show details 5:30 PM (13 hours ago)

The day turned beautiful. The chickens were so happy to feel the sun, they rolled in the mud delightedly. I had noticed them “dust bathing” on sunny days – but, really, they were luxuriating in the mud and sun. Actually rolling. Stretching. All in a clump. A strange flocked organism, like an evolved and feathered vioxx, single celled colonies, the precursors to jellyfish.
Of course, before I glorify them too much, let me get back to the rolling in the mud.

It makes no sense – that chickens will roll in both dust and mud. As bathing media, dust and mud perform quite differently. I wonder about the causation. Perhaps the sun warms the mites that are likely living amongst their feathers, perhaps the warmth of the sun stimulates their capillaries, which in turn irritates their feathering feathers. Who knows why anything does anything? We even anthropomorphize ourselves. Assign what we imagine to be reasonable human emotion to events and people. But, who knows what really makes us do the things we do. Old biology and modern culture make for an unpredictable species.

The children came outside. I hung more copper on the coop/sculpture. Emphasizing the joints on the hand that grasps the boat. I straightened the metal crossbar that joined starboard and port and hung a sheet, robin’s egg blue, spring sky – as a roof or a wave, yet to be determined. I did laundry and embroidered blooms on old boots.

The crackheads and drunks are out in full-force. Bickering, hollering, preaching. Drunk and high in some cramped warm room, waiting out the rain, the cold.

10:44 AM (20 hours ago)

I hung up my wedding band today. For over seven years I wore it on my left hand. For most of the past year, I kept it in my wallet – at first, so I’d be ready to put it back on. Then, I simply didn’t know what to do with it. Should I throw it somewhere…? An ocean, a roadside?

Well, then I’d have no reminder that love and marriage are little more than leaps of faith, hopes against a life “alone.”

I don’t believe in marriage anymore. It stacks too much life against love.

I still believe in love. More than I did before. I just don’t know if love in it’s truest form is meant to be daily. Maybe it is. Maybe some people find a sustained comfort and joy in simple glances. I think I could love a person forever. But, if there is a next time, I will have to be loved back.

In the meantime, I spend a lot of time in the rooms of my heart. Gathering joy when I find it, closing doors that need closing.

It had been raining all night. Dissonant wind clatters the chimes. It’s a December Sunday, for sure. Christmas looms.
We have the tree, the lights. The fire burns in the stove almost constantly. Compared to the day outside, inside is almost merry. The children and I have been watching Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on a near-daily basis. The Island of Misfit Toys appeals to me on some deep level.

I sat out on the front steps. Admired the buds on the twisted branches of Corylus Avellana. The Salix and Cornus look lovely stripped of leaves. Contorted Hazelnut, Curly Willow, Red Twig Dogwood. The rosemary and lavender are still quite green. The ground has gone to mud. The chicken coop/sculpture has settled to list to the east. It seems even more topsy, more turvy, than it did before.

In the southeast corner is a near- dead peach tree, blighted, bored, poorly-pruned Prunus. My husband brought it home as a gift. A long time ago. For several Springs, it bloomed a bright pink explosion when near all else was still waking. Each year though, the fruit it bore grew smaller and harder. This year, the peaches were like tiny knots. And, in late July, the tree suddenly dropped all its leaves.

I keep the dying form still rooted in the ground. It isn’t what it was, but it’s still something.

This morning, I took my wedding band down from the shelf. Slipped it onto my finger and walked down to the yard. Broke a branch from that dying tree, took off the ring and slid it onto the stob I had left.

Let a crow steal it. Or not. The tree is now a monument, for forgetting, for remembering. A place for things I’m not sure what I should do with.

It was sad in a way. But, most Sundays in December are, aren’t they?
——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Subject: Re:
Sent: Dec 13, 2009 7:30 AM

Really – 5:15. In the afternoon, dark. And the darkest-soonest day is yet to come. It’s a Monday. Of course.
I enjoyed the cold today. The flat winter light. The bones of my garden. The black and white chicken ladies looking curious as I ferried water from kitchen (spigot frozen stiff solid) to scrub and scrub their offage from the porch and stairs. Scraping the soiled soon freezing slush into piles. Tossing it in the desolate space on the north side of the stairs. One day, I’ll plant a shade garden down there.

——Original Message——
From: Me
To: Me
ReplyTo: Me
Sent: Dec 12, 2009 5:19 PM

Dark at 5:15. Chicken ladies. Drawing myself.

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