Stories

ImageLast weekend, I ventured up to the Altadena Urban Farmers’ Market at the Zane Grey Estate. There, all sorts turned out on the glorious, sunny JanuarySunday. Men and ladies with long grey hair, red-lentil eating bralesschicks, beautiful couples in crumpled clothes with feral angel babiesin tow and Pasadena ladies in crisp, cropped pants all ambled about thefading estate.

Curious to see the property, eager to pet one of the resident goats and hopingto find some amazing back-yard yuzu and artisan goat cheese, Martin andI signed the legal release at the entrance and perused the booths setup all over the lawn and asphalt driveway. For sale were leather belts,fabric bags, handmade soaps, honey, prepared foods, jams galore,multiple varieties of granola, home-baked breads and many kinds ofbaked goods. I didn’t get near any of the baked items. I didn’t want toget too close and have that awkward moment when I decline to purchasethe proffered sweet. I got the distinct impression that the cookiesetc. were vegan, and while I’ll eat vegan vegetable and grain disheshappily any day, I see butter and eggs as necessary additives tocookies.

Read more ...

dead-horses-1Vintage tales of hardship and survival:
Grandad crushed when the tractor toppled
On Brier Hill. How Uncle John lost his arm
To the picker. Samuel smothered
In the silo, lungs full of harvest.

Thus reads a stanza of the poem Farming – One of the most dangerous occupations. It is representative of the twenty-six poems in Dead Horses, poems of struggle and suffering, loss and death. These are poems of memories, especially memories of horses:

Now that they are dead or gone, the dream
Is always of a field where horses
Flash past, hooves catching and echoing light,
The grass lush, milkweed or Queen Anne’s lace
Along the fencerows. Then suddenly it’s winter,
Snow is falling, shapes are haloed, the sky is bleak.

And another stanza, from the same poem:

…..You want them now, those horses
Crashing the earth with sound as if light
Had been surpassed by speed, as if the laces
That bind you to your bones gave way to winter’s
Blast…..

Read more ...

This is been a TERRIBILIS AUTEM SABBATI (aka a really bad week)... a lot of pain - all over the world. Cautious moderate thinking seems utterly incapable of solving the problems, as we have moved into a communal state of FIGHT OR FLEE. For a moderate middle of the roader this is awkward. So while my point is serious, I now move into a wistful moment of humor. I am offering two options each on fight or flee.

Fight: Slim Pickens riding the bomb from Dr Strangelove and Brunhilda from Wagner's Ring Cycle, (photo©Nancy Ellison Photography).

Slim Pickens Maj King Kong brunhilda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flee: IZ - Israel Kamakawiwo'ole and his youtube video of Somewhere Over the Rainbow - the sweetest most personal rendition ever, and finally my personal favorite - the White Cosmo that I just had at Cafe Boulud for brunch today....

{youtube}V1bFr2SWP1I{/youtube} White Cosmo

The Flee choices are short term. The Fight choices are rather permanent.

carkeys2.jpg1) You can’t find your keys
           Don’t worry about it, no one can ever find their keys

2) You can’t find your cell phone.
           Don’t worry about it, no one can ever find their cell phone

3) Your daughter calls and tells you they’ve just called her from the deli to say you left your cell phone there. And you had no idea it was even missing.

4) You have two things in your hand, a dirty napkin and a wallet, and you throw your wallet in the trashcan.

5) You walk into the bedroom and realize the dresser drawer is open.
           This is a bad sign. There’s a cure. Retrain yourself to do things in a different order. Open the drawer. Take the sweater out. Shut the drawer. THEN put the sweater on.

Read more ...