Friday, May 13, 2022


Himmy in my flower pot last month
Himmy, the stray cat I’ve been taking care of since PQ wisely, it seems, moved to the next world, appears to be coming to the final stage of his struggle with an upper respiratory disease that has been unresponsive to medication. I thought when summer came, he would get better, but warm weather, laced with wind and smoke from the forest fire on the east side of our mountains has made it almost impossible for him to breath. Should I take him to the vet and have him put down, since this is only one of his problems and it has resisted treatment, or should I let him fade away naturally, since he doesn’t seem to be in pain? I’ve grown fond of him, and I can tell he was once a beauty. But he and I can’t have a long-term relationship, and the no-kill kennel, Stray Hearts, won’t take him with his medical problems. Going to the vet earlier was a traumatic ordeal for both of us, so which is the more humane approach to his problem? Care taking and problem solving is in my DNA. Now, it seems there is no good solution. It may be time to find a different avocation.

An important part of my week is given to helping my closest Taos friend cope with the limitations of Cancer. She can no longer drive and sometimes can barely walk. She lives by herself, a 30-minute drive for me, and so is her P.O. box in a different direction. The last time I took my car to the gas pump it cost $52.  I must plan my trips for groceries, and mail very carefully. No spontaneous trips to the store for bread or cat food.

The dreadful war in Ukraine feels like a blow to the chest, like when I fell off the roof as a kid and it took some time before I could breathe again or see something on the black screen. You see, I have what feels like a past life (or maybe just other life) connection with both Ukraine and Russia, and this is like a family quarrel with guns and rockets. Neither country will ever be the same again, nor will the countries that depend on wheat and oil. In our own country, partisan politics seems to be marching us toward another civil war, as the sides become more alienated by their opposing beliefs about a future that is based on fear and speculation. The Hatfield’s and McCoy’s on a national level, and perhaps soon on an international level.

Spring is trying to move into its place, while a dry wind withers new leaves and blossoms and feeds the fires.  Oh, by the way, this is also Friday the 13th.  Does all the seeming problems and lapses mean as a species we are heading into the future with all the dysfunctional patterns of the past, plus a few new ones we invented along the way?

As humans we are myopic, and our brains are full of obsolete programs for new problems.  Perhaps, nature tries to wipe the virus off the world’s hard drive and do a hard restart. But of course, the past is never entirely destroyed, and new structures grow on the old foundations. When summer finally arrives, maybe I will look at the leaves on the plumb tree outside my living room window and forget that the wind blew the blossoms off last week. Time is the only medicine for some diseases. We seem to be approaching that high fever crisis that determines which way the sickness will go. Hmm! I wonder if COVID19 is a kind of metaphoric disease for the times we live in.


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