Tuesday, August 30, 2005

two cats and their people

i am in the mudhouse cafe on charlottesville's main street and most likely parked illegally. so this is gonna be brief.

we made it!

prior to our departure uhaul called us and said, "we don't have a 17 ft truck in the lot, so we'll give you a 26 ft one for the same price."

it's a good thing, because that baby was packed full.

thanks to the many lovely helpers who came to our aid in packing the truck, we could have never done it alone. especially since i was suffering from flu symptoms and could do basically nothing but putter around the house in a daze, dropping the last loose items in boxes.

i think dan should quit his cool new job and become a truck driver. he drove over only two curbs the whole trip. our stuff made it to charlottesville unscathed, but for the few items that were affected by the bottle of bleach that burst.

the cats were amazing for the most part. it is unfortunate that loki urinated all over himself, luna and the cage just 30 minutes into the journey, but otherwise they were seemingly calm and quiet. about 12 hours into the trip they started to meow plaintively, but i think they were just hungry for their dinner. it took us 14 long hours to reach charlottesville! tashi was also an excellent road warrior.

our house is full of boxes upon which the cats perch. the set up process is going to be slow, as i am completely exhausted and can't seem to get much accomplished in this steamy weather.

and hey, what's with the spam in the comment boxes? i'll have to do something about that.

tashi just made a drawing of a girl. the girl's name is mhmaycoowyvyhh. oh, she changed her mind and named her thish.

and now i must run, as i don't want a parking ticket.

(more frequent postings ahead, when we actually have connectivity at home)

Thursday, August 25, 2005

lotus window tree

i write in here little, because i am now moving

big truck in driveway tomorrow (now today)

it is a lot, three people, four years, this house

endless suchness in corners when sleeping i should

this small break

now more

Monday, August 22, 2005


morning fire

soft bones of bird

life should let life live

animal nature

feline ferocity

combustion now

give wing to flame

Friday, August 19, 2005

inter state

truck. truck. truck.

a convoy of clouds.

tornado news. bombings. an airplane downed.

lost cousin. sweet echo.

and the cries of her parents.

blue bruised burgundy fury and eternal lashings of the sea.

into a mountain the airplane shattered.

cockpit or naught, she was.

now is ________________ out.

under dirt her fair flamboyance.

the last of her smile.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

from the ashes the phoenix rises

perhaps you have heard about the cypriot airliner that crashed in the mountains of greece on sunday? i saw it on tv while i was eating a chimechanga in charlottesville. i was so caught up in my petty world that i didn't even entertain the notion that i might know anyone on that flight. i was born in cyprus and my mother's side of the family lives there.

yesterday, in lexington, kentucky, i talked to my mom on the phone. the flight attendant found in the cockpit of the plane was my cousin, louiza vouteri. the plane lost air pressure and apparently the pilots passed out. it appears louiza tried to take control of the plane.

the many faces of louiza flash before me in a rainbow. i did not know her well. but i knew her long.

i met her for the first when she was but a tiny girl, four or five. i saw her time and again, a young teenager in nicosia cafes, a blossoming beauty on the beach of aiya napa, a champion equestrian attending a horse at stable.

and five years ago, i saw her on my way to india. five years ago she shared her fresh excitement about becoming a flight attendant. she was vibrant, full of light, beaming. at the brink of a calling.

what i see is her spirit, winged angel, golden, a hero, rising from that airplane.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

over hill and dale in a little glen, the house of blue

on thursday dan and i loaded our two vehicles then slept.

on friday we convoyed through ohio into west virginia where i thought i might crash into a diesel truck because i was so dazed from the heat. it started to cool down on the mountain pass as night set in. we reached charlottesville thirteen hours after we departed that morning.

we reached sang's and thought we were locked out. but dan's instincts led him to look under the doormat for the keys, which were there. if you ever want to rob sang's house, look under the doormat.

we burst into the kind, air conditioned home, showered, and slept.

saturday morning we looked at a house that smelled like stale cigarettes and had sloping floor boards. it bordered the land surrounding monticello, the house thomas jefferson designed and lived in. he's dead now.

we also met tashi's teacher. she's terrific.

after lunch at the super cool hippy tea room we looked at another house, a "historic cottage" that was once a boarding place for uva students. it had four rooms that were exactly the same. each room had a working fireplace, a fold out desk, and a window seat. each room stank of mold and dust, despite the beauty of the dark hard-wood.

we were sweating so hard after that visit. so we collapsed in a heap back at sang's. i made lots of circles on housing classified ads, and then made lots of phone calls on our dying cell phone. two appointments were arranged.

one of the houses was an amazing work of architecture in the blue ridge mountains. it looked like a hobbit house or the home a medieval alchemist. it had spires with windows. but it only had one bedroom and the stove only had two burners. so we didn't take the house. But the owner, a sweet, down-to-earth potter, offered me a job at her gallery which is in a beautiful barn surrounded by tall flowers!

the other house, which is a surprising blue, is the house we will call home for at least a year. dan and i will each have an office! there is a huge yard full of trees. there is even a fire ring and a picnic table and a deck and a swing. some of the rooms in the house are yellow and the hard wood floors are shiny and new. there is a fireplace and a gas stove. it is obvious a lot of love has been put into fixing the house up. and the landlord has good sensibilities. for instance, he trusted us immediately. no credit check or application. we just handed him a check and suddenly we live in charlottesville. we hope you'll visit sometime.

dan and i celebrated by having blackened catfish and jambalaya at a tasty restaurant called "southern culture." afterwards we walked around the downtown pedestrian mall and then had some delicious beers at the microbrew called starr hill. we giggled the whole night and thanked the divas and deities.

Monday, August 08, 2005

ding a ling a ling a ling ah

as soon as it's mentioned a secret unfolds.

drumbeats. grrrowwwls.

a harmony of wings, sirens.

cicada on the sack,
stump, screen.

against my lips when i was two.

birdsong bounces between spindles
closes in

but tashi is singing a song from fiddler on the roof

a curtain call

Saturday, August 06, 2005

between boxes

right now i want to push between a few boxes, crouch as if in a cave, and weep.

weep loudly against cavern walls and hear the echo.

but instead i'll just write about it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

crone in the hammock

i was going to start a new blog under the title of windflower. i was almost ready to create my first post when the computer crashed and all was lost. so i'm thinking now that i'll just stick to the vale.

my childhood playhouse was a clearing in the forest at the foot of a hill. there was a junkyard on the hill and i would collect old pots and pans to add to my abode. i found an iron stove burner that i placed on a stump and a cookie sheet that i somehow propped underneath with rocks. it would slide in and out like an oven rack. sometimes i would urinate on a particular tree that split near to the ground. i would somehow sit on the split and pee right into the trunk.

i had a dream once about this childhood idyl. i was an adult returning to it in autumn. there were crisp auburn leaves everywhere. the air was fresh and sharp as only it can be in fall. there was a warm feeling of serenity shadowed by chill. and then she spoke to me. an old wrinkled woman rustled from the leaves on a hammock and she spoke to me.

she said, "i will teach you about the flowers and the weeds, the trees and their seeds." she looked like death: pale, creased, bits of burnt leaf caught up in her thin hair and dusky rags. she said, "i will teach you the secrets of the plants."

i grew up in the allegheny mountains. and now i am moving to the foot of the blue ridge. this message seems particularly alive as i enter hill country again.