Two Dot: mistress

Montana is my mistress, the one I keep without giving up my first love. She is the one I see whenever I can. I have only recently thought this idea... wondering if I should hide the fact that I have two loves rather than flaunting them. The thought came to me when I was buying plants for my Montana place. As the nursery owner was tallying my bill, I brought out photos of my lush Seattle garden. “This is the garden I left to be here.” I tell her... quickly followed by statements of love for my Montana garden as well. It was as if I were trying to justify the sincerity of my love to the parents of my mistress.

Two Dot: into blue

Leaning back against a pillow and this sturdy maple head board, laying very still with the cat softly snoring on one side, John on the other. My eyes are closed but staring at the newly risen sun. There is no word for the color... the color of warmth. I see it as soon as my eyes are closed but it takes longer to really take it in. Today I will track that color across the open Two Dot sky until the sun drops behind the western horizon over 15 hours from when it rose.

Watching the sun come up has altered my vision. There are bright spots in my eyes, in the room, on this page. I want to close my eyes and let the reddish light seep through my eyelids. Perhaps go back to sleep in a penetrating glow. The six window squares are matched by six corresponding light squares on the opposing walls...surrounded.

Tranströmer wants to swim in the sky, “The air’s so blue.” Blue because it is the shortest wave length and is scattered before the other colors. There is only blue when the sun is near. Dear old sun.

Two Dot: there = here

There has become here again... twelve hours on the road, the cat in the back seat. Now she is curled on the bed at my feet, her face tucked into her paws. Is this how she makes the transition? I will spend the day working with John to restore the house from winter, vacuuming up dead flies and mouse droppings. Outside, the grass is nearly to our knees. It will take us a week. But just now there is the quiet to listen to.   

Two Dot: night light

Deep in the night when the Perseids were at their peak, John whispered “The stars are falling.” I could not rouse myself, but I turned toward the window, perhaps hoping that the magic might penetrate my sleep if only I faced it. I did get up later and leaned on the window ledge for a minute. Two meteors streaked through the sky and I fell back into bed. In the morning we agreed that if we woke that night we would go outside. At 3am I checked the windows in every direction. The day’s cloud cover was gone as predicted and stars pierced the dense black. I watched to the north until I saw the dash of a meteor and woke John. We stumbled through the dark house out onto our front porch and lay back in lawn chairs cocooned in quilts and looked for meteors in a field of stars. They came again and again, some leaving tails, some not. It is both a reassurance and a bewilderment to look into the night sky. The multitudes of stars and the vastness of space are hard to comprehend. At the same time, family and friends spread across this country look out to the same dependable constellations, the occasional phenomena, and the milky-way holding us all.


Two Dot: between the ditches

It was a slow drive after sunset as we scanned the ditches for deer or any animal that might unexpectedly pop up in front of the car. We settled into quietly singing along with the CD’s playing on the car deck. It kept us awake and alert without the distraction of conversation. More than half way home, the turn-off to Martinsdale loomed up quickly from the dark and John turned without signaling. People don’t use their turn-indicators much here. I have signaled just just for fun when turning from one lonely gravel road to another. But last night in the deeply black high plains, driving slow and trying to stay clear of the deer and the ditches, suddenly the flashing red and blue appeared in the side mirror. I turned to John and said “I think we are being pulled over.” He glanced in the rearview mirror and guessed we were. There is no shoulder on Highway 294, so John stopped in the road and became more of a hazard than the deer or lack of signals. But we complied with the officer’s requests and questions without fear. Besides having nothing to conceal we don’t fit  stereotypes for trouble. We are white and middle-class and older. The officer was very young, but respectful, though dressed for war. The lights, the uniform, and the guns were more of a strange apparition than a threat or a comfort. 

Two Dot: picture perfect

We made our way through Bridger pass, the high range to the west backlit by a usual and yet impossible sunset. I snapped photos from the car and even stopped to get out for a better view, but the rectangles gathered by my camera were a disappointment. The mountain silhouettes still had definition to their faces, but of a completely different color pallet and value than what was going on behind them. The clouds started intensely white with burned out hot spots and mottled glowing yellow edges. The pinks came on as the cloud formations changed to layered striations and the peaks sawed up and down as we continued to drive. We stopped for a minute at a campground and when we emerged from the trees it was clear that the show was over. We drove on quietly in the collecting dark, remembering the color and light. Now I find these words are about as useless as the photos to convey the view.