sizzling garden
sizzling garden

A week ago last Saturday, I taught a sock class at a LYS, came home and went to bed. And there I stayed for several days, fighting off some chesty, 102F fever, cold thing. Last week my world contracted to include only necessary tasks: Feeding the fur kids, drinking lots of liquids, teleconferences I could not avoid or delegate, and as much sleep as I could get between bouts of coughing. I left the house only once, and only because I had completely scraped the bottom of the cat-food barrel, the kids had not had breakfast, it was now dinner time and three pairs of eyes were glaring at me accusingly. There is only one place on the entire metro-area west-side where the only food that Kidd can (and will) eat is available. I crawled over there, figuratively speaking, and crawled home. The fur kids were pleased. I went back to bed.

Then one of those bizarre flash heat-waves that we in Portland just love hit. I was actually sort of glad because the heat has been fairly effectively baking the ick out.

The first picture shows my garden sizzling under 100F (that’s like 38C or so). Note that I am standing in the shade of the grape arbor. It was almost tolerable in the shade. In the sun, it was very, very hot.

water applied
water applied

A mere 24 hours later, this was the scene. We’re having a summer thunderstorm. I am standing under the grape arbor in an effort to stay fairly dry. The rain, not content with flooding the street out front, has been having fun knocking the petals off the roses.

You know what happens when you pull a hot frying pan off the stove and put it directly under a running faucet? Sizzle. Steam. Sizzle. That’s about what it feels like now. But I did feel a cool breeze through the window just a bit ago. And the air smells so after-rain good.

I think the rain came because I watered my lawn this morning. Not that there’s really any connection there, you know. But… it’s odd how often that happens. Just saying.

But that’s not what I wanted to chat with you about today, gentle reader.

A while back I was one of a group of people in a workshop. At one point, the moderator asked us all to close our eyes and try not to think of anything until time was called. So I closed my eyes and dutifully attempted to clear my mind and waited and waited and waited until finally I heard time. We all agreed that the wait had seemed lengthy.

Now close your eyes again, the moderator said. But this time I want you to prioritize 5 things that you need to do when you leave here.

I made it through about 3 or 4 things when I heard time. I couldn’t believe that we’d been given such a short period to do this task, when the previous period had been so long.

Well… it turned out that both had been exactly 10 seconds.

You can try this yourself, gentle reader. You will need someone to help you with timing. But it’s worth trying. Go ahead. I’ll wait right here.

Back? Isn’t it amazing? The point of the whole exercise was that time may seem very different to one who has nothing to do but wait for another, in contrast to how time seems to the one who is frantically trying to get something for the one who’s waiting. Time really is relative. Or, as Einstein said, Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.

This week, when my focus was narrowed by illness, time hung heavy through the long nights. At one point I remember thinking, why aren’t the days this long when I feel good enough to do something besides lie here and cough my lungs out? And the answer, of course, is because then I have a bazillion things that have to be done right now and I can barely keep the list of the top 5 prioritized in my brain, let alone actually take care of them.

For years I’ve had an internal dialog with myself about how I’ll have lots of time, just as soon as some future event happens: #1 Son learns how to drive so I don’t have to cart him around. This project ends. #1 Son moves out. I get past the holidays.

Of course, it never happens. I never get caught up. When one task ends – be it obligation or recreation – another two or three arise to take its place. And most of them are things I like to do, and so time just flies. I’m afraid I will have to either pare my life down to nothing or only do things I don’t like so it feels like they take longer. Neither choice seems palatable.

How do you deal with all of the forty-seven-million things that are demanding your attention?

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  • Thought of the Minute
    • As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air - however slight - lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.

      (William O. Douglas, judge)
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I Mog Di


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Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag