Our friend and neighbor Moon McGeoch, a professional musician, was marching in the Memorial Day Parade with the Cambridge Marching Band, I felt strongly called to take his portrait. He is the nicest man and a gifted musician.
I'm not in an especially good mood this morning. It's hot and muggy, I woke up at 2 a.m. from a rash of nightmares and when I sat down to write, I discovered there is a cricket in the baseboard heating coils right next to my desk. This made me a grumpy old man. And he is loud. I tried to ignore him, I yelled at the cricket, threw a shoe at the baseboard, but he is loud and relentless, calling out for his mate, I gather.
"I hate to tell you this," I shouted, "but you will not find a mate here. Get the hell outside!" But he just got louder and more persistent. I decided to try and kill him, we had some insect spray somewhere in the kitchen and I thought that might kill him or drive him outside. I couldn't find the spray so I called my wife, the Pagan Queen and asked where it was.
"You can't kill a cricket," she shouted from her studio, she and Fate huddled up making art together. "You always say you want to be in nature, so this is it. Think of it as singing. Sit down on the floor and sing with him." I love my wife, but she is into nature in a far deeper way than I am, sometimes I think I will find her and Fate dancing naked out in the woods, covering themselves with mud and leaves, talking to deer and the squirrels, singing to the crickets and birds.
I dropped the idea of killing the cricket, he is chirping loudly almost in my ear, I did throw a book at him, but he didn't seem to care. If this is what living in nature means, I may have gone as far as I can go, I can't imagine John Updike trying to write with a cricket squawking loud a few feet from his head. But then, a voice reminds me, you sir, are no Updike.
Maria was yelling at me on the phone, and I said goodbye, I didn't want to discuss it further. I love her, but we don't see eye-to-eye on everything. I will try instead to learn to love a cricket – tireless little creatures. I won't kill the little green bastard, I said, even if I could. I might just take a walk with Red instead.
I love nature, that's one reason I moved up here, but I see I have more work to do. Perhaps that is in the cards.
Spring in the meadow gallery, coming to life.
In the meadow, the first wildflowers, on the shady side of the road, the first color of the Spring Meadow.
Ever since she lost a leg, Minnie has been coming into the farmhouse most nights, she loves to sit with Maria and doze in front of a fire, sometimes she hangs out in the basement. Since Fate came into the house, she has been nearly invisible, coming out to get fed, but otherwise hiding in the barn or underneath Maria's studio.
Most border collies love to herd things that move, cats, chickens, sheep for sure. But they are rarely killers. And the border collies I have had have all gotten used to the farm animals, accepted them and treated them well. This morning, when we took Fate out, Minnie came out of the barn, and this time she didn't run. She sat still and watched as Fate, intensely curious, came over to her, and the two finally introduced themselves, they touched noses for a good while.
I think Minnie will be back in the farmhouse soon.