Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Saturday on Dagobah

Although wet snow was whipping all around us today, believe it or not, it is Spring here in Syracuse.
Saturday was lovely- in the 60's, sunny.
Our plan was to spend the gorgeous day on a canoe at the Beaver Lake Nature Center.
But our plans often go awry. And that, my friends, is LIFE!
Fed up with consumerism over the holidays, I gave my husband some 'experiential' gifts for Christmas- gift certificates for snowshoeing and canoeing at Beaver Lake. Unfortunately, when we arrived during the long snowy winter to snowshoe, we were told that there wasn't enough snow on the ground for snowshoeing (we did, however, enjoy an enchanting hike through the snow, see photos here)!
Then, this Saturday when we arrived to canoe, we were told that the canoes are not being rented yet due to geese hanging out on the lake and the water being too cold- in case you fall in!
So again, Merry Christmas, Michael! I guess we can just say that his present was a donation to the Beaver Lake Nature Center, a worthy charity indeed.
Even though our best laid plans often crumble, we can still find beauty and joy in the experiences we are graced with. Such was the case for The LeBlanc's on Saturday.
The first thing Noah wanted to do was check on the frogs. We were all curious to see if they had sprung back to life like all the emerging flora. Noah, with his young, strong eyes, spotted this one right away.

Polliwogs wiggled around,
spiders skated on the water's tension, and salamanders sunned.
We followed the Lake Loop trail which led us under an already lush canopy of stately pine and pale birch that wraps around Beaver Lake.

It was forest and swamp mixed together.
We could smell the lake and hear it lapping the shore.
At one point we noticed a sign stating that the trail would last at least another hour, and that if it was close to dusk, then you should turn back now.
It was early. We kept on truckin'.

The geek in me imagined I was
on the Star Wars planet Dagobah.
But witness any Jedi-in-training
standing upside down in the swamp, we did not.

Noah and Michael
on Dagobah's main thoroughfare.

I am a huge fan of Fiddlehead Ferns
curling into themselves.
And pairs of ducks paddling.

Fiddlehead groups,
clusters, clumps.

There were wild violets blooming
and wild roses soon to bloom.
It will be a very fragrant trail come summer.
Noah and Michael played a game of calling to the crows, "Caw, caw," and laughing heartily at their response.

We came to rest
on a swing together and soaked in the last of the day's sweet goodness.
Overall, a grand day, immune to all our schemes.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Prayer

A Prayer

Mary and Grace are in my hands
my companions, though, I'd have gladly
chosen you

and look, here you are,
and I am trapped in this one-sided

where words are spilled
and left to dry out
and wither on the table

without reciprocity
turn away
and ask again

no response
and after all
still no response

How to move
a ghost or blackbird?
I listen for clues in the silence between pages.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Farewell to The Syracuse Daffodils

Our last spring with the Syracuse Daffodils. 
The Syracuse Daffodils. Wouldn't that be a cute name for a little all-girl, retro, lounge singer band? 
They would have to wear yellow dresses and strappy heels, fresh pink lips, dewy skin, and upswept do's.
Singing "Try a Little Tenderness,"  "I'm Sticking With You," and "I'll Fly Away."

After being on the market for less than a week, an offer was made for our house (which is really my mother-in-law's house). This is wonderful news. I was stressing out big time, frantically trying to keep the house presentable for prospective buyers to drop by and peek at. I don't want to jinx us, since nothing is final yet, but it looks like I can start focusing my energy on Decluttering and Packing.
These have all been nibbled up by the Easter Bunny and his crew by now.

                                                        The peeps are long gone.

                          Someone else will have to enjoy the Forsythia next year.

And these.

I hope the new owners take good care of the Lilies...when they finally pop up again.
And the lovely Iris, Phlox, Foxgloves, and Bee Balm.

Very Miscellany: Guilt, Babies, and Makeup

Miscellaneous- consisting of a haphazard assortment of different kinds, dealing with or interested in diverse subjects....

