Saturday, January 20, 2007

Green Velvet Lining

From the hilltop where my little house sits, living green things reach for the sky as far as the eye can see. The little latina who lived there before us stood at the back window before moving out and said "Every day I stand here, and look at this view, and thank God I'm alive."
We share the place with a loud blue jay couple and the hummingbirds who pass through in the spring if our blossoms are inviting enough. And all through the summer, various flowering plants take turns: first come the apricot and peach; then three different colors of camelia; then roses and peasblossom for Mother's day; then three more of oleander. There are a hundred different shades of green. Ivy makes even the fence come alive.

If the known universe turned to nothing all around and left only my yard, I could lay on my grass all spring and think how lucky I am.

No matter which way I drive home, trees taller than buildings stand along the road. To the east, the American River cuts a gorgeous canyon with too many invitations to accept in a single summer. To the west, the Bear River winds cold and clear to secret places. To the north, the Yuba, with its white rocks and waterfalls, keeps every promise it makes.

It seems foolish and ungrateful to entertain thoughts of discontent. But I do.

Which is only OK because if Nature has a voice, the first and last words out of her mouth are "Forgive yourself," uttered as bookends to her standard chorus of "I will be the death of you."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Daily (song)

Every day starts with a punch in the gut. But you rise and shine anyway. And no one wants a friend who's a gaping wound, so you shake hands and smile. It makes sense.

Every day starts with a kick to the throat, but you swallow it whole because no one wants to work with a choking toad--so you just go. You unknow.

Talking about it isn't going to change anything. And if it follows you in the dark, nobody cares. And even if somebody does, it isn't going to change anything.

And every day the sun rises on the same collection of compromises. And you pay down the interest and it hounds you like a mortgage. And speak--but never the first thing you're thinking--and dream, maybe--but only when your brain stabs itself for forgetting. Or pretending.

Always next to you, a knife's length away, standing at an angle where no one can see, waiting for the sun to drop like a stone so it can follow you in the dark.

So hope you don't gush. Hope you don't give up. Don't choke. Don't crack up. You have a place you can go to where nothing is funny or going to get better. That's something. Suck it up.