Monday, August 21, 2017


An old friend from our hometown wrote and said, “What was it like?” Well, it was like this:

We were outside the entire morning from early on, picking vegetables, watering, waxing the car, and working in the yard. The sky was clear. As the eclipse began, there was a subtle change in the lighting. Little by little, the shadows deepened to a degree that they almost took on color, and wherever light fell, it glowed. The contrast between them was different, as if their relationship had changed somehow. As the eclipse progressed, I was trimming ivy on the fence in the backyard. It wasn’t long until it was hard to see what I was doing. Then I had to stop. When the eclipse was full, it wasn’t night or day. It wasn’t dawn, it wasn’t dusk. The street lights came on. All of the creatures were quiet — except the humans, when the kids in the neighborhood suddenly sent up a big cheer, and then some of the adults, bless their frightened, lonely hearts, set off fireworks. And then the light quickly returned and I finished trimming the ivy. What was it like? It was very much like the day we met. How likely, how inevitable, how beautiful, how lonely, how perfect, how never-to-be-repeated, was that?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Back to the garden

It’s been a while since I’ve written, and it feels like it’ll be a while longer before I do. My guess is that it’s because I have nothing to say that I’ve not already said — or that I do have something to say, but I don’t know yet what it is. Either way, or another way entirely, all is well. I’ve been taking care of the garden, and it’s been taking care of me. I water, I pick, I clip, I prune, I dig. I breathe — sometimes forest fire smoke, sometimes the haunting scents of the approaching autumn. Cloudy one morning, no dew; clear the next, and the bumble bees that have spent the night in the dahlias are stuck fast to their chosen color, or to the color that has chosen them. We’ve visited the ocean, and gone to the hills to see the waterfalls. We’ve beheld the tragedy, selfishness, foolishness, and glory that is our kind, and drawn no further conclusions. I’ve visited the pages of all of my friends to see the photographs, the drawings, the paintings, the thoughts, and the words, and to hear the intentional and unintentional music. Quite a few of you I’ve known many years now, and that is my good fortune. I still marvel that we can know each other this way, and that through these means, you can understand my silence as well as anything I might draw or say. And now we are expecting an eclipse. We are told that people are traveling miles and miles here to see it. Now, if we would only travel a like distance into ourselves, just think what we might see! Or study the patch of earth at our feet, or the eyes of our loved ones!

Saturday, August 5, 2017


You forget I’m a leaf in another life, pretending to be a butterfly’s wing — or is it a life in another leaf, not pretending anything? Well, it’s understandable. And yet, it goes on happening — just as I forget you’re a summer morning, pretending everything.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

how it is

between one thought and the next

is the longest wire in a graceful curve

that is to mist as rest to birds

where oaks and firs

are listening

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Which way the breeze

O, dear one, life is a lightly blown kiss.
Can you imagine a love like this?
Or will you choose pride, regret, and loneliness?