Friday, February 27, 2009

Sleeping under Venus and the Crescent Moon

My own picture was awful. I looked through stock images to find this one, roughly the same orientation as I saw it on my way home from the hospital. Our moon, though, is a slender sliver and not tilted. We also can't see the dark of the moon as distinctly.
The hospital's parking garage is color- and fruit-coded. G is green, the ground floor and grapes. Red is 2 and apples. Yellow is 3 and bananas. Each time I leave my truck, I make note of my parking position and the route I take to the elevator. Under stress and fatigue, I know my head is not working so well, so I do this as a precaution. I even thought about writing it down, but so far my method has been sufficient. I worry anyway.
Tonight, as usual, I noted that I was on red (apple) level, and I parked in a beeline toward the elevator, noted I had to go up one flight of stairs and down another before reaching it. After a tumultuous night, I was especially concerned that I wouldn't find the truck again. As it was, as I drove round and round, following the exit lights, I answered my internal question, "I must have found the truck, because here I am driving it. That's proof enough, yes?" I agreed it was.
My wise uncle, Daykeeper of the Mayan calendar and magus of labyrinths, sent me some information on the cosmic phenomenon occurring tonight. He was right about one thing, it had distracted me last night, and it distracted me again as I was driving home tonight.
Dear Friends, [writes my uncle]
This evening--towards the end of this 2 Manik day, as the 3 Lamat energies are stirring--if your skies are clear, you will be able to look up in the southwest to see a magnificent pairing of the crescent Moon immediately adjacent to outrageously brilliant Venus. No doubt, the Maya will be having a festival tonight, on the eve of their Lamat (Venus) day!!
All this, while, in the eastern sky (but visible only with binoculars), is the comet Lulin, fast working its way past us on its course through the Solar System in a path opposite-in-direction to Earth's orbit. Its distinctly greenish hue makes it seem like an errant leprechaun prancing for our amusement in anticipation of St. Patrick's day. It is in Cancer right now, but by St. Paddy's Day, it'll be in Gemini (yea for us Geminis!). With its reverse orbit and greenish tail(s), it is a present reminder of Heyoka energy in our midst.
In Lak'esh (I am another you), [Uncle]
On Friday evening, February 27, 2009: Be careful, this sort of thing can cause an accident!
Feb. 27th, the 10% crescent Moon will glide by Venus, forming a gorgeous and mesmerizing pair of lights in the sunset sky. Moon-Venus conjunctions are not unusual, but this conjunction has some special qualities:(1) Venus is at maximum brightness: magnitude -4.6. The planet is twenty times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It is so luminous that it can actually shine through thin clouds and cast subtle shadows on the ground.(2) As seen from North America, the Moon-Venus separation is only a little more than 1-degree. Stick up your thumb and hold it out at arm's length. Venus and the Moon will fit comfortably behind the thumb-tip. Tight conjunctions like this are the most beautiful of all.(3) Not only is the Moon a crescent, but so is Venus. A small telescope pointed at the glittering planet will reveal a slender 20%-illuminated disk.
Add it all together and you've got a major distraction. Evening drivers should pull to the verge. Staring at Venus and the Moon could be riskier than texting!
My view of the conjunction was of a point of light in the lead of an arcing vessel, as though the light was pulling a craft along through the sky. I will take it as a sign of a journey and pray for a safe one.
Good night, friends, relatives and lovers. Sleep well.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Excessive Sleepiness

I went outside to wake myself up and fell asleep leaning against a fence. I came inside to nap it off and the phone wouldn't stop ringing. Now I'm reading blogs with eyelids lined with grit, swilling black tea, and writing inane accounts of my activities. I'd go sleep in Dad's hospital room if the bells and alarms and nurses would leave me in peace. Those wonderful women, though, are in there every few minutes turning my dad, making sure he has massage for his legs, ice for his parched throat, ointment for chapped lips, minty rinse for his teeth, the list is nearly endless.

