Enough To Dream

His nose was long and pointy but very handsome — classic Greek-ish with no sign of a lump or hump. She kept touching his face as a way of intimately letting him know that she was with him, in all senses of the word. They seemed to be spinning around each other like butterflies as they advanced toward where they were going. They continued to talk and share their thoughts as they went ahead. They were in love. They ended up at a farmhouse as it had been advised to them that they would find a place there to lay their heads and stay the night.

Suddenly they were in a single bed together — a twin size where they just fit if they were close together — which neither of them minded. It was a plush bed with lots of loft and softness and they were under warm covers. They couldn’t quit touching each other and ended up embracing with long kisses even though the keepers of the house and their children were milling all about in proximity of their bed. Everything was in one large room with a fireplace and wooden floors and dancing children who didn’t seem to want to go to sleep yet.

The children kept trying to engage them in conversations with questions and one or two pounced on the bed and on them some too. The parents, (who by then were in a bed of their own right across from the lovers), admonished, though very softly and with smiles, for them to stop pouncing. The children smiled back at their parents and kept asking the lovers questions — smiling at them too while waiting on the answers.

The lovers didn’t seem to mind. They were in a world of their own and felt as if they were really only one and whatever they might do would be invisible to others and it didn’t feel, even the slightest, tiniest bit, any kind of wrong to be in a big open, warm room with quite a few others as they lay there feeling so much love.

She touched his beautiful face some more. It felt so wonderful to be touching his face and it made her feel just like she was now complete and all the puzzle pieces were fitted in their rightful places. She could tell that he was comforted by her behavior — not letting many minutes go by without touching his face again. That is what lovers do to stay together after all — touch each other with words and feelings and hands and feet and pointy noses that might just happen to be a little bit classic Greek-ish.

She loved to look at his profile with his chiseled nose and curly brown hair and strong jaw. He was taller than she and she fit right under his arm comfortably, whenever they needed to fit. They made excuses to fit as often as they could.

They must have fallen asleep because the next thing she knew, it was cats pouncing and they were, all along probably the ones asking all the questions. Where had all the other people gone, including him? It must have been another dream and the cats were asking when their breakfast would be put in dishes for them — trying to rouse her by pouncing.

The handsome man had gone where handsome men always seem to go these days — to distant places with her dreams only to be woken again another morning just before rising with the hungry cats. It seems enough to dream these days since dreams are not much different than what happens in reality — if reality is real. At least in dreams — puzzle pieces fit and men are at their best.

 

In The Pond

There were snails fully engaged in eating all the dead debris around the iris in the pond because winter had made the iris’s life fade away — at least until spring comes again. The snails are a great waking up food for the turtle brumating in the same cold water that was just barely warming up a little now that spring was getting closer.
“Hello Buster,” the lady pulling the iris apart said to the turtle lurking in the water, slowly waking up with the warmer weather and water and coming out to bask whenever her still-stiff and somewhat sleepy body was able.
Buster didn’t say anything back because Buster is a turtle and hides because she is a pond slider and it is her automatic inclination to race away from humans or anything big lurking around making any kind of movement.
Here the lady was with her hand in the pond fetching the huge iris clump out, taking the food away — the snails. She put it right back in once she realized that turtles like to eat the snails that are eating the dead debris and that the little lumps all over the iris were, in fact, snails.
Before she put the iris with the snails back in the water, she pulled it apart to make it possible for more irises to flourish so more snails could come along to eat more dead debris next fall and winter while Buster slept and then there would be plenty of snails for Buster to eat when she woke up again the next time.
In the mean time, as more irises grow and cover the pond the slider slides into to hide, the shade the proliferating irises make once they grow green again in spring, keep algae from growing as much as it normally would when there is also lots more sun.
Turtles don’t like algae, so it seems, but snails do a little and they especially like the dead debris the dying irises leave. It’s a good thing because as it turns out, the turtle likes the snails quite a lot — so, therefore, the more irises, the more dead debris, the more dead debris, the more food for the snails to eat. The more food for the  snails to eat, the more snails there are and that leaves as may little snails as a little turtle can likely ever find enough time to eat before she goes back to sleep.

