Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday After Thanksgiving

It is a quiet morning, with the grass as white and stiff as can be. The ground is not iron hard, yet. It does not have that ring to it with each step, but the grass is, and crunches satisfactorily underfoot. The wind is still today, but there is a whole day to come.

I, personally, am happy today. Some days are up, some are down, and this time of year I fight for every good feeling I can; but today is good. The unicorn meat eating cats roost on the bed, or near the small, electric heater near their food, and the dog warms his butt on my leg. My old dog, the service animal known as Eddie, would never have done that: he was large and fat, and liked the cold, but it's a new day. And so now, I have a small, hound-like dog that likes to snuggle and positively takes my breath away, sometimes, with his warmth.

Harry Golden, the author, once remarked that it's not that we like adverse weather, but that we enjoy the feeling of proof against it: how lovely it is to cuddle up and watch that snow storm, or driving rain, outside, knowing that we do not have to go out in it. I cannot think of a time that humankind would not have felt that way...

And that's how I was able to take Max, the dog, out to his line this morning, and search for Ratty, the chief of the unicorn meat eating cats, who went out at the same time and decided to tour the world, while he was at it. I knew I would come back in to warmth and a white, ceramic Christmas tree, with multi-colored lights, and a hot cup of coffee.

Of course, being of worrying kind of mind, I wish well to those animals and humans who had no proof against the cold last night, and spend some time thinking of how to alleviate that situation.

One year, I worked in a soup kitchen. One year I gave a shopping bag full of new, warm clothes to a woman I saw sitting outside a nursing home, every morning. One year, I took in a cat, who promptly had her kittens in my laundry room. (I had her, and her son and daughter, Frodo and Bilbo, forever.) One year I bought luxury groceries for a friend on a very tight budget; strawberries, meat, that kind of thing.

I haven't figured out how I will soothe my conscience this year. But I hear Catawba Hospital, over the mountain, is a mental health institution for the poor and otherwise indigent. They need small gifts of clothing, and toiletries for those patients who have no caring families, or families at all. I think they will be the 'giftees' this year. And I might be able to throw in a toy, or blanket for the local pound...

I have already warned friends and family that it will be a 'tight' year for me. But, as proof against the hardening of the world, I will bake the cake loaves I usually bake, and make some room in the stable of my heart for those who have less and need more. Even one $5 rope toy, for some lost dog on death row in the local pound, alleviates the burden of suffering that the world bears.

I say this as someone who has not had 2 one dollar bills to rub together---as an artist, I took a vow of poverty at the age of 12. And there have been years, as a person with disabilities, that I have not been able to afford to help others. But this year I have shelter and food, and my animal loves have food, so it's a year I can.

So I warm myself by that fire this morning. I live in the luxury of coffee, and plenty of food, and shelter. I have cake mixes and nuts and dried fruits that I will brandish at the world in defiance of its seeming coldness. I will read Tasha Tudor's tales of her corgis and Swedish-like Christmas, and the ragged book of Christmas stories that my Mother got for her birthday, during WW II. I will spend time with Truman Capote's "The Christmas Story."

I will smell the scents, and walk on the hard ground, and touch the rapidly cooling trunks of the trees. I will hold a pine branch and breath its sharp scent, and marvel at its smooth and yet prickly texture. I will rustle the leaves today, all ground colored now, and fallen. I will note the blue hue of the sky, and think about the deep, deep secrets of the fragile earth, and in particular, the brightness of the red berries that come in wintertime, here.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I am blown away this morning by the amount of people who "shared" my post yesterday. It both humbles and inspires, which is a good way to start the day of Thanks. I will not shop today for Christmas gifts, and I urge you to protest in your own way, as well.

Yesterday, the wind howled and the snow blew, but I took Max, the dog out for his walk anyway. About an hour later, poor Max had a seizure, two actually, back to back. He is recuperating today, and slept well. He assures me that turkey will set him straight.

Today, I will cook some and eat less, and visit friends, and be grateful for my life, and all that it encompasses.

The water is frozen this morning in the cat bowl outside. The grass is stiff in its winter gold and green, and the trees darken with the rain and snow. Somewhere, turkeys roam the wood on the edge of the field. The evergreens shine with ice in the new sun, and the field is golden. There is not a breath of wind, today. The heart of the wood is soft with fallen, rust colored needles, and warm, moist breath hangs in the air.

