May 12 2010

lessons I’ve learned from
{gardening} about life

Nature will always run its course, regardless of where you stand.

Patience is more than a virtue, it’s a requirement.

Every rose has its thorn. But so do a lot of other flowers.

Healthy roots are the most important thing.

Adapt. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it’s too hot.
Sometimes it’s freezing. Bloom anyway.

The right tools make any job easier.

Life is a mystery. You don’t have to solve it to appreciate it.

Hard work is sometimes the best way to relax.

Things often pop up in unexpected places.

Dragonflies love to dance in the mist from a hose.
You should always stand there and watch.

An empty space is an opportunity for growth.

The things you are afraid of (worms) have a purpose.

Determination almost always wins out. Just ask a dandelion.

Mother Nature has no conscience. And we love her anyway.

No matter how many times you pull the weeds,
you will always have to do it again.

May 10 2010


she is trapped inside a month of gray…

a quote from a song that is singing my tune, in these days when the world is filled with color, and these nights when the world is filled with life, and you would think that some of it, a tiny little bit even, would rub off on me, turn me at least a slightly pastel shade of something, but no, there is only gray.

and i’m not saying that gray is bad, it’s not, i like gray, it’s just that it’s not black and it’s not white and the variations are endless and the possibilities are overwhelming, and somewhere in the exact middle of all that gray is the epicenter of the universe or at least the average, the mean, the median, of all the other days, and what does that signify, exactly?

something is shifting in the universe, every second of every minute, and most of the time you can’t tell, you don’t even notice, but every once in a while you feel that shift, that tiny alteration, in your flesh, in your bones, like the tiniest of breezes ruffling over the valleys of your face.

and what i mean is not profound, or out of reach, but life, daily life, that brings with it the endless possibilities, distracting us from the moments we are in, running fingers through our hair just long enough to make us wonder.

and if we wonder long enough, wander long enough, we always get there, the place we are supposed to be, even if we don’t know what it’s called, or how we got there, or where we will be headed next. it might be called tomorrow. or next month. or the future.

but it’s never called yesterday.

May 8 2010


Yesterday morning I woke up and went to the kitchen to make my first cup of tea, and noticed something in my dog’s water bowl. At first I thought I was imagining things, but after close inspection, it turned out to be an earthworm. Now I have to just stop right here and tell you that worms are my thing: the thing I am most terrified of in life, on a phobic level. I know it makes no sense, I know they are harmless, but phobias don’t make sense, that’s why they are phobias and not just regular fears.

And so, there I was, standing in my kitchen with a worm floating in my dog’s bowl. At first I thought it was dead, and that was gross, and bad enough, but I figured I could wait for my son to come home and take it outside for me.

But then. It started to move. No, it started to writhe in that creepy way a worm submerged in water will do, and then I felt sick to my stomach. (And before you laugh, just picture whatever you are most terrified of, sitting in a bowl in your kitchen when you wake up tomorrow. A snake? A tarantula?) And then I couldn’t do anything at all because, well, what if it crawled out of the bowl?

So I stood there, frozen, in my kitchen, wanting to scream, but no one was there to hear me anyway, and what good would it do, and it was, after all, just a worm. So I stood there and tried not to look, but I just had to keep looking because, really, how could there be a worm in this dish in my kitchen?

My back door seals nicely, there are rugs inside and outside the entrance, then three steps up, then another door with a rug in front of it. There is all of that between the outdoors, where worms live, and this dog dish. And somehow an earthworm traversed it all, looking for a drink of water?

Did my dog bring it in with him, on him, somehow? That might be even worse, because sometimes my husband lets him out in the morning, and then the dog comes right back in and jumps into bed with me. And if worms have the potential to be part of that package, then I need to start sleeping someplace much higher above sea level.

Did it come in on one of our shoes? One of mine? A worm was that close to my foot? I can’t even think about it.

Most likely, it simply dropped out of the sky, and if I go and look out the window right now, I will also see pigs flying by.

You can see how upset this made me, and this was before 7:00 a.m.

And I didn’t take a picture to put here, with this story, because I can’t even look at pictures of worms. So I chose a completely unrelated picture to distract myself.

I have learned to deal with this phobia over the years, when I first start gardening, as soon as I saw a worm I was done for the day, had to go inside. I know how good they are for my garden, so I have conditioned myself to live with them. I don’t pick them up or anything, but I have learned to work around them, ignore their presence, coexist. As long as they stay outside, where they belong.

And yes, I should get over it, I know that having a worm in a dish in your kitchen isn’t all that terrible. I know this. I do. But still, it made me nauseous. Thanks goodness my son came home shortly thereafter and rescued me.

And that wasn’t even close to being the worst thing that happened yesterday. The worst thing happened not to me, but to my parents, and it made us all cry. And that, what happened to them, wasn’t even the worst thing that could happen to anybody, there are many other, far worse things that can happen.

But when you wake up and there’s a worm in a dish in your kitchen, you have to assume it’s not going to be your best day.

And last night, all night, I had nightmares about worms.

I’m just saying.

May 5 2010

i am thinking
i could use a friend

But it is late, too late and it is just me, here, with the moon and all these cats, who are usually enough but tonight, another night in a rough week, a tough week, a week of too much work, and too much conflict, and too much not enough quiet, these cats and this moon are not quite enough to soothe me.

Most of the time during a week like this, which seems like more weeks than not, lately, all I want is to be by myself, alone, to unwind, decompress, listen to silence.

But every once in a while, on a warm, windows open kind of night like tonight, a night that would be a porch night if I had a porch, I find myself wishing I had a girlfriend, a neighbor maybe, who would stop by, late and unannounced, and sit across from me at the kitchen table and drink tea, no, whiskey and lemonade because it is too warm for tea, and talk me through it, around it, over it.

And we would complain about the heat, and laugh about silly things like dresses and movies and bad hair days and old boyfriends and sappy poetry and endless hours of folding laundry. And then move on to deeper subjects, life and living, love and heartache, tragedy and mystery. We would solve all the problems of the world. And suddenly, it would be 3:00 a.m. and we would say, both at once, “I haven’t stayed up this late in years.”

But now the moment has passed and it’s no big deal, and I wasn’t really in a poor me kind of mood, it was just a little late night reminiscence brought on by this warmth, already a little too warm, reminding me of summers when I was a young girl. My mom always had girlfriends like that, although she never drank anything stronger than coffee. It was one of those moments, a possibility of perhaps… something I might be doing if I had that life.

But in reality, my reality, most of the time I like to be alone, or at least the kind of alone that is my husband sleeping in the next room. And I barely have time for the friends I have now. And tomorrow, it will be fine, I will call one of those friends, and we will laugh.

Anyway, it was just a thought, and it is late

and there’s just me, here.

Besides, I have all these cats,

and the moon, she knows my name.

May 4 2010

i forgot what
i came out here for

Oh, that’s right, to tell you I am over at Vision and Verb today, looking for a pair of scissors…

May 2 2010

cleaning up his act

Just a short update to let you know that George is doing better, his surgery went well, mostly, he has developed a little bubble on his stomach over the weekend so I will have to call tomorrow to check on that, but overall, he is on the mend.

Thanks for all your well wishes.

Yes, I am crazy.

May 1 2010

defining moments

you drew these lines in the sand, not me.

thought you could box me in i think

but i am not so simple

not so easily defined

not so ready to be so still

and i’m not sure if you hope that i will cross them

or if you’d rather that i hurdle them

but either way, you know, you know

i’m not just going to stand here

and wait until my feet take root

when i’m so thirsty.