Image credit: The Mystery Pond In Japan Looks Like Monet’s Paintings

Cooked Or Raw

Are carrots better cooked or raw? 

Better how?

Better for us?

Cooked.

But they taste sweeter raw, right? 

Depends on how they’re cooked it would seem. Carrot cake is pretty sweet.

Yeah, but that’s not just carrots. That’s a whole bunch of other stuff. 

Well, you need to be more clear.

How much clearer can you get than are carrots better cooked or raw? 

Well, as I asked, better how? And then you said for us, which implies nutrition and not how they taste. So there is confusion there as well.

Well, it would seem that if they are more pleasing, i.e. sweet, they might be better for us since we should be designed to want what is good for us right? And we usually gravitate to things that are sweet.

Should and usually. Therein is some of the trouble. And besides which, it depends on how they are grown. Some carrots end up bitter and are sweeter then, after they are cooked.

Are bitter carrots better for us than sweet carrots since bitter carrots have to be cooked to be good and all carrots are better for us cooked than raw and if bitter forces cooking, couldn’t bitter be better than sweet from the start?

Well, now you’ve really stumped me. Bitter isn’t always bad because, after all, you know the old saying, “Don’t forget your bitters”, so it could be that bitter could be good. But I’m not sure if bitter carrots are better or not. They certainly aren’t better tasting — at least not to me — but, following the don’t-forget-your-bitters line of thinking one could easily be fooled. They probably can’t hurt you. At least not much.

Bitter carrots might not be able to hurt you much but bitter people sure can. 

That is true.

Well, maybe the trouble is that people are bitter because they don’t have enough sweetness in their days and they should eat more sweet carrots or carrot cake or just get more vitamin A.

A conversation about what makes people bitter might be a conversation better saved for another day. Carrots were tough enough.

 

image: Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

 

 

 

One And Only

“I’m so angry that we all have to die,” she said.
“I know. Me too,” her friend replied.
“People have children early enough that they don’t realize what they are doing to the poor child. Why start something that will just end? Oh, of course, life is wonderful — but that is the point I’m trying to make. You finally get going really good and feel like you have a handle on things and have figured out what you love — and boom — suddenly your body stops working right. You try to dance and bones creak and collapse without warning. Things aren’t easy. Jars are harder to open and sure, you figure out a way around it — but when will come the day you can’t even make the new way work? You start looking out for that day even though you try your best not to. You realize that chocolate and sugar can kill you. You start eliminating things that are pleasurable so you can extend life just a little while longer. And then you regret that you didn’t do it sooner and wonder if the sacrifices will really work. Where was the help for that when you needed it? Now the information is available but a little too late to use much for keeping disease at bay. DNA quits working. It’s like a thingdesigned to fail. What’s with that!! Who can get DNA to behave. Can you? Makes you want to just say fuck it all and eat the damned chocolate.”
Her friend just kept listening knowing she was sorrowful and needed a space to rant and vent.
“I know,” her friend said again.
“I used to always say, when I was young, that when I got old I would sit around in a rocking chair eating chocolates and smoking cigarettes. Now that I’m older I don’t want to sit still for a minute because it might only be a minute that is left to sit or do anything — who would know — certainly I don’t. I’m scared every night and wake up in the middle of trying to sleep thinking I’ve quit breathing. I’m surprised when I wake up in the morning. I’m afraid to eat alone for fear I’ll choke. I’ve never felt that fear before. When you’re young, you just don’t know.”
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to get things just so-so so that I would have what I need to survive and be happy. What’s the point of having everything you need when there is no more time to enjoy it? I got all the tools to garden. Now some of them are rusty and certainly battery operated things fail quickly, electrical ones too. Nothing lasts so you finally realize that it is better to just pull the darned weeds out with your bare hands and that spending money on any of those useless things was wasteful and what better things you could have done with all that money like buying hand tool that could just be sharpened. But hands aren’t much good by that time either because by the time the electric trimmer fails and you decide to do everything by hand, your hands quit working too. Then it becomes time to just let everything grow as it pleases and in the end, you come to the conclusion that that was probably the best way all along.”
“Fuck this shit!” she was really angry now. “What was the point of any of it? All these things I’ve made and all these things I’ve learned how to do. For what! For what!!? The only thing good in life is to sit and stair at ants — ants just do what they need to do and keep on marching. Do you think an ant ever worries that someone will snuff it’s life out without warning?”
“The Rockefellers and Rothschilds have it all and what do they really have? Nothing. Nothing. Nothing worth a shit because as soon as they get it all they’re just as dead as anyone else and what have they really left for anyone who comes behind them — mounds of cash too tall to scale? What was the point? Wars, senseless sickening wars so that they could have it all. Fuckers.”
Her friend didn’t like the cussing and she knew it but she needed to say it just the same.
“I guess I’m just mad because it’s hard to think about all the good times now. Especially since all the good-times-people are gone and I can’t remember any of it with them.”
She settled back and took a breath and another sip of coffee.
“I’ll feel altogether different come tomorrow, I sure hope.”
Hope. She was remembering that that is a thing you can pretend might help. Change the channel. Maybe spring will help. Maybe a move. Maybe, maybe, maybe she’ll wake up young again and will forget that she got old. Not much chance of that, she thought. What good is reincarnation if you don’t remember anything? She also thought. A dogs life. If only things could be like they are in movies. She would go and watch a movie and forget that she might not wake up again tomorrow.
“You want to have lunch tomorrow,” she asked her friend. “Let’s think of ways to cheer ourselves back up.”
Her one and only friend said, “Okay.”

