new friends

I have new friends.

Nothing is lost without something else being gained. When you put a bucket in the water and pull it up, no hole is left. The water equilibrates. The water rushes in to the new hole and there is swirling and chaos for a bit and then you can’t tell.

I took coffee in to my yard yesterday morning. I didn’t feel like eating much for the two days before that. I felt more like drinking alcohol but I pay a lot of attention to that urge. I drank some but stopped. There is way too much of that history in my family.

Caffeine, now. Also addictive. I’ve quit caffeine a couple of times. I quit back in medical school because my stomach hurt. Second year I kept falling asleep in the lectures. I tried standing up through them and woke up sliding sideways down the wall. I wonder if people laughed. Everyone was sick of sitting in that room, one floor up from the first year, and trying to learn an impossible amount of information. I don’t think people did laugh. We were all in the same boat after all. If they laughed, it was the laugh of recognition.

So I gave up and sat back down and took notes and fell asleep. My notes would trail off down the page at 40 minutes in to the lecture. Over and over and over. But there might be some advantages to hearing medicine in a dream state. Who knows?

My friends came while I was drinking coffee. Four pine siskins. I have named the first three Winken, Blinken and Nod. The fourth one showed up a little late. That one is Bill. Blinken is very fat and I suspect will appear abruptly thin after the eggs are laid.

A pair of juncos joined them. The feeder got a little bit chaotic when a house sparrow showed up. I thought there was a fifth pine siskin but I realized that this one had a pale pink hood: the lady of the house sparrow pair was present. Then my song sparrow, who sings every morning from across the street, came in. He and I have sung back and forth for years.

I have not seen a lady song sparrow yet. Or maybe she slipped in and out, she will be a little difficult to distinguish from the lady house sparrow and the pine siskins.

What joy to have new friends. I think I will have to fill the feeder every two or three days. It is spring and there will soon be new mouths to feed and everyone is hungry.

The photograph is not from my yard. It is from a wilder place, that is very beautiful.

Blessings.

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There is a song, the laugh of recognition, on this album: https://stores.portmerch.com/overtherhine/music/the-long-surrender-cd.html

The whole album helps me to grieve.

Game ball

Warning: this post contains some time out words.

How do I process the game you played?

I am the subject of the game.

Or the victim.

Or no, I refuse. It is your game. I was not playing. I am the honey badger, metabolism so fast that I have to run from one meal to the next or else I will starve. I eat whatever I can find: cobras, bees, anything. I eat or I die.

You have tethered a honey badger to oxygen by playing a game.

I am the football and you have been kicking me, throwing me, catching me, slamming me to the ground as hard as you can in the end zone.

And now that I am worn and damaged and torn, you’ll toss me away, not even notice me, and find a new ball.

You will need a new football. To play with.

I don’t envy that person.

The truth is, it will be one of you. The group will rest on their laurels, oh, we nearly killed her, wasn’t it great? We showed her. She is so stupid, took her what, 21 years to fucking figure it out? And she thinks she’s so smart.

I was looking for food because I am always hungry. The food insecurity goes back to infancy. Maybe to the womb: my mother says she was not to gain weight and spent the entire pregnancy longing for a gigantic ice cream Sunday. Think of being in a womb, attacked by antibodies to tuberculosis, and starving all the time. Might be a little bit worried when birth happens. Fuck, I am going through a tunnel, what horrors await me here? But maybe there will be more food.

Maybe someone will love me. Maybe there will be someone for me to love. And feed. We can give each other food.

My advice to you is don’t be the ball. I was the ball for 21 years. I was so hungry the whole time, for food and for love, that I kind of noticed but dismissed it as unimportant. Food and love were more important. Work and my patients were more important. You don’t matter and your games are trivial.

