Monday, April 21, 2014

in the desert I have no words

Honestly I wasn't sure how I was going to get in the car.  A hundred what if 's clicking through my mind like a slideshow. What if I hadn't let the kids out for one last jump before we hit the road? We wouldn't have found the injured dog laying in our yard. She would have died alone. What if I had let them go out sooner? She might have been helped before it was too late. What if I had taken the time to stroll the yard last night? I might have helped her avoid a long night of dark and pain. What if this dog.... was someone's Kilo?
It is the innocence of dogs that gets to me.  
Eyes that mix fear with trust. 
Their silence too- the inability to say "I need help."    
The pictures I have of her are too graphic but they were taken to help find her owner.  The only way a dog with that broken of a leg could have gotten into our yard was if she had been hit very near our house. And on Easter Sunday the only chance we had to help her was to go door to door and find her owner.  
Who would have a cattle dog with a leather collar but no tags: the Wayman's. Together BC and I walked down the street. Me holding my camera. It goes like this: Mr. W dressed for church opens the door. Are you missing a dog? A dog that looks like this? We believe she was hit....
Turns out it was a Wayman dog. In fact Molly was the mother of all the dogs they had. Her owner one of the adult brothers.  A man with small children.  A man called down the street by his brother to retrieve his dying dog on Easter morning.
feel complicit in the demise of this dog. It is not fault or guilt it is connection. The same connection to Kilo and my sister. Deaths that teetered on the edge of isolation. Suffering in plain sight.  The drowning man.  The call from Everest.  Texts from a plane. 
Of course I didn't do what I should have. I didn't destroy the photos. Like the stories I took from my time working in the hospital I hold on to the images of other people's pain. It is not so much morbid curiosity as it is the need to take what I can't justify and cage its power with words.  
Turn it all black and white and flatten the demons.   
There are other reason I take photos. I don't trust my memory to hold enough. I have times when I need to see things and if I can't find them perfectly resurrected by the words in my memory I panic.  I don't like to be startled- I need to know right where things are.
Often it is the missing details in a dream that are the triggers of my nightmares. I still remember the overwhelming urge to photograph my sister's apartment. I never did but perhaps I might have been better off if I had. Instead I drank it all in and it ate me up. In the end I had to tear up my mind to get free of it. 

 These days I have learned to find ways out without setting my mind on fire. 
I have erected small shelters from the wind. 
But nothing works as well as the desert does. Even when I sleep words and phrases dominate my head. My mind is always writing and I have a hard time keeping up. But in the desert I have no words. They pass harmlessly by like the shadows of clouds rolling across the sand. I’ve tried listening but I can’t quite hear them. They flutter away. I have taken a hundred notebooks for long car rides down dusty desert roads and they all come home empty. 
So of course I did get in the car.  We did go to the edge of the desert. Bathed in silence I could make out in the distance feelings that shimmer like a mirage I knew there was once a dog named Molly whose life did not end they way it should have. I knew of a lost sister and the broken body of a black dog, both died reaching for what they never would have. Somewhere deeper the fears of a young mother with nowhere and no one to turn to for help. But the feelings fluttered and faded into the sunlight, whisked up by ribbons of heat.   
And as I reminded myself if wanted to jump from where I was I had to let go of the want of ground first. I had to look ahead, loosen my body, and push away the world beneath me. Right then something caught in my mind: What gets me about dogs is their innocence, their fear & trust, and their silence.
    Forever rest in peace silence~ 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

taking one for the team

We got Jack Cat (female) fixed this morning at the local animal shelter. 

  7:29 a.m. sitting in the parking lot waiting for the clinic to open- trying to drop Jack Cat off and still make it to 8 a.m. gym on time.   

 As planned the appointment/surgery included her second set of shoots. Also included micro chip ($25) and pain rx ($15) because the nice receptionist nurse asked loud enough for my sweet Beach to overhear the questions and I am a sucker for her softness. 

The Vet however was more careful when he felt Jack Cat's belly and tried to ask the standard question if there was a "complication" (which there wasn't) what then did I want done. I intercepted his awkwardness and assured him our cat was not Catholic. The whole point of fixing a feral cat is to not have more feral cats. He laughed and promised to take good care of our "boy named girl cat". Won't matter after this anyway :) 

 And as much as I try to be callous about this semi feral cat I did break down and call to check on her. Got told "She's awake but she's not making eye contact with anybody....she does growl and hiss....I think it would be fine if you picked her up early..."

 Sure does look sweet and yet even here asleep she was actually growling.  
Way to stay true to yourself Jack <3

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken

 This is what happens when you allow your chickens to free range. It isn’t a bad thing really. We knew the hen was sitting under the deck.  BC was watching closely for signs of hatching.  Like it or not we let the hens nest & sit but when the eggs hatch we round them up.  They are moved together into the nursery coop with a heat lamp, food, and water, mostly for protection.  Mainly at this point that would be protection from Jack Cat but we do have skunks and hawks about the farm. 

This morning we found 4 baby chicks trailing behind our hen.  After relocating mom and babies to a temporary holding spot in an old dog kennel [The nursery coop is occupied right now by our hen with a single chick.  They have been there all winter.  They should be out in the general population anytime now. ] BC investigated he nest. Turns out she hatched less than half (w/ 1 dead chick in the nest).  The other eggs had to be removed but the spoon on a stick only managed to retrieve one egg. 

The deck boards had to be taken up. 
BC checked the eggs for any hope that they might be viable but they were stone cold.   
 Life with chickens :) Hello, babies.