Wednesday, June 29, 2016

More, and Less

What is one to do
When one has desires --
For conversation,
Or for communion,
For intimacy
Of understanding --
Yet the world spins by,
With no time to spare?
My wishes are more;
My portion is less.
Day by day by day,
I dwell in patience,
Ever hopefully,
Waiting to be heard.

Picture copyright 2014, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Two For Tuesday

A double-header of Lord Huron earworms this evening.

First, The Night We Met.

And also, Meet Me in the Woods.

I hope you enjoy.

Monday, June 27, 2016


We had a moment to visit the ocean this weekend. It was lovely.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Elf Please

Herself speaks.

I need a House Elf. 

Despite having a migraine yesterday, I still needed to take Offspring the Third out to find appropriate clothing for a family event this weekend. We were successful; he was marvelously patient, and despite the paucity of appropriate garments for tall-and-thin gentlemen, we prevailed. 

The kitchen was left untidied at the end of the evening, though (too much throbbing of the brain to finish the tasks), and so I had to tackle it this morning. Never a good start to the day. I suppose I could have asked one of the other household members to tidy the kitchen, but frankly, my brain hurt too much to even formulate the question, or care about the kitchen at all, for that matter. If I had a House Elf, he or she would most likely have taken on the chore without a specific request. That is what I need most -- an Elf who will see what needs to be done and then do it, quietly and unobtrusively, and without my having to ask. 

Tonight, we must pack up; we are flying, rather than driving, so that adds several layers of complexity -- suitcases, miniature toiletries, and exact timing to get to the airport -- that would be absent in a car trip. Though I am looking forward to seeing the extended family, I am not looking forward to the journey. I do hope that Offspring the Second and Offspring the Third enjoy it. They deserve some down time and a weekend away from It All.

I will try to post a photograph or two from our adventures this weekend. We shall see how everything goes.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


When I go walking in the late evening, I hear creature sounds. Oftentimes it is neighborhood dogs barking; but sometimes, when the hounds are quiet, it is the night birds calling. This evening, there was a different sound; I am not sure what it was. Perhaps insect, but sounding more like frog -- except where is the water that such frogs would need? Perhaps in the arroyo. I shall have to listen more closely.

I do like the night noises: voices of comfort, they draw attention away from the difficulties of the day and towards the rejuvenating calm of the nighttime.


The flow of your voice
loosens the sand
that clings to my skin;
in a last rasp of whisper
the red salt stops its torment.

Soft and warm
you encircle me,
into the cave of my ear
your lips infuse a mantra,
over and over
to coax the well awake. 

- John O'Donohue, Echoes of Memory

Monday, June 20, 2016

Strawberry Moon

I am reminded of the song of my youth that I, in turn, would sing to the Offspring when they were tiny:

I see the moon
And the moon sees me
Down through the leaves
Of the old oak tree
Please let the moon that shines on me
Shine on the one I love.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Rubber Tree Plant

Herself speaks.

I recently reconnected with an individual whom I knew well in college.  It is Good to be in touch again. It seems that eons have passed between then and now, and Life, like the wind and the rain in the desert, has carved us into new shapes during all this time; nevertheless, we are both still at our cores the same people we were then, and it is a lovely reminiscence.

As I have thought back through the years, all sorts of tiny memories have resurfaced. One in particular: my rubber tree plant.

My parents drove down to visit me during my first year at college. I had just finished tidying my dorm room, and had propped the door open for fresh air while awaiting their arrival. They had brought with them a gift -- a small rubber tree plant. My mother had potted it, for reasons I never learned, into a small black cast iron cauldron. When my parents entered the hallway of the dormitory, they put the plant in its cauldron on the floor, and then gave it a push so that it appeared, by itself, in the doorway of my room. WHY HELLO, CAULDRON PLANT. It was hilarious.

The rubber tree plant had the most marvelous way of growing. The reddish, triangular apical meristem would expand and elongate; upon reaching a certain size, it would split and the next glossy leaf would unfurl. The tiniest bit of the apical meristem appeared anew, nestled at the base of the new leaf, and the process would repeat. It was fascinating.

I had that plant from freshman year, through to my junior year, when there was an unfortunate incident: a squirrel (of which there were a great many on campus) wiggled through the slightly ajar window of the living room of the dorm suite in which I lived; the squirrel not only gnawed a hole in the bottom of my book bag, but also consumed the apical meristem of the rubber tree plant. Alas. The plant no longer grew, and fairly soon thereafter, it perished.

I was quite sad. It had been so very soothing to watch its leaf growth over time, and its cauldron pot was always a source of amusement. Godspeed, rubber tree plant.

Perhaps, some day, I shall find a new rubber tree plant. I may not ensconce it in a cauldron, but I will thoroughly enjoy watching it grow.

This lovely rubber tree was found here

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nearing the Fork

The laptop has unexpectedly crashed; some drivers, such as the one for the keyboard, are corrupted. I cannot reinstall them without a keyboard. Alas. I did manage to back up my Stuff, so it is more of a tremendous inconvenience and annoyance than anything else. Nevertheless, it is also one of the increasingly numerous metaphorical ducks that are pecking ever relentlessly with their dull beaks.
I will see what can be done about the computer in due course.
Alas, again.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Most Joyful Unnecessary Thing

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art, like the universe itself (for God did not need to create). It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival. -- C.S. Lewis

Picture copyright 2015, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A LIttle Firefly

Ah, Firefly. Some of the very best dialog ever to appear on television. 

Kaylee: (wistfully) “Wash, tell me I’m pretty.”
Wash: “Were I unwed, I would take you in a manly fashion.”
Kaylee: ” ‘Cause I’m pretty?”
Wash: ” ‘Cause you’re pretty.”
Kaylee: “Thank you. That was very restorative.”

