Deep inside me there is the howl of a huge maimed beast. I’d forgotten about him, believing him to be tamed. But he’ll be out again tonight, seeking fresh flesh under a wispy moon. Those around us have some intimation of the stiffening cartilage in my joints, the broken blood vessels staining the whites of my eyes. There is nothing obvious, but a shift in atmosphere takes place, something inevitable and impossible slithers among us. Without knowing why everyone, even those who have not yet had their coffee or croissant, want to be at home.
Read the rest of John Baker's A Waste of Time. A good reminder that sometimes we need to quiet down.
You are the bread and the knife,
The crystal goblet and the wine...
You are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.
However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.
It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.
And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.
It might interest you to know,
speaking of the plentiful imagery of the world,
that I am the sound of rain on the roof.
I also happen to be the shooting star,
the evening paper blowing down an alley
and the basket of chestnuts on the kitchen table.
I am also the moon in the trees
and the blind woman's tea cup.
But don't worry, I'm not the bread and the knife.
You are still the bread and the knife.
You will always be the bread and the knife,
not to mention the crystal goblet and--somehow--the wine.
Miraculously, we're all still alive here at the Blue Manse.
When The Skimmer, Blue Kid and I were cleaning the house on Saturday, Blue Kid said, "Mom! How do you know this blogger 'friend' of yours isn't going to kill us all in our sleep?!"
Obviously, I've taught him well about stranger danger when it comes to the Internets. So well, he knows exactly when to use it against me. Seeing that I hadn't heard anything about a nationwide killing spree on the news, I responded as any responsible and caring mother would, "Hurry up and clean your bathroom! And take this with you! Go...go...go!"
"Why did you get all these plants for the bathrooms? Do you think she's going to spend all her time in our bathrooms or something?! She's gonna know you just stuck 'em in there."
"Well, I hope she spends some time in the bathroom! I've got an even better surprise for her than pretty plants."
"What is that?! Oh my God, you're so lame," he said and then trudged off too slowly to finish cleaning his bathroom.
Sitting in my house, which hadn't been so clean since my mother-in-law spent the night seven years ago, I waited for Bossy to arrive.
The Skimmer came into the living room, "Who are you? And what have you done with my wife?"
"Am I allowed to turn the TV on?"
"Yes, just don't make a mess."
"How am I going to make a mess turning the TV on?" He turned on the TV and then wiped the button clean with his elbow.
When Bossy arrived, the first thing I noticed was that she looks exactly like herself. Only taller. I would also write that she was nicer, smarter, softer, and sweeter. And kinder. Kindest, actually. But I've always known she was exactly all of those things too.
We sat on the couch for a few hours, listening to this...
...and talked about everything, including every single one of you. And we laughed and laughed and laughed. About every single one of you. And as we headed out the door for the evening, I thought, I really only needed to clean those two couch cushions. We never moved from that spot. But, the TV button was in full view from where she was sitting, now that I think about it.
We arrived at D'Vine and Emma Steinfeld and Andrea were already there waiting for us. They had a great story as soon as we sat down, a good ice breaker. There was a couple in the next room who had been making out -- really going at it -- before we got there. And we missed it! The conversation flowed easily from there. From adults making out in a nice, quiet wine bar to the price of gasoline, to recycling, to laughing about all of you, to the volunteer work they had done to help Obama win the nomination.
Soon, From Here to There & Everywhere showed up. She had driven from way, way over there -- Pittsburgh, just to spend a few hours with complete strangers for a few hours. Does she not have a teenage son to warn her of such things? No, she has two adorable daughters who sound like they don't harrass her at all. Again, the conversation flowed easily, and so did the wine, and soon we paid our check and headed out into the night to find a disco.
We didn't find a disco in the spring of 2008, but we did find a bouncer who carded us as we entered one bar. We'd been looking for him forever, so needless to say, we were happy to find him. We also found that even though we looked twelve, like everyone else around us, the bar scene may not be our scene anymore. We stayed all of three minutes because we couldn't hear ourselves think, the music was so loud.
