Friday, March 29, 2013

Fast Write Friday!

Watching a small pod of dolphins herd fish toward a sandbar. There are a lot more fisherman too who tell me the whiting are running (imagining little trout-size fish in nylon shorts and running shoes fins a pumpin) So maybe the dolphins are also fishing for whiting. Their strategy is different. They herd the fish into a ball using teamwork. It's not hard to spot when they get a tight ball going because the gulls and pelicans dive bomb the shit out of it. When they get the tight ball, that's when they strike and feed.

Mostly this morning, I wonder how the dolphin feels to be the one who does all the work, whether there is shame or guilt on the gull's part for coasting off the work of someone else. As a human being, I want the gulls to do their own work. I want the dolphins to reap the entire reward of their labors. It's hard not to draw certain parallels between the dolphin and gull situation and the way corporations are structured. The craftspeople doing the fish balling while the middle management and CEO's grow fat off the work of someone else.

As a biologist, I just laughed at that paragraph above. They are dolphins for gawd's sake, not a symbol of the hierarchical corporate structure. They will make the fish balls to feed themselves, perhaps reckoning a certain loss to the gulls in the process. They can't eat the entire ball anyway. I'm sure they don't feel anything other than territorial about the fishball.

As for the pelicans and gulls - it's survival of the fittest baby and these birds have figured out a way to get more food in their bellies with very little work, thereby ensuring a better chance of their own genetic pool being passed on. In biology, that's considered smart strategy.  

The drive of both the dolphin and the birds is strictly instinctual survival. The drive to live, breed and pass on their genes. Only we humans make it more complicated.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Small Stone 3.26.13 Taking the Red Wafer

They gather in twos and threes
Not sure why they come
Just that they must

And another sun is bid farewell
The red communion shared in silence

We move on

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Tree Knowing

I walked today in the Audubon Sanctuary on Dauphin Island, AL.  It is a quiet little place where you can go to get away from the hubbub of springbreaking families that choke the few businesses on the island.  Most I guess wouldn't be caught dead back there on *ackgasp* hiking trails.  The trails are really more like walking trails.  Easy on the feet and wide enough to land a small aircraft in places.  I find it quiet back there even on very crowded days.  I'm not a big birder, but I am a Zoologist by training, so I do like to identify a few of the birds I see.  On todays list:

Hooded warbler
Blue Grey Gnatcatcher
Red headed woodpeckers
Osprey (easily ID'd by the bent wings in flight)
Some pale reddish bird I think might have been a tanager of some sort

Birds pop in, say hello and bolt before you can even introduce yourself.

Trees are not at all like that.  You have to know a tree a long time before you may hear its name whispered by its leaves.  Some never do.  You have to build a relationship with a tree  over your lifetime, come every day to visit.  Get to know what it's like in rain, in winter, how it stands out in the fog, how impossibly green its first leaves of spring are, what the dead leaves feel like beneath your bare feet.  Then and only then they may notice you there and speak.  Very few trees have spoken to me in 51 years....the Burr Oaks at my grandparents house that were our tree tag safety, a small Chinese Maple I coddled to a height of eight feet, a maple that grew impossibly in the crack of a sidewalk that I transplanted to better ground that now is fifteen feet tall.  The only tree to speak to me in a quick manner was the Angel Oak (St Johns Island, SC).  I had pilgrimmaged there twice and loved her from afar since I saw her for the first time.  Maybe it was that love.  Maybe it was my great need.  Maybe it was the whim of one so beloved and elderly as herself to do so.  She changed my life entirely.

I have a deep love of live oaks, maybe because they are about as far removed from perfect straight and statuesque horticultural specimens as one can get.

Small Stone 3.26.13 Still Life With Photographer

As still as the heron can be
the photographer hoping to catch it
must be even more still

Monday, March 25, 2013

Small Stone 3.25.13

I snap the photo
and for just a moment
I want to be them
in love
with the whole rosy
world aglow at their feet.

West Surf Beach Dauphin Island, AL

Friday, March 22, 2013

Pre-trip Reading

I couldn't resist it....the draw to the cards is too strong some days.

Today's reading as I finish the heinous pre-vakay cleaning and am taking a break.....

The Pole Star - all about way finding.  In this case it came out upside down.  I am not a big reversey reader, but this felt important to leave that way.  I know I have lost my way, completely and utterly devoid of the charm that makes me me.

The Lovers - I find this to be the best card in lieu of the previous one.  Not about finding a lover (although that is always welcome), but more about falling in love with myself again.  I don't like who I am right now the way I could.  So, I'm hoping to meet myself again there at the beach.

The last card - the four of swords.  In every deck I have this card ALWAYS reads as rest.
SO that is exactly what I will do.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

For Want of a Nail......

I am tearing along, full throttle, writing, hands hardly able to keep up with the flow of story and words.  That's when I hit it, the nail in the road.  I should have seen it coming.  Should have swerved even if it meant hitting the ditch.  Should have known better than to put the phone on my table where I can feel/hear it vibrate.  Mostly I ignore it.  But I answer and it's my mom.  She's the only person who still calls me, friends and family long since giving way to texting and email.  That one little phone call was the nail that shredded my tire and took me out of the race for today.

