A River of Candles
From the torpid heat
The night brought
Moonlight and fireflies,
Belying the heavy weight of day
With the scent of roses
The play of sweet wild phlox
In blue shadowed depths
With white, pink and violet blooms
Growing in the floral rooms
Of the deserted orchard
At the edge of the marsh.
With a soft purple hue
As those shadows in the dream
Remember the river of candles
Which once seemed
The bleeding hearts of thousands
Who carried sorrow in tiny flames
Up the length of Market Street
Whose eyes flickering with light
Made brilliant the night
That honored the dead
Brought some relief of our terrible grief.
Buy 'Wobbly-Sabi' by Michael Browne (Adgita Diarie) on AMAZON. The fourth and final book in a series is of poetry. In these verses the author poet Michael Browne reveals how an old man living in a small village with his two dogs Bodhi and Andie faces the future on a day to day bases; finding joy in the simple events of daily life in spite of aging, disabilites, struggles with pain and the certain knowledge that the event horzon is closely observed and embraced with a spiritual grace that transforms grief into and act of love.
Ali Ko, Philosophy Cat, studied at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. A graduate of NYU Film School, she worked in production and post-production in New York. Presently she lives in Miami and is rendering an autobiographical portrait of a breast cancer survivor, as well as other projects. She lives in Miami Beach. Being a breast cancer survivor (striver) has become part of the art she does -- inspired it, actually. She is also a pet photographer.
This photo is representative of an idea I had about selfies being artifacts, not of narcissism and vanity of which they are charged, but of self-introspection and feminine control of female perception. I believe that the millions of cell cameras in young girls' hands, will one day result in women becoming photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, etc. en masse. Women then would be able to create their own image and not be culturally governed by the male gaze, which reduces women to objects, who may be muses but not authors of their own art and expression. One day, we will experience full autonomy, in this neo-patriarchal society, but that can only happen when we, as women, have taken back our own representation.
copyright Ali Ko
Don’t make fun of my feet—they have walked all over the place including seven countries and climbed Enchanted Rock and Ole Baldy. It’s now too late for me to climb Machu Picchu. They have taken me to Church to ask for forgiveness, they walked me to bury loved ones, they have walked me to embrace loved ones and run to lovers, they have played on sandy beaches, they have never run a marathon but it’s never too late to walk one, they have jumped into puddles gleefully as a child, they have stood tall in difficulties, they have been tired, they have sometimes collapsed, they have arthritis, they have worn killer shoes, they have been massaged by my husband who does so willingly, they were kissed, I’m sure, as a baby.
copyright Elaine Carter
One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that. ~Joseph Campbell
Today was a high gravity day -- very high gravity.
If I had to hazard a guess, I would say today's gravity was at least 19.394 m/s2 in most of my house, and a solid 21.0 m/s2 in the immediate vicinity of my couch.
There is only one thing to do with gravity on a high-gravity day: defy it.
So I trudged to the grocery store.
Really, I just wanted to go to the craft store that is in the same plaza as the grocery store. Walking to the craft store to buy a pair of pinking shears for a project that is impossible to start due to the Earth's current anomalously high gravitational pull seemed kind of silly, so after I bought the pinking shears I walked the additional 50 or hundred yards or whatever to the grocery store. I bought organic romaine lettuce, organic blueberries, a single conventionally grown radish (already scrubbed the crap outta that sucker), and an orange flavored Lacroix fizzie water.
Normally I just drink filtered tap water, but trudging over crusty snowbanks next to a highway chock full of speeding drivers too self-absorbed and self-important to slow down in order not to spray me with road grime made me a tiny bit thirsty and I'd forgotten to bring my water bottle and the snowflakes were tiny and falling much too fast for me to catch enough of them on my tongue to quench my multihazard-induced thirst.
I hate high gravity days, but there is no better day than a high gravity day to defy gravity.
It is never too soon to prepare oneself mentally for less than desirable circumstances, therefore I offer this bit of pedantry:
The word spring refers to a geocentric view of the astronomical seasons, specifically that instant when an imaginary plane dividing night and day is perpendicular to our Earth’s equator. That is all spring is; spring is not a deadline for the absence of snow.
