Thursday, December 23, 2010

the hummingbird that watches over our house

"I guess when we leave here he'll move on," Mike says matter-of-factly one day watching him perched in the tree outside our bedroom window.

"Why would he do that?" I ask.

"Well," he says turning, as if the answer were already obvious, "because he's our hummingbird."

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'd like to be a frog

It's almost Christmas. A holy season
some say. The evidence, I suppose,
is around us indeed: Gloved hands clasped
at the steering wheel, "Please, turn over."
The cat worshipping at the altar of the heater.

For my part, I am applying make-up - going for
the sun-kissed look, but an easy slip
ends me looking more bruised than anything,
a truer vision for sure.

Somewhere deep, deep in the muddy earth
there are frogs asleep, dreaming of sun,
creatures that have no use for Nutcracker
tickets, or a spot with a good view
of the lighted boat parade. They wait
for better times, do not, like the humans
tromping above over the slick skin of their heads
have to move through the cold to catch
a ray of hope on the other side.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

shadow shot - succulents

detail of a succulent wreath I've been tending since May as a Christmas present for a friend. interesting that the succulent with the most prominent piece of the shadow isn't itself visible in the picture.

Thank you to Tracy for hosting another Shadow Shot Sunday.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

house hunting

We spent a week at my in-laws' house hunting in nearby towns. It's a strange and curious base camp, my in-laws' house, where all the pens advertise prescription meds and my father-in-law's hearing aid whistles feedback, a fragile trapped bird.

At one point we are having lunch with our real estate agent, discussing how Mike grew up in the area, how his parents are watching Isaac at the moment, etc. etc., when suddenly he turns on me. "And do you have parents?" he blurts innocently.

For those first few moments I am balancing my thoughts on the question like the intricate rock piles I've found on occasion on the beach, then, a wave, and they topple, granite chunks falling unceremoniously with soft thuds to this side and that.

"They're both gone," I say after a long time, and at that a black space extends out in front of me though this otherwise innocuous man in a green wool hat, tunneling beyond the diner booth, beyond main street bustling along outside the window, to somewhere that belongs to me but that I cannot fathom, that I do not know all the corners of, like the basements I've spent the morning creeping down to, poking around in, a foundation of some mystery, a less than usable space, cold and musty. One can drop into this arena with little warning - it might be the door off the kitchen, or sometimes the front hall. Headroom can't be guaranteed, the steps down can give way at any time, the things stored there stuff you can't yet deal with.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

magical futures

Already out of place in the early morning of the parking lot blitz, I take in the population of grungy men climbing from the cabs of pick ups squeezed into spots marked "compact" and slamming their rusty doors one-handed while they sip steaming coffee and head for the entrance.

To his credit, the man in charge of Home Depot's plumbing department did not get on his radio and call security when I approached him and noted plainly, "I want to make a magic wand."

We look at each other for a while.

"Maybe PVC pipe?" I offer. "Thin? Doesn't have to be black, I can paint it. And those white rubber stoppers for the ends? Like on the legs of metal chairs? Or step stools? What are they called?"

Ah, but in the aisle of  pipe we discover the thinnest pipe is not thin enough. My box store shepherd has an lovely island accent (The Isle of Pipe?) and informs me, "All we 'ave is dis size 'nd oop." Though he's already gotten big time gold stars for not having me hauled away, for listening to my magical needs with more regard than most of my closest and dearest would ever dream of, he continues with serious intent: "Does de flexibilidee mattah?"

We look at hoses. Good potential, but I'd have to buy the whole coil. I consider my prospects, while my host takes a call from another customer - something about warranties, normal as all get out. I congratulate myself for adding spice to his day - the crazy lady whose son wants a magic wand for Christmas. When he ends his call, I thank him in that way that means he's off the hook. He looks relieved.

When I was in college studying languages madly, my career advisor washed her hands of me early on. "I'm sorry," she said, pushing my resume back across the desk at me. "I don't think we can help you." While others reveled in summer internships, I found out that the way I move in the world, doesn't always have a name or a space.

Lately, we have been house hunting. I walk into a 250-year-old colonial renovation project and hear it screaming to me about its future as a writers' guest house. I call the planning board and they "can't find anything in the zoning bylaws that matches" what I'm talking about. "I'm trying to grasp exactly what it is you are wanting to do, ma'am." Me too, sir. Me too.

So Home Depot is not my resource for magic. Somehow this doesn't surprise me in the least. Neither are planning officers stewards of dreams. So what. What I've learned in the time since Egyptian hieroglyphs excluded me from employment, is that just because those in charge can't define you, and even when you can't explain what precisely that vision looks like yourself, it doesn't mean you have to give up your dreams of magic.

Chaos Code Orange

Kitty: I can't find the glue.

Mike: Well, isn't it next to the blender?

Kitty: Whaddaya know, there it is. Thanks.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

shadow shot - dinosaurs

Waiting for the dinosaur phase to end is like waiting for the truck phase to end. In other words, waiting in vain. I don't mind so much though, I'm beginning to be able to tell my anchlyosauruses from my iguanodons quite well, thank you..

Pictured: Oviraptor and Isaac

Head over to Hey Harriet for all kinds of shadowy visions.

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