Today is 'Thankful for the Harvest' day, really. I am not sure that there is a better celebration of the Earth, than to just be thankful for another harvest. I am happy to come from a line of farmers, and to know the meaning of a successful season. I will step on the ground today, probably to walk the dog, in some meaningful way, and thank it for bearing for me. I will eat its apples and sweet potatoes, and green beans with celebration. I will be grateful for bread and its crumbs, and the sweet, tart deliciousness of cranberries.

Believe me, the coffee is particularly good today, and the water tastes refreshing...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Evergreen

Today is a snow day, in this small valley. The dog, Max, only likes water in the bowl, so it's a struggle to get him out, but I did. The unicorn meat eating cats are happy to bask and sleep, all day long. An occasional trip to the food bowl, or the water bowl, and they are complete beings, happy in simple existential existence.

Me? I think ahead to the season to come. The large morning with the multicolored lights from the ceramic tree, the whispers of the Christmases past, perhaps someone besides a burglar tapping at the window, and the Tasha Tudor Christmas book I will read on Christmas Eve.

My heart will be gathered in a snow covered forest, on the edge of a still field, looking at the symbol of the evergreen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thank You

Despite the bah-humbug of my attitude about Thanksgiving, I am happy to receive some gifts at this time. One is a 'hello' from a loved cousin, my Uncle Brad. He was my Dad's best man at Mom and Dad's wedding.

My Mom and Dad grew up with boat loads of cousins. My brother and I barely know ours. I would like to have grown up with a large, extended family nearby, but it was not to be. Anyway, I love Uncle Brad and his family, and send them a lovely hello from his favorite 'niece'.

If you read my blog regularly, you know what I think of shopping on Thanksgiving, at this point. As pointless as a holiday as it has become, I see no need to add an extra load to the lost meaning, by adding a shopping day to the Christmas season.

I will boycott all shopping on Thanksgiving Day, and I always boycott Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. I try to shop year round, to keep Christmas in my heart. No sale beats the savings in January, after all.

And besides that, my friends? We are 'unseasonably' cold this year. The temperature during the day is about 32 degrees Fahrenheit.  That's 0 degrees centigrade. It's bearably if the wind doesn't blow. Since our wind comes from the Arctic, and only stops long enough to ruffle the Great Lakes on the way down, the wind blows cold here.

I like a cold winter. I hate that the time has changed so that it is dark at 5 p.m. The famous 'midnight sun' is what makes Alaska look so tempting to residents of the East Coast of the U.S. along about this time of year.

Today, in this small corner of the world, my ceramic tree is lighted. I took the dog, Max, out to pee about 4 a.m., two hours ago, and he sleeps peacefully now, and dreams of the doggie treats in the form of turkey he will soon be blessed with. I have a roof over my head, my babies around me, heat, and something to eat this coming season. The coffee is especially fine this morning. The water is even better.

Even better, I have the thought of friends and loved ones to warm me.

It rains now, but is too warm yet, to freeze. We love the look of snow on the ground in this small valley, which tips all the green gold of the grass with white. It outlines the tree limbs, and the feathery needles of the pines and cedars. It paints a picture of seeming placidity in this busy holiday season. Did you know that sometimes, snow has a sound? Sometimes a gentle hiss, or the quiet drop of ice crystals as they hit the ice on the ground. Did you know that sometimes, when the wind blows the ice on the windows that, it is the sound of that you hear?

I know all this from my free spirited Father, desert born, who loved the snow and ice all his life long. For him, the tale of snow and ice meant hours outdoors, tramping in the snow, just watching it fall. He would meet others who lived with the snow there: the deer moving to shelter in a wood, or squirrels running out for one last trip to the grocery store, before it was time to go in.

And now, somewhere in Virginia, quite near Roanoke, I imagine, a she bear is curled into her winter sleep, comforted by my trashed blueberries and strawberries. She dreams of licking the bacon wrappers, and hamburger containers of yore. It's a shame she has gone home so early. I would imagine she would like turkey bones, and leftover gravy. And cranberry sauce? She would dance.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It's Monday, Right?

Another blow to the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) over the weekend, and I try to recover by eating well, and taking my meds on time. I do not want to drink or cut.

I went as far out on a mental limb yesterday as I care to, helped along by the steroids I take for a rash. Due to the actions of my Love, and the ears of several others, I made it through without drinking or cutting. That's a win, my friends. That's a win.

