high moon

12.18.2021


  

Last Sunday morning when I woke up, I had a message from my sister telling me that Anne Rice had died.  I loved not just her books, but her.  We had just been talking about her a few weeks ago, as at the time I was listening to the audiobook version of one of my old favorites, The Witching Hour.  She was the first writer I truly loved.  I haven't kept up with her more recent books, but I first read Interview With the Vampire in the mid '80s when I was 18 and was immediately smitten with the dark, conflicted, fringe-dwelling characters and the gorgeous detailed scenes she painted in my mind.  The rest of The Vampire Chronicles followed, then the Mayfair Witches; I devoured them all.  Many years ago I actually emailed her, something of a fan letter I suppose, but also asking some personal questions about her life, and she sent me back the loveliest note.  I was so surprised to get a response at all, but one came the very next day, and it was such an open, kind one at that.  As her son said last Saturday, I hope she is now finding answers to some of her cosmic questions.  

The holidays are ticking right along.  I can hardly believe Christmas is just a week away.  We had a nice Thanksgiving brunch with my husband's sister and her girls, then a simple, light dinner in the small hall that evening, just the three of us.  The next day we traveled to Walla Walla to see my family.  My mom had emergency surgery the day before Thanksgiving, so things didn't quite go as expected, but we were anxious and glad to see her, as well as my dad who is still recuperating from his broken hip.  We were all able to help celebrate their 70th (!) anniversary while we were there.    

Last weekend we drove up to Detroit to look for snow.  There wasn't a lot, but we found a good dusting starting just before Detroit Lake and then past the town and on toward Idanha.  It's still startling to drive through acres of burnt trees, or barren stretches where they have been logged off, but there will always be magic to be found along that blue-green ribbon of river we love so much.  

The holiday blues I used to get have crept back in a bit lately.  There have been some personal and family challenges and changes this year, but overall it has been a very good year and I have absolutely nothing to complain about.  My heart goes out to those who struggle with their (or someone else's) mental health, to those who struggle to make ends meet or give their family the Christmas they'd like (or any Christmas at all), to those who feel alone, forgotten, unworthy, invisible.  If that's you, know that you are not alone.  I am sending you all the love. ♥︎

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slow notes:

  • When I need a pick-me-up, sometimes I let myself fall down a YouTube rabbit hole of old Hollywood dance mashup videos, like this one.  
  • From The Velveteen Rabbit:  He said, "You become.  It takes a long time.  That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
  • From Sting:  Moon Over Bourbon Street, inspired by Anne Rice's Interview With the Vampire

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I sent a few packages off at the post office Monday, picked up a few more stocking stuffers midweek, and have just a couple of things left to wrap for my local people this weekend.  It's time to relax and just enjoy the season.  Today that means an extra long walk and getting started on a new book from a friend.  It's the last full moon of the year tonight, the Cold Moon or Long Night Moon (highest and longest in the sky of the year), and I'm hoping to spend some time beneath her glow.  Next week is solstice and we'll begin the slow journey back to light.  Until then ~ 



A blurry photo of the near-full moon a couple of nights ago.


beautiful brew

11.19.2021



Last weekend we went hiking both Saturday and Sunday and it couldn't have been more beautiful.  Thick fog and mist hung in the trees, bits of gold flashed and fluttered in the wind.  The forest was dark and soft and (human) silent.   We only saw a few other people out on the trail, another reason to love being out in the woods in the colder temperatures.

The weather at home has been all over the place.  Clear blue skies and bright sunshine one minute, charcoal skies and sideways rain the next.  Leaves are still hanging on to some trees, but the colors have largely fallen to the rain-slicked streets and sodden yards.  It's that messy, soppy point in fall.  A beautiful brew of not quite here / not quite there.  

It starts getting dark around 4:30 now, and the long dark evenings are just wonderful.   Most evenings after dinner I sit in my chair by the wood stove with a book (currently The Morning Star by Karl Ove Knausgaard or The Electricity of Every Living Thing by Katherine May), dimmed lights or candlelight, a cup of tea or a wee dram, and one very happy Pip next to me, but some evenings the moon calls and I set off down the hill, wrapped in a cloak of darkness, enchanted by the golden light glowing from windows and the mystery of each house.  

I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen for many years in town the other day.  It was one of those low days where I felt like I was failing at everything - motherhood, friendship, ...you name it - and the hugs she gave me were like medicine.  It's a rare thing for me to have a close female friend, but we worked together and just clicked.  We were still pretty close for a few years after that, but, life, and I think the last time I saw her was when T was still little.  I can't wait to sit down and really catch up with her.  It made my week.  

I'm not sure what this weekend holds yet, we've made no plans, but I'm hoping for some more hiking, and, since it's supposed to be dry, maybe a meal around the fire pit.  I may not be back in this space until after Thanksgiving, in which case I wish you now the loveliest of celebrations with your families.  


slow notes:

  • I read recently that someone suggested an outdoor school for adults, for Oregon transplants who didn't get to experience it in 6th grade.  I went to outdoor school near Lebanon, Oregon in 6th grade, and it is a shining memory.  I'd go, again, in a heartbeat.  This, from OPB.
  • This, from Virginia Woolf:
    I need solitude. 
    I need space. 
    I need air. 
    I need the empty fields round me;
    and my legs pounding along roads; 
    and sleep; 
    and animal existence.  

    (I think I need to read more of her, soon.)
 

by mlekoshi