Maybe next week will be better.

For people wondering about the title, here's the source.  It's about how a small thing can have big consequences.

For Want of a Nail

For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tarot Reading 3.9.13

I pull a few cards about once a week, generally three in a past, present, future kind of way.  I've been doing this for about the last ten years.  Sometimes if things seem muddy or the message not quite discernible I will add a few more.  Usually, though those additional cards just muddy it further, so I have learned to accept that sometimes it's muddy and move on.  I have an affinity for actual mud, so maybe that makes it easier somehow.  But I doubt it.

I like to sit with the cards and see how the reading shifts until the next one.  After an indeterminate amount of time the cards feel stale and I draw new ones.  I don't give in anymore to the temptation to re-draw cards when I don't like what the originals say to me.  The Universe has a way of deploying the Ever Bigger Hammer Experiment when I do that.  Best to stick with the small hammer if I can.

Today's reading featured the three of cups in the Past position.  I love this card in every deck I have.  It is the essence of lightness and joy.  This particular deck has three dancing cranes and my heart momentarily takes flight with them.

The second, Present, card is the Magician or in this deck the Green Man.  I love this card too.  The idea of magic, of making something as if out of nothing intrigues me.  The Green Man weaves into the current novel in progress and just sits there, spinning out all kinds of unexplainable magics.  I could not love this reading more.

Maybe I should have stopped there.....but I didn't.  It's three cards and it will be three cards.  There was not even a sense in the moment of stopping at two.  Too either/or the number two.

So I drew the third and just burst into tears.  The Ten of Bows/Wands, titled in this deck, Responsibility.  The image of the man sagging under the weight of his burden trying to climb the rock is just too much.  My heart wants to refuse the card and put it back.  My future cannot be summed up as only that Responsibility.  Can it?  Please tell me there is more than that coming at me?  And not even the good/fun kind but the burdensome and weighty kind.  I can't do any more of this.  Nor can I manage what I am doing for much longer.

Blue is about to break.

I have my little tear fest.  I feel better.  I clean.  I wander about the apartment.  I eventually wander back to the desk where the cards are sitting.  I pick up that 10 of Bows and really look at it.  I hate when a little piece of cardboard makes me cry.  What was it in the image that set me off?  And in assigning it a meaning related to my mom, to work, did I somehow miss a more subtle meaning?  Perhaps misinterpret it altogether?

I sit with the card a long time seeing only the man, the sticks, the hill.

But then it shifts.  I no longer see just a man, but a man in the story I am writing.  I no longer see sticks, but apprentice staffs.  I see Externsteine, where I saw hill.  And perhaps the responsibility the cards show me as my future is to those characters I have brought into the world, to keep them moving forward, upward even when things seem hard.

Especially when things seem hard.

But then how hard can it really be?  The magician and the cranes are on my side.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Small Stone March 6

Today the red cedars bow their obeisance to me
backs dusted with crystalline snow

Tomorrow they will stand straight 
and ignore me once again

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I belong to an on-line PCOS support group.  I firmly believe in the notion of women diagnosed with this shit-tastic disease supporting one another.

Recently one of the members posted a question about how women dealt with never having children (infertility is one of the major pieces of this particular puzzle).  The thread was commandeered by a young woman passing out advice like TicTacs.  The problem I have with this is that the woman in question HAS children, as evidenced by her repeated baby crowing on the thread, and is giving advice to woman who don't.

Ummmm....yeah.  Took about 10 seconds for her to start some flame war with another woman who was trying to address the question asked.  When the thread turned on her, the way it always will, she resulted to finger pointing and blame shifting trying to make it the other woman's fault. Her last dozen posts were something to the effect that 'it takes just one person to carry on an argument by not letting it go'.

Anyone else see the logistical issue in that?  Yeah, you're smart.  It probably took you less than 5 seconds to spot it.  Not sure how arguments go with her, but pretty sure it takes 2 people who won't let it go.  Sat on my hands to resist saying that.  She wouldn't have heard it anyway, so it would have been a wasted effort.

My major issue with the group is the aforementioned baby crowing.  Infertility is a deep deep pain for some women on the board.  Everyone is happy when someone finally conceives after years of trying.  But it's a little bittersweet too in that you weren't the lucky one.  The most annoying posts are the ones that keep on posting and posting and posting about their baby lottery luck as if it is something more than that - LUCK.  That seems insensitive to me.

I suspect it's a reflection of the age of the women in the group.  Most women my age 50+ probably weren't diagnosed and spent a whole lifetime feeling crappy and hating their bodies for not being able to produce children (and all the other things that PCOS brings).  Women in their twenties got a diagnosis, got treatment and are sometimes able to conceive.  They understand.  We came to our understanding too late to change anything.  Women my age are super-sensitive to the whole baby issue and are generally polite about it.  Women in their twenties haven't struggled long enough to have learned to tone it down.

I try to be forgiving.

But mostly I want to bitch slap these stupid girls for hurting other women and then trying to blame them for feeling hurt.

Mean Girls Are Never Pretty

Mom's sojourn in Memory Care ended when she could no longer stand and became what they term a 2-assist.  She transitioned to Skilled C...