The latin roots for equinox are aequi- and noct meaning equal and night. The latin roots for eviction are e- and vincere meaning out and conquer. In 15.3 days the celestial event vernal equinox will occur. There simply is no heavenly event called vernal eviction.
The lush greenery we northerners miss so very deeply will not necessarily, suddenly, recover its property from the snow — by legal action or by any other means.
I am not running late, I am simply following a calendar more astronomically-based than most people are aware they could be following.
According to JennyAstronomy (not a real thing), which of course features heavy doses of JennyMath (a potentially scary thing, although even less real than JennyAstronomy), New Year New You 2019 starts with the New Moon on January 5 at 8:28 pm.
If you feel like you've already ucked fup your resolution(s) fewer than 24 hours into 2019, fear NOT! The BEST time to begin any new endeavor is the time at which the Moon gets herself New.
I am not procrastinating my resolutions; I am simply patiently waiting for the most advantageous moment to begin.
There are only just a handful.
They are specific.
They are realistic.
Like last year's resolutions, this year's were chosen for their potential to help me to achieve My Ultimate Goal.
Jill Hand is an award-winning fantasy writer. She is easily amused. A member of the Horror Writers Association, her Southern Gothic novel, White Oaks, is scheduled for release in May 2019 from Black Rose Writing. Advance readers call it a fast-paced, funny account of three siblings competing for their father's fortune while trying to prevent the world from being destroyed.
Her novel, Rosina and the Travel Agency, and The Blue Horse, a novella, follow the adventures on a young woman rescued from a railway accident in 1889 by a mysterious twenty-fourth-century enterprise known as the Travel Agency, which is in the business of time travel tourism. Follow her: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B06Y4K5JWC?fbclid=IwAR0LkfrwNwKqlHAxuFF6WU6fLAifZrc3itMhE4AZ47nnzwMDt6CcHycqht8
Facebook thread started by Jill Hand, with comment from Mary Holland.
JILL HAND: While working on the new book I think about books that don't exist but I I wish that someone had written. Here are two:
-- Michael Makes a Friend (For ages 8 and up) Michael is lonely until he accidentally summons the demon Askanzel. Together they have many adventures as Michael mercilessly slays his enemies with Askanzel's help.
-- Christmas at Holly Berry Farm (Romance) Shy Jennifer Pollard leaves her job as a paralegal at a New York law firm to take over her Aunt Daisy's New Hampshire book store. She meets Sheriff David Clifford, a handsome widower, and together they embark on an exciting project: producing exceptionally pure methamphetamine for the grateful citizens of Cobbs Corners.
MARY HOLLAND:I’d like a book where the old grandmother turns out to be the Chosen One. She and the dragon run off together, open a coffee shop, and live happily ever after. No one saves the world but meh, who cares.
Chapter 1: The Road Rocket
Three days before the murder a lemon yellow Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce swung into the parking lot of Buzzy’s General Store in Cobbs, Georgia, at fifty miles per hour, trailed by a plume of blood-red dust. Crows perched in the loblolly pines cawed in panic and took wing, startled by the throaty shriek from the exhaust and intake at 4,000 rpms.
The car slewed sideways as the driver fought for control. For a moment it appeared it might keep on sliding until it smashed into the police cruiser parked in front. Sun glare on the windscreen made it impossible to see who was behind the wheel. Whoever it was drove like a madman. What sort of emergency could have occasioned such haste?
The Lamborghini lurched to a stop a scant three feet shy of T-boning the cruiser. A fan of gravel kicked up by the big Gallardo tires clattered against the side of the cruiser with a sound like shrapnel hitting a tin roof.
The store’s screen door flew open and smacked against the ice machine, which was situated too close to the front door when it was installed, back in 1983. Gordon Buzzy had considered moving it, but he died before he could get around to it. His son, Gordon Jr., inheritor of his father’s kingdom, which amounted to the decrepit general store and the living quarters behind it, likewise thought of moving it a little farther to the right.
