Archive for the ‘From the heart’ Category

Nothing stays the same.

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Nothing stays the same. I can be sure that each new day will bring a surprise. But the morning Kitty died was the worst of surprises. She was doing great one day, and then the next morning she collapsed, unable to walk, throwing up, panting. There was no explanation in my mind other than thinking she had been poisoned somehow, and I had to take her to a veterinarian immediately for an antidote and some recovery time. However, they assessed the situation to be mortal, and basically insisted I authorize them to euthanize my friend. It was not something I wanted to do, nor had ever even considered such a scenario. My cat would die in her sleep at a very very old age, in peace at home. But no. My cat died when they injected her with some chemical I don’t even know the name of. It made everyone uncomfortable that I was not ready to let them proceed. I wanted to give her time, let us see how it may come to pass naturally, but they were intent on hastening the deed, getting on to other customers, getting me out of their office. I was distraught, upset, sad as hell. But not hysterical. They couldn’t make me leave her side. I had to be with her. I had to be close and touch her fur and softly talk to her. I kept telling her, it’s OK Kitty. But it wasn’t OK. And it was awful when I finally consented. I will never forget the moment from life to death. And then, through my tears, I looked deep into her open eyes, and it is true, there is no glint of light.

I took my dead cat home curled up in a small FedEx box. We buried her out in the yard, and planted pansies. At home for a couple of days I grieved deeply. And we all miss her.

The house is not the same without her around.

on the other side

Thursday, April 15th, 2010


My best friend died on April 12. I have a big hole in me right now, as my cat has been with me for 15 years, that’s 5475 days that she has brought joy, meaning and reason to my life. I will always think of her. Thanks for being my kitty. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Art in the Park – A Bench Along the Willamette

Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Sculpture/Bench overlooking the Willamette River at George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego

Sculpture/Bench overlooking the Willamette River at George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego

The Clackamas Indians once occupied the land that later became Lake Oswego, but diseases transmitted by European explorers and traders killed most of the natives. This is the end of the Oregon Trail, with Oregon City just up river. White settlers arrived. Albert Alonzo Durham founded the town of Oswego in 1847, naming it after his New York birthplace. He also built a saw mill on Sucker Creek (now Oswego Creek), the town’s first industry. In 1855, the federal government forcibly relocated the remaining Clackamas Indians to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation in nearby Yamhill County.

If I think about everything that is happening around the world right at this moment in time, it really makes a whimsical sculpture/bench in a peaceful park at the edge of a river teaming with migrating water birds and song birds stand out.

How is it that now this place has so much grace?

Some small comfort knowing I am not alone

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Some days, I just don’t feel very good about things.

“I’m not hopeful about the rise of civility.”
“The gap between hope and reality is very much a gap inside ourselves.”
Ellen Goodman comments on the state of events and the Obama administration at The Howard Zinn Lecture Series, kicking off Alumni Weekend on October 22, Boston University. Ellen Goodman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, has been writing about social change in America since 1976 – her column appears in more than 300 newspapers. Howard Zinn, distinguished professor emeritus of political science, social activist and historian, wrote A People’s History of the United States (1980).

Checking in with the news and my email on the Internet, I look out on the world incredulous at what humans choose to do to each other, and what some think or believe and try to press upon others. The whole state of the world seems driven by human choices I cannot imagine. It makes me feel fear, and great sadness. We wake up each day and start again, making choices. I can only speak for myself, so I am thankful when others also speak and I find their words are a match for me. So thank you Howard Zinn, and Ellen Goodman. The burden of it all is a shared experience. The zen of it is, even though nothing may ever change, we have a responsibility to act and think as if it will, as if there is hope.

As if there is ever hope that people will choose – To not be greedy. To not be selfish. To not be cruel.  To not be a bully. To not be threatening. To not be loud and obnoxious. To not spread poisons. To not be lazy. To not be slovenly. To not be perverted. To not be wasteful. To not be stupid at the expense of someone else. To not be in denial.

My peaceful day in a crazy world

Thursday, October 8th, 2009
lesser goldfinch • digital painting by Maggie Volk

lesser goldfinch • digital painting by Maggie Volk

By chance, I live in one of the most affluent towns, in a neighborhood with a century of history, on a private lake. I live in a 60-70 year old house with a 3/4 acre sloping wooded yard riddled with ivy covered boulder outcroppings. On any given morning, birds sing, chat, socialize in the yard. I may see the great blue heron at stand on the dock across the bay, Canadian geese families grazing on the nearby lawn. There have been dozens of goldfinches on the thistle bags over the summer. I gaze out the window for hours over the course of my day, watching them, adoring them as they fly about and feed and fraternize together. I wonder how much longer they will stay around, now that it is getting colder.

I just heard that horrible thump sound, a bird hitting the window, so painful to a bird lover, and to the bird, if not sudden death!

I went to the window, dreading to see. I saw a flicker on the suet cage, pecking away, that’s always a wonderful sight, and three heavy-bodied pigeon-looking creatures I have not seen before (Maybe dove?) strutting about out near the stone wall. They had substantial bodies, dusty blue-gray fluffy feathers, and as I scanned the patio underneath the window and did not find a crumpled bird body, I felt hopeful that the poor bird which hit the window and made that thudding sound actually just bounced off and would live for another day. I am relieved. So they looked to me like a parent with two or three juveniles, they all flapped clumsily away.

I hate it when a bird hits the window.