Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Writing Prompt: “Well, you know, he was in a prison in Dubai”

 These are the warm days, the warm side the hot side of the year. We have gone from keeping track of wooly cowls and warm shawls to searching out the gauzy, light fabrics. Crinkle cottons, wide-brimmed straw hats. We’re putting up the shade-sails, unfurling the umbrellas against the blast of the bold sun, rising higher and higher in the sky.

The mockingbird pair bounce along the top of the fence, jabbering at the indolent, rotund tabby cat, who might have once in his younger years been a threat, but now is more intent on loafing his days away in sun or shade. He’s a real garden cat, lolling about under the stunted artichokes, sunning himself on the hot rocks. He watches a caterpillar inching down the slender trunk of the new pomegranate tree. Meanwhile, the mockingbirds, feeling he is too close to their nest in the wildly blooming pyracantha bush on the other side of the fence, take turns to dive at him, skimming his fur and causing no end of consternation from us witnesses. Nevertheless, Oscar, that thick-headed tabby cat, continues to loll and flaunt his considerable flanks, the lines and sworls of his sides like a map of a forgotten island in an atlas of abandoned lands.  Where we all seem to be residing this spring.

This is not a crowd of mockingbirds; nor are they repugnant, evil little dive-bombers. They simply refuse to believe in the serendipity of a fat cat in the garden enjoying the sun before it becomes intolerable even to this inveterate heat-seeker. They understand only that the shape of a predator is far too near their babies and they are determined in their strut and bluster and buzz-drills to drive him away.

But you know, Oscar acts like he had once been in a prison in Dubai. Nothing excites him, nothing annoys him. He is on the bulky side now, as if making up for those lost meals from prison, which adds to his look of imperturbability, but there comes that moment when one of the mockingbird scores a more direct hit, grabs a twist of fur, yanks. Oscar snarls and hisses, then curls up to sitting, gives himself a lick, and waddles off, as if he intended all along at precisely 10:13 a.m to move around to the other side of the house. And so he does, tail tall and stately, like a flag of state. Not giving up exactly, but not sticking around, either. 

* * * * * * * * * * * *

October 2021 

I found this post anguishing in my stack and thought I would publish it, seeing that it's from that other side of the summer, before the heat drove us half-mad and the drought drove us the rest of the way.  ~ lk

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Maybe I Am Wrong

This October morning, redwing blackbirds swarm the backyard trees, absolutely loud with their raucous chatter, scratchy and scritchy, like a foreign language I almost understand, but don’t. But maybe I am wrong, maybe my body does understand — as I rouse and walk outside to refill the watering bowls, padding along the few soft, still-damp sections of the mostly brown and crispy lawn. 

Squirrels bounce along the top of the brown wooden fence, taunting the taut and laser-focused yearling kittens hunkered down behind the wire grid of their catio, set across the lawn. One squirrel, an acorn gripped in its teeth, dances down the thin trunk of the young ceanothus leaning against the fence, skittering around in the dusty dirt under the mulberry tree, hopping straight toward the kittens. The two kittens sit hunched side by side, frozen in their desire to capture this tail-snapping, sassy-ass squirrel. 

Maybe I am wrong, but it seems like the flippant creature hops closer and closer, throwing a knowing glance or three at the kittens trapped behind wire, and digs in the duff and old wood chips conspicuously within leaping distance. The kittens stare and swivel their heads in exact unison, like two heads on one cat neck, conjoined in their focused desire, side by side, just behind the wires.

 Today, I wake up with ideas, with a plan. Time to get my book out of the laptop and into the real world. I can't keep it trapped within wires any longer.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

.... apologies for the slump in activity. I think I fell into some kind of mental ditch this winter. Or hibernation. Or coccoon. Or just general languishment.

Monday, November 2, 2020

Sept 14 2020 - Monday - a note from the near past.

There is the grinding down, as we circle through the whirlpool, 

before we are spit out into a new world. I feel stretched and thinned out.  Effaced.

We are working on the new world.  We are birthing it





November 2 2020 - the Day Before

 ...not that we will get much closure about the election on Nov 3rd. But ...well, it's all we can think about.  Will the Deposed Maniac try to claim victory and hold onto the presidency if he's ahead Tuesday evening -- and then try to end the ballot count? Then I will take to the streets, because all votes must be counted. Besides,  races aren't always called on Election Day -- that's a convention brought about by media and the ability to predict an outcome. Back in the day, it would take weeks to tally the vote and get the results to the Electoral College.  We will Protect The Results.  Absolutely.


We are restless, hearts thrumming

like the hummers

roaring in and out of the purple sage. 

We are haunted by 2016 - when we felt the time was right, that we were in the sweet spot to have a woman president to continue a more just society.  Now we are grimly hanging onto our hearts, crossing our fingers, gnawing our nails, working to propel a woman Veep.  These four years have changed us - all of us, We are a different nation, in many ways, with a new respect for health, for justice, for a government that works for the common good.

Today, I watch a patch of pelicans, brilliantly white with black wing tips, wheel across the sky, determined and steady. That is us, the Determined Ones. We're not extremists, seeking to bash heads or run candidates off the roads, using intimidation, bullying, falsehoods and lies to secure the election because we can't run on our record, because we have nothing to offer the country but more chaos and ineptitude. We use steady inexorable persistence to make headway against injustice, writing batch after batch of postcards, 10 or 20 at a time, to remind voters of the power of the vote, of their voice.

Protect The Vote

Friday, October 2, 2020

Sept 13 2020 - Saturday.

Picture by  Buddy Poland     from Heather Cox Richardson's post Sept 13 2020

Taking a cue from Heather Cox Richardson today, from  - because I'm exhausted just thinking about all the levels of chaos going on. And HCR stated it all so well in her post from today, which I quote in it's entirety. :

"Lots of people are tired right now. Indeed, the whole point of the constant stream of chaos coming from the administration is to exhaust us to the point we will stop caring what Trump and his supporters do.

But have you noticed that reporters are increasingly calling out the administration's lies, and people are increasingly articulating what they want the world to look like, rather than what we are currently enduring? Famously, "in the midst of chaos there is also opportunity."

Here's a little inspiration for those of you for whom the chaos is obscuring the opportunity: Wilhelmina Smith of the highly-regarded Salt Bay Chamberfest, a small non-profit performing arts organization in Maine, playing her cello-- somewhat unexpectedly-- in the light of a late-summer afternoon.

Taking A Mental Health Break

This in the midst of the horrendous fires in Ashland, Oregon and Butte County, California - (again)

Fires, fires, fires.

 But we soldier on, right?