Posts Tagged ‘memory’

The Deer Bar

We use an evaporative (swamp) cooler to stay alive during the hot months, like most people here.  It rests on some sawhorses outside one of the yurt’s windows, and when the water going through it reaches the overflow level there’s a lovely small pool of water in the rocks underneath it, with succulent little green things like dandelions and crane’s bill growing up luxuriantly.  This is the new watering hole for the deer family who’ve decided to stay right next to us.  There’s a mom (whose ribs show and there MAY even be a bit of gray around the ears..), a baby, and a year old male.  They come and leave hoof prints from where they’ve eaten and had water without ever making a sound.   I’ve been watching them lately and I really wonder, for example, what they call each other and how they talk.  The baby (just now losing spots) has reached the developmental stage where he feels like a Big Deer, and thus wanders off.  Probably contributing to his mom’s gray ears, since she has to constantly hunt and find out where he is.  One day he was standing in the upper horse pasture when his mom spotted him from lower down and all of a sudden that fawn looked like he’d been electrocuted, jumping literally three feet high in the air.  Quickly composing himself back into Big Deer, he continued to hum lalala and ignore his mother.  Not a smart move.  She clearly re-emitted the electrifying utterance, something along the lines of GETDOWNHERETHISMINUTEDOYOUHEREME?NOW.  And, of course, he did.  There’s comfort in a way in knowing that we really are pretty much all the same, us, deer, trees, everything.

I suppose it is that sense of connection in a way that lends magic to things- they unfold before you and it is dazzling every time that rose blooms or a child laughs  or you get a difficult state of mind resolved.  I was talking to one of my oldest and closest friends recently, who remarked that although life IS beautiful, he didn’t really see the magic. I responded that often it seemed the reverse for me.

For some reason I woke up today thinking about one of the many times the two of us hitchhiked up the California coast to the bay area, back in the dim, distant past of The Day When We Were In College.  We were hitching to San Francisco from Oakland at one point and got picked up by a man who said he was a Scientific Boxer.  It was a truly amazing experience, involving as it did a simultaneous boxing demo with steering wheel, and multiple vehicle crash in the middle of the bridge.  Having earlier in the same trip narrowly avoided imminent death on another corner, when the wreck happened we counted our blessings, got out of the car  and bid adieu to our boxing friend.  We walked into the City, which was a bit of a distance since we were in the middle span of the bridge.  It was a sparkling day with crisp air and the deep blue of the ocean out beyond only seemed to intensify the glittering movement of the waves far below us.   There was magic in all that beauty there, and in our safe passage, for sure, and while the clarity of the memory surprises me, I’m pretty sure it is just one more part of that big puzzle being worked on now in my head.  Still, I’m pretty sure of at least one thing, now that I can’t avoid admitting being Mostly Grown Up.  I definitely believe in magic, and all those pieces of it we see in the course of our lives are part of a huge tapestry, a palimpsest, a portrait.   That picture is what shines through for us over time, guiding us when we think we’re in the dark- but we never really are without some light to guide us.  And that right there is the real magic.



Oh, Lordy

Yet another couple of hours of potential productivity dissipated this afternoon; somehow time flies by and today what it has brought is high wind and perhaps the start of rains.  This means, among other things, that we have to scurry around and get more wood before everything turns to freezing mud.

I was talking to an old friend who remarked that parsing ideas was becoming ever more difficult.  BOY HOWDY, I said.  Sometimes you find yourself simply unable to respond to things.  Anyway, it being Sunday we’re listening to Harry Shearer again.  Monsanto!  Mitt Romney!  UGH!   Not to mention all the local excitements of dwelling here in the land the BiPolar Express visited once and then forgot.  As in, restraining orders being tacked onto neighborhood bulletin boards with warnings scrawled thereon in lipstick.  But who’s counting?  The entire world seems to be more than a bit excitable.

And so time moved on and found us here at Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, erstwhile holiday.  I had actually thought about writing about that today until I found that we were unexpectedly  back at the part of the film titled “FUN WITH PLUMBING”.  The Partner had noticed a growing leak at the pumphouse (of the relatively recently replaced well, another fun time) which this morning culminated in:

The landlady’s husband turning off the water without telling anyone, then leaving.  He does things like that.

The landlady calling and saying they were BOTH leaving, she’d turned the water back on, and if anything happened THEY DIDN’T DO IT.   This was fun.   In addition, The Partner responds especially well to stimulus of this sort.  The water was indeed on, which also meant that it took some time for it to get back to a point where it would come out of our faucet.  This did finally happen, accompanied by huge spurts and sprays, green water (just like before!), muck, nothing, spurts…I decided to bite the bullet and wash dishes.  While I could, sort of thing.

While engaged in this attempt at productivity, I found my inner voice going: WTF! Am I the worst person on the planet or what? Why me??? Screw the easy button! That’s not good enough any more!  I can’t take any more of this (spurt, spray, glob, wild temperature fluctuation, rinse and repeat).  I NEED A NEW LIFE RIGHT NOW.  Then as if in some sort of dizzying technical display, I saw every plumbing fiasco I’ve ever experienced flash before my eyes.  There was the festive house where the original owner had used the wrong kind of materials when building the bathroom with the following results:

1) There was a constant ring of slugs around the base of the toilet until it eventually fell through the floor.  This was resolved by calling a plumbing company run and exclusively staffed by the Hell’s Angels.  Oh, yes.  During this time the sewer line from the street backed up into the bathtub also.  Tree roots, don’t you know.

2) Shortly after the toilet and floor and whatnot was…er…fixed, the shower wall/back outer wall of house, collapsed in due to…well, see toilet bowl above.    This repair took MONTHS.  Then the landlord’s son knocked up his girlfriend and I got shown the door.  Isn’t that always the way?  You just get things the way you want them, viz basic amenities, and then, whammo!  So.  Ultimately after looking at a variety of lodgings that made me cry,  I moved to another seemingly fine house in another adjacent town, where this happened:

Every drain in the place spewed straight up and then an air lock descended and nothing would move.  THIS TIME, I missed the Hell’s Angels.  This time, I got the Persian Plumber who, after thwacking, hemming and hawing, saying things along the lines of women should never go near plumbing, got up on the roof to clear out the roof vents.  Barefoot.  With his roto rooter thing, which smashed into, yes you guessed it! the kitchen window I had just replaced because it had gotten shaken loose in the earthquake and…..

This, in short, is how things Usually Go In My Life.  Apparently I am still delusionally attempting to pretend that I have a NORMAL LIFE.  Normal, schnormal.  Now I’m just working on telling myself that, uh, that……surely there’s something I can do today that will at least lend this Punch and Judy show the air of having a plot.  Meanwhile, the landlady’s back, perhaps with piping.  We’ll see what happens.   If we dare………..