Saturday, December 31, 2011

Willow




      The last day of 2011 turned out blissful in parts.  Temperature soaring into the fifties (Fahrenheit).   Sunshine and those sorts of things that should make a person smile.  But Willow saplings have apparently been savaged, and it's possible those creatures with the smaller hoof and the big soft ears are venting a little deliberate spleen.

      But I imagine them wandering through the dusk, looking for that certain flavor, because I know the feeling.  It's ice cream. or chocolate.  Sometimes I'd kill for an orange, a cigarette or a large pork chop. And the Artist was right as usual, I should have built a stockade before even considering planting Willow out there.



Friday, December 30, 2011

Soup

 
       Singing ear weather, accompanied by occasional dizziness, spotty frost and those little green dots that drift across eyesight in a truly irritating manner. One solution could be exercise.  The other solution is to enter a competition with The Artist to see which one of us is more determined.

      She told me her fingers were itchy, and her eyes felt puffy because she had spent half an hour stripping Poison Ivy vine believing it to be Honeysuckle, but I wasn't to worry because she'd taken the anti-histamine, which sometimes worked in her favor so she was going back to to strip more Honeysuckle. I sneezed for half an hour then offered to make soup.
 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

End of the World


  
      Not long now until the end of the world.  It's a something many have become disillusioned by because currently there is political theater with spectacle enough to entertain that part of mental activity that revels in doom. 

    My own view of  the world's end, puts it in the perspective of yearning.  As a rule the thesis describes cataclysm followed by renewal.  We experience horribleness and then are refreshed by new disciplines, or what the socio-biologists might call "alternate memes."
 
    There are some of us who are so flattened by the base nature of our species they have envisioned the world's end as a sort of cull, during which we are first subjected to trial then some of us are sent shackled into eternity. And this I guess is what is meant by purity.

     Probably this time next year I will be in that long hallway policed by homeschoolers. And between now and then I have time to prepare my defense supported by evidence.  In more innocent days I thought a well used mason jar, but apparently there is no substitute for a small donation of cash.



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Emu



      A cast back sees intense moments which may at the time have been sensible.  For example I would like to believe that a Turkey Buzzard can live for one hundred and sixteen years. Then to discover this number to be a construct of another's imagination leaves me disappointed.  So how should I approach the statement 'A Wandering Albatross lives to be sixty years old.'

      A wise man would consider sources.  He would point to the world and remind me how full it is of inconsolable differences.  He would understand evidence.  "Yes," he would say, "An Emu walks three hundred and twenty miles during migration, because I have followed one." 



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memory


      I have a memory of there being snow on the ground this time last year.  Possibly I am confused, but there is a chance this memory is accurate, because this memory is accompanied by an object that sits on my table, and which I have good reason to believe has done so for exactly one year.  It has writing  upon its propellers, it was made in China and I admire it daily.

     I might remember too how exotic it felt to pull the cord of a gyroscope, watch it balance on a knife blade. And here on my table  I have a gyroscope that flies taking power from a tiny rechargeable battery.  I might also remember waiting for the radio to warm up so it might deliver the news.  The grown ups were obsessed by some problem or other, and afterwards the radio's battery was returned to the vehicle which I certainly remember being great fun to push start.



Monday, December 26, 2011



     The Lady Bird wintering in the room where I sleep fell onto his back early last night and he proceeded to set up a buzzing noise.  I imagined him weak from hunger and thirst, and I concluded that given my own condition, warm and full up under blankets, the least I could do was allow him his last moments of grief without earning for myself the title 'Angel of Death' in the last hours of what had been a most peaceful day.

 
     I knew he was somewhere under or beside, one or other of the sometimes useful objects that have residence upon the table near my bed. I knew too, that if I could find him, he might climb quickly onto my thumb, where he might rearrange his wings, and then I could set him somewhere, perhaps colder, so he might go back to sleep. For a few minutes at least, I was brave enough to share his pain, think about Easter.



Sunday, December 25, 2011



     So glad there is no perpetual winter darkness in that part of the world where I live because a total absence of sun made vitamin D does peculiar things to imagination.

      In Finland, long ago, The Yule Goat was an invisible creature that not only frightened children into obedience, but also demanded presents from the dear little things.



