Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: Stumped and More Stumped

Yesterday was a very rough day. My computer crashed. Luckily I have a very gifted friend (Hi, Nate!) who dedicated his entire day to rescuing everything (well almost everything... I lost all my pre new camera photos and some of the new ones including a picture of a cardinal I was very happy about. Sigh.) Anyway, he did all the work, but I'm still feeling tired and disoriented and I can't make up my mind what to do for Wordless Wednesday, which is clearly also becoming quite wordy. I was going to just do the tree stumps, but... then... I couldn't decide because there were some other things too and so stumped which was originally going to be tree stumps is now tree stumps and other stuff.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Fable of the Month: Marta Mishnagel and the Whale

Marta Mishnagel was a fisher-woman. It had not been easy to overcome the prejudice of her parents and the other villagers, who did not consider fishing to be woman's work. But it had been a struggle she had to win, for Marta had been born with the ocean calling her name, and from before she could remember, the fishes and creatures of the sea had sung to her and told her strange and wonderful tales of their lives below the waves. So fishing was not a job to her, it was a calling, as deep and pure as any call to priesthood or service. In some ways, to say she was a fisher-woman was a misnomer, for Marta did not really fish, so much as go to sea and tell her friends what was needed (who was hungry or in need) and because they loved her -- and she them -- fish would joyously leap into her nets until she had just enough. She, for her part, would sing sweet songs to them and tell them tales of the wondrous mysteries of land life, just as they told her of the sea.

Things went on like this until the whale appeared. It stayed a short distance from her boat, never speaking, but always watching and listening. The whale was large, even as whales go, and Marta knew (how she wasn't sure), that this whale was old, very very old, as old as time, even, for she was the Great Mother who had swum the sea since time began. Marta was deeply honored by her presence. She was also more than a little uneasy, for she knew that the Great One did not pay casual calls, and she knew too, from somewhere in her soul, that her destiny was connected to the Great Whale. It was just that she didn't know how and the whale was so big and so primal and all-knowing, and she, Marta was so small and insignificant. It must be her imagination that the Great Mother could want her. And she sighed with sorrow at her unworthiness, and with longing to connect to that great, powerful darkness. Each day she sighed so, and each day sailed a little closer, thinking -- perhaps at least I can touch her, hoping also that the whale would speak and tell her what to do. When finally the day came that she was close enough to touch the great whale's side, tentatively, for just an instant, she "heard" (felt, really) the great deep voice say gently:

"No, Marta, it is not enough to simply touch me. You must enter inside."

"Oh, no," cried Marta, deeply shaken.

"I feel your power and I see your beauty and I am so drawn to you, but I don't want to die."

"Who will not die, cannot live," sighed the Great One. "That is the law of the Universe."

"I am too afraid," cried Marta, and sailed away, only to return the next day, and the next, and be told again, each time: "It is not enough to simply touch me. You must enter inside."

After a time, the Great Whale spoke again and said: "Marta, you cannot escape the law of the Universe. One way or another, you must enter in. You may enter of your own free will, or I will swallow you, but enter you must. It is your destiny. It is not a question of whether, but how. Enter, child, it is time." And saying this, the whale opened her vast mouth. Marta, trembling, eyes closed, leaped over the side of her little boat and dove deep into the dark maw of the great beast, fully expecting to die. But of course she didn't. Instead, she heard a voice say sweetly: "Open your eyes, child. Look around. Explore. In that corner is magic. Over there, the timeless void of Time. Beyond that, the fountain of inspiration and creativity. Over there, the garden of eternity and the hall of past lives. And in the center, at the core, if you touch my heart and feel its beating, you will touch Great Mystery itself." And Marta did just that. And she was never the same again.


Monday, April 28, 2008

The Alphabet Backwards: "R" is for Reiki

Today's letter in the alphabet backwards series is "R" and there is no question for me about the topic. It has to be Reiki. Reiki is and has been a central part of my life for almost 30 (!!!) years now. It stuns me to realize it has been that long.

The hands in the photo below are channeling reiki. If you click on them, it will take you to a larger version of the photo for a better effect. I hope you'll try it and let me know what, if anything, you experience. But I'm probably getting ahead of myself. I guess I should tell you what reiki is first.

