Saturday, December 31, 2016


This morning I failed to explain what I wanted to convey by saying that dying is hard. And on my walk, shortened due to a roaring chill wind (stabbing my throat), I remembered Mojo during his last days. He was ready to curl down into  dying, but he was acutely aware of it not being quite time. I would let him out, watch him head toward the river, stop and stand as if weighing the wind and his heart. Or perhaps he was noting the stiffness in his bones, his failing kidneys. He would pause in a frozen stance for minutes; on several occasions I went out to encourage him home. But on his last day determination and time matched. He went straight for the path to the river, slowly - but with no pause. Later that day walking with friends, we found him in the warm sun, nested in leaves by the creek in the warmest section of the steep ravine. He even followed us down to the river ever so slowly. I knew he wouldn't make it back to the house as I walked with my friends home. This is what I mean by "hard." Hard because we are in flesh that is pulled into the living; and strong as the spirit may call at us, the tug of the sinew of flesh is strong. We are attached. Hard doesn't necessitate pain,
dark or misery, it just means awareness of the process. Hard is struggle and stress, not without smile. In Ethiopia, a 116 old neighbor, visits, led by a child.

Far Niente

Far Niente

I wake to the night squalls of Playa Bonita
in my bed in the loft of the house, Far Niente,
and I hear the wind as if I am inside conch shell;
the rustling thatch.  
With the light skies, I idle with the shadows
of coconut palms as the house fills below me.
My son slides the heavy louvre doors,
opening the mouth of Far Niente to the day; 
the smell of coffee.
Still I am lulled by the surf as my grandchildren stir,
rubbing their eyes into the vision of here,
all together in one house: dads, cousins, moms,
and me who lingers upstairs dreaming the dream of us,
wave upon wave. 


Thursday, December 29, 2016

One year is ending, a new one begins

I have refrained from political talk for the most part here in this blog which has developed as a photo resting place with small asides and few reviews. Shallow I think. It seems futile to ruminate and whine. I have signed up for the Women's March in DC on the day after the inauguration of The Trump. I am looking forward to the trip, to the commitment to active hyper alertness in this time of Trump. I am especially anxious about threats to women's choice, to environmental protections and to social justice. 
I am thankful that I have the recent memories of Christmas with my family to bolster me. And hand warmers for my pockets. Friends to march with. And, I reminded myself today; the days are slowly becoming longer.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christmas in Dominican Republic

I ended up spending Monday night in a Charlotte motel after missing connection to DR, flight was fine in morning, but my checked bag went to Miami - not to be seen until the evening before Christmas Eve. Ez and Jen and Fia were at airport in Punta Cana to pick me up for 3 hour drive to Las Terranes to our rented beach house on Playa Bonita, Far Niente (idleness). Thanks to Mindy's psychic intuition, making an umpteenth call to the missing baggage claim folks in Punta Cana, we connected to the actual delivery driver who was in his van at the gate to our small beach rental community. The gate keeper wouldn't let the driver deliver the luggage until we arrived. So Santa's sleigh managed to make it. 
Fortunately I had a carry-on back pack with bathing suit and several changes of clothes and the kids Christmas stockings. Pearl and I took long walks on the beach most mornings, collecting shells, finding rainbows in the off shore rain squalls, and pausing by coral outcrops to look for small crabs. Baldwin and Ez after beach outings, cooked - fresh red snapper one night, leg of pork, another. The kids went from pool to beach and back most of the day, delighting to eye and heart. Rain in the mornings, clear skies most of the days. Ocean almost cool. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Anticipatory Anxiety time of year

I love Christmas. I hate Christmas. I want to hibernate with my dog and cat, yet somehow manage to get myself to celebrate with my kids. It doesn't help that travel difficulties have left me with a mild but irksome PTSD. This year I am already worried about the five day forecast which is confusing, 25 degree morning temp with possibility of rain...yet the day before has a high of 54. I suspect I will be fine. It is my familiar anticipatory anxiety which fires up until I'm literally on the road; then I am ready for adventure or death. And I will miss my home and mr lee and Katrina.