There will come a time when you’re tired and it feels like time to set down the mantle and rest – well, rest is OK – but the longer it goes, the more it seems like you’ve said and done all you have to say and do – those are the times you need to lift your head and look around and stretch your limbs and find a deeper reserve – because the truth is, you don’t run out of things to say and do – not in this lifetime – that’s why it’s called a lifetime: Your time of life. As long as your heart is beating and you’re drawing air, you’re not empty yet. Say what you have to say; do what you have to do.
You can’t go there.
You just can’t. See that line right there?
You can’t cross it.
Because you can’t. Continue reading →
When an April snowstorm dropped a ton of snow on us – well, quite a few tons, actually, some parts around here got 30 inches or more – Red set some bird seed out on the front porch, which has a nice overhang and offers a little bit of shelter.
Needless to say, the fowl population – newly arrived from milder climes and expecting April in Wisconsin to be more like April and less like January – was very appreciative. It seems, though, that they didn’t eat all of the seed.
Three months later, sunflowers have joined the avalanche of beauty that is Red’s garden off the front porch. She didn’t plant or transplant sunflowers to this location. The only sunflower seeds that ever got near the garden were in that April feast for the birds.
Consider it a reward for a small act of charity toward our fellow travelers on this little planet.
These small acts of charity, piled on each other and compiled, are what will save us in the end.
Our corner of the world is perhaps not utopia — I sit on a bench in an acre of clover, yes, but at the edge of the land a four-lane highway shouts down the songbirds with the constant shriek of cars and trucks driving to and from tourist paradise. Every so often a break in the traffic provides a glimpse of what once was on this space.
If I turn to my left or right or peek behind me, though, I see forest and a great bay where deer and raccoon and pelican and gull may not exactly thrive but at least they eke out a living. It’s no longer unusual to see a bald eagle and its mate soaring overhead, although it still takes the breath away. And so we screen out the roar of civilization and appreciate the land for what it is.
The first compass flower of the summer is here already, ahead of schedule – and I have been too pressed to the computer screen to have watched the north-facing leaves spiral up and over my head – at least I didn’t miss the yellow burst out of the green. Continue reading →
I kind of hit the wall toward the end of Season 2, Episode 1 of Marvel’s Luke Cage, the latest entry in the gritty Netflix adaptations of the comic books.
The new bad guy in town was asserting himself as the baddest, and when the old bad guy wouldn’t back down, the new bad guy took a big knife and ended the old bad guy.
It wasn’t any worse, more or less, than any other violent death depicted on TV or movies in recent years. It was just one gratuitous depiction too many for me. Continue reading →
“I had this thought, and I said to myself I’d better write that right down so I don’t forget,” he said blankly.
“But you didn’t.”
“Nope. I knew I was coming in here to write in a minute, so I figured I could write it down then.”
“But now you don’t remember what it was.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I hope it wasn’t important, but I feel like it probably was.” Continue reading →
When are you done?
When is your life’s work complete?
When is it time to stop playing?
When are you finished loving? growing? being?
Better question: Why would you want to be done?
Finish a project and start a new one,
Or have many projects and have others percolating while you work on the one on the front burner.
Who would want to be done?
There should always be something to do.
Kids understand this instinctively. “Mommm – I’m bored!! There’s nothing to DO here!”
And off they go to do something.
In those days his mind went anywhere his sneakers would take him, and the days were about butterflies and puppy dogs and firetrucks and park benches and the low crook of a tree and bottle caps and quarters discarded on the sidewalk and people passing on bicycles and clickety-clack shoes.
Nothing had changed except the sneakers, which had grown several sizes.
He still sent his mind on zigzag journeys around the universe, careening from star to star without pausing long enough to fully grasp the details or gain an understanding of the water pressure needed to put out a fire or where loose change comes from, anyway.