Liquid Courage


A few watchtower irises have just arrived but already encountered sustained seasonal storms. Their stalks have not bowed. Their falls are unencumbered, fluttering freely. They contain storms’ residue into discrete pearls which gather on saffron signals atop their purple petals. Through different angles they glitter and refract the riot around them when the sun comes out again.

It is no mystery which one reminds me of my husband, whose Mother’s Day gift to me this year is the seasons’ subtle rhythms.

I clearly was the daffodil for quite some time, but I think I’m making some progress through the tulip stage, perhaps someday to be in companionable peace among my fellow post-storm wanderers.



Infinity in Your Hand

Infinite Reflections

I’ve quoted William Blake before:

To see a world in a grain of sand
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

Ireland 1121

In another portion of the same poem, Blake describes the natural world as an everlasting counterpoint to man’s baser instincts and acts.

He writes of endless cycles, of sunrise and ocean waves and animals giving birth.  I see Blake’s Möbius ribbon of a poem as combating some aggressively positive enduring notions in popular culture–like that of absolution through the “easy fix”: a misbegotten miserly life is redeemed by dispensing a chunk of wealth very late in the game,  a ringing bell signifies an angel getting his wings after one character’s felonious behavior has been tidied up with a little help from limbo.

I admit the possibility that my line of work makes me read such words in a particular way, but I am not a fan of the facile fix, the deus ex machina after someone has made a choice hurtful to another living being.   Such intentional (or even unthinking) wrongs can lead to infinite repercussions in the order of things. Continue reading “Infinity in Your Hand”

Three Ways of Remembering

July 3, 2013

Three Independence Days ago we all spent the day at Ossippee Lake with Jim’s sisters and their families, on Uncle Mike’s boat on a glorious but horrifically humid day, eating and quenching our thirst as only his family does.   (Well, all but one of us: I already had succumbed to a seemingly endless crying jag and could neither sleep nor eat.)

The night before that we had watched fireworks over Portsmouth’s Mill Pond with our dear friends, as we did this year from nearly the same spot of grass we had occupied when Jim was still here.

Jim’s diagnosis with pancreatic cancer was then a fresh shear on the landscape, but you would have had no clue anything was amiss from looking at him as he took pictures of the fireworks and all of us, and on July 4th plunged into the lake and bobbed and grinned with his children and nieces and nephews.

July 4, 2013

This Independence Day we were at the same sister and brother-in-law’s cabin, on the same lake, on the same kind of day.  The same distant mountains were a dusty green and blue through the haze of heat.  The clouds were, once again, cartoonishly enormous.

Nearly everything was the same.

Nearly everything has changed.

Continue reading “Three Ways of Remembering”

Coastal Curves

Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 2013

I hate to miss a photo challenge.  This time I’m weighing in late, due to technological incompetency.  But the photographs themselves were timely, capturing coastal curves during last week’s challenge.

Above is one of my favorites, from the curves of falling layers of my daughter’s gorgeous hair to the camera strap snaking across her shoulder, from the wall’s undulating graphics to its long arc as it recedes in the background.

More coastal curves, with clickable bonus haiku (because I just can’t help myself):

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