It will be the weakest one who will be the ball. You worry that you are the one. You should worry. You had better look strong right away. Post some horror. Write something really tough. Don’t show anyone any niggling doubts. Um, the ball is wearing oxygen. I am feeling a little bad about this. Are you feeling bad about this? The ball isn’t just crazy, it’s hurt. Actually crazy is an illness too: I know that you discriminate and think that cancer is a legitimate illness and that mania isn’t, but you are assholes. No, you’re too small and pathetic to be an asshole. You are a one celled animal that is clinging to a hair on an asshole and you get shat on daily. And you know, deep deep in your tiny shrunken heart, that you deserve it.

I am so glad I am not you.

I am tethered to oxygen. But I am healing. I don’t think you can. You are locked in your small sick pathetic triangulation competition and pretending that it’s a game that it’s ok that you are just playing.

Ick.

Meanwhile, the oxygen is portable.

I have food and I have love and I have work to do that lifts me on wings. I will go too near the sun and light on fire and fall burning, but that’s ok. I’ve done it before. The ocean heals me, always. It is so much fun to fly!

This is in memory of my mother, my father and my sister. I miss all three and I love them and they love me. Today is the day my mother died. The longer we live, the more days are days when someone that we love died. But they are still here. They are in the rocks and the sky and the trees and the coffee cup. They are not in sugary donuts or foods that cause heart attacks. But they are all around us, cradle us, still love us. Joy to you and the memories of your loved ones who have gone on. Blessings.

mysterious

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: speculate.

We walked North Beach yesterday, 2 or 3 miles out starting at high tide 1:30 pm. There was a very large dead octopus on the beach. There were three bald eagles in the trees above and then more in flight, arriving for a chance at this meal. There was a pair of bald eagles flying in tandem and then this bird. The white wing tips are the clue. I can only find one very large bird in North America with the wings with white feathers at the ends, and it’s not an eagle.

Do you care to speculate? If I am correct, it is a long way from the Cornell Bird Lab map of where it is supposed to live.

Next

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: segue.

My daughter and I hiked at Deception Pass yesterday. We went up Goose Rock. Neither of us had hiked it before and the views were fabulous. I only had my cell phone.

My van is dead, cracked head block, so now I want to move the tow to my scion. Then I can tow the little Panda Minimum trailer. It is becoming clear that we all need to reduce airplane travel as part of our carbon footprint, so I will explore my Washington State Parks.

Have a very happy New Year’s Eve: and be careful out there.

flag

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: flag.

I am flagging today. I had just a touch of cold symptoms Sunday and then got worse and worse in clinic yesterday. I wore a mask to try to keep from giving my cold to my patients. Home to bed as soon as I finished the last one, but today I am up early, in spite of ten hours sleep , and worse. I have learned the hard way that if I try to “work through it” I will cough for weeks or get pneumonia, so I will cancel clinic today.

I like the elements in this photograph, the triangle of the adult, the kayak and the gull. I also like the child “perched” on the gull’s back. It reminds me of an old children’s book: At the Back of the North Wind, by George McDonald, first published as a serial in 1868. It’s an odd and magical story.  The whole text is available on project Gutenberg here. I like to read children’s books when I have a cold and am trying to rest. They are very comforting.

And here is an illustration on line as well.

tilt

I love the great blue herons on the tops of trees: they look so comfortable even when the top is leaning way way over… I am no where near as comfortable in a tree! And think of being the size of a great blue heron and landing on that tree! I have been watching them locally more and more. They look unlikely and peculiar to me landing in trees, but it’s me that is uncomfortable, not them. They trust the trees and land with confidence.

without earbuds 8

I am two blocks from home, walking in my neighborhood (7).

She perches in the top of one of the trees. I zoom in again. Look back at that first picture. She is in one of the tall trees behind the cars, right at the top.

She looks like a very interesting Christmas tree topper.

Blessings, beautiful great blue heron! I think of you along rivers and ponds and swamps, but what a privilege to see you flying to perch in a tree! In three trees! Three blocks from my home!

I feel blessed.

She is one of the many reasons I walk without earbuds and listen and watch for the birds.