Pink Blackberry

Peekaboo.

The blackberries are having a wonderful time, between the rainy June and then the heatwave. We’re back to cool mornings and warm afternoons, which they also like.

This morning was taken up with a plumber’s visit, which went off so well I am now a bundle of nerves waiting for Something Else To Go Wrong. I am not used to things going smoothly. You’d think I’d be able to relax, but noooooo.

Ah well. Time for some breakfast. And Boxnoggin has behaved very well despite New Things Happening, so he might get a treat after walkies. I am trying desperately to rise from a morass of despair; maybe some toast will help.

Here’s hoping the weekend is quiet and safe, my beloveds. At least the blackberries know what they’re about…

Blooming, Despite This

A finicky flower.

I was watering houseplants the other day, and remarked that all the African violets are blooming. My daughter looked up from her Switch, and observed that of course the plant I have most of is the finicky type that needs special pots and trimming when they get too lanky and and and. I rejoined a little defensively that they are actually quite easy to take care of, and anyway I can’t leave plants on a clearance or “distressed” rack because they just scream and cry to be taken home and nursed…

…and both of us broke down laughing, because I am a sucker and I know it.

I am allowing myself only a little bit more doomscrolling while I finish my coffee (yes, I saw the news before any caffeine, no, it was not pleasant) and then I may have to just…turn the wireless router off. I simply cannot even right now. I wrote a whole fucking book about this and nobody listened. I feel sick, and hopeless, and afraid.

…yeah, I just can’t. I just cannot.

See you later.

Gin, Saviour?

Of course it brings forth juniper berries, it’s a juniper bush!

I really do have to watch Life of Brian again sometime soon. (Follow the gourd, the Holy Gourd!) Every time I see a juniper, I have to at least smile. And since I’m turning my attention to Hell’s Acre next, and that’s in an alt-Victorian setting, I’m thinking about gin. A lot.

I could also be thinking about gin because a little intoxication might be nice on my shattered nerves. It’s a bloody joke on the universe’s part that I’ve started breaking out in hives whenever I drink. Of course, edibles are legal in my state, so at least there’s that–a door closes and a window opens, so to speak.

I finished the line edits for The Dead God’s Heart yesterday, sent them off, and spent the rest of the day doing other work here and there, not to mention hopping out for bread and milk. At least some people are still wearing masks; the proportion seems to be ticking up a bit. I will admit I was unprepared to see how many of my fellow humans are selfish gits who won’t cover up their disease-holes to help keep others alive and safe. It is a great shock, and I’m still–still–reeling from it.

But the junipers are fruiting, my peonies are still blooming, the foxglove is still lovely, and I’ve a run today after I walk Boxnoggin, who has found out he somewhat enjoys being the only canine in the house but is still unnerved because to a dog, Even a Good Change is Change, and Any Change is Bad, Bad, Bad. There’s also Tea with Lili to consider today before I can turn to the task of rewrapping my nerves and maybe getting a little rest.

Maybe.

We’re almost to the weekend, my beloveds. I hope it’s pleasant and calm for you, in whatever proportion of both you desire. And now I’ve got to finish absorbing this coffee…

Green Fire

Tender? Yes. Weak? No.

The rhododendrons suffered badly under the heat dome last year. (Thanks, corporate-fueled climate change!) I was afraid we’d lost fully half of them. They straggled through the winter, and the only reason I didn’t take them out was because suppleness still lurked in their limbs instead of the dry-bone feeling of dead wood. That, and my stupid, persistent kindness, the willingness to see if things will get better, to whisper “do what you must, I’ll help all I can” to maybe-dead plants.

Now, in a wet spring, fresh growth covers them. On my low days, I wonder why they’ve bothered. And there have been a lot of low days lately, what with All This.

It also makes me wonder if it hurts a phoenix to burn. Renewal is at the end of the fire, certainly, but it never comes without cost. Does the fragile, sticky, delicate new growth ache as it bursts free? Does the phoenix feel a sweet pain, cold air hitting wet wings as a butterfly struggles out of necessary confinement? Will I endure long enough that this agony becomes simply something that was instead of it hurts, it hurts now, it hurts so much?

I don’t know, and the rhododendrons aren’t saying. I touch their trunks, feel the living weight of their branches, examine the raw, downy leaves. For a bare moment the pain lessens a fraction, and I take a deep breath. Sometimes, simply enduring is the only courage possible–or necessary.

Gods grant me strength to sing through this fire, and to cover the scars with green when it’s over.

Flower Foam

Not pictured: Several drunken bees.

We’re getting waves of rainy and sunny days, which the flowers love. And what the flowers love, the bees love too.