It goes without saying, Gordon Buzzy, Jr., not exactly being a coiled spring of industriousness, that he too would die without moving the ice machine, as would his son and his son, and so on, until either Buzzy’s went out of business or the world came to an end, whichever came first.
Boyce County Sheriff’s Deputy Ewell Haskins emerged onto the wooden porch, primed for action. In his left hand was a partially consumed moon pie. With his right he unsnapped the leather guard over the Smith & Wesson M&P .40 in his service holster. The screen door thwacked shut behind him. Above it a hand-lettered sign warned anyone having the effrontery to take the Lord’s name in vain not to expect a warm welcome at Buzzy’s, where bait, tackle, beer and sundries could be purchased between the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. every day except Sundays and major holidays.
Haskins stood open-mouthed, staring at the yellow roadster.
It looked like something from a future century, at once sleek and angular. “Hot damn,” he whispered, spying the orange and black New York license plate. A Yankee! Driving recklessly! Perhaps the Yankee speed demon was under the influence of drugs. From what Haskins understood, a large percentage of the Yankee population customarily went around hopped up to the eyeballs. If such was the case he would soon be a very sorry Yankee indeed.
Haskins licked his lips like a dog smelling steak. The deputy still felt the sting of the conflict that a certain type of white Southerner refers to as the War of Northern Aggression. Arresting a rich Yankee who was endangering the citizens of Cobbs by ramming the roads in what amounted to a deluxe hot rod would soothe that sting considerably. It might also put Haskins in line to become the next sheriff, when the current sheriff either retired or dropped dead of the heart attack that must surely be coming to a man who weighed close to four hundred pounds and who stuffed his face with fried chicken like it was about to be banned by the FDA. Haskins rolled his eyes heavenward and offered a silent prayer to the almighty to please bring about a vacancy for the position of sheriff as swiftly as was convenient. Thank you and Amen.
Haskins squinted at the mysterious vehicle through a shimmer of heat. It was such a bright yellow it made his eyeballs throb. Who’d want a car that gaudy color? Cars should be black, white, gray, or blue, in that order. It was permissible for pickup trucks to be red; that signified a certain self-confident, assertive masculinity, but red sports cars were looking for trouble, their drivers just begging to be given a speeding ticket. A yellow road rocket like this one was utterly and flagrantly wrong, to Haskins’ way of thinking.
One Thanksgiving my mother made a turkey out of Spam. I'm not sure why she did it; she could have gone to Hinck's and bought a freshly killed turkey the way she always did, but instead she chose to craft one out of multiple cans of Spam. She may have got the idea from one of the women's magazines that flourished at the time.They had all kinds of weird recipes back then, things involving aspic and fondue and marshmallows stuck together to form snowmen with chocolate chips for eyes and licorice whips for scarves. It was food as art rather than things intended to be eaten, and my mother was an amateur artist, the daughter of a portrait painter and a clothing designer. Art in the blood, as Sherlock Holmes noted, is liable to take the strangest form. In Mom's case it took the form of crafts, crocheted ponchos and macrame plant-holders and quilts and upholstery and once, notably, a Spam turkey. While it looked uncannily like a roast turkey, carved drumsticks and all, it tasted like Spam, which wasn't what the rest of us wanted for Thanksgiving dinner. There was an angry scene, with tears and recriminations and then we all went to a restaurant. It has since become one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
