Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fanciful Friends, A Baby Snake, Memoirs & CDs

Clara & Peppy –
I’ve just put up a picture of Clara and Peppy, who spend their days sitting on my bed, propped up against two satin-cased pillows, atop a cozy hot-pink quilt and black satin sheets. They seem to enjoy it, as do I each night, when I reclaim my sleeping quarters. Satin is the one luxury I indulge in. I found Clara hanging on a display hook in a Walgreen’s four or five years ago. She was one of a kind (at least at that store) and looked like a visual characterization of me ... same blonde-color braided hair ... same large, trusting (goofy-looking) eyes, long legs, and a maroon (my favorite color) velvet dress. Peppy came to me more recently, from Goodwill. Hard to believe, someone discarded him. I fell in love with him instantly. He looks peppy to me, hence his name. Don’t they look like best friends?

CDs & Memoirs Book –
A friend remarked to me that parts of my blog are "almost like a journal". Yes, it is akin to that in many ways. Writing has always come easily to me and is my purest form of communication and self-revelation. The completion of my memoirs book in May 2007 was very liberating -- it felt like I had just removed a heavy overcoat after wearing it all winter (the kind of coat that people wear every day throughout the winter in New England, where I'm originally from). Copies of "Memoirs & Musings of Clara Landau, the Lady Wolf" are available – just contact me via phone or e-mail. Likewise, my most recent CDs are also available (they are legacy editions).

The Story Of Snakey
(First, an aside): I bought Jerry an awesome book about snakes of the southeast US as one of his holiday gifts. We share a fascination with snakes. It’s safe for me to mention this gift here, as he never gets near a computer. Any number of times, he has brought little green snakes and garter snakes into the house (at my former suburban address), putting them on the table, bed, or floor and letting them glide and scamper around, before bringing them back outdoors. The former address has two acres of partially wooded land, replete with many snake species, and we knew those to stay away from. Snakes, of course, got a lot of biblical bad press, but they are as beautiful and divine as the rest of nature’s beings ... and an important part of the ecological tapestry.

Snakes are visibly missing here in the city (where there is, instead, a thriving rat population)! About a month ago, though, I was astonished and delighted to uncover a baby Brown Snake under a plant pot at the base of the huge, old maple tree in my backyard. The little snake acknowledged my presence and remained almost perfectly still. I carefully replaced its leaf cover and the plant pot barrier. Two days later, we found the snake (by now named "Snakey") at the side of the driveway. A predator had no doubt found, picked up and killed the little creature, traveled a few feet, and then dropped him/her. It was a sad ending for a snake brave enough to be born in the city (Brown Snakes are born live). Snakey is buried in my Indian Daisy Patch (see previous post about Indian Daisies).

And so, the mysteries of life go on and on.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Descent Into Winter's Night ...

A few weeks ago, I brought my houseplants back indoors, situating them wherever I could in my relatively small house until next Spring. (I say "small" because I'd lived in a large home for many years before moving to my current abode). This time of year is such a mixed bag of feelings for me. Yet, it is more nostalgic and introspective than any other time. There seems to be more clarity to my thoughts, matching in character the brilliantly colored trees and the more defined silhouettes of nature. This seems to be a time for plans to form and incubate ... maybe to put in a tickler file for January, as the holiday season will be fast upon us.

Whatever our religious persuasion (or not), the fervor and frenzy of holiday shopping will probably kick in, as usual, for most people. I guess for some, shopping can be sort of a magic pill -- both exciting and mind-numbing; maybe it can even be a temporary antidote for fear and/or future shock.

It strikes me oddly, though, to comprehend Santas, twinkling strings of lights, and merchandising all over the place, juxtaposed to reality: the tragedy and malevolence of the war, the impoverishing of many Americans who need a health care system, a dishonest and manipulative government, and our environment's burgeoning problems.

As I write this, I look out the window at a gray November sky, the prelude to nature's cloak of winter. I think about my hopes for peace, for honesty, for reason -- in our country and the world. I realize that the thing I feel most able to celebrate at this time, is the existence of hope. Hope can be ever-alive, even in the absence of optimism. In that spirit, my "dove of peace" tree ornament hangs (year-round) in my music room window.

May we all give each other the gift of peace. Where there is the ability to reason, there can be peace.

Peace to all creatures, all nations, all people.