“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

8.30.2009

high school, clothes, music, freedom

And just how much fun is this skirt on a Saturday night in Texas?

Cute, cute, cute.

It reminds me of a skirt I use to borrow from my friend Soozi way back in high school in Tucson. Soozi was one of those girls who never blended in with the crowd - curly, curly hair, wild clothes, pale white skin, kewpie doll face, and I loved her dearly. Neither of us really blended - I was tall and wore short short dresses above 4" wedgie shoes - pale taupe suede with straps that I would wind around my ankles & lower legs before tying. Never in a bow - that was just not the thing - I'd just tie them and let the bit of strap left over dangle oh-so-casually next to my foot. I also owned a pair of brown suede boots - sweet little 3" heels with a bit of a concave curve on the back; they laced up the front - not in and out of eyelets, but around these little black metal things (I have no idea what they are called), and they ended mid calf. We all had handmade leather sandals - we'd catch a ride downtown to Sixth Street to this fabulous old store that at one time must have been a thriving department store - dark wood floors & stairs, huge front windows - but was now a store run by some hippie guy making shoes & purses. He'd trace around our feet and we'd describe how we wanted the straps to go, and a week or so later they'd be ready and we were the coolest! And those purses! We'd tell him, he'd make 'em. Suede or leather, but always, always with lots of fringe - the longer the better. Cool, I tell you. Cool. We shopped for white peasant blouses down in that area near the university - one store light & airy, full of gold-covered books by Kahlil Gibran next to books about spirit photography, Cat Stevens playing on the stereo, pale girls with braids behind the counter, pamphlets about Hinduism and Sufism free for the asking. Down the road, another store, smelling of patchouli incense, dark inside, all red & electric blues, glowing yellows and greens, Mountain blasting on their stereo. They sold gypsy skirts and I remember my friend Laura bought a thin red cotton shirt, colorful embroidery on the sleeves and at the neck. Backtracking down the street, we'd shop the Salvation army on the corner, then cross one more block to the Army/Navy store for jeans. Everyone who was anyone wore those Navy jeans. Low cut to leave our bellies showing, bell bottoms - they came in different colors. We had tons. Also Levi's, although I will say right here & now that Levi's have never fit me well - I am long waisted and back then I had a smaller waist with a behind behind me, and Levi's just didn't fit and still don't, but I'd wear a pair every once in a while anyway - not the zipper ones, always the button fly ones, the 501s. Had to be cool. We wore men's pocket t-shirts tucked in - black and dark green, blue, white, and even flip flops. Short short cutoffs - short enough so that the front pocket was longer than the length of the shorts, halter tops, no bras. We were cool. We'd get great seats for all the concerts and saw everyone who was anyone, and some who were no one yet but on their way. Rory Gallagher, Traffic, Ten Years After, Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper, Jimi Hendrix & the Doors back when I was in 8th grade, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Winter, Delaney & Bonnie, Leon Russell, Deep Purple, etc., etc. After graduating from high school I saw Bruce Springsteen in a small theater that held 3000 people; my boyfriend and I had never heard of him, but were talked into going by our ex-New Jerseyite neighbors. Thank you again to them. I had first row seats for Elvis Costello and after the show while waiting for my ride home, Costello's bus saw me, stopped, and I was asked to get on board, to party with them. I saw Willy deVille for the first time and he stole my heart away - his girlfriend was the first person I'd ever seen in person with a pierced nose. Years later I had a boss here in Texas, the then curator of the art museum here, also a big deVille fan, ask me if Willy looked as unhealthy as he sounded.

Oh yeah. Fabulous!

8.29.2009

a fine & fancy ramble to the zoo

Today we played.
A visit to the zoo.
1/2 price through the end of August.





Highly recommended.
Act like a kid again.

have fun!

8.27.2009

. . . and we are all together

Texas/Summer 2008
Which handprint do you think is mine?

Doesn't matter, really.
I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

This is the story of last summer - the handprints of everyone I gathered close to myself, sure it would be Mary's last summer, assuming it would be Maggie's. These squares of silvered paper on canvas are a magic carpet and they take me back to those days of 5 owls - mornings spent in meditation, standing beneath them, matching my breath to that of the trees.

