So it’s been awhile and I’m still not entirely sure where I am with this blog (what it’s for, what it’s about, etc. etc.).
But I also feel like maybe I’m tired of the whole “Powder Break” thing of the last couple months.
So. Movement. Maybe posting.
I started this blog in August 2011. So it’s about to turn 8 years old. That’s exciting and I’m proud of what’s happened here in all that time. But I’m also a bit lost with it. I’ve learned most of what I wanted to by starting it and now what started out as a bright clear day full of potential and choices feels cramped and dark and I’m not sure what it’s even for anymore. This uncertainty and confusion manifests in the thinness and performative quality of the posts from the past while. Maybe I’m the only one who sees this. Maybe because (!) I’m the only one seeing the posts (!!!!). Whatever the case, the fire has burned dim, the night grown long, and I need to dream up the dawn.
So I’m putting everything in hibernation, wrapping it in carbonite and heading out to do other things for a bit.
It’s been fun.
We have a silver maple that’s been battered a bit the past few winters and has some dead branches that need to be removed. Until we get around to taking care of them, it looks like the local woodpeckers—and there’re a lot of them these days because of the Emerald Ash Borers that are marching through the village’s trees—the woodpeckers are going to have a go at them.
The woodpecker in the video is as big as a cat and he went on like this for a few days. He’s clearly digging into the wood rather than looking for bugs under the bark, and so, I thought maybe he was gauging out a nest. But when he finally decided he was done, he took off and started hacking away at the stump of an ash tree we cut down last spring, a stump he soon abandoned in turn. So in the end, I’m not sure what he was up to. Until I learn better, I’m going to call it “play.”
Whatever the case, the maple branch is torn to pieces.
Sixteen days ago, my site went down. I called my host to see if something was wrong with the server. They said “no,” then checked some logs and then asked to shut down access to my site, saying it’d been hacked.
Things were a mess and trying to get them cleaned up was a long exercise in frustration. A few days ago, I more or less gave up hope and tried to resign myself to the fact that I was going to lose what I’d posted and that if I kept blogging, I’d be starting over from scratch. I’d been telling myself for the few days before that that I was at peace with the possibility and that if I lost everything, I lost everything. But once this possibility was no longer simply a hypothetical that I could be philosophical about, once it was about to become a reality that I was going to have to come to grips with, I discovered I wasn’t okay with it at all.
Then that same day, as I was writing off the site and trying to convince myself it was okay that I was writing it off, I was talking with a few friends, and they asked some questions, made some suggestions—good questions and good suggestions—and something clicked in my head and I saw what to do.
And now today, the site is fixed, cleaned up, and running on a new server with a new host. The story of how that happened is too much to tell this evening. (Maybe I’ll fill in the details later.) For now, I just wanted to post and say “this happened” and also that hackers—and all other people who enjoy breaking things just to break them—suck.
So I was chatting with my eleven year-old niece about the Harry Potter books that I’m starting and she’s close to finishing, and right away she asked the inevitable and impossible question: “So what house are you?” I hesitated, unsure.
To help me out, she let me know that without question she is absolutely, certainly a Slytherin. To which, I replied “oh no!” Well, she was having none of it and explained that the books gave the house a bad rep, which wasn’t fair, because there were clearly many, many good Slytherin. Slytherin, for example, like her. How could I resist such logic? Answer: I could not.
This settled, she turned back to the original question: “So what house are you?”
“Well,” I confessed. “I don’t know. I think I’m either a Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw.” To which my eleven year-old niece responded, without hesitation: “Hufflepuffs are dim, and you aren’t dim.”
This was the best moment of my day. Maybe my week.
I got behind with the nominees this year. They all came out at once and it was just too much. So no opinions this year. I saw things I liked, Roma, The Wife, especially The Favorite. I’ll root for them but have no idea whether they should win.
Last weekend we had the first sunny days in weeks (but it felt like months). So the Beav suggested we go walking on the river. Now, I know the ice is solid at this point. The snowmobiles are running up and down daily. But I lived in the heat too long as a child to be comfortable on frozen rivers and lakes and wasn’t keen on the idea.
Then he suggested we walk up a side creek he’d been wanting to canoe with his sister in the summer. This sounded less ominous: slower shallower water awaited if we broke through (which we wouldn’t and didn’t). This became our day.
I’m moving slow enough to see
A robin standing on the shoulder
Beside the cars, head twisted so,
One eye staring up to the sun,
Another staring down to salt,
grey dust and asphalt. Hit,
It stands, caught for a moment
On two legs—for just one moment—
Then it falls on its side
Never to move again.