Saturday, December 24, 2011



     Let out early, and in time to surprise The Artist boiling Honeysuckle.  It's becoming a guilty pleasure for her, and one more reason to distrust the community of Deer, because apparently they are consuming the Honeysuckle vines that are most readily harvested.  And who would have thought how precious Honeysuckle could be.

     Three gifts initiated the horror that Christmas has become. Gold, according to the television, still has merit in a culture driven by fear.  Frankincense can no longer be found in the grocery aisles. And if you ask the assistant at the hardware store for Myrrh  he'll rightly direct you to the exit, then most likely telephone calls will be made to a government agency.



Friday, December 23, 2011


      The Green Belt Movement in Kenya has planted forty five million trees in an attempt to prevent advancing desert.  Since 1982 the Chinese government claims to have planted forty billion trees, many of them  as a green wall against the Gobi.  Years ago I wanted to work on the pipe line that took oil from the North of Alaska to the South of Alaska.  I thought it a marvelous enterprise and a great adventure.

 
     Increasingly I have come to think that one of the troubles with the "grand scheme" might be "who benefits."  Which is probably why more recently the expression "Public/Private partnership" suggests no more to me than  "Someone will get richer for no good reason."  I didn't always think this way. And I wonder when my downfall began.  Probably by the pyramids at Giza.  



Thursday, December 22, 2011




     I'd like to think the young Redtail has learned the lessons that might enable him to one day feed a family.  I think he might by now have understood that Crows are not so much excited to see him, rather they want to steal from him. I am fairly certain he has discovered that Rabbits, as they age, become sneaky and well able to look after themselves.  And I am quite certain that he has solved the problem of those little movements in the grass, that are sometimes breeze, sometimes Mole and sometimes Mouse.

 
     These lessons he will have learned mostly through a trial and error motivated by hunger and curiosity.  He'll look back on those first weeks alone with the sky and he'll wonder at how inept he might once have been and how fortunate he has become.  As well I'd like to think that he is wise enough to know there is more to learn.  And I'd like to hope that if he was awake this morning at one half  hour after midnight, he will have thoroughly confirmed the general opinion that members of the species I belong to can be especially peculiar when the ecliptic touches an equinox.  A serene and beautiful moment for us, less humbling for him.



Wednesday, December 21, 2011


      This past year, and I believe all years before, enthusiasm for seed starting began a month too early.  And this past year there was cold at the end of April into the beginning of May.  And every year there is high wind, bluster and drowning rain into June.   Then, around the middle of October, after the possibility of drought, there is a chance of harder and harder frosts. 

 
     Doesn't mean anything of course, because pretty soon now, there will be perusal of accumulated seed stocks, drifting through stores that flaunt the word 'garden' and that aimless smile that means warm weather is near.  It is the pattern of life, I guess, no more extraordinary than the migration of birds, the hibernation of tortoises, and all of us fool hardy enough to inhabit the earth.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011



      The infinite straight line maybe conceptualized as endless disagreement. Which I imagine is the prime motivation behind devotion to circles, where happy roundness always returns to a second chance, and often to an understanding of growth toward better-ness under a panoply well mastered by an idea of ladders or a pre-assigned something to be reached for, which itself requires more than a casual leap against the pull of gravity to achieve.  A teleology so popular with the political class, I guess, which makes solstice a good time for funny hats and mood altering beverage and other profundity.

      At the risk of further alienating solstice, I will also say there is an inescapable hierarchy within a circle, that however hard a person tries, he cannot avoid.  Rather than think of it as wheel or a disc on a flat table top, imagine the question "where am I?" Then via the circular conception of whatever it is,  you'll see time as the back of your neck, which is only sometimes enlightening.  And which is probably why I prefer the infinite line, where incident is never repeated and memory is not necessary.  As well there is a forecast of rain for the first half hour of Thursday, and we are subjective creatures.



Monday, December 19, 2011



      There is mood swing and some excitement for those of us who have found gainful employment in the mail order retail industry.  Days and nights of work are slowly coming to a conclusion.  There will be bonuses, door prizes and other such instruments, and already there are elf hats, candy canes and red slippers.  By this time next week, a high percentage will have upped their temporary home and will have headed south or west or north or east, leaving camp sites in this county wistful for gossip until boating and ice-cream season.

