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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Where Is Your Head Today?

Sumac at the height of its glory
“Where’s your head at?” was once a sort of jeer, not a real question, a variation on “What were you thinking?” which, of course, implies that you were not thinking at all. What I intend here is a real question, translatable as: What’s occupying your thoughts? What perhaps are you obsessing over (and wish you weren’t)? Are you focused or feeling dreamy, or is your mind jumping from one thing to another like a grasshopper being chased by summer’s approaching end? Or maybe you’re fortunate enough to be taking in the natural world moment by moment, like a dog miraculously blessed with full color vision. How wonderful that would be, wouldn't it? To have the full range of color added to the marvelous range of olfactory sensations we humans can only dimly imagine!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog post. Well, for this blog, anyway. I’ve done three new posts for my photo blog, “A Shot in the Light,” and one for my catchall blog, “Lacking a Clear Focus.” I’ve also read half a dozen books (see sidebar for titles) and hosted another signing in my bookstore. My sister and her husband visited from Illinois, and our grandson and his best buddy traveled up from Kalamazoo. (Those were good visits.) And I went on active duty for a friend for three weeks while she was in hospital and then rehab, feeding her cats and declumping their litter boxes daily. 

Historian Larry Massie from the Allegan Forest

Larry's appropriately book-themed tie
Grandson Dave! Sarah's human nephew! Sarah loves company!
And all along there has been the glory of fall color, starting with the staghorn sumac (top of post) and now encompassing maples and beeches and popples and even early-turning tamarack. This past Sunday was simply glorious, but it's recorded only in my brain's fallible memory, not on my camera's digital storage card. Camera in action again today, under grey, rainy skies.

On Monday I stirred my stumps (isn't that a hideous expression?) and got busy with long-delayed kitchen and food-related projects -- retrieved rhubarb from the freezer to turn into rhubarb chutney; picked apples from an overloaded tree (only recently I learned that apple trees can be "overpollinated"); defrosted strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries destined for jam before another day escapes. 

Home harvest
Things keep happening, though. The world doesn't hold still for a moment. So I paused to remember Bill Milliken and to say a prayer of thanksgiving and hope for full recovery for Jimmy Carter. I read newspapers, rationing each day's intake (in the interest of sanity) and wondering where the hell we are going as a nation and a world. My head was here, my head was there. Sometimes it just wanted to be under the covers, fast asleep.

Fleeing deer!
Thank heaven for books! Books on geology and history put current events in perspective, and old volumes that have survived from a century or more ago reassure me that bound, printed material has staying power and that what I do for a living is worth doing and may last beyond the current insanity. In more optimistic hours, I like to think so. But then, my head is not staying in one place very long these days. 


Dawn said...

My head is running around on me too. First off, aren't the colors marvelous this year! Here it's been rainy and windy for a couple days so a lot is gone, but we had days and days of sunshine to enjoy the riot of color. We have our first concert of this season to play on Tuesday, coincidentally the same day my husband has some minor(ish) surgery in the morning. It's going to be a long day. I need to go practice. And as librarian for the band I've spent a good part of this weekend getting Christmas music together to pass out on Monday at our dress rehearsal. And my little finger is hurting more this weekend, guess I'll talk about that with my hand therapist tomorrow. And then there's my mom moments that seem to be more frequent lately, moments when I just really miss her. And that's where my head has been.

P. J. Grath said...

You've got a lot going on there, Dawn. Sorry about the finger pain, but I know your music is a positive part of the end of the year for you. Thoughts of your mother -- me, too. Mine, that is. But yes, we have had a beautiful fall. Even the cloudy, rainy days have been spectacular.