I can not convey how their kind attentions relieve my anxiety for dad as he struggles through this latest crisis. ...and now he can barely speak since he's been without his Parkinson's medicines for two days, yet they divine his needs and attend to them. Bless them for their kindnesses and hard work.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

"Emil Daniel, es mi esposo, mi esposo."

An emergency occurred at my home, which had me awake for a 25 hour period. At that point, I was allowed roughly three hours of sleep, followed by another period of stress. Finally, after about 35 hours, I was able to truly sleep, and sleep I did, with vivid and racing images as though my brain was rushing to catch up on its REM requirements. When I woke, my arms were numb from prolonged inactivity. I raised them above my head to let the blood circulate and drifted in the lingering mantra of the dreams. As horrifying as the images had been, one refrain saved me and provided shelter and joy throughout, that was Emίl Danίel Andalei, es mi esposo, mi esposo.

I must go again to the hospital, but if I can, I will relate the dream later. It's a shame there's no time to capture my first impressions, but I'm doing my best to mentally walk through it and commit it all to memory. Later...I'll try tonight maybe.

For the Folks at Jotun's Bane Kindred

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Violence against Women

Kim Gandy writes about women and violence and the recent high-profile cases. Just a reminder, too, that Joe Biden was a champion of the VAWA.

NOW provides the current statistics on violence against women and calls them, appropriately, shocking. Unlike an email I received a few days ago, the links are functional and lead to legitimate sites with responsible numbers.

It's my opinion that if we elimated all violence against women, peace and prosperity would follow. It's in the method and means.

Friday, February 20, 2009

I Dreamed I Could Fly

Please be kind in judgement. I wrote out this dream in stream of consciousness and only edited for the most obvious blunders. I left it in this form because I thought that best retained its dream quality.
I was lying on my back slightly inclined, but flat, and I remember that my hair was long as in real life and strands of it blown across my face. I was outdoors, and a group of young people, male and female, were gathered casually around to look at me, but though I could see them faintly, I could not open my eyes. In sleep, I realized it was sleep that held my eyelids closed, and it was a pleasant sensation, sleep, that is. I felt secure in my distance from the group, as though they could not harm me, although I lay vulnerable to them as they stood peering down at me.

Then a young man joined them. His name was John, and he noticed me right away as he approached the group. He had a kind look, not handsome, but he had dark hair in a thick mess around his face. The others thought I was of no use, but John did not dismiss me as lightly, and he knelt beside me to study my face. I slept on at ease. The interest of the others waned, and they began to wander away. Gently a breeze began, and it grew stronger. I rose and spread my arms, and the wind caught me up, lifting me at least twenty feet into the air. Immediately, John followed my example, and suddenly we were both flying in a blue sky above the Kansas fields. At first the other young people were astonished, then inspired, and they all, too, raised their arms and allowed the wind to lift them into flight. Soon, the great group of us was flying higher toward the setting sun. John always remained near me.

The sun set, and we saw in the distance the lights of a city closely packed with skyscrapers, lit in a myriad of colored lights. We flew into the evening city, but as we settled lower between its buildings, we were cut off from the wind, and we lost our ability to fly. Try as we might, we couldn’t find our way out of the city again. We were trapped, wandering, a people separate from the native inhabitants of the city. They called us “The Inspired Ones,” but ignored us otherwise and didn’t understand our need to be away from the streets and buildings. We wanted to fly again!

John was always with me.

One night while crossing on a bridge across a river, we looked into the night sky and our people saw a terrible accident between two aircraft occur. One of the planes plummeted from the sky toward the river. Our people scattered, and I tried to avoid the crash, as well, but it was as though doomed for me. The planed veered in my direction, but luckily landed in the water before reaching me. Thinking I was safe, I turned to John, and then I saw a small, mechanical apparatus leave the downed airplane. Swiftly, it flew over the water toward me and pricked me in the bare heel with a needle. It was only a small pain, and I thought little of it, then both were gone, plane and device. I was with John. We turned to continue across the bridge, but we found it broken by the crash, and we were stranded on a fragment in the midst of the river, while our people were safely on the farther shore. When we asked for their help to cross, they looked at us askance. Something had changed. None of the others wanted anything to do with John and me, and they left us on the bridge fragment, floating on the river, to make do for ourselves.