I took this picture immediately following a punishing run the day after Bailey left. Standing on a sidewalk and crying might have garnered me some attention (maybe, ours is a very live-and-let-live neighborhood) but I took a picture as cover while whispering to the bees that she was gone. They had to be told, after all, and I didn’t have the breath while running.

Fortunately they were so busy with the azaleas, most of them merely nodded and went about their business. But after that they stopped trying to crawl into my mouth and nose. (Maybe they’re just giving me some time off.) And while I was weeding yesterday, they behaved as usual–riding on my hair, investigating my arms, tapping my cheeks. It’s disconcerting to have them bumble right into one’s face, but I suspect it’s doubly so for them.

There will be a Tea with Lili today, but it might be a short one. We’ll see if I can get through without breaking down. And I wish you all a very pleasant, hopeful, and peaceful weekend. Heaven knows we could all use a break…

A Smaller Sun

The name’s Ra. Ra Nunculus.

I woke up sick with dread, literally nauseous with anticipating yet more bullshit today.

Hyperempathy is a great tool for writing characters. It’s far less great while living under late-stage capitalism in a failing state run by sociopaths and those who collude with them. The worst part of this is a repeat of the exact hopelessness I used to feel as a child trapped in an abusive household. The people hurting me enjoyed my pain and weren’t going to stop. I was encouraged–by school, by television, by songs–to attempt saving myself. I was told I could and should tell teachers or other “authority figures” and the abuse would stop. That it was my duty to say something.

So I did. And nothing happened, except “being sent home to be beaten again because I’d dared to say something.”

The very worst part about this is twofold. The people we voted in at great cost to stop the bloodshed and agony have done and will do nothing except empty posturing to please the sociopaths we hired them to stop. And I have screamed myself hoarse, warning everyone I can as I am told it is my duty to do…and I’ve been mocked, belittled, and outright ignored. You’re overreacting, you’re too emotional, typical female, whatta librul, shut up or I’ll hit you again.

Four and a half decades of being kicked in the teeth when one tries to do something about injustice, about pain, about the rancid hatemongers who are abusing all of us, wears on one. I’m tired. So, so tired.

At least the dogs are reasonable. At least the trees are kind, and the buttercups and daisies do not hurt me. The smaller suns–waxy yellow ranunculus, the dot in the center of a bellis blossom–warm me, whispering in their tiny voices, concerned only with enough light, enough water, enough dark to rest in. Kindness is the lowest and simplest energy state.

I don’t know what to do. All I feel is dread and weary revulsion. The world is so beautiful, yet there is a slice of humanity that will not stop until they have violated, stabbed, broken, and shat upon every piece of it. And the rest of us, who outnumber them by orders of magnitude, will apparently do…nothing, even as the entire planet cries out in pain. No one is coming to save us, and apparently the vast mass will not bestir to save themselves, and will even savagely maul those who attempt to do the bare minimum of describing and warning of the problem.

I’m enduring, I suppose. I have to believe that telling stories, even the ones that are ignored, is important. I have to somehow believe that providing single, solitary people a few hours’ worth of relief from the mass of violence and hatred is important, because it’s all I can do.

It’s all I’ve ever been able to do.

I don’t want this. I never wanted this. Walking into the forest–or the sea–and never coming back would be preferable to this. I am trapped here, and must endure as best I can, continue working as long as I can. But oh, please, dear gods, I am so tired.

And I feel nothing–nothing–but the world’s pain.

Pain and deep, nauseated dread.

That’s all.

Deck Grin

Of course I anthropomorphize this.

It’s not much, just a hole in the deck where one of the massive fir branches knocked down by the freak snowstorm slid off the roof and punched straight through. It looks like a smiling mouth, and the glimpse of greenery below gives me a bit of the willies. I’m not precisely afraid of heights–I haven’t been terrified since I did my own form of exposure therapy–but I don’t like them.

All the same, I don’t want to hurt the deck’s feelings. So I smile back whenever I see the hole.

I should absolutely start getting estimates to repair the damn thing. Maybe once I get revisions done I can get on that, but I’m already dealing with the roof proper and…I’m tired. A boat is a hole in the water one throws money into, a house is a cave one…throws money into. At least under our current system of property rights, that is.

I do have a list of subjects for Tea with Lili today, so there’s that to look forward to. But at the moment I am absorbing coffee and looking at the revisions I also have to get done. It’s going to be a busy day.

At least the deck greets me with a weary grin, and Miss B is still holding steady. This isn’t the week I lose her, and I’m utterly grateful for it. We’ll see what the next one holds.

Over and out.