Monday, December 19, 2005

epiphany on ice

i drove the long but scenic route. 10 lanes and tall buildings give way to 8 in the suburbs and down to 4 where the commute from that point is an hour to the heart of the city. i pass the last stand of old properties defiantly seperating business parks, the dixie 400 flea, the business with very large poorly colored outdoor animals, and the right turn for all the lake people.

Kurt serenades me plaintively from the grave. "where do bad people go when they die? not to heaven where the angels fly!"

i take the 2 lane left towards the mountains. i pass the auto shop of a famous nascar driver, a meat and three palace, and a place where you can pay to fish a trout out of a pond. there's apple houses, and in the summer, a petting zoo of goats and lambs and piglets. rows of gleaming and fragrant chicken houses are stacked along rolling pastoral hills laden with all manner of bovine creatures. next is the forest fire tower and a row of smokey bear signs. i read them and shake my head yes in solemn agreement.

soon my range appears and i am first day at school excited. everytime.

(same way i feel coming back from a long trip. from the plane my home, my city, familiar and full of comforts, stretches out below and theres a moment of expectation and real happiness. i don't remember all the things that annoy me, i'm home! )

the mountains are big and blue on this day and the air is crystal. low winter sunlight beaming through the endless line of bare trees strobes my eyes and makes me see blood red in my peripheral. it goes on too long. the almost home stretch offers a long range view of the big frog; his back looking hairy now that you can see the trees on the ridgeline. the final, real home stretch is a dead end into wilderness. it's anything but dead with the abundant wildlife who call it home. the road winds and banks and is a ribbon of mercury in this light. evidence of fires puff out of little cabin chimney pipes. mixed with an army of white pines and sparkly decorations it is a greeting card for all the senses.

an american flag in metal swings open with a groan and smashes into a fallen virginia pine bearing a tremendous bounty of cones. i take in the last mountain view and roll down to the black water. the little Christmas wreath i put on the hens door is still in place but i may have lost one of those fancy hydrangeas from china. the goldfinch sak is empty of thistle and the other feeder is empty too. the evergreens are full and lush and the field in the last of the light is almost glowing through the dark giants blocking my view. it seems i've been gone longer than i have.

inside i get the little heater all cranked up and sit quietly. this time it is different. acutely aware now of lost valuable time with the ones i love, i reflect on an absolutely correct drawing of eva by my friend margaret. my heart is divided and unsettled. the big loves do not inhabit the same space, and i have missed so much. but something will be missed either way, i protest!

this season will carry with it a dilemma. but that is a discussion for another time.

Monday, December 12, 2005

ashes and hennies

we have lived a whole week without the yellow dog. burning bright is our living room shrine of photos and favored toys and sweetly scented lights flickering on baby pictures and sympathy cards. little chewies laid out should her spirit pass by in hunger. the killing shot went into her leg and stopped her heart. ashes are what we are left with. and hennies.

now it is time to return to the forest. i am behind on my project, behind on Christmas, behind on preparing to move my studio. there is pressure every december and it is making it my least favorite month of the year. but the crunchy ice covered grasses and black water will restore me. away from the hum of the city. blowers and jets and construction noise. the incivility on the roads.

some of the ashes will go into the creek where the maple leans low over the bank, another pinch to the field.
the far side where the last of the sun warmed 2 yellow girls before dropping behind the mountain. i will find her fur and old balls and reminders over and over again, i know. but the goldfinches on their thistle feeder, mourning doves and chickadees will be my companions. maybe a fox, or opossum. certainly the big kingfisher. maybe even the wandering yellow lab from the other side of the creek.
and the hennies. i still have the fussy fussy hennies.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

good-bye baby

Rest in Peace my beloved. Gone. December 3, 2005.

put down today in an act of mercy. i still feel your last kiss.
i saw the light leave your eyes. good-bye my angel.
you will be missed but remembered always.

Read the next entry for a full rememberance.