Image: Grannies ~ by Banksy

All The Intersections

What is it like to be happy?
Isn’t it time to try?
So much of life is wasted caring about things that just don’t matter — like matching all the intersections perfectly on a quilt — though it can be fun to try.
Once the trying’s done though, might it be better to let go so that going on to something else can happen instead of getting stuck there doing nothing but matching seams on fabric in a place that nobody else might ever know.
Unless, of course, all that matters is that only yourself and whomever you point it out to can possibly know.
As it happens, there are a lot of things to try and trying to get them all perfect can be quite a challenge and possibly, just possibly, a little bit like wasting time.
Does anybody really have time to waste? Only if they don’t want to be very happy.
Even though happiness is not a certain thing, it’s better to look for it than to not.
It might even be better to believe that you have already found it and better yet when others you love can tell you that’s true.

Trying To Laugh

Kit the cat kept laughing at Bog the dog because Bog kept trying to laugh too but nothing came out but a bark.

Kit really wasn’t laughing as far as any humans knew, but Kit didn’t speak Bog’s language so thought that laughing sounded like meow and kept meowing wildly thinking it was laughing coming out and that sooner or later Bog would get the clue that chiming in meowing was in order.

Whatever was still funny Bog didn’t know but kept on trying to ask Kit what they were trying so hard to laugh at since Kit’s belly was heaving in and out leading Bog to believe that Kit was still trying to laugh.

It started out with Bill the bird getting out of his cage and Kit and Bog thought Bill was quite the star for getting free and started laughing out of nervousness that Bill would get found out and put back in his cage.

But then Kit couldn’t quit because once laughing gets started it’s something that goes on and on until enough yelling from a human puts the kibosh on it.

“Bark”, “Meow” went on and on until Kit and Bog were starting to strain their voices and then Morris the horse came whinnying into the conversation.

Bill was shrilling, Morris was whinnying and Kit and Bog were, by that time, getting laryngitis — so laughing stopped being funny and everybody settled down.

Kit curled up and started purring.

Bog tossed the ball off the wall while ignoring Bill the bird sitting on the curtain rod and Morris returned to the barnyard stall.

No humans had to intervene and everyone had fun for just a little while.

