Archive for April, 2008

Spring seems particularly spectacular this year!


The days are cold and brown,
Brown fields, no sign of green,
Brown twigs, not even swelling,
And dirty snow in the woods.

But as the dark flows in
The tree frogs begin
Their shrill sweet singing,
And we lie on our beds
Through the ecstatic night,
Wide awake, cracked open.

There will be no going back.



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For example, what the trees do
not only in lightning storms
or the watery dark of a summer’s night
or under the white nets of winter
but now, and now, and now – whenever
we’re not looking. Surely you can’t imagine
they don’t dance, from the root up, wishing
to travel a little, not cramped so much as wanting
a better view, or more sun, or just as avidly
more shade – surely you can’t imagine they just
stand there loving every
minute of it, the birds or the emptiness, the dark rings
of the years slowly and without a sound
thickening, and nothing different unless the wind,
and then only in its own mood, comes
to visit, surely you can’t imagine
patience, and happiness, like that.


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Sunday. Somewhat cloudy. A perfect afternoon to visit my Dad. All week he has been calling me about a hospital bill. “It’s $3,535.17 and I can’t find my check book.” I explain that I have his checkbook, that I  pay all his bills and that his insurance will cover the most of it. After telling him this numerous times, I suggest that he write a note on the top of the statement…Hold bill for Sandy. Insurance will pay. Of course, he doesn’t.

At first, he’s a bit stand-offish. I give him a copy of his latest brokerage account statement and he scrutinizes it page by page. He insists that he’s never seen anything from this account before. I tell him that he has gotten statements for years. He is indignant…insistent..”I most certainly have NOT seen statements like this before! If I had, I would remember.” Right. After a while, I suggest that we go outside for some fresh air and I wheel him around the building. He loves it.

Later, my brother leaves me a message: “Just wondering if maybe you went out to see Dad today. I talked with him and he said he had a great visit with Uncle Dave. That he will be leaving tomorrow on a plane for Denver…”

On the way home, I stop at the Trestle. The valley fills with soft light. I hear a woodpecker and dogs barking. My life is good.

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How necessary it is to have opinions! I think the
spotted trout
lilies are satisfied, standing a few inches above the
earth. I
think serenity is not something you just find in the
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.

The violets, along the river, are opening their blue
faces, like
small dark lanterns.

The green mosses, being so many, are as good as

How important it is to walk along, not in haste but
looking at everything and calling out

Yes! No! The

swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and
petals, wants
only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond.
The catbrier
is without fault. The water thrushes, down among
the sloppy
rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination
is better
than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is
our endless
and proper work.


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We live our lives of human passions,
cruelties, dreams, concepts,
crimes and the exercise of virtue
in and beside a world devoid
of our preoccupations, free
from apprehension–though affected,
certainly, by our actions. A world
parallel to our own though overlapping.
We call it “Nature”; only reluctantly
admitting ourselves to be “Nature” too.
Whenever we lose track of our own obsessions,
our self-concerns, because we drift for a minute,
an hour even, of pure (almost pure)
response to that insouciant life:
cloud, bird, fox, the flow of light, the dancing
pilgrimage of water, vast stillness
of spellbound ephemerae on a lit windowpane,
animal voices, mineral hum, wind
conversing with rain, ocean with rock, stuttering
of fire to coal–then something tethered
in us, hobbled like a donkey on its patch
of gnawed grass and thistles, breaks free.
No one discovers
just where we’ve been, when we’re caught up again
into our own sphere (where we must
return, indeed, to evolve our destinies)
–but we have changed, a little.


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It’s been a quiet time at My Inner Edge. Catching up, after two weeks in LA and spending as much time as possible outside enjoying the beautiful weather and cleaning up the yard. Left alone, our property would quickly go to poison ivy, Japanese knotweed, cottonwood trees and wisteria. I don’t do much formal gardening anymore–the deer, groundhogs, rabbits and muskrats are relentless. Last year, just when I was appreciating the few Hosta plants that survived the summer, muskrats pulled all the leaves off and pitched them in our Koi pond. Still, I long to connect with the soil.

I spend the afternoon with my Dad. He is thrilled as always to drive through the countryside around Goshen…delighted by forsythia, daffodils and fruit trees in bloom. I take him to the The Black Dirt area of Pine Island. The soil is freshly tilled, black, beautiful. I open the windows and take in the rich earth smell.

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“Almost three…”

Hey…It’s me again…Madeleine…visiting…

I LOVE this playground!

I’ll be three soon…and we’ll all have HAPPY cake!

Did I mention that this kitty is my friend?

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