This is a not very good picture of a really beautiful scene. Alex called me to the porch to see the red-shouldered hawk in the jacaranda tree. I knew I couldn't get any closer without spoiling the moment, so I did what I could with my phone. I love it. I love that there are probably thousands of gorgeous photos of red-shouldered hawks, in books, on the Internet. I love that I could write an essay about the wonder of seeing this bird in our yard, how we worry about our hens, and implore him to go after the gophers, rats. I love that hawks never sound like I imagine they should... bold, and foreboding. No, they are shrill. They sound more imploring and uncertain than predatory and fierce.
I love that a bad picture, so long as it is familiar, and can recall something special, can be a good
We prepared a harvest feast, and shared our dinner with Janece and Paul and Amira, and then we waited for the Harvest Moon to rise. And then I took another bad good picture. The moon could be a garden light suspended above the neighbor's house, the white chair belongs on the porch, the Viking tent is waiting to be repaired, the lawn has lawn mange.
I love this bad picture that brings back that moon, and good company, the perfect weather, with no mosquitos, surprising Amira with birthday treats and wishes, how good slightly burnt Brussel sprouts can be. We stayed up late watching music videos.
Here is a bad picture of our cat. Can you even see that there is a cat? I could have zoomed in, I could have skipped it all together... but I like to remember that he was small, practically obscured by house and blue paint, in the darkest shadowed corner. Cairo in his window. Cairo surveying his domain, observing birds and dogs, and all the comings and goings of the neighborhood. Cairo, waiting for us.
Later, as we were leaving on bicycles, I looked back, and saw evening lights and our Bird House dappled by tree shadows and looking good and homey, and so balancing my heavy bicycle, I *snapped* a picture, to remember the moment. And what it makes me think about is the tension between riding my bicycle, and seeing one beautiful sight after another, but never (or very rarely) stopping to take a picture. It's a bit torturous to not take pictures, to pass on capturing a pretty gate, a funny dog, the plumeria, clouds, trees, big views, little details. But it's a bit torturous to stop, too, because the ride is exhilarating, the breeze soothing, and though I want to capture what I am seeing, I am aware that it's not going to look the same, feel the same. I pedal on, taking it all in, like a moving picture.
Confession: I am very lucky. Is this a "confession" or a realization and admission?
I am not sure. But, I have been enjoying support, encouragement, and opportunity, and together with space and time, I am not sure that those don't make me incredibly fortunate. I make art, and dabble, learn, practice, play, rest, heal, try, and try, again. Only company, and world peace could make it any sweeter. (And an unfailing success for keeping the house in order... that would certainly make things very very sweet.) I am enrolled in 2 art classes, a third one starting next month. I took a printing class, online. I've been designing, carving, and printing. I have access to clay, and a kiln, and there is pottery making at my fingertips! I want to embroider, paint, sew. I want to keep up the garden, make lilikoi curd, chiles rellenos, paint Maria's room. So much! I am lucky. I had a laugh at myself, because I have been feeling oppressed, concerned maybe... because it feels like too much, all the fun, all of the chances to play, and things I am dabbling in. I do hurt, and tire easily, but it was just the worry about being "spread too thin" that makes me uneasy. It makes me anxious, worried about what's being neglected, worried about what won't be attended, figuring out how to prioritize and manage the fun AND
the laundry. And the laugh came because in the middle of this fretting, when I went to buy pencils for one of the classes, I saw this pretty yarn, on sale, and I couldn't resist. What to do when overwhelmed with too much to do? Start another project, of course!
I progressed very quickly, for 2 reasons: I was obsessed with seeing how the variegated yarn would reveal itself in each row, with each gradual change in color, and I was supposed to be
gathering documents, bills, receipts, reports, and anything related to drunkladydriver, the hearings, and accident stuff. Here we go: the civil case. And I should be relieved(?) to hand all of this over to professionals, right? But no. Really, it all feels like poking a wound, exposing myself, and my vulnerabilities, and shortcomings, my muddled brain, fragile emotions. Nothing is easy. Except, maybe sitting with variegated yarn and turning it into a blue wave to wrap myself up with and hide. Crocheting is easy, taking bad pictures is pleasant, riding my bicycle and feeling cold and distracted is a relief, planting Gomphrena, roasting peppers, carving rubber into stamps, holding my pillows... those I can manage. But gathering bills, calling insurance companies, recalling her name,
and recounting what happened
is excoriating*, and exhausting, and I don't feel relieved or brave, or happy doing it.
I meant to write "excruciating," but wrote "excoriating" and had to look it up... and it might do as well as "excruciating." (Excoriate... damage or remove part of the surface of (the skin).
synonyms: abrade, rub away, rub off, rub raw, scrape, scratch, chafe, damage
This morning I emailed loads of facts, figures, and paperwork to our attorney. I'm sure it's not complete, that I'll need to find documents, or be asked to fax. God, don't ask me to fax stuff. Or make sense of figures and details, or ride in a car.
But, I did something of it, and I feel super entitled to go buy 4 more skeins of variegated yarn, curl up with my pillows, take more pictures.