“And they were canopied by the blue sky, So cloudless, clear, and purely beautiful . . .” ~ Lord Byron


Blue Skies and Smooth Sailing

“Green calm below, blue quietness above.” ~ John Greenleaf Whittier


Today was a good day. Nothing at all special happened, which is part of what made it a good day. The sky was an amazing, cloudless blue, not hidden by any haze. Temperatures were in the mid 70’s, and a light breeze was blowing.

These are the kinds of spring days that we have too seldom in this area as early spring tends to jump straight into summer, with hot, humid days and hazy sunshine. So on a day like today, I took advantage of the gift nature had presented me, and I sat out in the back yard in the warm spring sun. I took a book, but will admit that I didn’t read many pages.

Brett, too, joined me outside, as did the dogs. Corey seemed more relaxed as he sat in a chair outside talking to his mother, something that always seems to calm him. I took the portable CD player outside and put on some tunes, making for an altogether laid-back afternoon.

I will admit that I spent much more time gazing upwards and daydreaming than I did concentrating on my book. If I had to tell someone exactly where my thoughts wandered, I would be hard-pressed. It was the kind of day-dreaming that has no rhyme or reason to it. I just let my thoughts float on the breeze and go where they wanted.

“I never get tired of the blue sky.” ~ Vincent van Gogh

Granted, the morning did not begin quite so peacefully as today was opening day at the park that lies directly behind our house. I was awakened at 8 a.m. to sounds of horns as people vied for parking spaces. Then the PA system came on, and the realization of what day it was hit me right behind the eyes.

I know. If any of my children were playing in the league, I would be full of excitement at the prospect of opening day. However, since we have lived here, opening day has become something to dread: cars parked haphazardly in the park’s lot and up and down the streets, litter in the front yard from people who have no consideration for other’s property, and lots and lots of yelling of  “go, go, go, go.”

You might think that after all of this time I would be used to the clamor, but somehow opening day always seems to impinge upon my reality in the most unpleasant way. Today it was blaring horns early in the morning.

Eventually, the police will come by to ticket the people who seem oblivious to the fire hydrant in the corner of our front yard and the no parking signs on our side of the street. When I try to warn people, they think that I am just being nosy and ignore me, so you’ll have to forgive me if I take some small amount of pleasure when they finally get their tickets.

” . . .the blue sky, it seems so deep, so peaceful, so full of a mysterious tenderness . . .” ~ George MacDonald 

But back to my day: mysterious tenderness . . .


We sat there in companionable silence, all of us, lost in our own thoughts. I looked around the yard and realized that the gardenia bush would be in bloom soon, and thought about the lantana that needs pruning in the front of the house.

The Jack Russells spent a lot of time with their noses turned toward the heavens, their eyes closed. I remember when we first got them, as small puppies they would sit in the backyard with their snouts turned upwards and move their heads back and forth slowly, almost synchronized. Their noses would twitch as they caught different scents on the wind.

In our house, we call that action being “sun puppies.” Tillie, however, has not quite mastered the Zen of being a sun puppy. She can remain still for a minute, maybe two, before she is off, ferretting out a ball for someone to throw. From experience I know that few Labradors tap into their inner Zen until they reach about three years old.

My old lab Mokie used to love to sun herself, and in the winter, she would take naps against the sliding door whenever the sun was at its brightest on the rear of the house. Once or twice I have found Tillie by the glass door, and it is a sweet reminiscence.

“Darkly, deeply, beautifully blue” ~ Lord Byron, Don Juan

Later, after everyone had come inside, Corey and I were talking, and our conversation drifted to the four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Even though he spends his professional life on the water, and he loves to landscape and garden, I told Corey that I thought that he was more of a fire element, not just because he has a fascination with fire, but because of the qualities of fire: it warms; it is unpredictable and passionate; it can mean death, but at the same time, it can bring forth new life, renewal by cleansing an area for new growth. Fire is an element for those who constantly seek change.


Although my star sign is Aquarius, and I love the sound of water, I think that I am more closely allied with air. Everything about the sky amazes me: the creatures that soar and move through the air, the clouds that can occlude or refract, the night sky with all of its stars. I have even put glowing stars on the ceiling of my bedroom so that on the darkest of nights, I still have the heavens above me.

I find tremendous peace in all of those things, but the one thing that I love to behold in the sky is the mixing of my elements: a thunderstorm in which the rain pours down, the sky is back lit by shooting spears of light, and the air moves through everything, causing the trees to sway, the leaves to turn inward, and the earth itself to run in rivulets.

“I believe that if one always looked at the skies, one would end up with wings.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

wings-in-flightAnd now that evening is here, I find that I still have a smile on my face, something that has seemed to elude me for forever, it seems.

