Monday, May 31, 2010

Beside us

Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts,
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.

Your love was like the dawn
Brightening over our lives
Awakening beneath the dark
A further adventure of colour.

The sound of your voice
Found for us
A new music
That brightened everything.

Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You placed smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart.
Your mind always sparkled
With wonder at things.

Though your days here were brief,
Your spirit was live, awake, complete.

We look towards each other no longer
From the old distance of our names;
Now you dwell inside the rhythm of breath,
As close to us as we are to ourselves.

Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement.

Let us not look for you only in memory,
Where we would grow lonely without you.
You would want us to find you in presence,
Beside us when beauty brightens,
When kindness glows
And music echoes eternal tones.

When orchids brighten the earth,
Darkest winter has turned to spring;
May this dark grief flower with hope
In every heart that loves you.

May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.

– John O’Donohue “On the death of the Beloved”

Saturday, May 29, 2010

ankle deep discounts AND the better of the best

~Black Fly Cover Girl~
(with tiny catch & release of the day...)
Good morning…I am hectically writing this morning as I stayed up too late fishing, being bug bit- needing a transfusion this morning it feels…as though I’m anemic.  Could be the coffee cup needs filled again… could be the hectic pace of Spring planting and fishing and photographing and chick upbringing is catching up to me.  Could be that I am finding my self a glorious pace in this glorious place of Maine.  Whew!  That’s enough of that kind of streaming thought faze…
 ~Chicken Condo~
(complete with swimming pool and rowdy Guinea neighbors)
Found myself meandering off the chosen path that *Lola had laid out for me last week (as I had previously committed to driving to Lincolnville to pick up new guinea chicks)- I was caught off guard by a big old red barn full of trash and treasures.  What self respecting junk seeker could resist the allure of rust and chipped paint?!  Certainly not this one…

Besides, I was in the market for a good old bike with fat tires and dented fenders.  The Treasures & Trash Barn, run by none other than Jeff Merry and his sweetheart of a  mother with a beautiful name to boot- Faustina, did not let me down.  We tried to wedge the American Flyer in the back seat of the too-tiny-Toyota.  Darn near got it stuck in there forever-

Mr. Merry and I adjusted, bent over backwards, performed a full Nelson and finally wedged that beautiful old bike in the back of the bed, atop the cages meant for new chicks.  Mission completed, I vowed to return again and again to that Merry place of treasures.  Should you decide to go, be forewarned- there is something you’ll just have to have.  I’m not sure if checks are taken, but cash speaks loud and clear though ankle deep discounts are given to certain shoppers that tickle the proprietor’s sense of good humor.  Route 1, Searsport Maine- just this side of Belfast.  Beautiful drive, great grub to be found as well at the Depot turned into a hot dog refuge.  
Treasures & Trash Barn
(207) 548-2787

Thanks for hanging, I’m off to the seedling sale at Tide Mill Farm, again- Route 1…my favorite out of the way places are on this road.  The further East you drive, the less traffic one encounters, the more happenstance occurs and the better of the best fish and chips ever, are to be found.

Take care-  

 (OH!***Lola is my GPS, what Lola wants, Lola gets...rarely.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

time nor tides

I spent a good part of the yesterday on my knees, inputing the seeds, following the moon's course, hoping for rain...and about a dreamy hour sitting in the Hoop-Dee-Do-House listening to that rain song; a good steeping tune that left whole droplets of moisture on the unnatural  roof overhead.  I had planned it all that way, actually.  The day.  The rows.  The sitting.  Ahhh, but the dreaming- I did not plan for, no- not in any sure way.  I read of beauty while sitting there, according to John O'Donohue-

"Beyond the veils of language and the noise of activity, the most profound events of our lives take place in those fleeting moments where something else shines through, something that can never be fixed in language, something given quickly and quietly as the gift of your next breath...."

