The air was alive over the land, like a flame burning…*

May 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

This is a few days old, but I didn’t post it, because the pictures aren’t working…damn wordpress…

I’m visiting my friend Jocelyn, who lives in the country with horses, cows and chickens (very pretty chickens and horses retired from the Olympics). The lovely whippet stained with groundhog blood needs a bath before being allowed back into Jocelyn’s bed, and the 15-year-old Cowardly Lion look-alike cat with enormous mats in its wild orange hair never comes in the house at all. The dog likes to shake the cat by the scruff of its stringy neck and the cat is unresisting, pleased to be noticed at all.

When Jocelyn was still married to Tom, who had become persona non grata to his children as well as his wife, the teenagers (all grown and gone now) began cutting pictures of eyes out of magazines and taping them all over the house. Tom was smoking a lot of pot then. He was being slowly pushed out of the body of the family like a splinter or a tapeworm. Now Jocelyn lives alone with her animals…and the farm manager and his wife and little girl…and I can loll in her daughter’s room all day, working on my laptop, waiting for the evening cool and dinner.

Talking to her about country matters—groundhogs, gardens and repairs—reminds me of how much of me is still left in my old house, with no place to relocate in my current life. I know that loss still drains my spirit, squinches me to a ladder-length of need and ambition. I want a house like I want summer. I’d plant lavender and mint for the smell on the breeze, and bake blueberry muffins and lemon cake. I’d walk outside barefoot in the dark and talk to the snakes.

*Isak Dinesen, Out Of Africa

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

_William Carlos Williams

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