Edge-of-my-seat hours to pass

Today’s quite a day.  I’ll get to the bit about me, but first, in the greater world scientific advances and very much good energy, many prayers are needed.

The news brings a report of bacteria that resist all antibiotics, including those last ditch ones that desperate doctors use to try to stop such monster killers as flesh eating bacteria and extreme forms of tuberculosis.  ’Tis the End of the Age of Ant’biotics — sung to the tune of Dawning of the Age of Aquarius if you’re old enough to remember that one…

A writer friend’s elderly mother two days ago underwent surgery to remove a blood clot.  Yesterday there was a massive stroke, the doctors say it is only a matter of time for this dearly loved woman…

Somewhere in the northern midsection of the USA on Friday a determined, hard working Native American boy is graduating from high school.  Because he rose to meet his challenges bravely in order to finish (being Native in a white school can be a form of walking over fiery coals) his People gave him an honoring feather.  That is, a feather of the mighty Golden Eagle, a feather that solely Native people are allowed to possess in the US.  And because they are ignorant, administrators of the high school have decreed that the boy shall not wear his eagle feather of honor if he means to graduate from their school.  Christian crosses, Stars of David — fine.  But eagle feathers belonging to people who have been the targets of genocide by white incomers to the USA for five hundred years — sorry, kiddo.  We prefer not to be reminded of your unwelcome race and religion.

The proud eagle feather was likened to the miserable Nazi swastika.

The sickness  that holds humanity in chains deepens when people think like that.

As an aged white woman pleased to belong to a multi cultural nation I want to rush into the offices of that high school, grab people by the shoulders and shake them till their heads roll.  As a Baha’i woman, pleased to belong to the global family of humankind, I stay put and pray for the illumination of souls that abide in such limiting darkness.  And I write, because this hurts so much.  When will we humans learn to celebrate our differences and find ways to get along with one another on this wee blue planet we all inhabit and urgently need to take better care of?

Nobody sees when you try to fight dark with more dark.

…I confess to a  quiet wish that a screaming Golden Eagle would dive bomb the administrators during the graduation ceremony…  Those giant birds are far more terrifying than the relatively gentle Bald Eagle that became the official bird of the USA long ago…

My personal good news includes that once again I traversed Belén’s bumpy roads — cracked and alligatored, potholed and uneven as though those ancient dormant volcanoes we call the West Mesa around here had awakened recently and shaken the tiny city a bit — and my power wheelchair did NOT stop dead.  And that though I have recently leaned down many times to pick things up off floors and the ground there was no falling out of my wheelchair since the last couple of blogs.

So why am I sitting here writing this?  Because this morning’s email brought me the excellent news that the USDA and its busted down computer system have released my house buyer’s loan (two days late) with a stamp that says Approved.  That my realtor is pushing hard for a Friday (tomorrow!) closing and funding for me.  That the lender has put a rush on the whole thing, and a sharp eye at the title company is watching for the title to come through.

Tomorrow could end up being a Big Day hereabouts.

So what did I do in my joy, before barely assimilating the emails?  Called the van company guy who does the shipping to wheelchair customers all over the US, from Atlanta.   They’ve been holding up another delivery in hopes of a speedy closing so I can pay them for the van I’m buying.

And what did he tell me? …. “I wish I’d known this yesterday.  I just put the other van we have going to New Mexico on a truck that left here about two hours ago.”

Well, I wish I had known yesterday too, dude, dear.  Long after the van business had closed down for the day on the east coast, we here across Earth’s curved crust in Mountain Time were still chewing our nails and I had a hissy fit.  Told the realtor that if the funding wouldn’t get through by the early part of next week — holiday and all — I would call quits to the whole thing.  Might as well, since my helpers would not be available to load and drive the rental truck otherwise.  And no, they couldn’t leave without me, and no, I couldn’t climb into the rental truck for reasons that have to do with me needing a wheelchair van to begin with.  And no, the van company would not be thrilled to have to deliver my van to me later in California rather than New Mexico, either…

If I hadn’t received word that all was good for a closing date of May 11 I wouldn’t have gone ahead, ordered the van, scheduled moving into the new rented condo (really expensive!) in Mountain View, California, and my daughter wouldn’t have booked her flight here after recruiting two good helpers to come along and drive our rental truck with my belongings back. All three of them have already rescheduled their trips, with penalty, once.  No more, no más,  So there.

This morning I felt rather ashamed of myself for the sharp words.  Yet, I asked Elf and Opus, wasn’t it true?  Much as living in a French (or Anasazi) cave with no clocks but the sun appeals to me sometimes, that isn’t the way the real estate world works.  Hours make a big difference in business.  And my hours to complete this earth shaking (to me) project are running right down on the wire.

When I read the lender and realtor emails a couple of hours ago I felt so elated that I wanted to grab boxes and start throwing in dishes and such.

But…  That felt a little like a jinx.  Hey, Me, you aren’t superstitious, eh?  No….  But why not take a bit of time out and write a blog while you give the title time to show up and the process to unfold itself?

So, that’s what I’m doing.

