What is that, you might ask there in the dawn darkness? It is snow. Snow in April on the ornamental cherry blossoms and crowning rhododendrons outside my bedroom window this morning. Snow on the newly minted street tree leaves, the elms, and the maples.
I was talking to the freshly germinated beet seedlings in the living room on top of the big bookcase as I watered them gently with a spoon how lucky they were to be inside right now. I said that to the spinach seedlings and the one Early Girl tomato plant, bravely coming up. Wish them luck. I did not have successful seedlings last year in terms of having them gain enough vigor to survive.
The catnip plant out on the patio that Carlo personally oversees in rebounding already as we start to get the melt off. One of my students had a big branch fall from one of her trees onto her neighbor’s egress and as she is higher up than me, her stair framing camellias tree branches were so laden with snow this morning she had to schooch down her front steps on her bottom to get out and see.
There is nothing precedented about this here. Sigh.
So much for that precedented year we all longed for. Of course, that was already blown to bits by the horrible war in Ukraine. My former facilitator is still doing her morning Tonglen practice with folks in Ukraine, every day, wishing them ease and wellbeing, like the trees that take in our CO2 and breathe out oxygen, the group together takes in the pain and suffering and breathes out kindness and skillful peace.
I met with her later in the day on a Zoom call focusing on the poet Gary Snyder and his friends. It was a lovely chat. Most of the folks on the call had been to the Oregon Camellia Festival on Saturday. One of the women’s husbands is the head of the Oregon Camelia Society. She says he has 400 different plants. She said he very much wanted to give up this role and they were teasing me about taking it.
You know you have a good group of skillful communicators if they can tease a new member on the first encounter in such a warm way. Two of the people on the call are the most skillful facilitators I have ever met. They are both in their early 70’s they have been doing this for years. I have intense social anxiety and naturally assume that other people don’t like me (it is a joke in my family by now) but they made me feel so welcome. And it was a fun and interesting conversation on a level about poetry that I haven’t had in many years.
Next month we will be talking about Shakespeare. It is his birthday.
A love of books and theater are the basis and apparently a couple of the members are men that participated in the Shakespeare in the prisons program that the main facilitator ran until Covid shut the program down. They have served their time and been released.
It was a perfect rainy day afternoon activity.
I don’t know if this is a typical stop that happens on the being retired continuum, but I feel like all the parts, the sections, of my life are weaving themselves together and integrating.
It has been all work and yoga and the activities of daily living for a long time pretty much for the last 11 years. I often tell little stories in my morning classes having to do with the movement, or current events or the poem I am reading.
One of my students told me that I should write a book full of these stories this morning. It is interesting that I don’t write about them here. I keep focused on the present here.
Last week I was telling them about a hike I went on after a bad burn and the trails were only then reopened at Pt. Reyes National Seashore on an Easter morning. Another student said, that almost is a poem, and I know I wrote a poem about that hike, but I have no idea where it is. On an old computer probably.
I have all of Mr. Finch’s poems. We printed them all out for his family.
But mine are all over the place. One of the subtexts of our conversations yesterday was the lack of visibility of women artists during the time of the Beats and the inheritors of the legacy of the Transcendental poets and I am so glad we are moving away from that.
Over the weekend I watched all three episodes of the Brit Box original “Murder in Provence”. I guess they are based on a series of mysteries but if you like that kind of thing, they were enjoyable. If only for the incredible scenery and the lush interiors…
As the snow dissipates, I would like to have a quiet ordinary day please. Diego would like me to sit still, stop typing, and give him a lap to curl up in and take a well-deserved nap. Keeping his one eye on me, is apparently, exhausting.
Last updated April 11, 2022