Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

"...besides love, independence of thought is the greatest gift an adult can give a child." - Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One

For old quotes, look here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Memories of Flight

Have you ever found yourself standing on the edge of a cliff, or atop a tall building, or in a place where the edge of solid meets the edge of sky with no boundaries between them?

In standing in that place with no boundaries, looking outward, did you see the infinite, finite blue, the great expansive disc the never gets closer, however far you travel?

Looking down, did you see the earth below?  Did you feel yourself leaning forward a bit more, a bit more, a bit more?  Feel the pull of the far distant ground drawing you in?  Feel yourself answering the call with tiny steps until you teeter on that line?

I was very young when we flew in the helicopter.  The man landed in the yard and frightened the horses and Mom put us in life jackets and into the dragonfly's head and we rose like a bubble and floated out over and around and under and I don't remember where, but I remember the feeling of being up, and being so small, so short, that I had to stretch to see out the window, and I remember sunlight on the water and wonder.

I used to sail.  Nothing big, nothing fancy, and nothing requiring more skill than a young, not-yet-teen, then-early-teen could manage.  A sunfish, and a four-twenty (I have no idea what it was actually called, only what they called it down at the harbor, and it was bigger than a sunfish and carried  a few people and I didn't like it as much).  I liked to be alone on the water, skipping across the waves, letting the wind carry me where it would.  It was a kind of flying without wings.

I flew on airplanes a lot as a child, shuttled back and forth between family homes.  I liked it.  Delta was nice but Eastern was my favorite (I mourned them when they shut down).  I liked it best when I could look out the window and see clouds below and sky above and feel as if there was no Earth to land upon.  I pressed my face against the plastic and wished I could somehow phase through it to the other side, certain that so high up I couldn't fall but would soar.  The smaller planes, the puddle jumpers, were even better.

I never feared falling from the sky.

I still don't.

On the edge, feeling tugged, I remember mechanical flight.  More, I remember a time, a place, when there was nothing between me and the air.  If I let myself take that one last step, gravity will not snatch me to earth, my memory tells me.  I will rise, and rise, until I'm just a speck, unfettered by the concerns of the below-world.

It's a leap of faith, though.  What was isn't what is, and maybe I will make a resounding splat.  The question is, is it worth the risk?

Do I let myself rely on these nebulous memories of flight, or do I remain anchored in place ever more?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


My mother knit a scarf and hat for the Evil Genius a few years ago.  Bright green yarn shot through with other vivid colors.  When we had the Great Mouse Invasion of the van the next year, the rodent gnawed on them, leaving holes.

Such a thing can be repaired, but Mom found it easier to simply use the last of the yarn to make new ones.

I still have the old ones.

They'll never be the same, even if I could mend them, but even full of holes and slowly coming undone, I can't bring myself to toss them away.

I cling to things.

Even when they're gnawed, worn, falling apart.


But sometimes...


Sometimes  I DO let go.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Prayer

Help me do good today.
Let me shine with your light.
May I be compassionate.
May I be kind.
May I be loving.
May I be my better Self.
Help me do good today.
There are times when I am less that the above.  Times where I strive simply not to do harm, when doing good feels far beyond my reach but I reach anyway.

Never, despite all of my madness or anger or fear or sorrow; never, despite the bitterness I have felt at human iniquities; never have I thought that anyone else should suffer or die because they didn't think, act, believe, worship, love or live as I do.

If we collectively worried less about who or how our fellows are loving and worried more about how we could do good today...perhaps the world might become a gentler, kinder, friendlier, happier, more pleasant place to live.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Memorial Day

Photo found here and copied entirely without permission but not without respect.
For a history of this day, go here. Or here. Or here. In a nutshell, Memorial Day is for remembering the fallen.  Perhaps one day, we won't have any new graves to decorate. Until then, I remember and (as best I can) I honor.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrea

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead.  Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from flailing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Friday, May 20, 2016

For the Dead

I have been dreaming of the dead.  Of?  With?

They've been with me.

We talk.

Not ghosts.  Ghosts don't bother with me.  No, really - haunted places are suddenly not haunted when I'm around, and I have plenty of stories to back that claim.

They're kind of oblique, slippery, like they've forgotten how to say things.  They feel around for words and meanings and try to catch a hold of what they want to say, but what's clear to them is mud to me.

Mostly I like sitting with them and remembering good times.  We laugh.

