Sometimes I marvel at how I did it all before. Working full-time, making online classes, traveling, and so much sketchbookery. My 58 year-old self seems to have forgotten how to keep all my wheels on the cart and maintain a forward motion. Most of my leftover energy from working-stiff life gets poured into my writing journal, walks, books, and quiet porch time.
Last year at this time though, I received a booster shot in the form of participating in my own version of Inktober. I think I’ll start slowly with that and see what develops.
I also received a real vaccine booster shot last Saturday. Thanks CVS! Here in California, teachers are officially eligible! Don’t count on your district to keep you informed though. I read all about it in the LA Times. Made my appointment, got my shot, no waiting whatsoever! No soreness either. Didn’t feel a thing.
But in this moment I am halting school planning to do one of my favorite catch-my-breath-and-sit-still activities. I will write you a letter. A smoke signal of a letter. From the captain’s cabin of my ship that is at present unmanned and drifting perilously close to a rocky shore. I will get my metaphor blender out and start mixing things up. You won’t mind. You never do.
I’ve got a batch of pumpkin empanadas in the oven courtesy of Trader Joe’s. The house smells like fall. Wyatt is behind me meowing. Now that he’s an old boy he has become v v v attached to his mama. He follows me and quacks at me to pick him up for a massage. Speaking of which…
One of my students made me a cat collage.
We did some sketchbook exploration in class on Friday. For most, it was their first time using watercolor. Every year I save the watercolor sets that the kids don’t take home. This year I didn’t need to get any because I had enough leftovers from 3 previous years. Out of a class of 30 I will estimate that only a few children will go on to become sketchbook or journal keepers. That’s okay. I was the kid in the 1970’s class of Cathy Keller that went on to become a lifelong writer and journal keeper. I bet she would never have predicted that out of all of us, I’d be one of the ones who would keep going. Thanks Cathy for getting me started. You’re the only teacher I remember really well out of the dozens whose classes I traveled through in the 60’s and 70’s
We think we know which kids will be the ones we’ll have an impact on, but the truth is we have no clue. No idea. At all.
Thanks again to all who sent books and other treats to my class via my Amazon wishlist. I was multi-tasking when I picked up a recent package from the school office with some incredible books inside. I misplaced the QR code I have to scan to send a proper thank you. So here it is: THANK YOU. The books and everything else have been huge hits.
But enough with school!
Witness my new Friday ritual. A cocktail on an open air patio. I look forward all week. All aloney on my owney. I sip. I people watch. I stare into space. Sometimes I read my book. Oh the pleasure of sitting with my own thoughts after a long week of being talked to and sipping something delicious. This week a table of teachers from another school sat next to me. I put my airpods in so I could listen to Rosy Chan on the piano instead of school talk. Search for Sonic Apothecary on Youtube and have a listen. It’s been my life soundtrack since summer.
Wyatt has lost a few pounds. I don’t let him graze all day like he used to. He’s back to jumping and occasionally jogging through the yard. On a recent vet visit the skin cancer I already knew he had on his ears and under his eye were officially diagnosed. The vet wanted to perform surgery, but I explained my philosophy of end-of-life care for my buddy and surgery is not part of that. Vet advised that the cancer will probably spread yadda yadda yadda. We weren’t on the same page so to speak. But that’s okay. I keep the counsel of my cat on these matters. And my intuition. Wyatt has undergone enough surgery in his life and won’t have more. I think of this period of his life as the Long Goodbye.
Am I sad about losing him one day? Absolutely, but I am learning to stay out of the future. It will be here soon enough. This practice blends seamlessly with my bury-my-head-in-the-sand routine. Who knew it would come in handy one day?
Wyatt Earp Moss is living his best life and that’s the truth even if the vet couldn’t see it. I can.
Behold, Venus. A miniature moon in the western sky.
Lately Descano Gardens is rapturously gorgeous. The sycamores are wearing gold crinkle capes.
Every single thing makes me feel wide open.
I never get tired of these walks.
Or of coming home to my porch where I am just now headed. There is thunder and lightening and raindrops happening this minute. Rare for Los Angeles in early October. Atmospheric! Fabulous!
I hope you’re well. Send me a postcard and let me know what’s new. I’ll just be outside with my journal and cat. xo