Cast photo found here

Monday, June 13, 2016


"The deadliest mass shooting in US history," it is said.


Targeted for being gay -- for biology; for the way they were knit together in their mothers' wombs.

Imagine the mother on the other side of this text exchange -- her child asking her to call the police; telling her that the gunman was coming; "I'm gonna die."

And die he did.

Godspeed, souls of Pulse.

(Found here:

Sunday, June 12, 2016


A generous heart is always open, always ready to receive our going and coming. In the midst of such love we need never fear abandonment. This is the most precious gift true love offers - the experience of knowing we always belong. ― Bell Hooks

Picture copyright 2015, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.  
– Nathaniel Hawthorne

Picture copyright 2015, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Etymological Semantics

Today's contemplation: an unusual take on the interpretation of "romantic" -- perhaps more meaningful than the usual somewhat frivolous connotation. It seems right, though. Does it speak to you?

I am eternally, devastatingly romantic, and I thought people would see it because 'romantic' doesn't mean 'sugary.'  It's dark and tormented — the furor of passion, the despair of an idealism that you can't attain. 
― Catherine Breillat

Picture copyright 2014, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016


Seven years ago, I arrived.

Thank you, lovely reader, for being part of my journey.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Even when the turmoil of the ocean is bearable, it is a comfort to know that the lighthouse is there. 

There are times when the ocean is not the ocean - not blue, not even water, but some violent explosion of energy and danger: ferocity on a scale only gods can summon. It hurls itself at the island, sending spray right over the top of the lighthouse, biting pieces off the cliff. And the sound is a roaring of a beast whose anger knows no limits. Those are the nights the light is needed most. 
― M. L. Stedman - The Light Between Oceans

Picture copyright 2014, 2016, Mediocria Firma. Used with gratitude.

Monday, June 6, 2016


Today's word, from "Other-Worldly": 

Today's item of natsukashii:


(Footnote: this lovely word was found here:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dancing Queens

Herself speaks.

We attended Wedding Reception Number Two of the summer yesterday evening (with a slight sense of deja vu, since the event was held in the same location as for Wedding Reception Number One, exactly one week previously). Wedding Reception Number One had required active participation, as we had to perform as part of the "wedding court," as well as to use a surprisingly significant amount of mental energy to ensure that all three Offspring, plus my parents, were in attendance and had sufficient attention/care. In contrast, Wedding Reception Number Two was a much more relaxing occasion; it was naught but myself and Beloved Husband preparing to leave the house and attending the event.

There were two tiny tittle girls, who had served as flower girls during the ceremony, who were also at the reception. They seemed to enjoy alternately napping on various relatives' laps, and spending time on the dance floor. They were not remotely self-conscious, which was lovely to behold. They were just learning how to move rhythmically to the music, and focused primarily on spinning to make their special dresses fluff out into a circle around them.

Beloved Husband and I did some dancing, which was lovely. Of all of Beloved Husband's colleagues in attendance at the reception, though, only a very few stepped onto the dance floor, and those went only briefly. Seems such a shame to waste a dancing opportunity, I think.

At what point do people lose the childhood love of dance? Such a loss. Dancing is one of the very few expressions of love-of-life that adults allow themselves to enjoy. Imagine how much lighter our hearts would all be, if we let go of being self-conscious and allowed ourselves a moment to let the music move us all.

Saturday, June 4, 2016


Herself speaks.

Went to church today, to celebrate the marriage of one of Beloved Husband's colleagues. It has been a very long time since I attended mass. (So long, in fact, that several of the rote responses have changed slightly... and the laminated sheet with the indicated responses was six years old. Oh, dear.) It was remarkable, though, how the rituals and words and actions came to mind immediately.

It was odd, too, how setting foot in the church brought out my inner supplicant. There among the stained glass windows and the light and the wood of the pews and the cushioning of the kneeler, it was natural to reach out my thoughts and ask for what I need. That is the beauty of prayer: it is a silent request, private even among the people.

Who hears our prayers? Can a wish within a single creature's neurons alter the course of the Universe? And which is more terrifying -- a yes, or a no?

The reasons I became Catholic while in graduate school, and the reasons I stopped attending mass when the Offspring were young, are multiple and varied and personal, and far too complex to do them justice by attempting to write them down. I will state, though, that part of my current disillusionment stems from strong feelings about religious bureaucracy and hierarchy and exclusionary tactics and form-over-substance; and most of all, from the terrible, terrible things that people do in the name of their religions.

I have no trouble with God. It is Man that troubles me.

Friday, June 3, 2016


I've reached saturation point.

I don't want to hear anything more, ever, about Donald Trump; I refuse to read any additional opinion on what happened (and who is to blame) when the young child fell into the gorilla enclosure in the Cincinnati zoo; and I cannot listen to the 'he-said, she-said' that is Johnny Depp's divorce from Amber Heard (and all the speculation about whether she is telling the truth abuse within the marriage). Plane crashes. Listeria contamination. Lead in the water. Opiod overdose. Flooding, in Texas and in Europe. Zika. And that is just the beginning.

No more news.

I think I shall go peruse Tiny Log Cabin designs instead.

Doesn't that look lovely.
Found here:

Thursday, June 2, 2016


I have promised myself that I will do more reading for pleasure. I have so many books that it's difficult to pick one to start.

What a marvelous problem -- to have an abundance of books from which to choose.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Today's earworm: Man, I Feel Like A Woman, by Shania Twain. 

I could just watch her for hours. Wish I could be as slender, talented, alluring as she is.

I hope you enjoy.