Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Needing to sleep is an ache, an almost amorous longing to close the eyes and surrender. Too many fight this sensation. What is it they dread? Deadlines. Missing out on something fun. Getting caught. Getting killed. Losing their job. The plane taking off without them.

The price of losing sleep is disregarded. There's always another hour, or another day, to sleep. Sleep is so undervalued, until that first baby is born, or you get sick, or you work two jobs to make ends meet and nap under a desk all week. Sleep begins to mean something again when it's denied night after night. It's not the same as intentionally staying up late and getting up early. That self-inflicted slow destruction doesn't teach like an outside force suspending you from hooks, always out of reach of that full night's sleep. The body adapts, and so does the mind until sleeplessness becomes normal, but you don't feel healthy until a good long run of deep sleeps. The parched body soaks up the rest like water into dehydrated tissues and youth returns to old, tired carcasses.

So, on that note, I'm going to bed. I hope all of you get a good night's sleep.

Monday, August 22, 2005


Impending. Pendulum. Suspense. Pensive. In four days they'll be here, a tremendous number of people we like gathering to celebrate the birthdays of several people we like. The roots of the first four words are linked through a concept of something about to drop, something held up that will fall. In four days we can celebrate until it hurts, but up to that point we're doing all we can to prepare.

Meanwhile, the honey watercolors call to the brush, demanding to be stroked and applied. They're so kinky.

It's past time to go back to work, back to the sweeping and weeding and mowing and laundry and dishes and all the other things that need to happen Before. I wonder what I'll do with my time After.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Return from Hades

I looked over my shoulder many times, but my blog didn't vanish into Hades. It came back to life. I thought about just leaving this blog behind in favor of my old blog, but I figured I could handle writing on two. Sometimes writing something twice brings out new insights. Sometimes just writing more of anything opens new doors.

We're back from Cape Cod. Things are forever changed. I'm slightly different than when I left, slightly but noticeably, and it's kinda kewl. This is still home, but it has new life and new potential. All this freshness from four airplane rides, a martial arts seminar and two nights in a friend's house in Providence. So maybe nothing shattering or extravegant has to happen to make someone a better, or worse, person, to realize how good you have it, or how bad things have gotten. Maybe it's just the change of routine, new challenges, an occasional drop of adrenaline to keep the blood young and the eyes eager and alert. How many days have gone by with eyes half-closed or even shut because you know exactly where you're going? Have your feet retraced the same path so many times that you don't even have to think to do it? It's too easy to let happiness gray over into boredom. Happiness doesn't stick around in that situation; it doesn't like to be taken for granted. The shadowed side of the same world, a life of suffering, also becomes rote. Too soon it's hard to imagine doing anything else.

Time to sleep. The phone is going to ring early tomorrow. I'm looking forward to bed. I've remembered all the reasons I like it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Chocolate cake

He's about five foot nine, broad in the shoulder, with smiling, terrifyingly clear blue eyes. He keeps his hair short so that no one can grab him by the hair and slam his face into the wall or the floor or into their knee. Where he works, this is a consideration. He claims he's an ordinary, average guy, and sings the song with a sweet voice somewhat out of tune. Someday, when he starts feeling his age more he wants to be a curmudgeon, but for now he's just a brat and a warrior and a lover that romance writers invent but never believe are really real. When he travels alone, the cities sometimes seem the same because all he sees is the inside of a gym and a lot of sweaty men in workout clothes or in martial arts gear or in armor and uniforms. He trains for the things no one likes to think or worry about, keeps us safe, but blushes and denies it when someone tells him he's a hero. Tough luck, babe, you are a hero, though not the kind that rushes into a suicide charge. He's more interested in getting the job done. The bad guy in the cell, the friend back in the raft, the woman through the tight spot in the cave, the medical care to people who desperately need it.

It'd take a really long book to describe all the things he's survived and done and enjoys, and hardly anyone would believe it anyway. We've been married for fifteen years (egad!) and there's never been a dull moment, at least not for me. Despite being a fantastic father, provider, and mover of massively heavy things over long distances, he still asks me if I believe he's worthy of me.

