Monday, October 01, 2007

Getting down to earth

For someone whose head perpetually hovers in the clouds, I'm making real attempts to become rooted to this world. It may seem ludicrous that this requires effort, but I am a product of mobile, family fragmented, mass production, urban/suburan, de-natured, paved over, homogenized America. I consume post-modern food, clothing and goods which, like me, lack a recogizable homeland. But I am making conscious efforts to shed what Belden C. Lane refers to as the "impulse of modernity" which is to "emphasize the universal rather than the vernacular, the anonymous instead of the personal, the freedom of uninterrupted space as opposed to the particularity of place." So lately I'm making a lot of soup and reading Wendall Berry. No more pie in the sky, I want pie on my table and to know where its filling came from. Ideally, from my own garden (at this point I could attempt a green tomato and basil pie.) I'm relishing my time outdoors, inhaling fall, its colors and light, its breezes, its migrating populations.

Last night I heard a ruckus in the screened-in porch. Earlier a fierce storm had blown in and I'd taken pity on our cat, allowing her inside the porch to shed her asthma inducing dander all over our furniture. Looking out through the glare of the windows trying to see if she was okay, I decided the thump I'd heard was Libbles jumping out of her box. I could just make out her white boots in the dark. A moment after I'd gone to tuck in the girls I heard a very loud (!) exclamation from the porch. Wayne had stepped out there and glanced up to find a raccoon two feet away from his head. His yell scared the raccoon across the porch, trampling plants and turning over everything in its path before it made its way up the opposite wall, only to become entangled in cable wiring. For awhile the raccoon played possum, unable to go forward or back, its tiny paws gingerly exploring the tiny ledge it perched on. I realized this was the likely culprit to the racket I'd heard a couple of weeks ago while Wayne was camping in South Dakota which had alarmed me enough to call an armed neighbor at 1:30 in the morning before finally realizing if something making that amount of noise was trying to get in, it already would have. The stalemate with the raccoon went on until Wayne gave a war cry that so startled it, it somehow escaped its confines and scampered out the screen door and into the night. Earlier I'd spotted the praying mantis at our front door. We all walked up and watched it watch us, its little ET face turning toward us as if considering what sort of creatures we were. Then it put its hands (is that what you call them?) together, as if in prayer. Like, "See why they call me a Praying Mantis?"

Berry says, "There is time, and then there is timelessness. And if you're lucky, and if you can be still enough, observant enough, you may be able to know and speak about that intersection of time and timelessness, or time and eternity." My neighbors here, the raccoons and the insects, probably know that intersection.


sunday drive said...

twazznt a war cry, twazz a broom..... :)

Deeanne said...

OHMYGOSH!!! That racoon is HUGE! I cannot believe you thought to get your camera. Wow. That's something.

Jenni said...

I sure do like Wendell Berry's brain. We had a dragonfly perched inside our lampshade last night, but a raccoon is more "exciting." :)

blind bat said...

and the gates of beastdom were all around