Archive for February, 2015

miracles among us

February 17, 2015

What a crazy world we live in when people we don’t know battle every day to take up our collective psychic space.  Wouldn’t it be better if we knew the concerns of our next door neighbor a little better and those of the Kardashians a little less?  Are 50 people in the world making all the non-newsworthy headlines, most of them people with even less talent than brains and unquenchable thirsts for notoriety?

Something I read last December when Prince William, wife and kiddo visited NYC sums up this problem nicely.  A woman queuing for her 15 second view from behind a cordon told a reporter she saw the royal couple as “role models.”  “They’re a power couple,” she gushed.  Um.  Yeah.  The “power” part is self-evident.  But “role models?”  For what?  To reaffirm that either you’re born into a royal family or not?  It’s not like we can work hard and one day become heir to a throne.  It’s more likely we’ll be the ones digging up some lovely muck like the anarcho-syndicalists in Monty Python’s Holy Grail.  The system’s rigged to have more losers than winners.  Sorry, Charlie!  You stay on the outside and keep peering in and be grateful for it.

I guess I like having silences and spaces in my mind with no twitter feeds or facebook posts rushing in to fill them.  And what I would prefer to cogitate upon isn’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s most recent thoughts on “unconscious coupling” or one damn thing about Lady Gaga.  Instead, I like to switch on my Berry College bald eagle camera and watch the momma eagle huddle over her fledglings during a winter storm or tear apart a dead coot and feed it to them piece by ragged piece.  As I watch, I wonder if anything I’ve done is as essential and as heartbreakingly courageous as what these birds do every day.

Here’s the link:

Bald eagles

Happy Valentine’s

February 14, 2015

<p>The New Yorker<br />


mid-life thoughts

February 11, 2015

This morning I awoke from a dream, breathless with grief.  Why my cat Clarabelle’s death can be as present to me in my unconscious as it was in August 2012 I don’t know.   Perhaps it stands for other losses, other failures.  Regardless, to start the day in sorrow doesn’t seem especially auspicious.

Not three hours later, a male cardinal smacked against the back of the house and fell like Icarus.  I ran out, hoping to save it, only to find the body completing its final spasms on the slate patio.

I like to pretend that February 14 is my anti-birthday, but the day the Sun actually opposes my natal Sun falls on February 10.  Yesterday.  Perhaps my dream and the shocking red feathers of the cardinal as I placed him on a pile of wood and leaves were reminding me that sadness is certain because life can be so beautiful and so brutal, tediously long at times and preciously short at others.  When we’re young, we think there’s a limit to the pain our hearts can bear, a limit that becomes one more thing we outgrow.  The question is do our hearts grow larger to contain these mysteries or do we allow ourselves to become numb to grief?

For me, I hope the day never comes when I can’t shed tears over the passing of cats and cardinals.




February 4, 2015

I’m not sure where I get the frugal part of my nature.  I can’t figure whether it’s a vestige of my Scandinavian inheritance, an expression of my ecological outlook, the influence of my Venus in Virgo, or some combination of all three.  Anyway, I get some kind of kick from “making do” with whatever is at hand, and “doing without” takes on a value 180º opposed to the drive for possession that powers our consumer culture.

Partly due to this trait, the objects I own teeter on the edge of obsolescence, especially when it comes to technology, a fact apparent when I post since, without a smartphone or a sophisticated camera, I have no pictures of my own to upload.

But I actually do own a low-tech digital camera because my friend Uma gave me her old one.  She has gadgets because her movie star son sends them to her, but their demands flummox her easily since she’s 30 years older than I am.  Stymied by this particular camera, she passed it along to me, without, sadly, any of the cables for power and transferring images.  After sacrificing a handful of AA batteries, I learned this particular model chews them up, so now anytime I do use it, immediately I’m forced to turn the camera off and remove the batteries if I want them to still have a charge next time.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve found a virtue in the midst of all this inconvenience.  True, it lessens my ability to capture candid shots, but then it forces me to decide which pictures I should try harder to remember with my own imperfect, god-given faculties.  More importantly, however, it keeps me from taking bad pictures and shoving them under people’s noses as if they had any merit.  I know myself well enough to realize that a smoothly-working digital camera would only lead to endless photos of my cats, few images of which would express their ineffably adorable qualities, and a host of indistinguishable images of flaming skies as the sun rises and sets.

Last year I learned that there were card readers that transferred digital images from a camera’s memory card to one’s computer, but despite some good intentions, I could never get around to purchasing one.  Then yesterday I brought home a refurbished iMac with a card reader pre-installed.  I’m not sure what this means for my blog.  Will bad images proliferate?  I hope not.  But arguably this blog serves no other purpose than a scrap book for who I am:  a woman moving slowly into the 21st century with her cats, her sunsets, her strange quirks, and her dreams.

Below is an image of my pool.  Seeing it again in all its glory after so many months, even digitally, makes my heart glad.

my dream of summer

my dream of summer