Last night at about 2:30, I woke and noticed our cat was sitting on the windowsill and looking out at the night. There was a large moon and the darkness was bright, and I was awake but not really. But then I noticed the cat’s ears and understood that I had been looking at the night only as framed by her ears. Which surprised me. And then a second surprise. In the tree directly outside the window sat an owl, a Barred owl. He was facing the house, was brightened just slightly by the moon, and appeared to be looking in the window. I looked at the cat, then at the owl, the cat on the left, the owl on the right, and wondered if they were they looking at each other, if there was some vague connection. I kept watching, but nothing happened. Nothing but mystery and the beauty of mystery. And that’s all. That’s how it was last night roundabout 2:30. Cat, owl, man, plus a moon inching towards tomorrow.
The Pulitzers were announced yesterday, and because I admire photography and because a Pulitzer is awarded each year for photography, I just now went looking for a good one, for a surprise.
Here’s what I found:
I’ll not comment on the photo. You get it straight up.
But I will comment on “surprise,” on how we love to be surprised. A joke, a glance, a sentence, a black hole, a burning cathedral…we love surprises. Because surprises kill (momentarily) life’s endless flood of mundanities.
We love surprises even when they come at a cost to other people. When that happens (if we even think about it), we’re quick to voice justifications and hide our red faces.
The photo is by Lynn Johnson. She did not win this year, but she was close.
This morning when I first looked out, there was new snow, everywhere a thin white covering, but a vulnerable white, I sensed. And then from somewhere I had the idea that I should watch it, should watch the vulnerability of snow.
So I did. I starting watching. I watched while making breakfast and also while packing Quetzal’s lunch. I watched while walking to and from the barn. Continue reading
Yesterday late afternoon I look up and there in the pasture, live, is the inaugural spring parade. It has just started, the sheep, as always, lined up three abreast and leading the way, the mother on the high side, the daughter in the middle, the son on the low side, their crooked lips working the grasses (if there are actual grasses), their black hooves lost in the spring soft soil… Continue reading
Some of you will remember my daughter Quetzal, how I once wrote often of her and me and us and our father/daughter times together. That was then. This is now. Quetzal is 13, taller than you would think, and bursting with a primal life-force. That and sleepovers. Which is to say we do sleepovers at our house in a big way. Six/eight girls at a time in the loft overnight and bellied up to the table in the morning. Continue reading