August 21, 2019

Yesterday was my house’s birthday.

Now, she’s always becoming, our Taigh Connlaich, House of Baled Straw.

She’s always doing, becoming, changing, hoping for a stove, sub-letting to a snake, redecorating with chives, getting rid of the old, reflecting my mental state (which is, to be fair, always changing, too).

But yesterday was her birthday. The anniversary of when the People came to move in.

There was no back door that night and for several after, but those are mere fripperies, doors. What is important is the People sleeping inside.

That’s how she counts it, so that’s how I do, too.

Happy birthday, Taigh Connlaich.

How sad you seem without children.

Me, too.

August 19th

A brief but torrential downpour pulled my senses out of sleepiness into full alert, the highway and its edges suddenly stolen away. Nothing but thick, dense, foggy rain was visible, audible, tactible – I couldn’t even feel the road.

I dreamed of it, but in my dreams was already safe at home and could go out and dance. In my dreams, the packed bags were not spread out on the lawn.

I dreams I was safe at home with no responsibilities but to dance with the rain.

So I did.

It was magnificent.

It has taken me quite a while to get oriented this morning…

August 17

So much going on inside my head – but not in the meadow.

In the meadow there are thick air and thick grasses and some brambles

and a bumper crop of Queen Anne’s lace.

I have in the last day become a bundle of worries and self-recrimination,

but what I want to become is a meadow.

I want to be a meadow, cricket-singing, blackbird-singing, breeze-on-grass-singing.

I want to be a meadow with small blackberries and day’s-eyes and black-eyed Susans and goldenrod.

I want to be a meadow – the meadow isn’t even remotely waiting. It just is.

To the meadow, I am a fast-moving visit.

To the forest, the meadow is a gap that grows and will close again soon.

To the valley, the forest is a good companion, but a little hasty.

To myself, I am…. and I waited for an insight. I waited for meaning and good thoughts. They didn’t come. To myself, I am a burden right now. A tired, sleepless burden.

And then the magic came.

To the dogs, I am thrower-of-frisbees and cuddler. Those are good things to be.

August 16

I have not slept well, but I’m not tired. Yet. I will be.

A great cleansing is happening in the house, in the mind, in the heart. I spoke yesterday with my fear.

I’m afraid I will not be missed – yet, if I do my job right… I will not be missed.

I’m afraid I will not carry my share, that I’m older and less strong (though, let’s be clear, much sharper of wit) than I once was.

We cleared out some old pieces of furniture yesterday and managed to get the drawers open without damaging the whole. I found the pressed, dried white gardenia that Dad gave Mother to wear on their wedding day.

Well, gosh.

August 15th

I did not dream of a kid dreaming of the Knights of the Round Table,

But let’s daydream that I did for the sake of the story in my head.

Because, after all, he was daydreaming, not sleep-dreaming, because his sleep dreams are either nonsensical or unremembered, which is all to the good.

And he was daydreaming when the accident happened.

In his unconsciousness, then, he was Sir Bedivere, strong and true. Not an awful place to be when the alternative is a hospital room with fluids draining and others pumping in and no darkness ever.

August 14

A risk, a hope, a caught-only-partway-prepared sort of plan.

I love planning,

but perhaps a little too much.

I must remember that planning is everything – but the plan is nothing.

Dance on waves, see my path before me then surf there.

There is a fundamental difference between ‘let’s see where we wind up’ and ‘let’s aim thataway’. I can’t grab the wheel and I don’t want to manipulate the steerer.

And so, we share the wheel and the duties of navigation – doing them so very differently from one another. How many years will this one take? Sharing? My whole life? Oy.

Better pack along a lantern, then, and some hardtack.

Has anyone, ever, in the history of sea travel, liked hardtack? Didn’t think so. Ah. That explains the rum.

Me, I’ll stick to lemons and limes and kumquats and oranges and blueberries and strawberries and raspberries and blackberries and black raspberries and goldberries.

I had a notion to knit a tunic in honor of Goldberry once. I have very special stitch markers to help me. Still waiting. I think I get to have my own celebration and my own ceremonies. I think that I will think about making that tunic again.

I think that I will think? Well, one can only hope.

August Thirteenth

It’s been a while since a sailing star flirted with me,

but tonight the Perseids outdid one another.

They’re not falling, they’re swinging on rigging and leaping from poop deck to gunwhale and flashing their cutlasses and swashing and buckling.

The Perseids are absolute showoffs, and every one of them wants to be Errol Flynn.

Some are sweet, some a quite edgy,

But some, yes, some are heroes.

I see you, rouguish knight. My pen is ready.

August 10

I am contemplating ink.

In some circumstances, that might mean tattoo, and sometimes I will compliment someone’s ‘ink’, but right now we’re on fountain pens.

and fountain pens have saved me from the bad thoughts, so I’m going to stay right there on ‘fountain pen ink’ for quite a while.

9th of August

Sometimes the grass grows up through the trash

and holds on to it.

That is so not a metaphor for Nature taking back the things and making them beautiful, it is a metaphor for letting trash clutter up the parts of my life that should be beautiful and loved but I put trash there.

It is not even a metaphor, it is literal… except when it’s a metaphor.

For serious, if you want to know how the inside of my head is doing, check on the care I am or am not giving to my environment.

This week, I’m throwing a lot of things away.

I am ripping up a certain amount of meadow grass to get those old things up out of where they do not belong.

It’s meadow grass – it will be fine.

It is tough as freaking nails and what dies will mulch what doesn’t and that patch of meadow will grow back without having to work on a foundation of trash.

August 4th

A religious sister’s habit is a habit, it turns out,

it is one word from one root,

twisting and beautiful down different paths through time,

a word on its own morning meander.

I have been trying to establish a morning and evening habit. It’s going pretty well. But before the active habit, I started putting on a habit, my grandmother’s bangles, and perhaps they are the anchor.