All In All

Dear Diary,
Today was a day like any other but new thoughts have been being useful for adding hope that tomorrow will also be a day like any other but with more new thoughts.
The skies were blue and cloudless and I went out for some bill paying and to do a few loads of clothes at the laundromat. The machines are eating more coins than normal but the new managers are lovely and improving things so much that it is almost a fun place to be — very useful for reading a book, meeting new friends and getting a clue to all the different kinds of people who use laundromats. Some people just come in for change.
The managers were replacing the coin machine but made sure everyone had enough before they left and then told us all that we could call them if we needed more before they got back.
It seems like things are changing all around and for the better. Before the manager got back with the new machine, more people came in and instead of letting them flounder and try to find ways to make their own change, everyone piped up and offered each other help with whatever change they had left over that they were sure they wouldn’t need for their own clothes washing.
It just seems like the tide is turning — more good things are happening than bad. At least they are for me.
I didn’t have a free laundry basket when I left so took everything wadded up in a sheet, intending to get a new one at the dollar store before I got to the mat but forgot. I tried after and they were just too expensive so came home with a new box of Whitman’s chocolates and the folded laundry still in the newly clean sheet.
All in all it was a good day. I got up late, ate good food and got a lot of things done.
More tomorrow. God willing and the sun comes up.

Failed To Last

At 4 am this morning, (all night fidgeting and failure to fall asleep), nothing seemed possible but to get up. What could possibly be the cause of this sudden inability to get to sleep to save a life no matter the extreme fatigue? Coffee. It had been two weeks since having a cup. Forgetting that the indulgence had occurred, it suddenly dawned like the morning light.
Into the studio with the space heater to sit at the table watching videos of quilting until the warmth of the bed was enough of an invitation to try again. Success. Finally. Grumpy Old Men helped with their chatter in the background.
It wasn’t long before there was another getting up. But like a nap, the little sleep had been enough to cut the slumbering inclination. Another cup of coffee was had to start the sequence of routine fidgeting in the middle of the night.
And then — maybe because of the subtle delirium induced by adrenal fatigue — an old boyfriend’s number was dialed. It wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t of much value other than to remember why he had managed to become an old boyfriend — any manner of significant conversation where each other’s needs can be met is forever and always disguised under layers of unbridgeable and differing expectations — any fondness aside.
Coffee had been drunk, on the day that it was, because depressive thoughts were creeping in and needed a rapid and successful booting out — adrenaline seems to help some with that. Why bother trying to come up with something in short order for managing running away from trouble when coffee could work so well on the double — obsessively watching quilting piecing can help a little too — calling old boyfriends… not so much.
People come in and out of our lives and change us. What they really do is help us find ourselves through the process of elimination. Sometimes they have to be eliminated over and over because the unbridgeable differences act like a ghost and disappear in the middle of reminiscing.
However, looking back can often help with looking forward because it is reinforcing to know that the decisions you made were correct. Sometimes one needs to be reminded.
Fading fast again — today, coffee failed to last. Perhaps coffee should be eliminated the same number of times as the old boyfriend so that fidgeting in the middle of the night can be eliminated soon. It might be time to become a residing member of a zoo with a sign that says, “Look at me. I need some loving too.”

* This was an exercise in getting through a session without saying I, me, or my (first person singular pronouns) more than once. #Check

