Thursday, March 31, 2011

Stone Bridge

Monday, March 28, 2011


The two cats remaining are now in the process of taking back the house. Albert is 15, little, white, and entirely too chubby, but quite sanguine about the newly expanded living area.  He is slowly reacquainting himself with the chairs, the warm place in front of the stove, the front storm door, where he can sit in the sun and look out over the fields--Isabel  is pretty tightly wrapped, less trustful, even after 10 years of living here, and while she uses the cat door she prefers to be let out, and has to be reminded that she's got her house back, too. 

And even now both the humans still reach for the screen door that separated the two floors, and that too will take time to adjust to.  Having a cat  or dog arrive, or leave, in whatever shape, changes the entire fabric of the household. 

Once these guys get used to the new spaces I'll be heading out for the local humane society and see what I can find for playmates for them.  I looked over the website for Cocheco Valley Humane Society, and came away wanting all the middle aged lady cats and their life long buddies.  All of them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Somewhere along the way to heaven
the music, which was lovely,
migrated from the hymnals and the church chorales
became music for its own sake
inspiring not only celestial hopes
but earthly joy.

Memorial rites became proscribed rituals;
prayer was transformed into poetry
even as the bible was morphing
into annotated metaphorical
stories for the young, and the crucifix
impaled on the wall above
our childhood beds
became a horrific symbol
of torture in living color
and plaster of paris.

We prayed to a panoply of saints
who died for their beliefs, often horribly.
Joyous. You have to wonder how many of them
at that last burning moment
repented of their holiness
and begged of their God to be restored,
left in peace in a small damp hut
at the edge of the forest
content to weave straw into brooms
for the rest of their days.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On the fourth day

I finally broke down and restarted the second stove.  The woodpile shrinketh, the wind bloweth, and even the sun is pale and wan.  The gods saw, and chuckled. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

and at dawn on the third day

there was a wailing and a gnashing of teeth in the land, and the sound of snowblowers broke the stillness

Monday, March 21, 2011

And on the second day of spring

it snowed.  The gods were not happy.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First day of spring

the robins seem to have arrived by tour bus. this morning there were half a dozen in the field,  by late afternoon there were at least 50-60, not to mention crows, chickadees, and the occasional pileated woodpecker. 
A very young (late summer) doe was at the garden, chowing down on my century plants, which tend to stay green all winter and as soon as warm weather comes they turn brown and fall over. so at least she was getting some greens to go with the icky frozen/thawed applesauce under the trees...

Still cold, but most of the snow is gone from the fields. I actually got all the way out to the little shed without touching snow. wow. it will be a few weeks yet before the frost goes out of the ground and I can get the door open, though.  One corner of the door rock rises up each year just enough, and we have to wait it out.

yes, yes, I know. raise the shed. lower the rock. something.

Friday, March 18, 2011

When you have an old cat, and it gets sick and dies, you sort of expect it. You see it age, and slow, and then the day comes when you realize it's time to see the vet for the last time.   But when you have a young seemingly vigorous cat like Cuffy,  its an outrage to have to have them put down.  He had stopped eating because his mouth hurt.  There was nothing that could be done in that direction, except keep him alive a little longer, and that wasn't fair to him, or us. 
But it's damned hard to wrap your head around the idea of losing such a beautiful cat, and so young.  He had three good solid years here, which is three more than he would have had where he came from.  So, there is that.  He got to sleep on the porch, and in all the chairs, and had his pick of the cupboard for snacks.
Sadly he was too hostile and too alpha to be allowed near the others, and the house became downstairs and upstairs with doors between.  The dynamics of the place changed.  Now, with him gone, the other two have been reintroduced to the cat door, the downstairs chairs, all the things they had been missing.  Albert has been out 10 times and its only early afternoon.   It's quieter.  The catfood cans no longer build up in the sink, waiting to be rinsed and stored for recycling.  

I miss the hell out of him.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cuffy 2007-2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

after the aftermath

Now and then there are things that happen which are almost beyond the comprehension of people not involved.  I watched yesterday the videos of the tsunami moving relentlessly across the  Japanese landscape at such an amazing speed, taking huge buildings, cars, anything in its path.  It was awesome, in the true sense of the word.

there truly is nothing to say beyond that.

Friday, March 11, 2011


I envy people who truly believe in the god they believe in.  They pass through this life with such surety that if they do this or don't do that there will be a  place for them in their christian or jewish or muslim or rastafarian heaven.  Some people even believe that this is hell and they must endure it to go to the 'real' existence, the next stage in their journey.
Oh, granted, there are the shouters and the hysterics, bible thumpers and scripture quoters, trying to get me on their side because they're afraid of what might really be out there, and they want company to reinforce what they're afraid not to believe in. 

I wonder sometimes if the believers ever wake in the middle of the night, terrified that there might not really BE a god, or a heaven, or a better life...when I wake like that, all I can see ahead of me is darkness, and nothing. Like looking down into the dark water that signals deep water, really really deep water...