I followed the whims of my mind and found myself walking down a sidewalk in an area of Houston that has always fascinated me. A fresh north wind nudged my backside as I passed the street sign marking Kelvin Drive. At the far end of the street I viewed the big red half-circle sign emblazoned with a distinctive script that read Mi Luna. The colors and aromas of freshly-bloomed bedding plants, the sounds of traffic and scurrying shoppers, the sights of trendy shops all delightfully filled my senses as I walked in the springtime atmosphere of Rice Village. A flash of red caught my attention. I turned toward the opposite side of Kelvin Drive and there she was. Ankle-length full-flowing flamenco-styled red dress; long black hair gathered to the side adorned with a red rose, walking with a very determined pace. My breathing stopped as her name wafted through my mind--Maria. But how could that be? Maria is a child of my imagination. Of all the characters my imagination has gifted me Maria is closest to my heart, an outwardly exquisite raven-haired beauty, inwardly beset by a troubled and horrific upbringing. After years of struggling, she finally shed the emotional shackles of her childhood and made herself into a successful adult, although violent outbursts were never far away. And now, there she was walking down Kelvin Drive. She can't be walking down Kelvin Drive. I rubbed my eyes. She was still there. A conflict between the right and left sides of my brain began to emerge. The left side held the opinion that there is a girl dressed as a flamenco dancer walking on the opposite side of Kelvin Drive and that is all there is to it. The right side countered, "Yeah, and her attire is very appropriate for Maria. So that must be Maria." I love my imagination. But, where was it taking me? My attention shifted back to the big red half-circle at the far end of Kelvin Drive. Through my research in developing Maria's character I knew Mi Luna periodically featured flamenco dancers. My Maria is of gypsy heritage and an avid flamenco dancer. In the novel I even toyed with having her perform at Mi Luna. My right side chimed in, "You see, Mi Luna features flamenco dancers. The girl is dressed as a flamenco dancer, looks just like Maria and is headed toward Mi Luna. I'm telling you, that girl is Maria."
"No", my left side reiterated, "Can't be. Maria is a figment, remember."
Then the strangeness of the situation only deepened. As the taps of her flamenco shoes clicked against the sidewalk, I realized no one else seemed to take notice of this sultry Andalusian beauty. My heartbeat quickened and my breathing escalated. Crossing Amherst Drive, now parallel with the girl, I got a good look at her. A shiver ran up my backbone. She looked exactly how I pictured Maria in my mind. I realized the right side of my brain was right. That is Maria. The left side chided, "No No, let's stay focused. You cannot know that girl, much less her name. But it does seem like there is more going on than meets the eye. Look around and see if you can figure out the opportunity that is being presented here." I slowed and felt the sidewalk under my feet, took in the sights of Rice Village, watched the girl dressed as a flamenco dancer walking towards the Spanish Restaurant and Tapas Bar called Mi Luna. As I began to contemplate the facts before me the right side whispered, "Oh Jim, there's a lot more going on here than that. Use your feeling to figure what opportunity you are experiencing."
"Quite Righty," interjected the left side. "We don't need any of that Wu Wu stuff of yours," Going with how society has programmed me, I stuck with the visual evidence. I then knew where my imagination was taking me; to this very spot and time. In finding this girl in her flamenco outfit I knew where to gather invaluable resource information with which to flesh out the Maria of my novel.
I never would have had the nerve to approach such a beautiful stranger and introduce myself. But the desire to write Maria bolstered my nerve. I decided to just ask what time her performance started. I would be able to at least experience the atmosphere of what my Maria's flamenco performance would be like. And with any luck, the rest of the dancers wouldn't mind if I hung around to learn what a flamenco dancer's life is like in today's world. Excitement coursed through my veins as I turned to take a step towards the girl. To my surprise, she suddenly stopped and faced me. From across the street I saw her deep brown eyes staring into mine and stood still as stone. Seeing her perfect ruby red lips move, I gasped as her soft sweet voice whispered in my ear, "Jim, you have to write me. You're the only one who understands." With a start she turned and resumed her determined pace towards Mi Luna. I said, "Whoa Toto, we ain't in Texas anymore."
Works at being the change I wish the world to be.
Kate Richman via The Progressive Parent: Literally every person is messed up, so pick your favorite train wreck and roll with it.
Jennifer Florence: I lean toward "adult child" train wrecks, Kate. Which is your favorite?
Kate: I live in the , “I am the adult child of an alcoholic and my childhood memories may make you cry”.
William Mays: This actually is going to help me get through the day.
Kate Richman: That is what your photos do for me!
