Squeezing my gashogSUV into a parking space in town, on my way to meeting with fellow writers, I noticed this beautiful young woman perched on the fire hydrant in front of the toy store. She was dressed like an artist ought to be dressed, with striped leggings, boots, the Pea Coat and lime green hat. Guessing that she is 13 or so, and remembering my daughters admonishment, "Ask before you take your photos!" I did approach her and ask her permission. She turned her perfect face to me, her enormous blue eyes reading me thoroughly, she tossed my way, "Sure. Whatever." The woman you see photographing her was having a good time, carrying on with a steady stream of verbal appreciation. Interrupting herself, she asked me, "Is she your granddaughter? Is that why you're taking her picture?" I smiled, giggled actually(sorry Dev), because it reminded me of how in certain situations I forget that I do not know everybody on the planet, how every child, kid, baby is mine; how every dog is mine; how every elderly woman is my grandma. It just happens. And then I have to think my way back to (hahaha) reality.
"No, " I said, putting my camera back into the car, with one shot taken, "She's just so darned perfect."
I am so grateful that she was sitting there, in that moment.
Starlings and Blackbirds have been dropping out of the sky. Various theories are afloat. In our area a hundred or so were found on the freeway shoulder. Oh no, not here too. The birds fly in enormous flocks. I love to watch them, and yes, I always pull off to the side of the road, as I am so completely distractable. The local killing seems to have resulted from a flock like this (maybe even this flock) flew so low that they collided with an 18 wheeler. Now, I have never heard of such a thing.
What could this be showing us?
Understanding "group mind" is a tall ambition: Is it possible to have freedom? Freedom of speech? Can I really choose to go North when the population is headed South? Does a Lemming ever change its mind and not leap off the cliff? One cannot be a rebel with nothing to fight against.
Taj Mahal is singing in the living room. He comes on the stereo every morning as a result of Rebekah's tinkering with the buttons and dials about seven years ago. So, the stereo comes on every morning, ready or not. And I love it. I am reminded of that little girl showing me how she plays the piano, on my new piece of equipment. She is almost as tall as me now, 12-going-on-twenty.
For her sake, I am compelled to open the creaking doors to my perceptions, projections, my negativity, my opinions, my co-creating worst-case-scenarios, my fears, my certainties--- to see them for the notions they are. Any idea, thought, belief is an ethereal nothing, even while it stifles, condemns, stops.
For her sake, I am compelled to let go of stuck-ness. I am compelled to give up, turn over my own violent, revenge-filled thoughts. I lay down the machine guns of my mind.
Of late, I have heard the words, "Turn my Life over to God." For every stubborn, right, strong, farm-girl, I-can-do-it-myself thought, there is the strength, faith and good, Knowing. I am not alone.
Swallowtail Butterflies are fresh and new by the first of April. Larabee is a hidden valley created by the Eel River. Perhaps I have lived here since time began, a butterfly in the willows on the banks of a Northern river.