Today I see my therapist, and will check in with my shrink to see if he has any input. I have written before about what it's like to live on the fine edge of nothing, and I don't see any reason to try to describe it today.

And, of course I ate too much chocolate last night. Way too much. This is from a woman who has sucked down a pound of fudge in one night. And, such is my metabolism on the steroid, that I think I lost 5 lbs.

Anyway, I am a bit numb this morning, but all my arms and legs are moving and I can take a shower after some time with you.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Tree

I can face my day with gratitude, today. A friend has forgiven me, and the stark relief stands like a lone wood with no leaves to keep the branches from swaying on their own. The beautiful season of winter is upon us, with it's stiff, gold grasses, and clamoring branches rimed with frost.

The bear is gone and the cold she fled from is coming down and up, from all corners. It's windy, today. And while I love the wind in the Spring, and on Summer nights, and I love the cold weather coming in, the bluster will make walking the dog harder today. It's not that he has a hard time staying on the ground...he is 50 lbs. It's that he has a hard time keeping his ears down and his eyes turn to slits, trying to filter flying leaves out of them.

The unicorn meat eating cats have come to the realization that it is winter. After an entire day outside, yesterday, they do not clamor to go out this morning.

And for the first time in several years, since I moved from the Old House, I will have a tree this year for Christmas. It will be Georgia's first, that I know of, and we will see what she will make of it. My last girl cat, my beloved Echo, used to roost under the lights at nighttime. I have ornaments my mother bought me, that also serve as cat toys. Hung from the lowest branches, they dangle with enticing ribbons and bells. The ornaments for further up are shaped like cats, and I remember every Christmas my mother bought a new one for me.

I also have several Star Trek ornaments, and love to hang The Enterprise, with its working lights.

My body is stressed with the prednisone, and its own natural processes, but I struggle to maintain it. I would like to keep using it for a while, and it deserves some care, as a tree in a living room deserves the cool air, and water. So, I walk the dog, and I am grateful for friends and forgiveness and my AA program. I am glad for the roof over my head, and food that I eat.

I am glad of the winter solstice coming, and the miracle of the evergreen, and the festival and remembrance of Light.

Friday, November 22, 2013


The great thing about taking steroids is that when I am awake, I am really, really awake. Fortunately for me, I can also fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Don't know how I manage that one. Just sheer luck, as far as I can tell.

I didn't write a post yesterday because my power cord died on the laptop. One swift trip to Best Buy later, and I am up and running again. Happy times.

I hate Thanksgiving, and its feeling of excess, and exhorting Americans to be even more excessive on that day is a bit over the Roman Empire edge, in my opinion. Of course, I talk about the greedy stores that will now be open for Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving Day, itself.

It's not that Americans seem to be blinded by consumerism. But that's what the big chains want us to think. That we can't wait even one day, surrounded by family and friends, to shop.

Of course, the idea is larger profits, but the reasoning behind it is subtle. Americans don't need a day off to reflect on their bounty and loved ones, but must be prodded into spending what they have before they die.

In a few years, of course, stores will be open on Christmas Day. What better day to save on next year's savings by taking advantage of the post-holiday, no-holiday sales than Christmas Day itself?

It seems suitable that the word "selfie" a picture taken of oneself, is added to the dictionary this year. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Unpacking the Ornaments

Today is therapy group day and I am glad about that. I am on steroids for a rash, and I am having a hard time concentrating; maybe group will help. I worry about my mental health and stability as we head into the holiday season. Now, it's complicated by prednisone.

What I hold onto is my AA meetings and taking life "one day at a time." I ask my higher power for help every morning and during the day, glad to have something concrete to hold onto. I walk the dog, clean the apartment, set out Christmas decorations. I admire the sunlight, and the full moon by clouds. A small, white, lighted Christmas tree sits on my bedside table, a memory from childhood. When I turn off the lights, at night time, the colored bulbs throw rainbow colored shadows on the walls and ceiling of my room.

I have been awake for 3 hours, it's about an hour before dawn. Soon, it will be time to take another dose of prednisone. My poor body, first bombarded with antibiotics, and now steroids, has taken on a life of its own. It moves about 60 miles per hour, my heart racing, with my thoughts not far behind. The only way to slow the world down is to breath as slowly and steadily as I can manage. I eat on time, to keep to some kind of routine, and take the other medications, as well. I have cut back on coffee and cigarettes, just to keep me from flying into a million different pieces. My hands shake anyway.

