far from home
i brought this handful of the joshua tree mojave desert home with me from california. i love the desert palette–the sun bleached colors with the bits of terra cotta earth and quartz that add just the right amount of earthy contrast. but now that these bits have been sitting on my desk for a week, i wonder what i should do with them. most of my subjects come in the house, just long enough to have their portraits taken, and then i return them to the woods surrounding my home. but these desert bits are so foreign to this place, that it feels a bit odd to willy nilly toss them in the woods. i suppose there is a metaphor here. but i am not thinking in metaphors today, i am simply clutter clearing my workspace. i suppose i will save the cactus spines (those crazy star-shaped barbs) lest they turn up in the dogs paws and release the rest. and now my brainless day of cleaning has just gotten complicated as i think through the meaning, desire, and ethics of wanting souvenirs, of taking a bit of one place on earth and transporting it to another. damn it all anyway, it was supposed to be an easy day of mindless clutter clearing and listening to podcasts.
spring in name only
march 1st is the beginning of meteorological spring. march 21st (the vernal equinox) is the beginning of astronomical spring. but if you live in the north, both of these dates are “spring” in name only. our spring arrives in late april if we are lucky, but early may is more realistic. in may, the woodlands are dotted with over 20 varieties of woodland wildflowers, the fiddleheads are unfurling, and leaf buds are bursting open. march and april are something else entirely. in march and april we get “signs of spring”; the red osier dogwoods turn scarlet and the willows turn golden yellow (triggered by daylight), the migrating birds start returning (sparrows first), maple sap start running, pussy willow softly explodes, and many mammals begin their mating antics. these are all exciting harbingers of coming warm weather, but here in the north the lakes are still frozen over and the snowpack is still knee deep. it’s slushy, damp, and still quite cold. so, for many critters, this is still a time of hunger. these squirrel chewed black walnut husks show a determination for finding sustenance that i find both heartbreaking and inspiring. clearly, the caloric energy gained has to be higher than the energy expended to get the prize, or they wouldn’t do it. but i’m guessing it’s a pretty small difference. We are all winter weary, but signs of spring are everywhere.
black walnut shells chewed by squirrels
sent my manuscript off at 10 am this morning. spent the rest of the day picking-up. not much housework got done over the last month, but, honestly, my messes are pretty great, i don’t mind living with them at all. i’ve just got to be careful or i’d soon be buried. if i ever send out an s.o.s., please send help.
oaky, okay, okay. i know you are probably pretty sick of this pink tulip. but today is march 1st. march-f’ing-1st. the day i turn in my manuscript. the day i get released from my computer. the first day of meteorological spring. and you don’t know this (perhaps i have been a little distracted) but it also the day my husband turns his manuscript into his publisher as well. my book is a STILL book, of course. his book is a family, food, and wine memoir of our families time in southern france. our original deadlines were not the same day, but my husband was granted an extension, and so our deadlines both landed on march 1st. march 1st. i’m just going to keep saying march 1st all day today. because i have been waiting for march 1st for weeks months. anyway, this little tulip sat beside my computer monitor and kept me company this past week. the trapped leaf that finally pulls itself free feels symbolic.
pink tulip bulb opening
Congratulations on reaching March first! I’ve enjoyed the pretty pink tulip.reply
Reminds me of a graceful ballerinareply
What a lovely record of it’s progression. I think I like this version best.
Congrats to both of you for meeting your deadlines! Looking forward to both books. And to SPRING!! Woohoo!reply
these tall grass leaves look like musical notation to me. i think it’s a jazz tune. cool jazz in the background music of my house. it is music i can have on, while concentrating on other things. anything with lyrics is too attention grabbing, and anything too familiar invites me to hum along. but the syncopated rhythms of jazz are just random enough for my mind to not bother trying to grab onto. i’ve had a lot of jazz on this week while i clean up image files for delivery to my publisher. pretty much everything is reminding me of jazz right now.
tall grass leaves in winter
Totally agree with jazz for almost any activity-creative juices just flow. I am hoping that the product you are sending to the publisher is your new book. I can not wait!reply
You think you’ve got a a difficult task, think of my poor children, I want them to scatter my ashes. In all the places I have ever lived during my life. They said they would as long as I left them enough money to fly here there and everywhere.
Oh Carol, I love your spirit so much. ❤️