Just bitchin'

#March

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“In like a lion; out like a lamb.”

That’s the way the month of March, that quixotic, transitional interval spanning from winter into spring ;

 

And HOLY CRAP!!! Just as I hit the semicolon, a huge flash and an immediate clap of thunder that made my hands jump, my cat’s tail expand to alarming proportions, and the house shake!!!

I kid you not.

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So now, after a brief break while all things electrical were turned off and a barrage of hail flattened the hyacinths in my planters…now I will continue. And it seems more appropriate than ever to discuss March and its unique attributes.

I think I’ll leave the unfinished thought and improperly placed semicolon above as a tribute to the angriest month on the calendar. Maybe that slight offering will keep it from further inflicting itself on me.

What started me writing about this in the first place was my kitchen ceiling. Its disconsolate dripping is a fitting sound track. The sagging, cracking sheet-rock another testament to the birth pangs of spring. The light switch taped down to discourage inadvertently flipping it on and shorting out the kitchen light that is perilously close to the leak and thereby burning down my house is another signature of March.

I’m not a fan of the month.

But I still wonder about that ‘in like a lion’ thing.

Lions are golden and soft-furred and regal. March is dark and violent.

And ‘out like a lamb?’ Lambs are cute, but they can be messy and loud and notoriously hard to catch. (Note the hover-lamb below.)

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So based on this year’s experience with the month only half over, and as a plea for the quieter, more manageable way in which I hope it will end:

March —

In like a brontosaurus; out like an arthritic vole.

In like a tsunami; out like a jar of grape jelly.

In like Trump; out like My Little Pony.

Just, please, no more shaking and roaring, okay? OKAY??

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Just bitchin'

Suddenly Strange

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This morning there were bats silhouetted against ragged clouds tinted moon-orange.

Such eerie beauty catches your breath. When you remember to inhale, you breathe in the change that is gathering in the dark. This is the time of year when worlds collide…

…when the separation between superstition and logic thins, perforates, lifts…

…when it is rumored the faerie kingdom is on the move, changing venue for another year…

…when ethereal things solidify…

…when the current of strange energy that few can perceive, flares bright.

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It’s candy and costumes and masked balls. It’s opening your door to strangers and taking risks.

It’s a feeling in the pit of your stomach that wavers between terror and anticipation. It’s the small hairs on your neck rising. It’s the fleeting image of something pale gibbering in the corner of your eye.

You are haunted.

You love it.

Happy Halloween…

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Zombie of the Season

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It’s insidious.

It wafts about virtually unseen until it accumulates in deceptively pretty, golden drifts. It collects in the crevices and at the interstices of your newly-washed car, your lawn furniture…your innocently-gaping throat and nostrils. Your eyes.

But those are mere diversionary tactics.

It wants your brain.

It’s pollen. The wild, golden child of all those lovely Spring catkins gracefully dipping and swaying in the breeze.

It is the zombie of the plant world.

It wants your brain.

And it shall have it.

Oh, sure, you can try to stave it off with any number of chemical weapons. But sometimes you don’t want to risk the accompanying lethargy. Sometimes you don’t relish the idea of every moist membrane of your body being converted into dry, cracked parchment. Your vivid imagination conjures up sinuses lined with something resembling California’s drought-ridden soil, webbed with arid fissures.

You don’t want that.

So you decide to power through the discomfort, hawking and coughing all the way.

By the time you are reduced to a wheezing, gelatinous mass, abandoned by friends and family because, let’s face it, you’re kind of disgusting like this, you begin to crack. Much like the California drought-ridden soil. The tiny crevices gather and grow and intersect and become one glorious gape.

You shatter.

You take the antihistamine. And it’s not the non-drowsy version, because, well, you’re still laboring under the delusion that you can power through anything the season dishes up. A sign your brain is already under siege.

In a few hours you will blink stupidly instead of speaking cogently. You will nod off over your keyboard. You will struggle for the words just out of reach. You will lick dry lips to no avail. You will rub dry eyes to a sandpapery texture.

You will fix the world in your deadened, dry gaze, and realize the final enormity of your defeat.

You and pollen have become one. You are the outward manifestation of pollen.

Zombies both.

It wanted your brain.

And it got it.

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Season of Bounty

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The calendar says ‘Not yet.’

The budding trees say ‘Almost.’

But Spring is here.

It crept into my home this morning. Actually, it was carried in. It was deposited with loving care on my bed before I knew what was happening. It was released beside my elbow as I lingered in the last, dusky shreds of sleep.

It electrified me.

It bolted me from my rest and my sheets, and the security of Winter slumber hitherto undisturbed by those who walk on four paws and bring…gifts… It burrowed under my comforter and snuggled deep with desperation rooted in its instinct to survive.

Spring is here.

I know because the invasion has begun and I have been pressed into the dual role of victim of, as well as EMT for, vermin.

My cat, Jack Sparrow, is thrilled. This is the time when he can truly express his gratitude for being adopted from a shelter. This is when, after long, cold, barren months, he can shower me with an embarrassment of feline riches. This is when he gets to watch the ensuing chaos after bringing me his version of ‘breakfast in bed.’

It amuses him. I can tell.

He takes a ringside seat and watches the race to find a receptacle that is mouse-worthy. Tail twitching, he sees how clumsily I trap his ‘gift’ in the drinking glass that will never be allowed to touch my lips again. Not after this. His whiskers tilt forward and his ears tilt back as his scantily-clad, furless owner dashes out into the chill morning air in search of a site where the ‘gift’ may be released with a reasonable expectation of escape and survival.

Deep inside, Jack Sparrow does a cat-chuckle.

Because he knows where to find more ‘gifts.’ And he will. A weekly, if not daily, progression of small, scurrying, squeaking bounty await him.

Spring is here.

The only thing more alarming is Summer.

That’s when the snakes appear.

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Season of the Writer

autumnfantasyThey say writing is a vocation you can pursue anywhere, any time.

There’s some truth to that. Thanks to technology, you can live among the dunes of the Mojave or the ice caps of Antarctica and still find your readers and meet your deadlines…internet connection permitting, of course.

But I honestly believe every writer has a season. Not talking about success here; not saying you’re ‘in season’ when something you’ve created is snapped up and lands on the New York Times bestseller list.

I’m talking about when the calendar flips a page and some gentle change in the atmosphere links to your primal spirit. You wake up literally and figuratively. An energy that’s been slumbering beneath the surface begins to froth and bubble and foam. And you just know…

…this is your time of year.

For many it’s winter when dark days and solitude invite long hours weaving tales.

For some the spring, surging with life and fresh, new possibilities, is the call to convert that energy into the written word.

For others, summer’s heat is a slow, sensual burn that spews literature like lava.

But for me, it’s autumn.

I don’t want to inspect the magic too closely. It’s enough that it exists. It’s enough that it feels like waves cresting, tossing more…and more…and too much…up into the crisp, silver-gilt light. It’s breathing air like cider and being alert, pounce-ready all the time.

It’s autumn.

Welcome to my season…

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