Friday, October 31, 2008

I waited all summer for these asters to bloom. The green of it just grew and grew, sprawling across the flowerbed, crowding out the competition, but never any buds. Finally, last week, they busted out. Now I'll have November flowers. The literal late-bloomer wins again. They glow in the dim light of this latest gloom, the dark damp that will, most probably, be with us for the next few months.

Time to get some work done. Head down against the rain. Eyes open and undazzled.

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's been a while since I've posted any cat pictures here, so indulge me, please. This is what we do, Mao and I. We find a spot of sun, grow sleepy in it, but not so sleepy that we can't keep on eye on things – A vary wary eye on the world, it's people and their inability to provide the proper amount of treats.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

You'll be driving along depressed when suddenly
a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through
and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably
won't last. But for a moment the whole world
comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—
red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermilion,
gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations
of burning. You're on fire. Your eyes are on fire.
It won't last, you don't want it to last. You
can't stand any more. But you don't want it to stop.
It's what you've come for. It's what you'll
come back for. It won't stay with you, but you'll
remember that it felt like nothing else you've felt
or something you've felt that also didn't last.

from Leaves, by Lloyd Schwartz

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I haven't checked the DSM-IV, but I think someone should look into this condition I've developed. It starts with a mild curiosity about people I've lost touch with and snowballs into a pathological obsession to share my most embarrassing photos of myself. This one makes me laugh so hard I almost cry. 1985, 9th grade graduation dance. See? Why do you need to see this? Why do I need to show you?

Fall does this to me. I get nostalgic, though my youth was so angst-ridden that I can't reflect fondly on it. I have to simply reflect. That and join Facebook. Such a funny phenomenon. I got sukered into it because the photos of the people I wanted to stalk were too small to see without "becoming friends" with them. Over the last few days I've gotten in touch with people I haven't seen or spoken to in 20 years.

I'm not sure why this is satisfying since I was barely in touch with them while we were walking the same halls and sitting beside each other in English. But there you go. Saying hello, I remember you, gives a small, gentle tug of kindness. It's a nice reminder that despite the angst, we made it through. We can spy a bit on each others lives and imagine the other paths we might have taken. We can celebrate the roads were on.

Thankfully, my condition does not extend into a need to attend my 20th high school reunion happening in a month or so. If I start making plans for this and report them here, please, send a professional. I'll be needing some serious help.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here are a few things I haven't killed. One I tortured with, apparently, insufficient amounts of water all summer. The other I'd written off as a boring old sprig of grass that neither grew nor blossomed, that is, until this week. And so ends another lesson: Be patient. Be generous. Rewards will follow.

Also, if you stare at your garden close enough and long enough the death knell of the empire dampens to a tolerable if not exactly soothing level. Try it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It can be hard to motivate to walk along the beach when the beach is sitting in your front yard. With my long streak of outstanding Manzanita weather still intact, we gathered on the porch and watched the water from a close but comfortable distance. The radio never came on. The football game ran on mute. The sun, food and fine beverages gave us all a healthy glow.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

You can feel it can't you? The need to escape. Wouldn't I love to hole up in a cabin in the woods. Or flee to a heat-soaked beach. What about that trip to Barcelona? Or the one to see my distant, but delightful Italian cousins?

Of course, I can barely manage the trip to the Oregon coast we'll be taking in a few days, but the balm I know it will provide is invaluable. There is little that a view of the ocean and a good book can't soothe.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Back in the warm July air, flames weren't really required, but who camps without making a fire? Maybe most grown adults are uninterested in glow sticks, but who wouldn't enjoy watching their friends fumble around in the dark with fairground toys tied to the ends of rope? Some of us needed a little bit of beauty and some needed to hold off the wide silence of the forest with the sound of crackling wood and laughter.

I don't have glow sticks or a fireplace these days so I'll have to find other distractions from the scary things lurking inside my silent radio and dark TV. I think it just started to rain again. I think that will do.