I feel raw. I talk to as many people as I can during the day, about how I feel. I acknowledge my instability and feelings of insecurity. I try to slow each day down, by being deliberate in my actions: bathing, dressing, eating, talking. Sometimes I run hot and cold. I freeze at room temperature, but sweat in the cold breezes outside, when I walk the dog. My face tingles.

I feel as if I have written a novel this morning, but the post seems small when I reread it. I have been crazy like this before. I know the things to do to conquer it: walk, eat, attend AA meetings, don't drink, rest, sleep.

Time for a break.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


As if an injured leg and pleurisy/bronchitis wasn't enough, Saturday I developed an all over body rash. I just itched in agony until I went to the doctor yesterday, and she obligingly put me on steroids. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how I roll.

It is cold enough, in this small corner of the world, for it to be painful when I take Max out in the morning. The unicorn meat eating cats go out in intervals to enjoy the sunshine. They are still angry at me for changing the seasons on them, but I really had no choice. It's cold and crispy enough to see my breath when I go out, and the grass sparkles with frost. The lavender is still green and silver, and it crouches by the dead zinnia, like a dog beside a hunter.

Yesterday, I was too busy scratching to type; and benedryl seemed to have stopped working. And, since my doctor didn't test for allergens, I still have no idea what I developed a reaction to. We simply treat a symptom and hold our breath that whatever it is, will pass over me like the Angel of Death passed over the Israelite households when Moses brought the plagues on Egypt.

Whatever happens, it looks like I will be manic for Christmas.

Since I tend to like to bake a good deal at that time of year, it could turn out to be a good thing. Lately, I haven't had the energy to fold my laundry, or clean the dishes. But I have been taking the dog for his walks, concentrating on getting the maximum amount of sunlight in a day. It's an accomplishment.

I usually do a spectacular crash and burn for Christmas, having been taught that the holiday can be a perfect experience for the family and friends. It now takes all my energy to focus on the fact that Christmas is not, and never will be, perfect.

If I can stick to my routine, and walk the dog everyday, I may make it through the holidays with relatively little discomfort and no cutting or drinking. My major disappointment with Christmas is that it has to end, in a way. Just as the sun shine gets less and less, we take the lights down, banish the tree from the living room, and put up all the scented candles until next year.

One year, I left the tree up past Valentine's Day. It was very cheerful. Especially since I hate Valentine's Day, but that's a post for another day.

But today, I will walk the dog and take my medications. I will pull out some Christmas decorations and scatter them about the apartment, like so much glitter.

Friday, November 15, 2013


Today, I wonder how it got to be the ides of November already. With one thing or another, I am no where near being prepared for Christmas, and cannot believe that it is a little over a month to go. Valentine's Day is the worst holiday, I think, but Thanksgiving comes in a close second.

Thanksgiving is a hold over from the days when the Romans had vomitoriums, and feasted each other on exotic wines and foods, like hummingbird tongue, until they got sick, and then started all over again. It's not the idea behind Thanksgiving that seems excessive, just the custom of gorging until one is comatose in front of the t.v., where an excess of American football is being played.

This holiday was a real blessing when the first European settlers in the country were starving to death, and that's after eating all the rats and grass around. Legend has it that the Native Americans bailed them out, thereby ensuring their own destruction, by bringing them food.

Since then, the myth of "more is better" has ruled the holiday, until today, we plan meals that will carry us until Christmas Day in leftovers. Indeed, I once tutored an Arab family that I invited to the annual feast. Upon seeing the turkey fresh out of the oven, the father said, "Alice, this is not a bird, this is a sheep!"

I suppose the sappy idea that families get together and bond has something going for it, but the reality is that usually, football and alcohol occupy the families' time until one is released from bondage of an ideal whose time has come and gone.

I prefer the unexpected Thanksgivings: the simple meal with some time on the Parkway, communing with nature. Volunteering at your local animal shelter, or homeless shelter. A walk among the trees, a day in front of the fire, or simply avoiding the day altogether by schlepping around in pajamas.

In other words I can only wish for you what I do for myself: a day filled less with food, and more with Grace.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Winter of Lights

The coffee this morning is particularly good, and I creep slowly back to health. It is unseasonably cold for this time of year. But climate change works. I will resume my walking schedule today, nothing else makes me happier in the winter. Max, the dog, will like it, too.

