Monday, January 30, 2017


These are dark and troubling days with glimmers of hope, sometimes dashed with sudden downpours. If I hadn't spent the better part of the last four years learning to live again after the cascading tragedies, I would be more panicked, more at wits end. One thing grief has taught me: it's sad, but not the end of the world.

So, I have been taking refuge, again, in words -- if not mine, those of poets who draw images with words. This gem came from today. I owe them a debt of gratitude for these gifts in my inbox.

Wishing all beings peace and patience and compassion.

May we all be well.


Michael Klein
Truth went through a leaky funnel starting in late 1963
that blade-lit afternoon Gary Orrin laughed at Kennedy’s murder
bleeding through the static of P.S. 41’s cheap PA. There’s Greenwich            
a drowsy dandelion—I called it once—and there
are the heartsick monitors of afternoons. 
My mother is late to pick me up, again. She’s almost better,
but will never find a way to manage the cure. Outside American family        
nothing happens for years until OJ’s glove: interspersed with some              
sloppy American truth. If I didn’t know everything I already know
I could count on the dog while she rifles through her morning bowl
in the next room. Poor Ruby. She knows more than I do.
She is eating the world to save it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Poetry Thursday

The Thing Is
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
--Ellen Bass

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Olympia - searching for Ent Wives

Ever since I read Tolkien, I have been searching for the Ent Wives.
These are some candidates I met in Olympia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Olympia - fascination with ice

Even though I got brain freeze walking around without my hat on the first day, I still stopped to admire the designs the ice made.  Here are a few examples...

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Poetry Thursday

Oyster shells covered in snow.  Art installation (minus snow) at Longhouse at Evergreen State College.

Eating the Bones

The women in my family
strip the succulent
flesh from broiled chicken,
scrape the drumstick clean;
bite off the cartilage chew the gristle, 
crush the porous swellings
at the ends of each slender baton.
With strong molars
they split the tibia, sucking out
the dense marrow. 
They use up love, they swallow 
every dark grain,
so at the end there’s nothing left,
a scant pile of splinters
on the empty white plate.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

photolog - Olympia part 2

The day after we got back to Washington, we drove back to Seattle to pick up one of Veronica's friends.  They have been life savers, so I was trying to do all I could to repay them for their generosity of time and their care for my niece. 

This view of Mt Rainier was a bright silver lining.

And then I went for a walk and ran into some natives... I loved seeing them in their winter coats!  They were not afraid at all.

This guy was looking right at me until I snapped the picture.  Apparently he was not ready for his close up.
 I don't know if this is meant to be art or functional, but I liked it just the same. I had to try to imagine a time when it would be warm enough to sit outside.  I couldn't, really.

Did I mention that when I went out one day without a hat, I experienced brain freeze without drinking something cold.

I have been in cold weather before -- colder than this -- and never felt this before.  Perhaps I never went out without the hat?
 This series begins my fascination with the flora.

Not surprisingly, these are called snow berries.
 This is not a great picture of the lichen growing on the leaf-less trees.  I could not stop noting the way these trees were dressed.  Unfortunately, I failed utterly at capturing the beauty, the intricacy, the symbiosis.
 So much beauty in these sycamores.  It might be cruel to prune them back like this, but it makes for stunning views.  I cannot control the light when I take these pics... rather, I should say that I don't know how to control the light.  But the way the light changes here certainly made for lovely photos.

 This began my obsession with the ice ... I will have to save the rest for another post. 

And I have more trees, but they will have to wait for another post as well... 

Secret paths and/or paths to nowhere...

 Trunk magic

Someone forgot to tell the robins that it was winter and they should fly south ... I am told they hang out all winter ... hmmm... now my when is spring indicator is broken.

I got to see the moon rise several afternoons ... just lovely!

Monday, January 09, 2017

photolog - Las Vegas

We decamped for Las Vegas for the holidays -- it was my idea, but that was before I realized how hard it would be to travel with someone who had just had surgery.  But holidays are for being with the family, right?

Besides, who wouldn't want to make this happen?

There were some walks.

There were dogs.

And there was family.