Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.
One definition of high summer for me: going to the beach for a swim at low tide and then stopping at the commercial fish distributor on the way home to pick out three lobsters followed by a stop at a farm a bit down the road for a dozen ears of corn picked just that morning. We’re soon feasting in the Smoking Garden, no problem making a mess. You know, the one-pot cooking thing for starters.
Someone’s cell phone goes off during worship, insisting “Please say a command.” On the page of the open Bible next to me is an answer, “That your joy be complete” (Jesus, in the gospel of John). Who’s to argue? Not a bad command, is it?
Falling walnuts hit the roof of our kitchen and sound like falling limbs or falling wooden boxes. Just where are our squirrels?
The joys of a sharp black fountain pen, excising a draft to lace.
There’s a restless in the core of our Seed. Usually, we try running from it. In silent worship, we stop to face it.
As a writer, I’m an orphan. And yes, so is the Lone Ranger, once unmasked at the mirror.
How deeply productivity is built into my psyche!
Inspired by Richard Brown Lethem’s painting “Wink/Blue Table,” I like the idea of a poem or story being its own table rather than representing something else. Even as its own Table of Contents. (Where he’s a monkey, I’m a squirrel – rather than the hawk I’d envisioned.)
“Closure victimizes thought” – Donald Revell on John Ashbery.
Step on a nail in the garden. What a sore sole the next day! In contrast to sore soul.
I’ve long been fond of collage as an art form. These Tendrils continue the stream.
Tomatoes are in! Real tomatoes! Nothing like the ones in the supermarket all year, no way! Julienne is our workhorse variety, small but firm and reliable from the beginning to the end of the season. We dry and freeze many of them to use well through winter. Even while raising a dozen or more varieties, we find New England’s susceptibility to blight has erased most of our favorite big heritage varieties from our rounds. Hurrah, though, for some of the hybrids. For the big juicy reds we’re relying on Bobcat, Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple. Any other suggestions?
“High summer” is what I celebrate once the oppressive heat and humidity of July break, rather than bemoan the few weeks remaining. …
How tasty/zesty the wild blueberries on Mount Major!
Dog Days, indeed. Swimming at what I call Fort Lobster. The water, choppy with a rip. A short swim can be exhausting. I can see how panic would set in. Meanwhile, she sleeps on the warm pebbles of this beach. Back home, we grill steak and corn on the cob.
I really do have to learn to play bocce. Or bocci, as I usually see it spelled around here.
At yearly meeting and other big Quaker gatherings where we rent a college campus for a week, we use golf carts to ferry folks from dorms to dining hall to the auditorium or classrooms. Has me thinking of amusement parks with their kiddie-car courses. Especially the faces of the volunteer drivers reliving a highlight of their childhoods.
Still, I wonder about those who publish a short story and are then approached by an agent. Especially considering how difficult short-story collections prove in the marketplace. Short fiction, remember, is a whole different beast than a novel.
Wandering through galleries of maritime paintings, she became fascinated by the way waves are depicted. Turns out to be a good way to traverse the collection.
Before her, I had no real conception of house repairs! All these things that need to be done! Is it really endless?
One-pot meals can be classic. To wit: I boil a pot of water, add corn on the cob. Remove the corn, replace it with lobster in the same (now seasoned) boiling water. Serve with butter and lemon and beverage of choice. All yummy!
a squirrel sees a landscape varying at multiple levels look up to a branch it’s there * * * would he go? would she come? he’s been there before and any good squirrel is wary let’s be sensible invoking misadventures * * * to be lying flat against the opposite side of a tree such […]
Why wait for the dust to settle? Here are 10 bullets from my end.
A bit of gardening before Meeting for Worship. A round of picking raspberries, peas, string beans. Blueberries and currants are next to ripen.
One foot in the present, the other in the past. Not just a pattern for dreams. It’s intrinsic to the process of writing. Add to that smells, sounds, touch, taste.
I love the concept of the Commonplace Book – a kind of scrapbook of observations of a personal journey. It’s related to the tradition I discovered in whaling ship logs.
The logbooks, by the way, had a specific form, which by 1840 came in printed versions with columns H, W, K – hour, wind, knots – plus course and comments like “lost sight of land” or notations of birds seen. Across the bottom of each page are other notes, such as latitude and longitude or the distance traveled in a day, where I saw up to 140 miles recorded. Turns out the entries also helped determine or justify extra rations for the crew and so on, depending on the conditions. Wonder how that format would work as a personal journal.
What do we make of rounds of thunderstorms, interrupted by bursts of sunlight, knowing more weeds and garden slugs are on the way?
The Portsmouth Greek Festival differs from ours in Dover. Their event has two food lines, rather than one, and an outdoor tent for dancing. It all takes place behind the church, rather than miles away. I’m surprised how little interaction there is between the two Orthodox congregations.
Been meditating for 66 years now, one way or another upholding the spiritual discipline. More than half of that time has been as a member of Dover Friends, worshiping in our 1768 Quaker meetinghouse. Some of the members have been there the whole time with me. (How could that be? Already!)
I’m not a big fan of comparative religion, looking for commonalities and similarities. I’m more interested in vital differences and nuance. How far this is from what I’d envisioned, back when I was largely agnostic.
In a very fragile condition, a snake having just shed its skin.
What was the biggest mistake in my life? (Or in yours?)
The mind dances here and there, rarely in a linear fashion. So what’s on my mind these days? How about counting on these fingers?
Picking peas and raspberries. Then mow the lawn.
The Hour of Visitation: that moment you have to decide. Accept Jesus. Agree to marry. Call the sale. Or it typically slips away. The door closes, sometimes ever so silently. Reopening it may be far more difficult.
On the street, a fat porcupine pondering his shadow.
How many strange events transpire unseen? A sense lingers after a chance observation, a moment of revelation suggesting a much vaster possibility of reality at hand.
My goal is no longer to collect but to cull. I’ve been decollecting as much as I can, one sweep at a time. Recordings, books, notes, clothing … amazing to revisit so much that’s already here! Trail markers from a long journey to now.
She’s often thought I’d be more at home in an earlier era. Well, maybe if I had some wealth and privilege. There, I’ve said it. That edge that’s too often been lacking.
Watching bridge construction in tidal waters, I’ve wondered what keeps the cranes from swaying in the daily rise and fall of the current. Spud Legs, I’m informed, are sunk into the river bottom for stability. What a funny term! As in potato? Naw, more like spud bar. However the name ever originated.
Sometimes life’s a whirlwind. Just what do we do with the calm?
Teaching or translating as their source of income. The world is bigger than that. And so should the literary horizons.
Looking back on your life, can you point to any work you’re truly proud of? Or does even the best somehow fall short?
their house and yard lined a three-block street that wasn’t straight but bent, twice, away from due north or an east-west axis the squirrels there knew nothing of the next state or globe their world of endless branching comprehends no sphere each time he leaped, he’d forget who I am all the same, gravity fashions […]