Friday, April 22, 2016

Earthday walk at St. Clair Metropark

Under construction

J20160422-1500 April 22, 2016 Earth Day 3 PM Metro Beach, that is St. Clair Metropark. When I got in the car after leaving Dr. John's office, piano music came on the radio that was so incredibly beautiful that I burst into tears and cried practically all the way up to Metro Beach. It was Bach's partita for keyboard number three (in G major[?])—so beautiful. The day before yesterday I burst out crying when I saw a whole bunch of flowering trees, the first flowering trees that I really seen so abundantly flowering this spring and it was just so gorgeous that I began to cry. Sometimes I wonder if I cry too easily.

I failed to bring either a camera with a long lens or a water bottle; I was too intent on dressing for being weighed by Dr. John who is very scary.

I am at the pond now watching geese cropping grass. There's a very large fish, probably carp, thrashing around in the cattails. I saw robins, red-winged blackbirds, a woodpecker and cardinals. I failed to bring any binoculars, so I can't look at anything up close. It's very windy and it's pretty cloudy still but it seems warmer, maybe just because the sun is out. A muskrat just emerged from where I thought there was a carp blundering around, a small muskrat. It swam directly toward me. I'm sitting close to the edge of the water and it swam toward me to within 3 feet of me and then continued on behind me. I got an extremely good look at it, but didn't dare try to take a picture, not that I have any good cameras with me anyways, but I was very excited.

I've been running a gauntlet of geese on the berm trail around the pond. They've been hissing, and I was afraid they would attack, but so far, they have not.

I notice that I use a LOT more words when I dictate rather than type, and the dictation software is unreliable.  It requires much editing later, if I can even figure out what I had said that was misinterpreted by the software.

I was almost a candidate for America's funniest home videos, only luckily, no one was nearby taking videos, hopefully. A goose came at me hissing and flapping its wings and I was afraid because I've been attacked by geese before, and it hurts, so I picked up the sides of my shirt and flapped them like giant wings and hissed. It was still coming at me, so I hissed louder and flapped harder and the goose finally retreated and went into the pond.

It sure does my heart good, though, to see the ducks and geese flying in and out and the big fat baby owl sitting on the side of its nest. Too bad I do not have a camera up to the task of capturing any of this, especially the owl. If that's the second baby the first one may have already left the nest. I only see one baby and I don't know if it's the first one and the second one lying down, or if it's the second one.

The nettles are up 4 to 6 inches, so I have to be very careful where I step with my sandals.
The swallows are back. I'm not sure what they are eating because there aren’t too many insects out right now specially in this wind.

A pretty, skinny lady dressed in pink says, “What a gorgeous day and it's great to be back out,” and I agreed, even though I've been out all along, all winter.

The terns are circling the pond and chattering, and it makes me think of Little Hog Island and it makes me want to work on my novel. I could work out here because I have it on the phone, but I need to finish my walk and go home because Keith will be coming home and want dinner and Graham be wanting dinner and so on. (I didn’t have any lunch, so I’m fairly hungry, too!) I'm sitting near a muskrat house but I don't see any muskrats although something splashed in the water nearby.

I climb to the promontory and sit on the rocks and my mind is going snap, snap, snap, snap taking bunches of imaginary pictures: a goose standing on a fallen log at the water's edge in silhouette against the brightness of sky and water and another goose in the water beside it and the shining horizon stretched out as far as the eye can see, no land in sight across the water, the sun reflecting on polished aluminum water, a group of fishermen walking along the shore among the trees and then splitting up to look for spots to fish, and again, the bright path of sunlight reflecting off the lake, the terns circling.

I'm having one of those expansive moments I rarely have anywhere but out in nature.

I'd like to give that soliloquy to Dana in LHI.

Okay, I'd better head home.

Let me first, though, mention the sounds, the trilling of wood frogs and chorus frogs and redwing blackbirds, the cacophony of other bird song, the wind in the branches making a quiet subtle roaring sound. There are geese honking ducks quacking, squirrels chattering and under it all, the wood frogs and chorus frogs. And toads trilling, too.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Continuing work on Children's book

Rosa and her son Reuben Rabbit

detail from painting above
I have more or less finished two new paintings for Frankie and Noah have a party.

 Rosa and her son, Reueben Rabbit
Came bouncing, as was their habit
On a blue pogo stick
that was supple and quick
with red footgrips and handgrips to grab it

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Magic 1: Tiny Turtles, Too Much Water and the Puzzle-patterned Ice

Tiny turtles and the Giant eyeball
click images to view larger

            Tiny Turtles and too much water

I am very excited to discover a hatching of tiny turtles, the size of small ladybugs. In fact, at first, I think they are insects, and then am amazed and excited to see that they are turtles. I put them in a bowl with shallow water and a few days later, they have doubled in size and are now the size of large ladybugs. I come back late and someone has filled up their bowl with a lot of water. I carefully drain it out and get a piece of paper, with the intention of writing, "It is essential to not give the turtles too much water, as it damages their shells if they cannot dry out”. But as I am bending over to get paper and pen, hundreds of small things fall out of my pockets including bunches of little Allen wrenches and other small tools and I kneel on the floor to pick them up. Meanwhile, I get distracted by noticing that one of the plants on the windowsill with the turtles is almost out of water.
At the age of 69 and 1/2, I am still looking for magic in my life. The tiny turtles in my dream were magical.

Question: how can we create a sense of "magic" in our lives? Happy surprises? A sense of wonder?

Alone at Pier Park, I lean over the edge of the observation tower looking at the way the ice has cracked and refrozen like pieces of a puzzle, with raised ridges between them. The sun shines through hazy clouds, reflecting on the broken and rippled ice and I feel a sense of peace, contentment and aliveness reminiscent of that which I experience in my best dreams.

Puzzled ice at Pier Park

The feeling is both fleeting and pervasive, fleeting in that when I resume walking, I have the pain in my hip (though it seems somewhat lessened, knock on wood), and the worries about the things I need to accomplish, but pervasive in that it informs my thoughts, my heart, my day and makes it easier to have similar experiences. It opens the heart-mind, and now I feel tearful. I sit in a cushioned chair by the Pier park building and the low sun glances along the patterned bricks with their salt stains and I feel so very much alive and opened. It's almost painful. A sort of joyful pain.

And then a voice inside me says, you can't stay here; you have stuff you need to do.

And the magic and deep awareness fades. But I don't go. Instead, I look at the brilliant green of the moss between the bricks, lit by the low sun, the tiny abstract shadows from the slight unevenness of the bricks and minuscule movements of the erect strands of tan grass in the bitty breeze, vibrating as if touched by the faintest breath. And the magic returns.

This is the magic, I think, this opening of heart-mind, of awareness that fills me with a rush of pleasure and pain. It is like the feelings I get in my best dreams, and then there are the spilled tools, the scattered Allen wrenches, the too much to do and the too little water or too little time, and I have to get up and go do what I must do. I will take with me mental snapshots of joy and hope that continue to bubble up and inform my day and my life.

Images: A quick mouse-sketch of a ladybug-size turtle on the end of a finger being observed by a "giant" (to the turtle) eye, and the patterned ice today at Pier Park.
This, I think, is the first of the three "magic" stories for January 2016. The third one is here.
These experiences remind me of a story I once wrote for Sara that I want to rewrite and illustrate for Frankie and Alden. The Golden Box, or something like that, I wonder where it is. I'd like to work on it.