I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, June 7, 2020

A little madness

California poppies
I have always loved Emily Dickinson's poetry, and for some reason this poem keeps running through my head:
A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown –
Who ponders this tremendous scene –
This whole Experiment of Green –
 As if it were his own!
(E.D. c. 1875)
 It is definitely spring, almost summer. We have been having cool weather and days of rain, which helps all the growing plants, but it makes it hard for me to spend much time outside, unless I'm bundled up inside my rain gear. Many of my blogging friends from around the world have been complaining of triple digit temperatures. We struggle to get to the mid-eighties (28°C). Last week our high temperature for the week was 63°F. I think we have only made it to 82 twice so far this year. In Seattle, 90 miles south, they get a little warmer, but not much. We will get our warmer weather in July and August, and then a quick cool-down. I much prefer this weather to extreme heat, so don't think I'm complaining.

Our little city, nestled up against the Canadian border in the northwest corner of the country, just moved from Phase 1 to Phase 2 in the pandemic lockdown. We now are able to get a haircut (although I have left two voicemails at my hairdresser's with no response) and am thinking that maybe today I'll look for another option and get these long unruly locks lopped off. This is the longest I've gone without getting a haircut in decades. But somewhere in this city there must be someone who will let me pay them for a decent haircut.

Plus, next week I will finally get to see both my acupuncturist and massage practitioner! It's been so long and I really need them both. The list of conditions in order to be safe that I need to meet are long, but they will be worth it. In the case of my acupuncturist, I am to park my car and then call him; he will meet me at the front door and allow me inside the building, where we will then tiptoe up to his office. It feels a bit furtive, but whatever it takes to make it all work. It's been almost three months!

And everywhere there are massive demonstrations, including right here in Bellingham, but I don't feel that it's safe for someone my age to attend, since physical distancing is impossible. Here, at least, most people were wearing masks, and there were no riots and no unrest, just a peaceful crowd of thousands. I've looked at the pictures and am rather proud of my little town.

It's odd to realize that I have reached the twilight of my life, and that somehow or other more than seven decades of living have already gone by. I remember when I was young, which doesn't seem that long ago, but it was. It astounds me to realize that the new millennium began two decades ago, and that the people born in the year 2000 are now grownups. Many of them were out marching yesterday, people with a completely different experience of life than I had when I was growing up. I guess this is normal, that as the generations experience change in different ways, those of us who are old are left behind to wonder if we will ever understand today's world. All I can do is try.

My parents, both long gone, have been on my mind lately. I've wondered if it was the same for them, as they grew old. They didn't live in such a multi-connected world, with smartphones and 24/7 news. They were both avid readers, though, and my mom managed to read lots of books every single week of her life. Daddy read fewer books, but he still did read. I remember him ranting at some article in Time Magazine many times. He always swore he'd cancel his subscription, but he never did. Mama wrote letters to the editor of the local paper. Both of my parents were part of their generation, connected to their like-minded friends, whose views of our country would seem quaint to the millennials who now begin to make the change in the world that they want to see.

Yes, time moves on, and as I ride the currents and marvel at the world around me, I am happy to still be part of it. Today the rain has stopped, and I'm going to get in the car and discover how things might have changed around town since stores are now able to open, even if in diminished capacity. It's a whole lot better than it was!

And the time has come for me to wind up this meandering post and start the rest of my day. I find it difficult to remain silent on my blog about the state of the country, but I figure we all need a rest from the cacophony, including me. Instead of ranting, I truly wish to heal any rifts I experience right here in front of me. I want peace and love to prevail, so I must do my part by opening my heart to healing. I hope that you will find some way to do the same today, and for the rest of this week. Please remember to stay safe and keep your loved ones close. My dear partner still sleeps next to me. Be well until we meet again next week.


Linda Reeder said...