The unicorn meat eating cats tend to howl at the door about 9 o'clock in the evening. I suppose they have not adjusted to winter, yet. They carry Spring in their hearts year round, and I warm myself on that fire through the coldest and darkest of months.

But our Saturnalia is just around the corner, Christmas, the Festival of Lights. I have a neighbor that put up their tree the day after Halloween. I have never been so glad to see a Christmas tree in my life. It's all white, and shines from their front picture window every evening, a beacon in the dark.

We are assuming the bear has gone back to her winter den. Our garbage remains whole, and bagged. I held her presence as some kind of miracle, but do not miss almost running into her, night after night. Although she did add an air of mystery that fits the season.

I am happy to be writing again. I am glad for the routine, on which death and life have intruded. Oddly, I embrace my medications. They, too, serve a purpose and are part of the routine. I have extra medications at this time, but swallow them dutifully, a good patient. Or I inhale them, and think it's about the time to think about giving up smoking.

I admit that I am frightened by the brush with death that passed over me, and landed on someone else close by. I am almost 50. Although I remind myself that I could live to be truly old, and perhaps, my greatest accomplishments are ahead of me. I certainly hope that my best writing is ahead of me.

But, for now, the winter sun shines, and there is a promise of snow. And one tree of lights shines where many will come to be.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


I am surrounded by a birth and an impending death, this week. No, not the cats' reactions to the weather; a real birth, and a death by alcoholism. The disease is a particularly miserable way to live, and ends in an even more horrible death. I thank the Presence that I was brought to this house, to witness this way of dying. It's a good lesson for me, and an example for the future.

The birth is a happy one, as most births tend to be. I wrote a post once about Mary, the mother goddess of a woman, who was my helper during my mother's last 11 years. Mary is now a grandmother, again, to Noah, a 5 lb. 10 oz. tiny package of a boy.

And before I wax philosophical on the conjunction of these two events, I remind myself that the same thing is happening the world over.

I suppose the shocker about the death is the relatively young age of the person. She is 45, and I am older than she is by 4 years. As I grow older, I am surrounded more and more by those passing. It seems insidious. What was once uncommon in my life, has become common. It is a reminder that, with each passing day, I come closer and closer to the door.

It's a good thing my medications are working, that I am taking them, and it is not the tail end of winter. Soon, nothing will be left but the remnants of her life...her animals, and a portrait painted in a much happier day. The animals are provided for, and the portrait will go into storage.

I would rather contemplate Noah. The sun will be cold, and brilliant today, as he faces the second day of life. His mother and father are young and happy and in love. It's a good beginning.

I wish I could write clearly about all that has happened to me in the past 2 months, but, as my sponsor says, "...restraint of tongue and pen..." must govern my posts right now. That's a quote from the Big Book called Alcoholics Anonymous, and I hold on to my sobriety with the grip of a vice.

It is all I can do to ensure my continued health and mental wellness.

What will I leave behind?

So, just for today, I hold my friends a bit closer, and the sunshine, and the crisp force of the grass.

Monday, November 11, 2013


The days are cooler, but brilliantly sunny, and perfect for a cat stroll through the leaves. Of course, Max the dog, loves to sit in the sun as well, his butterscotch colored body settling gently on the grass. The goldenrod on the edge of the fields are nothing but reeds now, and stand straight against the trees. The underbrush of the woods is leafless, and the paths the deer make are clear. One day, I will go explore the path the bear made and left.

I spend part of each day in the sun, not wanting to repeat the mistakes of last winter. I can resume walking today, although not with Max. He pulls the leash; I have to get him a harness. When I lived at the Old House, I could walk with the cats, who followed me willingly. But I am afraid to lead what few I have left down the road in this subdivision, as safe as it is.

My body knits slowly under my doctor's care. My lungs clear and the ankle heals. I appreciate growing older anew; one of the housemates is close to death. She is younger than me, not a good sign.

But the birds still sing. The weather outside, and the Christmas commercials on TV are oddly at variance. It is simply not cold enough yet to appreciate the thought of snow. Many leaves are still on the trees, and the eye doesn't pick out the evergreens with ease, yet.