My last post had a suddenly inspired drawing I did on an iPad after falling out of my wheelchair in the backyard.  It depicts a bizarre sunset I viewed out my kitchen window over the West Mesa a couple of years ago.

This time I thought to share with you one of my earlier attempts to draw that peculiar, brilliant scene.  Once again I left out the clutter of buildings and trees between my home and the mesa.  I also greatly simplified the structure of the mesa and the tendrils of the crazy clouds.

Mesa_sunset_UFO_clouds

Doing that same artistic erasing of background “noise”, here’s another iPad drawing I did during a snowstorm a while back.  It’s the tall banana yucca in my front yard against the back drop of that same mesa.  My neighbors might blink at the disappearance of their homes and trees, but hey, who’s doing the drawing here, eh?

Yucca in snow sm_1024

In which I learn the respect of gravity

Hurry up and wait.  That’s an expression I grew up with, and lately it’s been coming back to me. With a vengeance.

Today I was intending to be writing from south of San Francisco, dogs in the park, bonsai relocated to a second floor condo balcony.  My daughter and another roommate nearby.  Green, green, everywhere!  So different from the dry brown desert that’s been my home since 1994.

But… life proceeds in mysterious ways, doesn’t it?

Trying out Apple Music, I discovered that I rather like Mary Chapin Carpenter.  That a couple of lines from her song The Age of Miracles could be my theme for this little epoch in my life:

If I’m just standing still

One day I’ll get up that hill

In the age of miracles, is one on the way…

Several times now a closing date for the sale of my house has loomed large — tickets have even been bought by my California helpers — only to be moved back a week or ten days.  Right now it looks as though it will be either the end of this week or the first part of next.  Then, bizarrely, it will take three days for the buyer’s loan to be funded.  Hence, I must wait an extra three days to have the money to pay for my wheelchair van, which will be sent from near Atlanta.   I’ll be lucky to be in residence near the deep blue sea as the second week in June begins.

But who really knows what the timeframe will turn out to be?

My belongings are as packed as I can get them without a) help, and b) missing things I really do need on a regular basis.

The default state of my mind of late is in a proper dither, half here and half at my new digs in the Silicon Valley.  Concentration comes and goes — causing me to do some really, really dumb things.

For instance, today I was out in the backyard in the warm early morning sun, doing a bit of weed whacking with my ancient rechargeable whacker that’s about ready for the great tool cemetery in the sky.

A tiny spider parachuted down onto the wheelchair footrest.  Reaching towards the ground for a small stick to encourage Spidey to climb aboard for relocation, I was not mindful that one foot was on the edge of the footrest and …. out of the chair I more or less rolled, splat onto the ground.

Spidey now owned my wheelchair, and there was no way in the world I could get myself back up. My arms no longer have the sort of strength for that.

My house is, unfortunately, a locked fortress, so even if I could think of a friend or neighbor not at work to call for help they wouldn’t be able to reach me.

Leaving that one unthinkable choice.

There was I, under the awfully hot sun, pushing my butt along, across the yard, the wide concrete area in front of the garage, through the garage — why in heaven’s name didn’t I sweep this place out??? — up the ramp and through the backdoor, down the corridor and into my bedroom.  There I have the means of getting my aged frame up off the floor.

The process requires getting out of my leg braces, using an ottoman, an old metal bath stool and my manual wheelchair to haul myself up. Onto the ottoman, and eventually into the manual wheelchair.

From there I can get dressed again.

This was another one of those accidents in life that I had promised myself would not happen to me.   Just wouldn’t, because it would be impossible to get through it .  Another such event I wrote about recently — when my wheelchair stopped dead in the middle of the street, leaving me stranded with two bags of groceries on my lap.

Coming at me kinda fast, wouldn’t you say, Self?  Universe sending me a message or something?  That I sit here in my den, dogs by my side, writing this is proof that we can, indeed, get through things no matter how much time we once spent worrying about them.

This whole process of falling generally provokes anger in me, as it does feel rather excessive to go through these things that I dread so much, when for one reason or another there is no one who can help.  So I said a special prayer, known to Baha’is as the Remover of Difficulties as I hitched myself along, inch my inch.

Is there any remover of difficulties save God?  Say, praised be God, He is God, all are His servants and all abide by His bidding.

I put that in so that, if you are so minded, you can use it for help when you need it.

Elf stuck close to me, as she does when I’m in trouble.  Here she is, showing off recently with her jolly ball, in the general area where gravity had its way with me today:Elf and jolly

It had taken me forty minutes to get from the ground back onto my feet.  By then I was shaking like a leaf in a breeze.

Thanks to the shaking I couldn’t get down the ramp into the garage on my feet — for fear I would lose my balance and have to start all over again.  So I made my way back through the house and out through the laundry room door, plodding ever so slowly along the gravel driveway to where I’d parked the wheelchair in the shade.

I hoped Spidey had vacated to live out her life in the backyard where she belongs.  But I didn’t spend much time looking for the tiny creature.

Instead I went in, got thoroughly washed, realized that the slip-sliding across the concrete and rocky areas had ripped great holes in my favorite pants AND my favorite Chuck Taylor sneakers.

I was so mad that I immediately went to Converse online and replaced the shoes with something similar.

