Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weather. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The Sun: a poem and a pic

Mary Oliver: The Sun
Have you ever seen
anything
in your life
more wonderful
than the way the sun,
every evening,
relaxed and easy,
floats toward the horizon
and into the clouds or the hills,
or the rumpled sea,
and is gone–
and how it slides again
out of the blackness,
every morning,
on the other side of the world,
like a red flower...

Full poem here: http://www.phys.unm.edu/~tw/fas/yits/archive/oliver_thesun.html 
Pic: Sunset on my way home. Despite everything, the beauty of our world is just so breathtaking...

Monday, February 19, 2024

updates

Good:  Big A's test results came back--nothing terrifying to report.
But:     The original symptoms persist. 
*
Good:  My stretch of overwork and late work evenings is mostly over.
But:     This week I scheduled two more late work evenings for March.
*
Good:   Participating in a teach-in panel on Gaza with the college YDSA in mid-March.
But:      Worrying about bothsideism from fellow-panelists.
*
[Pic] 
Good:    Big A, Huck, Max, and me on a post-dinner walk with a fabulous sunset ahead of us.
 But:     Don't look too closely at Big A's left hand. Ha.

Saturday, February 17, 2024

the first cousin to die

for Sunil

I'm always eight, you're always fourteen
in the long time ago that lasts forever 
I know now I'll never see you again

you have other people to haunt and anyway
 they probably want to hang with you--
the dad you lost at two, your young uncle...

all those men in your family who died young
it's why your mother, grandmother, sister 
 dote on you, as if to try to keep you forever 

I wondered how you had more friends than books
I confused you too--I remember when you 
congratulated me about my school exams, 

and seemed so confused why it was important...
 I mean--you were so rich you didn't have to work
--and I don't think you did even at 40, right?

but you were always kind... if a bit ganja-fueled 
when a single kindness could keep me happy
for days. I wonder at my dad saying

I shouldn't be alone with you... I feel you loved 
my gentle dad, wished he were yours
in the sheerness of the childhood--

which brightened us up... now only if this end
too could lift us up... instead it sets us adrift... 
as if to warn us we're going... extinct 
_________________________________________

Pic: An icy, windy day--but oh, such brilliantly blue, sunshiny skies. A long walk with Big A to the MSU Baseball stadium. 

Friday, February 16, 2024

what we do

the sky is full of bright 
holes, so whatever falls
from  them  is starry-- 
starting from distance 
but  now  lodged here

like empathy turned
into  a fact,  eternal
and  then carefully
teaching us to crest 
in  announcements

on  days  when  our
world seems ready to 
ignite, we can shout:
"I love you so much"
in a room of strangers
_________________________________

Pic: Max and Nu in yesterday's surprise snow. 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

in every register

my thoughts grow still 
in a landscape slowing
with  sleep, reckoning
now embalms the day

today  I  have  filled
my  heart  again  and 
again... today I willed
my soul to feel beauty 

for on learning in me 
the enduring vapor 
of stars; the brilliant 
 brevities of  flowers

I choose from the new
the needed next step... 
I will see the end arrive
still speaking only love 
_____________

Pic: Saying goodbye to Huckie and Maxie is the toughest part of my morning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

an unhappy anniversary

That was quick... I guess it was just last year that there was an active shooter on the MSU campus with three students shot dead and five more critically injured (they all survived, thankfully). And this was on the heels of a scare and lockdown at Nu's high school just the week before.

The local radio station has carried stories about the anniversary all day with some segments on national radio too.

I remember being triggered by sirens two weeks later, but that seems to have faded now. What a difference a year makes. And it's amazing all the rubbish my human brain can grow used to and normalize. 

Pic: MSU students working on a commemorative message at the 'spirit rock' on Sunday.

Monday, February 12, 2024

But after this week things'll slow down...

I saw this meme that's sometimes about academia and sometimes about adulthood recently. It goes: Being an adult/academic is saying "But after this week things will slow down a bit" over and over to yourself until you die.

Oh, I feel this so much. But also, things really are going to slow down after this week. I listed a long list of 'have to-be-dones' for myself last month and the deadlines on most of them have come and gone and I've done my best on each of them. The last of the colleague letters and student award letters went out today, our last campus visit was today, and one of our two speakers is presenting this week--which means my list has been significantly whittled down and the future looks so much more manageable.

Technically, that means I should be able to work on my projects for a bit. No more excuses.