As I read those words, a bit of paranoid fear rose up in me- I looked around, I felt as though I had a visitor- reading my thoughts, watching my actions- chiming in by what I was reading.  But it was only recognition I feared, I understood more in those words than I cared to realize.  I know of beauty, I have been singing her praises for well over six years- she came to me in acknowledgements from the tiny fragrant stems of Lily of the Valley, in Lilacs and only-the-colors of sunsets.  My world was dark and gloomy back then, ultra black.  In those times, I came to realize- Beauty does not whisper, she bellows and screams if necessary to get one's attention.  She secretly, invisibly weaves a spell right under your nose with the sweetest of perfumes- so even if your eyes can't see the wonder of it all, your sense of smell betrays your sadness and overwhelms your sorrow but only for that moment.  It is not lasting- those remnants, but it is enough to cause one to store the splendor away in such a place that time nor tides can harm.  It is like a well in one's very soul that these moments are tenderly kept and ladled out if need be, in sudden storm or torrent.  And another thing yesterday taught me- one cannot keep beauty to oneself.  It will wither and die, the fine moment- forgotten.

There are many things worth forgetting in life, beauty is not one of them.  Remember with the company you keep today- of those fat, heavy ladles you may have in your well.  Dole them out, water someone.

Take care-

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Shine and Shadow~ Maine Spring

"...Wherever you go they'll go with you and whatever you are you'll wonder,

smiling about the fullness
you can't add to and the emptiness
that you can fill."
Scottish poet~ Norman MacCaig, from Anam Cara
Graceful trees, Calais Maine
Sea Urchin~Found in the woods at Devil's Head, Calais Maine
Variegated Maple Leaf

Luminous spectacle

Monday, May 10, 2010

an eagle in human form

We have had many visitors as of late to this little cottage like home.  Some are most welcome and enter in brightly, and when they leave it as though they have left in their wake- intangible remnants of laughter.  People fill a place with their energy I think.  I seem to be overly in-tuned to the highs and lows of folks and often, when an overwhelming feeling of negative crappy stuff permeates my surroundings, I either shy away or step outside and hope they don't follow.   Sometimes, if they persist in telling me all their woes, complaining that no one ever does this, or never visits, or never calls and they're so's all I can do to not scream "SNAP OUT OF IT!!!"  If someone is truly in the dumps and maybe their picture of life is just a bit out of focus...gladly I'll encourage them  to perhaps look a little closer, focus on the roses instead of the thorns.  But when my patience is tried and I'm forced to hear-"You should do this and you should do that, and look at me I'm a poor lonely woman, and I'm OK."  I want to say, "No, my dear- you are not.  You seem to get off on drama and past episodes of every wrong done to take me to task because I don't see the world through fearful, regretful eyes."

But of course- I do not say any such thing.  I sigh and listen as long as I"m able, then I simply go outside.  And as life would have it, that's just what I did yesterday- and my thoughts came upon Grandma.  Yep.  She's still kicking, never complaining, no whining either...ever.  I called her and the first words out of her mouth-
"I'm so glad you called."   I didn't even make the call until after lunch...but do you think she'd ever take me to task because I didn't first thing yesterday call her to wish her a happy day, truly as I should have?!  No, she was only sincerely glad to hear my voice, and our conversation carried on about new chicks, gardens and the fact that mine was the first and only call she had received that day.  The equation added up and I came away once again with the best answer of all- my Grandma is such a good woman.  Independent as all hell, loyal as a good old dog and sweet and growing ever sweeter with each passing moment.  She tickles me although I used to be so afraid of her.  I think we all were.  But when you really look at the whole scheme of things- had it not been for her tenacity, independence, boldness, bitchiness, thump on the head occasionally....all of us offspring would have been pretty wimpy.  She never hugged or told you she loved you, never coddled or cuddled.  But she never swerved either in the upbringing- and I feel in her life time, she has taken alot of disrespect that was not deserved.  She has been undervalued and mistreated a time or two. Times being what they were back in the day- if your husband left you, beat you, drunk away all your generally centered on your shoulders.  And I think she believed she always deserved what she got, but the miracle of all of this- I was quickly going down that same road and she kind of at first- stuck that shoulder crap on me.  But I proved to her, mirrored almost- that was just not true.  I never left, I never swerved- I hung right in there and did what I had to, too.  Between you and me dear readers, I think it helped her to see herself in a new light, I also think she realized what a strength-force she was in my life.  We needed each other in a way that neither of us had reckoned.  We became friends.

