Monday, December 28, 2020

A Spider's Alien Abduction Story

 This is a true story written from the first person (spider) perspective. 

I was building a tiny web on the underside of a kale leaf. I had been working on it for a short while when suddenly there was the sound of a snip. That leaf and I were gathered up with other leaves and carried away. I was unsure where I was headed, but suddenly I was no longer outside. I did not know there was such a thing as outside and inside, but there is. I was very nervous. Then the leaves were brought someplace where water was being poured on us. It was not like rain. I had never felt anything like it. Hot and pouring. The kale and I were carried someplace and a large object started slicing away at us. I was terrified. I knew I had to get out of there. I made my way off the leaf and began running for safety. The large alien creature that snipped my leaf saw me and came after me. I ran faster. I hid under another leaf. The alien was looking for me. It found me and tried to slip a different piece of kale under me. I got away. Then it came after me with a postcard. What is a postcard? I have no idea. The creature slipped it under me and started running. I wanted to get off that card but I couldn't. I knew I was doomed. Then, suddenly I was back outside in the sunlight and air. The creature put the card next to a kale leaf and with motion moved me on to it. I went on that leaf and quickly ran and hid on the underside. I am not sure how I survived, but I did. I lived through an alien abduction.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas

To all of our friends who celebrate Christmas, Roger and I send you our merriest good wishes for a wonderful day. 

When I photographed this tree in our yard in the Sierra foothills in 2010 it was the first winter we were in our new home there. I remember when I saw this low morning sun looking like a star that I understood the inspiration for the star on Christmas trees. 

Take care and stay healthy and safe, friends.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Happy Winter Solstice

I photographed this tree with the crepuscular rays back in December 2012 when we were still living in the Sierra foothills. Then, a few years later I added the words to the pic to celebrate winter solstice. It seemed like a good idea to repost this photo to remind us of the awesome beauty of our planet. Today the earth begins to tilt to bring us more light, slowly at first but then even more quickly the days will grow longer. We await the return of the light in every way... in our skies and in our hearts. 

Happy Winter Solstice, friends.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A Bit Of Color...

 ... in an otherwise gray rainy time. We've had quite a bit of rain lately and are expecting lots more this week. Not many opportunities to get out and walk and take a good look around. So, mostly I head out whenever there is a bit of color in the sky to remind myself of the beauty.

 We're also not venturing out much because of the pandemic and Roger's ongoing balance issues. We used to be able to take much longer walks when we could get out there. These days it's just the neighborhood loop. Roger has had CTscans, MRI, and all kinds of blood tests these past few months. The results are just an aging body doing what aging bodies sometimes do. 

There have been days when the colors I run out to see are not made of clouds and sunlight. Sometimes it is the sun lightening the contrails of a jet flying overhead at sunset. 


Even a jet has its beauty in these times...


...but I do prefer the clouds in the setting sun.

We hope you are all well and staying safe and healthy.

Friday, December 11, 2020

When Blogging and Music Come Together

I've been reading John Young's blog Living Dharma since it first began. How did we find each other? I have no idea, but we did and have been virtual friends for many, many years. We have emailed each other so often over the years and most especially in 2018 when my mom died six months before his. We shared our stories, our grief, our moment as human beings together and yet far apart. He has an interesting history from being a Buddhist Monk, to teacher, to writer, to political strategist... a truly multi-dimensional person. But somehow I never knew he was also a musician. So, imagine my surprise when I checked his blog post on December 6th and found this video.

I left a comment that began, "Okay, John, you just blew our minds..." And seriously he really had. We had no idea that John, with all of his other incredible talents, could play his 43 year old guitar and sing like this. So, I asked if I could post his music for Friday Music, and he said yes! And then he posted another song. It's amazing what we don't know about each other. Oh we should all have hidden secrets like this one. Thank you, John, my long-distance friend, thank you.

Thursday, December 03, 2020

A Story and a Poem

My twin brother and I email each other a lot. He sends me haikus. I send him photos. The other day I sent him this photo of a Townsend Warbler eating bugs off of our kale. I took the pic through the window, so it's not great, but I thought he'd enjoy it.

He replied with two haikus he had recently written about sparrows.
Sparrows never read
Darwin, but still fight for food
world of survival

On our strange planet
even the sweet birds don't live
together in peace
That started a conversation about competition. I asked him why there has to be competition even in times of abundance.  He blamed it on our current president and we had a good laugh about that. His language was more colorful than that, referring to him as the abominable shithead, but we went on contemplating why we are the way we are. Why can't we be kinder? Why is "survival of the fittest" the undercurrent to all life? 
Then I remembered a poem I had saved  after finding it a few years ago. It's called Small Kindnesses by Danusha Lameris. I sent it to Michael.

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk 

down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs 

to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you” 

when someone sneezes, a leftover 

from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying. 

And sometimes, when you spill lemons 

from your grocery bag, someone else will help you 

pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.

We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot, 

and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile 

at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress 

to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder, 

and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.

We have so little of each other, now. So far 

from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange. 

What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these 

fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,

have my seat,” “Go ahead—you first,” “I like your hat.”

My brother was so surprised that I had sent him this poem. He wrote that he and his wife Kim know the author. She is the Poet Laureate of Santa Cruz. She and Kim enjoy some gatherings together. So, Michael wrote the author to tell her that I had sent him this poem. Her reply was so lovely. (Of course it was. She is the author of this poem!)  She wrote that she always loves when this poem brings some solace. And then she wrote, "Love to you and Kim... and to Robin..."

Can you imagine what that meant to me? This poem that I've been loving for years, the author wrote my name and sent me love. In this time of pandemic it made my heart soar in a way that it hasn't for quite a while. 

So that's my story and Danusha Lameris's poem.

"... Go ahead--you first, "I like your hat."