Trish Koval: Family gathers that ended on the battle field. I just wanted everyone to enjoy the fucking meal!
Jennifer Florence: Right? How hard is it to shut the fuck up and eat your damn beets?!?!
Trish: If not shut up, look for a theme that was simply pleasant for once. My mother even announced before we all sat down...no politics, no insults, swearing...okay.
Jennifer: I was projecting my own desires again, Trish. I would have preferred no talk to tense talk, and the talk was often tense, especially if Mom had the balls to put beets or broccoli on the table, or God forbid a tomato accidentally came into contact with a cucumber on the relish plate -- who needs politics when there is the abject horror of vegetables to bitch about!
Trish: Thankfully such was not the issue, some didn't even know what they were eating with all the arguing, but people storming out hurt/or angry, even had the occasion that someone asked to leave before my father literally showed them the door, was a nightmare. As my mother would say in the aftermath, Merry Fucking Christmas!
Trish: Then it was her turn to be upset, swear, and start throwing dish rags around! Lol!
Trish: ...and addressing my father as Mr. Koval!!
William: I just love this thread.
Larry Zuckerman: Train Wreck is my favorite vape oil. Not for the casual stoner or beginner.
I wrote this in 2008 when Brad Littleproud wrote me and asked for my memory of attending Woodstock. He was writing a book on the 40th anniversary in 2009. I just found this in one of my folders on my desktop and thought it told the story pretty well. So here is my memory of 50 years ago when my siblings and I went to Woodstock:
I was 17 years old in the summer of 1969, when I announced to my parents that I was going to upstate New York to a three-day music festival. They looked at me like I was crazy. They said "oh really, and how do you plan to get there?" I told them I would hitchhike if I had to, but I was definitely going. I whined about it. I got my twin brother Michael and my younger sister Lynn to whine about it. My mother reminds me that I was the ringleader and instigator. I had roused my siblings to the cause, and we all wanted to go to Woodstock. Our teenage mantra was that we would get there any way we could. We had seen the poster. We heard about it from everyone we talked to. The festival's energy was simply omnipresent in our world. My parents relented but only on one condition, if our 20 year old brother Marc, who was home from college would drive us in his fine 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 convertible. My mother tells me now that she gave him her credit card and cash to encourage him to take us. She even paid for the gas. So, he agreed to chaperone and chauffeur us, and our high school buddy Susan, to the celebration of peace and music: Woodstock.
We borrowed sleeping bags from our neighbors. We didn't even have backpacks so we didn't pack a thing with us. No food, no change of clothes. We were kids from suburban Fords, New Jersey, who had never camped out in our lives. Despite being seasoned anti-war protesters, open-air music concerts was out of our ken. We brought an extra blanket, like we were going to a picnic, loaded ourselves into the car and drove the 125 miles upstate to a show we didn't have tickets for. I think we must have assumed that we would buy tickets at the gate. It all seemed very reasonable to a 17 year old.
The ride was uneventful until we arrived fairly close to the site on Friday afternoon. Suddenly there were cars and people everywhere. Everyone looked just like us. My older brother told me that that's what he remembers most about Woodstock, how it was a great equalizer. No one stood out. There was a moving sea of blue jeans and flowing hair, beads, embroidery and flowers. We just parked our car in a field of other cars and joined the throngs. We didn't even have to know where the event was being held exactly, the movement simply took us there. We had heard in the crowd that the fences were down and people were being allowed in for free. That worked for us. We were going to Woodstock and we didn't even need tickets anymore!
A sea of people spread before us in the largest crowd of humanity we had ever seen amassed in one place. There was a stage in the distance, and smoke was rising from pipes and joints. Everyone smiled at each other like we were all members of the same lost tribe, now rejoined. There was camaraderie, a likeness of spirit. It reminded me of Walt Whitman's: And what I assume, you shall assume; For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you."
I remember listening to the music of Ravi Shankar, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez. Darkness fell to their sounds on Friday night. People came and went. Joints were passed around. Someone gave us amyl nitrate. The world inverted and then righted itself. The rain started. We moved our wet sleeping bags closer to the stage. The rain continued. We were part of the sea of people.
