Eaton Hamilton

the problem with being trans is cis people. The problem with being queer is straight people. The problem with being disabled is abled people. The problem with being Black is white people. In other words, prejudice.

Tag: holidays

Swim, much?

Painting: Eaton Hamilton 2022 acrylic on paper 6.5×9″

Hello, folks. I see we are very close to the holidays, while I’m lost (as usual) many months back. The acceleration starts in the spring and keeps going the rest of the year. I can’t quite keep up.

I’m doing a fundraiser to cover housing for Jan, so these little paintings are only $100 USD, incl shipping continental N America. So many folks ask after work but can’t afford my prices, so these little pieces are for them. See Hamilton Art on FB for more.

Meantime, I’m writing. Are you writing this week? If you are, what are you working on? Me, I’m turning from project to project–whichever one I have energy for. Novel rewrite (again? Are you kidding me? This book has had ten years of rewrites) and memoir rewrite (which makes sense because only draft 3 and still looking for the shape). I try to keep more than one project on the go at a time because it helps against blocks.

I hope you’re keeping safe against the new omicron variants in this worsening SARS2 pandemic, and managing to keep away from RSV, influenza and the other viral/bacterial resurges. Here in BC the government behaviour is catacylsmic, and many adults and now children are losing their lives due to gov’t’s “let ‘er rip” policy. It’s heartbreaking. More still are feeling the sequelae to infection because covid presents as respiratory but its damage is deep and long-lasting, from mini-clots, sudden heart attacks, heart damage, brain damage, liver damage, kidney damage, vasculature damage and new study this week noting accelerating osteoporosis. It’s the anti-gift that keeps on giving. It’s worth doing everything in your power to NOT CATCH IT. People are going to have to be a lot more careful, and this means N95 or better masks, building CR boxes (google it; You Tube has instructions; dead simple), HEPA filters in all your spaces.

CLEAN THE AIR YOU BREATHE.

Be well this week. I know how stressful Dec is, especially for parents. Hang in there if you can. The shortest day will soon be upon us, and then every day will be longer again, thank goodness. Loads of my plants are loading up for spring already, in particular lilacs and magnolias. It’s going to be beautiful, and we’re going to need it.

Celebrate love. Celebrate your friends. Celebrate your animals. Find a thing of beauty to remark upon today if you can.

Out of the blue

unknown photographer

I hear the repetitive hit of a hammer–the neighbours putting in a suite, I think. I notice motion, see a pileated woodpecker nailing the top of a countertop I have leaning against the porch railings. The woodpecker’s done a lot of damage–to the old junk countertop, but also, I see, to the porch beams, and I think how stupid it is to look for insects in new wood, the scars bright and bare. As I move closer to the doors, the woodpecker dives out of sight, makes three ovals so I can only briefly note its raised red alarmed crest. Like a cartoon, really, all wheeling motion.

I’m blue like the shortest day, the blue of indigo. I’ve been trying to keep my pecker up, as they say, and indeed here at the manse there are many other peckers up–this morning six flickers at a time, along with downy and hairy woodpeckers, and of course the big mama of them all, the huge pileateds who swoop in for leisurely meals of suet or peanuts before dashing away.

This woodpecker’s in trouble. This woodpecker, I see, on stepping outside, is entangled in the netting I use for clematis, in effect, caught just as certainly in a doll-size sea of six-pack plastic as any turtle or whale. I rue the problems with feeding birds, the list of which sweeps through me as the bird thrashes, hung by one over-extended claw … the window hits, the rodents, the birds of prey, the starlings (does one give in and just feed the things? I shout, Go murmur! as I bang the window, but they are never dissuaded), the expense, and now this.

Entirely my fault.

Whisper, I tell myself. So I go quiet and inside my head I tell her I know she’s stuck, and I’m going to go into my house and fetch something to free her, but the important part will be for her to make herself calm because when she struggles, I can’t get the netting off. When I get back with scissors the bird is wild, and wilder still as I extend an arm. I tell her, internally, I can’t help if you don’t stay still. I size up her bill, a fat three-inch needle. She heaves herself upright and lies out along the top of the counter’s edge with her snagged leg extended back toward me. Without thinking, I snip as close to her foot as I can get and before I can try a second time for the netting on her claw, she’s long gone. I watch her lift into the trees and snag herself onto pine bark.

I feel sad, though. Sad to have inadvertently caught her in a kind of leg-hold trap, as I’m sad when birds hit my windows. I’m trying two group whispers now, I’m a little embarrassed to admit, and the first is to stop the window carnage. It seems to be working here at the end of a week. Too soon to know for sure, but the rates seem down.

Is there a whisperer available to just talk to me? I haven’t been able to see my pipsqueak g-babies in weeks because of illnesses, even for tree trimming, and I am worried, tormented, filling up with more and more concerns, the personal ones, the bigger ones. There isn’t any point, is there, to struggling? I’m post-natal on (draft of) a major project. I’m agonizing about money. I’m worried for the welfare of friends, especially in the hot zones like Vancouver and the US. I’m cranked about desertification, jellification, plastics. I’m frantic about who will take in climate and political refugees, about Trudeau being so right-wing, about the Congress and omnibus bills and Mueller not being allowed to finish. I’m worried about the dreamers. I’m worried about the ACA. I’m worried about my disabled friends, because whatever problems others are having, they’re magnified for the disabled. I’m worried about the loneliness that capsizes people during the holidays.

I think about my dead parents-in-law, my dead cat, my dead marriage. I light what I call the “mama candle” for my dead mother and m-in-l, which is blue like my mood. It’s a green night tonight, small flame notwithstanding, with patches of white heavy on cedars, on today’s day that is seconds longer than yesterday’s. The dark falls like tree boughs in wind storms, and I can’t shake my depression.

I hope your holidays are the best they can be, with warmth and intimacies that cherish you. I wish you the return of light.

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