Winter. Not days marked on the calendar. Rather, from December now 15 months ago, when it was cold and rainy and the virus first announced itself to the world. Through now. Even through the scorching August days, this year in toto was winter.
I’m facing east. The sun rises over the hills and my daffodils. The birds know it is spring and they announce it with song. Spring mornings at sunrise are instantly meditative. My coffee today comes from beans roasted my favorite shop. Rare now, because it requires a drive haven’t been making this long winter.
The birds: I…
— part one —
The coffee spilled on that page
will be there for the rest of the days
the small volume holds form.
Someone will scan past the mark, and
In the Moment
know this was held in human hands.
It may be me.
I may remember the fall morning
and that it was not without care that I spilled coffee
but more the urgency, more to fulfill
a need more profound.
It may be someone
who casually calls it off the shelf.
Or someone dear,
should I give it away.
The oil from my skin will be invisible
This morning has cooler air. Last evening had colors that were no longer summer’s. School started. Some football has been played. There must be a bear considering his long sleep. I think about my saison de joie as it draws closed, and…
From May forward, I plan around the sky. My conceit: I can shape my world around its inscrutable rhythms. I study NOAA numbers and, if necessary, tea leaves. It is too big for me and for my life, but I do what I can. Weather models are my astrology.
But now? Past August, the atmosphere no…
W. H. Auden’s “September 1, 1939”: https://poets.org/poem/september-1-1939
I’ve been reading a lot of poetry. I fancy the depth, the range of images and emotions, from such economy of words. More so than short stories. More so than plays. Only the joke, as a form of story, has crisper economy. But I never find myself thumbing a volume to read again even the best of those.
Not that economy is so crucial. Or maybe it is. Maybe it’s telling that in my media-fueled, deadline-filled life I seek a little more from a little less.
But I have completely digressed from the…
Airport landings are special. Off-airport landings, more so. Any airstrip, whether wrapped in a vista, or surrounded by junk, invites you down. You are welcomed to stop, to feel the ground. Open the canopy, get the first smell of a place. Is it dust and straw? Sage and pinyon? Rusting tractors and sun-baked grease? The fertile funk of wetland plants?
Airports are, and should rightly be, communities.
Airstrips are isolated, but not lonely. They are day and night home to the rabbits and rattlesnakes who regard not the occasional human who has come to rest, to ponder, to commune.
I bought a bale of straw.
And I learned that pipe is measured by inside diameter. And how easy it is to glue PVC.
And how to lay drip lines. And that with garden irrigation, if you get it wrong: re-cut, re-do. Measure twice is for carpentry.
And sometime before that, I learned how to swing an ax. And a pick. And a sledge. I learned how to buck a tree. But more significantly, how to say goodbye to a tree.
I learned how to test a pond for ammonia. And how to entertain koi.
And now not to net…
As my daughter gets older and figures out more about the world, it’s getting farther between times I get to watch one of her misconceptions get unraveled.
Cherish little-kid misconceptions. Firstly: the are just smashingly-cute.
“Kid logic” is often born of sound reasoning, and only missing some evidence. Years ago, a three-year-old boy encountered my parrot and told me, with complete certainty, that my parrot would probably build a nest and make baby chickens. When I told him the parrot would make baby parrots, he looked at me like I was daft. Birds make nests and lay eggs. …
Aviation radio chatter: in the glider, I listen to every word. Well, that’s not entirely true. When I’m low and struggling and need absolute focus on the stick to save the flight, I’ll turn the radio to zero. But the rest of the flight, I’m listening for anything I can hear about your flight that might make my flight successful. I hear a pilot turn around at Mt. Grant early in the afternoon and I infer the thunderstorms that were expected in the desert arrived early. I should continue to work the mountains.
So, anything superfluous is a distraction, a…