My fingers flutter over these keys, unsure of the words for this image, the image so much speaking for itself. It is a visual journal on one piece of canvas, the handprints full of a million stories each. Place your hand on one and you are flying an airplane that has caught fire, your head out the window trying to see through the smoke, scanning the Oklahoma highway beneath you for a place to land. Lay your hand atop another and you are standing in a hospital parking lot in the cold winter air, a cup of ice in your hand, breathing in . . . 2, 3, 4 . . . and out . . . 2, 3, 4 . . . until the trembling passes and you can make your way back into the emergency room to hold your mother's hand. Place your hand elsewhere and you are 4, wearing the first dress-up Christmas dress you will remember, and you are the beautifullest, you tell yourself, the beautifullest. Put your hand there on the far right side, right against the edge of the canvas, and you remember the death of your father at your mother's hand, she no longer able or willing to tolerate his abuse, and you remember your family torn apart, brothers & sisters separated until adulthood. Put your hand across that bottom print and you will hear music, an opera, a symphony, and you will find yourself with a cat or 2 in your lap. Pick another and you are 94, surrounded by friends heartbroken to let you go, but letting you go nonetheless.

Someone asked me recently that age-old question "If the house was on fire and you could take only one thing, and Maggie was safe, what would it be?" and I had no answer. I'd forgotten about this painting, the histories it holds. This would be it, I think. It holds the energy of every one of us who painted our palm titanium white and laid it on the square of our choosing. My mother's fingertips touch mine, and my brothers' prints lay at the base of her palm; Emma is her crown. Michael's thumb crosses mine - we are all connected.

Even Jace,
there all by himself in the lower left hand corner.
Someone is holding his other hand.
come together - right now. over me.

8.26.2009

Too much heartgreetings

I wanted flowers today.

This morning a surprise blooming of honeysuckle greeted me when I opened the door to the day, and I have been all soft & gooey & girl-like since. My heart feels full of too much - demasiado corazon, thank you Willy, R.I.P. It feels, despite the heat, like fall is coming, memsahib, and nothing I do can stop it - this water lives in Mombasa, anyway - and I want the colors of spring back, but I also want the colors of autumn - and when did that happen? How did I get to this place of acceptance, of welcoming new seasons with joy, eager to see what gifts they bring this year? This long, long year, moving too fast by me is leaving lessons in its wake. Looking for a video in youtube I misread a message, and the misreading was perfect ~ "I have too much heartgreetings". Yes.

I am awakening,
and my heart says hello, where have you been all year?
get up on the floor and dance to the music

8.25.2009

Car wash therapy

If I could find an automated car wash that just charged you by the minute,
I would willingly pay for 1/2 hour here,
an hour there.

I cannot tell you how often I have just kicked back in a car wash,
iced coke at my side,
silence on the stereo,
a book in my lap which I never read.
Absolute peace.
I recommend it highly.

Just sit back and listen to the swoosh.
Cocooned.
In the womb.
Safe.
Alone.
Unbugged.
Unstressed.
No words.
Nothing.
Nada.
Just you and the water,
the swooshing lulling you to sleep,
soothing,
saying there, there.

Just you and your breath and the water.

I sure hope it's included in the health reform bill.
Health, dental & mental.
;-)
inhale, hold it, 1 . . . 2 . . .3 . . . exhale . . . . . .

8.24.2009

Yeehaw, y'all

Typical summer Texas attire for us females.

In the winter we cover up a bit more,
but we're still packin' heat, if you know what I mean.

We can bring home the bacon
(and I don't mean from the store),
fry it up in a pan,
and never let you forget you're a man.
Ever.

We say yeehaw all the time, y'all,
and if you believe that,
well, we'll laugh with you,
not at you.

We spell Secession with a capital S
and
play 42 in the front yard on card tables under shade trees.
We make sun tea in gallon jars,
understand football,
understand cheerleading,
understand beauty pageants,
understand politics.
Don't be fooled by our curves
or our big hair.
We get it.

We will correct your kids if you don't,
and we expect you to do the same with ours.
We love okra
and Justin Ropers,
air conditioning,
and campfires on autumn nights.
We listen to Lyle Lovett
and
Guy Clark
and
yes, we want to keep Austin weird.

If it has beans, we don't call it chili;
it may be good, but it ain't chili.
We judge restaurants by their picante sauce & guacamole,
speak enough Spanish to get by,
and even though we can change a tire,
we expect a man to do it,
and if he can't,
well then,
we will think things about him.
We will not fix him up with our newly divorced best friend.

Come on down.
We're friendly as all get-out.
yeehaw!

8.23.2009

Hello. My name is Debi.

