What’s Your Elephant’s Name?

This afternoon, while watching tv with my father, the subject of elephants came up. He was watching a nature show of some sort and saw something about an elephant harness. “That’s what we need,” he said, “an elephant harness!” “Then we would just need an elephant.” I replied. “Not necessarily…” was his responce. Immeadiately the conversation turned to what a person could do with an elephant harness. Stand outside shopping malls holding the elephant harness and tell people you had lost your elephant, we thought. See if you could get anyone to help you look for your elephant. Drag the elephant harness to the office of the local newspaper and try to get them to include an ad for your missing pet. My dad began reciting a description of the elephant (grey, about ‘so’ high, big ears, etc), suddenly I chimed in with, “Answers to the name name Packy. If I had an elephant I would name him ‘Packy, or maybe ‘Ethyl’.” We laughed and the conversation died down, but I began to wonder what it says about you if you know instantly what you would name an elephant if you suddenly aquired one.

A lot of my conversations with my father are like this any more. Eliptical and strange, tangental flights of fancy. He watches considerable television and we talk about that, sometimes rather normally, about old movies and the names of various actors or our favorite John Wayne western. Other times however, we stray into things like, what color the dinasauers were, or why advanced alien species would mess around helping us build pyramids, or how the collapse of the sasquatch hunting industry might effect the economy if they ever find him, and of course, what you would name your elephant. My mother mostly stays out of these philosophical dicussions, only rarely succumbing to the impulse to tell us that she cannot see what possible difference it makes. Sometimes she does leave the room though. Usually to go grumble in the kitchen. She thinks we are quite mad I know, but oddly enough, somehow these conversations of conjecture have caused me to know my father much better than I ever have before. These sorts of speculations would never have happened when we were younger. In some fashion, by playing, “let’s pretend” it is possible to slip behind the mask and get to know the man on the other side. And I find that there is a mind much like my own, belonging to a person who, after a couple of minutes, also knows exactly what he would name his elephant. It’s entirely possible I may end up liking the old boy yet.

Oh, and by the way, Dad says he would name his elephant, “Fella”.

Bucky Beaver is Busy

Bucky Beaver is Busy

Shadows

Shadows

Beyondering

To see around the bend

I’ll follow every wind

In search of what comes next

Curiosity ever vexed

I’m going yondering

Gone to see the elephant

‘Cuz I wonder where it went

Sure it’s just over the hill

My feet cannot be still

I’ve gone yondering

A perfect place I know to be

O’er the mountains, beyond the sea

Just there across the river

I see paradise forever

I’m yondering again

Someday surely I will rest

Having found the place that’s best

Although I think that probably

For me he’ven’s in the journey

Forever yondering.

 

Green Cheese?

Weeds Are What You Make Them

Moonand Milkweed

moon and milkweed

Debbie

 

We had the first of the fall fogs today. It is early, being barely a week into August, but it has been hot (90ish) for days and today is reputed to be going to stay in the 70s so we have ground fog, hanging low in the creek bottom. It’s a thin fog, barely there, creeping up the hill and dissipating even as I watch in the early, almost-six-thirty-ish, morning, but it is fog all the same. Fog is a harbinger of autumn here, isolating and secluding, cutting my hilltop off from the world, concealing me from the eyes of humankind. However, the light of the sunrise is still the golden light of summer. I can see it on the land out there past the long hulking shadow of my hill. Crowing roosters seem to be chasing the misty, trailing remnants away excepting a thin scree over the strawberry field and a stubborn patch lingering in the roadbed of the side road that takes off from the very secondary road upon which I live.

My somewhat dark mood does not appear to be as easily dispelled. Being snatched from sleep by a ringing phone might have that effect all by itself, but in this case the information imparted was also rather dire. The doctors say my daughter’s ex-sister-in-law is going to lose her fight with breast cancer after an eight year battle which we all thought she’d won at one point. My daughter is very upset and not looking forward to telling her daughter. It is never pleasant to spread the pain around. In most instances an ex-sister-in-law might not engender such consternation, but in this case my daughter divorced the man while retaining the rest of the family. My granddaughter is very close to her “Aunt Debs”(pronounced like ‘dibs’, by a claimant) I am left to consider my mortality and that of all of us ensconced on this hunk of space rock. It is one thing to know that “no one gets out of here alive” and quite another when one is brought up short by the passage of one of their own.

If the doctors are correct Debbie will die in October, ironically national breast cancer month. I may yet accuse her of planning that, but not today. I charge every woman reading this to go and get their screening done this year. I would like to believe (as we all would at times like this) that some higher purpose will be served by her passage. So if you won’t do it for yourself or your family, please, do it for Aunt Debs.

 

 

Goodnight Moon

moon

Pain

When the ache runs through me

and it sizzles down my arm

and it singes my leg

and my head throbs from it all

I wonder

When I can’t find a place on me that isn’t sore

and there is nowhere to hide

and even my teeth hurt

and I wish it would all flow down my leg

and out my foot

earthing itself, like lightening

I wonder

When it becomes too tiresome

and I haven’t slept all night for days

and I consider how much medicine it would take to make it stop

and think about crashing into bridge abutments

and my eyes leak onto my collar

I wonder

WHY?

ME?

but I suppose it has to be somebody

 

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