Today, I cannot look at the horse trails of the past, but must look at today's walk along Tinker Creek. It has been a while since I was there; the last time with my Love. If I am going to make it through this winter, I must start walking now, and I cannot think of a better place, filled with more beautiful memories. See you there.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Easier Said Than Done

Hercule Poirot sat by his fire, on the dark and stormy night, sipping a blackberry tisane. Georges, his faithful manservant, entered, saying quietly, "Sir, Inspector Clouseau is here." "Mon Dieu! Hide Georges! Let him think I am gone on the case impossible!"

I am, of course, not sure what your favorite mind candy is to curl up to, when the days shorten, and the winter sun turns white. Mine is Agatha Christie. Colonel Protheroe, Devon England, or whomoever she picks as the hero or villein, trip manfully through a short novel in no time. I know that no matter who is shot, poisoned, garroted, or killed in the library, no criminal can escape the egg shaped head of Hercule Poirot, with the famous mustaches.

It is a comfort, in this time of turmoil in my life, to reflect on Hercule and "the order" and "the little grey cells" of the brain. My PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) has been triggered twice in as many months, with a disastrous meltdown as the result.

When I was a child, I had the pleasure of going out on a catamaran. It's a sailboat, and its balance is maintained by its crew, sometimes by leaning on one side of the ship or the other, holding onto the rails for dear life. I remember the feel of the deck, the trembling of the ship, that spoke of another shift. It was supremely symmetrical, as things of nature tend to be.

So too, at this time of turmoil, does my mind and personality seek to overcome the effects of an uncontrollable nature, events, time. I cannot control the uncontrollable, nor can I manage the unmanageable. Acceptance is the key, the answer to the dilemma, "What do I do?"

Today, I don't have to live in a life where I "...light my candles in a daze, cause I've found God." (Kurt Cobain) The evidence of the Presence in my life constantly surrounds me. It is simply for me, to open my eyes, and more importantly, my heart, and accept.

Which is always easier said than done.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Winter Cardinal

The winter wind moves in, like the flash of a cardinal from a brown bush, sudden and miraculous in its appearance. The winds from Canada are high in these mountains the last few days, the winds that I love, the winds that push the geese South for the winter. The cats have become existential today, traveling, like the natives of Australia, in their spirit bodies to wherever the fields are green.

They are god-like in their anger at me, the god-slave. I, who provide food and water, have neglected to reset the year so that it is warm for them to go out. Max, the dog, is philosophical about the whole thing. If I breath, he is ok.

I am in a relatively good place today. I take my medications faithfully, including the antibiotics, because the winter wind has moved into my lungs. This is the second course of antibiotics and is no more fun than the first...

The sun is brilliant today, and I must move out into it for a while, for my own sanity. Just to feel the rays on my face for a bit! How many cannot do that! But I had to talk to you a moment, from sheer loneliness for you...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Mountain Wind

Georgia wanted out to eat grass, this morning, although it is now nearly all gold, like wheat in the fields. Silverlock has gone back to Forever Home Rescue to be prepared for a new life. We are quiet without her, like a winter following spring.

Yesterday, I was reminded of one of the joys of winter, that keep me alive: a flashing brown bird swept out from a pile of brown, fallen leaves, to take flight across the yard. The zinnia stand where they grew, full of possibilities and seeds. Only half of the hydrangea is alive. The half that is covered by the portico, and leans against the house. I don't forget the lavender, the evergreen, now greener against the silver leaves around it, the last of its purple blooms still stand.

The wood behind the house is red, with fall leaves, dark burgundy. The first line of trees marches toward the silver and gold field beyond. I have seen no signs of the bear for over a week, and perhaps she hibernates now. Dark black, curled up into a lighter dark of a cave.

I can't talk about my recent experiences yet. The memory is too tender to touch, like the first greening of a fruit tree, in the Spring. To disturb it now would be like frost. And like the new leaf buds, one disorder sprang open, to touch the next and the next and the next...

And, as if one limb caught blight, the whole tree stood close to dying. If the tree could walk, and who are we to say they can't, it would isolate itself from the wood, as I have isolated myself even from these pages. But now, the presence in the forest has tempered the blight, so that the tree may move back into the sunlight, and the sere winds, under the silver clouded sky. I am passed everything but standing in the sun, and feeling the winds that I love, as a mountain dweller.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I have to write today, although I am not in the best of health right now, due to my own neglect. After a visit to the hospital on Sunday, I go again to my doctor to try to repair the damage caused by my disorders.

I will catch you up tomorrow.