...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

26 August, 2011

the blues

Today's 3pm sky is beautiful, serene.  
Not a hint of what is approaching.
...and I'm not talking about Irene.

I can't help myself about the Blues.  I really can't.
There are a million reasons to avoid the Blues.
I know them all.  The reasons do not stop me.
I put myself in their path.  I wait in the heat and the greenhead flies.
My heart pounds with anticipation.

The Blues know how to knock you out with sudden surprise.
Even when you know they are coming.
They do a mean Blues  Ballet.

There is nothing like the Blues.

See that little round helmet just behind the 'dash'?
Seeing that always gets me misty-eyed with admiration.
How does one dare to fly at top speeds, 18" apart from the next guy?

I know, I know.  Noise.  Pollution.  Wasted fuel.  Money better spent elsewhere.
But I can't help myself.   I love the Blues*.

*The Blue Angels:  US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron

24 August, 2011

"e" as in "book"??

A question posed today at my library's FB page:
 "Electronic or paper - what is the future of the book? What are your preferences? Why?"

~ ** ~

My answer:
"I don't have an e-book player, but I have to admit being captivated 
by the simplicity of form and access of a recent guest's player.
 I borrowed one from a friend for a week's trip one time 
and liked the travel benefits of a single item.

But I've spent the last two thirds of a century with bound books,
 and I  love their heft, and the feel of the pages, 
and the idea that this particular magic carpet 
has, and will, transport others before and after my ride.

Fears: what will happen to the publishing industry, 
the sacred places that libraries are, 
and the opportunity for community that book stores and libraries provide,
 should all our written material be accessed electronically? 
And will the poor and disenfranchised be further "locked out" 
of the means to knowledge and inspiration?

And what about the babies?
My children and grandchildren have been connected to "the book"
 way before they were of the age to handle electronics. 
Books in the play space, the crib, the carseat.--an extension of their very selves. 
Will there be a time when these aren't made anymore? 
I also am not convinced that anyone, particularly children, 
should be exposed to a screen for the amount of time 
that some folks enjoy having their noses in books.

I guess you can see my ambivalence.
 I would feel a lot better if there would be a guarrantee
 that books as we know them 
could continue to coexist with e-books."

** ~ **

How would you answer this question?

23 August, 2011


My first bird.

Trying to figure out all the buttons and gizmos,
plus trying to work the telephoto,
plus trying to keep up with this teenager.

I love his tell-tale baby-spotted head.
He's trying to look so cool.

I also love my new camera.

Canon Rebel XSi.
For you that asked.....


22 August, 2011

got it!

Hey, guess what?
I treated myself today to the camera I have been wanting forever!

Had an excellent human experience in the process--
first with the lovely couple who 
advertised said camera on Craigslist and sold it to me 
at a very fair price, with lots of goodies attached.
Then with the folks at the Photo Market in Portland,
who validated the soundness of that camera even though they weren't in the deal,
and who then humored me with patience and generosity
as I took two hours to try out their telephoto lenses.

They explained stuff, told me how my new camera worked,
let me take all the telephoto lenses outside
to take pictures for comparison,
told jokes and were otherwise kind to me.

I love Maine.  And I love its people.

So, out of the box with the kit lens:
(Big lens will take some experimenting.
I was too excited for that today.)

 ...some scenes from my back yard:

19 August, 2011

summer's passing by

Heady times this last couple of weeks.

Family from Hong Kong has returned home
after a delightful three weeks.
My heart is full of lovely memories, tucked away
like squirrels' acorns for the long winter ahead.

This last week marked the 11th anniversary of 
my husband's first brain hemorrhage.
My conscious self was not even aware of it.
My heart "knew" days before, however. Amazing what the heart knows. 
Wednesday was a difficult day,
bolstered by the love of friends and family.

11 years is a long time for uncertainty about the next 'event',
 the ongoing awareness of a slow decline--
 a kind of death by a thousand cuts.

Mid-August also delights.
Crickets rasping amidst Queen Anne's Lace in the tall grass.
Sumac rich in green fronds, and wild bamboo leaves showing red.
Searches through the milkweed for Monarch caterpillars
to take home and witness new life emerging.

New life is always emerging.  The trick is to notice it.

14 August, 2011

island time!

A day on Monhegan Island for a city boy who quite likes the natural world.

Who can easily shift between being a rascal and peaceful watching.

*~** ~ **~*

In 24 hours, he got up early, took a ferry ride, 
had a time at the wheel because of a very kind ferry captain,
met a friend right away on the island (kids are like that).

Went hiking out to the cliffs
and climbing on the rocks.

Ate lunch at an island cook-out and then
rested by the pond.

Where he discovered that scaring minnows was ok, 
even when scaring ducks drew frowns.
(Nainai* thought a lot about that and why she felt that way.)

Played games by the oceanside with his Nainai
while his mom and dad rested in the sun.
Discovered a trick of dimension 
that made the rocks and rockweed look like they
were breathing as the gentle waves moved over and retreated.

Pretended his arm was a lobster to figure out how the traps worked.

Took another hike with his new friend and his family,
then ate dinner at their table instead of at
the one his family was sharing with others.

Later, had a wicked good time with two boys and a water pistol,
until somebody did something, somebody started crying,
and a grown up stranger was bent out of shape for having been squirted in the fray.

Bravely got up the courage to apologize to this grownup
at his mom's insistence.  That was HARD, very hard--
but he did it. 

Watched the sun set from the island shore,
then hiked back to town on the rocks again as it was getting dark.

Slept in the same simple room as his Nainai,
with only an oil lamp and a flashlight for seeing.
And a shared bathroom at the top of the stairs.

Book reading, story telling, shadow puppets on the wall.
"Scaring" the grownups who were quietly sitting on the porch
in his glow-in-the-dark skeleton black shirt.
Gulls and buoys sounding outside, and a star splashed sky out the window.
Finally going to sleep.  SO, so deeply.

Waking up the next day to damp air and drizzle.
Eating a huge breakfast while swapping jokes
with the others at the table.
Watching the sky open up just after the meal
and learning of the decision to go home early on
the morning ferry.

Talking about what he was going to do and see 'next year'
when he comes to the island again.

...Thereby fulfilling a Nainai's dream.

*Nainai--"grandma" in Mandarin Chinese