Sing along: One of these things is not like the others…
From the beach yesterday morning. I say still life, but there could be mites in the feather and the plants are still alive and no doubt there are lots of microscopic plants and animals in this picture. I am wondering how it is really possible to be vegan with bacteria around. Do they not count?
Do corals have venation? The feather does.
For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: venation.
Ok, we are having the northwest heat wave and I am on the Olympic Peninsula.
I know LOTS of heat tricks, because I went to high school in Alexandria Virginia. And slept in the upstairs front bedroom, no air conditioning.
So yesterday I start using more of my heat tricks.
The silliest was the bathtub. I pull the old bathtub I’d gotten from a man two blocks away who was renovating his house away from the fence. I rinse it out and get a tub plug, wrong size, and plastic wrap. Fixed. I fill about half way with water, which is delightfully cold, and then get the fountain. I got the fountain at a garage sale for $5.00. I plug it in and instant fountain. I happily stick my feet in it.
I send a picture to a friend, who responds “Redneck wading pool.”
“No, no.” I respond. “I was raised by beatniks. It’s a beatnik bathtub fountain.”
He laughs. “Ok, yeah.”
I was trying to remember the name of this poem the other day. Then I put up the rose picture and remembered. I wrote this in or before 2009.
She was raised in captivity
With her family
They knew the ways
Of the captors
Of the wild
Was too strong for her
She strained at the lead
And distant calls
Those who were free
She was beaten
Thrown in solitary
They told her the rules
Over and over
Lacerating her captors
Turned their heads away
They didn’t watch her
She chewed off her paw
They didn’t notice
When they came near
They threw the meat
From a distance
Her cubs circled
To all appearances
“When, mother?” they whispered
As the leg healed
Her gait became stronger
The cubs and she
Ran at night
While others slept
At last she tried once more
Cried to the sky
And the call of the wild
The family cringed
Pressed their ears
To stop the noise
And broke the chain
On the cage
That held them
They turned away
In the familiar
Now she rises
Trots from the compound
She sets a steady pace
A loping gallop
They do not look back
The family may choose
To free themselves
But not now
She follows the voices
And the unknown
Poor roses, caged! Well, it’s the only way to keep the deer from biting off all the blooms. I have to work on the fences today because the fawns can slide under. They will be getting bigger and want the vitamin C in the roses soon.
And for music for Juneteenth: Nina Simone Mississippi Goddamn.
I wrote this story today. I am not Native American. As far as I know, I am white, but then, I have not done any genetic testing so who knows? This was inspired by a poem of the same title: https://everything2.com/user/etouffee/writeups/Bears+all+his+sons+away%253B
I am wailing. I am crying. The Bear came today, our bear, the tribe’s bear, our Spirit.
But he didn’t just walk through camp and take fish and his tribute.
He took my son.
He walked right up to where my wife stood still, as we must when he comes, and he lifted the boy in his paws. The boy was quiet and still, he did well, he was brave, but when the bear turned to leave, he called once.
Then our bear dropped to three legs, my son in the fourth, and turned and left.
My son, my son, my heart, my joy. Spirit Bear, return him to me!
We fought, argued, for a very short time. The Shaman said that if Spirit Bear wants my son, he shall have him.
He does have him, I said, but I want him back. The Shaman knew that was true. Some shook their heads and say that my son is already dead, but most agreed with me. We were on the trail nearly immediately. The bear should not be able to move as quickly as usual when he is carrying my son. I dread evidence of my son’s loss, that he will be eaten. But that has never happened, in the history, in the songs. The Shaman said as much. But neither has a bear taken a chief’s son.
Spirit Bear is moving amazingly fast on three legs. He is headed for the mountains. Not a surprise. My son may get cold. But bears are warm. My son has not been eaten.
We have to make camp. I am so angry that we have not caught Spirit Bear. Out of our home camp he is fair game.
We do the Bear Dance, four times. We did not bring the masks and the young men dance the women’s part and one sings the woman’s part. We made quick rough masks and costumes. The Spirits will forgive us. This is past all understanding.
What does a Spirit Bear want with my son? Four years. No one knows.
Day again. I am up before dawn praying for light, for my son, to find the Spirit Bear.
We are hot on the trail. We find that Spirit Bear did sleep and rest. My son is dropping beads. Smart boy. Each bead means that he is still alive and relatively unhurt.
We have spotted them. Spirit Bear stood and looked down at us, my son tucked against his side. My son very slowly raised his arm, so he knows.
We are approaching the peak. Everyone is tired from the climb and hungry and thirsty. Yet we keep going. No one complains.
We reach the peak and Spirit Bear and my son. We arm our spears and arrows, but my son shouts “No! Look!” We turn. We see the water. There is something in the water. It has tannish wings that are filled with wind. It is huge compared with our boats.
We turn to my son. He stands and Spirit Bear leaves, ambling down the mountain, quickly, gone. I hurry to my son, sweep him up. He starts shaking and then cries, leaning his head into me.
We turn and watch the tan winged thing, which is coming against the wind. It comes at an angle and then turns, to the opposite angle, yet still it comes. We know this is new and that there can be terror or joy, we do not know which. There will be learning, we know that.
My son falls asleep. We carry him down to water and camp. We are all singing quietly, the song of new things, fear and joy. The Shaman will welcome us when we are home, and we will prepare for the winged thing. We do not know what it will bring.
We thank the Spirit Bear for warning us, for telling us to prepare.
Two days ago I walked on Rialto Beach with a friend. It was totally gorgeous. One of those days when people visiting the Olympic Peninsula want to move here, only to find that those days are less common than the grey mat in the sky just over the house….
The colors were just intense. I did not adjust the color at all. The program sometimes offers me a retouched photograph but I always think the colors are just off and wrong.
I wore my oxygen, via concentrator. I have about 3.5 hours per battery. We were on the second battery by the time we got back.
My pack was also full of rocks. B is particular: he wants clear or nearly clear agates. I am currently a generalist about rocks: I am fascinated by the not clear agates, some quartz, jasper, poppyseed jasper… anyhow, I am rather a magpie right now about rocks. Ooooo, shiny!