Pic: From yesterday. Max and Big A in my tea garden where I'd gone to escape everyone. (Not successfully, evidently.)

Sunday, February 11, 2024

"easy like Sunday" (all day)

A quiet, restful day despite some other people's prescription-refill drama (Nu), leg cramp crisis (A), and general naughtiness (Huck and Max). I took care of what was needed and managed to make significant quiet times for myself.

I needed this so much!

Pic: Early morning hike with L and T in Baker Woods. Lots of trees have come down in the last couple of days--it has been very windy.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

seven on Saturday

1. Happy Lunar New Year! At a New Year celebration lunch this afternoon, EM told me we're supposed to rest today and do a minimal amount of work tomorrow. I can do that! 

2. The kids got little red envelopes of cash. I'm so touched when work friends and family friends treat my nearly grown-ass kids like their own niblings.

3. I got a nice ramble with L in Baker Woods today. It has been weeks since I hiked with L--She said she missed me, and I asked if it was my silliness she missed. "I missed all of it, Maya." She said diplomatically (and lovingly!). 

4. I got a long walk with Big A--it was grey and windy, but we did a "Super Sparty" and it felt nice to be able to stretch my legs after sitting at my desk all week.

5. At came to dinner tonight so I gave the kids their Valentine's Day presents a bit early. When will they be too old to get V-Day presents from me? I hope never.

6. In a first for us--we're now mooching off At. They subscribed to the Criterion Channel and logged us in on the big TV so we can watch it too. I like all of it.

7. Pic: The Red Cedar is kinda plain today. But the mallards are enjoying it and so are we.

Friday, February 09, 2024

check 1, 2,

Every day on my way to work, I cross four rivers: Red Cedar, Looking Glass, Maple, and Pine. 

I've been meaning to take a photograph of the expanse of the Maple for years now. But the access road off the highway is on my way to work. And I usually feel like I'm in a hurry, so I wasn't able to. 

Until today--I had an hour before my first meeting, so I took the detour. The Maple is the biggest of my four rivers (I think)--at least at the point where I cross it. The kids and I used to call it taking a deep breath of beauty because of all the sunrises on the way to school.

When I got to the lookout point this morning, it was a bit disappointing because the reeds were taller than me, and I couldn't really see the river. But it was very quiet and calm and smelled briny and rustic and there was a bright blue sky and sunshine... so I spent some time soaking it all in. 

And now I know. It's checked off my mental list. I don't have to wonder about the view from the outlook or feel regret about not making the time to take a detour.

Also: I'm SO relieved to be finished with Hello, Beautiful. Everyone seems to have loved it, but about halfway through I disagreed fiercely with a primary character's decision. Then I began to realize the writing couldn't really keep up and resorted to a lot of telling (v. showing) etc. 

Pic: Finally, I get to take a picture from the bank of the Maple River.

Wednesday, February 07, 2024

an infinity

the curl of this wave... like
the undeniable curl of a smile
the curl of my hand inside yours

I may be in love with 
the unbothered way it spills
over... of how its crimped cusp

holds in everything: 
laughter erupting unruly
the turns and returns of grief 

look how tightly it wraps
itself around us, so we know 
its whorl could swallow us whole  
_________________________

Pic: Not Michigan. On the beach in Cabo a few days ago. 

Tuesday, February 06, 2024

and now we wait...

 

Home! 

Reunited with my human kids, puppy kids, and plants!

I demolished a large bag of Culver's fries on the way home and demolished all my remaining grading after I got home. 

Big A's doc gave us a hopeful update and now we wait for the actual results. Oh, the things I take for granted when I make plans and resolutions... 

Pic: (anti-clockwise) Max, Huckie, At, and Nu. I missed these sweet loves and my zillion plants in the tea garden.

Monday, February 05, 2024

Match

We made it back to Michigan! Haven't seen the kids yet as I'm currently in the hospital waiting room while Big A has his exploratory procedures. I hope to see Big A's doc in a couple of hours for some answers/counsel. 

Big A was asked not eat anything for 36 hours, so I've been fasting alongside him in solidarity. We're totally going to demolish a brunch on our way back home. 

Pic: From yesterday--we're kind of wearing matching shirts! Out on the balcony of our hotel room with the brilliant azure sea and the El Arco rocks in the background. (I'm wearing my heavy winter jacket in the hospital's waiting room today.)

