Opus vs Swan Song

Ok, this post is going to meander a bit so be patient. Sit back with your cup of whatever, and join me in my recap of the last 24  hours. I think it has been an interesting trip, but you’ll have to decide. I’ve included some audio/visual additions where they fit contextually, but you can watch/listen at your leisure…

I’ve been struggling lately (like everyone else) with isolation, and also fear about the shape of our world. Mostly in the big picture though. If I look at too big a chunk of life, I can’t avoid questions like “How have we survived the last 9 horrific Covid and FIRE and political months?”, and “What the heck is going to happen next?”

But when I hunker down into the current moment, I am fine. It’s there I can still find the uplifting, and endless miracles in life. Like right now…as I write this…the feisty wind and pouring rain outside are demonstrating their disruptive power but I am warm and dry. Lucy (my cat) is a mere two feet away…close enough to reach out and pet. (She has that special kind of cat fur… so soft, it’s comforting just to stroke it.) And I am writing this on a computer. Electricity, the internet, cats, this device…all miracles.


One of the small things I have been doing regularly to lift my spirits for these many months, is to keep a small handful of fresh flowers in a tiny cobalt crackle glass cream pitcher. Brings a smile every time I see it. 


Yesterday when I was changing out the finished flowers for a new batch, a terrifying little spider darted right out of the old bunch, and danced across my hand. I’ve talked about this before and still have not resolved my strong bias against spiders. This prejudice has been highlighted in the last 10 years, by my complete love of Extatosoma tiaratum, my Giant Spiny Stick Bugs. How can I love one anthropod, but so hate another?? All the same species, right? (Hmmm, another post in the making here on racial prejudice…)

Anyway, I have to confess, I saw that spider and panicked!  Without even realizing I was doing it, I killed the spider. You can laugh here if you want…but those who know me will not be surprised that I agonized over my thoughtless action…even had a very deep “guilt cry” over it. I felt terrible, sick to my stomach at my actions, for several hours.

So that is the space I was in when I picking what show to watch on Netflix with James last evening. 

Not knowing what it was, but just because I am a fan, I chose David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet”.

Here’s where the whole idea of a Swan Song vs an Opus came in.

There is a timeless legend that swans are mute all their lives but at the end, sing a singular beautiful song. This doesn’t really apply to David Attenborough. He certainly has not been “mute” all his life. His “songs” have moved me to tears and action, ever since I was a kid. I credit him for my early adoption of the philosophy that animal life is every bit as sacred as human life. And that “anthropomorphism” is just a fancy word someone made up because they had never been in love with an animal.

You cannot tell me cats and dogs do not feel emotions.

10 years ago when I was gifted with my first Giant Spiny Leaf Bug, (yikes!) hearing all about my Bug from my childhood hero, David Attenborough, helped me fall the in love with them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uppwVyUd5S0 (First three minutes are about my bugs!!! )

And as for Sir Attenborough’s Swan Song, his latest spectacular work could easily not be his last. He is only 93 after all…

So maybe his most recent production, is more like his Opus.

Whatever we call it, in classic Attenborough style, this documentary is moving, thought provoking, brutally honest and in the final analysis, hopeful and inspiring.

Please, please watch this movie. And then, please share this film with all the  people you love in your life, especially the younger ones. If they resist, even if you have to play your Parent or Grandparent card, ask them to watch it for YOU! 

Maybe even include this music video: quite catchy really…

Swan Song by Dua Lipa

Anyway, back to my “trip”.

After watching the film, I had another good cry, this time having tapped into that currently painful Big Picture of life I have been so consciously avoiding. Searching for the relief of being in the moment (Thanks Ram Das) I went to look at my Bugs. I have 8 right now, but they are all that’s left from this year’s hatchings, which totaled about 40 baby bugs. (I give them away to teachers, or parents wanting to provide learning for their kids.) I walked through that room, and then another to get to the bathroom, the scene of my earlier crime….Spider-cide.

The first thing I noticed in my bright white bathroom was another spider, on the ceiling….but wait, on closer inspection, it was NOT an Arachnid. It was a Baby Bug!!!

To appreciate the miracle of this…the bugs finished hatching about 5 weeks ago, so this little girl was a shock. And the distance from where they hatch to the bathroom ceiling has to be the equivalent of a couple hundred human walking miles. No idea how she made it this far. These bugs don’t ever “walk”, except to climb up and out of danger, in the minutes after they are born.

I gently captured this intrepid female creature, and took her back to the Bug Home, a huge terrarium filled with food, and her sister bugs! (Witnessing ten years of parthenogenisis is another miracle…and probably still another essay!)