I don't remember sleeping, but soon it was Saturday morning.
I have to admit I don't remember much else. My older brother left us for several hours in search of food. That was some time on Saturday. I do recall that he showed up with a dozen hamburgers and a good-sized box of big soft pretzels that someone had given him on the side of the road. We shared the bounty with our neighbors. Lynn, Susan, and I walked to the port-a-potties. There were tables set up where event organizers were handing out information; there was food somewhere; there was a makeshift medical tent. I don't know how we found our way back to our family and our little square patch of place, everything looked the same in every direction, but we did. I remember feeling safe everywhere we went.
It occurred to us, though, we were completely unprepared to stay. We were in the same clothes from the day before. We had spent the night outside unprotected from the elements. We were cold, and we had no way to change our situation. So, we decided to leave. One of our neighbors was handing out acid. My siblings and I didn't indulge, but Susan did. She opened her mouth, and he tossed in a tab. Just like that. We headed back to the car, found it and headed south on the New York Thruway. By then It was late Saturday afternoon.
Exhaustion does not begin to describe the state we were in. Giddy and hungry, we talked and dozed. We pulled off on to the thruway shoulder and slept, with the top down. Susan was still tripping away. She sat on the top of the back seat and watched the sky change colors. She told us that while we slept she had walked into the field of cows we had parked next to and had communed and communicated with them. It's very likely that's exactly what happened. We had just come from Woodstock. We knew anything was possible.
If I had to summarize those 24 hours we spent at Woodstock, I would say that we did not hear much of the music, but we celebrated with a half million other people the first festival of peace.
It's been a little while since I've posted here. I have such mixed feelings about Facebook and privacy. And I have been feeling a little bit sick with a sore throat. And the news of our country and the whirlwind of insanity that has overtaken everything. And the rainy winter skies that add a cast of dim lit gray. But the clouds parted, and the solstice moon rose, and so I went out with camera. Happy Solstice, friends.
Trish Koval is a citizen of the world. She posts her thoughts on Facebook.
Once in a while, I watch Top Chef Latino (here in Mexico). Last night I tuned in. Let me start by saying that it is not like the US version. It is modest, and homey as is the culture, and the contestants seem rather brother/sister to each other. I got emotionally involved with last night's episode, where they had their regular staff of judges, plus a special guest judge. ¡Que horror! The invited was a Chef/judgezilla and this woman hails from Uruguay. Nothing against Uruguay, mind you. I have to say that I never thought I'd see the day that a TWIN of fitness guru Jillian Michaels would be recreated by this Uruguayan in the kitchen!! Yep!! It happened!! Both women are the most abrasive individuals I've ever seen. Usually, the judges see what the contestant is doing and *recommend* modifications, but normally it's a question of the time factor above all else. Many of the contestants here gather what is needed from the little grocery store provided on-site to make what is asked of them with recipes that they've learned through word-of-mouth for generations...from their mothers, grandmother, and great grandmothers! Esta bruja wanted all the contestants to modify their recipes...no recommendation, but a demand! Some took her advice however so reluctant. Others stood fast and honored grandma. She downgraded those that didn't follow her orders. I will mention that the permanent judges, all Mexicans, were sweating bullets in the background, and shaking their heads! On the bright side, she only judged two out of four dishes. Ahh, gee, maybe she was given a one-way flight to la chingada.
