Monday, October 30, 2006


My son and his colleague, Joei, created this jack-o'lantern. This is what scientific collaboration can produce. My son gutted the pumpkin and she rendered this likeness of their boss of whom they say in the PR website for their department: " Michael thinks he directs our research group at the Center for Space Physics." UPDATE: They won first prize!

Happy Halloween

That's a Colorado moon and my first attempt at using Paint. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. Fifteen years ago, my dad, who was a genius at working with corrugated cardboard, fashioned an entire three dimensional graveyard out of sheets of corrugated. I painted them white and added appropriate limericks and faithfully drug them up from the basement for many, many years. I bring fewer up each year - they're a little unwieldy. I' place them around the leaf-strewn yard and then make a cauldron on the front porch with 12 pounds of dry ice. Then I run a hose out the window from the hot water tap in the laundry room. Oh, yeah! We have fog drifting mysteriously around all those tombstones. It's awesome. A lighted jack-o'lantern sits atop one tomb and a cute little witch with her broom sits cross-legged on another.
I've carved as many as 12 jack-o'lanterns and placed them atop the low stone wall beside which the parents and kiddies drifted to reach the front porch. The ooohing and awwwing was worth the effort. The smiles and glittering eyes beneath those little masks and fangs and furry faces were the reward.
I've always had a little ritual wherein I move the flickering squash visages to the back deck. It seems only right to allow them their one night of smiling incarnation. Sitting by the bay window I watch them gutter and blink out one by one.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Kissing Corner

As they wheeled me toward the OR last Friday one of the nurses merrily announced: "This is what we call the 'kissing corner'." I guess my husband already understood the drill and I remember him leaning over me and honestly I don't remember in that Vercid haze whether he gave me a peck on the cheek, forehead or lips - and then he vanished and I was still moving smoothly forward and was so buoyed by the drugs running through a catheter from my arm to my brain that I said aloud: "Every Corner Should Be A Kissing Corner". Wow. Was that profound or What?! At least at the time I thought is was and I think I heard the nurses good-naturedly concurring.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Down Pillow

This is one of the two swans that float about the ponds at the local gardens. They nap like this, with their long beautiful head and neck resting gracefully across their back. Below the bank was a bit of litter that had drifted against the shoreline. On magnification, I realized it was the other swan asleep in the crevice . It seems it enjoys a water mattress.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm Just Feeling So 'Scroogey'

My husband is a complete stoic. I sat beside him in 1999 as he waited to be rolled into the OR for by-pass surgery. When I think about his composure, I'm still in awe and a bit envious of his ability to accept the 'is-ness' of his physical self. Maybe being a physician who has seen so much of the body's ability to heal - or perhaps, the inevitability, the naturalness of death, endows him with the serenity that I have yet to attain.

I, on the other hand, having had a physical concern - now allayed - am having an 'Ebeneezer Scrooge morning' after Marley's and the spirits' visitations. In the Albert Finney muscial, Scrooge throws open the window and learns that he's not missed Christmas Day and that it's not too late to do good, to make amends and to love. The tune going through my head this afternoon were the lyrics he sings, as he frolics through the town on his way to Tiny Tim and his nephew's home celebrating his epiphany:

"I will start anew.
I will make amends,
and I will make quite certain
that the story ends
on a note of hope
on a strong amen
and I'll thank the world
and remember when
I was able to begin again."

You know, being a little 'hyper', a titch neurotic, may have its up-side :0) How long this sense of 'Christmas epiphany' will last I don't know - but the 'concern' did light a fire under me to finish some projects, renew connections that I'd delayed for months. Maybe there's a nice medium between stoicsim and hysteria - well, why not?


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wuss -Addendum - Made it :0)

You needn't read on - procedure is over - I'm home,happy and didn't embarrass myself.

OK. I'm a wuss. Hopefully by the time any of you, my few, but precious readers encounter this post - the above eye will have relinquished its nervous twitch.

So I'm scheduled for a very minor out-patient 'old lady' procedure early tomorrow morning and I'm having ' WAAAAAAH! I don't want to do this' anxiety.

Anesthesia is a good thing, but doggone it - it's hard to relinquish consciousness - even for a 10 minute procedure . I like looking around - I like being 'awake' to the world.

Yes, I fear death. But as I age, the fact of it becomes less terrifying - most of my friends agree that the blink from life to death isn't the greatest source of anxiety. We've all heard the troubling stories of lives prolonged beyond reason and we fear mostly the extended suffering that accompanies this process. Yes. That's it. I'm a wuss. I hate suffering.

