reverse threading

the path back is the path forward


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the village on the back side. [not-so-flawed wednesday]

we are on the flip side of the tv antenna saga.

we are relieved to have it over with. our 30+ foot tall steel tripod tv tower – which has been standing right snugged up close to our house for the last at-least-three-decades-probably-more-like-five-or-six-or-so – fell over. it was a windy night…the kind of wind that keeps us awake and anxious in this neighborhood of big old trees. we didn’t hear it fall. all we heard was the fierce wind and i pulled the quilt over my head to try and sleep.

i stood in the kitchen in the morning looking out through the sunroom, sipping my coffee and gazing at the eastern sky and saw it – diagonally placed outside across the big windows – where nothing diagonal or steel or large and unwieldy usually sits. the tv tower with the antenna on the top. the wind had broken it off at the base and it fell north – reception from milwaukee would be really ace leaning that way it occurred to me. it was leaning on the fence and dangling over our neighbor’s stamped concrete driveway and spanish tile garage roof. we wanted neither of those disturbed and were immediately concerned about the danger of the antenna falling on someone. i texted them to say we had noticed and then i texted the village.

“what do you do with this?” i asked all our people. i started getting responses immediately, some suggestions or the oft “i-have-no-idea”. the insurance company was worthless – they couldn’t even point to the first thing we should do. antenna installation experts said it was “out of their wheelhouse”. the tow truck guys didn’t have the right equipment. big jim came over to evaluate it with d. they stared and contemplated a few-strong-men but quickly negated that idea.

ultimately – to save you a long drawn-out story, interesting and quirky (of course) but long nonetheless – a tree care company came the next day to assess the situation. naturally, it was snowing that day and that made the removal more treacherous so it had to be pushed back a day and we had to hope the snow would not accumulate in heavy inches on the tower, there would be no more wind and that no one would go near it.

the next morning, the tree guy admitted to being awake in the night thinking about the removal, plotting. that made us feel a little better since we had some higher anxiety with it precariously dangling out there.

with some sort of backhoe jaws holding the base so the entire tower wouldn’t pivot and do damage and a steel-cutter-thingy, they sawed the tower and antenna into pieces, loaded it into a dumpster they had brought with them and drove away. all in like a half hour! it was done. gone.

the house looks different without the dated tower and antenna like so many houses down here by the lake and scattered throughout our town. i missed it for the first day. and when i sip coffee in bed and look out the east windows i can no longer see it next to the steep roofline, with squirrels scampering up so that they can get on the roof and check out any gutter snacks that might be lingering. there’s plenty to look at though. and plenty to ponder.

the front of the orchid bloom is gorgeous on this plant. stunning, really. but the back…graceful and sturdy, supporting the frame of the blossom.

just like our village.

****

read DAVID’s thoughts this NOT-SO-FLAWED WEDNESDAY


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even in waning. a firework. [two artists tuesday]

do you know that there’s still a chance for you
’cause there’s a spark in you?
you just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
just own the night like the 4th of july
’cause baby, you’re a firework
come on, show ’em what you’re worth
make ’em go, oh
as you shoot across the sky
baby, you’re a firework
come on, let your colors burst
make ’em go, oh

(“firework” performed by katy perry.*)

even as it wanes, it is clearly beautiful. stunning, really. the 0230-pantone-chart-heading-toward-rhodamine-red bloom is attracting attention, its droop the stuff of grand success. as its petals drop to the ground, one-by-one, it feeds next and next. and the flowers nearby sigh, “ohhhh.” and they know, despite anything – age, health, roadblocks, lack of nutrients, overabundance of tending worry, calendar of blooming-period – that there is still a chance for them.

artistry never stops. no matter. its imperative – to bloom – to shoot across the sky – is ceaseless, a perpetual poking, an unfaltering urge. the chance is never gone, never erased, never doused-left-with-no-embers.

i listened to a guided meditation a few days ago. it was merely four minutes long. “the mountain”, it – in only four minutes – made surprising tears stream down my face. its message…to be grounded and solid – rooted – just as a mountain – in all that is going on around you, regardless. to stand in it all. like a mountain. those four minutes were profound.

there are things i would choose to be different right now. many things. this season has been somewhat fraught. yet, there are reasons to be grounded, rooted, to stand here and just wait, to ride it out, to hold on.

all around us were orchids in shatter-the-silence gorgeous bloom. all around us was greenery, textural and rich. all around us were beginnings, closed buds with pent-up energy waiting to burst onto the stage-of-earth.

but this leaning-to-rhodamine caught my eye, in its waning no less, no more than the others. and it whispered, “baby, you’re a firework too.”

even brighter than the moon, moon, moon
it’s always been inside of you, you, you
and now it’s time to let it through
’cause baby you’re a firework
come on, show ’em what you’re worth
make ’em go, oh
as you shoot across the sky
baby, you’re a firework
come on, let your colors burst
make ’em go, oh

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this TWO ARTISTS TUESDAY

*songwriters: katy perry, mikkel s. eriksen, tor erik hermansen, sandy wilhelm, and ester dean


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that crooked smile. [merely-a-thought monday]

his crooked smile stopped me.

we were wandering slowly through the orchid show at chicago botanic gardens, drinking in the colors, the fragile blooms, the deliciousness of being-out-somewhere-doing-something. in the hallway between two larger spaces, there he was. waiting. wearing the imperial margarine crown, large bulbous nose, really long kind-of-jay-leno-chin and a crooked smile, his eyes squeezed a little shut in an engaging invitation, he was waiting.

i stood there staring at him, laughing. he was sitting in front of an old piano painted in bluebird-sky-blue-peely-paint and he winked at me. all the other orchids didn’t have to do anything to get our attention, and, truthfully, neither did he – they were all stunning and refreshing hopeful harbingers of maybe-spring-will-come – but he tried extra hard anyway.

i see him as toothless. but i have no judgements about that at all. i suspect most orchids are toothless, well, except for the one that made me do the “duh-chomp, chomp, chomp—what’s up doc?” bugs bunny imitation in the middle of a room full of people. that one most certainly had teeth. two buck teeth just screaming for us to notice. nevertheless, this guy – the imperial margarine guy – did not have teeth. his jimmy durante schnozzola was all he needed. and those eyes. and that crooked smile. sheesh! what charm!

when we left the botanic garden we felt a rush of fresh air. this wasn’t just the difference between a heightened-warm greenhouse and the cold chicago air. it was a sense of newness. a refreshing, though albeit tiny, touch of “normal”, a reminder of beauty. it was sheer magic. it was diving into a rainbow and immersing, coming out the other side dripping with colors we hadn’t seen in a long time.

it was admiring blossoms of solid colors and stripes and polka-dots and marveling over shapes and sizes and textures. it was reading of orchid seeds sailing over oceans and great expanses of land, steadfastly enduring. it was laughing with orchids which had personality, confidence and humility, joie de vivre.

they reminded us of life, in the middle of a neverending pandemic, in a period of time that would mark the beginning days that ukraine was invaded by russia, the world shocked by the wickedness of it all. the country-of-sunflowers was under siege and the orchids were blooming. all existing at the same time, on the same plane, in the same world. a gentle prod – yet again – to appreciate every last little thing.

maybe that’s what his crooked smile was all about.

*****

read DAVID’S thoughts this MERELY-A-THOUGHT MONDAY