So we had chocolate cake with his equally remarkable mother and the beloved Cajun family friend and cast sarcastic remarks around the table, laughing, grinning, wishing him happy birthday. A new oak tree shades the meadow below our house, his birthday present. Of course it was too heavy for me to manage on my own, so it was Rory, the birthday boy who had to drag it down on a heavy sled while I merely balanced it, Rory who dug the hole and rolled the tree in. I scraped fertile earth around the roots and watered it is about all. Rory dedicated it to a good friend of his in Montreal, a fellow warrior.

Tomorrow we leave early in the morning for Cape Cod. We'll watch silly movies on a portable DVD player and write and sleep if we can. No one around us will think there's anything much to notice about the handsome man just starting to go bald sitting next to me, unless they happen to meet his gaze. They'll see the strength then, the depth of intelligence and spirit, and wonder who that is.

That's Rory Miller, half Irishman, half myth. Well, I guess that makes him all myth. May the sun and stars smile upon him today.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Found My Feet

I'm already missing the old blog, but this will do until it returns. The old blog's hosting website has been down for days. My brain and my fingers are rebelling, wanting that time in front of the computer. So here I am.

After days of sunshine and heavy heat, we have morning fogs. For the first time in a month my hands and feet get icy cold, and that's with wearing the big, plush, purple bathrobe on. The plants are loving it, staying moist and cool. The tomatoes aren't having to pour all that heat into ripening fruit (unfortunately for us) and can lazily let it yellow while they rest. The cats are playful, the dogs happily nap and chores don't seem so Aegean stables-ish.

We're flying out on Thursday early in the morning. All the good and bad that comes with flying is rising up. Fear of plane crashes. Our tenth anniversary in Belize. 9/11. Seeing friends on the other shore I've seen in person only once, a year ago. Security checks. Fantastic food, training martial arts with good people, breathing Atlantic breezes. Leaving the kids and animals behind, fretting about heat spells that may wither our garden.

May. Ah ha! That word gives away what's really going on. All these things are in my head, mays and mights and once was-es. The kewl thing about getting out of town, about doing different things, taking classes and learning, is that they get all those mays and mights out of my head and don't let me lean on what I used to do. You can worry about what may and might happen or live in the past until the the seasons all pass into a blur, but it's what actually happens that counts.

When the mind is not paying attention to what's going on because what's going on is part of an expected, usual routine, the mind makes all kinds of nasty things up. Maybe it's an addiction to adrenaline. Maybe it's a symptom of a human survival mechanism, to always be worrying about what might happen and trying to prevent the worst from coming by some clever means. Well, that is worth about crap when someone else is flying the plane, and it's even worse when those made up scenarios keep you from doing all the kewl stuff that will get you out of the predictable life that allows you to come up with all the evil fantasies in the first place.

It'll be good to actually be on the plane, and even better to actually be in Cape Cod studying martial arts, taking photos, eating fabulous lobster and real Boston Cream Pie. It's one thing to plan, and another thing to let anxiety ruin every blessed moment. Just think of what our trip would be like if we started worrying about flying back home and what we'll find when we get home as soon as we end up at Cape Cod?

I've found my feet again, not just with the blog, but with the trip. Now I can walk. Sweet! Do you know where your feet are?

Trying this new blog out. Alas, my poor, now-inaccessible old blog!

There's a basketball under my heel.
Stretching the leg, rolling the pebbly, rubbery and underinflated ball helps return circulation to too-long bent legs.
Cupped under my other foot, a so-called quart nursery plant container, black. It holds more than a quart but I guess they allow for settling? It doesn't matter, really. It means nothing to the plant. Some plants fill the quart completely with roots and should have been in a gallon or bigger, others just sit pretty in the top or dangle their roots through the middle. When the plant comes out, the dirt falls away from the loose roots and you're left holding something that could have fit in a 4" pot. Age matters. Size matters. The quart container? Eh.

So the blog site matters only so much as the container limits how far my roots go. So far there's plenty of room, but I haven't had much luck planting. The two blog titles I tried to set up but was told were not available are now my only two options, and the one that's supposed to be waiting for me is MIA. Maybe I can search for myself. Meanwhile, I'll roll this basketball under my foot while the blood tingles and prickles its way back into my legs.