A Few More Sentences – 11
Waatebagaa-giizis (Leaves Turning 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 ELEVENTH EDITION! of the monthly sentences. Just one more month to complete the year! For the first time ever this batch of sentences was first unveiled in a spur of the moment LIVE PERFORMANCE! at the Flathead River Writer’s Conference in Kalispell, Montana, as part of a talk I was giving about paying attention as it relates to writing … and living for that matter. I don’t know how well it went over but I enjoyed it. I’m posting now from my hotel room two floors above and across the courtyard from where this unprecedented turn of events unfolded. Who ever could have imagined?!
For those of you new here, this monthly edition, where I post my daily, single sentences that I’ve accumulated for the month-just-ended, is 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. If you feel compelled to offer up a few of your own in the comments, I would love to see them. Finally, if you would like to support these efforts, a paid subscription makes all the difference.
2023_0901: For over 125 years they wanted us to forget but we did not, and now neither will they.
2023_0902: Friends, when I said, “From the top of my enormous head to the bottom of my blistered feet” I wasn’t exaggerating about either extremity.
2023_0903: A final scorching day of summer chased away by surging storm clouds.
2023_0904: Obscuring mist and rain over a beautiful curl of the Missouri River on the outer edge of Great Falls.
2023_0905: I don’t know how long it’s been there on the corner of Russell and Third but apparently Circle K has returned to Missoula and I hope that maybe everything else that is old can be new again.
2023_0906: My body this morning, post band practice, is an archipelago of aches and pains, some of determinable origins and others not.
2023_0907: Another spirited collision with the weight pile leaves me with a hitch in my giddyup.
2023_0908: The “Poet Laureate of Responding to Emails” apparently.
2023_0909: The harsh, public, and most humiliating reminder of my monumental failure to fit in with the world that is.
2023_0910: Existential hangover to be solved by manifesting some of that mighty bull buffalo “fuckmostaya!” energy that sees them happily chilling out way off on their own.
2023_0911: Driving home in complete darkness at an hour which, just a few weeks ago, was complete daylight, feels like fall if not for the warm, dry scent of fresh cut alfalfa wafting in through my open windows.
2023_0912: Roadside highway patrol investigation vans at the end of the skid marks from last night’s accident site, one whose revolving red and blue light show and interminable wait to get home sent me to seek sleep with even more layers of existential anxiety.
2023_0913: Evening arrival to my room and the lingering reminder of sage offered in the morning.
2023_0914: From my front porch in the gathering darkness arriving now by 8:30pm I can hear the neighbor girl next door – who looks every bit a young woman but still sounds like an adolescent – chattering away as she gathers firewood from the heap recently delivered to their driveway, and though I only catch the occasional word I know it is probably just a friend she is talking to on her phone, but I imagine her addressing the tree through each block of wood, thanking them for the sacrifice, promising to make good use out of every BTU of luxurious warmth in the winter that looms on our horizon.
2023_0915: The only strange vehicle in my neighborhood I trust less than a hooptie Cadillac is a pristine one.
2023_0916: Red leaves growing abundant in the maple tree.
2023_0917: Reminding me of me escaping almost any social gathering, the migrating birds slip away from the valley without so much as a “See you next year!”
2023_0918: The man from Flagstaff outside the Rock Office who says he has been in Missoula all summer rolls into his sleeping bag on the sidewalk as I prepare to drive home an hour into darkness.
2023_0919: Appointments on top of appointments.
2023_0920: Sleet nearly snow on Macdonald Pass.
2023_0921: Like goblins swarming Moria 600+ children descend from all directions on the Helena Middle School auditorium.
2023_0922: “But we have been doing it so long!” says the woman wondering why her high school’s team mascot needs to be changed from some Indian-related awfulness.
2023_0923: Sure sign of Dagwaagin’s arrival is the appearance of a wool sweater worn by the grizzled evening porch sitter.
2023_0924: Nothing but respect for the innovative neighbor who tore out the collapsing porch and replaced it with a picnic table for stepping down into the yard from the back door.
2023_0925: It’s going to take more than a couple puffs of sage smoke to make a bank sacred space.
2023_0926: Surprise email from the witty young relative who told a room full of people, “Mashkode bizhiki means fuck around and find out.”
2023_0927: Underdressed and shivering, I watch with envy the woodsmoke slowly curling out of the neighbor’s chimney.
2023_0928: Early rain sputters to an end with the arrival of morning and the goldfinches are the first to offer an opinion.
2023_0929: She’s no American dipper, but the young starling splashing around in the gritty Westside Missoula mud puddle is just as adorable.
2023_0930: Nearly run down crossing the street in Kalispell by some asshat in a white Escalade and all I can wonder is who the hell even drives a WHITE Escalade after Labor Day?!
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