Wednesday, November 28, 2018

It was like this

My Salvation Army cape had big pockets inside
I slid steaks, jars of honey, butter into the dark folds
I was so slim with my long hair
As I walked out the door, the purloined food breathed out
so neither of us would get caught

We were sleeping on the floor
the starter was out so
we parked at the top of the hill
ran and pushed to get the car going

Boston was cold that winter
Art school was too expensive but I went anyway
You worked in a camera store
stole cameras
I worked in the health food store
stole bread and grapefruits

We had no idea
we were poor
or desperate
when we fucked
our bones chafed against each other

we paid the rent
rode the trolley
brought home a cat
we were free
no family
no friends
no future we cared about

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Every year a retreat center south of here asks for volunteers to deep clean the center; bathrooms, dining hall, bedrooms, the Dharma hall, teachers cottages. And the great outdoors-fallen tree limbs, errant bamboo, etc.

Judith and I went  in spite of a flat tire and a sick kitty. Lola stayed at the vet for 24 hours getting IV fluids and waiting for labs. A bladder infection, as I suspected. For $900!!! Egad.

Then they gave me a wee bottle of antibiotics and say, "Once a day, orally." They don't say, "Ha ha, good luck with that."

Cats are smart. They feel that something terrible is about to go down as you approach them with a towel and a syringe. So they head out to spaces where you are unable to reach them. And you are dragging them out by a leg or the tail and further traumatizing them because they are thinking you're about to kill them or put them back in the cat carrier of death.

When you finally wrap them in a towel, then they throw their head around so you're basically aiming for the mouth/teeth area when it whips by you, getting fish flavored medicine on your shirt and all over their face. Hopefully some of it landed IN their mouth and you're good til tomorrow when it's time to do again. For 10 days.

At least it's not a pill. Pilling a cat is pretty much the worst situation. No cat will stand for it. It is beneath them. It doesn't matter that you've explained that they are ill and will feel much better. They don't give a shit. Giving a cat a pill guarantees that you will be bitten and/or clawed. You will be bloody and your cat will hate you. They give side eye and start growling. Then comes the slashing.

Anyway, the retreat center is sparkling and when I got home with Lola, I found that Felix had torn up the rug that I just bought. He is in the bedroom on an extended time out. As least the rug (screaming deal) was only $100.

Why do we have animals? I know this is a rhetorical question...and by the way, why is there an 'h' in rhetorical? Seems completely whimsical.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Beautiful boy

Dearest Milo

It's your birthday again and you're 16.

Many places on this planet, young men and women are celebrated and welcomed as adults when they turn a certain age. You're not an adult yet but 16 is a milestone. And we don't have any significant ceremony for you. But we adults recognize the turning of the wheel of the year in your young life.

From my heart, I have wishes for your future. Of course, I hope you enjoy health and happiness in the years to come. And that you learn to skillfully navigate disappointments and sorrows for they will surely come as they do in every human life.

Most of all I wish for you to become a kind and compassionate man, a man who knows how to be vulnerable and tender. I wish for you to find love for yourself. I wish for you to be respectful of girls and women, for those less fortunate, for those different from you. As you come into your place in the human community, awakening to your privilege as a white man cannot be denied. I wish for you to use that privilege to move the needle for those who have no voice because they are Brown and Black, because they are immigrants, or Queer, or just down on their luck. When faced with suffering, we can choose to harden our hearts or let our hearts break into action.

Yes, you're still a kid. But your manhood is coming soon. You've had great good fortune to be raised with loving parents. You've not known homelessness, hunger or discrimination. You can choose to make your life one that is full of good works, good deeds. Because you see clearly see the needs and you are compelled to respond.

You and we can't fix the world. But your words and actions have an effect. This is true. There is so much that is ugly, terrible and sad and it will always be so. But there is beauty and compassion everywhere. Choose that. Choose to make use of your life. For justice and love and kindness. Be a mensch, dearest one.



Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Dear hearts,

And there was rejoicing in the land. Of course the monster-in-chief didn't take it well. To be expected. And then there was Sessions.

I spent a week on the island of Namaimo, BC in silent retreat with my beloved Adrianne. Got back yesterday. Yes, I voted before I left.

It is beautiful there and I walked the perimeter of the lake every day until I sprained my ankle. The sorrow and fear I was feeling was so immense, I had to move my body somehow, let the trees and the sun and the geese and the water restore my mind to some sanity. I truly had a melt down and the sweet Canadians helped to comfort and restore.

Canadians say 'hello' and 'good morning'. A lot. It must be a small town thing. I must have been wished well 100 times. Beautiful.

The ferry ride is 2 hours and I refrained from listening to the election results. I called friends after I crossed the border to give me the broad outline. Which was promising.

Today is a new world. Some checks and balances. We'll see how POTUS responds to being told 'no'. And my Canadian friends can be cautiously optimistic about our impulsive and dangerous 'leader'. So we need to continue to fight for the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves. Those of us with privilege need to use it for good. For the good of all beings, even those we disagree with. And that's hard.