Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not All That Wander Are Lost


Having a free moment before starting to think about dinner I clicked on the ‘everyone’ bar at twitter and a random click with eyes closed came up with today’s twittomancy.

@derecto “Not all that Wander are Lost (for real?) 

This is one of the things I wonder about a lot.  Wandering is a full time hobby, (if not a vocation), for me.  I wander through the fridge in the morning and then wander out on the deck with the cat to view the current shrieking spring-loaded bird population that is looking for fun.  Later I drift into this chair or that and poke through one book or another until some bit of prose or pun gives me the ballast to set my anchor for a while.  I never feel lost during my perambulations because like a ballet dancer doing a loooong spin there is a place I “spot,” with my heart and brain so I always know where home is.  

This spot is hard to describe in words.  It is much more a feeling sorta thing.  I get it when good things are happening.  Sometimes when I’m looking at my toes coming out of the bubbles of a hot bath resembling pale mutant fish or basking in the timely words of a friend or loved one that make my heart sing.  I feel it when I open the drapes in the morning and there is marshmallow fog down to the kneecaps of the trees in the neighbors yard.  It puts a hand on my shoulder when I re-read the first email my husband sent me on and my heart grows warm as my lap when my cat sits there purring like a feline little engine that could.


My last name is Wendell which comes from valleys that have streams that wander along as they find their way to the sea.  Every raindrop on a rose or tear of happiness or sadness always knows how to find it’s way home.  If they can so can I.

Wandering has got to be a good thing - you just need a compass.  For me, I look for the mossy side of the daily tree and then look up to see what I have to be grateful for. Looking up towards true North has always seems like the Love Direction to me. 

© Robin Wendell 2009

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Friday, March 20, 2009

What Color is Your Zombie

Just a quick post as I run out the door.  I tried twittomancy for the first time this morning as I was eating my breakfast.  The routine is you click on the everyone tweets and then pick one at random, (eyes closed, no cheating!).  Voila- your own twitcookie fortune.  

I clicked and got @zombiemanet "What color are the zombies at Hereford."  

Well, what to make of that!  I looked around to see if there were any zombies in the vicinity.  Nope.  The cat was sleeping peacefully on his leopard blanket and the yard guy looked normal.
Then I looked down at my breakfast bowl.  Oh no, a hereford cow was starting me in the face. I almost choked  on a strawberry.

I believe in the law of correspondences- everything is interrelated but this is going too far. Zombies, cows and bran.  I'm almost afraid to leave the house.  Fortunately I'm only going to the Wedgwood broiler for a martini and a bite.  I'll be safe there. The lighting is dim and I can hide in the back of the room. Besides I have a feeling Zombie cows have an innate fear of black naga-hide booths. 

© Robin Wendell 2009

OMG tried twittomancy & found your tweet as my fortune -What color are the zombies at Herefo C t/Cow

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Tranquility Bird in my Brew

A Tranquility Bird in my Brew

I woke up this morning on my first month twittering anniversary to find 200 plus folks in my teensy followers box on my twitter account.  Wowser. I feel so lucky to be followed by and follow such interesting and informative folks.  I have to admit that I started my account on a lark, being of the opinion that social networking sites were probably self-involved twaddle. Now, a month down the twitersphere universe, I have changed my tune.

I’ve bopped around the net and read some critics of twitter.  “What are you doing?”, BIG YAWN, right?  Who, la de da, cares right?  Well it’s not quite as simple as that. 

There is an old swing song that goes, “It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it, That’s what gets results.”  Sure there are a lot of less than thrilling folks on twitter but that’s life; the great news is that is not like they are seated next to you all the way to Chicago. It’s possible to choose your travel-mates. I personally find an occasional food item or personal epiphany-tweet fun but if hearing about breakfasts or the cute little golden hairs folks have found on their toes is not your cup of tea you can just change seats.  

Social Networking curmudgeons rant on about how twitter is not “real life”.  Well, I agree that clicking on a tiny-URL ROSE, TwitPic - Share photos on twitter  is not the same thing as going outside and sticking your head in a bush. In fact -- in some ways it’s better.  Outside it’s grey and wet.  My bushes have no roses and if I stick my head in one I will (1 get soaked, and (2 come out looking like I got caught in a kitty cuisinart. Twitter is not a replacement for real life but sometimes -- less is more.

Another thing I have noticed during my fledgling tweet flights is that the brevity of the venue condenses the personalities of people like heat reduces a sauce on the stove.  Their joys, foibles, rants, loves, and woes are boiled down to an essence.  Interested, curious, helpful, intelligent, loving, joyful, ruminating, investigating, creative and fun - those are the people I hang with.  Ranters abound everywhere, but a twitter advantage is that while, with a page to rant you can be an expert or philosopher, in 140 characters it comes off as a big baby twissy fit.  On the other hand, goodness and joy reduces down to light -- small but still very bright and illuminating.

All in all, I’m happy I joined and will continue to frolic word-wise in my twitter box. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite Marcilo Ficino Ficino Quotes:

What Is Necessary For Composure In Life And For Tranquility Of The Soul

(last three paragraphs)

“O my Friends, live your lives happily, Far from narrowness, Live happy. It was the happiness of heaven that created you; and with a kind of laughter, that is with a dilating, a movement, a splendor, it declared you, as if it were rollicking.  The happiness of heaven will protect you.  So live everyday happy in the present.  For worry in the present steals the present away from you and steals the future too.  Curiosity about the future quickly turns it into the past.  Therefore, I implore you, again and again, live Happy!

