Snow Tracks

A red fox scampers through fresh snow into the brush, and I follow a myriad of tracks crisscrossing the night on my way to feed the cat. I google medications that interact with grapefruit and ready another double-bagged load of poetry books saved from a not-too-distant lifetime and hustle them into the car for recycling before I change my mind. After a nod to the trees veiled in white—I say a prayer for rain in Australia and for friends with new challenges. It’s the last full day before a new calendar cycle begins for me—Wednesday’s child.

 

In Profile

I sketch his profile—the musician with a harmonica almost hidden in his large hands. His glasses slipping down his nose, and his mop of hair unruly. The line work is strong loose abstract. Maybe I’m the only one who recognizes his presence. The gesture, the tilt of his head, the music I’m hearing. 

 

Changing the Hardware

I read this line recently from the poem Magpies Recognize Themselves in the Mirror  by Kelli Russell Agodon:

“and we’re replacing our cabinet knobs because we can’t change the world, but we can change our hardware.

And I was quite taken with this breath of wisdom. Kelli is speaking about “America” here, but since we are America, she is also speaking about us and our own brokenness that requires change/growth. Changing cabinet knobs or discarding unused keepsakes or any such movement makes a lot of sense. It’s that traditional time of year for fresh starts. I myself am discarding old poetry books that meant a lot to me in the past but now are ghosts of a past life. My hope is to make room for new poetry—not even for new poetry books, but simply new poetry. It’s my way of changing the hardware for a new age. 

I would highly recommend reading Kellie Russell Agodon’s poem. It’s not easy on our hearts, but it hits the mark on where we are at in this country and personally on whatever side of the aisle you reside. 

Walking With Depression

I woke up this morning in a full-mode depression after weeks/months of a low-grade turn. I felt so low that I could not think of a single thing to write about today, and far worse, I cared less. The loss of hope, caring and spirit is the gut-sucker here while inspiration or lack ideas, words or images is secondary and merely a symptom. I had thought that the remedy needed was a get-away artist retreat or residency for a few weeks or even a short day-trip, otherwise tagged as an artist’s date (by the wise Julia Cameron), or simple break in routine. All of which are luxuries that do indeed help, but in the long run–luxuries do not fully replace daily nourishment or modest natural joy.

So I sat at the edge of my bed and uncorked the valve of tears and let them flow, and in doing so, I also decided that I cannot ignore or cleanly push Depression off to the side. I need to address and walk with her, Depression, and just let her be for what she is, despite the fact that I don’t even know what she is or why she visits. She simply takes up some of my time, space and energy. With that surrender and the tears came enough release and the recognition that we have to walk side-by-side sometimes, I was able to reset and begin a functioning and even noteworthy day. I noticed the underside of the half moon and its very real roundness, and began to note other small graces. I emerged from this darker side, and while driving, started to thank my team of Angels and Guides. I asked for a sign–calling it a gift for the first time to show me a bit of the magic in my life. Just as I was finishing the thought, a car turned quickly into my lane in front of me, and its license plate held My INITIALS ALL IN CAPS (yes as license plates are want to do). I smiled broadly and took this trivial delight as the sign/gift I asked for. I have not seen my initials on a car plate in decades, and since it’s all about timing–I felt blessed and gifted. I also began to tap into Inspiration, another of many walking archetype partners that I engage with. I had lost sight of her, Inspiration, this morning and now she is back. And though Inspiration is far more companionable than Depression or Grief, we all walk together taking turns to share and navigate the trail that is life and the artist’s way.

~

mubblefubble–walking depression into poetry

All In A Day

Yesterday was challenging and interesting:

The snow from the day before changed to rain/sleet coating the trees with a thousand points of sparkling light creating a fairy wonderland.

3-4″ of slush had to be plowed.

A branch fell on the live power line on poles across the farmhouse front lawn sparking and causing a huge explosion/bang/smoke so much so that a driver passing by called 911 (emergency). I ran out to see a huge smoke bomb, however while the blowup on the line dissipated, neighbors gathered, police and a fire truck arrived to check it all out. The power went out for about three hours as temperatures plummeted and the wind roared. Thankfully the dog and I escaped to a friend’s house until the power/water/heat went back on.

Fractured ice, the size and shape of finger splints, were propelled via strong winds against the sides of the house and ricochetted off windows all evening into morning. The sound was eerie, disturbing the dog more than me.

I watched a  rerun of The Big Chill (sic). The furnace was working overtime as the windchill plummeted to the single digits and down to -2 degrees.

I watched the two overtime endings of two of the most action packed playoff football games that a non-football fan like me can remember and actually enjoy. I had absolutely no doubt that Tom Brady would do his Brady downfield rumble in the last two minutes and was happy that his opponent had the chance to do the same in an amazing display of skill, tactic and brouhaha. Kudos to all the teams that played hard–win or lose.

It was a full Wolf Moon/ full moon eclipse.

I listened to a podcast on working with prayer in order to egg your team of Angels/Guides “off the couch” and into action and to seek “process guidance” instead of “revelation-guidance” in order to co-create miracles and growth.

All in all–quite an extraordinary ordinary day of smallstone moments to connect and be present with–some very alarming and anxious and others quite soothing and healing.

~

fractured fairy tales in a thousand points of light the alchemy of prayer

 

Martini Metaphors

Found Poem from The New York Times Book Review; Sunday, November 18, 2018

New York Ladies: PARKER, Selected Stories By Dorothy Parker.
Reviewed by Sadie Stein 

Two New York broads of urban legend
known as martini metaphors, too often 

reduced to a quip on a coffee mug;
chroniclers of contemporary New York

flapper highs and breadline lows.
Downtown speakeasies rocked by 

a hard-boiled world and legendary
cabaret shows. They struggled with 

alcoholism pairing whiskey tenors and
yearning hearts. Always lurking in female 

characters—justice, sympathy and
poignancy. Take it gladly—straight up. 

 

A New Pair of Boots

There’s always an upside to what is perceived to be a major downer. We are waiting the arrival of a storm that potentially may turn into a nasty snow/rain/sleet/ice event–all in all– a disruption from our regular routines and sometimes special events. “Harper” may very well pass us by or turn mostly into a rain storm just a few miles south of here. In any case, I am at the ready with a new pair of boots called “Ice Grippers.” They have retractable cleats built into the soles that can be flipped into action with a special red key made for this purpose only. It is a creative and brilliant alternative to having to stretch tight rubber cleats onto a another pair of shoes or boots or whatever and save one from swearing while attempting to keep fingers intact and wiggle into the cleated shoes that are now a half-size smaller. Ice Grippers are warm boots and cleats all in one package. No more carrying an extra pair of rubbers or shoes to change into on non-icy indoor surfaces. These boots are Canadian designed and manufactured in Europe, and I am happy to put them into action. The only problem may be in not losing or forgetting the key to open and close them.

~

one fix gives way to another pickle yet to be determined

 

Thank You Mary Oliver

Yesterday there was sad news (for many of us) in the passing of poet Mary Oliver. She more than any other poet, showed me the way of simple words elevated to song. I always admire a master who can bring rustic or homespun to the table with seeming ease and grace and invite us to share in a feast. Mary Oliver did exactly that with words and wonder for the natural world. Simple and profound at the same time.

One of my forever favorite poems of hers:

I GO DOWN TO THE SHORE 

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall–
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
Excuse me, I have work to do.

Mary Oliver ~ from A Thousand Mornings

Thank you.