temporary

credit – oikos blog

There is much in life that is temporary, despite our human desire to make it permanent. Think fleeting experiences like achievement, satiation, joy. Of course, the flip side is that grief, depression, anger are likewise temporary. Sometimes however the temporary can feel awfully permanent in spite of ourselves:

Sometimes it’s hard to awaken from a deep, deep rest,
the dense and soggy layers of sleep cocooning me
between pillow and quilt, oblivious to the sounds of day

and urgencies of pet eager for food, companion, relief.
Those heavy layers can pull me back, suck from me the energy to rise
willing me back to slumber, await the lightening of each layer peeled

by need and demand from my covered eyes
that will push me into the new day
open promises lining the way.

an ordinary day

Thanks to the Daily Challenge for the invitation to share this writing:

AN ORDINARY DAY

For ten days I lived the learning curve
of diabetes, partnering with my beloved son
to help his through maternal leave,
given the grace of time to relish
each extraordinary moment.

The first hour’s sing-song babbling
lifts from crib to giggled hugs and undercover
hide-and-seek en route to the day’s first blood glucose test
followed by calculations of insulin and carbs,
breakfast planned to even out
the hours to come.

This child, so gentle and joyful of spirit
accepts each poked finger and prodded thigh
with grace, a lesson I cannot fail to notice sets
the warp of our day through which we weave
our patterned way, each hour
a new adventure.

From Grandma’s blocks we build
to hold what he loved at the aquarium –
octopus by the elevator climbing glass walls,
his giant purple sac blowing up bigger then smaller
carefully reconstructed through his two-year
old imprint, giant tank within winding
ramp, sea lions sunning beyond.

He recalls with pride how he placed his hand
in the pool where flat rays swam shallow circles
requiring him to dip, lean and shriek with surprise
when the flappy gray surface floated beneath
outstretched fingers, feeling like velvet
fleet and brief, tickling his hand
again and again.

We chant the trains that took us there —
‘one train, two train, three train, blue train’
and back – ‘one train, two train, red train, bed train’
to test, insulin, lunch and rest. Later, we’ll
relive the adventure with Brio trains,
tunnels and bridges arcing us
back to the present.

Past supper the day’s reduced
to favorite books, moonlight and song
stories lingering among the family
of bears lining his crib, a round
of Dona Nobis Pacem circling
him in love’s embrace.

How the layers unfold like
an origami crane in flight; then settle
back to nest, each hour building bridges
between love and need, grace wrapping
itself around this wondrous gift
of an ordinary winter day.
swb ©2017

oversight

large_oops

from internet, source unknown

Odd word, oversight; and today’s WordPress Daily Prompt. It’s one of those words with two meanings that are antithetical to one another. Meaning on the one hand, to watch over, be responsible for; and on the other, having ignored, neglected, forgotten.

How can one small word hold such a world of difference within the same space of letters? As I was pondering this paradox, it hit me. Hard. That in fact, one of the scariest things in life is when the two come together. As when a person or institution has, let’s say, legal oversight (responsibility for) the well-being of a person or group – and fails them. Just ignores their welfare.

Like selecting, for agencies with a clear mandate to protect and safeguard the environment or educate the nation’s young, ‘leaders’  with an equally clear intention to destroy that mission? Or promising to take care of everyone, especially the struggling worker; and then without missing a beat, deleting a mortgage allowance that means the difference of home ownership to many of the same; or pulling the healthcare rug out from under most of them? It goes on.

I may be slow, but this is hitting hard and fast. Truth, integrity, transparency … These are values I hold dear, and ones that received a lot of national attention over the past several months. Where did they go? It seems we need real oversight in our highest offices before the rest of us become, well, a mere oversight.

grain – not!

BuckwheatTXT

credit – yurielkaim

I love the coincidences of these Dailiy Post one-word prompts. Just this very morning I made, for my friend-with-the-broken-wrist who is staying with me, some comfort food. Buckwheat pancakes. With my usual a-recipe-is-only-a-suggestion wantonness, adding banana and yogurt to approximate the suggested buttermilk; nutmeg because of the banana; and omitting the scant sugar, again because of banana.

While we were exclaiming over the tasty nuttiness and general comfy-feeling-makingness of these modest morning delights, we pondered – just what IS buckwheat, anyway?

Buckwheat, it turns out, is the seed of a plant called “fagopyrum esculentum.” It’s related to rhubarb, or all things (which might explain my apparently-innate fondness for it – my dad and I were the only takers of the abundant perennial patch behind my childhood home, doubtless a carryover from the war garden). Not wheat, not rye, not barley. Furthermore, despite the name, buckwheat is gluten-free. Still better, it is a high quality plant protein extremely rich in antioxidants, minerals, and soluble dietary fiber.

What’s not to love? And all this, NOT being a grain!!!

underestimate

ant-power-strong-insect-lift-heavy-weight-15003293

When I read today’s one-word WP Daily Post prompt, all I could think was W’s by-now famous restatement of the word, turning it into ‘misunderestimate.’ And – unimaginable as it may seem, wordsmith to wordsmith – I actually found a place for this misspoken word.

You might underestimate someone’s physical strength, let’s say. Perhaps it’s a slight person so you think they might be weak. Or sickly. Or disinterested. Or too old. All these assumptions (and remember – NEVER assume – it just makes an ass out of u and me) could be mis-attributing reasons for weakness. Or missing the point altogether:  that in spite of all these observations (true or not), the individual in question might be quite strong indeed.

In either of these two scenarios, the judgment would have been a mis-underestimation. A misdirected underestimation, if you will.