the winds of change are howling through our streets. standing here at the intersection of social justice, the coronavirus, and last week’s earthquake the boat is rocking. i’m just here breathing it all in. good thing my seat can be used as a flotation device.
the jacaranda trees rise above the streets opening their purple parasols under all who stroll beneath.
meanwhile cottage life continues. golden apricots gather in a bowl on my kitchen table. a hooded oriole family dart from tree to tree. there was a squirrel in my freezer last week. she fell from a power line and i collected her before someone could run over her. a real dilemma about what to do with the body. trash was out of the question due to heat and service day was 5 days off. burial was also not an option. so the freezer it was. move over trader joe’s pizza and frozen bananas.
i’ve started a virtual 480 mile camino de santiago mission. each morning’s walk translates to miles walked on the camino. i’ve just let the pyrenees and am making my way southwest across spain. the app is called MY MISSION. you can can go on a pre-set mission or start your own. kind of fun if you ask me.
i wish i had begun my virtual trek back at the end of march when i began daily walking in earnest. i’d be much further along. i do savor my daily check-in. finding my location on the map to see where i’m headed and how far i’ve come.
the oleanders are blooming en masse along my fence. and i am inside on this hot blowy day writing a letter to you. clanking out the words onto a screen. soon i’ll press publish and start reading & responding to your comments. i like knowing what you’re doing in your gardens, cabins in the woods, rowboats, forests. perhaps at this very moment you are climbing a tree or tending to your bees. eating a tomato. reading a book.
i’m still here. journaling on the porch in late afternoon. i deposit all loose thoughts onto the pages of my notebook. anchor them to the paper with my pen. occasionally i even open my sketchbook and draw. the other day a map, a bird, some letters.
virtual school is over this week. i had my last zoom meeting with the young punks. culmination each year is always such a perfect ending. months upon months of life at sea – squall after squall, waves washing over the bow and stern, kids getting wet, getting sick. then somehow they develop their sea legs. life onboard begins to resemble something that does not look like chaos. we start looking for whale spouts, birds, rainbows. land is sighted. the captain peers through a telescope. the end is near. except our journey halted prematurely. an anchor was thrown overboard. 33 hot air balloons arrived and ferried us off in different directions. some of us headed for land, others drifted back towards the open water. that sounds ominous. unintentional i assure you.
let’s forget about school for now and read a poem.
by Linda Pastan
Just looking at them
I grow greedy, as if they were
freshly baked loaves
waiting on their shelves
to be broken open—that one
and that—and I make my choice
in a mood of exalted luck,
browsing among them
like a cow in sweetest pasture.
For life is continuous
as long as they wait
to be read—these inked paths
opening into the future, page
after page, every book
its own receding horizon.
And I hold them, one in each hand,
a curious ballast weighting me
here to the earth.
on my bookshelf
i’m finally listening to BECOMING. everyone was right. it’s good.
IN PRAISE OF WALKING. okay. not as good as i had hoped, but don’t take my word for it.
my latest novel, HARRY’S TREES, so far so good, but can’t hold a candle (so far) to THE BEES, one of my top reads of the year. compulsively readable. hated for it to end. THE BOOK OF DELIGHTS. what can i say? it’s utterly delightful.
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contour drawing on the diary project. we love these. we do do do!
i’m a new devotee of ross gay. he is marvelous as this video will attest.