Reiki (which is pronounced Ray-key) is an ancient Tibetan form of hands-on healing. I learned about reiki at a workshop I did to learn a Hawaiian massage tecnhique called Lomi Lomi Nui. It was an awful workshop - a psychological and physical ordeal - that left my ability to walk permanently damaged. But that's a long, sad story for another day. I had already been to a different workshop where we explored the idea of hands on healing and I had loved doing it. At this Lomi Lomi Nui workshop I did some healing work on a woman who had sprained her ankle. It was a very intense experience. I could literally feel her ankle healing - and she could too. She asked me if I was doing reiki and I said "what's that?" She told me a bit about it and I thought it would be nice to put a name to what I was doing. Plus she had told me that one of the things learning reiki was supposed to do was to help provide empathic people like myself from absorbing other people's emotional garbage. That alone made it sound worth exploring. At that time in my life I had only just begun to realize that I was in some ways a sponge for other people's emotions - particularly negative ones. I knew people had always said being around me made them feel better an I had never quite understood it, had never understood either, why sometimes I would walk into a place feeling fine and minutes later be profoundly sad or weary. So anyway, I decided to explore reiki so I could a) give a name to the energy work I had discovered I had a deep love/gift for and b) see if I could get a bit of psychic armor in the process.

Let me start by saying that I was as big a skeptic as anyone when I first started exploring this stuff. Sounded stupid to me. Sounded like something people were probably talking themselves into. But then after a little bit of experience, I found there were things I couldn't deny. I could "feel" people soaking in energy that was moving to them through my hands. And it wasn't always the same. It varied from person to person, from experience to experience, even from place to place on the same body. For want of a better description, the energy moving between me and another person had "texture." It moved through me to them differently. Some people had walls up and when I described it to them, it made perfect sense. Some people swallowed the energy whole in big gulps. Sometimes it felt hot, sometimes cold. In the early days of working on people, I often saw images. Working on a friend of mine, I saw/felt her as soldier from Ancient Rome badly injured with a leather tunic bound into raw wounds. I felt (as did she) the quality of the energy shift from hot to cold as I removed this "vest." I didn't tell her until afterwards what I was experiencing, what I was working on. She's a nurse and she said that the shift we both experienced made perfect sense as to how you would treat such wounds, which were, effectively like burns. That's one of the things I love most about reiki - that it has it's own intelligence. It's not something that I do as much as something that is done through me. I get to participate in little miracles, but I'm not responsible for them. I don't create them. I'm just a kind of lucky witness.

My nephew - a skeptic if ever there was one - allowed me to put him on the table, just to humor me. He was studying a martial art called akido at the time and unknown to me, had a lot of pain in his wrists and elbows. He got of my table stunned that the pain was gone, convinced that there had to be some logical explanation for it. If it works on a skeptic as dedicated to logic and proof as my nephew, well....

These days I work mostly long distance using a number of teddy bears - Raphael Emmanuel (the handsome grey guy in the photo) for people and Jasper and for cats and dogs. That's almost more astonishing than sitting in your living room with your hands on a teddy bear and experiencing sensations in someone miles away. It still astonishes me. I remember working on a woman years ago and feeling a long Capital I shaped incision running the length of her back, and feeling like (I know I sound crazy, but this is what I felt) angels were performing some kind of surgery along the incision. Talking to her after the session, I learned that she had suffered spina bifida (I think) in her childhood, had spent several years in a body brace and did in fact have an I shaped incision on her back. Wow.

Working on animals is so much fun. They don't put up any resistence as so many people do. They just soak it in. If their humans are home when I work on them, they usually tell me they can time the start of reiki and finish of the session almost to the minute. One of my favorite long-distance animal stories is about a kitty who ended up being named after me (Raven's Reiki). I've kind of lost touch with her, but at the time I knew a woman in Australia who bred Siamese cats. One of her cats was in labor and she asked me to do reiki. She thought all the kittens had been born but when I worked on her cat, I felt like there were two left, one didn't feel alive and the other felt very weak. Because of this, she rushed her cat to the vet and low and behold - the vet discovered a still-born kitty and the barely alive Raven's Reiki. I reikied him for the next few days and he caught up with his siblings in a matter of days - something she said was unheard of in her experience. Pretty cool.

