Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Curiously Life Goes On

Though no one commented on my blog last week, several persons wrote to me about it. Perhaps I was being too personal?
Some how life goes on. Ashes are not falling now. Iran has not dropped a nuclear bomb. There are still over two thousand displaced by the two big fires near here, Trump is soaring in conservative circles, Oakmonters are fighting over how much money to spend on pickleball court construction, and Catherine is still coughing from a bad bug she got on a river boat trip up the Rhine several weeks ago. My dear niece Cheari has seriously injured her knee. Likewise I'm struggling to breathe in the smoke filled air while also counting my blessings that I am safe. Monday I took myself to Bodega Bay, only an hour from here, and gave my lungs a delightful rest and dose of clear air.
When Kelly, my housekeeper arrived yesterday it was to the news that two of her friends (and poor) had been burned out and she was going to Calistoga today to take them food and clothes. So it was with glee we cleaned out one of my closets. It felt SO GOOD to send four bags of clothes and shoes to someone personally.
Saturday is my friend Judy's 70th birthday. I can't remember 70, but it must not have been a big deal. She is giving a gala party which involves a scavenger hunt. "Judy," I suggested, "why not let me stay home and puppy sit Sage, since I really don't care about the fancy party and you will need a puppy sitter." She agreed. Then I came up with the idea of having Sage's footprint be one of the clues on the scavenger hunt. Last week we tried with little success to get her footprint, using a diluted brown water color. It really looks more like puppy poop, than puppy paw print, but that is what we are using. So Saturday will be a fun day for me too as folks ring my doorbell to collect the booty.

Friday, September 11, 2015

A Different 911 Memory

Today's buttermilk sky looks promising of a break in our heat wave. Fourteen years ago today I had a different awakening. It seemed like a usual somewhat overcast morning on Cathy Lane. I had been watching the news for an hour or so, having awakened early as usual, probably about five.  I saw the live crash of the second tower and worried about everything and everyone, including Lee's great nephew who worked about seven blocks from the trade center. (He was ok, but watched from his office window, and I think it changed him forever.) Eventually Lee came wheeling in on her walker, smiling softly as usual when she saw me.  She plunked in her red chair opposite me, watching transfixed, also. Kodi stretched out in his usual pose by her right foot. Dementia was already taking over her ability to grasp the here and now. Eventually she said, quietly, "something happened, didn't' it. " I was moved at her struggle to grasp what was going on. I think that is as much as she ever understood of the tragedy. It hit me hard. I realized, with heartache, the extent of her loss. On that day, perhaps it was for the best. But for me, it was an additional loss to grasp. A sense of aloneness swarmed over me. 
Later that day I got a call from my friend Mason who was exploring meditation by attending a Bhudist retreat at the zen center in green gulch, Marin county. Mason was near hysteria, begging us to come and fetch him, which we did. He was forced to hang out at our house for several days while arranging to get a flight home to Maine. Let's just say that inner serenity was not on his plate. I think he has regained his tranquility. I'm not sure I ever will for an integral part of me is missing, the part that shared awareness for 51 years with the joy of my life. 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Temporary Insanity

In spite of my many art activities, August has seemed to drag, as another year of smoky air has inhibited my galavanting about. Will the forest fires never end? A fourth fire, the Elk Fire, has just hit the Clear Lake area, and for one on part time oxygen that brings snarls and frowns to this old lady. So it was with an attitude of happy expectancy I attended the Osher Lifelong Learning gala preview here this week. We are so fortunate to have these Sonoma State professors bring their knowledge right to our grounds. I usually enroll for just one six week class and they never fail to tickle the grey matter and delight the audience, which usually runs from 50 to 100. So I watched with excitement each presentation: Mondays, the Ebb and Flow of Civilizations (comparing the Egyptian and Mayan with our own), Wednesdays, The Bomb's Early Light, examining the development of the A bomb including anti-nuclear concerns in the present day, and Thursdays, Movement and Style, examining California Art and Beyond looking at 100 artists and visiting galleries in Sonoma County. All three presenters were dynamic, personable, and enticing. In a moment of temporary insanity I put my money down on all three. In addition October brings our big art show, resumption of Ikebana class, and a weekend workshop with Myrna Wacknov I am in charge of. Please send referrals for local psychiatrists for I am imagining I need one.  I'm wondering if the heirloom tomatoes I have been eating every single day are affecting my thinking?