We lived on the bridge fragment, and John went everyday to make a living performing as a gladiator, but it was not glorious work. His face was always hidden behind a foolish mask, and it was considered a clownish and lowly work, done only by the most desperate among the city. Nevertheless, he performed and fought for years, and he learned all the tricks and that he must be merciless if he wanted to survive. One day he was pitted in the ring with an old adversary of his, a man new to the gladiatorial contests. John beat the other easily and showed him his face, the only one to ever know John was the greatest of them all, although the work was demeaning and ugly.

After that contest, John came home to me. I had returned to sleeping and couldn’t open my eyelids, but I knew John was there. John lay with me on the bridge fragment, and we were both at ease. After that, I was different, at peace though we were isolated from The Inspired Ones. We were now going to have a baby, but no one had children in that city. We didn’t care that we were unlike everyone in all the world. We wanted to fly anyway.

As I was waking from this dream, I took John’s hand to lead him from the bridge, and we climbed the face of the tallest building of the city and came to the rooftop. There I spread my arms, and John understood and spread his arms, too, and we flew away.

"No, you didn't! Yes, I did!"

Hehe, I really enjoyed this! Over at Dependable Renegade they labeled it Dealing with Republicans! Ahahahaha!

Spring Sproinged

As the garth and hearth keeper here along the river, I hold the capacity to divine and announce spring, and today is it!

-fat hyacinth buds packed tight
-ranks of daffodils
-a pod of daffodils nestled up against a warm rock
-golden crocus opening to the morning sun

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chain Email Filled with Hate

I received a disturbing email today. It said that the reason for our national debt has absolutely nothing to do with the Iraq War. Instead, it's illegal aliens. Yes, it's all the fault of these illegals that the U.S. is going bankrupt. Fourteen reasons were given for how illegals cost us all this money. All were offensive. All based on twisted logic, ignorance and hypocrisy.

Some were based purely on racial prejudice, things like illegal aliens are criminals, so it costs us money to arrest them and keep them in our prisons. Wait, it gets worse. "In particular," states one reason on the list, "their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US." While most of my readers sit in stunned silence, I want to clarify that the misplaced commas were in the quote, not of my doing.

There were 14 reasons, as I said. The fourteenth is the work of evil minds.

"14. 'The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants in the United States.' Verify at: http:// ."

Don't bother to click that link; "The web page can't be found."

The email concluded with a request to forward it in chain mail fashion, but only to "every legal resident in the country...." I won't be forwarding, by the way.

If someone would like the information for the purpose of publicly shredding it to bits, point by point, email me with a request, and I'll send you the list.


I like this artist's work, Microworld.

Monday, February 16, 2009

For Love and Happiness and Hope!

Dedicated to Krissy and Tina. I'll never forget the fun we had. You made me love you.

Thanks to Tracie the Red for finding this.

Dad's Woodcutting Operation

My dad won't mind if I tell that he's 79. He also won't mind if I share that he has Parkinson's disease, has had for about nine years now. Every morning is a new trial for him as he struggles to get the lead out of his feet. He says he has wooden legs. By afternoon, he's usually feeling pretty good and downright bored from being stuck in a chair all morning. This week he's been working on a pile of logs I've piled up here at Rivergarth for about ten years. He's cutting them down to size for the woodstove with his electric chainsaw. Scary as hell for me, but until he loses a toe or a leg, he's sure not going to listen to anybody tell him he shouldn't be.
I can only imagine what they'll say to me in the emergency room as I try to explain that my aged father with Parkinson's was chopping logs with a chainsaw when he cut through his shoes, toe and all, and I let him do it! Gah!!! What is worse is that actually happened to my husband once, and I had to drive him to the emergency room for stitches to save his bloody toe! Is it any wonder women think men are rather dense in general?

