Boozhoo, indinawemaaganidog! Aaniin! That is to say hello, all of my relatives! Welcome to another edition of An Irritable Métis. In this case, I am happy to present the SIXTH EDITION! of the monthly sentences. For those of you new here, that’s where I post my daily, single sentences that I’ve accumulated for the month, based on the practice that ultimately led to my first book, One-Sentence Journal, back in 2018. This edition is also a celebration of sorts since it marks six uninterrupted months of not missing a day of this practice, one that had become somewhat spotty. In resetting my emotional whatever, it felt necessary to “return to my roots” so to speak, so I thought to start posting them here. It seems to have worked and, perhaps most importantly, it’s just fun. Who even does things “just for fun” anymore anyway, right?! Well, I do! You might consider it too.
I know the last couple months I’ve been doing an audio component as well but I’m skipping that this time – I’ve just been too busy and I want to get this out. You’ll also notice that the “for paying subscribers only” component is also gone, and forever. It has also been removed from previous versions.
Which reminds me: in my last post I talked about Council Grove. The “for paying subscribers only” photo essay post I did about the place back in December has also been updated to be viewable by anyone, and it occurs to me there might be some of you who missed it the first time, or are new here, or just want to visit again. So if you want to take a look, HERE IT IS!
2023_0401: High drama in a cloud-heavy sky … when it can be viewed through the sideways-blowing snow, that is.
2023_0402: Every flake gone but for the bright ones still dusting the mountaintops.
2023_0403: Finally, against all odds, someone did a D&D movie right.
2023_0404: Greasy magnificence at Paul’s Pancakes to celebrate another slog around the sun.
2023_0405: We are truly fortunate not to have the accumulated weight of a year’s travails land on us overnight.
2023_0406: First Full Moon of Spring … should we choose to reckon the seasons so, that is.
2023_0407: A hands-breadth of light over the southwestern ridge at nightfall like a strip of polished chrome.
2023_0408: Takeout for supper at the condominium tree.
2023_0409: Reminding the buttrats once again that the Easter Bunny didn’t come because Jesus doesn’t appreciate unruly dogs.
2023_0410: Truly, though, who HASN’T felt like they rose from the dead Sunday morning and still faced lumbering off to work on Monday?
2023_0411: Pulling teeth is hangry work.
2023_0412: Evening spent watching the fading western horizon while reflecting that once this land was occupied by dire wolves and saber-toothed cats, and the realization that the idea we present that we can truly ruin things is the height of human-centered arrogance.
2023_0413: The final day of teaching up north for the year is always bittersweet.
2023_0414: As the population expands I find my city growing smaller, if only because the frustration of getting around to some areas just isn’t worth the hassle.
2023_0415: Cold water, flexing creeks, the company of pines and firs and sunshine … and the unexpected appearance of a pair of common mergansers in a place I don’t recall seeing them before.
2023_0416: The first – albeit a chilly version – of what will be many porch sits of the year.
2023_0417: The western meadowlark makes his return known from off across the pastures of the superfund site.
2023_0418: First sighting of the man on the corner out on his 20x20 span of yard, cruising back and forth on a riding lawnmower, and I am almost compelled to stop and holler, “Let it grow a little first!”
2023_0419: A tremendous RIFF emerges from the Rock Office like a plodding sand beast of Tattooine.
2023_0420: Grizzled white-bearded man in a beat-up old Ford Explorer packed with enough stuff he could be living in it sits in the parking lot at Broncs Grocery chewing through a cold hotdog fresh from the package and stares into the middle distance while I ponder that I might be looking at my future self.
2023_0421: Rolling around with Clutch’s latest on repeat, there is solidarity in knowing – via the song “Mountain of Bone” – that front man Neil Fallon ponders the same existential condition as I when he sings: “Am I chaotic evil | Or lawfully good aligned?”
2023_0422: Wide open fields, the chuckles of sandhill cranes in every direction.
2023_0423: Wee hours bout of sleepless panic when I wake and realize I can’t recall the name of Rocky’s Russian nemesis in Rocky IV, whose son also menaced Adonis in CREED II ... until, with a flood of relief, the name comes to me: DRAGO.
2023_0424: Steady rain all morning turns the world green.
2023_0425: Great pleasure taken in the return of the honorable turkey vulture to the neighborhood airspace.
2023_0426: Bobbing in the deepest, most turbulent waters of self reflection every morning when, facing the mirror, I wonder: “Can I get away with another day of not shaving?”
2023_0427: The promise of glorious weather days ahead begin to manifest during an evening saunter at the river, complete with a good look at Mama Owl dozing all plump and snug in her nest.
2023_0428: Maybe sixty or so snow geese seem poised to land on the Clark Fork River then bank away instead for a fly-by over the Touchdown Jesus of Council Grove.
2023_0429: Pausing in drinking my morning coffee on the porch to prepare the solution and hang the feeding system for the little returnee with the magnificent heart buzzing and hovering around me with so many expectations.
2023_0430: Easing awake outside to the spirited singing of a lone robin letting it rip into the brightening moments of pale, pre-dawn … until the tableau is upended by the very familiar voice – and piercing, teeth-grind-inducing pitch – of my unruly dog letting the neighbor cat have it for the mere audacity of being outside in their own yard.
Miigwech, my friends, for your support! If you emailed me about a potential online workshop, keep your eye on your email inbox! Things are sputtering along and there will be an update soon….
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Love when you post a series of one sentences on the substack. It was how I first came to know your work and it is some of my favorite. I know it seems like a simple practice to most, but the consistency you have with your little notebooks always awes me. Thank you for being an inspiration Chris.
this was so good, thank you. the guy in the truck w the hot dog staring into the middle distance, owls, birds, and first full moon of spring. started me off right this morning.