Sun’s down. Stars prickle the blueblack sky. There is no city light here to dim the view of sparkling red Mars, low on the horizon. The air is soft, a caress of fleeting coolness in harsh mid-summer. A cricket chirrups in chorus with the tree frogs. The robins have gone to sleep in spite of the crazy hilarity of one or 12 coyotes downhill, a cacophony of laughter rippling the still night air like whale songs in deep water. The fan whirls while the dog sighs, sleepy at the foot of the bed. The cat rumbles, snug against my hip.
22 July 2009
21 July 2009
I have three big bags full of clothes. I’m donating them to the local hospice thrift store; I need the closet space. Some of the clothes are pretty old. Some are almost new. They’re my “fat clothes.”
They’re all up to four sizes too big for me now. Today I wear the size I wore about 20 years ago.
This is a big step for me. I’ve never banished my “fat clothes” before; I was afraid I’d need them again. But I know I won’t. I’ve learned.
Those stuffed bags represent decades of blumphy discomfort. They no longer weigh me down.
18 July 2009
This is the beginning of an unfinished story I wrote a couple of years ago. I'd love to hear what you think.
I was born on the reservation in Montana on October 25, 1969. My father, Terrell Gray Wolf, was 17. My mother, Rosa Spotted Owl, was 15. They were just dumb kids and they never got married. Terrell died when I was five months old. He got beat up behind a bar by a bunch of drunken Anglos. He probably deserved it, he was always getting too drunk and picking fights. He had a bad temper. That’s what my uncle Henry Spotted Owl says. When I was three Rosa got tired of living so she drank some Drano. There were no more women in the family to take me so Spotted Owl and his woman Jewel Limpy took me.
I found two little stones, a black one and white one. There was also a wolf tooth. This made me happy because I was named for the wolf. There was also a handful of cracked corn and a little, blackish, dry, wrinkled disk. It was about as big as my thumbnail. I knew what it was, even though I’d never seen it with my own eyes before. It was peyote. I remembered what Spotted Owl said. When I found the right place I should stop and wait there. So I stayed. I softened the corn in my mouth until I could chew it, and then I chewed the peyote button. It tasted terrible, but I knew it was right that it did. I just kept it in my mouth and chewed until I could swallow it.
The tree I was sitting under was nice. The shade felt blue. I slept a little because my legs got too heavy to walk more.
I stood up and walked a while but then I got dizzy so I stopped and just sat down. It was a good camas place. There was lots of tall grass. I thought maybe I would die and be like Rosa, except I wouldn’t have holes in me, so I waited. I wondered if I would be a human spirit or an animal spirit. I hoped I would be a wolf, like my name. I wasn’t afraid though.
It took me a while to find all the brown fuzz. Some of it was very deep inside her. But I didn’t have anything else to do. I was too dizzy to walk anymore. I was afraid the wind would blow me away, but if I sat on the ground like a stone it couldn’t. So after a while the brown fuzz was all gone. Ha’hahn’e said she felt better. I was glad for her, but I was very tired then so I went to sleep.
17 July 2009
16 July 2009
Dusk gathers, the shadows beneath the great trees deepening. The earth is dry and spongy from the fir and pine needles slowly, slowly dissolving into the soil but if he steps just so, even in his thick-soled hiking shoes, he makes no sound. The air is sharp and chilly; a light breeze lifts his dark hair and caresses his ears.
15 July 2009
Summertime and peppermint tea. They go hand-in-hand, like winter and gloves or autumn and orange leaves. Spring and changeable weather. You get my drift.
My reasons for loving peppermint tea? Three:
1. Gloriously refreshing on hot days, made strong and mixed with lots of ice.
2. Blessedly therapeutic boiled, steeped, set on a kitchen table and inhaled while tenting a towel over your head. Clears blocked sinuses in minutes.
3. A tea brewed from peppermint leaves is so whimsical and magic, it’s hard to believe it exists. It’s a faerie drink.
14 July 2009
Later, on the train, Tom took his laptop out of his briefcase and, sitting with it on his knees, started typing.
“I met the most intriguing young woman today,” he wrote in the journal space under the day’s date. “Her name is Emma. She works in a book shop in the Canal Road. She was wearing black from head to toe, a black clip in her hair, jet chips in her ears, a slim black dress and black Mary Jane-type shoes. Only her skin, rose-tinged porcelain, and her lips, pink as dawn, provided contrast.
“I think she is quite beautiful.”
13 July 2009
It had been a fishing trip, a fact-finding mission. Tom had known the man for years, and he was often a very good source of information, moving as he did through the shadowy world of arms buyers and sellers. A devout Muslim, he had no more moral problem with his work than did the Christians from whom he often bought his inventory. What Mohammed did was perfectly legal; in fact, he’d purchased this particular high-powered automatic rifle from the Americans.
12 July 2009
Church bells sounded through the heavy sea-fog, flat and fey, everywhere but nowhere in the small German city on the sea. The bells competed with lonely foghorns. Seagulls mewed. In summer, when the sun bathed the cobbled streets and stone buildings in clean yellow light, the church bells sounded bright and reverent, a soundtrack for red geranium petals drifting to the sidewalks. But when the wind blew topsy-turvy the Sunday bells wavered and rippled, and in heavy rain the peals sounded underwater, as if they were calling Neptune and his mer-people to worship.
11 July 2009
Mr. Wren and I bought three cords of firewood this week. We had it delivered – read “dumped on the driveway” – and then stacked, all ready to go. We won’t need it for three or four months, but there’s a quiet security to knowing our
winter’s warmth is already paid for and waiting. Now we’ll have the chimney sweep out with her odd, spiky brushes and traditional black clothes. She brings us good luck: no chimney fires in bitter February.
10 July 2009
It was the strangest summer she’d ever spent in sweltering-hot Northern California. Nearly every day in June was gunship gray and cool, but there was no rain. The daytime house looked winterish, flat and shadowy inside. Flowers bloomed without benefit of sunshine. Tomato plants grew. Haunting wind-chimes dingled in the breeze. Twice, thunder ba-boomed. Once, hail rattatatatted for thirty seconds.
09 July 2009
OK. I note that Blue Girl is doing the 100-word, 50-day challenge again. As you may have noticed, I have not written anything for quite a long time. Why? My muse has deserted me. For the last couple of months I’ve been unable to think of anything I care enough to write about. Or maybe I haven’t been able to think of anything to write about that I want to share.
Anyway, I think I’m back. I’m going to follow in the inspirational BG’s footsteps and make myself write 100 words every day for 50 days.