      Of the great irritations in the nature of reality is the existence of two sides, or maybe a thousand sides, to a single story.  I have always preferred the side of simplicity and the more extreme the simplicity the better, because this way sides are clearly defined, hackles raised and on into barking and growling and that sort of stamping around that makes for the high end viewing.  Suffice to say we wear gloves at work and recently the car park has been littered with them.



Sunday, December 18, 2011


      For those of us who like to look upon the bright side of the great dialectic, it comes as a huge shock to be reminded that 12.30 AM is one half hour after midnight, and there I was happy with the illusion that 12.30 AM was one half hour after midday.   This means Winter Solstice occurs at an ungodly hour, and I guess it was no wonder The Artist hummed and hawed a little at my enthusiasm for her mowing a suitable pattern during those moments the earth made it's turn toward Spring.

 
     A person has to admire the pluck, sheer determination and the presence of mind found amongst the creative.  Not once, during the vagaries or the give and take of this years decision making, did The Artist register objection to apr├Ęs midnight mowing in probably freezing temperatures.  So plans have changed a little to accommodate reasonableness and other such demands that suddenly I possessed once the the AM/PM confusion was resolved.



Friday, December 16, 2011




     I have been informed that this year of 2011,  Winter Solstice is 12.30 am Eastern Standard time on Thursday the twenty second of December.  Some of us may plant garlic, and if they do, I hope they observe correct patterns of planting which should incorporate the idea of movement and circularity. Something we in mail order retail have already seen too much of.

      This year, however, the awesome responsibility of ensuring that the days do indeed begin to lengthen falls to The Artist. And vague she is about the nature of the procedure, but I understand it involves a push mower, a pattern in grass and pacing about hoping for snow.  My own role will be that of excitable spectator, and I may be called upon to assist with rake and wheel barrow.




Thursday, December 15, 2011



      I am probably becoming a slug.  Granted there was a time when I was something else, because I can still see two legs and opposing thumbs.   And I am wearing socks.


     But slugdom is more than mere appearance.  It is a state of mind that creeps into the picture of self during extended periods of monotonous activity.  The cure of course is competitiveness.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011



     One analysis of Capital describes it as a child of what some refer to as a Protestant Ethic.  Essentially, to work hard, save money and invest that money in capital resource.  There is a wonderful purity to the analysis, a clean and crisp three part process that instructs the individual, offers purpose, soothes the brow, and suggests somehow that idea, free will, and good old fashioned determination serves the market place for goods and services, talking chipmunks, the color taupe, and on, and on into the fantastic of financial products and an android app.

     Odd thing about the Protestant Ethic is that it contains the assumption that we people know what we are doing.  I imagine Martin Luther too would have liked us all to work hard, save our money and invest.  Not certain how many of us might have foreseen the current incarnation, which seems to depend upon working hard, spending money and turning parts of the earth into even more temporal things.  But god works in mysterious ways, thank goodness and I am told he enjoys an experiment.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

 
 
     At a certain age much of the night time is spent wandering around in a rather pointless manner, which should be no comfort to those of us who still consider themselves young, or agile or discontented by the recent suggestion the Higgs Boson might actually be real.  My own solution to reawakening at least one assumed purpose of nighttime is a wander around outside in bare feet upon frosty grass.  And here, it's important to remember attire, because while Deer find nakedness in elderly Humans alarming, they do appear charmed and refreshed by a red nightie upon which a herd of small Reindeer gallop happily through snowflakes and Mistletoe.

 
     The professionals tell me that Deer have excellent night vision.  For my part, I can attest only to the truth of the statement that Deer see better under moonlight than I do, which in no way gives them a bragging right.  I, however, have over the years had my opportunity to refine a Rabbit chasing ability of which I am proud, so seeing a Rabbit out there on the path is a temptation no matter the time of day.  And I can pretty much guess the direction of a Rabbit's retreat, and sometimes I outwit them, a feat which even under moonlight I do not need the assistance of Deer to accomplish.  So next time, off comes the nightie.



Monday, December 12, 2011



     Powerlessness is probably a psychological condition.  Russell would ask me to define powerlessness.  He would ask me to define psychological and he would ask me to tell him what I meant by the word 'condition'.  Then he would completely dismiss me by suggesting that the word "probably" in my sentence has no use whatsoever. Which is probably why his greatest contribution to the thing that is me lies in his phrase "precision in language."

