I love the collaboration of ink and pen and paper.
I love the heft of leather-bound journal
when it's time to trek and travel.
I love maps,
and a journal that is a cartography of living
an inked approximation of place - moment - memory.
and empty pages
that are as smooth as possibility.
From January 5, a love note . . .
the cold so bitingly mad that wind-tossed branches clack together as metal rods.
the mist-drizzle needles' subcutaneous dance in the blood-heat of my cheeks.
the gray, wet, chill air, which can be snatched away like a magician-scarf to shock me into knowing light and sun-warmth.
the arrogance of chickadees and tufted titmice - tiny, feathered, fearless, dinosaurian.
the skepticism of cats.
how Irish stout will not be rushed - whose churn from foamy brown to velvet black forces one to wait and contemplate.
I love the victory of laughter over shyness.
I love that moment when a friend averts their eyes - to gather the threads of the story they intend to tell - and we lean in to catch it.
the resonance of raindrops doinking gently on my black and broad-brimmed Amish hat.
I love that toads live in our cellar - warty house guards who take crickets and bring good luck - or so I'm happy to believe.
the eight-eyed spiders who stalk prey in high corners and leave no cobweb behind. Jumping spiders - too quick - I love their way of moving - jerky little teleports.
I love the sunbeam that re-makes a room to a sudden work of art.
my wife's drowsy, feline pleasure in the warmth of slanting sunshine.
I love a joke well-told.
I love the solving of a riddle, that moment when the rigid, false facade collapses and an unexpected figure strides smiling forth.
the migration of birds
the orioles squabbling in Costa Rican palms while juncos forfeit their taiga to claim these rich south woods of winter.
the dormancy of things that stay - creatures burrowed deep to sleep.
the fierce biding of stemless roots and leafless twigs.
the genius of a queen bee, hot within her cluster, sipping summer's honey.
the creak of leather,
its acceptance and resistance to all the twists of use,
this wisdom, which old leather has accrued.
cotton, worn to ghostly softness, before the fibers part.
I love that scientists admitted umami, a savory fifth taste upon the tongue alongside sweet, bitter, sour, salt.
I love the clumsiness of talk of tastes and flavors,
a language to be made that we've not made yet,
but which Monica speaks so wordlessly.