Shayne's been around, and John Watson, and my grandfather.  Someone who is either my father's mother or Amelia Earhart dressing in old-timey flying togs has come to call.  Tom Swirble.  Even Miss Pat, my father's step-mother.  I really liked Miss Pat.  I never got to say farewell to her - I was in boarding school and no one told me she was ill, and when she passed I wasn't given the option to go to the funeral.  At the time I felt like no one wanted to be bothered with me, and I was left to mourn at school.  I mourned quietly and never let anyone see my tears.  That wasn't the beginning of a trend, but it certainly helped cement the behavior into place.

So, yeah, the dead are on my mind and I felt like posting some of my thoughts/rituals regarding the passing from one world to the next.

I believe that we honor the dead by living.

To me, Death, that incarnation of immortality, the archetype, is no one to be feared or hated.  Death is the final lover,  the last dance.  The kiss of Death is what carries us away, and that embrace is the ultimate comfort.  I don't seek Him (for me, he is male.  It is what you need it to be) but I won't run from him when it's my turn.

Prayers for the dead:

May the waters receive her gently,
Wash her clean of all sorrow,
Heal her spirit
Carry her home
May the fire burn brightly for her
Turn her burdens to ash
Warm her spirit
Light her way home
May the winds lift her softly
Clear away her confusion
Help her spirit soar
Help her fly home
May the earth embrace her
Wrap her in a loving embrace
Transform her once more
Now she is home

May her journey to the next life be swift and easy.  May she leave behind her all memory of sorrow or pain.  May she carry with her the memories of love and laughter and all that was good in her life.  May she be met with joy and fellowship by those who went before.  If she returns to the circle once more, may she be known by those who loved her in this life.

I'm the one who will laugh at a funeral.  I will tell the outrageous story.  I will remember how their eyes lit with mischief and how they taught my children inappropriate things.  I will not likely weep where you can see, but laugh?  Oh, yes, I will.  I remember the living.  The dead, I honor, but they are gone and what is left is a distillate of recollection.  I wish it to be more sweet than bitter, and so I invoke Giggliata, goddess of mirth and merriment, and I send my beloved dead away on a tide of happy tales.  I hope when I die, if anyone mourns, they'll mourn with jokes and stories full of warmth and humor.

What about you?  How do you feel about death and dying?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day at Casa de Crazy

I'm a bit late in the day writing this, but I haven't had a chance to open up Albino Bob the Wonder Computer until just now.

Strictly speaking, most of Mother's Day wasn't actually at Casa de Crazy, as we opted to haul our little gaggle of chaos on up to Mom's to celebrate there.

Sprout decided that for other's Day, I should have her company in the big, comfy bed at about 3:00 AM and enjoy her thrashing about and general covers-hoggery.  She's a giver, that one.  She also decided that I needed to have her little squeaky toy version of Grumpy Bear of Care Bears fame (Mizz A will understand better than most what a big deal that is). 

We slept in, if "slept in" means I was thrashed by my daughter, walked on by cats, and had to pee twice, all before 10:00.

After giving up on any more sleep, I decided to give the mama cats in the garage a Mother's Day treat - they're being such wonderful mamas, especially for first-timers, they deserve a little something special.  I mixed up some cat food with drippings from the chicken I roasted last night, and then added a little chopped chicken meat.  They appreciated it, and I loved on the babies for a while.  Oh, lort, these kittens are freakin' cute!

Then it was off to the grocery store to get lunch, some flowers, and a cookie cake, and on up to Mom's.

Mizz A joined us.  It was nice, laid back.  We had lunch, the kids and Mizz A played out in the yard and Mom and I played in her garden, then we enjoyed some cookie and came on home.

Home again, I've been doing dishes and drying laundry and am now about to fold a couple of baskets of clean clothes for the kids.

For me there were no flowers, no balloons, no breakfast in bed or spa day, none of the things that are supposed to be the usual Mother's Day...but I'm good.  I enjoyed my Mom, I enjoyed playing in her garden and chatting with her and Mizz A, enjoyed listening to my kids play, and I even enjoy (maybe just a tiny bit) folding the laundry and getting the dishes done.  I'm going to enjoy the fried chicken I picked up on the way home, and the mashed potatoes and caramelized canned corn I'm making for dinner, and I'm going to enjoy watching a movie of some kind after the kids and I come in from playing outside/watering the garden.

Simple gifts, yo.

Happy Mother's Day to any and every person who mothers, in whatever fashion.  We're pretty freakin' amazing.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy Beltane (another re-post)

Happy Beltane, for those who celebrate.

If you'd like to know a bit about the holiday, go here. Or here. Or here. Or Google search Beltane and duck before your computer spits out a load of links. When you're done reading, come back and giggle because I said "load of links". I won't tell.

Meanwhile, perhaps I will find something to burn and roast marshmallows over this evening, the closest thing to a Beltane celebration I'll have this year. Sigh.