      Nor was Russell big on the word "spirit,"  except on one occasion when he offered the suggestion that sometimes reason was advanced   by mystical moments better grasped  by defining such moments within the context of a logical process.  Inevitably the empiricists see it all as a chess game.  The correct moves reveal 'true things', or as Plato would have it 'good things', but correct moves never prevented sheer luck from winning the big prize.  Which is probably why amongst our corporate representatives, 'calculated risk' for the rest of us is thought of so highly.



Saturday, December 10, 2011



      I think for me life might be too short to investigate the meaning of the expression "Android App."  It is probably something a person does when thinking about adding smiley faces to questions or statements or inquiries.

      Either way I packed in Toys, avoided the Crisp Plant and was not called to volunteer as a Picker.  All of these things are good news for me, but curious I am to discover what it is exactly that Pickers do.



Friday, December 9, 2011



      Could well be a Flax Lily blooming in the billabongs of Australia, but here in Kentucky some people are again having trouble with their keyboard. It's not so much the fade of letters, the absence of an escape button, rather it is a key which gets stuck and proceeds to fill the screen with the happy vowel.  Fun for a moment or two, while eeee's leap from the cliff and would continue to do so on into perpetuity or electrical error.

      There was a time when turning the keyboard upside down and giving it a jolly good what for, cured all.  But lately, an increasingly vigorous shaking has failed to produce obedience in "e", so I wondered what else I could try.  And here it's useful to know that while a sleepy Ladybird is able to hold fast during earthquake, she'll quickly surrender to the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner. More interesting though is why she chose "e" to embrace when there are so many unexplored keys off to the right.



Thursday, December 8, 2011


  
     Wittgenstein, because of his flip-flopping into the ennui of the "unutterable" is much maligned by the indentured, had in his repertoire the call "A picture is a fact."  Which is a long way from an idea of logic in language, and I would argue in a completely opposite direction to any sort of  mathematical charm.  So it is no wonder the defining of words is the work of sentences.
 
      "If a lion could talk, we'd not understand him." A little too long for a bumper sticker, more likely an evening serenade from high in the Ornamentals. And there is always that picture of a lion that suggests he might think me his supper.  Interesting to find "The Biggest Loser" on the television is more popular with those to my right, and "Weeds" on the television is more popular with those to my left.



Wednesday, December 7, 2011


      Three Towhee working hard along the Laurels,  Blue Jay still preoccupied by nuts and I believe there'll be a Close Mockingbird this winter because I have seen him confident from the Alatus all the way to where Honeysuckle vines are boiled.

 
     It's exciting for me this prospect of soothed nerves.  Too long now the center of my planet has been awash with debate and grizzly-ness.  From the backdoor to the out door stove is where all paths meet and when there is a Close Mockingbird there is a harmony.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011


      The Honeysuckle where I live was I believe introduced to North American in the 1800's.  It has a white bloom which can fill an early summer evening with extravagant fragrance and even happier bees.  Which means when the days are longer, and the light is gentler, an innocent gardener can bask a moment, run his hand through the soft leaves, feel the earth smile, and he can be quite unaware of a Honeysuckle's ambition to dominate the land, its trees and its people.

 
     Then after the first frost there are the few who can be found dragging Honeysuckle vines to the outdoor stove and boiling them up.  Happy hours in that sort of weather which makes the nose red and the fingers cold.  And there is not much more to do while boiling Honeysuckle than an occasional stoke between ideas of what might happen to a winter if there's not enough Honeysuckle.



Monday, December 5, 2011




     Once stranded in purgatory a mind begins to wonder whether there has been some kind of bureaucratic error.  It drifts from place to place, waiting for its case to be heard, and I would suggest that in order to prevent an equivalent to shopping frenzy at a Best Buy, a mind in purgatory necessarily has limited access to other minds in purgatory. There is no sitting around with associated gossip, no place to debate, no lunch room.

     I sometimes think how nice it would be if a mind in purgatory, possessed at least something with windows that can close, and perhaps a radio station that only plays Rolling Stones tunes, a stock of cold beer, a supply of ham or bacon sandwiches, a coffee or ice-cream maker and a good view of the archangel directing traffic.