“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


the cat's chair

i dreamed about draperies, sheer against a nighttime sky.
i could see the stars through them.

it's because the house is still a mess.  it's because i keep changing my mind about the new floor color. it's because because because.  


yesterday i was sure this new color, the one you see above, was too light, too gray, too everything.  i decided it needed to be darker, needed to be the color of a pair of old navy shoes i own, still taupe, but browny taupe, darker.  i was sure.  and then this morning i moved the furniture again, more of the floor needing to at least be primed, the couch now in the middle of the living room, just a bit of walking room around it.  i moved this chair onto a part of the floor already painted, this chair that i was so in love with back when it was new and perfect, this chair that the cat destroyed back when she was new to this place and there seemed no way to stop her, this chair that i eventually handed over to her - it's yours, i thought, and maybe even said out loud.  even though when i'd catch her scratching it i would stop her, i knew it was useless.  and anyway, the chair was less important, and i just covered it and i still cover it.  eventually there may be a slipcover because it's a comfy chair, and it holds all those memories of the months after my mother's death, when her cat became my cat. memories in the form of those scratches.  she was making her mark.  i've talked about this before, about how she mostly now uses the pear tree by the staircase, scratching right where maggie used to scratch.

but back to the chair, back to the floor that this morning i suddenly liked.  i keep leaning over from my spot here on the couch so i can see the chair sitting there.  it scratched a bit of the new paint when i settled it into place and that seemed kind of perfect.



late morning early summer

light and air.

i have paint on my fingers that won't come off.

i am painting the floor, changing my mind daily about the color, about the paint, about why don't i just move?, and then i look out the windows and i remember.  i open the doors and windows and junebugs make themselves at home, and also mosquitoes, and i am sticky and sweaty and dirt is under my fingernails and my hair gets in the way and in the paint and the color is different over here in the corner where no sunlight reaches, and i am grateful i can see beyond it all.  a table from the living room has been pushed to the bedroom, and i think it will stay.  i like the emptiness left behind when we move things and i want to throw everything out, and then i don't, and then i do. it's a seesaw summer.



katie's gardenias and the rest of the week

this morning, on the back porch.  katie leaves them for me to find, though she doesn't know that. most every night she sits in the darkness with candlelight and the smell of summertime coming and going, and in the mornings i spy her evenings and smile.


yesterday, the lake. a boat.  the ever-wonderful and i.  we forgot our hats and the sky was blue and the day was hot and the clouds all looked like animals on their backs, having their bellies scratched.  less than an hour on the water and we had to be in it, floating, floating, watching a storm move in from the southeast, the sky going gray and grayer, and suddenly he knew it was time to go.  back into the boat and the heat, not a breeze anywhere you looked, not even with the boat moving faster across the water.  and then, there it was.  a fast breeze, a storm breeze, the temperature dropping, the sky going black.  no lightning, no thunder, just air and joy.

we made it back with a minute to spare.

you'll just have to believe me on this - lately i forget my camera a lot, and i'm not sure it's an accident.


last sunday i wrote:

the lampshade is crooked.  earlier this morning the sun hung just so in the sky, rising behind the window, and the fan cast its shadow through that crooked shade.  the sun is higher in the sky now, the shadows gone, the bedroom cooler, less bright.   the air smells like dust.

i’ve had a cold.  or allergies or something, cough included.   summer seems to at last be here, and the sun, now even higher, fills the front yard with light.  russell crowe is on the television, dressed as robin hood, near the movie’s end where sherwood forest glows a lovely blue here in the corner of my house.  my house of still-in-transition.  the cough has made me lazy and tired, and though almost gone, i let it rest me a bit more, let it linger me on the couch for a while longer this sunday morning.  the front door is open, the cat sleeping somewhere in sunshine or shade, or perhaps on the bed, a small circle of contentment.  i have hopes she'll leave some of that contentment behind when she awakes, a bit for me to lay my head on, a bit to sink into my soul. 

the house is still on crutches, relearning its way of walking, and the past few days i have been feeling its aches and exhaustion, have understood its secret plea to just stop, to just let it end, to hand it an old fashioned and let it drink its pains away.  in truth, i want to sit next to it and share that drink, and stop thinking for a while, ignore the bumping into obstacles no matter where we turn.

slow living right now.


this morning aragorn is on the television and gandalf the white is about to appear.  my front door is once again open and it is humid.  you can see the grass growing, tree limbs hanging heavy.  today the cat is asleep on a chair, a good place to hear the birds in her dreams, a good place to feel the fan as it moves past.  the church bells chime the hours.