Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sat. night.... Late again.

It'd difficult to sleep on my own,
to live in such close proximity
to the dying,
makes you adopt their hours.
Nights are late,
mornings start slowly.
Afternoons are long and glorious.
It's late now.
The fire settles in it's box,
a log settles into the ashes...
This is how our days go,
burning slowly to an end.
and yet our end,
like the fire in the box,
gives something greater than the sum of ourselves...
something lasting.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sat. night.... Late.

Late summer: Wallowa Co. 2000

In the downward, long lasting light of summer,
my portion of the world seemed to realize the end of a season.
and yet
not except it...
As if it were something not yet proven.
The first snow had come to the mountains,
and if you were early enough to rise......
Frost was a regular occurrence.
And yet the world continued unminding,
lounging in the mid day warmth....
A wholly enjoyable past time
if you weren't one to forget the story of the grass hopper and the bee....
Or the Donner party for that matter.
The shadows along the hill side were growing longer,
but there were still hours until dark.
If you knew Minum Canyon...
You would know how pretty it was,
and how feeble my attempt to describe it.
How the pine trees on the hill seemed to glow in contrast to the shadowed shady ground beneath them.
How the crickets were already singing below the rail road tracks on the other side of the river.
And how the simple joy of a black and white dog,
walking on all four legs,
for the first time in months......
could make you laugh out loud.....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday afternoon 11/19

Jesus falls for the first time:
We adore thee, O Christ and we bless thee. Because of they holy cross hast redeemed the world.
   Dear Jesus, You are so week and so tired/ that you can hardly walk/ but the soldiers roughly order you/ to start on your journey./ After a few steps/ You stumble and fall/ but there is no one to help You/ or to speak to you kindly.
   How I wish I could have been there/ to tell you that I love You / and was sorry for you
Recite the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be. etc.

Oh how sad and sore distressed,
Was that Mother highly blessed,
of the sole begotten one.
My father fell for the first time today, going into his shop. My first thought when I saw him was "why is he not wearing any shoes? He's lost his mind." But they had only fallen off. He had not been there long, only a minuet or two, but it is good to know that I can still cover twenty yards in three strides. "Oh my dear Papa, I love you and am sorry for you." 
   And now the priest has come to give him Last rights... and I have to meet him at the door.  These last days are precious beyond measure.
"Be Joyful, though you have considered all the facts" Wendell Berry-

A brief update-
   For all of you who have not heard, my dad is finishing his days here with us. Firstly I would say that, though his body is failing him daily... He is well. We all are well. For those of you who have not heard, my baby sister Brigid and her husband Tim are expecting their first child this spring. We are blessed. How could we not be? The roof over our head, that sets the parameters of  hearth and home, continues to stand. The fire in the box continues to warm us, and the love we have for each other endures. We are blessed, and we continue live right on....
   Mark Porter has joined us for the evening, he mitered the top edge of dad's casket; and though he brought no beer... I thank him for his effort.
   The Farm-
What to say about the farm? The creek has so far stayed within it's banks, and the animals as of dusk this evening had not floated away; except for one. Andy, the younger of my guardian dogs (they live with the sheep) has wandered away. I checked the "far away home" pasture where I left them, but I couldn't find him there. With a quick prayer to St. Anthony and St. Francis I left  him to their care and came home to look after dad. With any luck he will have found his way back by morning and all will be well. If he has not returned by morning then the search is on, and with any luck he will turn up in short order. If I have learned anything about these dogs is that they never wander far; I am thankful for that.
   The sheep seem to be doing well, I wish I had a slightly less soggy pasture to put them in, but for the rest of the week where they are will have to do. The rams were turned out with the flock a few weeks ago and so we should expect lambs by the beginning if April.
   The pigs-
       The pigs..... What to say about the pigs? They have taught me humility. Or rather they are teaching me daily. I often think that men (and women) in places of authority should spend a year raising pigs. The idea that we as humans have any control over the natural world, or can bend it to conform to our own standers, is summarily blown out of the water by curious, inquisitive, destructive, food hungry, deviant, comical, pigs.... I thank them for that.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

weds. Night 11/17

It's going to rain... They tell me it's going to anyway. I'm thinking of my dear friends, family, and loved ones; Those I'm charged with looking after, The pigs, the sheep, the fields. All of this is (to me) like a library, filled from floor to ceiling. I haven't read every book, nor would I understand them all if I did. And yet, there is a sense of of order that I am not so much charged with understanding; but being in love with.
   The sounds of the house carry unhurriedly towards me from adjacent rooms. The rain on the roof, the laundry room door sliding open, the washer filling with water. Slippered feet shuffle past the door as mom goes bye. These days my father's voice is almost inaudible unless you are sitting right with him, but the muffled conversation between he and mother is a comfort. Every phrase seems a question, tentative, and filled with longing. Mom reaching to dad through the pain, and dad (from very far away) reaching back to my mother (inspite of the pain) his voice filled with concern; as much for her well being as for his own. Here is contained thirty some years of  marriage, every day past leading us here; eternity contained in a moment.