When the cat’s away

There is something about a Florida house that doesn't tolerate being empty. You may clean it from top to bottom, winterize it, set the thermostat so the air doesn't get too hot or too cool, and lock it up tighter than Dick's hatband before you go away. It doesn't matter. The house knows you are gone, and it begins to retaliate.

Cockroaches develop an overnight immunity to your exterminator's quarterly spray. They call their friends to party. Mice move into your closet and shred the linings from your nicest old jacket to make a nest for their babies. A toilet develops a leak. It seeps slowly from the bathroom tile to the carpeted hallway and after a week or two a black mold-friendly sump spreads to the walls. Brazen Stephen King-size woods rats may eat through a door, sever lamp cords and phone lines, disabling the alarm system in the process.

If you are gone for two months, you may barely recognize the place when you return.

Blogs are strangely like a house. They are happiest when there is a buzz of activity. Vacant, vandals become bold. Spammers know. I don't know how they know, but they do.

There's an old saying about cockroaches, that what's worst about them isn't what they carry off and steal, but what they fall into and mess up. Cleaning up after spammers is disheartening. I would rather sweep up bugs.

You all know that this is a time in my life when my equilibrium has been upset. My writing life has deepened, but the lovely weather talk of wildflowers, wood's walks and gentle musing that has been the tea and crumpets of this blog feels like a foreign language to me right now. It doesn't mean there isn't happiness or light. There is. It's just that my small boat was blown so far off course suddenly that I find myself in an unfamiliar land. It has mountains, tropical flowers, mysterious clouds, nameless terrors and unexpected angelic visitations. It is compelling. I am becoming a lexicographer, navigator, and time traveler.

I will return to this space, perhaps in that iconic time of new growth, early Spring.



My best tip for writers of fiction and nonfiction alike:  read Robert Olen Butler's book, From Where You Dream

17 thoughts on “When the cat’s away

  1. Sometimes you gotta pull in to get serious work done. I wonder about that sometimes myself… does my blog suck energy from work I want/need to be doing on my book, or does it feed the flame? Keep me in the loop. Write well.


  2. I see passwords are already required in other areas of this ship :0) Safe sailing and gentle charting of this new land you find your self in. Be sure the lighthouse lamp will be lit each evening on this headland and morning waves on the rocks will be echoed in drum beats and good wishes for you all. I presume a certain post office box will still be open :0)


  3. Did you say you would be back in early spring? That can’t be far off! According to the lunar calendar (here in Japan), yesterday was the first day of spring…and ironically the coldest day we’ve had so far this year. So your return can’t be too far in the future….right? ^-^
    Take all the time you need…we will be waiting, hoping you find whatever it is you are searching for.


  4. Thank you for the book tip and the information and the creative description of an empty house/blog. May your spaces be safely locked where needed and open where the contemplations, prayers, and practices can best flow free. Take care.


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