December 10, 2014 § Leave a comment
Listening to the rain, Clara brushed the day’s work from her hair. She
surveyed the house again, looking for anything left undone. Baxter,
the old spaniel trailed her, restive.
Dressed with measure.
Heated a brandy.
“Time to go now,” she said, turning off lights.
By midnight the river was in the parlor.
July 7, 2014 § 3 Comments
It was not an innocent conversation.
He is younger, I am a woman. I have lived in the neighborhood more than twenty years; the oldest of the newcomers. He is the newest, and wanting bad, to put his stink on his place, a second home in the country.
It is more or less than a neighborhood beef.
It was civil. Metered. He owns and manages his own business, clearly sees himself as a good communicator, but he doesn’t attend to the nuances. Nuance is my metier, was my profession, is my passion, pricks my curiosity feeds me lures me seduces me, is my drug of choice and I get it and savor it wherever and whenever I can.
Ironically my argument brooked no nuance whatever, needed none. What he had done was wrong. And I’ve come to learn in that instance once said, little else needs saying. Wrong is wrong. But, it still is a matter of opinion. A matter of culture. Of values. Of bearing. Of citizenship. Of how do you know. How do I know. Eeny meeny miny moe. Same neighborhood. Different world.
He said he had the right to have an open campfire on his property.
No question. I said. And lawful. Warming or cooking fires are.
But not the whole story. It is a hot dry July in the middle of one of the worst droughts on record, fire danger is EXTREME, water is scarce, and his property is under Redwood and low hanging Bay trees in the middle of a populated neighborhood. And the afternoon wind was still blowing. Sparks were flying. And one of the neighbors, scared, called the fire department. We all were worried.
In full regalia they came, and left. He is within his rights to have a cooking or a warming fire on his property.
But, had we asked them, if having a fire under these conditions was prudent, or a reasonable risk, they would have said no. He agreed. But thought it was his right to take this risk. We all take risks he said.
But, personal risks which implicate others are no longer personal. Behaviors which can inflict harm on others are inherently a public matter; the rights and good of the many instead of the rights and pleasures of one. The very building blocks of community. Of civility. Of respect.
I said his having a fire was wrong.
He said he had the right.
I said, given the conditions it was wrong, and disrespectful.
He wondered if there was anything he could do to allay my fears.
I said, wait for the rains.
He thought I was taking it too personally. He’d never had a fire get out of control. And he, wanting to be honest said it was likely he would continue to have campfires any time he wanted.
As I expected.
Not an innocent conversation. It is the changing of the guard. A young man unto himself, proud of the sovereignty he has a right to. Me, elder at the outpost, responsible now to the good of the many and the differences between right and wrong.
December 4, 2011 § Leave a comment
We sat in front of the TV, like people used to sit by the radio, you know, and waited, for someone to tell us what we already knew was inevitable. And every once in a while we went out and walked as far down the road toward the river as we could get. And we did normal things like eat supper and take out the garbage. And paced. You know, we even went to bed, but it was to fly in the face of reality. No one slept. And at any given time during the night everyone was out prowling around, surveying the situation. It was grave, it was quiet. The river was big and each of us were so small.
November 26, 2011 § 3 Comments
he, the Had Matter was an abecedarian with a homemade flexicon, meant to ensorcel all comers and bodacious and cavalier dire and eggzagerated it was nevertheless in and out of a pinch a nonfallutin’ tool box no matter the wither he went and he went witherin’ plenty having to whittle a word or two for commerce
by the time he got home his fine wyffe was in fine fettle having fettled the day away finely with a fine fettle, finally as the cases was but having naught to show for it
October 25, 2006 § Leave a comment
not being an adult child of a wastenot wantnot upbringing i’m left nevertheless with the feeling of not wanting to waste the hardwon wisdom gained and gleaned of having been party to and part of this the ongoing sterwarding of asit turns out notonly OurMother in her transiting years but ahyes the legacy and concept of family…and some of what it distills down to starts taking shape…
the when of it all
the why should i of it all
the what of it all
decisions and decision making
the poa and team
the executor and team
on the team and/or off the team
(and ah yes those pesky) feelings
the overarching pr-oh-cess
family defaults (wow there’s at tleast a triple header i never intended)
October 22, 2006 § 2 Comments
it was in the end a thing of beauty…the party night of our house taking down passing on moving out cotillion on a blustery winter night
in the middle of october for crying out loud and wasn’t our timing just right for moving out for getting out for alliealie in free wow and everyone is coming along nicely in the figuring it all out department–one wonders what one will do with all this context specific wisdom…write a how to book or perhaps contrive a reality tv progrm, oh yes there we go…
so we gave little party favors to all who came
but fact is it all came together in the end and much of the legacy was passed on to a youngster in the our her community of chosen kin, the daughter of one her dearest friends who is just buying a house…and the piano guys came slicker than slick and the guy who finally agreed to take the stair chair and other household aids had a partner who lived around the corner who came to pick all the stuff up for crying out loud again and we sold books and best of all left the rest of them there at the store who will then pass them on to some hospital charity sale
and then all of a sudden it–the house selling selling sold done–all came to an end, the end
and i flew home
wow what a concept
and she, ourmother, is transiting my natal sun