Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spring has sprung here in Spokane. The air is filled with the sharp sweet smell of cherry blossoms. Sparrows, crows, robins, chickadees, and sneaker hummingbirds all chirp almost hysterically. Some 75 degrees today. Time to pack away those sweaters, though Rachel tells me it once snowed here in June.

The Dirty Dozen Band, featured on NPR, had a special song for Allen as his plantar fasciatis has reactivated. Check out their rousing rendition of "My Feet Can't Fail Me Now!" Good news, better sensation in that left foot. Bad news, too much walking brought that fasciatis back! Now he has the "boot" (foot splint) to wear every night. But he progresses steadily and is beginning to talk about possible trips. What siren song calls us to travel to Ireland for two weeks in the fall? Maybe? All depends on the neurologist if Allen can fly by then.

Meanwhile, we're going vegan, following dear Uncle Gerry's gift of Dr. Barnard's book, Breaking the Food Seduction. We're on Day 4, and I can report that tofu is fine, nutritional yeast also works well, but soy yogurt may be a taste too far.

Monday, April 05, 2010

This morning it snowed. I was up early, about 6 am, and saw three deer in the field next to our apartment. My grandfather would have gotten the gun and talked about the wonderful flavor of venison, but I just watched them graze, their brown bodies nearly hidden in the gusting snow, the grasses still brown and yellow from winter. Every so often, one would lift its head and peer around. Allen says these suburban deer know very well how to survive in this block-sized woods. But I worry about them, how they cross Freya Street, whether they go up the hill, to sleep safely, hidden under the pines.

Allen's finished his medical tests (head to toe and more), and he's cleared to train for his cross-country bike trip (scheduled maybe next summer). I think we're going to be vegetarians. Mostly. Our apartment feels more and more like home, though we're still settling in. I unpacked five more boxes of books yesterday. The next two weeks we'll be traveling -- to Leavenworth with friends, then down to Corvallis. I'll miss my quilting ladies and Rachel and Nick, but all is well.

Rachel says I should be honest. I'm not sure I trust the future in the same way before Allen's stroke and our move here back to the Pacific Northwest. Most mornings begin with writing and revising, and that goes well. Maybe in another two months, I will be finished with Standing Stones, a novel of the clearances in 19th Century Scotland. But I haven't been writing poetry.

This month I'm trying to write a poem a day for National Poetry Month. What wonderful creativity others have posted, and what a rich tradition we writers can be inspired by -- those who have written before us, those who are writing now, those who post prompts (Sunday Scribblings, Carry On Tuesday), and those who read our work. And those who have the courage to look past the superficial.

I'm still remembering Peter S. Beagle's poem about the unicorn tapestries in his latest collection, We Never Talk About My Brother, and another writer friend who has written the most beautiful poem, "All Things Matter II" in response to this prompt from Carry on Tuesday: Write a poem that uses this line somewhere: "We are each the love of someone’s life".

So if a poem is a kind of meditation, an opening of the heart, a joining to a writing community that stretches well past the field outside my window, then I am as honest as I can be.