I will write,
using my intuition, my questioning,
my attention to details and things left unsaid,
to accomplish an awakening of courage,
and in doing so achieve my place in the world.

(an eye-opening answer from an Unravelling exercise)

I dance around so much in my life.
And not always the good kind of dancing.

I had my astrological chart plotted a couple of years ago, and it made me angry because I recognized the truth. You will argue, it said, you will argue like the world has never seen, you will argue the rightness of things, of ways, you will grab hold of truth and not let go. I hated that. I wanted it to say you will paint fabulous flowers and tell magical stories and live in a house overlooking water, and peace will be yours. But no, it said. You have word skills, it said. Use them. My mother always said I should have been a lawyer.

And then this book. Quote: "Your Style Statement defines your authentic self. It is a compass for making more powerful choices, a guide for designing a life that reflects your whole being. An anchor, a symbol, a mantra. A declaration, an affirmation, a reminder. You, fully expressed." Run out right now & buy this book. When you have worked your way through it, you will be left with 2 words - 2 words that are your style statement. Foundation word/Creative Edge word. The 80/20 principle - foundation being the "core of who you are, your essential self", creative edge being "what moves you forward". Foundation represents your being, creative edge is how you express & distinguish your being. Good enough. I am Sacred/Aware. I would love to be Creative/Sensual, but I am not - Sacred/Aware defines me perfectly. And I am okay with the sacred part, I like it, it feels like me. It's that aware part I hate. Oh, I get it, it's dead-on right, as accurate as Robert shooting 600 yards with no scope, which is damn accurate, but I hate it. Because it's the same thing. It makes life hard, it makes you unable to ignore things.

aware: acquainted, alert, alive, appraised, appreciative, apprehensive, apprised, attentive, au courant, awake, cognizant, conscious, cool, enlightened, familiar, groovy, grounded, heedful, hip, in the know, in the picture, informed, into, know the score, know what's what, know-how, knowing, latched on, mindful, on the beam, on to, perceptive, plugged in, receptive, savvy, sensible, sentient, sharp, tuned in, up on, wise, wise to, wised up, with it

It sounds wonderful, does it not? But it is awful. It means seeing the lies behind the words. It means sensing the truth of a matter even - especially - when it's politically incorrect to do so. And being politically incorrect in the world of art is just not done. Which I find odd and surprising, believing that artists should be seekers of the truth wherever they find it, should be questioners of authority - even authority they voted into office, should be explorers, should pay attention to the details, should read between the lines, should notice those things left unsaid, should trust their intuition. They should be discoverers. I try to be all. To be honest, and I am trying to be honest here, I am all. I am all that plus a believer in magic, in dreams. It is a hard place to stand.

Silence has been hard this summer. I feel sometimes that I stand at the door to this blog with my mouth taped shut and my hands tied behind my back; it was not accidental that I chose for my new banner a photo of me with no mouth. The Universe keeps telling me & telling me & telling me to speak, keeps sending signs & signals & wondering how long I will ignore her - I can no longer do so. So here's the deal, as the ever-wonderful Michael would say. There may be politics here on Emma Tree 2 - probably not, though I am leaving the door open. But even so, even if I never bring it up again, I want you to know me. I want you to remember when you are reading a little post about some bit of magic I have discovered that I am not a supporter of big government, that I am a conservative/Independent/almost Libertarian. It's up there in the top of this blog, under the Who I Am link, and that was something I posted last November, so most of you know that anyway. I have been appalled at the name calling this summer, ugly words hurled at people who disagree with the current administration, and then ugly words hurled back. It is inexcusable. It is time to know each other, to stop buying into the easiness of stereotypes and lies.

Someone once said to Gloria Steinem that she looked fabulous to be 50. She replied "This is what 50 looks like". A perfect response. Perfect. Preconceived notions begone. So. When you read my stories, my silly tales, my sadnesses, my poems, it is me saying to you "This is what conservatism/independence/almost-Libertarianism looks like." I want those stereotypes thrown out. We have to start somewhere. I start here.

I bow to the Universe.

8.22.2009

And lickety split, just like that, she was upside down

I stepped out into yesterday evening with a gift in my hand.

