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Curiosity heals, or how to make a bee mummy [Plus Free eBook]
Journal | Week of August 22, 2022
For those new to my e-community, and at the request of some readers, I’m piloting a weekly offering of snippets from my daily writing (tidied up a bit ;-)
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August 22, 2022 | Monday
Penciling the date in my notebook, so many twos. Curious, I ask Siri about the symbolism of the number two. Surprise, apparently angels have numbers. Who knew?
Angel number two can mean union or conflict. One voice in my achy head says, Yes, duality. Another voice asks, Why do angels have numbers?
Curiosity is a good antidote to pain—this morning Shingles blossoming down my arm—though it also works well for curing arguments, defusing dark memories or disappointment, and pulling yourself out of a grief hole.
I sketch a yin-yang symbol, half lead-colored dark, half bright-page white, enclosed in a circle.
Two can be one. Like love, which is also part union, part conflict.
August 23, 2022 | Tuesday
Opening my notebook, a long strand of silvery hair. Will there be wisdom in my words today? Or is my hair thinning? Ah, how the human mind likes making meaning.
Torti-girl leaps to the desk, a bit clumsy. Now a plush-bellied, purring being stretches across the open page. This is how a cat writes poetry, with her whole body.
I’ve been thinking about angels. What are they?
The morning’s first hummingbird works a late lily by the pond, rhythmically, pulsing in and out after nectar. A little heart beating, breath with a hungry tongue.
See how the world tries to be an answer?
August 24, 2022 | Wednesday
A virus can only live vicariously. Not life, it needs a cell.
Trying to remember my chicken pox, I only summon measles. It was Easter break, my 7-year-old, speckled body propped on pillows looking out the little windows of the travel trailer we lived in then, watching kids play dodge-ball. Her thought, funny now, At least I won’t get a ball in the face today.
The human body is a universe. Bacteria, parasites, virions, fungi, protozoa . . . all in there with you. More than passengers, they’re crew. More than aliens, they’re part you.
Fire within skin. Invisible nail periodically tapped into my arm bone, the humerus. Not humorous, I think, realizing the Shingles rash has breached my elbow, heading toward wrist. Then smiling, grateful for wordplay, Okay, a little humorous, and better than a ball in the face today.
August 25, 2022 | Thursday
Colorless and empty, this world I still want to be in.
All that blue above, the orange and periwinkle petals, the countless shades of green are just brain games, the alchemy of electromagnetic waves into images and ideas.
Created within, your world and my world are similar, but never the same.
Holding a series of stones, there’s the weight of object and memory. Here a polished quartz heart with its salmony sheen given by the one I love. Here water-smoothed granite, round and edgeless, retrieved from a beloved river. Both are solid and ancient, their coldness releasing into my palm as I give each a squeeze.
Stones and palm and girl-cat stretched again across my desk are 99% emptiness, atomic wonders.
Do you believe in hazel cat eyes or the magenta throat of a hummingbird? What about amethysts with their purple luster, hard yet hollow? What if that emptiness you fear is really everything you hold dear?
August 26, 2022 | Friday
Saffron, cinnamon, sage, star anise. Stirring about in the spice drawer thinking, supper. The tea kettle hisses and spits. Salty, sweet, and something else the tongue sings about, synergy. Yes, a sublime supper is pure synergy. This evening, surprisingly sibilant.
What exactly does one do with star anise?
For 25 years, my husband was my chef. Now, this learning to make a meal out of miscellaneous stuff. The last five years, bringing him my attempts on a tray, saying, “At least it will sustain life for another day.”
Is that disappointment shadowing his semi-smile? The memory of his culinary creations, against the stark contrast of mine?
“I can make you a poem for dessert,” I offer. He knows I’m better at that.
August 27, 2022 | Saturday
In the mirror, hmmmm, I look as haggard as I feel. My arm is a warm, red bloom of half-scabby blisters, my body a full on viral fatigue and headache.
I take the cats out by the pond, and we all sit in different spots, looking. Not for anything, but ready to see whatever wants to show itself to us. Cats are mindfulness experts, also good teachers.
Soon a loud buzzing behind me. Where? What?
A bee. A big, bulbous, black Carpenter bee is stuck in a spider web. I stretch up on my toes below the fellow, and see a spider scrambling toward him from above. Do I sense glee in her eight-legged gait?
She’s wrestling with Bee, who buzzes so frantically loud that the cats trot over to my ankles, staring up. Another smaller spider appears out of a gutter. Spider collaboration.
Shimmers of the tiniest silk fly about, poor Bee, being wrapped and tethered to web. Is this how you make a bee mummy?
Soon the buzzing fades, the thorax, abdomen, and wings stilled into a see-through cocoon.
How many struggles do we never see? To be a witness—your sheer presence saying, I see you—matters.
After supper, I remember Bee. Stepping into dusk and early stars, I scan the webby corner. Gone.
August 28, 2022 | Sunday
Weeding in the front yard with the cats. They tip their heads sideways as if listening to the roots I’m pulling loose. They are terrible weeders, ignoring the uninvited leaves and stems, attuning themselves to gophers and shrews and other earth-dwellers.
I close my eyes and look for an image of gophers in my interior darkness, imagining them in their hidden corridors, approaching a juicy root just as I pluck it away. Do they wonder, What is this hand that takes, what kind of god who lives in light would starve a hard-working gopher?
No, gophers don’t wonder about anything in words, but what do they make of what befalls them? Humans overthink. Gophers no doubt just keep digging, a knowing in their gopher bones that what they need they’ll find.
When I open my eyes, torti-girl is standing on her hind legs, her black whiskers nearly touching the black-wet nose of a young deer. There’s only the synthetic mesh of a deer fence between them, and she holds on, her furry arms stretched high, balancing body, caution, and curiosity.
How are you being curious today? Please share in a comment and maybe spark a conversation.
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