There's so much I'd like to say about reiki. It has so enriched my life. Anybody can do it. I think we are all born with the capacity to offer healing. Reiki is just one form of doing so. I like to think of it as unconditional love that comes through me to another person who opens his/her heart and body to receive it. There are other formal kinds of healing besides reiki - Kwan Yin, Johrei - are just two others. I think of it as picking up on different radio frequencies. However you channel it, it's still unconditional love, just coming through different air waves. Something like that. I personally don't think training and attuments are necessary for one to tap into offering healing. What I think they do is strengthen the connection or maybe wake up skills that have lain dormant. Workshops offer group experiences which I think make them worth the price. Lots of people now offer on-line and long-distance attunements. (An attunement is basically a ritual introduction/induction.) If you think about learning reiki and you can manage it, do go for a live workshop because it offers you a chance to experience using the energy on a number of other people and discovering how unique each reiki experience is. Like therapy, I think learning something like reiki is a blessing everyone can benefit from.

I'm going to stop here. I've already probably written too much. You can check out my reiki website for more information if you are interested. Just for the fun of it, click on the healing hands picture I posted at the top of this essay. It will take you to a page with a larger version. As the picture says, the hands are channeling reiki energy. I can feel it. I hope you can too. I'd love to hear about what, if anything, you experience.

That's it for the letter "R." See you next Monday for the letter "Q." Have a great week.

Project Green, Last Take: This and That

Ok... I was going to put a bunch of other things... but I am having one of those days when I can't decide on anything and everything I decide on seems wrong. It's 3 pm and I haven't accomplished anything, so I'm going to settle on these last two pictures for my final Project Green post. Thanks to Anna Carson for this fun idea. I hope you'll check out the many wonderful green pictures that have been posted from all around the world this past week. Now to tackle the even harder task of Monday's Alphabet backwards task. Agggh.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Project Green: Take 7

My Sunday offerings for this the next to last day of Anna Carson's Project Green.

The first is a Tibetan Prayer flag that has hopefully been sending prayers for peace and healing for Mother Earth out into the Cosmos. The second is a bottle that once contained a simply glorious after shave/body lotion. My late sister brought it home from a trip to Bermuda. It has always been special to me.

One Single Impression Part 2: Flowering

This week's One Single Impression Prompt was flowering. I have made my post in two parts. The first is a long poem. I wanted to try a few haiku as well, though. And I almost didn't aplogize...

One Single Impression Part 1: Flowering

I'm posting two One Single Impression posts this week. I thought there was going to be nothing from my brain this week and then this came pouring out this morning. Clearly, it's not a haiku. I'll add a second post with some haiku shortly... hopefully. Oh! And this is my 100th post - or as my friend Rich at the Foothills of Opinion calls it, my "100th bloggerversary."

There Will Be No Flowering of This Youth

They come home in body bags or flag-draped coffins

Barely acknowledged except as numbers

There will be no flowering of this youth

Or the countless collateral dead

They will not hold smiling babies in their arms
Kiss their wives, husbands, lovers

There will be no flowering of this youth

And other burnt-out damaged lives

Will wither on the vine
Of our indifference and inaction
As madmen hold sway
Spending lives with reckless abandon

To purchase power or oil
Or "victory" - whatever that is - at any price
There will be no flowering of this youth

I was told once
"You become the thing you hate"
Never has it seemed more true
Than when the acceptability of torture

Can even be discussed

And young men die abroad

As their country is destroyed from within
There will be no flowering of this youth

Meanwhile, as bodies pile up and families grieve
The rest of us do nothing

We barely feel the pain unless the dead belong to us
And the coffins continue coming home

Along with the wounded and spirit-damaged
Here and everywhere

While the world's heart is breaking

There will be no flowering of this youth

- Katherine E. Rabenau

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Project Green, Take 6: Green Rocks!

Here's my Saturday contribution to Anna Carson's Project Green. I love rocks, so I thought I'd try to take pictures of some of my green rocks. Not as easy as I hoped it would be. These don't do their subjects justice. But I had fun, except for screaming at the cats who saw no reason to stop walking back and forth on their little ledge, just because I wanted to put rocks on it and take pictures.

