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Big Island, Bigger (day 6)

lava pouring into the ocean on the Big Island


Shhhhhh sssssteam.
Blurple blurp blurple blurp.
Kapow! Crash! Splash!

The ocean is on fire. There’s fire in the ocean.

Whoomp whoomp thump
thumping under our feet.
Know what that is? booms Capt’n Shane.

That’s baby earth aiming for the mainland, baby.
Our boat got in the way.

Ch-chew ch-chew ch-chew, the cameras spit
through a steady steam of Ohhhs, wows, OH MY GODs
as our sizzling senses scream.

There’s fire in the ocean. The ocean is on fire.

 

Neon (day 5)

There’s something almost noble in the way
the red sign, off its hinges and ajar
flickers the letter C off and on and
off again at strange intervals

I picture the door, itself off hinges and ajar
opening into the dark-enough so I can
barely see the cracked-leather stools
saving me a seat at the yellowing bar

There must be musty dark wood paneling
and stained orange and black shag carpet
and I will shuffle in, not saunter or stroll
to order my OLD BEER as advertised

 

The care and feeding of love (Day 3)

four puppies

Oliver, Halley, Hubble, and Oscar


Love is goat’s milk formula

stuffed in a bottle and

delivered to puppies

who can only use smells

to roughly shove their mouths

in the right direction

 

Love is sleeping on the couch

in between feedings

and stumbling in the dark

with paper towel hands

from one spot on the floor

to another and another

 

Love is a soft lap

a blanketed offering

when bellies are full

but mother is missing

and so the dishes and the

laundry can wait

 

Love is the meetings

with cooing strangers

building connections

with applications and

references and preferences

to find The Right One

 

Love is the tears

goodbye, farewell

please send pictures

we do thrive on updates

as we shuffle to the kitchen

to make more formula

Today’s news (Day 2)

There was drama today as:

A radical wing of barred owls
taunted neighborhood dogs.

Budget concerns loomed
over infrastructure improvement projects.

A gang of puppies launched
a failed assault on a nearby food pantry.

Peace talks between cardinal and finch
began over the sunflower feeder.

A fire was contained by a tire rim
on the back lawn of the yellow house.

Tune in tomorrow as we consider
never tuning in again.

Soooo… hi.

Hey there… I can’t believe it’s been SIX months… How have you been?

Yeah, me too. It’s okay, I understand, we can just sit and not talk for a bit if you like.

Here, check out these sweet puppies while we sit here.

Oscar and Oliver

We’re fostering these two little bottle-fed Dachshunds, orphaned at birth. They’re not yet 4 weeks old. We’re tired, but that’s okay, we were tired anyway. They’re doing great. We’re all coping the best we can, you know? For us, helping the puppies is also helping ourselves.

Oh hey, I have some good, rather astonishing news. My daughter came back into my life after nearly four years. She’s 16 now. She was 12 when, well, when I lost her. It’s been… amazing getting to know her again. I hold back though of course, we both do. Self-protection is a healthy thing, and we’re trying to work forward slowly. I took her to the Women’s March with my step-daughter. Life-changing, really.

What a year, huh? You never know what’s going to happen next.

I think though, it’s really important that we remember some things we do know. There is hope. This world is full of good deeds and redemption and puppies and people who will literally give you the shirt off their back should you need a shirt on yours. Kindness is still a thing, maybe THE THING. We still have each other, well many of us do I guess. I had to burn some bridges, maybe you did too. I miss the easier times when I could just pretend everyone thought the same way about human rights that I do. I wish I could unsee the hateful things I’ve seen, and pretend when I see these people that I never saw those things they wrote.

I think respect is hard for people, I don’t know why really. There isn’t really a benefit of doubt anymore. No benefit at all. So much certainty, so much disrespect. In November a friend posted something like, hey empaths, shields UP! It was wonderful and needed advice. But I don’t have shields figured out yet. I can’t understand how people can’t understand what other people go through. I can’t grip it in my loose and wandering brain. But still, there are moments when you just have to draw a line. And so I drew lines. But I’ll never be the cool one walking away from the explosion without looking back. I’ll always look back. Mindfulness is a practice, and I’m solidly out of practice.

Still, I wish these people who I called friend well, in spite of all the declarations I read about how we’re enemies now. I’m nobody’s enemy, I just can’t take the hate. It vibrates at a painful frequency, I think many of us can feel it now in the air. Or, well, at least on Twitter and Facebook. It smells bad, and it stains our fingers and tongues. I want no part of it. No, I’m not naive, it’s just a choice I get to make every moment of every day. And every moment that I’m capable, I choose kindness and love. That’s exhausting sometimes to be honest. It’s hard to stay in your own movie when the horror films start rolling.

And so yes, puppies help. So does laughing, and thankfully we can always find humor these days. Maybe it’s dark humor, but hey I’ve always liked that anyway. Also, fresh air is good, and feeding the birds, and taking walks out in nature, batteries not included. And moving your body. I forget to do that when I’m glued to the couch, poring over things I simply can’t control. Getting off the couch at all is getting something done some days, and don’t let anyone tell you different. In fact, making it to the couch counts too. Breathing, that’s the place to start. In and out. Repeat with me, there’s more good than bad. We just notice the bad because it’s loud and smelly. We aren’t helpless, but I think we have to help more when we can. Even if it’s just holding the door for someone, or smiling at a beleaguered customer service worker.