Whenever They Spoke

As he was walking by, he was talking on his cell phone. She recognized the voice so she stood up to look — she was sitting out in the sun. What he was saying, she knew a little about too — he was talking about his wife, complaining, which he often did whenever they spoke.
She called out his name with an attendant hello and he waved back at her but kept on walking and talking. Suddenly he stopped in his tracks and told the person he was talking to that he needed to go.
She walked to her locked front gate which was close to where he was standing with several bags of groceries in one hand and his phone in the other. She imagined he wanted to chat but he made no indication that he wanted to come in — so she didn’t bother to ask.
He struggled to get the other party to quit, but he finally did. She waited while he finished and then he flipped his phone back closed.
She hadn’t seen him in awhile and had actually been worried. Turned out it was because he had had a seizure and was restricted from driving. She offered him a ride but he was close enough to home that he declined it. They stood there and talked for quite a little while.
He was easy to complain with and so that was how she started with her side of the conversation. As soon as she did, she remembered that she had decided to quit thinking and talking in those kinds of ways because all they do is make life more miserable and never fix a thing.
She was thinking how easy it is to get into bad patterns and how hard it is to change them once they’ve been started.
He had lived in their little town as far back as she could remember. He might even have arrived before she did. She couldn’t remember if they had ever talked about it, but they had been stopping to talk all through the years.
When she first met him, he wasn’t married but was in the same house as the one he now calls his “wife”. All along he had been saying things like, “If I wasn’t with her…,” which eventually turned into, “If I wasn’t married.” One time he slipped and said, “If you weren’t married,” even though he had known all along that she had never been.
One time she had a card left on her car window that was a handwritten excerpt of Lionel Richie’s, “Hello” song with specific verses picked out to make the card giver’s message clear — “I’ve been alone with you inside my mind and in my dreams I’ve kissed your lips a thousand times. I sometimes see you pass outside my door…hello…” and then some of his own thoughts about how beautiful he thinks she is and how he will always love her. It wasn’t unusual at all for her to walk by his house as it was on her walking path.
The card sounded so very heartbroken but she never said a word to him about it. She figured if it was him and he really wanted her to know, he would say so.
She couldn’t imagine that it could have been from anyone other than him because there had never been anyone else in town who had shown even the slightest kind of interest. Well, maybe one or two, but none had been as sentimental as he had always been. It was very cryptic with little clues inserted that she believed were intended to give her leads. None of them meant anything much to her other than the excerpt itself which was the mood of his usual musings about her — whenever they stopped to talk.
He was a little man who was from New York or New Jersey and had a very New York or New Jersey dialect. He was now quite crippled and bent and was losing most of his teeth and came off as a scrappy fighter just like someone from New Jersey would be inclined to.
She didn’t think of herself as anything better — after all, she was getting quite a bit older too — but he had never been anyone she could find herself interested in and as the years had gone by, it had become clearer and clearer that they had very little in common. About all they had ever really had in common was that they were both lonely and glad to have someone to talk to.
This day was nothing different. They spoke for a while and he went on, crippled and bent and walking. He waved back after a few strides and said, “Go with God.” She shouted back, “You too.”

A Dirt Floor

Her house had been left to fall into disrepair. Social anxiety had very nearly disabled her. It was all she could do to even answer the phone or the front doorbell for fear she would have to engage with a human — someone she already knew.
She said it was easier to speak to strangers.
Going out in public was like going to war unless she was behind her camera talking to it, her audience, like she had an imaginary friend in tow.
It’s hard to hide ourselves from people who have gotten to know us some. Unless there is the distance of that camera, it’s not as easy to pretend.
It made her cry to watch Grey Gardens in fear of ending up the same as Big and Little Edie Beale — though she watched it from time to time to remind herself of what she didn’t want to become — or to consider how far she had gone.
There was something very strong about her countenance — even in her frazzled and frayed behavior, her eyes remained fully engaged.
Democracy was becoming an enemy — but an individual’s well-accrued wisdom didn’t interest her either. She was hiding from critique. What good was a consensus — she knew very well about herself. Everyone had an opinion and mostly they agreed that it would be good for her if she “Did this” or ” Did that,” — as if they knew how she was feeling in the core of who she was. After all, she was sharing loudly everything about herself. Fatigued by their votes — because, after all is said and done, only she knows how her shoes feel — she cut off comments. Everyone could watch her, but no one could reach her.
It isn’t clear if the disrepair was due to lack of funds or the emotional stamina she might need to hire a repairman. Either way, as she said, “It’s like trying to clean trash,” and that was her excuse for letting the inside go as well. She just shifted things from one side of the house to the other trying to improve the function some — but nothing ever left and she cleaned very little. She made it a point to not let anything new in. That gave her a sense that she had a measure of control over how bad her disability could become.
Humans seem to have a need to fill empty spaces.
What empty space was she really trying to fill — a hole in her soul, unsuccessful connections in her brain that had left gaps between synapses? She didn’t know. She pondered with her muted audience.
She was making lots of plans for the future — lots of projects that were exciting to think about were racing through the empty spaces in her mind. She had an income to accrue toward retirement. Even though getting dirt off of a dirt floor is impossible, sweeping it isn’t. She would keep on keeping on and as much distress as it might all seem to be, there was still something about momentum that spoke to her of hope.