crows_roost: (Out on the Ice)
Even routes mundane as a morning commute, can be radically changed by these long winter nights. Setting out in the predawn, nothing is the same as before. Landmarks are taken away by the darkness. There are very few cars at this hour and never many street lights to begin with. What is left, after leaving town, is a long empty mountain highway stretch, whittled down to just my high-beams and the sketching of painted lines on the asphalt.

Time and distance is changed when visuals are removed. Even huge important shapes like mountains are mere suggestions of form in the moon-light. I find myself wondering how long I have been driving and how far along I am. The once simple trip seems out of order, like a map crumpled up into a wad them smoothed flat – wrinkles across roads and miles. The moon gets in on the trickster game too. Even though I know this stretch is far from straight, carved into the sides of the Eastern Sierra, the hang of the moon above seems to swing nearly pendulum-like above. Enclosed in the rattle and hum of a vehicle, there is the illusion that the driver is always going straight and the world swings around.

Addled by the oddity, I pull over and turn off the engine and then switch off the headlights. I sit in the shell of my car for several breaths, listening, watching for the coming day up there in the sky. Opening the door, I step out into the morning. There are hints of blue to the sky, and even lightening that will widen into sunrise in a while. It is cold outside but easier to find my place there.
crows_roost: (feathers)
Go down to the river, to leave what you don’t really need there. Just because you have been carrying it longer than you can remember, doesn’t mean you need it, doesn’t make it part of you. It is best to empty your pockets and take off your watch before heading down there. Brush your hair free of tangles and clean your glasses; make sure your shoelaces are snugged down tight. The slope down to the river is steep and the soil is loose and wet. It wouldn’t do to fall before you get down there.

Standing at the top of the rise, looking down, you know the view. It is a place you visit often, once, twice, three times a week. This bend of the river, this tumble of boulders, these trees and bushes that live here, are familiar for you despite the constant of change of being a riverside. Waterline rises and falls, tree branches and other bits float and catch on their way down stream, brush willow is empty red branched in the colds months, bright new spring green afterwards. Humans often cling to the perceived safety of sameness, through discomfort and even pain. The river knows better.

Scramble and slide a bit down to the edge and watch the river run a while: motion of the surface surging along shaped by the faces of the rocks below and the rush of the water itself, reflections of the leaning in limbs in the still shallows, the flash and catch of the late afternoon/early winter sun. Sit a while by the river and remember what matters and what does not.

Take off those shoes. Wiggle your toes, cooling in the breeze off the mountain. Go ahead, dip them in. COLD! Let them sink against the smoothed tops of the river rocks and the slip of the slime. Tip your face up to the sky. Close your eyes. Breathe a while.

Leave what you don’t need to the river. It will take it away. Splash handfuls of the river on your face, wash away the hours of the day. Stay a while. There is time.
crows_roost: (Aughra)
I can't sleep I lost faith for a few hours, in everything, I'll go looking for it in the morning. I know it is out there somewhere.
crows_roost: (Ashley's Jen)
I am so grateful for these words, in amber. There is so much that I forgot.
crows_roost: (Ashley's Jen)
All the bees are sleeping now. It is nearly winter. I will tell them when they wake up. Maybe they will dream of you for me until then.
crows_roost: (RainDog)
A few miles out in this cold November rain might allow me to think; breath it in - the wet and the change, let the season soak through.

When I met her again, I will not know her for who she was. I don't believe in a heaven like that one. I will know her, when we see each other again, I just won't know why. I will know her for who we were, will always be.


Oct. 5th, 2014 08:54 pm
crows_roost: (feathers)
I spent a HUGE amount of my lifetime color allotment raucously, and with abandon, in the eighties. Colors have not come easy to me since then, since I faded to black and gray. Recently I have found comfort in greens and browns, purples have sneaked in. I however have never been fond of pink. A friend, my soul's sister, was. She was beautiful and graceful in a way I never will be. She understood so much about being a woman, boldly and without regret.

I am working to replace pink in my world. Pink can be miraculous: a newborn's toes, the glow of an October sunset lighting up granite peaks, a wild rose that you come upon suddenly after an afternoon rain.
crows_roost: (Out on the Ice)
I drank too much but not enough last night.

