forest fires and your lungs

Our air quality is still bad today. I got my first alarm on my cell phone for bad air quality yesterday: the first time in 18 years.

Here are some links regarding forest fire smoke and your lungs:

Forest fires and Respiratory Health Fact Sheet: here. This pdf has other links at the bottom.

Breathe: the lung association: here. A Canadian site. Good, short and clear.

American Lung Association: How wildfires affect our health.

Fire fighter health: US Forest Service. Effects of Smoke Exposure on Firefighter Health

The photograph is not a fire: it’s a sunset in Hawaii.

Mundane Monday #173: skies

For Mundane Monday #173, my theme is skies: not blue skies. Skies that worry me. This is a fire sky, the sun setting through smoke that we can smell. There are no big fires near us, so I don’t know if this is California, Oregon, Washington, or Idaho smoke…

Add a message with your post or a pingback and I will list them next week. There might be a delay, because I have some travel soon.

For the Mundane Monday #172 prompt: windy:

KL Allendoerfer joins in: https://klallendoerfer.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/mundane-monday-windy/

dish prayer

Beloved, thank you for these dirty dishes.
Thank you that I have hands to wash the dishes.
Thank you that I have water, clean water, hot water and soap.
Thank you that I have a sponge and a sink.
Thank you that I have a home, that it has not burned or flooded or been destroyed by war.
Thank you that I had food to feed my family and my self, to dirty these dishes.
Thank you that I have food to put on clean dishes today and tomorrow.
Please, Beloved, help me bring food to those who need it, clean water, soap, dishes, homes.
Please, Beloved, open our hearts to others in need.
Thank you, Beloved, for these dirty dishes that now are clean and for the circle of life they represent, clean to dirty to clean again.

 

The Olympic Peninsula only has one wild fire currently, but the sunset last night was lit by smoke.

prayer for gentle earth

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: monsoon.

Today’s prompt of monsoon makes me think both of the fires burning all over, California, eastern Washington, and of the floods in other places.

I took this on a vacation, two days on Herron Island. In the morning we were relaxed on the porch when I spotted smoke on the other side of the cabin. A lot of smoke. My friend explained that sometimes people burn slash, including tires. I was unreassured and insisted on going to look.

It was a house burning down.

The firetrucks must come from the mainland by ferry.

It was terrifying. I took this within 5 minutes of getting there, within 10 minutes of seeing smoke. There were oxygen tanks, live ammunition and propane, exploding.

At first we didn’t know if there was anyone inside. It was clear that we were not getting to them and that they were gone. The only person home had escaped, with the help of a neighbor on the other side. The house burned to the ground very quickly. I had our things loaded back in the car as soon as it was clear that the island responders were waiting for the fire trucks. This house was across the street and one door down.

Prayers for the flooded and the fires. Prayers for us to care for the earth and the earth to be gentle with us.

 

 

the mystic E2 dragon

We are writing a quest where we ask different people to write more about a topic. The requests are anonymous and some are for existing titles that have no write ups. This topic was given to another person and then I was asked to write about it as well. My sister was an editor on the everything2 website. She was born in the year of the dragon. She died of cancer in 2012.

_____________________

the mystic E2 dragon

 

“Hey.”

“Hey.”

“They want me to write about the mystic E2 dragon.”

Laughs.

“So I think of you.”

Silence… a weight. “So it’s me?”

“No, but you are a dragon, born in the Year of the Dragon.”

“Like we’re Chinese.”

“Yeah, well.”

“And you are an ox.”

“Thanks.” I wait. “Come on, show up.”

The dragon is made of a coat hanger, a rough gold cloth and black felt hand sewn to the body, thin gold cloth on the wings, gold earrings with rubies for eyes. Probably fake rubies, I’m not sure. I made it in college, tail to curl around the neck so that it can sit upright on my shoulder when I walk around. A gold fire lizard. I gave it to my sister, who said I could take it back when she lay dying.

The dragon morphs and now fills the living room, pushing on the walls and squashing me. The scales are hard and hot!

“Stop it!” I say, “Don’t destroy the house!”

The dragon is now couch size. My couch groans under it. The dragon is very alive and smoke rises from her nostrils. It manages to look like my sister, like a dragon and like the borg all at once. Metal and wires on the left side of the dragon’s face, eye socket with a metal camera that whirrs.

“Mind the couch.” I say.

She shifts a little, not shrinking. I peel myself off the fireplace, with the ache of the metal insert and the mantel on my back.

“So.” I say, “what should I tell them?”

She narrows her eyes at me and shrugs.

“What do they want to hear?”

“You tell me.”

“Keep the site alive.”

“Yeah, ok.” I wait.

She looks around. “Your dust bunnies are dying of old age.”

“That’s ok.” I say. “They are better than a guard dog.”

She snorts smoke.

“Tea?” I say. I have it made already, on a tray. The tray was painted by one cousin, the tea cloth woven by another, the teapot made by our mother, with my poem on it.

She takes the cup and saucer delicately. Five claws on each forefoot.

“What’s it like?” I say.

Shrug again, as she sips the tea.

I wait.

“I’m not telling you. And this is your active imagination, so what a stupid question.”

“But I am talking to the unconscious.”

“Yeah, whatever. And anyhow, you’ve already decided, puny human.”

“Ox.”

“Ok.”

And here a curtains drops, while I thank her and we say goodbye.

 

Submitted to the Daily Prompt: candid.

Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit

For the Daily Prompt: carve. I think of skiing, bicycling. And I think of a piece of my heart. I wrote this in the early 2000s.

Butterfly Girl Comes to Visit

She is so beautiful with her wings
multicolored many splendored lights caught and multiplied
as she flutters

I freeze
I am an ogre
Huge and clumsy
I know from past past many times
Not to touch you
My rough fingers have brushed the tiny feathers from your wings
You cry in pain and your flight becomes erratic
My kiss is just as bad
Rough lips
If I move the wind of my passing blows you against a window
You fall stunned

I hold and crush
the box of feelings that can hurt you
Sorrow, anger, fear, dismay
Even fatigue turns my aura red
And scorches your wings

I hate to cause you pain

Fly butterfly girl
My baby needs me, my pager rings
My ogre husband stirs
The effort of holding still plain on his face
I can’t hold still much longer

Butterfly girl
Fly on home