Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
It's near Halloween and all, but still, the sight of many large crows sitting atop our roof, staring at me intently as I returned from my morning walk bothered me. It was not the first time it had happened. I had noticed them sitting there, about the same time on previous mornings.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
When weary with the long day's care,
And earthly change from pain to pain,
And lost, and ready to despair,
Thy kind voice calls me back again:
Oh, my true friend! I am not lone,
While then canst speak with such a tone!
So hopeless is the world without;
The world within I doubly prize;
Thy world, where guile, and hate, and doubt,
And cold suspicion never rise;
Where thou, and I, and Liberty,
Have undisputed sovereignty.
What matters it, that all around
Danger, and guilt, and darkness lie,
If but within our bosom's bound
We hold a bright, untroubled sky,
Warm with ten thousand mingled rays
Of suns that know no winter days?
Reason, indeed, may oft complain
For Nature's sad reality,
And tell the suffering heart how vain
Its cherished dreams must always be;
And Truth may rudely trample down
The flowers of Fancy, newly-blown:
But thou art ever there, to bring
The hovering vision back, and breathe
New glories o'er the blighted spring,
And call a lovelier Life from Death.
And whisper, with a voice divine,
Of real worlds, as bright as thine.
I trust not to thy phantom bliss,
Yet, still, in evening's quiet hour,
With never-failing thankfulness,
I welcome thee, Benignant Power;
Sure solacer of human cares,
And sweeter hope, when hope despairs!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
I am currently fascinated with TV antennas. They are endangered creatures around here. Don't tell HOB, but this may mean a hunting expedition in the future to capture more of these! He's my driver on such trips.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Love's Exquisite Freedom
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain
Love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.
We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
We dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
And will ever be
Yet, it is only love
which sets us free.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I have had some fairly deep conversations over the years with various dishes. Believe it or not, French fries are just as friendly and fun-loving as seem, but surprisingly, that kind-looking casserole can be a more than a little haughty. Hot dogs have an inferiority complex and believe me, they let you know about it. For hours and hours….
Salads in general are a happy bunch, but Spring Mix enjoys being with itself a little too much. Fruit Salad talks too much. Coleslaw will be there in the good times, but it falls apart the minute you challenge it.
However, there is one salad that I am particularly close to and have spent hours with. Over the years I have come to learn a lot from my friend and today I pass this knowledge on to you:
10. Understand your role at whatever gathering you are at. Don’t overshadow the main dish. Support it charitably and without getting unsavory in attitude. HOWEVER…
9. Be secure in the knowledge that you are more than just a “side dish.” YOU are an essential part of this great feast. It is your contribution that makes the table complete. Be proud of your gifts.
8. Don’t settle. Stir things up frequently. It keeps you looking fresh and appealing.
7. Don’t get too heated up about things. You run the risk of looking spoiled. People may feel a little queasy around you. Some will avoid you altogether.
6. Don’t be insulted if not everyone likes you. You can handle it. Everyone has different tastes and that’s OK.
5. Add spice and variety when you can. Don’t stay the same year after year. Add crunchy, fun ingredients to your life. Surprise people with your hidden, flavorful talents.
4. In life, it is necessary to be both soft and yielding, yet firm enough to hold up when you get shaken up, stirred about. It’s all a matter of balance.
3. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Don’t show up to every small occasion. Make yourself just a little scarce, a little hard-to-get. People will like you better if they don’t see you every day…HOWEVER…
2. Be sure you show up at the big occasions in life—birthday parties, anniversary gatherings. And always, always go to funeral dinners. It may not be fun, but people need you and the comfort you bring to them.
1. Don’t ever forget your roots. Your essential substance comes from the richness of the dark earth, brought into the light, combined with goodness, mixed with love. You were meant to go out and nourish the world.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
When I get a migraine, it feels precisely like a bird of prey has attached itself, not only to my left temple, but to the underlying muscles of my cranium as well.
The talons sink in deep and I am forced to deal with the bird attached firmly to my head. The weight of it causes me to walk at a slight angle, the flapping feathers cause my left eye to squint, and I continually rub my hand over the side of my head, hoping to loosen the grip of those razor-like claws, but to no avail.
My only hope lies in some small white pills that come packaged with seven pages of scary pharmaceutical language. The pills lesson the pain and, I believe, under normal circumstance would cause me to walk at an exaggerated angle to the right. However, the weight of the bird on my left evens out that effect, allowing me to walk somewhat normally.
Now, sometimes I am fortunate in that a mere kestrel, osprey or a medium-sized falcon comes. They stay only for a day or so and are skittish around the medicine. Occasionally a large barn owl comes, heavy and predicable, extracting his heavy claws after about two days. However, I am not always that lucky. Monday evening, for instance. That was when the Black-Chested Snake Eagle descended from the sky and dug his sharp claws into my head without warning.
Well…OK, there may have been warning, but it came disguised as a good time.
Here’s the way it works:
It started on Monday afternoon in my Intermediate Composition class. During that period of time I believed I might just have been the best teacher on earth. I hoisted that dry-erase marker and began to twirl it around the board, writing out brilliant examples, intricate sentences that I was sure would unlock the secrets of English Composition.
I felt that I had at that moment invented a method that would increase my students’ abilities to learn at an exponential rate. With my proven system, schools could shorten semesters to four weeks each, thereby covering all classes in the English spectrum in approximately one year. I beamed as I looked out at my students who sat, staring at me, apparently stunned by my genius. That text-messaging student in the back row was probably getting in touch with the Nobel folks to say, “Hey! Wait just one darn minute! I’ve got a winner for you!”
I was happy, happy, happy, as I walked back to my office. Did I mention I had also gotten better looking and my stomach had shrunk by about five inches? I went into my office wing and had some incredibly witty banter with my colleagues. Then I went home.
About ten minutes later, I felt the tips of the claws upon my temple.
Damn. Taken in again.
Here’s how it works: I get a feeling of euphoria a few hours before the migraine. Now, you would think that this might be a bit of a bonus and might serve as an early warning system. However, the insidiousness of the migraine is that at the very moment it express ships this little gift of euphoria, it inserts a fun house mirror between the synapses of my brain, so that at no time to do I suspect that there is a migraine on the way.
It blocks all warnings, all thoughts of dread of the approaching bird of prey. Instead, the roses, the champagne delivered at my door, distract me. I sit, still and naïve, playing with the jewels I have found strewn in my path as the bird flaps above, preparing the attack on me, the unsuspecting victim.
The irony is that there are times in my life when I just feel good. Things are going well. I feel unusually witty. My writing is flowing. I look at my pictures and think “Wow! That’s great” and then all the sudden I wonder. Oh no! Is there a migraine on the way? Is this feeling real?
Like the slightly insane man who sits outside the liquor store, I start scanning the skies for imagined winged creatures in the sky. Are they approaching? Is this just another trick? I know that if it were a real migraine, I would not recognize the euphoria for what it is and still I twitch as I search the skies…waiting, watching and listening for the flapping of those terrible wings.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Body my house
my horse my hound
what will I do
when you are fallen
Where will I sleep
How will I ride
What will I hunt
Where can I go
without my mount
all eager and quick
How will I know
in thicket ahead
is danger or treasure
when Body my good
bright dog is dead
How will it be
to lie in the sky
without roof or door
and wind for an eye
With cloud for shift
how will I hide?