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Friday, March 11, 2011


                                 tectonic plates microcosm

Big bad tsunami in Japan, earthquake, skyscrapers swaying, three tectonic plates with complex interactions that make them unpredictable. It's hard to let my mind imagine what so many people went through along the coast where the tsunami tore up about as much as the earthquake did. I don't get concerned about the dead. They're in the next world. The people remaining in this world to clean up the mess and carry on are the ones I tend to think about. I haven't heard a great deal of it on the news, but got some of it. Heard about a man photographing the tsunami getting swept out to sea.

Out the window I see a lone chickadee at the birdfeeder, pecking in a hurry. No snowbirds around at the moment, giving the chickadee time for all she can eat. Another chickadee flew down and landed beside her. She flew away. The second bird flew away after her. It goes on being cold. This morning the ground was covered with snow crystals the size of salt grains, barely perceptible, like a thin frosting. Heard later that it made the ground white at Laurel Springs, about 20 minutes west of here by road, and it's not a fast road. Different parts of the county have different weather patterns. Here, where my house sits is a low place between two ridges to the north and the south, and two ridges to the east and west. They direct big wind up over where I am, shaking the trees on the tops of the ridges so they sound like an endlessly long train going by.

Down here out of the wind, the windchimes don't even play. The coldest night of the year a wind blows up the road from the west right through the house. It is not a tight house. I don't want a tight house. I like a house that breathes. I've not thought of the way I live being rugged, but when I am around people visiting here from cities, I feel practically feral. People around me tend to only like sunny days tshirt temperature and complain about all other weathers. I love all the weathers, slants of light, fog, mud, snow, rain, sunny, overcast. These mountains are beautiful to my eyes every minute of every day of the year. I don't care if it's raining or snowing. They are good for the ground water, which has become a serious concern in our part of the mountains with all the wells tapping the water into septic tanks. I'm afraid we'll be a desert before American unconsciousness toward the waste of water becomes conscious.

It's daylight, but the shadows are lengthening and the great shadow of the ridge the sun sets behind is crawling slowly across the ground. The snowbirds must have headed for their roosting places. The chickadee is back at the birdfeeder, alone at the trough. Only 3 kinds of birds come to the feeder this winter, the snowbirds and 4, thereabouts, chickadees and maybe 4 titmice. I take it that they're the same ones over and over, when there may be a dozen or more. This birdfeeder is made of wood, probably bought at Walmart before they all became plastic, maybe 20 years old. It's the kind with a pair of glass panels the birdseed fits in between so the amount of seed can is visible. It looks like a simple little Zen temple in the mountains, a shelter and meditation place for monks walking through the mountains. It has some lichen on the roof and the wood is old and gray, a part of the landscape. The lone chickadee will be warm inside through this night considerably below freezing.


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