To see her walk now, in her nineties- (she will not use a cane or a walker) every step looks so painful.  She shifts all her weight back and forth, as if the whole world lay on her left hip.  Perhaps as it did when she carried that first child there, and then added another, and another and another...even though two were naturally born to her- all of us offshoots have been carried in a way by this good gal.  She's not the kind that you can tell such things too...she says "that's nuts."  Anyway- I feel very lucky to know Mocko (we didn't even call her grandma.  Everybody had grandmas...we have Mocko.  Isn't that a riot?)   to really have gotten to know her- she truly doesn't let many in.   She gave her life for me...but that's another story for another day that I hope comes on her gently, in her sleep.  It's a story, due to my utmost respect for her- I will not tell while she lives.  She is possibly the most proud (with every good reason to be) woman I've ever known.  For so long- I did not understand her.  I still don't fully- I only know that I probably love this woman, who is not my mother-( but always will remain the best one I know) better and more thoroughly than she would ever allow.  But for some reason, she lets me.  What an honor.

So...I wanted to tell you all about me being a new "Mother Hen" and all, chicks came in the mail last Thursday...but I got to thinking about mother hen eagles and how when I take every opportunity to photograph them, they always seem so much like my grandma.  I'll keep her stories coming up now and much to learn, if only I could quit comparing the whiners in my life to grandma, I'd probably do Ok, never knowing an eagle in human form might make me able better to identify with constant complainers and whiners who truly have nothing to be sorry for and everything to be thankful for.   Wish me luck....

Take care.

Friday, May 7, 2010

the better part of me

  To not speak of death is to not speak of life.  I do not write of these things in sadness, I write all in gladness for what is, what was, and what will be...

Mother's Day is a bittersweet day for me.  The bitterness stems from missing my Beau, who never let an opportunity pass to show me what being his mom meant to him.  Sometimes it was a card, sometimes artwork, sometimes a bunch of dandelions with a wee bit of violets mixed in.  I have an old coffee can filled with his gifts, dried and fragile- yet I can never dispose of them.  I remember our last trip together, taking the Amtrak from Springfield to Chicago for a day of touring before he entered the Marines.  I can still see him there, gazing out the window at the old farmsteads and silos blurring by, I could almost read those thoughts, though he was quiet- his sighs were long and thoughtful.  I wondered if he knew, I wonder much I'd give to protect him from all harm and love him fully, no matter what.  Those moments are inscribed in my memory, and they are good and worth keeping.  Beau, the boy/man- is in my every thought still- and on Mother's Day I think of him with tears first, I know no other way to get past the dark than to let it all flow away so the light, the memories can surface.
  This is my first year away from Emma, Mathew and Lily.  I'll miss them too...I remember my favorite Mother's Day with all of them.  Breakfast in bed, smeared blackened toast with jelly accompanied by coffee and juice.  I remember how proud they were to serve it, though possibly sending in the smallest waitress as they wondered if I'd mind the burnt offerings.  She was all giggly and sly, looking back towards her accomplices hideaway.  The other three, just outside the door- giggling too, perhaps wondering if I'd kill the joy of the messenger.  I remember smiling, oh the sweetness of that moment lingers still,  miss Lils got a big hug and then they all surfaced from behind the door to join in the wrestling, hugging match.  Lunch was charred pork steaks, glossy black.  Oh my, the memories I keep- laughing at this moment in the remembrance.

I have to add that I am shameless...I called each child, still my babies, always my babies- on Monday to remind them that Sunday is Mother's Day.  "We KNOW!!!" they answered.  I hope they know, I hope I always convey- how wonderful, how good how utterly right it is to be their mom.  I feel like sending them cards- no greater joy have I known that makes up the better part of me, than of being a mom to my children.  To my Beau- I send prayers and on Sunday, as always- rain or shine...a kite will go up, as if I can still hold his hand by guiding the string.

May all your hearts be filled with memories worth keeping, burnt toast and the blessings only a mother can know- and should you miss someone, may the smiles return as the memories shift clear of the heartache and enter into a slideshow through your thoughts of the happiest, most joyful of moments forever etched upon your very soul.

Take care-