The fates allow it, as long as you live without care.  But, to live without care, do not allow one single care.  Never worry about anything!  Be extremely diligent in escaping from cares!  For all it takes is one care for the heart of miserable mortals to burn with all cares.  Neglect, therefore your diligence, and love, in fact, your negligence, and even in this it is fitting to be negligent, I mean to the extent it is allowed us.  

I am telling you all this, my friends, not as a priest, but as a doctor.  For without this one thing -- the life of all medicines, as it were, -- all medicines used for the benefit of life would die."

16 September 1489  in the field at Careggi

© Robin Wendell 2009

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seattle PI Go Towards the Light!

To explain how I feel about the Seattle Post Intelligencer’s held in two hands, finger blackening, windblown and stacked on the back porch in piles image sliding into the digital realm I must go back to 1972. 

The Seattle economy was suffering from mood lighting. I was a new bride and a new business owner.  Heaven knows how it all came about.  I started my working life at the Frederick and Nelson my sisters website candy kitchen.  My Dad was employment and Credit Union manager at F&N and I expect he thought the white uniform and hair net would curb my post hippy life-style tendencies. Unfortunately it did not, simply leaving me with a fear of starched collars and an aversion to Frango mints.

Escaping chocolate purgatory I eventually drifted into flower arranging at F&N which lead to working at the Bon Marche Indoor plant department and shorly after that a daring leap into self employment.  My Former husband Michael, my friend Sandy and I found a storefront on Stewart and 7th downtown. It was formerly a cleaners, we got mail for an Ignaz Kalwaltski during our first year of business.  I liked to imagine Ignaz up to his neck in a bubbles in the oversized claw-foot tub we found in the bathroom -- since being in the cleaning biz I don’t think he washed his socks in there.  

Our shop was called Marvin Gardens. “Park Place Plants at Baltic Avenue Prices”, was our motto.  Before I discovered that I liked people and flowers far better than I liked plants, (there was something about all their thirsty little faces staring me down each day that I found disconcerting and ultimately insupportable), we worked hard and had fun.

 The first year of a business is hard and 70’s Seattle was not booming.  Lot’s of our friends collected food stamps and for a while we had a guy named Jim living behind our couch to save money.  People having trouble buying grilled cheese sandwiches think buying a ficus benjamina for the living room is an extravagance so we were faltering. 

Then-- a miracle.  An unlikely angel named Emmett Watson came to our rescue. 

Emmett Watsons' column in the PI was a must-read for folks in Seattle in 1972.  His Lesser Seattle quips and wry prose style captivated a populous ready to scoff at champagne tastes while reading his dour rants in the unemployment line.

Well, the wonderful Mr. Watson gave us a mention in his column and immediately more people began to show up. Gals from the Telephone company across the street wanted african violets for their desks.  Hanging baskets and potted succulents went out the door to birthday parties and sun-decks.  We had a brief golden moment in the sun. The shops demise, the marriage’s demise, and the saga of my drifting into 32 years of scraping fecal matter off floors, and sometimes parts of my own person at the Woodland Park Zoo are for another place and time. 

My life like the single money plant leaf I started long ago has grow into a large tree with many branches and now has the benefit of lots of sun and water. However I am grateful for the PI’s existence and Mr. Watsons kindness when my roots were fragile and the light was dim.

In memorial and thanks I take the last front page of the Seattle Post Intelligencer and wrap up my package of old Marvin Garden Business cards and place them lovingly in the box marked Over But Not Forgotten.  

Goodbye Emmett Watson, goodbye Print PI.  May the grow-lights of heaven light your way along the paths of write-ousness -- forever and ever, Amen.

© Robin Wendell 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009


Morning foam:  Man tells woman of giant slug or tidal wave coming her way. 

If a giant slug was lurking somewhere in your vicinity waiting to slime you would you notice?  I know I wouldn’t.  Out in the garden or on the deck, sure, that’s were you expect to see those little critters congregating.  I always watch my feet out there because to step on a slug is bad luck, (and in bare toes just plain ewwwwwie-poo.)  However a giant slug -- that comes under the category of “can’t happen”, or “Did you take your meds today?” 

OK, I know I took all my medications today, including the extra vit-C and I‘m still glimpsing, from time to time, an unusual, apparition, hovering nearby.  A giant slug looms over me looking strangely familiar and very friendly. No fears though.  After all I am not a nasturtium leaf.  My slimy friend is not looking in my direction for lunch. He must have something else in mind.

So what’s the message emanating from my ectoplasmistic buddy?  I sense a helpful aura around his tentacles. I smile in his direction and he waves his big antler-like headdress at me with glee.  I think he just wants to hang out and be a protective presence during my writing time today.  Perhaps he will have some good tips on character development and dialogue; how to de-stick yourself from uncomfortable conversations or ideas regarding how the beautiful shaded nature of the underside of a leaf gives you a new outlook on life.  

Whatever his intention I’m happy he’s here and am willing to learn.  He is big and steady and his soft feet will not disrupt my day if he should start to tap dance to Mozart as I type away.  I think I hear him humming “On the good ship Lollipop” very soto voce.  It reminds me of the licorice I have hidden in the kitchen.  Must be time for a snack.

Candy, slug buddy, mozart, writing time, it looks like a swell day is shaping up.  I like it and I like my new friend.  Small on criticism big on love.  A safe-slug.  One that it is so big he is totally impossible to step on.

© Robin Wendell 2009

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