First, the subject of Guilt. I could devote an entire series of posts to this subject, being that I grew up Baptist- which soaked me in the warm southern summer sunbath of guilt like a potent sun tea, steeping, steeping. Yum, tea.  Plus, I simultaneously assume responsibility for things beyond my control, while at the same time wash my hands of everything while muttering a crazy, breathless, Serenity Prayer.
Current Guilt: I'm an awful friend. In fact, I'm practically a foe. My pal, Mary, from MN, who is pregnant with twin girls, has called me several times within the past few weeks. I haven't called her back. Sure, I've been busy (trying to sell our house, plan our move, etc.), and I have diagnosed myself with Pollen Poisoning- which has caused me to crave nothing but sleep and clear nasal passages. But really, these are just excuses. I don't really dig the phone. I'm a 'listener', and often people take liberties with that and babble on and on and fail to breath or ask me how I'm doing. I may adore that particular person (and I'm not referring to Mary), but I don't like to devote much more of my time than necessary to someone's rambling smalltalk. That's what blogs are for! So, I'm a selfish friend. I would much rather spend some time with a pal, maybe enjoying a great dinner, taking a hike together, making toasts and listening to music, or chatting over coffee. But on the phone, I have Noah or Michael tugging at me (usually the friend on the other end of the line has a little one tugging away too), and I'm distracted. And I'm a visual person, I want to see your face, your smile, your eyebrows raised in exclamation. I'm an awful phone friend. But I will call Mary as soon as I finish this post.

Second, babies. I am still not pregnant! There is a sea of bulging bellies all around. But, nope, not mine...well, it bulges slightly, but for all the wrong reasons. By the time I get pregnant again, all the awesome baby names will be taken. Dear Danielle, from co-op and bookclub, bestowed upon her newest addition, the magnificent name of Desmond. I swoon over that name! Thanks, LOST. And Michael, with every intention to make me feel better about not being pregnant yet, says that it's pretty much all in my head, that when I stop wanting it so much, when I feel more secure (ie, after we have moved and settled in our new home turf)...then that is when I will miraculously release that destined fertile egg. He's probably very very right. He means so well, but that all translates to: Madona, you're crazy, once you stop being so crazy, you'll get pregnant.
Well, Patti has loaned me her Fertility God, which she claims worked for her. So, cross your fingers, say your prayers, send electronic fairy dust, whatever it is you do, and let's get me preggers, people!

Third, makeup. I don't know how aware you are of the Crunchy Chicken. Well, she is one extraordinary blogger, who irreverently puts the 'mental' in 'environmental'. I'm a loyal reader and Diva Cup convert (too much info, I know). Anywho...she has fantastic giveaways, and she so kindly selected lil' ol' ME as a winner of her Gabriel Cosmetics giveaway. Yep, she mailed me $50 worth of makeup. Now I am not rubbing poison into my eyes or swallowing lead from my lipstick. I'm very very grateful.
So this brings me full circle to that ever-present Gulit I mentioned earlier. I feel indebted to Crunchy now. I feel guilty that I don't deserve to be a winner! How can I ever repay the Chicken?! I hope she never becomes my friend and expects me to actually call her. On. The. Phone. I would be totally and completely paralyzed by my guilt.

The Challenge of Faith and The Nature of Mad on a Gray Sea

My blog has been a lonely ghost town, tumbleweeds knocking around in the vacuum created by absence.
I am one of those erratic bloggers (and definetely NOT a Blogger with a capital "B"), not consistent, posting randomly about randomness, without much focus. Informative or merely decorative? Attempts of humor or attempts to be taken seriously? Whatever strikes my fancy. I tell myself that this is why I only have 13 followers (auspicious number, indeed). If you are one of The 13, you have acquired a strange taste, dears, you are the underground, sub-sub-sub-culture, punk-rock before there was a glimmer in Iggy Pop's eye, or maybe you're an anti-anti-anti-punk. I don't know, you should examine that yourself.

But really, I would hate it if this blog were more popular...I don't want the responsibility! Better cap my followers at 13.  ; )
And we go: Guess what, these traits are not confined to my attentions to this here blog, wish I could say so. But no, if I take an honest look, these seep into all I touch. I have trouble choosing one path to follow. Which is why I never imagined myself married, and why I am a Unitarian Universalist. This is why I pursue something with tenacity, only to toss it aside in the morning.  
And wo! To anyone who tries to impose their ideas of discipline and righteousness upon me! I rebel like I were Lucifer herself. I shut down, won't listen, and have to figure it all out by myself. Silly me.
And then to contradict my seemingly fierce independence and flippance, I often cower and follow like all the rest of the gentle lambs. So sweet. Don't you just want to pat my little pointed head? 
Seems to me, in order to have disipline, I would need to have faith. And in order to have faith, I would have to kill all of the other beautiful possibilities. That makes me so sad. All of my weeping, wailing, dying fantasias.

I would like to know how you people do it. How do you structure discipline in your life? How do you reconcile your contradictions? Did you have a moment where you looked around and noticed that you were on the exact right path for yourself? Or do you have trouble, like me, drawing a line between the light and dark when the world is so full of gray? Thoughts, anyone?

Gray Sea

Gray Sea