There are some incredible photographers (real photographers) participating in Project Green. I hope you'll check them out. Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Saturday Wordzzle Challenge: Week 10

This is week 10 of the Saturday Wordzzle challenge. Anyone new to the process can refer back here to find out how it works. Expecting company tonight, so I'm posting extra early this week. We no longer have the benefit of colored text (or if we do I don't know how to do it), so I guess I will go with bold for the 10 word and bold italic for the mini words and see how that goes. I also can't figure out how to center things now. I'm generally irritated by all of this, but life goes on, I guess and I could have much more difficult problems to contend with, so I'll stop whining and get this posted. I'll leave that incoherent sentences about lack of color and centering, and tell you all that Jay Simser, hero of the hour, solved my dim-wit problem. "Try clicking compose in the upper right hand corner," he said. I did, and order has returned to my blogosphere. Thank you, Jay!

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: pleasant, fluky, desperation, penumbra, hoarsely, triumph, burden, colander, Kermit the Frog, lavender And for the Mini Challenge: avalanche, masterpiece, yellow, alligator, thieving

Here's my ten-word offering for this week.

Sitting under the penumbra of his colander shaped hat, Kermit the Frog sang in a hoarsely pleasant voice about the burden of being green. Watching the parade of other stuffed animals saunter along the toy store aisles, however, he realized with a fluky sense of triumph, that perhaps his tragic desperation had been misplaced. I could, he suddenly thought to himself, have been lavender and that would have been much worse.

And here's my mini challenge:

Although some hailed it as a masterpiece of creativity, there was a virtual avalanche of criticism from others who accused the artist of being a thieving poseur, simply because the giant sculpture was a somewhat modern version of The Thinker made entirely of alligator clips covered in paper mache made from yellow post-it notes, all of it stolen from his place of work.

And the mega challenge:

Stan "the Alligator" Almagorda, was - in his real life outside the ring - the mild mannered Martin Johnson. He was a tender father who read bedtime stories to his twin daughters every night and pretended to be Kermit the Frog, in a remarkably good imitation of the "real" thing. His at home voice was quite pleasant compared to the hoarsely rasping grunts he used for his WWF persona. He worked very hard keeping a penumbra of privacy around his children so that they would not be burdened by the fluky desperation of thieving yellow journalists harassing them and rifling through his and their lives with no regard for decency or their privacy. They had to be especially careful that nobody discovered that his arch rival Bruno Bunker (aka the Avalanche) was in fact his best friend and the girls' godfather. In later years, when the girls were older, they would live to regret the great blackmail material inherent in Bruno's regular performances as Don Quixote of Bensonhurst which had been such an instant triumph with the girls that he reprised the role often and even allowed them to film the theatrical masterpiece fully costumed in his colander hat with the lavender feather, their father at his side wearing something equally absurd. For now, though, they knew only the joy of the children's laughter.

This week's vanity wordzzle used the words: home, happy, scanner, smoke, flower, unsweetened iced tea, jealous, calculator, gym, widget

“What the hell is a widget?” Lucinda roared, angrily crumpling up the large instruction sheet which had come with her new exercise machine She had decided it would be easier and more efficient to do her workouts at home than at the gym, but here she was, tired after a long day at the office, forced to drink damned unsweetened ice tea instead of the gin and tonic that she craved desperately, and the damned instructions for the stupid machine didn’t make a lick of sense even if she knew what a widget was. It was insufferable. She wanted a cigarette too, but no, she couldn’t smoke either. She would show that bastard for leaving her. He would be sorry. He would want her back and she would happily laugh in his smug, stupid, ugly face. It would be his turn to be jealous. Yes indeed. Yes indeed. She pulled out her calculator and quickly computed how long it would take her to lose the desired 30 pounds if she allowed herself one drink a day. One probably wouldn’t hurt. But no, she needed to shape up and shape up fast before the stinking bastard hooked up with some flowering young thing who was all gooey-eyed and fresh faced and would worship the ground he walked on just as she had once done. Damned bastard. How could he have left her? How? She had given her all to make him happy, had given him two beautiful children and put him through his last two years of college. And what did she get for thanks. “Sorry, honey, it just isn’t working for me any more. I need my freedom.” Son of a. . . A voice from the computer announced cheerily – “You’ve got mail,” and she headed eagerly over to see what it was, wondering if maybe he had changed his mind, was ready to apologize, come home, then caught herself and shook her head. Fool. It was then that she noticed the scanner. It had been one of his favorite toys and now, suddenly, Lucinda thought, “Ah.” Perhaps a little revenge was in order. It would be a three-pronged attack. He was never coming back even if she lost 30 pounds and revenge was definitely sweeter than this lousy iced tea. First she would send his picture to a number of law enforcement agencies… Let’s see… If she was careful of her phrasing…. Lucinda sighed, mixed her self a stiff drink and smiled happily for the first time in days.