An evening spent with 5 other women, an evening full of laughter & candlelight & beautiful glasses of Sangria, and dogs in the backyard, one with a sore shoulder who quickly became my friend forever when I knelt next to him and petted & cooed & dog-whispered my way into his heart. An evening of avocados - doesn't that little phrase sound perfectly wonderful? When I write a book, I think I will call it just that. An Evening of Avocados. An evening of blue corn tortilla chips & homemade quesadillas & 3 tries at pralines that just wouldn't harden, an evening of new meetings, of first hellos, of bare feet on red leather chairs, of group discussions evolving into 2 person conversations here & 4 over there, and then back into all 6 - tales of motherhood & men & art & politics & fear evolving back into laughter and ooohs & ahhhs as we watched gifts opened and tiny silk things appear, palest blue & sage & cream stripes, aqua this & lace that, and glitter from my package everywhere. There was a chair with a back made of wooden painted fish, its legs a polka-dotted pale gray, the seat reupholstered yet again to match our hostess' mood, she said; ahhhh, said I, a chair you love, and Emma Tree up on the computer screen all evening - she thinking I was blonde; do I not sound so as you read these words? I thinking she was taller. It was an evening with a phrase all its own - ". . . and lickety split, just like that, she was upside down . . .", which I cannot begin to explain - you had to be there, but it will stay with me. I will always remember the evening when I hear those 2 funny words.

lickety split
.
a katie thing

8.20.2009

A new beginning. Welcome.

A new beginning.

All over again.

What to begin with for this new beginning?
Back to the painting that started it all,
back to that hand catching magic.
I'm not yet done here, but I'm done enough to open it up.
It feels calmer here, something I've been needing.
As much as I loved Emma Tree's 1st incarnation,
it was feeling too loud, too brash,
and as much as I tried, I couldn't shush it.
Those images may show back up,
will probably show back up here & there.
I know someone in particular who wanted them to stay.

But for now, this is home.
Welcome.
and thank you once again

8.18.2009

No Smoking, Soliciting, Photography or Handguns

The power of a photograph!

Not a dream today, but a moment of reality.

This is another image from my inspiration blog, may it rest in peace.
One of the fun things about letting it go is re-posting the images here,
letting some people see them for the first time.
Some of you have already been privy, I know,
and I thank you so very, very much for your understanding
when you see them again.

There are so many things that go through my head when I see this sign.
I just laughed at first,
because oh!
I don't know how so many of you out there get the pictures you do,
especially at flea markets,
because when I walk by vendors with a camera
I cannot tell you how often I am stopped,
a soft touch on my elbow,
a voice almost a whisper explaining no pictures please,
and it isn't really me, they say,
but some of the others.
You understand, they continue, looking over their shoulders,
checking for those awful others.
I don't understand, but I never pursue it.
They say their displays are their art,
but personally I must admit that the displays are not that different,
a stack of books with a birdcage here,
another stack with a birdcage way over there.
But who am I to argue, I think,
and I go on my way.

This sign is from Macy's.
?
No books with birdcages there.
And no doubt impossible to enforce
in this day of cellphone cameras.
So.
?
Just odd.

My second thought, and one that also made me laugh,
is the handgun specification.
Only handguns?
I know, I know,
I shouldn't laugh,
but really?
Just odd.
the sign is technically just a suggestion, a gun expert tells me

8.17.2009

A Moment of Dreams

A leaf outside my front door.

I published this as the first image
on my inspiration blog.
July 25.

I thought I would find a new place for the magic I saw around me.
A secret pocket for dreams & wishes.
For mistakes.
Which I immediately told you about.
:)

It makes me now laugh.
That's what this place is for, after all.
What was I thinking?

It is a dream moment, that image above.
I'd watched that leaf flutter about all day,
admiring the different shadows it cast
as the sun moved across the sky.
And when at last evening moved in,
and I moved into the outside world,
I became enchanted with its shape;
no shadows remained.
the porchlight overhead the only illumination.

It was impossible to shoot a picture, however,
without the shadow of my hands,
phone camera held between them.
So they are part of the magic,
my hands.

Yes?
perhaps a new banner . . . perhaps not

8.15.2009

I Reach for the Future

What am I reaching for?

