I try not to make my kids the main focus of the pictures I put up on this blog but, well, Henry was just so darn cute in his little old man sweater that I couldn’t help snapping pictures as he tried to run away from me and into oncoming traffic or into the slavering jaws of some angry canine. Such an adventuresome lad! I also took some of random strangers that I figured I’d put up for good measure….
As we drove down to Boise I kept seeing these houses along the side of the highway and they seemed so exposed, so laid open to the eyes of those traveling down the highway. And each house was like a piece of micro fiction: the toys little dots of colour on the green or brown lawns; the collections of broken down farming equipment or old cars; the trailers, leaning warmly against the houses or seemingly banished to a lonely corner of the property surrounded by poplar trees (for a relative down on their luck? For an estranged spouse? For a teenaged child needing more privacy, wanting to express their independence?).
A lot of the houses seemed to be accompanied by these beautiful trees that dwarfed the houses, sentinels guarding the vulnerable houses against the prying eyes of travelers.
My daughter was recently hospitalized, more out of caution than necessity (for which I thank our doctor as it is better to be safe than sorry), but ohmyfuckinggod was it ever stressful for me as my husband was away in Toronto and I had to drag Henry along with me (he was the best behaved baby the whole time and absolutely loved the hospital. What gadget/electronics oriented child wouldn’t?), but sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my daughter’s hospital room with him was less than restful.
So, what do I do when things are stressful? Tune them out, even just for brief snatches of time. Turn away for the space of a breath, from the anxiety of my child in a hospital bed to the window because although I know her illness isn’t serious the precariousness of my children’s safety is brought too close in the children’s ward where many others (the baby whose cry we heard through most of the night) will not recover so quickly, where many other parents struggle with the heartbreak of an inconsolable child who they are unable to protect .
If I were religious I might have broken out the verse, “The heavens declare the glory of god and the firmament showeth her handiwork. Day unto day utereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge”(that one’s for you Mom). The King James version of the bible was the one I grew up with and was my first exposure to poetry (one of the things I am most passionate about). From the bible I moved on to Shakespeare (obviously), them fell in love with Leaves of Grass by Whitman and on from there. But there are still many verses from the bible that I was forced to memorize as a child standing in the corner for some offence or another ( usually foolishness and daydreaming. I still indulge in both.) that come to me in the same way that a commercial jingle or children’s song do. The difference, of course, is the context. Along with the scripture comes that sense of security (false as it turns out) and the value we were taught to attach to these words by our teachers and parents making them more weighty. Isn’t it amazing how seductive and comfortable the familiar is? I guess that’s why they say ignorance is bliss.
I took these a couple weeks ago on our way down to the beach. There is this garden that is always teeming with flowers that are allowed to grow exactly as they please. I don’t know who owns the garden but I have been tempted to knock on the door and offer them some of the pictures I’ve taken of their wild garden as a sort of tribute and thank you for the pleasure of walking by it and having such beautiful subject matter.
On this particular occasion the garden was crawling with these flying ants. Fascinating and just a little creepy as they very quickly covered our legs if we stood too close. I guess the colony is on the move.