A little jaunt down memory lane… A Peru plagued by electrical outages, hyperinflation, terrorism and scarcities, while teachers kept on keeping on… recently published in The Blue Nib
Certain things just don’t get forgotten. Moments can etch many an experience into the memory that we might prefer not to remember. An unfortunate bit of bad timing can burn a split second into an indelible scar that could one day be seen as amusing. At the time, of course, it was not.
Old English halgian “to make holy, sanctify; to honor as holy, consecrate, ordain,” related to halig “holy,” from Proto-Germanic *hailagon (source also of Old Saxon helagon, Middle Dutch heligen, Old Norse helga), from PIE root *kailo- “whole, uninjured, of good omen” (see health). Used in Christian translations to render Latin sanctificare. Related: Hallowed; hallowing.
“holy person, saint,” Old English haliga, halga, from hallow (v.). Obsolete except in Halloween.
Thoughts on this 31st of OctoberWe reflect on the eve of the hallows of old
as leaves flurry past us, red, yellow and gold
the words of John Lewis, who walked with the wind,
call out for justice to truly begin
echoes of hallowed ones join in the chorus,
summoned for healing
they gather before us
Even as time forges furrows in my brow, Halloween calls forth the eternal child, conjuring magical nights of sweetness and pretend. While the trees shed for winter in these northern climes, summer is blooming in my other hemisphere. I may have mixed feelings about the nature of the holiday and its excesses and sugary hangovers, but autumn always rests easy at the heart of my soul.
This year, with the word particularly challenged, I find solace in the nearby woods, and turn again to some of the final words that John Lewis shared with the world before his passing in July.
I just read the news that Tahlequah is pregnant again. Oh, how I hope this baby will survive the pregnancy and thrive, for Tahlequah’s sake, for the pod’s sake, for the world.
Lynda V. Mapes, who covered the Tahlequah’s journey of grief for the Seattle Times two years ago, reports that scientists have confirmed the orca’s pregnancy from drone pictures. We can hope.
Down to a population of just 72 whales, every baby counts for southern resident orcas. And their chances for successful pregnancies are not good. About two-thirds of all southern resident pregnancies are typically lost, researcher Sam Wasser of the Center for Conservation Biology at the University of Washington has found. Stress from hunger due to lack of salmon is linked to the whales’ poor reproductive success…
Lima, Peru, 29 April 2020, COVID-19 Lock-up
by Rose Mary Boehm
These bars surprised me when we bought
the flat. Hated living behind bars.
But most people in the days of the terror
lived behind bars, and soon they
made me feel safe
in Lima, the town of thieves.
Coronavirus, and the bars are no longer
in place to keep out, but to keep in.
How many weeks has it been?
Too many, too few… It’ll be a while
yet. There are those who don’t believe.
Who defy the orders, authorities
who can be bought, too many who
drink, dance and make merry,
too many who die.
A conspiracy of death. The elderly, the young,
the black, the white, the gay, the poor, the evil,
the out of work, the workers,
And we have become prisoners
of reason and of fear.
The front door opens, the gateway to…
We have been immensely privileged to be able to enjoy open spaces and forest walks in these complicated times, but as the weather warms and more people are out, we have to find new, less traveled routes. Our masks are not enough when others do not wear them, nor honor the distancing that keeps us safe.
We have been spared the harsh nightmares that others are living through with COVID-19, but there is no escaping the new reality. The invisibility of the enemy and the uncertainty of the future are constant undercurrents.
With friends and family scattered across the globe, many in places where the virus has been devastating, we are extremely lucky to have had our little bubble of isolation in Tennessee. We have been sharing our quarantine with on of our sons and his family -only ten minutes from us – and were able to hold our new granddaughter as soon as she got home. (Thankful for the Knoxville hospital’s careful protocols!) Our Click List online shopping has been working well, except for the lack of bleach and other disinfectant products. We open the trunk, they load our groceries, we shut the trunk. No contact. The little sanitizer we have left stays in the car for gas pumps and drive through pickups.
Nevertheless, there is always a hovering nervousness, a fear of unwitting contamination. Did we wipe down every inch of packaging? Will a slip in the wiping of that bag of frozen peas come back to haunt us? Apparently, the virus can survive 6 months in a freezer! We haven’t seen our usual mailman in a while. What if he sneezed or coughed on our mail? Did we get too close to our neighbors while talking in the yard? Unlike us, several still go to their workplaces. Considering that the active virus has been found even on particles of air pollution, everything becomes suspect. I don’t walk around fearful, but at the back of my mind is the ever present possibility of inadvertent exposure to someone or something or some surface where the demon virus hides in wait. Nothing is taken for granted. No guarantees.
In the back of my head, a thousand future scenarios play out. I imagine a post-recovery period, looking back at the Before, considering the After. There is a new line drawn in the sand. Who will not be there? What businesses will be gone? How will architecture prepare for future pandemics? What new systems will be in place?
Here’s an author to watch! Stay on the lookout for whatever stories, novels, or series might spin out of her posts. J. Federle will take you far beyond Hansel and Gretel, past Red Riding Hood and her big bad wolf, and will leave Beauty in the safety of the happy-ever-after realm while Federle takes you into serious, often disturbing adventures with the unknown. Yet just as easily as she can terrify us, she can serve up humorous encounters with the paranormal and philosophical reflections on being and non-being…
Last spring, my sister and I drove to a dog park a bit further into the country. This “dog park” is better pictured as a pasture for horses: a wooden fence frames a massive field of rolling grass. The dogs did their dog-thing, and we headed to leave.
Before piling into the car, though, I begged my sister to let me take a photo.
Across the road from the parking lot, an old red bridge led into the woods. It fed whoever crossed it onto a walking path, one that dipped and turned before disappearing into the trees.
We didn’t think much of walking over. But as I took the photo, we heard… something.
It was an almost-scream? High-pitched and brief, but organic. From the fleshy throat of something living. We glanced at each other. At the direction it had come from—toward two trees to our left, where between them…