Okay, so yeah, this was a nice visit, but I’m a bit tired now. I think I could use a nap or a shower.

It was good to catch up. Let’s try to do it more often, shall we? We really do need each other in these times. I’ll be thinking of you. Look me up, I’ll be here when I can.

Dear America

Sad Statue of LibertyDear America,

These are strange times. As anyone who’s read this blog before probably knows, I’ve battled depression a time or two in my life. Enough to recognize the signs, and America, it’s time to tell you that you are showing all the signs. Don’t panic though, that’s the last thing you need. It will be okay. Try to remember from all the times before that depression tells you lies.

I think the best thing to do is take a little time off from reading the news, watching the news, talking about the news, and I mean, it should be obvious, but do NOT read the comments sections of political posts on social media! Turn it all off for a while and let things go.

Maybe instead, you could take a walk outside, pet a dog, talk to the birds, enjoy one of your amazing national parks, or possibly just take a long long nap. Let yourself realize it’s okay to feel this way, but also try to remember it won’t always be like this. There will be better days again, and the world will keep on turning.

I want you to know, America, that you are so very loved. And you are enough, just as you are right now. I know everyone wants to fight about that, and we can always make improvements obviously. But please just try to remember you are enough right now, and that life is a journey. I believe in you, and I care. We will get through this together, and we will be stronger for it. We know this isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last, so conserve your energy and take it easy, and just breathe.

With much love from your adoring friend, and a big fan,

Liesl

Cracked

windshieldcrackedLook, you say, cracks are how the lights gets through! We’ve surely all seen that meme…

Ugh I say. I mean, sure, of course. But let’s not forget that they’re also the way things shatter.

My husband and I were driving this weekend to the beach, for a quick and supposedly relaxing getaway at a friend’s place. We don’t get a lot of time together with our schedules and money is more than tight, so we try to squeeze things in when we can. We were grateful to have this chance.

The trip had already been shortened by a day due to our flooring install being pushed back and then taking longer than expected. Anybody that’s ever paid for work on a house knows that’s pretty much what to expect. Still, my work life had been a bit stressful, and then with the floors, I was feeling pushed around and annoyed, and really ready to get outta Dodge.

We were only about twenty miles out of town, just settling into that we’re going to be here a while lull. And then – dun dun dun – a motorcyclist zipped in front of us far too quickly from the passing lane, narrowly missing us, and slowed down even more quickly. Just as he pulled all the way over to the shoulder, a terribly loud WHACK brought me back to front and center. Something had hit the windshield right at my head level, and the cracks appeared immediately on the glass. They were only an inch or two long at first, but we knew they would the type that grew. I was grateful to the scientists who made this glass so much safer than it could have been. Grateful, but also skeptical.

Truthfully, I was filled with slow dread as I watched the cracks reach like very slow fingers for the dashboard. My mind, being already in a fairly dark place, started to wander into questions like “How far down can these cracks go before the whole windshield implodes on top of us?” and “So what would dying by a thousand cuts really look like?” and “Why haven’t I written that damn will yet?” You know, the usual…

I watched with continuing dread as the two largest cracks moved on a collision course with one another. That’s it, I thought, as soon as they hit each other, we’re done for. The entire window will shatter into blades, and with my blood thinners, I’m a goner before John even knows what hit me. It was just a waiting game at that point. Sure, I knew somewhere in the still-smart outer core of my brain that that isn’t how windshields work. Of course the window’s integrity would hold. Of course it would. Except, what if it didn’t? The very soft and silly inner core of my brain made some convincing arguments, and the outer core, knowing when it was beat, went to pout in the corner.

Staring death in the face, I started to focus on the reflections of the sun on the VERY sharp edges in the cracks. If I moved my head around just a little bit, I could make almost the entire edge shine, so sharp and deadly, and kind of pretty too. I mean, death is pretty sometimes, in some sort of cinematic way. Ah, the light was getting in all right, and all I could think about was how much I’m like that too, all damaged and cracked, and I could shatter too couldn’t I? Any time at all. Yes, it was all very pretty, but it was serious too. The edges of the cracks were all shiny and deathy in equal parts. And there it all was, the metaphor looming, no, growing right up in my face, menacing and real.

Broken things hurt. Shiny edges can cut. Of course being cracked means you can shatter, but it hasn’t happened yet. Not quite yet. Waiting around for things to shatter is not the funnest way to travel maybe, but hey, having a destination sure as hell beats standing still. For one thing, there’s the view.

Anyway, the cracks were going to grow now no matter what we did, so we just kept heading for the beach. The paths finally crossed on the glass after an hour or so. I imagined (again and again and… yes again) the center cutout piece just popping into my lap quietly. I would pick it up and hold it in my hands, staring at those shiny edges almost calmly, just before the whole window crashed in on me. Yes, again, I knew it was safety glass, but still, a perfect dagger-sized piece was just pointing right at me. How could I not poke at that in my head? It’s what I do.

Of course, we made it to the beach just fine, and I let it go for a while, swimming in the ocean and forgetting, until it was time to go home. Driving made the cracks grow faster, and this time I was sure that the second time the paths crossed would be it. The end. “They’re almost at a right angle this time,” I thought, “no way even safety glass can resist that!” I contorted my head the whole way home, watching the beads of sunlight ride up and down the edges, seeing myself in the light and wondering at the likeness. Wondering at how cracked I can be, and yet so shiny too.

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