Saturday, May 2, 2009

Name Change

This is common knowledge, no doubt, but I just learned
that Minnesota means, literally, "Sky-tinted water." So I
have decided to change my name from Mekeel
(and who knows what that means, Dutch, surname,
probably something like Friend of Cheese Maker but Enemy of
Goats) to Minnesota. Nickname, Minni (water).
What do you think?

(This photo is by Sue Roberts.)

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Fish/David Shumate

The Fish by David Shumate from THE FLOATING BRIDGE

My wife draws a picture of a fish to remind me to go to
the market
and leaves it by the bed. It is a healthy fish.
One you might find in
an encyclopedia to represent its
species. A trout, perhaps. It is
smiling. As if the world
were pleasantly disposed to its kind. As if
it has just
spoken with a deity and knows that things are going
work out fine. Soon it will come upon a greater sea.
Insects will
sacrifice themselves to its cause. Other
beasts will strive to be like
it. This morning it has
discovered, hidden somewhere near its
heart, the soul
it always suspected it had. It has visited there twice

already. It is like swimming in the air. A thousand rivers
to choose
from. An eternity of waters. It is quite
a remarkable fish.

The youngsters

The picture below looks straight down into the squirrel house where I've just put fresh fleece and new branches. And this is one of the junior mints, hoping I'll put down the camera and feed her. I did.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Squirrel Babies

Last night, I came home with three baby squirrels. Mine are older than the one in the picture.
Their eyes are open but they are still mighty small. I feed them four times a day. I guess you might call me a foster mom. Here's another poem from Howard Norman's Swampee Cree Indian poems. On my top ten list of all time favorite books but long out of print.

One time I wished myself in love.
I was the little squirrel
with dark stripes.
I climbed shaky limbs with fruit for her.
I even swam with the moon on the water
to reach her.
That was a time little troubled me.
I worked all day to gather food
and watched her sleep all night.
It is not the same way now
but my heart still sings
when I hear her
over the leaves.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stay Awake!

You can see how red these tulips are and its easy to imagine them shining even in the dark. Usually, I am so swamped with school work in the spring that I literally never see them until after their petals have shattered. Even then I only register that they've been there in a distant sort of way. That's WAY too busy.
New goal. To stay fully awake in spring no matter what!

Dreamiest of the Dream Pens

I don't know if the lettering will show up but this magnificent Italian pen, the first to be truly leak-proof, costs $1,436.00 and that's the SALE price! It will have to be, always, a dream pen
but I most certainly love looking at it!

Monday, April 27, 2009


1. Eat at least one grapefruit every morning, especially
in the winter.

2. Keep a garden, even if only in your imagination.

3. In order to take yourself lightly, practice high wire
walking every day for at least five minutes. Make sure
to keep a trampoline directly beneath the high wire
which, incidentally, should be no more than two feet
off the ground.

4. Read a good poem before you go to sleep.

5. Read a good poem upon waking.

6. Allow rebirth to occur with essay writing. For every
creative essay you write, you extend your life by one year,
your health by two.

7. Say Yes loudly three times and take action on each
sweet golden sunrise before you allow the tiny
hard seed of no to sprout in the very dirty dirt of doubt.

8. Visit the Bedouins at least once a year.
Bring your own camel.

9. Believe in the rivers that have disappeared under deserts.

10. Every animate and inanimate being is inhabited
holiness. They pray for you. Remember to pray for them.

11. Go to an antique store and buy an old sled. Use it in snow,
on sand, in petals.

12. Build a bed in a tree. Sleep there. You will not know
if you are in a boat or a hot air balloon. Your dreams,
thus suspended in a sanctuary of light leafiness,
will teach you the miracles particular to hand carved wooden
bowls, the secrets hidden deep inside mirrors, the architecture
of birds nests and pyramids.

13. Yes, it is worth buying -- costs nothing, lasts as long as you do.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


As a kid, I spent every free moment living inside the forsythia bush -- when it bloomed. It was so huge that the blossoms hid me entirely. A brief but miraculous castle.

Complete Silliness

Just in the last hour, the tulips are beginning to open. It's over 90 degrees outside --
middle of summer heat in April. But that's New England. Seems to me there has never been a book on earth more beautiful than this bloom!