Monday, December 29, 2008

Let It Flow, Let It Go

Another year ends...let it go.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow White Christmas Eve

The First Snow-Fall
The snow had begun in the gloaming,

And busily all the night
Had been heaping field and highway
With a silence deep and white.
Every pine and fir and hemlock
Wore ermine too dear for an earl,
And the poorest twig on the elm-tree
Was ridged inch deep with pearl.

~ James Russell Lowell

Friday, December 19, 2008

I Should Like to Rise and Go

Winter arrived two days early. We are in the midst of a major snowstorm with a foot of snow predicted. More snow is coming on Sunday. Friends from Florida called earlier. On the whole, I'd rather be in the South Pacific.

"I should like to rise and go
Where the golden apples grow;
Where below another sky
Parrot islands anchored lie."

~ Robert Louis Stevenson
Travel, A Child’s Garden of Verses

Thanks to for this amazing photo.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Loxosceles reclusa

It was a bug. The vet put Rock on antibiotics and he's already feeling better and eating again. He was curled up in his basket inside a dark closet for days, a sure sign that something was amiss. He does seek out his basket for comfort, the way a child will suck his thumb, but there was no doubt that he was under the weather, and in his delicate state of health a bug can be life-threatening.

This bug is a young Brown Recluse spider (Loxosceles reclusa) resting on the side of an umbrella stand in the breezeway on a very cold night. He looks fit, and that's exactly how he ought to look going into winter, but I haven't seen him since. He may have frozen to death, but chances are good that he crawled beneath the breezeway floor and found a cavern of warmth somewhere.

I like spiders and make it a point to leave them be. Still, I hope the bug that laid Rock low does the same vanishing act – for good.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The King and I

I remember the days when my Rachmaninoff was the picture of health, like in this photo, napping in his “catnip bed." He has been feeling poorly again and we’re in ICU mode, offering him spoonfuls of baby food every few hours and hoping he will soon bounce back.

Rock has become very demanding in his dotage, especially at mealtime. His hearing is going, so now he meows as if I’m the one getting deaf, hence the origin of one of his many nicknames, “King,” as in: “Yes my King, right away my King, I’m working as fast as I can, my King.” When Faith, a frequent visitor to this blog, noted that Rock looked “regal,” I was reminded that his royal Maine Coon cat lineage is obvious to many. All Hail the King.

Caring for His Majesty is soulful work and I am a faithful liege.
If only I could turn back time.

“I would have followed you, my brother. My captain.
My King.“

~ Boromir to Aragorn
The Fellowship of the Ring

Friday, December 12, 2008

Strange Day River Way

What a strange trip of a day. Some say it's the full moon in Gemini noted for obsessive energy, missed communications, (not the same as miscommunications), roadblocks and detours. Add heavy rain to the mix and I think of a line from a favorite Moody Blues song, “I’m really not so sure which side of the bed I should lay.”

When the sun came out, I headed for a wooded path that wends its way along the Charles River. In some low lying areas, the river had overflowed its banks and lovely little rivulets babbled happily along, as if they would live forever. But with temperatures falling to 20 degrees overnight, they will be sheets of ice tomorrow.

And the Tide Rushes In (2:56)

"Then the tide rushes in

And washes my castles away.
Then I'm really not so sure
Which side of the bed I should lay..."

~ Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues
from Question of Balance, 1970

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cabbages and Kings

“The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax;
Of cabbages and kings….”

~ The Walrus and the Carpenter
by Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872

Monday, December 8, 2008

Remembering Kia

Kia was an exquisitely marked Tortoiseshell, an exotic beauty even at eight-weeks. She died on December 9, 2003 from lung cancer at 15. I still miss her very much, especially this time of year. She came into my life after I had returned from a tour of the South Pacific, and her name is a Polynesian word with many meanings: let there be good fortune; good health; and welcome after long journeys. She brought all of that into my life and more.

I miss so many things about Kia: her churls and chortles; her ballerina’s grace; and the musical sound my voice made whenever I called her name.

May she rest in peace.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pearl Harbor Day

On Pearl Harbor Day

his father comes alive and walks beside us
along the woodland trail,
listens as the son makes magic
with words of love and remembrance,
the son who didn't get to say goodbye
does now
on Pearl Harbor Day.

December 1998

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Whenever I look at this photograph of Lake Sabrina in Wellesley, I think of "Ophelia," a painting by Sir John Everett Millais (1852). Her presence seems to radiate from the center of the lake, or maybe it was just the light that day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Standing in the Shadows

My Rachmaninoff, the Man of the Forest, is ailing. His kidneys are failing fast. He had been doing better, especially this past week, perhaps as a birthday gift to me, but new tests reveal the worst, and the vet guesses that he may only have two weeks left, maybe six, if we're lucky. I am consoled by the fact that Rock has never lived by the numbers and at nearly 18, still retains his youthful good looks. Bad test results be damned.

Still, I recognized a foreshadowing of what would be when I took this photograph a few weeks ago. In the face of "the strange unknown," represented here by lengthening shadows, he remains calm and courageous. He remains himself.

Now, for his sake, I strive to do the same.

Standing in the shadows of love
I'm getting ready for the heartache to come...

~ Holland-Dozier-Holland
and The Four Tops

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Splendor in the Grass

A blast of arctic cold is due to arrive this weekend in New England , it is December after all. Fields where the grass is still green will be hard to find by Solstice.

The transition from late fall to winter is melancholy in a bittersweet sort of way. One season is ending, another is beginning and The Circle Game continues.

Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower
We will grieve not, but rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

~William Wordsworth 1807 Ode, Intimations of Immortality
from Reflections of Early Childhood

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