My new braces now have serious scratch marks in the plastic backs below the knees.  Oh, well, they weren’t going to stay new looking for long, were they?

To keep myself from reflecting too profoundly on how stupid it was to reach for something on the ground without being firmly in control of gravity I picked up my Apple pencil and small iPad Pro with a sudden vision in my head.  Fortified by a cup of tea and a pear.

A couple of years ago there was an unbelievable sunset over the west mesa.  The colors, the blaze of the sun — and four or five of the strangest clouds I have ever seen. Unable to get a photo, I have tried many times to capture the essence of that sunset.

Today I found a way to get it in such a way that at least I recognize what I had seen.  Not much of an artist when the surfaces I create on are flat, the thing has its lacks. I left out  the clutter of buildings and trees between me and the mesa, too.  The mesa goes on for scores of miles, has roads, business areas and some homes hidden  along its barren, heavily eroded slopes.

west mesa weird sunset

New Mexico is known as The Land of Enchantment.  Truth is, it has a lot of utterly surreal, nearly unbelievable visual effects.  If you don’t believe me google up the Bisti Badlands sometime and just look at the images.  Georgia O’Keeffe wasn’t making things up in those famous paintings half as much as people think she was.  Those visions are THERE, once a person becomes imbued with the New Mexico spirit.

This image I did my best to sketch rudiment-ally is a vision that I will long carry with me…  Yes, it is hard in some ways to leave this place I have loved for so long.  But … I still can’t wait for that closing day to finally get here.  Then three more days after that…  Then:  GREEN!

Drifting by a desert ocean

Hate is a poison
Love is a remedy
Singing out like the sweetest of melodies
Hope is a ghost in the deepest of memories
Stronger than ten of me
Fear is the enemy
In the dark and it creeps like a shark
In the coldest sea
In the deepest part but
Hope is the beat in the oldest heart
A hand in a hand and a brand new start

~from Passenger’s Coins in a Fountain

Here we be on the day that was supposed to bring the closing of my house sale,  Alas, the buyer’s mortgage company fell down on the job and did not get an appraiser here on time.  So, listlessly, we await some form of progress from that mortgage company.  They have not been responding with much energy to the realtor’s communications.

Thus a good deal is on hold while waiting for this mysterious appraiser, who is said to be backed up and not answering phone calls or emails.

Which all revives haunting memories from two years ago when I thought I’d sold my home, only to have the expectation shoved over the cliffs of life when that buyer’s mortgage was denied just a few days before the scheduled closing.

A non-functional appraiser, however, bears little resemblance to a mortgage denied, so hope is strong even if impatience threatens to wreak its malignant effects on my life, if I let it.

Reading Roland Merullo’s good books:  Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and …  you got it … Dinner with Buddha has helped keep my grasshopper mind on track.

brekkie of champions
Fried eggs with fire roasted green chili on a whole wheat tortilla.  A New Mexico brekkie of champions!

So…  The breakfast (sans Buddha) of champions, New Mexico style, starts off another day of gradual sorting, sifting and disposal of years of accumulated belongings.  Stuff stuffed into dresser drawers, garage shelves, the nethermost reaches of linen closets and kitchen cupboards.  The stuffed stuff, most of it long since forgotten and rarely greeted by me with joy, goes into boxes for donations, to be sold on Craigslist or plunked into the trash cart — which is also greatly stuffed these days.

 

For breaks the dogs calmly allow themselves to be hooked up to their new two-pooch walking system, and we make our way to the back yard.

Sitting in the shade of the big apple tree, my meditative mind finds a desert shore awash with the shadows of leaves on the brown earth before me.  Gazing through the moving shadows I feel as though I’ve been lifted up and away to a mysterious seashore in another dimension.  The soughing of wind through the leaves adds sounds to the senses of moving waves of this desert ocean.

Here’s a brief video of that desert sea, in my back yard:

It is the struggle of decision, of the choice, whatever it may be. And yet it is indispensable to know how to choose, or we will remain motionless on the shores of the sea of life. By far the greatest help in the choices that life requires is to have chosen our supreme Object of love. ~The Four Valleys

Brilliant sun above makes stained glass windows out of fresh green mulberry leaves above.

mu;berry branches above
Mulberry leaves aglow

Nearby the flash of brilliant red desert poppies brightens roadsides and parking lots, reminding me that the bright spots of life appear unexpectedly where I don’t expect them a bit, and that beautiful things will show up in the most peculiar places and moments.

bright poppies

Nearby, on the back fence, two of those most companionable of wild birds — collared doves — keep the dogs and me company.  They preen their long feathers for an hour or more before fluttering off to check on the children they’ve got tucked into a messy nest above my garage door’s light.

two doves

Generally these recent days have a feeling not unlike drifting gently on a quiet lake in a rowboat.  Not really going anywhere, not in my normal habitat, awaiting a bit of wave action to set me moving towards the next goal.

This quiet time has conveyed the energy for a resolution:  Time to give up my pack rat habits with all this stuff hiding in my house.  Down with those old consumerist habits of mine!

Joy in the doves and the good dogs, the wildflowers, the dear friends life brings to me…