Friday, February 13, 2009


I do hope my readers have all discovered the blog I added to my blogroll recently, the one titled Caught a glimpse of Jesus down by the railroad tracks.... This young writer is a true talent, and a man with something to say, by golly.

Thanks to Tracie the Red for tipping me off to Tim.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Of Ships and Quakers

I took a break from following the Sparling line of my lineage in order to rest my brain and allow some time for my internet queries to possibly yield some information. In the meanwhile, my dad fed me a tidbit about his Tripp ancestors. He told me that his mother had said that five Tripps had taken passage to America from Europe together. Well, that was something I might be able to discover!

I haven't found any record of just that tale, but I did find something as interesting and might be the origin of the family story of five Tripps. Except for the commonality of ships, I'm not sure why the story set me in mind of this folk song, The Sloop John B.

The Sloop John B.
Lee Hays/Carl Sandburg

We come on the sloop John B, my grandfather and me.
Around Nassau town we did roam.
Drinkin' all night. Got into a fight.
Well, I feel so break up, I want to go home.
(I want to go home. So now,)

Hoist up the John B's sails.
See how the main sails set.
Call for the captain ashore, let me go home.
(Let me go home.)
Let me go home.
(I want to go home.)
I want to go home.
(Why don't you let me go home?)
Well, I feel so broke up, I want to go home.
(I want to go home.)

Well the First mate, he got drunk.
Broke up the Captain's trunk.
The Constable had to come and take him away.
Sheriff John Stone (Sheriff John Stone),
why don't you leave me alone?
Yeah, Yeah (Why don't you leave me alone?)
Well, I feel so break up, I want to go home.
(I want to go home. So, now)

Well, the poor cook he caught the fits.
Threw away all of my grits.
Then he took and he ate up all of my corn.
Let me go home.
(I want to go home.)
I want to go home.
(Why don't you let me go home?)

This is the worst trip since I've been born.
(Since I have been born. So, now)

Hoist up the John B's sails. (John B. sails)
See how the main sails set. (Main sails set.)
Call for the captain ashore, let me go home.
(Let me go home.)
Let me go home.
(I want to go home.)
I want to go home.
(Why don't you let me go home?)
Well, I feel so break up, I want to go home.
(I want to go home.)

When my ancestor, John Tripp, immigrated to America he was on a ship of colonists, many of whom eventually became related by marriage. It was a kind of Founder's Ship. John Tripp, my ancestor, has been called "The Founder" by some, because so many individuals can now trace their lineage back to him. Below is a letter originally written in the hand of my ancestor, an immigrant from England. It begins with a paraphrase by Holly Tamer, and credit for interpretation of the hand-written document goes to Carl Boyer. The "persacuted people" John writes about refers to the persecution of the Quakers.

By his own hand, he wrote that he had 11 brothers and sisters, "and much kindred...was put an apprentice to a ship carpenter of Thoresby 3 miles from Alford in Lincolnshire where I served 7 years...and after that I bound myself to Frances East for 4 pounds a year for 4 yeares who...after I had served him for about a year and a half sold me to Robert Jafra then living in Boston...and boston church members persacuting som to the ofending of others my master came to Rhod Island with the said parsacuted people and I with him and his wife being sickly and they could not git their maid to Rhode Island with them because Boston members cried out against Rhod Island people whom the said members had expelled from them therefore my master was forced to se.. me to Randal Houlding of portsmouth on Rhode Island and I served a while and after bought out the rest of time of him and after a whil I married a wife hose madon name was mary paine I being about thirty or twenty eight years old or there abouts and the Lord hath given us Eleven Children of which one is ded the eldest is 29 yeares old and upward this 17th the Second month 1670 prased be the our Rock who hath been help and unto us at all times given what thou please it is marcy from thee to receive anything for the Earth."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wichita Photos

See RobertD's images at EyeFetch for a current view of Wichita, KS, my hometown.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Only occasionally is my backyard graced by these stately birds. This is twice this week.
Fortunate me.
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good,

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting,

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.