Sunday, February 04, 2024

"bougainvillea, sing your song"

I grew up with bougainvillea brambles practically growing wild over all over the neighborhood houses, walls, and gates even under drought conditions. Needless to say, nostalgia plays a big part in how much I love these plants--got to love their hardiness and range of color too. 

Back home (in Michigan) I have two bougainvillea plants I got at the specialty nursery, and one manages to put out a few blooms in the summer and the other one is dormant (or dead :/). 

So it always surprises me when I'm in tropical climes and they seem to be growing untended the way they did in my childhood. (Especially if it's in the U.S.--they do that in California, Hawaii, and Florida AFAIK.)

In Cabo, they seemed to be using bougainvillea as hedges and cropping them pretty closely, but nothing could keep these plants from showing off a little bit. 

Pic: A Bougainvillea hedge. I took this as a reminder that we're on the cusp of Spring, and soon we'll be awash in scent and color. I took a long Boss Day walk by myself this morning to say goodbye.

#LaterPost

Friday, February 02, 2024

"what a wonderful world" (It could be)

There are sights and colors I can barely believe  I am lucky enough to see. 

There is so much beauty in the world. 

And as I watch a street vendor chase his escape-artist toddler across the sand and scoop her up for an "airplane" ride back to his stand...

There is so much potential for joy.

There is more than enough for each of us in this world. Even now. If we could just love, help, and be kind to each other, what an absolutely wonderful world this could be.

Pic: Sunset over the sea and El Arco from our room. 

#LaterPost

Thursday, February 01, 2024

"the days are long"

Cabo, San Lucas. 

Our wristbands are an open sesame to restaurants, bars, pools, clubs, spas, and tons of activities. 

All we've been doing is taking long walks together, carrying margaritas back to our room, napping, and figuring out our next restaurant every couple of hours.

And then when Big A is resting, I'm grading, monitoring my online class, liaising with colleagues, and answering emails.

I guess I can do this! (For another couple of days!)

Pic: We have funny elongated shadows!

#LaterPost

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

"not blue, not blue"

Oh, the haze of the late afternoon sun, sky, sea, and being able to sink my toes into grainy, coarse sand. 

I can feel my blues lifting...

I found six tiny sea shells--one for each person in our family... And they might be the only tangible keepsakes I bring back. 

Pic: The view from our first hotel.

#LaterPost

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

headed out

Big A's big medical appointment is next week, and we hope to find out what's going on/why he's losing weight/what to expect in the future/what we can do/etc. We have more questions than the minutes the expert will spend with us, probably.

But in the meantime, we're going to take off for sunny climes for a few days to just... I don't exactly know what... Was it Seneca who said we can change the sky above us but not ourselves? So I guess our worries will come with us, but we'll be worrying under warmer skies? 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the next few days of our tiny break and will catch up with some picture posts when we're back.

Pic: It snowed in the night, and was a picture-perfect winter wonderland as I headed to work this morning. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

no one asked

A memory from the month or so I was a college athlete when I was in grad school... 

Although I didn't actually row, I used to meet the college rowing team at dawn to practice with them. My job was to be the coxon. (I got recruited in the college dining hall because I was smaller than the rowers.)

It was a fun job--I sat facing the bow, counted strokes, and yelled over the slap of oars and splash of water for people to go faster or look out or turn. 

Until one day the water was extra rocky, and  suddenly afraid of falling into the water--I yelled out: 
"Steady, steady! I can't swim!" 

Everyone was horrified.

"Why didn't you tell us," they asked.

"No one asked me," I whispered, truthfully.

My family takes this story as a reminder that I seem to have no fear/sense sometimes.

Pic: I was reminded today because the Red Cedar, usually so staid, is very muddy and boisterous this weekend because of the sudden thaw. I've seen little kids walk across the top of these rapids--not today though.
 

Saturday, January 27, 2024

not here

the seasons may be changing 
but longing is replaced with
longing over here

I can hear you calling for me
and turn around eagerly
but all is empty here

you must have moved away 
where did you go--you 
who were once here?

I pretend I'm with you and alive
supposing I live only because 
you haunt me here
_____________________
Pic: Oh, the irony! A sudden thaw and now there are giant puddles in the backyard everywhere... except in the pond we dug! I laughed every time I caught sight of this today. 

bleak week

I'm having a tough time this week. It's not that I can't go on... I am. But I keep feeling like I can't... On the surface, t...