Fellow Felines, a long and perilous journey has ended in contentment! I am indeed in the lap of luxury, and having rested well, have taken upon myself the task of training my willing sponsors.
Life outside the orphanage is not the hardscrabble existence we believed it to be! On the contrary, it would seem that cat nip and kitty-kibbles are in endless abundance beyond the shelter gates! My sponsors are apt pupils, the dog doesn’t venture past the kitchen doorway (and is - dare I say? - as frightened of me as I of her) and the ceiling fan has not yet fallen. Although I keep a wary eye on it.
My demands have all been met, my expectations exceeded!
I have multiple sleeping places - couches, mattresses, and the indoor doggie house, tee-hee-hee - and my sponsors lay fuzzy blankets in each of these. They scoop my poo into a porcelain bowl each night, and my food dish is never allowed to go empty. I’ve successfully trained them to put ice cubes in my water dish!
This is quite the best home!
Never fear, though, dear friends, I have retained my dignity. The sponsors are allowed to pet me only on my terms. I have conveyed that they must sit in their desk chair in order to best reach me, and in that situation, they may pet me for as long as they please. In all other instances, the five-to-eight second rule applies – no longer! Periodically, the female sponsor makes so bold as to pick me up, but I’ve found that a smack on the cheek and a show of fangs is enough to deter her without causing resentment.
I will admit to the occasional lingering nightmare, of the sort you all remember me suffering with; I still retain a horrid fear of ceiling fans. Loud noises send me scurrying for the closest shelter and whistling is especially intimidating to my poor ears. My sponsors both carry horrific little boxes that occasionally emit the most piercing, shrill beeps (ie, fire department pagers) – they find this as frightening as I do, and scramble from the house immediately upon receiving the signal.
Perhaps when I find my courage, I can help them find theirs as well.
Rest assured, fellow felines, I have not forgotten your plight! I further your cause each day by being charming and delightful as much as is possible. My sponsors have room for many more of us! Ever yours, Giacomo Delight
Footnote: Dear Hoomans, should you ever feel called to the glorious vocation of pet adoption, please seek out a middle-aged to elderly shelter cat. Kittens can always find a home! Older kitties, not so much!
Isn’t he magnificent?
Where I live, you don’t see many long-horn cattle. This herd lives along the road we take to get “to town” and I’ve played hell avoiding them for about ten months now.
There’s a story here, and it has more to do with elusion than livestock.
My dad loved cattle. No matter how many we had on the farm, they were more pets than hamburger, and Dad fell ill about the same time this magnificent herd moved in up the hill. We passed them on the way to the hospital on his last trip there, and I slowed so he could see them. Mind you, my father had farmed all his life; he’d seen cattle. That, and he was weak and sick. But he pretended delight because his child so needed him to, and I felt, that day, such a bruise spreading on my soul, I didn’t believe I could ever recover.
Here’s another one.
A girl I didn’t know at all once held my hand as she died. We’d rolled up on that car accident - as we do, in our shiny rig – to save the day, and we didn’t get it done. That’s all. These things happen in our line of work. But that girl had a tangle of glorious dark hair just like my daughter’s and she wanted to live, and I lied to her when I said, “We’ll get you out of here. You’ll be okay.”
Ah, another bruise; a fearsome, horrible one. I will tell you - sometimes that girl still appears from nowhere to whack me over the head with the certain knowledge of my own stifling limitations.
So much is said about PTSD these days! And without belittling that status, might I suggest that almost everyone you meet is carting around a load of soul trauma? And the tricky thing about that condition is, it’s quiet. The soul walks its path with God but no one else. And if you don’t have God, you walk it alone. But you don’t talk about it much.
No one can see the size of the bruise or gauge the level of pain. The causes are so many and so varied that you can’t begin to guess the method of injury. But this isn’t a nice neat fracture to be iced and elevated; often it’s a gaping wound. Invisible to the naked eye, but so painful the victim is in danger of . .
Of what? Despair. Darkness. The utter inability to see . . . a blue sky. To hear a favorite song, to smell a dandelion. To feel love.
Ah, is there a point to all this?
Only this –it would be so good if we could be gentle with each other always. If we could try to help each other back from that dark ledge. You don’t know what trauma the soul sitting next to you has suffered or is suffering now.
That, and this – remember, if you’re bleeding, how your soul gets to go on. Whether you want it to or not. Your heart can break for good; I do believe that. But this thing we call soul remembers where it came from.
And sometimes it can even bring little pieces of that other place here. Compassion, laughter. Love.
People, if we have each other we can all be all right.
Have a beautiful August! Walk in the sunshine a lot!
Hello, new little writing home! Aren’t you pretty? I feel as though I could sip a cup of coffee and linger here for a bit.
A long and sorrowful autumn has passed since last I tarried in a webpage, and now winter clenches it jaws, shaking the life from us. My dreams have lately been fantastical, afloat in water the color of Curacao, with frog song like the noise of Muddy Waters jamming on the shore. Long walks in pink mist, a big hand cradling mine. In my dreams, I write, and the passage of time never alters this. Miracles and silvery piano chords, tarot cards and chocolate dump cake - all sweep along with the stroke of the pen.
In my waking life, Gentle Reader, I write – and this, too, remains unaltered.
Witness the little girl curled in the leather armchair with a notebook in her lap, lips pursed soundlessly around words she is making her own. The new mother with a baby in the crook of her arm, a pen in her right hand. The cashier who kept a list of her customers idiosyncrasies beneath the counter, the EMT who spilled her sorrows and elations into a journal.
All me. Writing, always writing.
There are worse habits, aren’t there?
But the creative process is like a drug, at once swaddling and unraveling the psyche. Imagine breathing life into a person, a setting, a world, and perhaps you can understand the addiction. For years, sharing such a treasure was unthinkable. My facebook page felt . . . trivial. Twitter? A madhouse. Blogs? Absolutely soul-baring, and that was never, ever what I wanted.
Until people began to respond.
And in turn I realized that I might have something to say, to somebody besides myself.
Publishing a novel was an impossibility until it happened. Until I opened that first box of dreams papered in blue sparkles - and I will tell you now, lovely people, that my little book did exactly as ordered, wending its way into the world and touching a few lives. Lives. So, both larger and smaller than I’d anticipated, but overall, something like August sunshine and hot fudge sundaes, everything good.
And so, I thought that . . . maybe writing isn’t very different from EMS. Maybe it’s the touching of lives that matters most.
Welcome to my webpage! May your journey here be magical!
Hope is the color of Springtime, the shimmery, lacy green lighting the hillside all the way to the top.
Does anyone choose their room color according to season? She sat on the floor in the middle of her decimated dining room and thought how it didn’t matter what anyone else did. Nobody existing on her budget should be drinking twenty-dollar mail-order coffee, either, but here she was, consuming it daily by the gallon. Because, well, coffee.
But back to the dining room.
Or, rather the ruin of the dining room and its much-anticipated rebirth.
The room caught the light, which was both its saving grace and its undoing. Because, while the sunlight polished the piano and glowed in the cupboard glass, it also highlighted the water stains in the old wood floor and the dismal condition of the ancient paneling.
And she could have lived with that, but the same sunlight warmed the outside walls and drew the snakes, who nested in the hollow spaces between the studs and sometimes dropped out where the paneling gapped.
Importing my blog onto the new website has been quite the feat. My team and I are still in the process of categorizing and fine-tuning the years of posts you'll find here. We hope you enjoy our work-in-progress library. Check back soon for updates!