In coming home and pulling up to my driveway, I encountered after a good long absence, my neighbor who often did pass by on his way to taking his long walks around the park. This would be the fella that suffers deep depression and found that a regimen of Prozac had helped him immensely, and the one that owns a telescope to obverse the skies that also helps him in his battle of insomnia. We got chatting (he's a very talkative and friendly person), going on to tell me he had stopped the Prozac (never said why), but went on to say that he had recently resumed taking it. He went on to tell me about his stargazing with his high-powered telescope and the conversation became intricate, as we spoke of the bright full moon on the 20th, how he has shifted his gaze to observing the volcano in the last months, and politely asked me if he could tell me in Spanish (he always speaks to me in English from the get-go, his choice, not mine.) I told him (as I've told in our last conversations, for he has always asked me if he could do so, 'but of course...adelante (go right ahead/please do.) And as our many previous conversations dealing with astronomy, he takes a deep breath, and continues in English like nothing!! Lol!! He does this every time! I just let him rip. He's a deeply religious individual, a Catholic of course, and grabbed my hand as we spoke blessing me too many times to count, but I feel like I'm covered!! ¡Si señores! He's a man no one would notice, but he's a good guy, with a good heart I think. After 20 minutes of chatting, and many blessings had passed he departed to the park and I was very glad to have seen him out and about once more.
I'm ready to retire from here to other 'things,' and I've got a query. Are good memories no longer something that brings a breath of fresh air into the present? I mean, even the bad memories serve a great purpose in one's life if you permit them. Are the bittersweet memories of the nostalgia now passé?? I'm hearing this out here, but am in disbelieve. I will go hold my nostalgia and fond memories that have already written, etched in stone, and cannot be undone. What are people missing when they choose to forget or erase such events?? I really don't understand this, therefore I will ponder over it with hope to find an answer.
Taken up through the trees from the front garden a little after sunrise, it is clear, the sunrise intense, and you can clearly see the half-moon in the sky this morning. Only once in a while do I see the moon out in broad daylight and today was one of those occasions.
Was on the road, and as I'm driving down swoops a dove from the overpass bridge and lands smack dab in my lane. I was traveling down a steep slope a two lane through-way, clipping along about 50 mph/80 kph. The through-way was quite empty, and I quickly looked in my rear-view before braking to see if there was anyone behind me... there was not. Could only slow down just so much before I was literately on top of this bird (those doves usually take off in flight as a car approaches them...this one didn't for some reason.) I thought, oh crap, I smashed him/her! Looked in my rear-view as I passed, the little bugger was fine, yet continuing into the next lane (no cars coming that I could see.) Maybe it was dehydrated, for it could fly. Hope it made it!
Funny how events suddenly jog the memory of another, for just after this as I continued to drive on I recalled an incident dating back to when I was around 10-11 years old. My father was working a job all the way down in Santa Cruz, CA. Remember well he was constructing a huge sewage plan down there. Anyway, he was on the long drive back home on the coast highway 1 at dusk. As par of the course, it was socked in by fog. He said, suddenly a wild pheasant hit his truck. He pulled over to see the condition of the bird. Its neck was broken, and it was lying dead on the side of the road. He picked it up and put it the back of his truck. When he came home he told he had a pheasant down in the basement, and told me what happened, however he never mentioned it was dead. Guess he assumed that that was understood or he felt bad that it had died and knew how I would react. I went racing to basement to see our new exotic pet! He had laid it out on his work bench. I got all emotional and turned to him and said, 'dad, its dead!' He said, 'Trisha, of course it is dead sweetheart, it slammed into my truck!' I cried at that point, that I recall so well. My dad felt awful, and was hugging me wordlessly. Then he calmly explained to me that even had the pheasant survived it would have not survived in our care, wild birds rarely do. Nevertheless, him being a country boy, he knew all about plucking, and preparing a bird for cooking.
Naturally, I did not attend the feast, but my mother and brother did. Soooo... to conclude this bit of small history, he was right about all of it... just took me a bit longer to come to terms.
copyright Trish Koval
My sleep time is really something! My son and his father slept like Dracula...with almost ZERO movements in their crypts the entire night. Isn't that wonderful?! I thought so!! However, I've got a wholly distinct thing going on! My bed looks neatly made when I hunker down at night, and yes, I make it every day, I must!! At 4 AM what do I have? A true rat's nest of disorder, As crazy as it sounds, the spirits visit me in the night! And I will further say that they finally rouse me between 3:30 and 4, and yes, I am awakened immediately, and don't feel the need to linger! I feel something around me in those hours, and no, it is not the comforter strangling me!! So, it's the spirits most likely hangin' out, for I've no other explanation as to the sensation I feel! Yes, the bright sunshine in my room can be blinding for one!! It's crazy love brightness! Mexico's sun is seriously illuminating!! The altitude is relevant to that, in between its very southern proximity. Anyways, my bed is made for tonight's nightly wrasslin' event of the Spirits Vs. Kovalsky!! I happen to love it!!