Anyone who wants to emulate the amazing megawordzzlers can try merging both challenges and make another megawordzzle. It's fun! I'm so glad that Jay Simser invented it. As if megawordzzles weren't enough - it seems to be a guy thing - some participants are adding extra layers of difficulty. Jay incorporates pet salamanders into his paragraph every week, the pirate not only got all the words in, but he used them in order.

Next Week's Ten Word Challenge will be: cranberry sauce, amber, laundry list, coffin, morning glory, shalom, mystery, sparrow hawk, pumpernickle, stained glass
And for the Mini Challenge: margarita, gum wrapper, spring fever, Darfur, lace

By the way: Spelling is not something I am very good at. If you notice a misspelled word (and you will), let me know and I'll fix it.

Thanks for playing. For those who are new, here are some guidelines to make the process more fun.

Enjoy! See you next week.


Project Green: Take 5B
Relics from My Past

Two relics from my youth. The first a little picture frame and photo I have held onto long after the friendship died of neglect and betrayal. I'm the nerdy one on the left with the big smile. The second is a "nebish," (I think they had some other name too) popular in the 60s. When I went away to college my mother set one of these up next to my high school photo and labled them "before and after." She had her moments.

That's my personal offering from Project Green today, though I hope you'll look at the post below and enjoy the exquisite photos my beautiful niece took in Peru.

Celebrating My Niece Diana
with a little Project Green on the Bottom

Today is my wonderful niece Diana's birthday. Diana is the youngest of my sister's three amazing children (I've talked about Matt and in October, you'll meet Cindy). They have gone and grown up, something I find shocking since I myself have barely aged (emotionally anyway) since they were toddlers. Now they are older than I was when they were born. It's an outrage! But much as I'm stressed that their being older implies that I'm also older, I wouldn't trade the magnificent people each of them has evolved into for a truckload of toddlers or my own youth restored.

What are some things I can tell you about the wonderful Diana?

She has always known her own mind. I always tease her that her first word was "no." I'm not sure I'm kidding, either, but she has grown into the kindest, smartest, most generous and creative person you can imagine. And she's beautiful as you can see from her picture. That was taken when she visited me here a couple of years ago. I wish I had a scanner. She was an adorable baby too.

Diana has always walked her own path. She became a vegetarian way before it was fashionable and is now a vegan, a raw foodist and an expert on food and nutrition. She and John, her significant other, have created an amazing website called It's wonderfully informative about the nutritional content of foods as well as providing information on what foods are good for different aspects of your body/health. It's very easy to use and full of interesting information. I hope you'll check it out, not just because Diana is a wonderful person and put a lot of effort into gathering all this data, but because it's rich in fascinating facts about what the stuff we put into our bodies does to/for us.

Diana is brilliant smart. She has worked as a computer programmer or code writer or something way over my head - and she and her friend John have started their own new web design company (Xondie) combining their technical knowledge with their wonderful creativity. Even though Diana's techno smart, she's also a musician, writer, artist, photographer. A while back, never having drawn before, she decided to go through the book DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN. I've included two of the the amazing drawings she produced in just a couple of months of working with that book. Is she awesome or what? She took some amazing photos when she went to Peru last year and with her permission, I'm sharing a few of them below for Project Green although I'm going to make a separate Project Green post today as well.

I think one of the best things about Diana is her passion for the things she believes in. It's deep, but it's always gentle and kind. She stands up actively for what she cares about - and she takes action to make the world better - but she does it with grace and without trying to force anyone else to her will. A good example of that is the campaign she helped run to rescue an elephant named Bamboo. I think that's the way great people - and this isn't just auntly pride - I believe she carries greatness - move the world forward.

I love Diana's sense of humor (I like to think it's similar to mine in some ways) and her magical, creative approach to life. She decided on where to go to college by - I think I have this right - randomly picking a state and going from there. She ended up in Austin, Texas, then lived in Seattle, Washington and, after toying the some more exotic possibilities that made my auntly heart quiver anxiously) is now she's happily exploring North Carolina. She is a free spirit in the best sense of that word. (Can you tell I adore her?)

