There was a heavy fog this morning, I decided to try to capture the feel of it with my Infrared camera, I like the way the camera saw the light, saw through the fog, yet captured the feeling of it. The photography of the unsee.
My first gift to my granddaughter Robin arrived today, it was a mobile with music, and four or five plush toys in the shape of animals swirling above, and Emma says it was a big hit, Robin lit up and had a very happy smile. Emma said Robin was quite into it. I actually bought two mobiles, the second one has not yet arrived, it has both music and LED lights, and it is unusual, I found it on a cool site online.
If she gets tired of this one, they can switch.
Emma says she told Robin the present came from me, but of course, that doesn't really matter at this point, her smile is plenty of reward and she has no idea who I am. I am a big believer in gifts with no strings attached, I have a hunch the second mobile – in transit somewhere – will be as much fun or more. The smile is the reward.
I am struck by Robin's smile, I think she has a look of mischief and fun about her, and I remember what woman told me in Brooklyn, she was a grandmother herself. She said babies are so pure and unscarred by the nature of the world, it would be nice to keep them that way.
It is not up to me, but I don't wish to see Robin protected from life, there is good and bad in life, and I am learning to love both, because that is the nature of life, and I love being alive. The more protected one is, the greater the shock and struggle.
It feels quite good to bring a smile to Robin's face, I like this occasional sending of special gifts.
I suppose I would like to have been there to see her smile, but I like seeing this photo also, I am seeing the outlines of how this will all work and getting more comfortable with it. There is one kind of grandparent (probably many) and that kind will be present often, weekly, even more frequently, there for holidays, trips and family gatherings.
These grandparents are an extension of family, they watch their grandchildren grow up and function as a kind of surrogate parent.
I cannot be that kind of grandparent, that is the way it has played out, so I will be another kind, hopefully a strange kind of angel, popping in and out, entering her space once in awhile with something unusual, stimulating or fun. Sometimes I feel sad about that, but mostly I feel good that I have the opportunity to be a strange angel.
I am at peace with my life, and that is a new thing for me, and I value it. You play the cards you were dealt.
Yet another creative test and opportunity.
My writing lifts me up, pulls me forward. gives me focus. When I sit down to write, I ask myself several questions: where am I right now?, what am I feeling? and is it the truth? This is a good morning for that, my mind is all over the place. It is cold, rainy, and cloudy, one of those grim November days (yes, I know it is still October) that suggest the loss of light and color, and the onset of winter.
The loss of color and light is a psychological challenge for me, my moods are closely tied to both.
This morning, Maria got up early and went off to see her mother, who lives a couple of hours from us. The dogs are mopey, restless. I will leave in an hour to teach my writing class. First, I will have to let Chloe out of her stall, where she is fed her hay these days.
Still, I feel gloomy today, and that is a part of life, that is a part of being alive. To be sad is cleansing to me, sort of like flushing the sorrow out of my system. And I have felt much sorrow in my life, even as I feel strong and good now.
I love my class, they are so connected and open and creative. A creative infusion.
I have to counsel a friend today, he is upset – traumatized, really – as so many people are by the ugliness of the presidential election. He is not on the left or the right, he is not a supporter of Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, he is an anxious man who has just absorbed too much anger, ugliness and pure hatred. It is in the air. He keeps trying to avoid the season of rage, he can't.
A Thai journalist, a reader of my blog, messaged me this morning, he was upset at concerns about the legitimacy of our election, he said he realized he has always taken America's stability for granted.
Could he still take it for granted? Sure, I said, remember we had a civil war not too long ago that costs millions of people their lives; and countless riots, persecutions, hysterias, scandals, depressions, bombings and catastrophes. We will be here on November 9.
What can I tell him my anxious friend here, really?
Democracy is not pretty or static. If you give everyone the right to vote, as we do, they will not always vote the way you wish or you would. Trauma is inevitable, so is the demagogue. I told him to go to upshot and look at the daily data report, today one candidate has a 93 per cent chance of winning, the other 7 per cent. It is over, I told him, they don't want to say it, they can still make a lot of money over the next few weeks. But they know it.
Time to disengage and move forward, I do not care to spend my precious days in rage and fear. Suffering is a part of life, just as joy and hope are, an I accept life as good and beautiful, it is never just the way I want it.
So this morning I'll head over to the Round House Cafe. Say hello to my friend Scott, get my coffee and teach my class. This afternoon, Maria is going to see a friend who had a minor surgical procedure and nearly died afterwards, for reasons no one can quite explain. She is alive, after great suffering, which is a good thing, and she reminds me to be thoughtful about just what it is I want to fear and obsess over.
James Joyce wrote that "history is a nightmare from which I am trying to wake." So is this presidential election, for many people, sometimes for me. Anger and fear are not good for anyone month after month.
For me, the way to awake from it is not to be afraid, to recognize that all of this, just as it is, and no matter what comes, is a manifestation of the glorious and sometimes horrendous power that is life, that is all of creation, and all of human history.
The ends of things are always painful. But pain is part of being alive, of there being a world at all to live in and hope for and worry about.
We started one of our favorite rituals this morning, skirting the wool – cleaning it – in preparation for being converted into yarn and roving. That will take the knitting mill about six months. It was awfully windy this morning, there was some wind noise on the video, but it's quite audible.
This is our first look at the newly-shorn Romney wool, the Gang Of Four. We had a rapt audience – Chloe, the dogs, the donkeys, the barn cats. Maria is excited about this wool, come and see. After the video, I have to roll up my sleeves and join in, we need to get it done before it gets cold, that is rough on the fingers.
Come and see.
This flower pot sits outside in the garden, soon it will come inside, into my office, in my statuary and inspiration corner. The angel and cherub speak to me of the passage of time, of seasons, of life and aspiration. Another summer, another winter. Crisis and mystery just around the corner.