I have been feeling lost here on this blog lately, a different person than the woman who was here last year. And I guess the truth is that I am a different person - things have happened this year to change me; I have felt that my poetry left with Mary, that my paintings were too exhausting, and so I have done nothing. Perhaps nothing is too strong a word - I have thought lots of thoughts. I have been taking myself too seriously and yet not seriously enough. I have not picked up a paintbrush since June, since my show. Enough is enough. So more changes are coming, good ones, or perhaps really I am just simplifying my life, returning here to my home, to Emma Tree - I've felt for so long that I have been just going through the motions, looking so hard for magic, when I know you can't find it that way, when I know magic is like a cat, and as you call & call, will just hide in the bushes, watching you, smirking at your frustration. Where to begin? With the little things. I am closing my gallery blog, and I am closing my inspiration blog. I am moving everything back here and I will figure it out as I go. Emma Tree may expand a bit, the site may change neighborhoods, but there will only be one site.

As for you, you wonderful people who have hung in here with me, I cannot express in mere words how appreciated you are, how much it means to me to know you come back here daily, even though I know you have surely sensed my floundering, my tiredness, my depression. I am breathing more deeply now, I am gathering my second wind. I am once again reaching out my hand, catching the magic.

thank you hope

8.12.2009

Feeling the Night

Last week's full moon a couple of days past full.

Tightrope walking through the early evening sky,
a shimmer of white balancing against blue.


If it fell, no net to catch it, it would just plummet to earth, flinging moonbeams far & wide as it hurtled our way, and if lucky, we would catch one, and then what would we do? You can't tame a moonbeam, you know. Would we search for a cage and try to keep it still, try to contain it? And can't you just see that little bit of hilarity, the moonbeam shooting between the bars as we rushed after it, arms close together as we tried to catch its tail, hands slapping shut on nothing, on emptiness, as it zipped through our grasp? No, no, we couldn't cage it, and if we put it in a box with holes punched in the top, it would escape through those holes. The same with a jar; it would find its way out.

Lucky for us it didn't fall.

I sit here and laugh at myself for writing such silliness about the moon - such absurdities - thinking to understand it, when the truth of the moon is that it was just there when I walked out my door, shimmering white against all that blue, just like I said, just there, and I stood for a moment, balanced between it and the sun, which had not yet set. No poetry can come close to the realness of that sky, the magic of those few moments - the birds were not yet in for the night & I imagined the woodpecker on the hackberry tree to be joining me in this bit of dreamy reverie, I pretended the mockingbirds' songs were summertime carols for the sky. In just minutes the sun was gone & the sky was dark & stars joined the moon & the birds fell silent, asleep in their nests. The cicadas took up their song and another Texas night surrounded me, the heat of the night so much different than the daytime heat. Such a small piece of time, such small moments, but the best. The best. This feeling of the night.
how do you write this down correctly? this feeling?

8.08.2009

A Heavenly Day

She didn't buy the hat thingy.
But it was a good day.
It was quicker than we'd thought it would be.


It started with coffee.

Then off to the stores.

Actually, as it turned out, only one store.

Zipping through the bridesmaid dresses.

Kinda cute. But . . . nope.

Thinking maybe a real wedding dress.

Dear God. There they are.

Rethinking this.


Being brave. Into their midst.

Liking this floaty little thing. But no.

Wow! But this wedding is a bit more casual.

So loving this softness, but no again.

Needing something shorter.

First try-on. Nope. Pretty, but no movement.

2nd try-on. Oh. Yes. Maybe. Yes. Maybe?

How about shoes while she ponders & dances around in this piece of loveliness?


Nope.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!

And the dress? Almost the one, but as we were leaving the store, there was a whispered tug from another dress we'd not seen. It, however, had seen Katie, and knew the right bride when it saw her. Back to the dressing room while the wonderful saleswoman - whose wedding anniversary just happens to be the exact day Katie's wedding is taking place; coincidence? no such thing; serendipity, more likely - found the dress in the right size, thinking it would be too small, but no. No. Katie walked out of the dressing room transformed. It was perfect. (She said the expression on my face totally changed and laughed about that over bruschetta & salad later.) Truly perfect. No alterations needed. Perfect. And I'd like to show you, but then her wonderful husband-to-be might see it, and you know that's a no-no, so it will have to wait. I will give you a peek at Katie's happiness however.

When she looked in the mirror, she knew.

what's that song? a heavenly day?

8.06.2009

Of wedding dresses, a cat & Texas heat

She is hiding.
Can I come in? I ask oh so seriously.
Can I hide too?
She just purrs me away.
Find your own spot, she says.

That was yesterday;
she was feeling bad.
Now is today
and she is curled next to a baby dogwood tree,
hopefully feeling better,
back to more medicine.

