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And Words Are All I Have

If you keep within your heart a green bough,
There will come one day,
To stay,
A singing bird.

Arabian proverb.

Birth Days,Shatner in Space,and Fiona's Return

salt water cure

It happens to be my birthday today. Everyone protests they do not want a big fuss made on their special day, but I don't buy it. I think we all fervently wish for massive hoopla to celebrate our entering the world.

Myself included.

Something I will miss today is my mother's lovely ritual of calling each of her children on their birthdays. Year in and year out... Wherever her four children happened to be.

She always began the call the same way in her sweet Scots' voice:

"10... or 18... or 20 ... (as appropriate) years ago today..,." you came into the world."

Then she would relay to each of us the particular circumstances surrounding our arrival.

The one she told to me, her third daughter, was this:

I was born on Parliamentary Road in Glasgow, in a one-room tenement.

My mother's company that night were my two sisters, ages five and four. My father was in Canada preparing for us to come to join him once I had been born.

I came early – no surprise there... I’ve always wanted to just get on with things. Mom’s brother Patrick fortunately stopped by just as her contractions were worsening, and ran to fetch a nurse to assist her.

My sister Kathryn, five at the time, recalls the night well… the large expanse of the nurse’s back in her white uniform, tending to my mother in her bed in a niche in the wall. My vcry first cry too, about which she attests I had great lungs from the get-go.
Again, no surprise.

Here are Kathryn's own words: I remember Mom calling us into bed beside her to snuggle and welcome our new baby sister...and it was a revelation to me how this bundle came from her without knowing the anatomy of a woman..also she breast fed you right there and then and that was a remarkable sight to behold...early education in childbirth ...I also remember the soft sweet smell eminating from the bedclothes and that newborn smell which should be bottled..."

My name Patricia came as a nod to my Uncle Patrick for his fortuitous drop-in that night. My father had wanted me to be called Joanne but his letter suggesting it arrived the day after my christening. (I have it as my middle name.)

I miss Mom telling that story to me every year… complete with her flourishes. Underpinning it was her delight as she recounted each of us entering her life.


Fiona Is Back.

I've been calling her daily and nightly - I just knew she was around - being petulant- but yesterday morning very early I heard what I thought was a bird in the tall croton bush off the second landing on the porch - like a trilling sound - marvelous high-pitched trills that last around 15-20 seconds - and discovered a wee frog nested in one of the branches, blinking at me. I investigated more fully - giddily - and am here to tell you it is my Fiona. I know it is her because of her coloring, her size and her wee dimples. She visited for the entire morning, blinking her hello to me all the while. And she hopped between porch posts now and again, as agile as ever, showing off as she was prone to doing.

I cannot tell you how happy our reunion makes me and confirms my view that the universe, although random and chaotic, also sees good things prevail. Like love.

Love prevails.

Trivia of the Day: What are experts on reptiles and amphibians called? Herpetologists. There is no further partitioning like frogologist or toadologist. If you knew that one, I owe you a Dairy Queen Blizzard if and when we meet down the road.

First photo below is Fiona in all her dimpled splendor. Below is a street-wise upstart I found online that I simply had to share.

Fiona 2021 1
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

Gene Roddenberry
outer space
sea glass.

A poem about Captain Kirk aka William Shatner's adventure in space past week.

This Covering of Blue

And suddenly you’re through the blue!
William Shatner exclaimed after disembarking the space capsule,
not as Captain Kirk, but as himself, a demure 90-year-old man,
billionaire to his left, CNN camera positioned to his right,
leveraged to capture the intimate moment:
Shatner, head in hands, sobbing between bursts of inspired testimony
about what it was like to bob briefly above the planet
in Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.
There was no need for metaphor this time.
What you see is black, he said. Is that death?
If so, he’d spent years rehearsing how to swim in its waters,
climb through its fabric into other dimensions.
Captain Kirk had died three times, twice assured by alternate realities.
Did Shatner mean that the infinite blackness was more than inhospitable;
that, in fact, it was self-negating?
Hours later, the newspapers said the brief, eleven-minute climb
to the edge of space rendered the celebrated actor “speechless.”
Yet his speechlessness was made entirely of speech.
The vulnerability of everything … this sheet, this blanket,
he said, hands quivering, this covering of blue that we have around us.
The other crew members doused themselves in champagne,
frolicked and took pictures, while Shatner
doddered with the weight of his own interiority.
When he spoke, he spoke neither to Bezos nor the row of cameras.
Our own fragility was what was so moving, and how isn’t it?
To be thrust back out at what’s thrust in us,
spilling from utterance and gesture as they come to mean
what they cannot by themselves.
There was no need for metaphor,
and yet metaphor is what became of Shatner,
his feet firmly on the ground, in this singular life.
I hope I never recover from this, he said.
Oh Bill, we never do.

Tanner Stening
fell into bed
pencil drawing red heart
I am here, listening. Share your own stories with me, gentle reader.
pOOH 2
What the future held for her she didn't know. She only knew there would be children -
her own or other people's - and there would be books.

~~Alice Dalgliesh

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