Nov 13 2010

barking at the moon

the other night i was on the couch and my daughter,

who lives three hours away, sent me a text.

“can you see the moon?”

it was the moon in this picture but about three hours later.

and that moon, the one that she sent me the text about,

hanging low in the sky like a perfect golden pendant,

was so worth getting up off the couch to see.

but mostly, i loved that she knew that,

and thought of me.

Jul 26 2010

the heart in the moon

This was the moon two nights ago. I was just about to go to bed, had just gone out to the kitchen to get myself some water, when I saw this outside my window:

So I put my shoes on, my pajamas were okay (no neighbors), and I went out to see if I could capture what I saw. This is close, although technically, it’s not a great picture. I didn’t use a tripod, it’s blurry, the moon is blown out. But this shot captured the mood pretty well, and I kind of like it.

I love that the moon is not the same every night, it changes as moods vary, auras shift, different spots are illuminated.

I thought about how love is not the same every night, either.

And about 26 really slow-exposure shots later, I had drawn myself a moonheart. The picture below is exactly the same as the picture above, same placement, same exposure.

Except that I moved my hand in the shape of a heart.

And yes, it is upside down, but here’s the thing: I drew it right side up, and I know that it is a camera-mirror thing, and I could have flipped it in Photoshop. But, the trees were still facing up??? and I couldn’t quite figure that out, which didn’t matter because actually

I loved that even though I had drawn it right side up,
my heart ended up upside down.

Plus I drew a heart using the moon as my pencil.

How cool is that?

Jul 16 2010

the sun and the moon
and the stars

Now is the Moon’s Eyebrow.
When my son was little, we had that book by Cooper Edens.
I have always loved that line.

Another book, The Vanishing Pumpkin by Tony Johnston.
“Please do,” growled the ghoul.
I have always loved that line as well, I used to say it out loud
all the time. People looked at me funny.

And this one, from the same book: In fact, she fairly flew.
This happens when I run, every once in a while.

The Sky Jumps Into Your Shoes When You Take Them Off at Night.
Another book, also by Cooper Edens.

The Caretakers of Wonder. Another one, same author.

Why don’t they write books like that for adults?

Books you can barely find these days, treasures that lie forgotten.

Words change your life, sometimes.
You read them and they imprint themselves on your mind.

Her pupils were two black thorns turned inward.
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike.

The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham.
A book I have never forgotten.

Lines that speak to the soul in you, written from the soul of
the writer. This connection that keeps humans, human.

My cats talk to me, they express their needs, their desires.
But that nuance of words and language, that is for the artists.

Almost, I would rather read Vincent Van Gogh’s letters
than look at his paintings. Almost.

How many combinations are possible, with words?
At some point the human race will start to repeat itself.
It has to, or else invent more words.

But fire speaks the language of us all.

This is not open to interpretation, it is fire.

It has kept us all alive.

Besides, now is the moon’s eyebrow.


What’s your favorite line?

Jun 2 2010

in the out house

I went to our camp this past weekend, just for an evening. My husband and son went for the long weekend, but I can’t do that, there is mold and mildew and I am allergic, and anyway I can’t take three days off work just now. So I drove up there Saturday, late afternoon, a perfectly perfect day, just the right temperature, not a cloud in the sky, and the drive along the lake between here and there is always beautiful. On this day, the water was the darkest of teal, all dotted with tiny white sailboats.

I keep forgetting the windmills, built two summers ago, although I guess they are actually turbines, all stark and white and metal-looking but still, stunning. And along this drive there is a spot where you come down a big hill into a small town, and ten of these windmills are perched at the top of the next hill over. It is a very hilly place. And it’s a sight to behold, takes my breath away, really, the way they stand there like sentinels watching over the valley.

I should have stopped to take pictures, but the road was busy and my dog was panting, freaking out because he hates hates hates riding in the car and we were 30 minutes into a 45 minute drive. So I drove on by without taking pictures, but one day, soon, I will go back. And when I got to our camp I said to my husband, “I want a windmill, can we get one?” and of course, he just laughed, thinking I was kidding, but really, I want a windmill.

And then I sat down and listened to the wind in the trees, poplars and pine, that wonderful sound, and I watched the poplar leaves dance back and forth. I thought of the trees that have fallen, these poplars that are dying one by one, two of them have landed on the cabin. And this is where we got married, on the bridge that crossed the stream, but now that has fallen, too.

And I thought of our dog, the other dog, the one that died three years ago now, how camp was always his favorite place and we took him there the weekend before he died, even though the weekend before that he didn’t want to go, could barely move as the kids and my husband packed up to leave. But that next weekend we took him, not knowing it was his last weekend. And when it was dark, we went for the walk that we always walk, and we stopped in the spot where we always stop and we listened for the splash in the neighbor’s pond that we always knew was coming. That weekend, it was like he was a puppy again.

And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I was crying, not just misty- eyed but balling, missing all these things that are gone. So I went to the outhouse to collect myself and dry my eyes. The photo above shows what I saw facing out through the doorway of a door that no longer closes. Still life with outhouse, framed. (It faces into our woods, privacy isn’t an issue, and I went back, afterwards, to take the picture, in case you were wondering.)

Later, as I was leaving, to drive home to care for these cats and to sleep in my bed, I walked out to the road and saw the Milky Way, perfectly perfect, every star in the sky visible. And then as I drove I watched the moon rise, just beyond a long stretch of farm. It was huge and orange, tucked behind wispy clouds, more harvest moon than end of May moon. And again, I wanted to stop for a picture, it was that incredible, that memorable, but again, I had my dog in the back and his panting had risen beyond frantic, so I kept driving. And then I was home.

But in that short span of time, just six hours,

I saw a lifetime of fabulous views.

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.