The news - on all fronts - is so bad, lately, I've a mind to bolt the door, arm myself with sufficient potato chips and chocolate, and watch cartoons from the comfort of my couch. For the next 10 years.
And it's gaining momentum, this rude news. Each day is worse than the day before.
Still, there are moments that can be carved out of the chaos, instances that warm a heart and bring things back into perspective. Home, as it were, where they belong.
I've decided - for the sake of said heart and because a person could get bed sores from lying too long on a couch - to skip the chips, the chocolate and the cartoons and close a door on that part of my brain that houses what I like to think of as my wide-angle lens. That view that will always take in too much, be too much to cope with.
I'm going to downsize to one that's more manageable, a macro lens, let's say, to focus on what makes me glad.
Yesterday, for example, I fell in love with a stranger in a parking lot, in less time than it takes to adjust one's pantyhose, if one even owned pantyhose, which one doesn't. You get the idea.
There I was at Costco where, because I have a "parking angel" dangling from my rearview mirror, I found, after tickling her toes, a space right up front. I slung my too-big purse over my shoulder and was headed toward the entrance when a gentleman, I'm thinking Japanese and 50ish, dressed in a dark gray business suit and expensive shoes, came out of the store pushing a cart.
He had very good posture; he was moving at a fairly good clip.
Must be late for a meeting, I thought, dismissing him because even though I'm an excellent list-maker, I can never find them when I get to wherever I'm going shopping. I was ransacking my pockets when the nattily dressed businessman jumped on his cart and rode it the 30 feet to his car.
"Yes!!!" screamed my insides, because I want more than anything to hop a shopping cart, but I can hear The Captain's voice in my head saying "People will think you've wandered off the ward."
It was so unexpected, so against stereotype, that I dropped my too-big purse and clapped a hand over my mouth to shut myself up.
You have to love what shakes you out of your box, don't you think? Whatever makes you realize you know nothing about anything when it comes to judging people?
I loved the moment, I love this man. I hope The Captain (husband) will understand.
Harley is asleep on his bookshelf, with one leg and his tail hanging over the edge. I never get tired of watching him nap, especially when he's indoors and throws caution to the winds. Outside, he keeps one eye cracked open for enemies and prey; inside he lets it all hang out and over.
The only reason he's in at this time of day is because it's blustery and a particularly strong gust showered him with blossoms off the pear tree that's just off the deck.
Black cat, white blossoms. Sounds like fodder for a poem by William Carlos Williams - and what a good photograph it would make, too. Too bad I'm an "air" shooter and only ever trip the shutter in my mind's eye.
Well. Harley knows I'm discussing him, because he's abandoned his bookcase roost in favor of the computer desk where I sit. His tail, which is nearly always in party mode, is draped across my Rolodex and he, himself, has curled up next to the computer screen.
Black cat, bright screen, and where the devil is a poet when you need one?
I will regret this, but I'm going to turn on the TV and troll for some news. There's an oil slick I'm tracking and I pray better when I can see my target.
Black oil, pristine shore.
* Lynne Horner is a former Maui News features editor and writer who now lives in Springfield, Ore. Her "Second Thoughts" column appears every Tuesday. Send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.