Arriving

Life, I find, has much of climbing and painting, in it. The contemplation, the challenge, the quick decisions, and the sheer joy of arriving occasionally at the place one longed to be.

William Heaton Cooper

Tags:

With all their favorite flowers in full blossom, our hummingbird friends are in a frenzy, with Rufous, Calliope, and Broad Tails zooming for garden domination!

New mushroom sculptures – aren’t they sweet?

Breakfast delights: biscuits, jam, sausage gravy, and, of course, coffee!

To riff on the famous Jaws line, I think we’re going to need a bigger table…

a hungry fritillary (I think) on the orange echinacea

We’ve also been hosting swallowtails, monarchs, admirals, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, cabbages, and just as many moths that I don’t know what to call. If only they weren’t so camera shy.

My favorite companions in one of my favorite places!

Gooseberries! These are from the neighbors, as our bush is just getting its legs. I made jam, of course. So good!

 

 

 

Tags:

Wednesday evening, as we were getting ready for bed, a massive thunderstorm rumbled above. Fat rain drops smacked the metal roof, while lightning made a chaotic embroidery of the sky. It was a marvel, and the hubster and I darted from window to window and stood on the porch to admire it all. Flash back twenty-two years, to our first apartment on 11th and Lafayette in Denver, and that same storm would have had me hyperventilating and sobbing, wondering when it would all end. Isn’t it wonderful how time and experience show us a different way of seeing?

For the whole of my life, my sister has abused me*. As a child it was sometimes with words, mostly with fists, and once with a hot curling iron. When I complained to my parents about it, they would ask what I’d done to provoke her. Though I hated this response, for a long time it seemed legitimate, while also infusing me with a ridiculous sense of power. If I did something someone didn’t like, that person would have absolutely no control over their hands or words, and I should actually expect an onslaught of deserved abuse.

So when my mother-in-law started her bullying before Greg and I were even married, I went right along because I’d had such formidable training. Surely, I’d done something to provoke her, too. It was always my fault. Our society told me similar stories. I remember hearing about a woman whose husband murdered her because she was a nag and drove him to do it. Or the countless men, women, and children who are beaten, raped, and worse because of small slights, wearing the wrong clothes or appearing in the wrong place.

I thank the Me Too Movement and my own enlightened thinking nearly three years ago for changing this narrative. People do not ask for violence upon their bodies and souls. To say I forced anyone to harm me is an out and out lie, because that violence lies in the abuser and not the victim. It is the abuser’s choice to utter hurtful words. It is the abuser’s choice to do do physical harm. It is not, nor has it ever been, my choice to be on the receiving end. The abuse I suffered for having my own opinion, for saying no, for watching the wrong television show, for taking a long bath. Seriously! None of that is on me. None of it.

How sad I am that it took forty-five years to come to the realization, but what brilliant new light through old windows. How free it makes me!

<<>>

*In case you are wondering, I cut off all contact with her nearly three years ago after receiving hateful messages via Facebook. Otherwise, I suspect she would still be at it. Old habits…

 

Grain Elevator

Grain elevator. Clumps of grass. Bare tree. Fire lookout. Hens. Barking. Orchard.

Where are the peaches? Where is the town that died?

The war is over, but only on paper.

My spirit is not broken. It flickers. Bright as stars.

Bright white of the dogwood blossoming in your eyes.

We meander to ruin but find beauty instead.

Book learning and music.

My love sleeps, not yet eternal.

Porcelain memories to shatter and rumble down the track and away…

Colleen Sohn

 

Tags: ,

Initially, I wanted to simply share a glimpse of our Sunday. How lucky I was to get Juniper to actually pose in front of the massive hollyhock – “Come. Sit. Stay…stay. Good girl!”

To tell you how nice it was on the patio, with Greg working on his laptop at the cafe table, and me lounging and skimming books and a magazine. Our new fountain babbling, soothing and brook-like.

To rejoice at how the Japanese honeysuckle is finally starting to climb in earnest,

and note the black raspberries are actually blackberries, with heaps of them, I daresay hundreds, showing their first hint of color.

Then show you the dwarf rosebush putting on its best show

while water reflected the sky…

and more blossoms in the form of fern bush, sedum, pineapple pokers, and one gorgeous sunflower shimmered. How perfect it all was. But then something happened, or rather a series of events, and I had to get them down, too.

As you hopefully know, Greg is the tech wonder of the marriage (and to my eyes, the WORLD!), working from home, hands at the keyboard firing off messages and writing code with such speed, I often laugh and call him the fake typist – 120 words a minute! I am grateful for his vast knowledge and ability. That said, it is not without fault, and my computer fell victim.

It was mid-meeting for him, and after some grumbling and a couple of f-bombs on my part, I decided that I’d do some photo editing while I waited for his help. Well, there was a piece of new hardware he’d kindly installed because the last, after much use, had failed. Long story short, there was another problem, and a few more f-bombs, and him worrying that I’d hurt my already injured knee and thusly dashing out of his meeting to make sure I was okay. Angry that I was foiled, yet again, by technology. Pissed that he said it would work and it clearly did not. Embarrassed for cursing and not being able to fix it myself, but definitely okay. Knee on the mend!

Why do I share this? To show an unvarnished look at our life. For the most part, it is wonderful, and pretty darn perfect. We have a delightful groove, can talk about anything (yes, really!), enjoy a most excellent spirit of cooperation, and know and love each other like no other. Of course, we are not without our problems, each behaving in ways that utterly madden the other.

I suffer from waves of crazy tidiness and sloth, have depression and am occasionally suicidal, which is not the least bit fun. I threatened to leave, to New Mexico, of course, because Greg refused, for twenty-five years (!), to defend me against his mom’s bullying. We argued and suffered many a hot tear before finally working it out. She is in his life but no longer in mine. Good gracious, I cannot even begin to express the relief.

Even more important, is how each event further strengthens our marriage. Both of us seeing past patterns and more quickly moving toward solutions, being more patient and forgiving. Every day proving we can survive anything!

 

« Older entries § Newer entries »