The guitar case-induced injury sustained during Saturday night’s impromptu dance party appears to be in the getting-uglier-before-it-gets-better phase.
It’s about a two-inch (or inch-and-a-half… however long a guitar case snap typically is) slice across the top of my left knee, surrounded on all sides by a bruised knot.
I don’t know if this will heal before Thursday, when my calendar says I am to dress in cocktail attire and hang out with Prince Edward.
And I don’t know what I more enjoy discussing: My guitar case injury, or my date with Prince Edward.
That may be a polite embellishment (including the identification of this event as a “date”, which in fact it is a work engagement), but allow me to begin with the guitar injury.
Have you ever seen a group of butterflies coalescing en masse, like this?
Ok, that’s an extreme example, taken – oddly enough – from an NPR story about Vladimir Nabokov. You know him as the author of “Lolita”, but he was also a renowned student of the butterfly.
Many of you, I suspect, are renowned students of the butterfly as well. Continue reading
My aunt and daughter, Christmas morning 2011. Warm enough to walk to the river in our PJs.
One of the things I love most about Tennessee is that sometimes the seasons get confused.
It’s 70 degrees for a stretch in December, 50 for a snap in May.
We drink Jack and Diets on a patio while the Christmas traffic whorls around us. We eat chili among spring flowers.
On these days, it is easier to set aside worrisome things.
Forget about that trouble at the office because today is more beautiful than that situation is dire.
Change the oil tomorrow because today we’re not leaving the fireside.
Keep her home from school because she’ll learn more in the garden.
How many songs are written, how many babies made on a warm day in winter, a cold one in late spring?
Nature has shrugged her shoulders; we can, too.
Things I saw when I walked along the beach this morning: a retired couple collecting shells, an old lady with a metal detector, two handsome men fishing, baby poop, a sand crab, and a whole bunch of seaweed-looking sea slugs.
I was walking alone with a cup of coffee while my friends slept late in our rented condo.
With my empty mug, I scooped up one of the sea slugs (once I realized they were animals…and breathing…not mounds of vegetation swept in by the tide), and carried it back to the group. We named it Marty and I texted a photo to my daughter in Tennessee, whom I miss a great deal and won’t see for several more days, and we exchanged a conversation about how gross and weird and cool it is.
This is Day Four of a lovely, overdue vacation.
Work had been incredibly busy lately, and before we left was very nearly closer to exhausting than rewarding. My weekends were verging on the same, with plans and hobbies beginning to feel like obligations instead of pleasure or relaxation.
Like so many things, a good vacation is about timing.
I was thinking as I walked past the baby poop this morning that if I just kept walking for long enough, I’d come across something interesting and not disgusting.
Say what you will about an animal with “slug” in its name, but Marty works for me.
Life happens when it’s supposed to happen. We see things when we’re looking for them. We’ve just got to hold on, keep walking.
Fall gardening could very well be the perfect object lesson in faith.
Also – patience, love and … what’s the word for when you need to let go and just give it to God, Nature or Happenstance?
I asked my mother to help me put my finger on it.
“Trust, surrender, submit, release,” she said.
Fall gardening is about deep roots. Continue reading
Lily and I have needed some time for just the two of us.
So I took the day off work, and she took the day off fifth-grade, and the two of us took to the garden.
We planted 275 tulip bulbs, divided purple irises, pruned the echinacea and pulled up a bunch of weeds.
Here is what she learned, in her own words:
Three Things Learned About Gardening
1. With gardening, you have to have more topsoil to put atop the bulbs.
2. Inside a bulb, there is a smaller version (of the flower) that grows larger.
3. You must cut off parts of certain plants to make them grow back.
Three Things Learned From Gardening that Relate To Life
1. You have to have hope and faith that the flowers will grow along with (resolution to) many other sticky situations.
2. We are sort of like bulbs when it comes to being a small one and growing larger.
3. You should separate Lilys and irises and give them to friends as well as many other things in life.
Awesome kid. Beautiful day. Wonderful life.
My grandfather Bob Hall died on Oct. 7, 1998, in his bedroom in Lake Martin, Ala., with my grandmother at his side.
In the 13 years since, certain things have always happened to make the sad anniversary feel sweet: my grandmother has received flowers, and I have received birds.
I know where the flowers come from. I send them.
The birds? That’s different. Continue reading
This is the scenic overlook atop Lynnwood Way. (Lynnwood Way is the road connecting Hillsboro to Franklin roads on the west side of Cool Springs.)
People who don’t often come to Franklin are surprised we have a spot like this here, but we do.
It is a lovely beast.
It’s 1,000 feet above sea level, and if I had retained anything from calculus I could tell you what the slope is from Franklin Road.
I’ve run it, twice. Once with a friend, and once alone. At the other side of the mountain are seven more miles of hills before home.
I’ve danced on the overlook too many times to count. Many with my daughter, and a few just me.
I’ve picnicked there. I’ve cried. I’ve driven there to escape. Sat there to unwind.
I hadn’t been to the overlook in awhile, but I found myself there this afternoon when I drove the pretty way home from Nashville.
It’s more secluded now, with the trees and vegetation recovered from the construction that cut the road.
Prettier, more private.
It’s also been marred with graffiti and beer cans.
Grown up, for good and bad.
It’s a great spot.
For every seed, a tiny green shoot.
Not every one will make it.
None will, if you don’t thin them.
Provide space and water.
Early flowers sap energy from vulnerable young roots and tender foliage.
Pinch them away before they bloom in full.
Harvest seeds and share them.
When you visit your grandmother, plant some in her garden.
Visit your grandmother more often.
Understand the difference between seeds that need cultivating and seeds that need taming.
Let the self-seeders reseed, if you wish.
Seeds are low risk, high reward.
Plant many and don’t worry too much.
At season’s end, know: I grew this one from seed.
This one was mine from the beginning.
Look closely at the undersides of the leaves.
All the music and outdoor sex is alluring, but that’s not the reason I find the 13-year cicadas so romantic.