When I open the door just a few inches to let her out or in, the heat bullies its way into the house, pushing the cool air inside away, almost visibly leaving an imprint in the room before I close the door, locking it outside. It has been hotter this year, but the heat this morning is already full of attitude, threatening, leaving its fingerprints sweating against the cool glass, gleefully daring me to come outside, come outside. Instead I am on the bed, computer in front of me, texting the lovely, lovely Katie, making plans to photoblog tomorrow's outing - her first day of wedding dress shopping, staying here in town, hoping to find something here, but knowing that Dallas is less than a couple of hours away, if necessary. What fun to show pretty dresses instead of talking about me. What fun to chronicle the beginning of her new life. Perhaps I will invent a new career for myself - the photographer before the wedding photographer. :)

Until then, then.
I am excited
and I need a new camera strap.

8.04.2009

A Stamp and An Almost-full Moon

Just a quickie today so y'all don't forget me or think I've run away.

I ran around quick like the bunny
in the previous post,
taking pictures with my phone camera,
pictures of my hat,
my cat,
my feet,
dead roses,
the crosswalk stripes in the road,
lights on the tree,
reflections everywhere.

Back when postage was 41 cents
I had a bunch of stamps made
with the Emma Tree image,
though there was no Emma Tree blog then;
I just liked the image.
I've still got 1 or 2 of those stamps;
this one is behind the glass
in the front counter,
so people can see how cool it looks
and what they can do with their photos.

I am busy unravelling,
thinking,
working,
trying to remember
to buy windshield wiper fluid
and
shaving gel for my lovely legs,
but I haven't yet remembered when I need to.
I am using a very expensive hair conditioner
instead of shaving gel,
and my windshield stays streaked & dirty.
But
I remembered my massage last night.
I don't forget the important things.

It is August 4th.
Almost the full moon.
It will shine through my bedroom window
and keep me awake.
that's okay - i will visit with maggie under that moon

8.01.2009

Wonderland - August/Texas

If it's August, it must be rabbits.

This white one Wednesday evening, 2 of them late yesterday afternoon - brown & black, 4 or so blocks from my house, sitting at the curb, eating grass, no doubt someone's lost pets, or descendants of someone's pets, but nonetheless, rabbits. I stopped the car for this one, phone camera in hand, and off he hopped into a yard, me behind him, feeling more than a little like Alice, wishing he would stop - let me get closer, but he would only tease and hop farther into the yard as I approached, eating his way through the lawn. He eventually stopped in the rear side yard, next to the trash cans, close to the back French doors, so I snapped one close-up and headed back to the street, afraid to be mistaken for a prowler. I like this image of the chase best.

August begins. Wonderland.

The summer begins its slow march into the fall under cloudy skies, rain threatening, humidity standing invisible guard, almost-a-breeze flittering through the front doors. I am like Alice,

the dream-child moving through a land
of wonders wild and new
in friendly chat with bird or beast -
and half believe it true


moving through this land called my neighborhood, for it is daily full of wonders wild and new - though the rabbits may not be wild, they are certainly new, and if left to their own nature & wanderings, it is only a matter of time before they work their way closer, before there are more of them. I watched an opossum waddle past the door the other night, crossing the yard and then the street, down into the creek next to Mary's house, and such a waddle it was that I laughed aloud. I watched a giant limb fall from a tree next to Mary's driveway - a first time for me, a wonder wild and new; usually I hear the thud first - thankfully no one was hurt, no cars injured (by a miracle of inches), so I could appreciate the wonder of that fall, happy I saw it, awed by its power & speed, by the sound of branches breaking under its weight as it tumbled to Earth, humbled by the powerlessness of us mere mortals here on the ground who could do nothing but watch.

The Outside has become silent, no birdsong, no birds in sight - rain must truly be close. The greens of grasses & trees & vines is almost overwhelming under the gray skies; A.C.'s back yard looks like ankle-deep velvet as it winds its way across my sight, bumping into Mary's front yard, her green house almost disappearing behind ginkgo & catawba leaves. But here comes the sun as I type those thoughts, shadows appear on our front lawn, and then leave as clouds cover the brightness, but back again immediately, hinting of a breeze in the sky, and yes, there it is, a bit of movement across the tall grasses next to the creek. August. Wonderland.

The noise begins. Cicadas quite loud. A few birds. The humidity moves in through the open doors, Dan from up on the corner walks by.

Saturday.

Wonderland.

There are even mushrooms in the yard.

next month, through the looking glass