I don’t know how to end this today except to say, watch this movie. It’s not too late for your kids and grandkids to see the miracles of our lifetime, even the ones we all took for granted.

And if you need to, forgive yourself. Guilt is a nasty block to finding the miracles in our presence right here…right now.

As always, but more than ever these days, I appreciate comments. Thanks for reading!











Lens-Artists Challenge #115-Inspiration 9/23/2020

I am so lucky, so blessed, to be inspired, energized, and moved to gratitude by so little.

Oh it’s not that I don’t love witnessing grandeur. The Redwood Forests, Grand Canyon, the Mighty Mississippi, and a sunrise in Fiji, all moved me to tears.


And it’s not that I always remember to look for inspiration in the really small or mundane things.

But when I need inspiration, It shows up for me in amazing ways….


Like the sunset last night…first time I’d seen the smoke-hidden city and the Olympics in 10 days. Inspired me to keep holding on…

And these lovely, end of season flowers have been such a joy. I can only have flowers in my house in one location, the bathroom. My otherwise, well-behaved cats insist on dumping vases, just for fun, and the bathroom is off limits to them, because they also climb shower curtains!


My junior high school boyfriend, and his son, paid me a visit a few weeks ago from clear across the U.S. We’ve stayed in touch all these years, which inspires me to value shared history, and to refuse any limiting definition of “friendship” .


Spotting this lovely on my car inspired me to consider deeply, the hand-painted beauty of Nature!


This, in my yard…


And these at the local Farmer’s Market yesterday, inspired me to eat healthy, even though otherwise disgusting treats are extra tempting during this Covid Lockdown time!

Speaking of produce…this guy moved me to a huge Belly Laugh! At first I saw a large- nosed cyclops with a tail. But then I realized the tail was an arm…still on a big-nosed cyclops.


During our 8 or 9 days of Smoke-from-Hell, due to West and Northwest Coast fires, I had to be doubly sequestered…behind drawn shades, closed curtains, air purifiers blasting 24/7, and no daylight. So seeing the return of our usual beautiful blue skies was more than inspiring. It gave me the determination to hang on.



This morning in my unused office-group therapy room, I spotted this plant. At first, I thought “tears”…but then realized it could mean “abundance” (of water).

This one, you may have to think about for a minute, but seeing the two things side by side inspired me to remember…everything is relative, and I can choose different perspectives on things as time passes. (Forgive my rare derogatory, political comment, but seriously, have you ever seen a more condescending smile???)


Seeing that last one, I am moved, energized and inspired to encourage everyone I cross paths with to VOTE!!!



CFFC; All about Buildings-Colorful Buildings

This is called The Flower House, located in West Seattle on Alki Beach.

Truly an amazing, colorful building!


No idea if I did this right. Hate the forced WordPress changes! Photo color all washed out.
Cee, let me know if I successfully connected to your challenge.
Sigh.  (If only this were the Biggest issue right now…)

Frustrating Friday

I am a bad blogger.

I don’t actually know what it means to have 568 “followers”…the whole concept of anyone following what I write is crazy to me.

But in case any of you have wondered why I disappeared, other than the fact that on top of the pandemic’s effects, I have been in an even harder Lockdown due to the fact that right outside my doors and windows, is AIR that I cannot, should not breathe!!

You would think that would give me even more blogging time, right? I was on such a “fight the pandemic” roll, posting all these wonderful “Spirit Lifters”. That was good for me because I was searching every day for positive reminders of the good in life. And I hoped it was also good for anyone who happened to be reading my Blog.

But then WordPress broke my Blog.

I have no idea where my photos have gone. I stumbled across them accidentally for my 9/11 post but now they are nowhere to be found. And even for that post, I couldn’t do a Featured Photo.

And don’t tell me to get “help”. I have tried that 5 or 6 times now.

WordPress “Happy Folks” (or whatever they’re called) don’t speak Elder-English.

I feel like that person who finally learned to drive a car, but with an automatic transition, and then finds themselves in a stick shift vehicle with no instructions…

Right now as I type there are 7 repeated “commands” on my page here: what the “f” does “start writing or type / to choose a block” even mean?? How would I write as opposed to typing??? What the hell is a “block”? How or why would I choose one?


Please don’t feel compelled to send me a bunch of solutions. I’m not asking for help.

I’m just fussing for now.

I will ask when I am ready….but you will have to be over 70 years old to volunteer answers, and you will need to be in (or have retired from) a profession that does not involve computers at all.

If you have had your blog broken also, and fit the above qualifications, we might speak the same language and I might actually trust your answers.

Sorry there are no photos to make this post more interesting…

There. Rant complete.

Comments appreciated!