The only thing that is missing now is the sound of the water gently flowing from the pond, but if I am patient enough, that too will happen. Today is the kind of day that so many people take for granted, but I am learning to appreciate better as a result of the greyer days of the past. Tonight I am will lay my head on the pillow and give up my destiny to the fates.

I can feel my steady heartbeat in my chest. I can content myself with the steadfast love of the man beside me, the family around me, and the friends who keep me close in their hearts.

Perhaps tomorrow my worries will return with the force of a tree bending under the weight of winter ice, but that is tomorrow, and I am not going to spoil this day with troubles that I cannot change in the space of one day, one week, or possibly, one month.

I will leave you with the words of the amazing Carl Sagan. There will be more later. Peace.

At a few hundred kilometers altitude, the Earth fills half your sky, and the band of blue that stretches from Mindanao to Bombay, which your eye encompasses in a single glance, can break your heart with its beauty. Home you think. Home. This is my world. This is where I come from. Everyone I know, everyone I ever heard of, grew up down there, under that relentless and exquisite blue.

~ Carl Sagan


The Domino Effect of Small Things

Sometimes, it seems that no matter how hard we try, we can never get that one particular thing that we most need when we need it, whether it happens to be money for bills, peace of mind, no more instrusive telephone calls, a child to understand the need for limits, or just the need for a good night’s sleep. It’s as if the fates conspire to keep that one necessary thing just beyond our reach so that we finally just give up from exhaustion.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when this happens to me, it usually isn’t just with one thing. It’s almost always a domino effect: first it begins with that one bill that didn’t get paid, which leads to an overdraft in the checking account, which leads to something necessary breaking in the house, you know, something small like the fridge or the washer, or something like one of the cars becoming undriveable, which leads to one of the kids suddenly remembering that he needs $100 for something for school–by tomorrow, which leads to a remembered doctor’s appointment, which leads to . . .

I really don’t know why I thought that my life might become a little less complicated once I went out on disability. Delusions, obviously. Speaking of which, did you know that on the Windows media player, you can choose these wonderful visual effects like cottonstar and seaspray and put on your playlist and just close the bedroom door and watch your computer screen for hours? But that would be irresponsible and much too reminiscent of things we did when we had some really good Columbian, which I would know nothing about . . .

But I digress . . . (and I never inhaled, either) . . . so I was talking about the way life turns to pure and utter crap at times and there isn’t a freaking thing that you can do about it. So I watch a lot of Law & Order, all three versions, and there are always these deadbeat parents, meth heads, crack heads, and I sit there on my bed, with my pile of pillows behind my back, and my dogs, at least the Jack Russells, if not the Lab, too, firmly ensconced around my legs, and I make my moral judgment calls about these horrible parents who weren’t looking out for their children or friends or spouses because they were lost in their own little meth/crack/alcohol oblivions, and as a consequence, someone died. And the very real truth is that I couldn’t be a meth/crack head or an alcoholic because 1) I don’t like needles or dirty alleys and those seem to be prerequisites for that kind of lifestyles according to Law & Order, and 2) I’m pretty sure that it costs money to be a meth addict or crack head, and that’s what I don’t have or I wouldn’t be bitching right now, and 3) if I drink cheap alcohol, which is what I think you have to drink if you don’t have money and you want to be an alcoholic like the ones who hang out in the dirty apartments and alleys like the ones on Law & Order, then I get horrible headaches, so that’s out. If I drink the expensive alcohol that I like, I’d have to drink a lot to be an alcoholic, and that costs money, and I DON”T HAVE THAT, so again, let’s stay on point, shall we?

What was the point? Oh yeah, it might look very irresponsible and therefore freeing to be one of those people in the background on Law & Order who are never the real criminals, just the background bum scenery, but it still costs money, and it is a tad bit irresponsible, and let’s face it, I’d have a really hard time being that irresponsible because even though my house is in disarray, it doesn’t look like a crack house (at least I don’t believe that it does), and there are no alleys nearby, and Lenny Briscoe (gawd I miss him) won’t be knocking at my door anytime soon, so even though it might seem appealing to run away from it all, if you don’t have money, you’d just end up like some bum on Law & Order. And if you had the money to run away from it all in style, you would have paid that bill, and none of this would have started in the first place.

Rvent Horizon
Event Horizon


I’m now going to go lie down with my three dogs and read a book and drink some Pepsi. I’m out of twizzlers which really sucks. If anyone wants to send me a care package, I need Twizzlers, and I’m getting low on Pepsi. I may go into withdrawal soon. You’ll find me in bed with the dogs, curled into a fetal position, drinking coffee, surrounded by books and running through the cable channels trying to find an episode of House or Law & Order that I haven’t seen 13 times in the last two weeks, whimpering, probably cursing in some foreign language. My computer screen may or may not be flashing Event Horizon (now that movie scared the bejeezus out of me), depending upon how long I have been without Pepsi. Take pity upon the poor poet.