A gift, a charm, a fortune

July 10th, 2008

It was supposed to be about 115 degrees today but it wasn’t. I’d heard a rumble about it for days. But this morning I shivered under the covers. Outside, a morning breeze danced on my bare arms. I figured it would all ignite at mid-day, but by evening we had a cloak of clouds and a tease of sprinkles. This is the kind of thing I take as a gift, a charm, a fortune. Lacking any other kind, it will do.

A little respite, you see, an oasis in the crossing. I just finished a tough writing gig that had me on my knees for weeks, inching forward through the drifts, making up words about a topic so suffocatingly arid, so dense and intense, that it could only be called “work.” I burrowed into the clattering bones of it this afternoon, wrote a little bit more and shocked myself by being done. A gift, a charm, a fortune. Lacking any other kind, it will do.

We knew it was dying, one of those troublesome turtles that required so much coddling care that I couldn’t help but come to love it. It had stopped growing, stopped eating, stopped moving and then tonight Daddy pronounced it dead. “Mommy,” my daughter called, “Can you light some incense?” She adorned the burial box. My husband turned the earth. She placed a stone and I said the chant. A gift, a charm, a fortune. Lacking any other kind, it will do.

For Jupiter, my good turtle

Please remember to leave a comment to enter my giveaway of The Maternal is Political. A gift, a charm, a fortune. Lacking any other kind, won’t it do?


  1. just beautiful…

    Comment by andrea scher — July 10, 2008 @ 3:43 am

  2. This is probably going to sound totally strange, but thank you for the link to your other gig. I felt like I had been given a glimpse of . . . balance? Reality? Balanced reality? I’m doing a truly lousy job of expressing myself, but lacking any other words, it will have to do.

    Comment by Mama Zen — July 10, 2008 @ 4:38 am

  3. And to Jupiter you all were his good people. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

    Comment by Susan — July 10, 2008 @ 6:53 am

  4. “My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today” – Richard Adams (Watership Down)

    Rest in peace, Jupiter, you were loved.

    Comment by Wendy — July 10, 2008 @ 10:43 am

  5. I love turtles. I remember once suffering pangs of pain seeing one retrieved from the ocean by laughing Pacific Islanders, ready to be returned to shore and eaten. It was so harmless and majestic and helpless on its back.Affinity with creatures hurts!Glad you finished the yucky writing by the way.

    Comment by Pam — July 10, 2008 @ 11:20 am

  6. The box is beautiful.

    Thanks for the link to the other site. It shows another facet of you and yet it’s the same, very simple and clear and beautiful.

    Comment by Mary Ann — July 10, 2008 @ 12:56 pm

  7. Affinity with creatures hurts – truer words where never writ. And yet, and yet, there is no other way. We can’t shed our affinity with all these creatures, and the pain is a sweet pain. One can’t miss it.

    Comment by Chris Austin-Lane — July 10, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  8. Jupiter is gone? Oh no! I’m sorry.

    Comment by Kristin H. — July 10, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  9. A full day.

    A beautiful resting place for Jupiter.

    Comment by She She — July 10, 2008 @ 2:19 pm

  10. A gift, a charm, a fortune. Lacking any other kind, it will do.

    Sometimes finding those things are the work of your life, no?

    I guess it will do.

    Comment by Rowena — July 10, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

  11. Everything that lives, must die one day, you write of it beautifully.

    Comment by Catherine — July 10, 2008 @ 8:19 pm

  12. For all the creatures in our lives that leave us.

    Comment by mapelba — July 10, 2008 @ 8:33 pm

  13. Sorry to hear.

    Comment by Shelli — July 10, 2008 @ 8:53 pm

  14. so lovely, karen. i’m constantly on the lookout for a gift, charm or fortune, and then when i forget to search i am struck by one immediately.
    right now, the cool-ish wind is blowing through my little house, and that alone is reason to rejoice.
    and thanks for georgia, keeper and preserver of all things great and small.

    Comment by Holly — July 10, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  15. I don’t know if this is your style or if it fits with the content of your blog, but I just wanted you to know that I appreciate you and your blog.

    So, I have given you the Arte y Pico award, which loosely and probably erroneously translated from the Spanish, means “Woohoo! Outrageous over the top, the best Art!”

    Come look at my blog entry to find out the details. http://warriorgirl.blogspot.com/2008/07/arte-y-pico-blog-award.html

    Comment by Rowena — July 11, 2008 @ 2:49 am

  16. rest in peace, good turtle.

    I too appreciate the link to your ‘work’ site.

    Comment by nyjlm — July 11, 2008 @ 3:01 am

  17. Sorry to hear about Jupiter. His life was better for your care.

    Comment by RocketMom Cheryl — July 11, 2008 @ 3:18 am

  18. Your daughter is learning well the peace of knowing impermanence.

    Comment by bluelikethesky — July 15, 2008 @ 5:54 pm

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