Where did June Go?

Mainly it went in a swirling of brain-drain as I trained and adjusted to doing a new thing while working from home. It has taken really three weeks to go from abject terror to only moments of wondering what-the-heck-am-I-doing, LOL. Toward the end of last week, which ends on Saturday, I had moments of – oh, I know what to do here! Or hearing someone else asking a question in our support chat and thinking, ‘isn’t that…?’ So slow but sure.

Working at home means no forty-five minute plus commute each way, but also means I make my own coffee and breakfast and lunch. And dinner. Sometimes I get to eat one or all of those sitting on the front steps. Sometimes I get to dash out afterwork because the sun is out and I can get a painting in and take photos of the evening coming on.

July brings with it World Watercolor Month so get ready for a more regular appearance of paintings here. After that – August Poetry Postcard Festival 2020 – although with the pandemic in play, some of us started early on that. I did a month’s worth of postcards during NaPoWriMo in April.

I feel the rhythm of my year changing and yet it’s the same. A few photos popped up in facebook of watercolors I’d done in 2016 and 2019 and it was interesting to see what was the same and what was different. Since being home I found a place in New Lebanon where there is a 360 degree view of the sky. Looking back years from now I’ll be reminded of the pandemic by many many panoramas of the sky and clouds and landscape.

Here are photos from today. Mostly clouds and landscape but a few plants and flowers and a couple mushrooms that snuck in at the end. Look close – some of the clouds were being visited by birds and other things!

29 June 2020 out and around.//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Where did June Go?

I went in search of clouds

I’m still in the “exhausted by the mental work of new work” phase of working from home. After work, I sat down at a different computer screen with some ice water and enjoyed Billy Collins’ “Broadcast” as he likes to call his 20-30 minute Facebook Live gig. I hope when some of the restrictions lift, someone will say – Billy, you should do this Broadcast on YouTube weekly say and post it on your own website where it can be archived easily and enjoyed by all your fans and used by teachers everywhere.

Well I can hope anyway.

Then I glanced outside and off I went to bring back memories of some fearsome clouds.

Clouds 11 June 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I went in search of clouds

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Five

I laughed at myself for writing out a postcard with this and then realizing tomorrow’s Sunday so of course no mail, but then I almost forgot that the interwebs is still open for business as normal. It was a beautiful day here and so I went out and painted, gradually reducing the layers I was wearing. Then I had a grocery pickup and discovered I had a cotton shirt in my car so I changed when I got to Mom’s with the shopping.

The daffodils have risen
up to the bird feeder
as May approaches;
the sky is full
of yellow fluttering.
A theory of them
being there year-round
and leaping up
to meet the spring
so elegant and yet
each year met with
my joyful surprise.

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Five

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-two

Wow – a week to go? how did that happen? How was your April? How was your day?

Woke up to snow and January cold.
There was no mail in the box —
I stood looking at the daffodils
crushed down by a cruel spring night.
From there, things went on —
web pages just hung and didn’t load,
the pounding surf of the web reduced to
ebbs and flows of bandwidth.
It was warmer in the car at
lunchtime than inside the house,
and my cats looked woeful but
glad to get rid of me for an hour.
The daffodils were up when I returned
disregarding metaphors or forecasts.

My pen scratched and sputtered and
I realized finally – it had run dry.
I laughed at myself for having
muttered myself over this all day.
I cleaned it at the bathroom sink
flushing it with water til clear
then carefully filled it and – imagine –
only got one tip of a finger blue.
As I stood and scrubbed away the ink
the sky was orange at the horizon
and the sun a diamond in the
branches of trees somewhere near
I bowed my head to my task again,
the story of the day within.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-two

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty

Today was a day about the day job. Felt strange and in a weird way lonelier than the past month and a half. But we trudge on folks, we trudge on. (And a hat tip to my Mom, Betty Frezon for a line in her chat tonight that ended up in this poem!)

I refilled the coffee grinder today
where it hangs ready to churn my
morning beans into a small jar.
I looked at the bigger jar with
its inch of oatmeal remaining.
I threw away the cheese wrapper
and rinsed the empty milk carton.
Took the trash out, bin rumbling
put some boxes in recycling too
gave coffee grounds to the garden.
The evening light shone out of
daffodils so delightfully happy
whatever time had been measured
was paused and pressed in amber.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty

Sunset

47

50

55

74

77

82

86

Sunset

NaPoWriMo – Day Four

Had a nice dinner with Mom. Beautiful sunset which I watched with a police car watching me. One other person stopped by for a few minutes to snap a few photos. I kept waiting to be told to ‘move along’ but I think the officer was probably watching what I was watching. Here, have a sonnet-ish thing. Sunset photos in the next post!

In My Pocketsies

Even though, it turns out I’m not going
anywhere today. Again. Staying home
because that’s the thing we’re all doing. Uh.
So, even though I’m staying home again.
I get up, do all the things, put on clothes.
comb my hair and then — this is the surprise:
I put things in my pockets like normal.
Well, normal is such a slippery word.
I thought about this today, my pockets,
more specifically the fact I carry
three pens with me, and a small notebook too.
Two in a pocket, one on my neckline,
I’m ready to snare whatever words are
trying to sneak by. Oh — I am ready!

NaPoWriMo – Day Four

NaPoWriMo Day 2

Today was more about picking up a grocery order and unpacking some shipped fruits and vegetables but this was yesterday:

Picnic in Time of Isolation

Having carefully packed my
ham and cheese sandwich, the
packet of crackers, the
thermos of hot tea,
I sit and picnic in the car.
In the late day slant
the tips of my front yard birch
are pink and sparkling while
lower branches move with birds
grabbing last seeds from the
feeder there. I have to duck
as I pass but now it’s busy
with sparrows and red-wings and
finches, and there’s a dove.
I sit in the warmer car,
thermos cup on the dash,
savoring the mustard and how
someone, oh me, toasted the bread
and carefully cut the
resulting sandwich in two.
The ground is thick with empty
seeds but the grass is greening
and the daffodils glow in the light.
Soon tiny solar lights will twinkle
on above the front door,
welcoming me back and I’ll pass
beneath the several vee’s of
birch trunk, ducking on my way home,
hands incensed with the sacredness
of a single mandarin orange.

NaPoWriMo Day 2

Third of February – Blue Sky

I was being good and staying home sorting stuff for trash night when suddenly the world turned bright and shiny. The first photo was taken this morning when it was still pretty grey, of a shrub of bright red berries I admire often.

I did these while sitting in the car – just a hair too cool to sit outside for long. I realized though that the main problem with this – the lighting inside is too dark. Will have to dress warmer I guess!

Third of February – Blue Sky

A Reminder to Hope

I’m deep towards the end of Lord of the Rings on audiobook right now and at last, this oft-quoted here reminder that light prevails.

…the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side, and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.

~~J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King, Book II, The Land of Shadow.

I’ve been struck this time at how Sam and Frodo fit together – Frodo has the unasked-for, crushing burden with which he doggedly carries on, not knowing the end; Sam just as doggedly keeps hope for both of them. Hope that they will come out of this and there will be an afterwards, and that the world will survive, because light and goodness are forever above the passing evil.

Last light

A Reminder to Hope