The month of September is a truly a menacing month in Mexico. The alertness in a general way is high for quakes. My groups here, and on my phone app are loaded with apprehension all through this month. Of, course, who could blame us after Sept. 19th, 1985 quake (8.1) flattening this huge city within 60 seconds, and then once again, but not once but twice in 2017 within a mere 10-day span...the 7th of Sept we were hit at minutes away from midnight with an 8.1 out from the coast, yeah, it was more than felt, woke me up from a dead sleeps with furniture walking away for the walls. On the 32nd anniversary of the '85 quake unbelievably so, we were struck by a 7.1 near 2:00 PM that was much closer to the valley of Mexico, shallow, an unusual break in the plates had occurred (for they didn't shift and move which is more typical, but exploded from within the plates---rare occurrence with little known as to why) and wreaked havoc within the city. Frankly, I thought my number was up that day as I fled my house to the park in front, I really did, as did many!!
So, now the tension is clearly building, and people write/message these apprehensions ever since September began, and only grows as we near the 19th. Ironically, this date is my mothers' BD, and at the time in '85 when my family had contact via a ham phone radio of a friend of my then brother-in-law bypassed the downed lines, yet could call my house phone, to let me know that my mother was terminal, and to come back to SF...recall my sister Sue was speaking to me in a 3 way conversation if I remember correctly) I did go to be with my mother for 2 and a half months, though it took another week to be able to fly out (airport damaged and closed down.) The world news at that time (as we could not be contacted in any form due to the heavy damages) said Mexico City seemed to be gone from the map...yeah that bad at that time!
Nevertheless, this month represents the 'black hand' over us. We all feel it, how could we not? Fingers crossed that we have a calm month, even though in the heart of hearts nobody believes, nor trusts in that!
Well, to my surprise I received a message from my x, and him wishing me a Happy Mother's Day, (con un abrazo fuerte) with a strong hug. This was a pleasant surprise of sorts, for in the 20 years in our marriage, and 17 of them as a mother and him a father, he always told me he couldn't make a big deal out of mother's day with me, for I wasn't his mother!! Lol! His take! Ohh, boy!! He may have found wisdom, and hope he has. However, there was one year, and many ago, that he hugged me and thanked me on this day, and went on to say, 'who wouldn't want you as their mother?' Oh, he was so honest in that moment, and I felt bad for him reflected on his family history, never forgot that moment and he was brave to express such a feeling I thought. Though his mother, whom I really cared for over the years, she was a stay-at-home mom as was the cultural norm when he grew up, she left her 5 children in the hands of a live-in nanny and went off to help the poor in the Catholic church in arts and crafts. Him writing to me today seems to be a revelation.
Ted Henderson owns and operates Henderson Air-Conditioning. He posts on Facebook, often from a conservative perspective
When I was but a wee lad, my family would travel at least once, if not twice a year to El Paso. This was in the days before I-37 was completed all the way into San Antonio from Corpus Christi. So our path led us through Uvalde. In Uvlade there was the Hot Pit BBQ restaurant where we would stop for lunch on our long journey.(14 hrs at 55mph). This bbq joint in Uvalde served a brisket sandwich that has gone largely unmatched, in my opinion, since then.
Today, I took a bite of a brisket sandwich at a restaurant. I was immediately taken back to my childhood and reminded of those awesome bbq sandwiches from Uvalde.
I love it. Taste and smell are probably the most effective at triggering memories, but sound, like music, is equally effective. Regarding smell, I can't go by a dairy with the putrid manure smell without thinking about my grandmother's house in the valley of El Paso. And ironically, it really is not a bad smell to me.