Diana is also profoundly generous. I'm not sure where I'd be if she hadn't helped me to buy my house. On the streets, maybe, or in some kind of public housing. Instead, I have a home of my own and something to leave behind. Instead of scary and uncertain, my life is secure and rich in the things that count. Besides that life-changing financial generosity, Diana gives me a gift even more precious. She makes me feel loved. I was going to write a poem for her birthday, but maybe instead I will stay with the poem I wrote the day she was born.

Diana Susan Kantor, with a smile in your eyes,
May your life be filled with happiness, experience make you wise
May you learn to find the beauty in a world that's often sad
May fate provide you pleasure, protect you from what's bad
May you know the magic of the stars, the beauty of the snows
May you hear the music of the wind as through the leaves it blows
May flowers blossom in your path, their fragrance fill the air
And silver moonbeams light your dreams and keep you free from care
And may all the seasons offer you the best they have to give
And love and friendship stay with you through every day you live
If such power lay within my grasp, no grief you'd ever know
Joy alone would fill your days, no tears would ever flow
But sad times are a part of life and give to joy its worth
So the best that I can wish for you is less of tears than mirth
And so I offer you this verse, this frail and foolish rhyme
But may the love that lies within be yours throughout all time.

- Katherine E. Rabenau

This feels like such an inadequate expression of how much I love and treasure this unique and special human being who is the daughter of my sister and who is also the daughter of my heart. I feel so blessed to be her aunt, so blessed to know her. I'd give her the world if I could, but all I have at the moment is words and my love now and forever.

I Love You, Diana. Happy Birthday!


Below are three of my favorites of the wonderful photos Diana took in Peru... they seem perfect for Project Green.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poem(s) of the Week: The Elder Kitty Poems
Project Green (see photo below poems)

These poems were not written by me but by the late great fur-person, Abigail the Wonder Kitty, also known as the Antique Kitty or the Ancient One (among her many titles). Abby was a teacher to me in many ways, including the gentle nobility with which she left this life at the age of 21 plus. (I wrote a piece about her death at the time for my column on Anyone who is interested can read it here.
This photo was taken in Arizona when she was 19. I think she was quite beautiful. But I digress. In the last six or seven years of her life, Abby found not only her physical voice, but her poetic voice. She was not prolific - she only wrote three poems - but I think she had a thing or two to say. I have chosen to share my two favorite Abby poems today. The sister she refers to in the first poem was my first cat and Abby's life-long companion Katrina, who died at 16 while we still lived in New York. I had intended to post something else today, but something (or perhaps someone) insists on these.


They are who they are
And I am me
Abigail, Elder Kitty
I have no regrets
I have lived my life my way
Kept mostly to myself
Enjoyed the simple pleasures
Of hugs and food and a good brushing,
An afternoon of sleep twined against my sister’s soft purr
Or scrubbed meticulously by her fierce, determined tongue
That was how she finally received me
Those many years ago when we were young –
With a bath –
After she hissed and snarled and acted gruff
But I knew better
Saw at once her tender heart
She’s a little older, you know, and puts on airs sometimes
But mostly you couldn’t ask for a better friend
She’s so smart and sure of herself
I watch in awe sometimes
She and Person are close in a special way
I know I am loved – deeply loved,
But I do not hold the same place in Person’s heart
my sister does
It used to bother me
Once, a long time ago
And not so long ago, really.
It bothers Person
But I have learned, somehow, that it is not against me
It is not that I am loved less
It is that the bond between them is primal,
time-worn across the ages
They have know each other since time began
And I am a new arrival
Now that I understand, I am learning to let the love in
And life is truly grand and blessed
I can no longer jump as high as I once did
But I can still do a good zany run
And now I sing my heart’s content
Loud howls.
Person says it is opera
And sometimes she laughs and smiles at my songs
And sometimes she shouts and acts quite fierce
But she is funny that way.
She snarls so grim and in the next breath
She is all apologies and love
And good, strong tender hugs
And sometimes she sings to me – to us
And tells us all our names
For me there is Dougie and Abby-Dougie,
And Dougal MacDougal, and Wandagail
And Wanda the Wailer and Munchkin
Or Dumpling.
I am also known as Wanda the Wiggler
And Princess Furry Face the Second
And Munchkinetta
The list is long
I like that.
I like my life
I am Abigail the Elder Kitty
And I have found myself at last.
May your lives be as blessed.


