NaBloPoMo #2: Writing while sick

… well, not sick. Recovering. Mostly. Better, anyway, than I was last week. Still stuffed up, not breathing right, headachy and sore. The ick makes writing challenging — or, more accurately, makes writing wholly uninteresting. When the brain can’t get enough oxygen, I find it’s difficult to form coherent sentences while speaking, not to mention finding the right words when writing. So, yesterday I conserved my energy for November’s first Dive Deep meeting — the rest of the day I rested.

Just now, I’m listening to a sixth-grade boy talk with his tutor about subjects and predicates, adjectives and prepositions — discovering the parts of the sentences. Do you remember diagramming sentences? It was one of my favorite things. (As I’m writing this, there are different feeling-memories percolating up. I think that’s a lie — I think, actually, that I wasn’t a big fan of diagramming the parts of speech, because I was always so anxious about getting the answer wrong and having my teacher think less of me. Ah, revisionist history; it makes childhood look so rosy.) Still it’s fun to listen to this conversation about what words constitute which parts of speech — I find myself wanting to interject my thoughts about the joys of prepositional phrases, but no one asked for my input on this matter.

Today was a small day, a quiet day, a day with some anxiety and worry in it, a day with some help and new resources, and a day with some sun and some garden. I spent a bit of time moving around the new nasturtium plants that have erupted in the lucky garden out front and in the back yard; I planted some mint, salvia and aeonium from cuttings. Little by little, the garden grows, even in winter. When I was transplanting one of the nasturtium plants, I almost dug up a daffodil bulb, which is already putting out its winter green. California seasons are madness.

I have some ideas about what I want to do with the daily blog posts this month, but I’m noticing this trend toward an evening reflection, which I’ve never tried before (either offline or on).

This has been a day full of birds. This morning, still waking (late: well after 6:30), I leaned against the bathroom window and watched a loft of pigeons flying against the pink-and-blue morning sky; they seemed to swell and fade, like an inhalation and exhalation, as they circled above the neighbor’s house, now and again disappearing behind the purple leaves of the plum tree. I looked around for a hawk, like I always do when smaller city birds are gathered in a flock and circling, but didn’t see any predators, at least above the ground.

Then, this afternoon, the hummingbirds took over the baring branches of the apple tree in the back yard, letting loose with their sharp snap of a cry before lifting off and into the pale blue sky. At one point, working out on the back deck, I looked up from the computer and watched as, about eight feet above my head, a hummingbird caught a tiny bug for lunch before zooming away.

Tonight, as the light fell quickly from the sky, I watched what I thought was a hawk circling the top of a pine tree over on the next block. She screamed, then flew away, in my direction — as she got closer, she looked more like a small falcon. She passed over the house and disappeared, left me watching her companion at the top of the pine tree, who sat still for several moments, looked out over her shoulder, then lifted off, spread her wings wide, and flapped hard, headed to the Oakland hills.

Maybe there’s something to be said for looking to the skies, listening to the birds.

Here’s to your words. Keep going. Keep flying.

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