Meanwhile, the world goes on,

Meanwhile, the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes,

Over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers,

Meanwhile, the wild geese, high in the clean blue air are heading home again.

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,

The world offers itself to your imagination.

Calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting,

Over and over announcing your place in the family of things.

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Sigurd might have Heard

This morning while peeking from Dad's window, we two saw a small sample of the birds Rivergarth harbors; a brown creeper wending its way up the trunk of the white pine; a crimson cardinal at a distance in a bush; a flock of juncos stuffing up on sunflower seeds; two, precious chickadees; and not least, Sigurd's seers, the nuthatches, our white-breasted species.

From the Lay of Fafnir (Bellows' trans.): "But when Fafnir's heart's-blood came on his tongue, he understood the speech of birds. He heard nut-hatches chattering in the thickets."

To hear what Sigurd might have heard, click here and play.

Singing in the Rain

I'm singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin'
I'm happy again
I'm laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun's in my heart
And I'm ready for love
Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I've a smile on my face
I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin',
Singin' in the rain
Dancin' in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I'm happy again!
I'm singin' and dancin' in the rain!
I'm dancin' and singin' in the rain!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Featured Artist: William W. Hoyt

My EBSQ subscription brought me a present surprise this morning, the discovery of a fantastic artist, William W. Hoyt.

The theme this week was Baby. It's Cold Outside, and featured some of the most enjoyable images I've yet received in my mailbox. Even at that, I usually delete and move on. It's not often I follow a link to look at an artist's profile and portfolio. Today I did.

Maine Marsh by William W. Hoyt.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cross-Quarter Day

At Rivergarth, the signs of spring are sparse and far between just now. There is the change in the behavior of ducks, and the stars of bethlehem breaking ground, but these are more indicative of late winter than a hint of spring. When I hear the first wood duck keening down the river, then that will be spring.

When I was teaching, I had a student in his mid teens bemoan the lateness of spring. I told him, "Just wait. It's soon, very, very soon." A couple of weeks later he came to me with wonder in his voice, "You were right. How did you know?"

I could have laughed, "Because Spring always comes, young padawan, don't you know?!" But this young man was serious and believed I had presaged the return of spring. I won't forget my sense of discovery in finding that the young have not lived enough springs to know without a doubt that spring will come again. The winter is never yet so long that it can not be endured.

Today is the Bloggers Poetry Event, but though I searched for days, I could not find the right poem to express my sense of quiet waiting and wonder as winter lingers on. In the end I found, instead, a piece of beautiful prose. This excerpt is about birds, and it is the birds who keep us company through the white and gray days. It's the birds, too, even before the earliest bulbs begin to bloom, who call out spring.

From Walden, by Henry David Thoreau

Meanwhile also came the chickadees in flocks, which, picking up the crumbs the squirrels had dropped, flew to the nearest twig and, placing them under their claws, hammered away at them with their little bills, as if it were an insect in the bark, till they were sufficiently reduced for their slender throats. A little flock of these titmice came daily to pick a dinner out of my woodpile, or the crumbs at my door, with faint flitting lisping notes, like the tinkling of icicles in the grass, or else with sprightly day day day, or more rarely, in spring-like days, a wiry summery phe-be from the wood-side. They were so familiar that at length one alighted on an armful of wood which I was carrying in, and pecked at the sticks without fear. I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn....

At Rivergarth, we notice the simple signs, wonder large at the small joys, like Thoreau did at Walden...although, our chickadees sing "dee-dee-dee."