But, I love looking around. I love beauty, mystery and most of all the connections with family and others that I've made over the years. We are so wonderful aren't we? That's what I'm trying to concentrate on tonight while I watch DVDs of Raymond, Frasier and A@E's Pride and Prejudice. Oh! Click on the water-cloud picture. See the lovely little feather? (Yes, I posted it before, but at the moment I'm inclined to indulge myself - it's one of my favorites:0)


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

It Must Be Said Again

I wrote this last year. The geese fly low over the paths where I walk in the local gardens. This time of year a sense of urgency, of longing fills their coming and goings. My heart is drawn skyward as they pass so low I can hear the air moving beneath their wings.
So with apologies to Edna St. Vincent Millay and her "God's World" -

It Must Be Said Again

The geese are flying overhead.
My lips and face echo their joy.
Open-mouthed I leave the trees below.

And cry a cry of bliss
and flight,
of moments impossible, yet -here.

Sweet grace.

And if I say "Let fall no burning leaf ";
it's all been said by the storied dead,

But, still - the geese are calling.

___________________Catherine Wilson __________________________________________

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater

Peter Peter pumpkin eater,

knows a soft touch when he sees her.
Though he makes a mucky mess
it doesn't cause her much distress.

(Hey lady, got any nutmeg ?)


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Botanic Garden Flaneur

Inspired by Bonita's photos of her stroll through her neighborhood, I'm posting today's impressions recorded in our local botanic garden. Baudelaire urged artists to capture the changes caused by industrialization -to immerse themselves in the metropolis, to become a 'flaneur' to wander through the city - 'a botanist of the sidewalk'. With apologies to Baudelaire's sense of the word - I couldn't resist using it. I like its sound. I like the sense of wandering and letting the path, the sights, draw me forward.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"A Cloud Comes Over The Sunlit Arch"

Robert Frost wrote about the changeability of New England weather in the spring in his poem "Two Tramps in Mud Time." Yesterday my backyard in the Midwest was doing its own version as the sun disappeared and the first snow of the season slanted downward.

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak
A cloud come over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Creaks In The Floor Boards

Someone commented about the floor boards at the corner of my living room couch. They averred that I could hire someone to go into the basement and add some wooden braces, hammer a few nails and stop the communication between the joists and plywood.

I thought about it, but decided I'd miss the greeting every time I come around the corner to sit and study the fire, watch TV, read, go online, write or just stare out the windows at the trees I've been watching since 1976.

No. The conversation will continue. I've not got the will to nail it down, to complain about their complaining. I figure they've got as many creaks and groans as I, and have earned the right to say so. Maybe they're just saying 'Good morning' and 'Good night'.

Perhaps we've stayed in these same rooms too long - maybe we do need a new song. For now, though - this one is so familiar and comfortable. No small thing in the autumn of your life.
(Click the picture for my little poem - the window is the bedroom window of our Cape Cod rental - Cool! I just discovered a second click expands it more :0)

Saturday, October 14, 2006


The wind was gusting, fresh and chill, yesterday. So preferable to the low-ceilinged, drizzly days that come along this time of year. Those settle in around the house and test the resilience of your spirit - its ability to remember dappled leaves splashing light across the grass, across your heart.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fright Wig

The North Wind blew throughout the night
And gave the milkweed quite a fright.

Thanks to dmmgmfm for the nudge. OK. This one's for you :0) Haven't felt very creative or communicative lately. Guess it's just a 'fall, 'thing - a bit of the old body 'misbehaving' thing.

I took the picture last fall and the little rhyme just popped right out.

Friday, October 06, 2006


A confluence is the merger or meeting of two or more objects (or subjects) that seem to inseparably bind their respective forces or attributes into a point of junction.
That's the wikipedia definition. In the few seconds that I snapped the above pictures, I felt I had captured the soul of this definition. I remember that my heart was racing and I was praying that my trembling hands didn't mess up the focus. In less than a minute the symmetry, the synergy had vanished. The delight of being present for the transient gift of beauty remains forever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Question of Censorship and a Stark Reality

I took these pictures a month ago here in Ohio. If the story of child slaughter in Colorado had not received non-stop media coverage, would the Pennsylvania Amish children be alive today? Is it possible to create some legislation that limits the media blitz that could trigger another sick brain? Can you imagine the horror of those last moments in that school ? I'm sick to death of the " if it bleeds it leads" mandate driving the mass-media. If this practice leads to the death of more innocents, perhaps we need guidelines that restrict access to lurid details, photos, and profiles of the perpetrator and his victims. Is it as hopeless as it seems?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Squirrel Redux

Yeah, yeah. I posted a different pix of this sleepy little fellow a while ago, but he's so apropos. We both (my husband and I, not the squirrel) have jet-lag, fresh colds and it's a cold,thunder-grumbly rainy day and I know I speak for us both when I say that we're squirreled up today, just like this furball . My trip to the corner drug store was a hoot. Try to buy good old Actifed or any formulation with pseudoephedrine in it. It's all behind the counter and requires id and a signature and address and a wary pharmacy tech giving you the Larry David squint to see if you're fibbing about being sick. Damn those meth lab creeps - it's bad enough that they're causing human misery in the form of a powerful addictive substance, but doggone it - the common cold just got a little more miserable, too. The pharmacist agreed that the substiute in the new over-the-counter forumulation just isn't as good. Sigh.