The Perpendicular Bean

Last week in the rains, a frog leaped out from a row of yellow beans I was harvesting and landed directly in my bucket about three feet away. As the bucket was almost full, and as I was on my knees, the frog and I were instantly eye-to-eye and intimate, his eyes showing greenish-yellow, mine maybe grayish-blue. I didn’t say anything, the frog didn’t say anything. And so we became studies for each other, two strangers trying on their Taoist way.

But before too long, I reached for a bean and tossed it, a long yellow bean in short flight across the divide to land perfectly perpendicular across the frog’s back and balancing there like a see-saw. The frog, greenish all over and web-footed, bumpy, squat and handsome. Yet not moving. Not flinching. Not twitching or pooping. All the frog could muster, it seemed, was to double down.

So I did likewise. I doubled down. There in the mud holding steady and watching the frog, the balancing yellow bean. His skin my skin. His feet my feet. His heart my heart. Our shared equilibrium, our shared jostle of bones, grievances, sunsets, our in-creeping earthly disappearance. Man and frog maybe not so dissimilar after all.

And then the frog jumped and disappeared into the same row of beans he had emerged from.

That’s how it ended.

When I looked in the bucket for the perpendicular bean, it was all just yellow.

 

Photo: Donna Thud

Always on a rainy, late Saturday night you can find a photo that surprises. You may have to look over 6,000 to find but one, but still…

A photo by Lorenzo Mittiga.  Dona Thud. Dona lives on Bonaire, an island off the coast of Venezuela.  At last count she was somewhere into her 90’s.

(Consider clicking on the photo to better appreciate it.)

The white shift, the white hair, the advanced age, and yet the palpable sense of confidence, foreknowledge. aggression even.

Her arms the stuff of the ocean, her stare, and surely her soul, too. Her elbows warding off just about everything.

She reads like a siren Ulysses may have encountered on his long journey home.

A women comfortable in her skin and ideas, and quick to tell you so.

And the ocean: foreboding, patient, heartless, eternal, a heart mate.

———–

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LorenzoMittigaFineArtPhotography/posts/

 

Alive To The Abundance

It’s July, high summer, and there have been rains and days of blue sky and at night the distant back-and-forth calls of the Barred owls. The yellow beans are foremost, the sweet onions, too, and soon coming are the heavy-set tomatoes and yellow sunflowers. Quetzal and her friend Christine have been swimming at Lucus Pond with the dogs, and baking shortbread, and we have been to the ocean in the early morning and likewise at night.

This morning a crow dropped into the garden for the one duck egg I threw out days ago. He landed, cocked his head and seemed to triangulate, hopped a few hops across the furrows, paused…and drilled that egg through. When I looked with binoculars, I could see egg-shine splashed across the length of his beak. And when he lifted and turned toward Pawtuckaway Mountain, I’m almost certain that shine was his only load.

Because My Stomach Hurts Just Now

All cartoons are easily found online. May each artist live forever.

The Boy Who Gave Me the Middle Finger

Recently at one of the farmers markets I sell at, a woman and a teenage boy approached my stand, paused for a moment to whisper together, and then stepped forward. The boy was maybe seventeen, the woman in her mid-sixties.  I couldn’t place their relationship. The boy spoke for them, and he was shy.

“We were just wondering,” he said, “about those peas. If they’re the edible pod kind.”

I said they were, and taking a pea from a bowl full of them, I held it up, called it a snap pea, and showed them how to remove the string. Then I ate it.

“Would you like to try one?” I asked.

They both shook their heads no. But then the boy immediately changed his mind and said yes. And he followed through. He selected a pea, and, removing its string, popped it into his mouth. The woman and I watched him.

“The funny thing is,” he said, “is how we were just talking about this. I said you can eat the pods, she said no you can’t.“ We laughed, and I noticed the boy had a habit of rocking on his toes.  Every time he said something, he would lift himself with his toes.

Another thing I noticed (I had picked up on this immediately) was the kid’s shirt. He was wearing an oversized, black tee shirt. And plastered in huge on the shirt from the collar down to the hem was a yellow image of a menacing young man giving the world the middle finger. The finger was gigantic. It was the largest middle finger I’d ever seen. When the boy had reached for his sample pea, that finger was inches from my face. Continue reading