Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Friday, September 21, 2012

An Owl, a Mouse and a Crumb

For Tammy- who likes owls- on her birthday

I dream sometimes that I'm a great barn owl, trailing the darkness of a forest, always the same darkness and the same forest.
There's a little grey mouse between my claws.
Nothing ever alters but the creatures I carry. 
On other nights, when I'm not the owl, I'm the mouse instead, sailing to somewhere new.
There's a crumb in my belly, and I'm grateful I had time to eat before I was borne aloft into the night.
As we soar, Owl and I, there's something stirring inside me that's even better than the crumb: a terrific thrill of adventure. I don't know where I'm going or what's going to happen next but I surely won't end up where I started.
I don't know where the owl will bring me to.
I think the owl isn't sure either.
The only thing the owl is certain of is the comfort of the thick, black forest and the endless promise of happy hunting. 
I don't remember how I know this, exactly, but perhaps the owl makes small talk with me as we drift along, and tells me what it likes about the forest.
Or then again, maybe I've dreamed of being the owl so many times that I remember a little bit of what it's like, even when I'm the mouse.
Other nights, the dream is that I'm a crumb tucked inside a mouse that's being carried by a barn owl. 
I think about this a lot: if the mouse hadn't paused in that necessary instant to swallow me whole, he would still be skittering about on his old forest floor, wondering what to do next, wondering if that end of the forest could possibly be all there was in the world.
Wherever the mouse is bound for, that will be because of me.
I dream sometimes that I'm an enormous barn owl with a tendency towards the comfortable and the known; I dream I'm the smallest mouse- but never a frightened one- that interprets everything as an incredible adventure.
And I dream sometimes that I'm a very small crumb, thoroughly invisible and still making all sorts of things happen.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mother O' Mine

If I were to compile a list of things that my mother would never be heard to say, I'm sure that at the top of the list would be this one:
"You're playing Sweet Child O' Mine far too loud for my liking."
That Guns N' Roses tune is Mater's favourite song ever, in quite the whole wide world, and it could never be too loud for her ears.
She likes to rock.
I like to muse.
It happens sometimes that we two overlap but she prefers her music to be brimful of sound.
Well, Spouse and I went off to Las Vegas in the car last weekend, our cooler full of food and our heads full of the possibilities that such a journey and such a destination could bring.
The last time we'd been to Las Vegas, some few years back, we brought Mater along for the thrill. She bopped along through the desert to Elvis belting 'Viva Las Vegas,' and when we arrived she managed to spend an hour at a slot machine with only a quarter, one magic quarter that kept coming back to her.
This time Mater had to wait in Ireland, wondering and waiting for the odd bit of news from us to tell her where we were, what sort of weather we were having, what we were eating, who we saw, and all the rest of it. I wasn't to miss a moment of it, she said, and I was to report back to her what struck me the most. 
Per my instructions, I simply had to tell Mater that, in her absence, the first song we heard in the first casino we strolled into was Sweet Child O' Mine.
And yes, I'm entirely certain it was played just for her. 
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