longer serves me well, if it ever did. It's a cultivated state which I often cherish, but it's become too precious to me, though not by any purpose of mine. I want to be important to someone else, like most people do. It's needed. 

For reasons clear or nebulous, I've been feeling extra tender about all this, these past few days. I suppose the key word there is "feeling". Some part of me shifted over the weekend, something cracked, and some rusty bit that's been holding this old jalopy together and rolling down the road finally gave way. I've been lonely too long, and it has kept me from living as I wanted and hoped to. Performance is bound to suffer when you force a 5-cylinder machine to run on just 4.

So I'm coming apart, trying to figure out what's busted and what's still good, and find the tools to make the needed repairs. I can pull out parts like nobody's business, but putting them back in is gonna be another story...

It's tough losing good friends when you already have few, especially when they are among those closest to you, who have known you longest and best. It's not easy when the people who inspire you most and keep you headed toward your right direction aren't there to do that anymore. It's difficult to see everyone around you growing in ways that you are not, and to realize that you've hardly grown at all and have in many respects actually regressed... I saw posted somewhere not too long ago the words "People grow when they are loved well". If we could love ourselves that well we would all be superheroes, but that kind of love doesn't come from within. It comes from the people around us. I have been loved well by many people, and my friend Krista was among the very best.

We can only get so far on our own, and I want to go further. 

I'm tired beyond words today, in a way I've never been, overcome with possibilities. 

This is a more personal post than I've written in a while, and I'd like to end it on a positive note if I can, because there are so very many good things that have been happening lately, many amazingly wonderful moments and happy surprises. For those and for all of you I am most grateful, as always.

I'll have another story to tell, another day.