Sunday, March 20, 2022

Big Old Cheese Moon

We saw the big old, recently full moon last night, looking like a huge cheese wheel in the sky! Turns out, it’s the Worm Moon, according to the almanac. And it’s not really named for the earthworms that are emerging here as it turns spring, but some beetle larvae that start coming out of tree bark about now. (Read all about it here, in the Old Farmer’s Almanac!) I am happy to see the sunshine on this first day of spring, especially after a gloomy, cold day of rain. I woke up sad and heavy with dismay, my brain scattered with tasks and difficult conversations. The week ahead looms risky, with a medical procedure for my dad on Wednesday, various meetings I prepared for in advance, so I wouldn’t forget, and which I fear, nonetheless, I might forget or feel unprepared for. Is this all part of the atmosphere when spring comes? I think maybe yes. And/or that continuing suspension of time that I felt/feel during the pandemic? Is it a natural part of the aging process? I do, relentlessly, write everything down now in list form, so I can check it off—but it’s not just the satisfaction of checking things off, getting things done, it’s also the need to remember to do the things at all. Is it not all memory rooted? Is some motivation gone, some desire? Has that been lost in the mist? In the dark gray clouds that obscured the big old cheese moon last night before it hung there so yellow and weighty in the sky? I did not see the worm…turn.

Saturday, March 19, 2022

The Parade

Here is a photo, taken by Merlin Mather, of the very cold St. Patrick's Day parade I told you about in my last post. This is me giving sunflower seeds to Ed, on the sidelines! Since that super cold sunny day, it has gotten warmer, then colder, then rainier. But the tulips, daffodils, iris, and daylilies are coming up! In yards and gardens better tended than my own, some are even blooming! Since then I have written several poems--one a day, in fact--and this will continue through April, National Poetry Month, adding prompts from one site (provided by me) to those of another site (provided by someone else), resulting in doubled poems in April. How will I ever keep up?

Also, how will I keep up with my reading? I did finish Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk, and now I want to read everything she's written. My library doesn't have actual books (plenty of e-book versions)...which I prefer, so I have requested Flights through interlibrary loan. But previously, also through interlibrary loan, I got The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow, which, as you can guess from the title, is pretty thick. Two inches thick. Plus, I am still reading Paradise Lost with a Zoom book group.

So many Zooms. Despite Zoom fatigue and mask-optional locations and lower local positivity rates, Zoom meetings are resuming or continuing in my area. OK by me. (I am going to a theatre matinee tomorrow thanks to a masks-and-vaccinations-required policy!) But yeesh. I am also grateful for the safe, in-person gatherings lately that remind me I am human. In green gloves...

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Sharin' of the Green (and Pink and Blue)

Emotional ups and downs these days with family and world. With weather and woe. Spring interrupted by snow. Books and poetry steady me, and sunshine! When I woke up today, it was 9 degrees. How will I walk in the parade? I wondered. In layers! It worked. The sun was shining, and I was toasty warm in boots, several socks, and various green and other layers, under a glittery green hat, handing out sunflower seeds for Ukraine on behalf of a candidate in the local St. Patrick's Day Parade. In Chicago, they dyed the river green again. Here, we had a small but lively crowd, who knew to stay on the sunny side of the street. Dates and duties, tasks and meetings, appointments and worries--it all crowds my mind. Then I visit my folks, play cards, and we love each other into a state of calm. Each morning, I write a poem. Each evening, I fall asleep on the couch, reading.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Mardi Gras Lost

I fully intended to write a blog post for Fat Tuesday, since Fat Tuesday is an actual category here in my blog, one of the "eight days a week" on which I am (supposed to be) writing. Since I am not, and since I missed Mardi Gras, it is instead a Slattern Day...and, I suspect, will turn out to be a Random Coinciday and a Poetry Someday.

Indeed, I notice this random coincidence in my current reading: a cormorant, a kind of black and white aquatic bird. Satan, a shape shifter, sits in the Tree of Life as a cormorant to observe Paradise in Book IV of Paradise Lost, by John Milton. That was a surprise,* as we usually picture him as a serpent. Perhaps that's in Book V. So far, he has also sat "[s]quat like a toad, close at the ear of Eve," trying to invade her dreams. He is surely up to no good.

*a surprise, even though I have read this book before...but it was decades ago, in college... Now I am re-reading it for a Zoom book group.

But, back to the coincidence. I am also reading The Colour, by Rose Tremain, about gold** digging in New Zealand, and on p. 212, in the point of view of the character Pare, is this: "She heard a cormorant shrieking in her dreams." I hardly ever read about cormorants, but here are two in the same week. Plus, the bad dreams...

I didn't even eat a devilish sweet on Mardi Gras. Instead I am eating Harry & David pears,** a naturally sweet gift from my son and his girlfriend for my recent birthday. The pears, ripening gradually, are so delicious! Ah, perhaps they will make their way, plum-like, into a poem soon, as I am writing a poem a day, for Lent, with 40 Days, 40 Writes.

**One was wrapped in gold!

And I did submit some poems, by the deadline, yesterday, to a magazine I admire. Yesterday was also the "deadline," as in "best by" date, on that blueberry goat cheese sitting in the fridge since Christmas, slattern that I am. Why? I loved that cheese! Why didn't I eat it on time? I had my reasons, but still. And, hey, it's cheese, it's probably still good, but also probably not something I want to take a chance on. Sigh...

So here, instead of blueberry goat cheese, is a beautiful cormorant, by JJ Harrison, thanks to Wikipedia. See that random coincidence of the serpentine neck?!