I love the photo of the poppies. I love June! I have been taking time to sit in my garden and just be quiet. Sometimes the neighbor cat visits me and begs for stroking. I am happy to oblige.
The world around me is not quiet, and that is good. We need to make noise about the long standing injustices, I am truly hopeful for real change at last. I can't participate in the action either. but I can stay informed and continue to learn.
We watched the movie "Just Mercy" last night. It is very hard to watch, but leaves no doubt why the Black Lives Movement is just and necessary.
Today, however, we plan to make noise in a different way. We are participating in a birthday parade for one of our breakfast group of friends. We will make a joyful noise.
Be well.

Marie Smith said...

We had a few days with temperatures in the low 20s C but the cold wind always returns. We need rain however for the crops.

The marches in these Covid times scare me too because it is impossible for people to social distance. There was a huge march on this island too and it is encouraging to see so many recognize the problem in this country as well. It is a good beginning. Positive action is a next step.

Terra said...

I live in California too and the poppies are joyful flowers, so bright. There is enough horror on the news that I appreciate peaceful blogs, including your post today. I hope the protestors who are not wearing masks don't cause virus outbreaks. I am in my seventh decade too, time goes so fast.

Terra said...

Oh ha ha on me, I see you are in Washington and admiring California poppies, not in California.

gigi-hawaii said...

Yes, I agree. Less cacophony would be better.

Rian said...

I love Emily Dickinson too.

"Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all."

my favorite!

We watched the rocket take the 2 men to the space station last Saturday. We were watching it with our 21 year old grandson and thinking how we watched the moon landing in 1969 with his dad when he was a baby. Hard to believe how fast time flies.

Our area is seeing an increase in virus cases... probably due to the openings and the many not wearing masks (?). They may have to rethink things before long.

Please stay close to home, DJan... and stay safe.

Elephant's Child said...

Rian quoted my favourite Emily Dickenson poem. And how I wish that hope was a stronger singer.
Love the Californian poppies and am grateful to be going into winter.
I am very glad that you can (finally) get the acupuncture and nassage therapy that you need and hope the haircut is not far away.

Arkansas Patti said...

I am so glad you are finally getting your medical needs taken care of. Funny about sneaking up to his office. I was a bit shocked at my last Dr. visit just last week. We still had to wear masks to enter his office but he and his whole staff had just gone barefaced that week. Weirdly, I wasn't comfortable with that.
Haircut?? What is a haircut? Hope you can get in. Super shaggy here.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Good for you getting your visits taken care of. I bet you will enjoy a haircut!

I watch as little news as possible...the talking heads are all nuts. Glad I live where I do! No protests here or rioters... thank goodness some people from Minnesota are still sane:)

Take good care of you! Stay safe wear your mask:)

Gigi said...

I fully support the peaceful protests but I cringe that they are happening in the middle of this pandemic. Hopefully, there won't be a second wave.

Enjoy your haircut - if you can get one.

Linda Myers said...

Yes! I am getting a massage next Saturday, and haircut and COLOR PURPLE in the middle of the following week. How cool to still appreciate the smaller things!

Red said...

I sometimes stop and think if I met my Mom today what would she be like. We have ideas in our heads about our parents. I wonder how accurate they are. Mom was 59 when she died and that was 47 years ago.

Anvilcloud said...

We are still in phase 1, so no haircuts or manicures. I did get a note from my dentist saying they are now open, with great restricions, of course.

Rita said...

We've been in the high 80s to low 90s! Storms are passing through at night.

I am finally having my cleaning girl tomorrow after 3 months. We will wear masks and stay apart, but I really miss her (she's been coming 14 years) and my apartment REALLY needs her--LOL! :)

troutbirder said...

I love it when you meander DJ because it's awful how my memoir oriented brain works so now that I've been a widower for almost a year I hope I won't find unrequited love like Emily did long long ago she plainly wrote from the heart and is a poetess was a favorite of mine

Darina Fox said...

Thanks for reminding me of Emily Dickinson, I will need to re-read.