A Nation in Birth|Death

This moment is vibrating, the formation of an event horizon.

Tonight I feel the tension before the birth of circumstellar disks, accretion disks, spinning matter in flat bands. Two disks occupy near space. One expands to spiral outward, colliding with and altering all it touches; the other spins debris inward, as if to a black hole.

Inauguration Eve ©19 January 2017  8 p.m.|Sandra R. Davidson

Artist’s impression of a baby star still surrounded by a protoplanetary disc in which planets are forming.

Spiraling In or Spiraling Out? [Image Credit: ESO/L. Calçada]

Feline Opine

Murrpey Davidson displaying his abdominal staples after removal of swallowed toy pieces.

A month shy of his third birthday.

Many friends know our cat, Murrpey, had blockages in his stomach and intestine, one half of a toy in each. Surgery was 13 days ago and he’s been on a diet of the same flavor of soft food for the duration.

At some point he figured out it was easier to feed himself than to tolerate syringe force feeding.

Preparing my husband’s coffee this morning, I catch the cat trying to bury his canned food as he might bury his waste.

After they remove his staples tomorrow, I predict the surprise return of dry kibble, which he prefers, is going to go over very well.

©2016 Sandra R. Davidson (text and image)

Home Away from Home

Randy could see nothing exceptional in this man—a man at least twice their age. This made no sense for a survivor.

He slowly kicked open wide the driver’s door, his heart pounding against the constraints of veins. He tried to wet his lips with a dry tongue. What he wanted was a smoke. He’d quit tobacco three years ago and there was no one in the motel parking lot to bum a cigarette from anyhow. Continue reading

Plum Undone

When we first saw the property on which we now live, lovely white blooms were set against emerging green foliage, the tree of which graced us with thumb-sized plums of the right color but whose pits were nearly as large as the fruits! The leaves shaded one end of the drive and a portion of the master bedroom.

The dogs began to eat the fruit—pits and all—as soon as they fell ripe. You can imagine this was a painful lesson and one the dogs repeat at the first available fruit of each year. I also discovered the leaves were shot with holes, bugs and disease. The first year was enough. I wanted something that didn’t seed itself everywhere the chipmunks buried its fruit.

My husband wouldn’t hear of cutting down the tree, commonly called a pioneer plum. We added a Frost Peach and two Rainier Cherry trees near the plum. Sure enough, the pests infecting the plum thought our new additions were tasty.

With a redwood core and bark meat sandwiching a golden ring, the wood will make great art pieces as well as a sampling of plum-smoked edibles. Long live the cherries (and the peach)!

Section of plum tree.

Some Sort of Mother’s Day

I have no children, so each mother’s day I consider the many mother’s I have, as I’m sure you have as well.

I was four when my father asked my brother and me whether we would like a woman he had been dating as our Mom. Both my brother and I were overjoyed. It isn’t easy to step into the life of a man with two small children. My stepmother will always be Mom. Three years later, Mom brought our sister into our lives.

My biological mother came into my life when I was 22, 19 years after she left in hopes we would be in better care. With her reintroduction came two new sisters and a niece. In 2001, she moved 930 miles closer and became my friend. I call her Momma.

In all these years I’ve had my grandmother, my aunt, two blessed mothers-in-law and numerous other mother figures who provide guidance and comfort beyond simple friendship.

Each of these remarkable women had and have no obligation to reach out, to settle themselves into their roles in my life. I can’t imagine who I would be without them; I am so thankful.

Perhaps mother’s day isn’t a Hallmark moment. There may be anger, grief, guilt and myriad complex emotions tied to the title of the day. And then there are other mothers, temporary or forever loving figures who, mistakes and all, have fulfilled some motherhood.

And you…you may have no idea how you’ve fulfilled the role of mother in the lives of others.

Merging Lanes Ahead

It is elder Sunday at the store with the lowest prices in town. Some are unnatural odds tossed against stained pleather powered by a body able to drive; some are simple couples. Sometimes the Whiz stands alone.

Glazed donuts, a photo by Jessica Gale found on MorgueFile.com“I wonder if these are any good…,” his voice trails off until I glance to my left. There’s a box of nine large donuts with sugar glaze. Nothing wrong with his peripheral vision, “I mean, I’m hungry. These look good.” He laughs to be caught talking himself into donuts.

I offer chastisement with with a generous smile to a man easily 30 years my senior, “Oh, I know better than to shop when I’m hungry.”

Both of his hands grasp the box firmly as he appraises their possibilities.

I gesture at his nearly full cart, “Oh, I see! You have been shopping while you’re hungry.” We laugh a moment until he moves off toward a woman in a wheelchair.

I continue puzzling over bagel A or bagel B because the sort I prefer aren’t in stock at the moment and my husband chides me for planning to buy a bagel for the drive home. “I’m hungry.” His eyes are expressive and he’s happy to fetch an apple we didn’t grab while we were in the produce section.

This is a bag-it-yourself sort of store. As we leave, Hungry Man isn’t experiencing a hardship while sacking his box of donuts; the box is neatly wedged in the otherwise unused child seat of the cart. I skitter from my husband’s side long enough to say, “Now, you’ll have to tell me if those donuts are any good by the next time you see me.” Our spouses look puzzled when the Hungry Man and I snicker at the end of the checkout belt.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Traffic Patterns

Two weeks ago I drove past houses that suddenly are the main exhibit now that construction has finished and traffic is rerouted. There is a little-needed traffic signal light where a four-way stop once regulated the crossing of two roads. Bright pink sneakers, new enough from the looks of them, carried more than six feet of height and close to 300 pounds of weight from toe to heel, toe to heel as a man in his mid forties pushed a shopping cart of assorted belongings between the crisp, white lines of the crosswalk. Perhaps crosswalk tells what there is to tell.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Learning Love

Your partner will teach you how to love.

Mine brings me fresh, hot coffee as soon as I wake up. When I reciprocate, the appreciation is wordless and eyes find mine with adoration.

When I make sounds of waking, I come to a computer already booted and awaiting my password. I don’t always remember to do the same for him; a gentle smile is my reward when I do.

It puzzled me when we first dated. He locked me in his truck. Each time he hurried off to fill the gas tank or pick up the mail, he checked to see if my door was locked. I asked and he said the prized possession in his vehicle is me and the world isn’t genteel.

He teaches me how to love him, how to show him I care. I’m demonstrative in my own ways, and in those ways I show him how to love me also.