So, then we found ourselves a nice, quiet little bar where adults could have some nice, quiet conversation. Over juice and wine and coffee and more coffee, we talked some more then said our good nights and our goodbyes, hoping there would be another opportunity in the future for all of us to get together again.
The Skimmer, who had made a mess on the coffee table with his Coke can, was awake when we got home, and the three of us sat in the living room for awhile and talked about the evening and other things -- I don't think any of you came up at this point -- and then we said our good nights and our maybe goodbyes. Bossy was thinking of getting up early to head home, but still wasn't sure.
I woke up early Sunday morning and tip-toed downstairs. The room was perfectly clean. And empty. I felt a pang of sadness that my old new friend was gone. But, she left a little note...
Sweet Bossy. Killing me with kindness right up till the end, just as I, and I'm sure all who have met her over the last month, would've expected.
This just in a man has begun writing a poem
in a small room in Brooklyn. His curtains
are apparently blowing in the breeze. We go now
to our man Harry on the scene, what's
the story down there Harry? "Well Chuck
he has begun the second stanza and seems
to be doing fine, he's using a blue pen, most
poets these days use blue or black ink so blue
is a fine choice. His curtains are indeed blowing
in a breeze of some kind and what's more his radiator
is 'whistling' somewhat. No metaphors have been written yet,
but I'm sure he's rummaging around down there
in the tin cans of his soul and will turn up something
for us soon. Hang on—just breaking news here Chuck,
there are 'birds singing' outside his window, and a car
with a bad muffler has just gone by. Yes ... definitely
a confirmation on the singing birds." Excuse me Harry
but the poem seems to be taking on a very auditory quality
at this point wouldn't you say? "Yes Chuck, you're right,
but after years of experience I would hesitate to predict
exactly where this poem is going to go. Why I remember
being on the scene with Frost in '47, and with Stevens in '53,
and if there's one thing about poems these days it's that
hang on, something's happening here, he's just compared the curtains
to his mother, and he's described the radiator as 'Roaring deep
with the red walrus of History.' Now that's a key line,
especially appearing here, somewhat late in the poem,
when all of the similes are about to go home. In fact he seems
a bit knocked out with the effort of writing that line,
and who wouldn't be? Looks like ... yes, he's put down his pen
and has gone to brush his teeth. Back to you Chuck." Well
thanks Harry. Wow, the life of the artist. That's it for now,
but we'll keep you informed of more details as they arise.
But, there are two other committed bloggers, running this marathon, so to speak. Jeremy and Blue Hussein Wren, who have been with me every step of the way.
Smells like the furniture
We were visiting a friend who is responsible for a large garden. He had to check the greenhouses. Plural. In one, row upon row of seedlings, including many tomatoes. I cannot see tomato seedlings but that I have to brush my hand over the tips. My science brain knows that this helps to produce sturdy little plantlets. My reptile brain revels in the smell of bruised tomato leaves. Drinks it in. There was talk of how I have to have a greenhouse again. I churlishly rejected it. It isn’t going to happen, not any time soon. Back home, I pruned the potted lemon.
What could it mean, if the cranes don’t fly home this year? What if these high mountain meadows never hear again the odd croaking of our beautiful, large, long-legged birds? What if they don’t stalk the reedy, peaceful shallows of the clattering river, spearing small fish with their beaks like lightning-quick warriors? Will the real warriors, those cruel, ugly men with grimacing faces, descend upon us instead of the gentle cranes? Will the people of the mountain be forced to take up defensive arms and embrace the black stain of violence? Through tears I search the cloudless skies for wings.
Read the rest of Hussein Wren's 100 word posts here.
They've written many touching, moving and inspiring posts. Please go read and comment. It'll be like handing them a cup of water as they run by. They need it. Believe me, that last mile can be the toughest.
And don't forget to visit Out of Context, who started this whole damn mess.