This morning I was unable to figure out how to begin grieving; that would make this real and be like I believed it. Someone in our circle suggested just do simple things, things you know can manage. The ritual of showering was too much. I botched it, got lost in that tiny space. So I went back to bed. Two dogs kept watch. Two cats pushed their way under the blankets. It is the first day of cool autumn with rain.

The day goes on. The normal sounds of the peoples' houses are painful irritations. There is a noise, buzzing, that I can't place but it is maddening. I get up, make coffee. Every step in the procedure is difficult. Raising my hand and closing it to lift kitchen items is nearly more than I can put together and do. She would have made me breakfast. So I do.

There was no one like her. No one in this world meant more to me that she did. We didn't always agree but there was never a question of respect. There was such deep and eternal trust between us. She loved me in a way no one ever has. I am better for that loving.

There is a small scattered chorus of birds and the sky is lightening. Dogs sleeping on the floor near me and an orange cat looking out the front window.
crows_roost: (feathers)
I made my way, across the road, down the stony bank, out of my shoes, to rest and full myself with the river. 1410637862591
crows_roost: (Moon Doggie)
She is sniffing around, bob-tail wagging.
My feet feel swollen, too much walking on concrete in old shoes that need replacing I'm guessing.
I buckle to the achy knees and sit down in the grass, longer than the neighbors like I guess but cool and sweet to bare toes and ankles.
She comes to sit with me.
The crickets are very loud tonight. I watch for stars above beyond the street lights and her nose twitches with delights of scents coming in on the nighttime wind.
crows_roost: (Grinnin' Dingo)
I shared a cheeseburger with my Rio tonight, his last night. He has gotten so gentle in the last few days, taking treats with a soft mouth, letting me touch and even fondle his ears without pulling away.

I left for work just as the day was dawning this morning. The front hallway was in shadow and he watched me with dimming eyes as I left. When he stands or even sits now, he trembles. His body is weak and his spirit is readying to go. I wobble myself, back and forth/torn, on if it is time to release him. His lungs are filling with bleeding cancer that has invaded from his other organs, he can't walk far, his eyes are clouding and his gums are pale. Yet still he gets up and follows me from room to room; in a mildly controlled collapse, he folds himself to the floor flat near me. His breathing is labored but still he smiles.

My grinning dingo, my crazy little red heeler friend, the dog who led me into animal welfare trying to understanding him. I am grateful and honored.

It is time to day farewell.

"Now cracks a noble heart. Good night sweet prince:
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!"

crows_roost: (RainDog)
For a short while, the sound of the rain falling on the leaves is louder than the traffic noise.
Afterward I am left, slightly chilled and feeling blessing, still standing in the backyard.
crows_roost: (Little then)
A part of my soul will always live here in this mountain range. She is small, with dirty knees, and snaggle teeth. Her bare toes are rooted in the soil and her fingers are sticky with pine sap.

Brushing the bits and snarls out of her tangled hair is out of the question; she might bite you if you tried. When she cackles or sobs, she is loud - even though she knows small animals are supposed be stay quiet.

She greets furry and green growing neighbors as her friends but could hide if people came visiting. She can be rock still for hours watching the aspens shivers and shine, then run full tilt half way down the mountain to welcome you back to home camp.
crows_roost: (feathers)
Decisions ought be made by the moon - tonight just past full. I am past my prime, with the wrinkles of road maps and the sags from carrying too much damn weight to prove it. I have the silver at my brow, badge and honor; there are sharp bones at my wrists, knees, and elbows.

I don't need an Organization to do Good Work. I am enough.

The peace that I find on a mountain trail, the cold stars swinging over head, the soft eyes of my dog, those things are well more than enough.


