Photo: Study in BrownBrown Recluse to Black Widow

Never fret, my darling;

Never fear, my dear:

If I had meant to murder you

You wouldn’t still be here—

But I prefer the gentler sort

Of crime, soft as a breath—

Embracing you with all eight arms,

While kissing you to death.Digitally painted photo: Zapper

Dissonance & Consonance

Photo: Heart of a Sunflower

When the interplay of sounds, of melody and accompaniment, move toward that sharp, yearning suspension of notes that reach for each other but cannot seem to meet, the resolution—if and when it comes—is evermore the sweet. Pointed and poignant, that sacred space betwixt sunlight and shade, the delicate balance before sleep consents to wake, or life concedes to sleep in death, holds both precious sorrow and piercing joy. Just as forgiveness does not require forgetting but is rather accentuated by it, the brightest day shines all the more for its being cut with silhouettes of deepest shadow, and the inmost midnight anthracite of sky finds its peak of beauty when marked with sparkling points of stellar light.

Speak, and the silence quivers in recognition; sing, and it pulses with ecstasy.

Allegro gives way to the grieved pacing of Largo, and that, in turn, takes pause and after a longing sigh, begins to dance again, Allegretto. Season will follow season down the years, and I grow old and turn transparent with my age, until at last, hearing the call of the penultimate phrase, I remember that if I let my voice fall from the present chord, those who carry it on will draw into that beautiful, desired harmony and close the space perfectly once again. Whether voices falter, go astray, or fall silent, the return to harmony waits to bring existence back into balance.Harvest Moon

I Can’t Help It When I’m Speechless with Happiness

Other than my general adherence to food posts on Tuesday—for no particular reason on my part other than my constant love of eating—I don’t often go with the popular day of the week trends or memes or whatever they are. But what makes me happy can render even the loquacious-unto-verbose me speechless, so what better to do than shut up and hand it over with no further fuss. My gift to you, therefore: a [nearly] Wordless Wednesday. The roadside view on Saturday was simply too fabulous not to be shared.Photo montage: Longhorn Beauty Pageant

Vegetable Bliss

Photo: Vegetopia IIn addition to the under-appreciated benefits of simply vegetating for rest and personal renewal—the old R&R that current generations seem to forget to practice in our constant race for connectedness and communication and “productivity”—vegetating is a state in which the highly desirable happy accident of inspiration has room to occur. Some inspiring thoughts could even lead to a great invention or contribution to society. Mine, not likely. But if I don’t take the opportunity to allow that creative space, how will I know?Photo montage + text: The Faithful Gardener

It’s worth the risk, in my view, of fulfilling my destiny as one who will never have the Great Idea. By trying the intentional-vegetative approach, I might surprise even myself. And I’m certain that having a little more time spent as a human plant form is bound to have a positive effect on my general well-being, at the least. Indulge me. Better yet, indulge yourself from time to time.Photo: Vegetopia II

Tiger Time

If you remember anything about primary school (and I do, if little) you hopefully have a few memories of one or more of the fantastic sort of teachers who were the virtual equivalent of extra aunties and uncles and grandparents, but neatly spun into the form of educators whose wise teaching made you learn things without even knowing you’d worked at it, and want to learn things you hadn’t even known you wanted to know just because they were such fine pedagogues that they made it seem possible, if not easy.

You undoubtedly also have a memory or two of teachers who were quite the opposite. My personal least-fave was the third grade teacher who had no compunction about excoriating and humiliating a student in front of the rest of the class regardless of the infraction or any of their previous achievements or behavior, even cracking a yardstick onto desktops to make a point when she was het up, regardless of whether there might be some small knuckles in the way of the stick. At the very same time, she apparently thought it perfectly logical and beneficial to ‘level the playing field‘ and make all students feel they could accomplish something in her class, lest the PTA or school board think her not supportive and informative enough, and this she would do by sitting and doing the weakest students’ homework for them.

I knew nothing of this until one time when I was the unlucky receptacle for her ire, having failed a penmanship test in the first weeks of school because that school required students to learn cursive writing in the end of the second grade and the one in another state where I had spent my second grade did not. Had she asked us all to sing a song in Spanish, I might have been the star of the class, because my second grade teacher Mrs. Mosqueta let us learn a little elementary Spanish from one Señor Ybarra, who taught by the ultra-newfangled medium of televised classes, and I don’t think my new classmates in Illinois had yet had access to such magicks themselves. But there I was, little miss Goody Two-Shoes, who had never gotten anything but perfect scores because I was too prim and much too afraid to not do my homework to the nth degree—if I had any actual training or homework to prepare in the event—flunking my attempt to make Pretend Cursive when that mean lady in her sausage-casing dress didn’t even ask whether I’d ever been trained to write that way. If you think I still sound remarkably bitter about such a small thing from so long ago, well, I probably ought to let it go but I tend to enjoy my little revenge fantasies more than is entirely good for me.Digital illustrations + text: Tiger TimeThis is all in jest, of course. I wouldn’t be so cruel as to want to give any poor innocent tigers indigestion.