Peach Cloud

Peach Cloud

There are certain things, which, like air, I need to live:  Fred, my Bouvier, who is ever-present though he has stepped away these last three years and gavottes in heavenly fields with my aunt whose loss leaves me permanently lonesome; a passionate purpose like my relentlessness about compassion towards animals, especially horses; astrology which brings me closer to those heavenly pastures; and David (though if you tell him, I will deny it immediately) whose radiant inner goodness defeats every attempt he makes to be macho.  My computer and car would be third cousins, important but not as essential as all the former.  Not least are my gardens and within that circle would be my irises and my hostas (although, in case they’re reading this, all my plant and flowering plants are important to me).  I will be posting pictures of my standard White Irises shortly (which are profuse) and the surprising Peach Cloud (tall bearded) which appeared as if by magic in my back garden; at least three feet tall, featuring seven buds on two stems (two only!) and sporting a tangerine beard.  (Who knew?)  My favourite is purple but I must say that just by Peach’s size and leaf fall (quite majestic), I have been seduced into loving–if not its colour–then its sense of its own importance and uniqueness (how many peach-coloured Irises have you seen lately?).  The Iris is connected to the goddess of the Rainbow but that has little to do with my life-long love and attraction to it:  its petals alternately fall in bride-like trains or shy forward in closeted high-school confidentials, and it sits atop a stem so thick and sturdy that no wind-rock can bring it down.  Where in life can you find such delicacy supported by such strength?  Such strength birthing such fragility?…  

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Creature Comforts

I can’t pinpoint when creature comforts became important to me:  maybe it was some time after I stopped teaching…or maybe after my divorce.  I was married to a man–no that’s not it; it had nothing to do with him, preceded him by many years.  In fact, that’s probably why he felt safe enough to approach me.  I had a very good job as Senior Writer at the Cdn Dental Association and lived in a decent townhouse in Manor Park in Ottawa which was as ascetic as a monastery:  few pictures, no plants (I was the serial killer of houseplants at that time, wanted in ten states), few knick-knacks, and home only when it was bedtime.  Working was my god and the workplace was heaven.  No need of anything extraneous, superfluous, extravagant:  I had a good car and relatively nice clothes (I wore a size six then so I looked good in pretty much anything).  Creature comforts depend on who you are–but more importantly, where you live on the planet, what you’re used to, what the culture you’re born into thinks is important, and, as a luxury, what you can afford (or for some people, what you think you can afford).  I have a cousin who spends more money on the quality of the sheets on his bed than I do on the mortgage.  He has to, simply has to, sleep in a bed sublimely comfortable and cushy, no expense spared, money no object.  I did once have a down-filled duvet custom-made only to find it excessively heavy and impossible to maneuver easily into place, waking in the wee hours sweating from dragging this thing hither and thither.  It’s long gone now…  

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Insidious Insomnia

I‘ve had insomnia ever since I can remember.  No matter how weary, how tired, how strung out, how exhausted I was, as soon as my head hit the pillow, my eyes would clap open and stare, as big as saucers and my “cogwheels” as my mother called them, would be fully awake and working, working out daily and/or metaphysical problems which no-one could solve but God. The size and importance of them is, I see now and saw then, a playing with time, a pastime which I’d never asked for and begged for years to be released from.  Insomnia is a waking nightmare; the darkness visible; eyes wide open in the dark–and it’s incurable.  It’s impossible to trick insomnia, to bypass it, or to coax it into an acceptance or obedience to the nocturnal need to close one’s eyes comfortably in the dark (the sun gone walkabout somewhere under the equator)…  

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