November Afternoon

A warm, wet day, surprisingly winter dark in the mid-afternoon. Our recent rains have dampened the intensity of the drought, although the drought remains significant. The rains have also stripped the leaves from the trees, leaving the landscape in winter form.

The political season seems to have been lengthened interminably, as has the time of Covid. As the pandemic has intensified these past few weeks, our insularity has increased apace. We find ourselves joining the community of those who are mostly separated from family and friends, and who must refuse coveted opportunities to spend time with loved ones.

All of this, along with our collective drift away from kindness and caring, has had the curious effect of leaving me rather speechless. Being thus quieted, I have found doing so much I love, including posting to this blog, almost impossible. For a while I was enjoying having time to read. That gave way to pre-election anxiety, post-polio fatigue, and cataract surgery. The last few weeks have witnessed a remarkable period when reading anything was essentially impossible. The upshot is that I am woefully behind in reading many treasured blogs, books, and periodicals.

The one thing I was able to do was write something akin to haiku. There was a time many years ago when writing haiku was, for me, a sort of journaling process, one I practiced almost daily. A return to playing with the intensity and pictorialism of the form has been a pleasure.

About a month ago we adopted a one year old, formerly stray, female cat. The last three-plus weeks have been filled with our mutual dance of acquaintance. A few days ago she left her suite of tiny rooms and joined us, if provisionally, as we wander through the house. She has clearly had positive living time with other humans, as well as considerable trauma, and the process of working out our relationship is a complex one. We are reminded that so much depends on playing with a lovely, sweet, traumatized cat.

With luck I will be posting more regularly again going forward.

Till next time, may you be safe and well.



26 thoughts on “November Afternoon

  1. I will add hugs from Maine. Let’s just say that 2020 has been quite the stressful year. Hoping for better times in 2021. Welcome to the new arrival. Sounds like she is beginning to settle in.

    1. Laurie, What a challenging year! A decade’s worth of stress for sure. Nori the cat is settling in and we are all having moments of warmth and hilarity. And yes, may next year give us all room to visit and breathe. Be safe and well.

  2. I opted for a news and social media fast from last Tuesday afternoon until Saturday. During that time I read four books 🙂 I’m anxious but not debilitatingly so, as I might have been had I paid attention to things I can’t control, like (continuing) post-election predictions and wrangling. I’m spending hours outside, esp. in the very warm weather we’ve had of late in NH, and my permaculture group has begun reading and “doing” The Naturalist’s Notebook together, which should carry us into January. Your new cat is lovely; we adopted a rescue almost 3 yrs ago, neither of us ever having had a cat before, and it’s been a process! The pandemic, oy vey, we’re pulling even more tightly into our two-person bubble now with cases rising and the outdoors being less a place we can visit with others as we move into winter. But there will be a vaccine and there will be hugs, shared food, time spent with friends, and travel (which I really miss) again. May you be well.

    1. Thank you, Molly,
      Yes, this all will pass. In the meanwhile our pods shrink and the stress increases. Of course those who dreamed us into being had to face such difficult times. We tend to forget how good so many of us often have things. Living with a young cat is such a joy, even as the getting to know each other part can be challenging. she is finally beginning to relax.
      Be safe and kind.

  3. It seems like we are walking down the same path. I had the cataract removed from the first eye yesterday. Usually I tolerate such things with patience and a “can-do attitude” but this time not so much. It is just one more glob in a bucketful of crap to deal with. (See if you can put that last sentence into Haiku for our amusement.) Your comment about kindness and caring caught my attention. Maybe I should start telling people I see with masks that I appreciate their caring and responsibility.
    Please continue to keep yourself safe and I hope you can avoid as much stress and anxiety as possible as I would guess that doesn’t help the post-polio fatigue. Sending a bucketful of gentleness to you, Jenni, and your new family member.

    1. Thank you, Pat. I am working on the haiku…..
      I am pleased to have better eyesight, especially for color. You are certainly right on about the process adding more stress. Next one in three weeks or so.
      With Covid numbers rising so quickly it is difficult to know exactly how to manage self care. Those masked outdoor strolls certainly help.
      Nori the cat is settling in which is fun!
      Be well and safe, Pat!

      1. The difference between my eyes involves the difference of white balance. The surgery eye sees whiter, the other sees a yellow tone.

      2. I use Lightroom some as well, although I still do not entirely understand white balance. Once you mentioned light balance I was actually able to better grasp its use in Lightroom.Neat!

      1. LOL It captures my sentiment well. Thank you so much for bringing joy to my Sunday. I found out my 20 yo granddaughter has covid – they haven’t been very smart about being safe. I am so angry – and of course worried. She lives with her mom and a sister who splits time between mom & dad. Dad spends a lot of time in a sports bar – both girls join him along with his girlfriend and her three kids – who also spend time with their dad. You don’t have to be very smart to know how that would end. Sorry for the dump of manure. 🙂

      2. Pat, Jennie and I spend a lot of time supporting people in setting limits on family and friends who think the virus is a joke. We have had too many friends and acquaintances be really ill to take it at all lightly. I hope your granddaughter recovers soon and well. I can’t imagine how it is for you.

  4. It’s so good to hear from you, Michael. These have been difficult times, and I am so glad to see you have a lovely new companion! Sending you love and healing thoughts. 💜

    1. Thank you, Carol. They are difficult times indeed. I spend a fair amount of time thinking about how much better things are for me than for my grandparents….
      I trust you are OK in this.

      1. Ah, yes, Michael. I often find myself wondering how my ancestors survived settler-introduced diseases, genocide, reservations, boarding schools, unhealthy government commodities when forbidden to hunt and gather, and continuing child removal and indoctrination. I find myself both grateful for their tenacious commitment to carry on and humbled by the responsibility I carry to do likewise for the sake of future generations.

      2. carol,
        Me, too. These days when there are so many who resist even common decency, it is more challenging than ever to carry that responsibility.My dad always said that most people are good but that too many are dangerous and the risk never goes away when one is Native. I think about him a lot these days.

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