Praise Be

The steaming basement-scented jungle I landed in on Friday evening has thankfully let up to become a couple of warm, drier, breezy summer days. I’m so grateful I can hardly see straight. I really fail to flourish (that is to say I begin to die first of horror and then of exploding head) in basement-scented jungle air, and I need to be on my game 100% this week.

Look how gorgeous it became!


It’s an Arizona-worthy sky, and that’s a fact.

Below, Wyatt is demonstrating how he slowly becomes invisible in full sunlight. Or he thinks he does. It’s really hard to say. He certainly behaves as if he Cannot Be Seen when he is lying in a sun-patch.

Wyatt and a golden wall


I love looking at picutres of our old cottage in St. Louis. It’s challenging to own older houses, because something always needs fixing or shoring up, but it’s hard for me to imagine choosing new construction, unless it was modern art, or I built it myself.Wooden floors and tiny tiles and real wooden baseboards (even covered in 100 layers of old paint) make my heart sing.

I had a gorgeous set of flights over on Southwest (well, admittedly the plane to St. Louis was full, and populated at least at the 50% level with skreeking girls and screaming kids and people chewing gum with their mouths open, WTF) but the views were magnificent, AND I started with an airport taco.

The tacos at Taco Bron are pure street tacos; immaculate, impeccable, but they’re only on the SWA and AA side of the airport. I finally (after a decade) figured out how to get one even when I fly US Air- I call for delivery, and stand outside the TSA station. The agents are used to this type of handoff, because tacos. Everyone knows that tacos bring people together, they don’t tear us apart. In fact, it was a taco-loving TSA agent who, seeing me mooning around outside of security, smelling the air, trying to get an agent to get me a plate, tipped me off to the fact that they had a telephone in there, and a person with only the barest scrap of initiative and intelligence could call it, and get a taco.

I felt empowered, also stupid, because you’d think I could have thought of that on my own. But all philosophy is moot when tacos.

Airport TACO

One of my beautiful flying views, coming into Denver for a plane change. Apparently it is not yet summer on the Front Range. Is it ever?  Snow in June, completely ordinary.

Front Range May 2014

Orangelina Friday

I feel like Orangelina knows when I’m thinking of her, whether I am in Tucson or away, and right now I am thinking about feeding her a few worms. I know for sure that Miss Fish feels me squeezling and cuddling her from here; I always am, in my mind. Mentally, I am that person who carries their pet everywhere, in a little handbag with mesh windows.

None of my pets share this fantasy, but I sometimes dream of a more travel-hungry Fish, a Fish who loves to ride in a little baby-carrier, and walk around the city with me, eat at cafes, stop and hear music in the park, maybe share a bottle of wine with a friend, or listen to records in a treehouse.

The symmetry and beauty of scales and feathers never fails to stop me in my tracks. I’m hoping to get some decent shots of Prince Charming, the world’s skittiest lizard, before summer is over. If I can’t win him with worms, perhaps I’ll put my camera on a tripod, with a remote. It’s cheating, but it’s also clever. I don’t mind outfoxing a lizard, and I don’t mind a lizard outfoxing me, either. Either way, everyone wins, and losers may become winners either by eating worms (yum!) or improving their tactics.

orangelina friday 2

My work is going very well; I’m grateful for that too. I got here just in time…I didn’t realize how starved for a kiss I was until I got one. Then I needed about a thousand to catch up. I had to get them fast, because Bill is already off to a New Horizons planning session at APL (the JPL of the East Coast). Shockingly, the spacecraft is almost in range of the goal. By this time next summer, we’ll be seeing the pretty little planet Pluto for the first time. And tomorrow night, I’ll get my lover back.

Please feel free to join me in using the term “planet” for Pluto, or any other dwarf planet, BTW.

It’s perfectly acceptable to say, for example, “lizard”, without placing the qualifier “Desert Spiny” in front of it when speaking about Orangelina. Why? because she’s a lizard. “Omit needless words”, the timeless advice on writing from Will Strunk, can be handily applied to the Pluto situation as well as the rest of life in general.

Today is the last day of regular school for the boys- they pick up a summer course immediately, but just for four weeks. Amazingly, they are 100% willing. After they knock this one off, Liam has just one requirement left for his senior year- any upper level English or literature class. I’m happy for him; it will be nice to see him have a year to say goodbye to his boyhood without much academic pressure. He’s pointed at art school anyway; all that really matters for him now (as he’s proven he can do well on the entrance exams, he’s a clever boy) is that he build his portfolio.

A year of art sounds like heaven to him, to me too. It will be fun to see what he makes. In Cambridge, if my plans work out, he’ll have a huge downstairs room to paint in; we’ll be setting up the easels, and breaking out the oil paints that were a gift of pure straight love from Stefanie London and her family. I want to paint too, of course. I’ve already started.

Evan will be fine too- starting his Jr. year with not too many requirements left either, and he’ll be in academic heaven; surrounded by physics nerds. I pre-rejoice for him; how well I remember when I discovered that the world was stuffed with astonishing minds; all I had to do was seek them out, wherever I went, and always be curious. The joy that flooded my being when I really grasped that there were more soul-mates than I could ever meet, more lovers than I could ever love, more books than I could ever read, thoughts than I could think, paintings than I could see or make, more great minds than I could ever approach… well. The wonder never left me, and it still sparkles me onward today.

It gives me peace, too, because I know (and I mean really know) that I could be dropped down into any land, in almost any circumstance, and if I could survive long enough to communicate, I would find love, and family. There are great minds and great hearts in the entirety of creation; I suspect even trees and rocks share consciousness; and of course consciousness, while available to claim individually, is also collective, and everything participates. In every Thing can be found a mirror and a model of creation; to me, to know even one Thing or creature well is to approach the divine.

Jack and I like to talk about that… ah, how I thrill to how soon it all is coming.

10 thoughts on “Praise Be

  1. I wish I could take my pet chicken on a leash or in a carrier. They are so beautiful! Some folks DO walk their chickens that way. But you have to train them to it & I usually prefer to let them enjoy their day pecking about the yard. They are so happy in the sunny weather taking their dust baths. They will often emit joyful chicken chirpy-purry sounds. It makes me happy to see them being happy.

  2. Two things, Kate:
    One, it strikes me as utterly consistent that someone who conjures up the beaded structures you do would be just blown away by Orangelina’s scaly perfection.
    And two, in part due to your wonderful posts from Barcelona, I have been inspired to grab a spur-of-the-moment opportunity to return to that beautiful city myself later this month–a trip that’s been on my Bucket List for over a decade now. Thanks for the push!

    • Thank you so much. It was great to see your name this morning, because it automatically gave me a new lease on life. This is one of those days when it’s hard to get up and start working, but at this point, there is no rest for the wicked. : )

  3. Words and sharing have been the order of the day here in Virginia Beach. I am looking at the time stamp and find it hard to believe it is after 3 PM here and thus far today I have spent writing, sharing art and amusing posts and being entertained by the geese, ducks and cawing crows outside my windows. Your post today has been another one of those collections of words that has touched my heart and soul, making me so grateful for all of the blessings and connections in my life.

  4. So happy to know that our beloved art supplies are to be used by beloved friends! Send pics! xoxxo, stef

  5. I love the scales. She is so pretty and those scales are perfection. I’d love to be able to approach this perfection in any medium.
    Someone mentioned chickens in an earlier comment. I do have to say that I think that they are sweet, lovely birds that have a undeserved reputation for stupidity.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

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