Friday, May 28, 2010

The priesthood

That's what my dad called the life of a lawyer before I went to law school. I didn't really believe him, and dismissed his words as typical Dad hyperbole.

He was right.

I've taken the last three days off after finishing a big project, and I'm amazed at how my brain has returned to creative mode. I've photographed daisies, new sunflowers, my dog, and a sprig of leaves in the twilight. I've encountered the full moon, a big spider, and my own fears. It's amazing how much else that work blocks out for me. I've always known it, but it's part of the tradeoff I live with. I need to remember to get away frequently, so I can be myself often.

Gerbera Daisy, early morning

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Turtles don't do drama

It had been a rough, raw week. The weekend was spent recovering, catching up and solving problems of one kind or another. Practicalities dominated. We had planned to keep hacking away at things that needed to be done into the evening, but when I saw the golden light of a late spring Sunday evening, I thought of the middle path between accomplishing nothing and accomplishing too much. He asked me what sounded good for dinner, and I said a sandwich from Dagwood's and a walk on the Monon Trail.

For my non-local readers, the Monon Trail is a greenway that runs through the heart of a hippie-dippie area in Indy called Broad Ripple. I've lived in Broad Ripple twice -- once when I returned here after law school and once when I returned here from Idaho. Living in Broad Ripple is, I've found, the best way to re-acquaint yourself with this city after a period of time away. The food is excellent, the houses are old and have character, and the shopping is a pleasure. The village is bisected by the White River. The Monon is a ribbon of trail that winds from downtown Indianapolis to Carmel, the suburb to the north of Indianapolis. It cuts a path through the village and crosses the river just to the north.

And it happens to be where we had our first date, almost a year ago. We ate on the canal, and then went for a walk, much like tonight. It was different then, of course. Tonight we knew each other. We had the freedom tonight to watch the river and its residents with real attention. He has a much better eye than I do, but I spotted the paddle-tail of the beaver first. We watched the creature for a long time until it disappeared from view. I also spotted the movement of the turtle as it joined another on a log. But he found the red mushrooms and the woodpecker after we ducked off the trail into Marott Park.

This is what we do.

And we do it, apparently, regardless of what else is going on -- with each other, with our lives, with anything.

Turtles and beavers and mushrooms don't do drama. They do not deal in fear, angst, or insecurity. They simply go about their business, and do not thrash about.

A good reminder.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sarcastic left-wingers in love

Actual e-mail conversation this afternoon after I discovered that T's and my favorite farmer's market had been rescheduled from Saturday to Friday:

Me: Honey, now that summer is here the green market at the creamery is from 4-8 on Friday nights. Want to head over there for a bit tonight?

T: No no... don't make me do such things!!!!

Me: I know your naturally right-wing, conservative nature makes you hate environmentally friendly items and food, but I really think this is something you should compromise on for the sake of the relationship. And if you do, I promise I won't make you eat any ice cream for at least a month.

T: Sigh. Ok. As long as I can still attend the Palin rally and send donations to support helicopter hunting in alaska!

Me: Dangit, I hate it when you blow surprises. But, SIGH, I might as well tell you now. I reserved us a helicopter hunting trip for our anniversary.

T: SA-Weet!!!!!! Can I shoot seals???

I love him.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

You know what's awesome?

What's awesome is when your seven-year old gets into bed with you during the night, and flails around so much he punches you in the stomach while you're in a dead sleep.

That's what's awesome.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Dog Days

Yesterday afternoon was spent at Wolf Park -- which is, as you might guess, a research and education facility that houses about fourteen wolves. T has been there about a jillion times over the years, because 1) it's right there and 2) he digs wolves. I've never really been hooked into wolves the way he has, which is kind of surprising given my affinity for domesticated dogs. And though I've seen all sorts of endangered or just plain elusive animals in the wild, I've never encountered a wolf. Wolves had re-established themselves on the mountain behind my house in Montana, but the only evidence I saw of them was the greater presence of coyotes on my mountain as a result of the increased competition on the other one. Even during my time in Glacier, I heard not so much as a howl.

We'd been wanting to go to Wolf Park together ever since we started seeing each other, but one thing or another had always gotten in the way, so we didn't make it till yesterday, almost a year hence. All three kids went along. The Boy and The Girl have also been there a jillion times, and in fact are going to begin volunteering there this summer. As for The Kid, well, he would be willing to sit and watch paint dry as long as I told him The Boy and The Girl would be going along too. So off the five of us went, sans Thomas, who was left at home to wonder why his pack was going somewhere else to look at a bunch of wild dogs.

Wolves, I must tell you, are captivating. These are highly socialized animals, of course, but I was still unprepared for how playful and affectionate they can be. They live in a very, very large enclosure, complete with pond and trees and space to range. The enclosure is ringed with a trail for visitors to follow, which gives them the opportunity to see the wolves up close. Two wolves trotted along with us on lanky legs on the other side of the fence for a portion of the trip.

The Kid, never much impressed by grandeur and dignity, pronounced them "so cute."

From time to time, when I'm going somewhere very photogenic but for which photography is not the main purpose, I'll forget my camera. While I kick myself, this is usually a good thing, because every now and then I really need to see the world unencumbered by a lens. That happened yesterday, and I'm glad it did. They offer photography seminars at the park in the fall, and I think I'll take one. But had I remembered the camera yesterday, I might have missed some of the things going on with my human company. The Kid, for example, was more interested in the wolves than in any other animal he's encountered (with the possible exception of the dog shark petting tank at the Indy Zoo), and was quick to raise his hand and offer answers to the questions asked by the staff in the introductory presentation.

And sometimes it's just good for me to be reduced to using the camera on my phone like everyone else.

Wolf Park houses coyotes as well. These are Twister and Willow. Twister spends most of his time being a jerk to Willow, as shown here. Willow spends most of her time appeasing Twister in the most invasive and annoying manner possible, which serves only to perpetuate the cycle. In a fit of anthropomorphizing, I observed to T that Willow appears to have a self esteem problem, and would probably be better served by hauling off and biting Twister's balls instead.

Wolves hanging out on logs near a longtime staff member.

Charismatic Megafauna

Or something.