I got a dispatch from home yesterday. My friend Stuart said thereís a new deer in his yard. He appeared recently and was noticable for being a big young buck, healthy in every respect but one. He has no right foreleg and instead has a piece of bone where that leg should be. The wound is healed, the bone bleached and shiny. The buck carries himself -- leaps fences, pulls apples off low branches from his hind legs, runs Ė no differently than other deer.
Two things seem remarkable about this. One is the lack of infection. Arenít we taught that a wound left untreated, unwashed will fester and infect? How did the deer manage to avoid that fate. Either itís easier than we know or remember, or this is just one lucky buck.
Secondly, what must it have been like to drag around that leg until it finally fell off. Whatever happened Ė false step, a trap, hit by a car, mountain lion encounter (although then weíd have to say heís an extremely lucky buck) Ė the leg, or part of it, presumably hung around awhile before it rotted off. Some summer. Some plucky lucky buck.
L.A. is hot. Iíve gotten used to the cooler weather of the bay area. The fog that drives temperatures down each evening or every few days would be welcome right now. I love being able to walk about in a summer dress, tan arms white with salt from a recent swim in the ocean, but Iím not always at the beach here. I have less energy at 5:00 in the afternoon when Iíve been in the heat all day. I need more caffeine. Naps are out of the question with kids around. Oh ...wait, itís all coming together! Iíve been with kids all day. Thatís why I feel like going to sleep belly down on the cool kitchen tiles like a dog.
I donít know how parents do it and retain any poise. Parents I salute you. And as much as I sometimes feel that not having kids Iím missing an arm or quite possibly the meaning of life, Iím not sure I could do this, or do it well.
posted by Lisa Thompson on 7:03 PM link | comments 
writing the blitz.
Annie Dillard says to find that one thing that is magic for you and that nobody else seems to notice Ė to write about. Find that thing, and write about it.
Back to the idea of threading. Follow the thread and go deeper.
I heard it calling me, that thread that thing, a week ago while driving as a passenger across the Richmond Bridge. The electric cool blue light glow in the sky, the blue steel stretch of the sea, the sky cut by girders into blue passing triangles. The conversation in the car slipped away and the ecstacy filled me up. Nobody noticed that I had gone. I attended to conversational flow but it didnít interest me. Once on Alameda I watch the shadows of the band play against the barís back wall. The bow moves across the fiddle strings twice, once in color and again in grey. Tonyís mandolin shadow hauntingly distorted in the corner.
Here, nobody expects me to talk. Itís okay to stop talking here. Thank god itís safe in this place to slip away. I should let my life be more about slipping away.
Living with others requires more of this conversational tick-tock. My time drizzles out the window while talking happens. Not how I want to live my life.
Now I live alone and spend a lot of time looking out the window.
posted by Lisa Thompson on 6:39 PM link | comments 
First off I need to say this: my consistency has not been as promised. Itís about what I expected, though, so at least Iím meeting my own low standards.
I spent the last couple of days tying up the loose ends of this life of mine so that I could spend a week in southern California visiting my family. Too busy, too stressed to blog well. And dammit, if youíre not gonna blog well, donít blog at all. So now I can see that my low standards really point to a higher standard and now I feel suddenly better about my damn self.
And really, isnít that what all the fuss is about. If I can justify myself for only a moment, donít I deserve to enjoy that moment. Like the poet said, the only sense of security is a false one. [Donít ask who, I havenít looked it up yet.] But lately, Iíd rather revel in my unjustifiability. Yeah, Iím human, Iím weak and Iím wearing it like a badge. Michael Meade says to lead with your wounds, that your wounds are in the same place as your gifts, in fact maybe they are the gifts.
I listened to him for a couple hours while I drove this morning. The man is truly smart. He tells a story (I canít remember from which culture it came) about the possibility that there are souls floating around in the universe, and that when a soul finds an image that it connects with in a powerful way, the soul is pulled back into time, into a body by the power of that image Ė by that imagination. So each of us is here and our calling, our purpose is tied to one image. We are threaded to it. If we follow that thread of what calls to us from our imagination, then we are living what we are here to live. Thatís a very powerful idea. If itís true, what is the image that you are holding in your core? Do you know? Are you pulling that thread?
If all that is true, then that image is the place that holds our gifts and our wounds. For me, the image has to do with waters: tidal waters, moving waters. Iím still looking, pulling that thread, beachcombing. Iíll let you know what I find.
posted by Lisa Thompson on 4:13 PM link | comments 
Welcome to my little part of the world....west marin. I live in a cabin on the shores of Tomales Bay in the heart of some of the most beautiful land and waters in the world. Some of the local highlights include the Point Reyes National Seashore, Heart's Desire State Beach, Gulf of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Samuel P. Taylor State Park. But of course those are just names.
I want to make them come alive here in these pages, day by day. I'm lucky to be here -- I know. It's a priveledge that I'm grateful for and I expect that one day soon there will be a knock on my door and I'll be out of my sweet rental deal and out into the harsh realities of high-prices and low availability. It's a cruel reality but it heightens my senses. Each morning when I walk down the path to the private beach I see everything more clearly because of it.
I'm greedily taking it all in: learning the names and behaviors of everything around me. I'm watching the barnacles and the sponges, the harbor seals and the bat rays, the blue heron and the belted kingfisher. I climb the oaks, stare up into the highest branches of the redwoods, marvel at the antics of dark-eyed juncos and stalk the flickers for a closer look. It's all sweet and I'm soaking it up.
I'll try to keep it entertaining and informative. I'll try to be consistent. I hope that once in awhile I can communicate the wonder.
welcome to my world.
posted by Lisa Thompson on 11:29 AM link | comments 
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