Cooler at the edge
Longing for the green
Cooler back where you come from
And you survive, you survive
But you're not alive
Slower back where you come from

Better off, but lonely
Foreign streets are so straight
And oh to be understood
But go back home, that's what they say, go
Oh but they don't have to know you

It's the pull of the moon, full rising
The power of the tide going out
And it holds you forever
Even if you never go home

Café, laughing strangers
Cooler kind of smile
They've got a different, a different sense of humor
And try as you can, you just can't get inside
And oh that distance you can't hide

It's the pull of the moon, full rising
The power of the tide going out
And it holds you forever
Even if you never go home

Even if you never go home...

what now

Jun. 10th, 2014 08:43 pm
crows_roost: (feathers)
It is too hot to think clearly and it isn't nearly summer yet. What drew me here what not what I thought it was and now I am hurting people by doing what I need to do and walking away from a situation that is not possible if I act in an ethical and self-preserving manner.

I'm folded up, green cloth covering some of me, watching the evening dim the colors of the yard and yearning for the sound of thunder.

This is Nevada, sagebrush county, and the mountains - the Range of Light - is just over there.

I must find a way to Rise.
crows_roost: (Ancient Footprint)
I'm sitting on a hard wooden chair, thinking I need a cushion to carry around these days. I watch bones and veins on my hands while I am typing out words to be placeholders in this gap. I took a leap and missed my landing. The footing was not as solid as it looked. Cold coffee and rum, rings loose and moving on my fingers, bare feet resting on metal rungs of a three-person circular table that has traveled three states with me now.

I'm eager to be out and gone tomorrow, trail underfoot/sky above. I've got to get my toes in some running water up there in the mountains.
crows_roost: (Goddess)
I walk through this small house, around corners, early morning light coming in through windows I can still leave open a bit even this late in the year. I pause here to reply to a cat, then reach over to stroke another one. I escort the dogs outside, stopping to check in on the hens and laugh with their morning talk. The dogs and I turn our faces up; they are scenting the drifting end of the dawning and I am watching the shift of the tree tops. We lean against each other.

One of my dogs is ill. Cancer has returned to her. A friend I barely know sends these words to me.

"All that you can do, you will. She is in just the right place, with just the right people for just the right life she is supposed to have, and she will continue along beside you as long as she can, blissfully unaware of any chance of your time together ending. She will love you with her whole heart, and you with yours as you both always have. Sending you both certainty in love and life for the balance of your hearts journey together."
crows_roost: (RainDog)
There is a dog I want to save.
crows_roost: (vardo)
Today I walked through airport terminals, huge and confusing, that were filled with so many masses of people on the move. It was quite honestly baffling and overwhelming. I don't often fly on my own these days, much less across the country to a place I've never been before. There was a me that hitch-hiked across states she didn't know without a plan.

This time I've traveled because of a plan. In the past ten or so years I have wandered into a career. Not just something that I do and enjoy, the book industry was that, but something more - where I consider myself a professional, knowledgeable and even respected in my field. Though I am still a jack-of-many trades in animal welfare, my diverse skill base is a useful one. I am scribbling plans to focus in one or two areas, so that in five to eight years I can be a specialist and not have to wear so many hats at work. I worry over not doing as well at any one of the many roles I juggle as I should be due to the stretch and twist of trying to cover it all.

So, I am here in the South East to finally get trained in and licensed to teach a humane education program that I have been trying to take part in for something going on six or seven years now. It is a solid evidence based, multiple lesson curriculum that has been replicated at perhaps a half a dozen sites (with different levels of success). This is an investment in my scribble plan. It will take a whole lot of me to make it successful but I am putting it together with care and hope.

I am at this pivotal place because of belief - that I have in myself and that others have shown they have in me.
crows_roost: (Down the Trail)
There is a Grim that lives in my head and a Panic that lives in my chest. I know they are part of me like the memories in my mind and the bacteria in my gut. Often the are quiet guests and we get by just nodding to each other in a patient neighborly way. Other times they rattle my ribs and pound on my skull, demanding attention. I wish they would just get out when they act that way, go on a long vacation or maybe even relocate all together.

I try to quiet them both by stepping away from these walls around me; just a wander can save my day from them.

Outside, I am scavenging the last of the blackberries - as much seed as fruit now. Looking up, the Maple leaves are turning yellow and the Tan Oaks have fat green acorns on their branches. I don't remember seeing them last year until they were bouncing off the ground. In the valley to the north, smoke from the wild fire is heavy in the sky. To the south, on the other side of the Hill, the marine fog rolling in sweet and steady, nearly rain.
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