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A Few More Sentences – 09
Miin-giizis (Berry Moon) Edition
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 NINTH 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-just-ended, based on the practice that ultimately led to my first book, One-Sentence Journal, back in 2018. It’s a simple practice and fulfilling … and also maybe not so simple as it may seem. Regardless, the practice is excellent training for paying attention to the small moments of my life, and I enjoy sharing those moments here. As always, I deeply appreciate your time and attention. And if you feel compelled to offer up a few of your own in the comments, I would love to see them.
There is also an important Billings, MT-centric announcement at the end, so stay tuned for that if you’re from around The Magic City!
2023_0701: Largely incognito out of context in cowboy hat and sunglasses, I’m happy to smile into familiar, unknowing faces in the dust and heat of the powwow grounds.
2023_0702: Like yours truly in the vicinity of the final slice inhabiting the greasy landscape of the pizza box, hungry or not the aggressive Rufous male perched tree-side to the hummingbird feeder vigorously defends it from any who might drum up the courage, let alone audacity, to approach.
2023_0703: The explosive not-so-calm before the storm.
2023_0704: Batten down the hatches, crank up all the loud fans, and struggle to swallow the triggered outrage at all the ignorant rhetoric for another bloody year.
2023_0705: A breathless reminder that relief may only be found from within.
2023_0706: The headline reads ‘An egregious act of racism’ and there is none more fitting to describe the founding of this miserable country entirely.
2023_0707: Porch sitting as twilight settles, four hummingbirds perched in the cherry tree just beside me.
2023_0708: The ecstasy of so much glorious sunlight absorbed that I imagine this must be what it feels like to be Superman.
2023_0709: Delicious watery smell from the surface of Frenchtown Pond, with an extra helping of floating algae to grubby up the glorious experience.
2023_0710: Slack-jawed before the free popcorn maker at the Les Schwab Tire Center, I realize that in the months since I was last here they have updated the machine such that one merely pushes a button and the popped corn is dispensed into the little bag without requiring the use of a scoop, to which I am forced to reckon with the knowledge that every now and then an innovation is introduced into this colonial hellscape that really does have the potential to make the world better.
2023_0711: Both passenger- and self-described as cautious and defensive behind the wheel, I retain deep respect and admiration for that intrepid and rare fellow driver who, like me, approaches a traffic circle brimming with bold decisiveness.
2023_0712: Gratitude for old friends who still surprise me.
2023_0713: I often hold the romantic notion of making some of my income via a grubby gig outside engaged in close-to-the-soil labor until, driving by three young men wielding digging bars and post hole diggers in the hot summer sun, I’m grateful my living comes largely from pithy observations like this one.
2023_0714: While the cherry tree drips with water from the sprinkler, a tiny fledgling chickadee squirms and rolls adorably in the water pooled in the curling leaves.
2023_0715: As the sun sinks below the horizon I – serenaded by the breeze in the trees and full of warmth from a day spent outdoors – begin to doze in the armless cedar chair placed dangerously near the edge of my front porch, where a topple sideways would find me fully awake and entangled in a very prickly bush.
2023_0716: This evening I was the Prius driver some asshat in a loud, oversized pickup decided to “roll coal” on (as he ran the light coming out of the WalMart parking lot no less) and, rather than sputter with indignation, I found myself sitting up a little straighter in my seat, smiling even, like I leveled up somehow, or claimed an achievement badge I didn’t even realize was available to me.
2023_0717: Beady-eyed and adorable, the male Rufous hummingbird brought an extra degree of surly aggressiveness to his defense of the feeder environment this morning.
2023_0718: In deepening twilight I am quite content to make the thirty-minutes-or-so drive home at a more-than-safe distance behind the other car I am pleased to recognize is rolling along well below the posted speed limit out of respect for our crepuscular relatives who might wander unexpectedly out onto this country road.
2023_0719: An immature bald eagle high in a cottonwood snaps and lunges ineffectively at the trio of smaller birds bedeviling him just like my rambunctious dog does at the persistent evening flies.
2023_0720: Perhaps for the first time ever in each of ten rounds I gave the heavy bag every bit the what for it might have received had it said “Indians need to just get over it….”
2023_0721: Like Nookomis, our grandmother, we must reflect brighter and brighter as it grows darker and darker.
2023_0722: There she is again, lagging behind this night, and I fantasize that’s it’s only so that she might smile at me just a few moments longer.
2023_0723: Less than ten miles shy of Lincoln I spy not a stump bear, or a stump moose, but an actual black bear! … that, come to find out, is a cow.
2023_0724: We suffer to prove our dedication.
2023_0725: The point in the expedition where the guided become the guides.
2023_0726: Sitting in the shade of a giant old cottonwood just above the sandy bank of the Missouri River I watch a pudgy bumblebee cling tenaciously to a purple flower against the buffeting of a substantial breeze.
2023_0727: In case of emergency offer tobacco and let the spirits take over.
2023_0728: When the thick gumbo at the mouth of the otherwise dry creek bed couldn’t claim me, it went instead for my crocs and nearly succeeded in swallowing them.
2023_0729: Like the peppy new hire who drops apron five minutes into the lunch rush, the little fan in the dashboard of my hooptie gives out five minutes after I finally, after 150+ sweltering miles, resort to the AC.
2023_0730: Like a sandbar scraping at the bottom of a canoe, my tired ass drags at my every effort to accomplish forward motion.
2023_0731: The crashing together of the mental image of self vs. the photographic reality.
Of Particular Interest to Billings Area Readers
The first time I was asked to do this Covid killed it. The second, my schedule nixed the opportunity. But now, in true third try fashion, it’s on. I’ll be reading or reciting or just winging it on Friday, August 11th, in beautiful Billings, Montana. I’d love to see some Irritable Readers … provided any of you are even from around there. I really have no idea.
Miigwech, my friends. I have a bunch of posts in the works I just need to make time to finish them. Meanwhile, here’s hoping we make it to Dagwaagin. August is looking to be brutal….
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