But what that does is make me much more appreciative--and careful--of what's here, and what I've done, or will do. It's the only legacy I have,  and the only comfort, knowing that one very small piece of ground is a bit better than it was, at least for a little while.   My mother used to dismiss things she wanted to ignore by saying, 'well, after Im gone that leaky roof  won't matter,  someone else can fix it'.  Yeah, ma,  it does matter.

We're all connected, not only to each other, but to the earth, the oceans, everything.  What we do affects what other people do, even in a very small way.  And I truly wish I had a belief that involved an afterlife,  if only to be able to speculate on what it might be.  But all I see is the darkness out there, and silence. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Passwords are taking over the world, arrrgghhh

Companies LOVE passwords. This morning I realized that my electric company was still sending me notifications using our old email. uh-oh.  So I clawed my way into their website, cheerily registered, only to discover that I had done so weeks ago.  No idea what the password was.

In order to have them give it back to me (mine, I say,  mine!)I had to submit a form and then they promised to email me the seekrit word. what I got was a page with a cryptic box-that-would-not-open. click click click click.  Aha. Down at the bottom, a tab. (all those years of playing computer games just paid off) Click on the new tab, a new window opens." In order to access your password, you must register here.with a valid email address, street address, and password which must be 8 characters and contain a number."

Now I have a "secure password recovery site" where I can go securely and safely to retrieve my password anytime I need it. click on another tab and lo and behold there's my old password. Log BACK in to the site and THEN change my email address.  It only took half an hour, but I am now part of the power company happy family once again.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Horses--Edwin Muir

Barely a twelvemonth after
The seven days war that put the world to sleep,
Late in the evening the strange horses came.
By then we had made our covenant with silence,
But in the first few days it was so still
We listened to our breathing and were afraid.
On the second day
The radios failed; we turned the knobs; no answer.
On the third day a warship passed us, heading north,
Dead bodies piled on the deck. On the sixth day
A plane plunged over us into the sea. Thereafter
Nothing. The radios dumb;
And still they stand in corners of our kitchens,
And stand, perhaps, turned on, in a million rooms
All over the world. But now if they should speak,
If on a sudden they should speak again,
If on the stroke of noon a voice should speak,
We would not listen, we would not let it bring
That old bad world that swallowed its children quick
At one great gulp. We would not have it again.
Sometimes we think of the nations lying asleep,
Curled blindly in impenetrable sorrow,
And then the thought confounds us with its strangeness.
The tractors lie about our fields; at evening
They look like dank sea-monsters couched and waiting.
We leave them where they are and let them rust:
'They'll molder away and be like other loam.'
We make our oxen drag our rusty plows,
Long laid aside. We have gone back
Far past our fathers' land.
And then, that evening
Late in the summer the strange horses came.
We heard a distant tapping on the road,
A deepening drumming; it stopped, went on again
And at the corner changed to hollow thunder.
We saw the heads
Like a wild wave charging and were afraid.
We had sold our horses in our fathers' time
To buy new tractors. Now they were strange to us
As fabulous steeds set on an ancient shield.
Or illustrations in a book of knights.
We did not dare go near them. Yet they waited,
Stubborn and shy, as if they had been sent
By an old command to find our whereabouts
And that long-lost archaic companionship.
In the first moment we had never a thought
That they were creatures to be owned and used.
Among them were some half a dozen colts
Dropped in some wilderness of the broken world,
Yet new as if they had come from their own Eden.
Since then they have pulled our plows and borne our loads
But that free servitude still can pierce our hearts.
Our life is changed; their coming our beginning.

Edwin Muir

Friday, March 4, 2011

hark to the voice

There is an upper register, just-this-side-of-hysterical that is (at least to me) considered the voice of the true fanatic. Fast, loud, high.  They don't use commas, and they wave their hands a lot--slash, slash, punctuate. 

It's the voice of extremism, of causes (lost and otherwise), of people who make dogmatic statements and hold opinions that have hardened into truths.  Tonight I was in one room and my husband was in his, watching some news interview on the computer.  The voice of the woman being interviewed went on and on,  high pitched, didactic and militant.  an Avon Lady on speed.  I kept thinking, Im waiting for it to be an old Rosanne Rosannadana clip...
and when I went in to ask my husband who that WAS, he looked mildly shocked and said, why, that's Sarah Palin.

Ne-ver mind...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The stuff dreams are made of

in the last decade or so every dream Ive had that is memorable to, uh, remember, has, with a few exceptions, involved a car/truck and incredible frustration with it. It either gets stolen, moved, trashed, hashed, or taken away from me.  Sometimes when I go back the street isnt even there.  This time I was drummed out of the library where I volunteer in a kind of one-librarian tribunal,  and told never to speak or communicate with anyone on the staff ever again. Then I was conducted to my car, informed that it had been impounded, the keys were taken, and the head librarian left me in the middle of a place that was definitely city, definitely not Concord, with a locked car and no way to get home.  Waking up was my only alternative, so I did.

Librarians are tough, i'll tell ya.