I think my person is going deaf
I talk to her at the top of my lungs
And she just doesn’t seem to get it
Perhaps she is just slow in the way these humans are
They are remarkably clever sometimes
And quite the dullards at others
But I digress
Our new home is cold and damp
But I am glad to have the desert behind me
We are on our own again, Person and I,
And it feels good to be free to be ourselves
To have my freedom back is worth a lot
Person tells me that I’m very old
She seems quite obsessed with it
Like age is some kind of talent I possess
Me, I just take things one day at a time
And find what solutions I can to my troubles
It’s a bit embarrassing not to jump so well any more
I used to be quite the leaper once
And now I’m forced to pull myself up most places
Frustrating, I can tell you that - and embarrassing too
But Person roots me on and tells me I can do it
And so I can
You wouldn’t think it would make a difference, really,
But it does
Wanting someone you love to be right
I love snuggling up against her now,
Though I didn’t always – not in the same way, anyhow
I’m not sure sometimes, who is comforting who
And maybe it doesn’t matter
As long as we are both at peace
I speak my mind these days
I’ve given up on being shy
It’s quite a relief, really to just be me.
Age has it’s privileges after all, I guess
And I’m learning that
I’m learning too to enjoy the simple things
A patch of sunlight on the floor
A soft blanket
A tasty meal
And of course the sound of my own voice
Pitched loud enough for all to hear
I am Abigail, Elder Kitty
Hear me roar!

Ever the over achiever, Abigail is mutli-tasking from the great beyond and has entered herself into Anna Carson's Project Green with this photo of herself with her (and my) favorite blanket.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Project Green: Take 2

Well, I've been struggling about what to post today and I think I'm going with Anna Carson's Project Green. I feel so outclassed by the amazing photographers who participate in this, but it's earth day and I don't much feel like writing anything, so...

I have to say that I'm really not enjoying the changes in the posting system that have been instituted lately. It has taken me almost an hour - something like 13 tries - to get my first photo uploaded. Now I'm having the same problem with #2. Aggggh. I wanted to add a third photo... on the theory, I guess, that two or three mediocre photos add up to one good one, but it will be next Tuesday by the time I get another one to upload, so I'm just going to leave it at this and feel cranky and deprived.

"Happy Earth Day," she snarled.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Project Looking Through

The magnificent, witty and talented Dianne at Forks Off the Moment has been participating in something called Project Looking Through hosted by Mark, whose blog is called Regular Life.

I thought I'd participate too. I feel a bit guilty because this project favors Angel who spends much of her life "looking through" and dreaming about what's on the other side. Tara Grace who lived long and hard on the other side can't see very well as a result of days out in the big world. She glances out from time to time, but she would rather sleep or circle the room yelling at me than waste her time peering out windows and doors.

The Alphabet Backwards: S is for Spring

Well, it's the Monday, Alphabet Backwards day, day of dread most weeks, but apparently my psyche has decided to cut me some slack this week and we are thinking of happy uncomplicated words. In fact I think I'm going to keep it simple and just pick one happy, angst free word today. Spring.

Spring has sprung here in Hancock. The robins are running around, there are flickers and woodpeckers and sparrows. There are daffodils and forsythia. The trees are not in blossom yet, by and large, but you can see the leaves and flowers coming. And it's greener. The grass has taken on life again. My spirit has breathed a sigh of relief and joy. Angel is happy too. We've had a few days warm enough for open windows and her world has expanded with smells that I'm sure are beyond my nose's puny capacity to interpret or even notice. Angel kitty may still be inside, but she is one step closer to her life dream. She is a happy kitty and that makes me a happy human. Tara could care less. She has done outdoors. She has no desire to do it again.

I love the layers of color that are part of Spring and that everything seems sort of surprising even though we are expecting it and watching for it. Spring is soft, somehow. Dramatic and subtle at the same time.

Then there are the sounds of Spring too. Right now, even though I can't see it - darn - I can hear a cardinal singing in the distance... while other, less melodic birds chirp an accompanying chorus.

I think that's all I have to say today. I'll keep it short and add some photos and a "Spring poem."


Sweet, soft, subtle
There's renewal just in watching
The hidden depths of trees
Slip quietly from their winter shells
The green grass rising like a gentle tide
Daffodils and croci surfacing for air
While winged and furred and crawly things
A living painting
Evolving to perfection

And that's the letter S. Happy Monday.