Saturday, November 24, 2012

OF COFFEE, CATS AND NATURES FURY



Late autumn, Thanksgiving was two days ago.  The more years I leave behind the faster days, months and years go by. If people lived hundreds of years, I’m sure a year would be as a day is now.  But, what does it really matter.  It’s the content of each day that counts and as winter approaches the content is retreating from the surface like the sap in trees. 

PQ has been working hard on the old Pueblo house, making repairs so that we can have a traditional Christmas Eve for our family and friends. Since mom and dad passed, the house has been in mourning. He is determined to do this for everyone we love and to bring joy back to the old house. Mom and dad, Joe J. and Frances Suazo, shared so many feast days with folks from diverse worlds.  That simple ancient mud house welcomed people from all over the globe.  Since becoming involved in Mark Gordon’s film about cultural mover and shaker Mabel Dodge Lujan and her husband Tony Lujan who was PQ’s great grandfather, I’ve notice in him a renewed will to carry on his family heritage.  I remember Christmases past in that old house and thinking then that it was unimaginable not to have Christmas there.

We still have our morning coffee outside most days, even though it’s late November.  The leaves are gone, and visually the landscape is winter, but now and then morning is pleasant.  I’ve noticed that changes in habit are often as organic as seasonal changes.  A few years ago, every day we looked forward to having coffee in our favorite coffee shop.  It was a chance to catch up with friends and stay in touch with the community.  Now we stay at home.  Occasionally we try a coffee shop but the magic is gone and we go back to the patio or the kitchen table when it is cold outside and the neighborhood wildlife is our social group and entertainment. Even at  the post office, grocery store or Walmart we are in a cocoon like state.  I look at the town and countryside from the outside as if it was just a passing scene through the car window. Inside is where the action is, preparing for something but not knowing what it is.

This period reminds me of the eerie calm of a river collecting in one deep deceptively quiet pool seconds before plunging into tumultuous rapids. The New York and Jersey Shores just took such a plunge, a reminder of nature’s ability to shock us out of our disconnected reverie.  We easily ignore that the river of change must flow, and that our debris sometimes blocks Mother Earth’s process until she gets dangerous. Maybe that’s why I value each quiet morning knowing that life is only lived moment by moment and no one knows when a plunge into the rapids may come. 

 On the personal level, our project to free space in the garage hit a snag.  I can’t seem to get beyond that impossible stack of boxes.  I don’t know where to start nor do I want to deal with them. The garage is now cold and that is the excuse I will use for now, but it isn’t very convincing. Something else is stuck, backed up and resisting movement and I suspect it’s about more than boxes. 

Yellow and Lord Byron
Each morning when I poke my head outside to check the temperature, the white cat and his orange tabby friend are waiting for me.  The white cat’s name is Byron, so I call him Lord Byron because he is lord of his realm, the other one I call Yellow after the Yellow trucking company logo that is actually orange. Feline energy is approaching flood state.  Three more cats have shown up lately and every day there seems to be another one.  It is almost five years since I lost Joe and Missy and until this September, there were no cats in my life. Occasionally, a cat would walk through our yard or along the top of the coyote fence on its way to the field behind us. Something important is on the verge of rushing over the falls and I know that it is connected to this cat stream.  There is a reason I’m being drenched in felines.  They are message carriers on behalf of something I’m not yet aware of .  

Cats are one of my oldest dream themes. In these dreams, I am usually trying to save a cat, or safely take a cat out of a dangerous situation. Occasionally a cat I once knew but forgot shows up and I feel remorse for neglecting it. Often the cat is away from home and likely to bolt into traffic or get lost. I am attempting to save it both from a cat unfriendly world and its own instinctive reactions to that world.  The cats in these dreams are often strays and occasionally big cats like leopards and lions. To make any sense out of this, I will share that my dad didn’t like cats.  I think he felt it was unmanly to like cats, and they didn’t have any practical use in his world. I already mentioned in an earlier blog that he didn’t like Cottonwood trees either.  I took this personally, and I believe rightly so.  Thank god, he liked dogs and horses.  At least there, we were on safe ground. Nevertheless, I was definitely more cat than dog.  In my dad’s house, I metaphorically locked myself in a cage, to keep at a safe distance for both our sakes.

What am I supposed to do about this sudden feline immersion?  Is it time to get out of the persecuted feline dream world?  My cat friends are domestic animals but actually live in two worlds.  They can be friendly, tame and cuddly but they are also good enough wild children of Mother Nature when the human door closes behind them.  For this reason there is a lot they don’t understand about the human world even while living parallel to it.  I also have been a friendly, curious outsider, and I’m usually walking along the outer edge of human membership, with one foot on each side of the line, comparable to my feline friends walking the coyote fence.

Sometimes being an inside- outsider comes in handy and yet, it’s difficult to keep one’s balance on a narrow line, not for the cats but for me. Perhaps I should jump off the fence and get down on solid soil.  Oh, Oh!  I feel the Medicine quietly stalking me again. Did I really say that? What if those quiet mornings on the patio, are on their way out?  I feel the urge to hide in the familiar until I scope out any potential danger.  I have a hazy idea about what might be coming, but I’m saving that subject for later.