Cosmic Quakes

[Jab update: Fatigue was my grade two (moderate) reaction symptom from shot number one. The husband and I both found ourselves taking a lot of naps—although that could also be a symptom of general SARS-CoV2 pandemic malaise. Or that we just like to take naps.]

Escape From Boring, Jane Park

Some of the things I did this week: I rearranged my work space a little, moving my desk (table) and a screen. Shifted a director’s chair around. We spent way to much money on seeds and plants and compost potting soil. And an electric chain saw for the same park’s plum tree that besieged our yard during the ice storm. And an electric leaf blower/vacuum for whatever—maybe the leaves on the roof that the soon-to-be-not maple deposits there every autumn, that is if I can find someone who is not busy culling trees from last year’s wildfires or removing fallen branches from city streets after the ice brought them down.

Blind Destruction, Nahsaya Ruiz

We also found out, because I went to the IRS website to find out why we never got the second stimulus direct deposit, only to find a letter—posted there only and never mailed to us—that our 2019 tax file was missing. Oddly, as if the universe has deep distaste for us, I have completely misplaced our copy of the return and with it, the post office receipt of its mailing with notification of arrival. The return never came back to us, anyway. Also the husband can’t find the Quicken tax return on his computer that I recall signing and taking to the post office. So huh? As if our files were wiped; as if our memory of the process nine months ago, already on shaky ground, fell into some seismic fissure.

It does make one a bit paranoid, like the following:

1.) The news that I posted a few weeks ago about our beloved park being off-loaded by the city of Albany.

2.) The pandemic slamming into us after I retired to a nice little town with a bigger house (only those who have lived all their lives in 1000 or less square-foot homes will understand), complete with guest bedrooms and more space for two English mastiffs only none of my friends and family can come to visit.

3.) I tried to find a third thing, but couldn’t think of any—enough of this whinging.

So let’s try to turn things around. It’s ok to whinge, but maybe don’t make a habit of it.

Forever My Happy Place, Suhyeon Emelie Kim

One of my sisters shared a link to the 2021 Coastal Art and Poetry Contest Winners. I’ve shared some of the artwork in this blog, but definitely go to the website to see the rest and to read the poetry. These works are by California children ranging from grades K through 12.

I mean, wow.

They speak of both their love for the sea and of their worries. A number of paintings and poems deal with delight, and a number deal with deep concern for the ocean’s future. All of the entries explore the love of waves, wind, fishing, beaches, sea life. Of the U.S., California’s coastline at 870 miles beats Hawaii’s in length, but not Alaska (6,640 miles) or Florida (1,350 miles). (Interesting trivia: Louisiana’s coast line beats that of Texas. I’m probably worse in cherishing my sense of pride for my birth state of California than any Texan.)

Seagulls, Sakura Yanone

What also struck me about the contestants, beside their talent, was their names. So many kids appeared to be from families who have come to live in California from other countries. Names from Africa, Korea, China, Japan, Spanish-speaking nations, South East Asia—I am guessing here, just from reading their names. Such a rich milieu of young minds and wonderful to see.

Cliché warning: change is inevitable. It’s sometimes not easy, and sometimes painful, but it happens. The universe is built that way, and you have to agree with that statement, no matter who you think built it or how it got built. However I’ll never say, “don’t bother feeling hopeful because it’s all going to change anyway.” Think. One big change is that the pandemic will get under control because we can. And, if those beautiful oaks do end up coming down, I’ll just go out there and plant more—right along our fence.

Flooding, Alisa Higuchi



About Jill Zeller

Author of numerous novels and short stories, Jill Zeller is a Left Coast writer, 2nd generation Californian, retired registered nurse, and obsessed gardener. She lives in Oregon with her patient husband, 2 silly English mastiffs and 2 rescue cats—the silliest of all. Her works explore the boundaries of reality. Some may call it fantasy, but there are rarely swords and never elves. More to the point, she prefers to write as if myth, imagination and hallucination are as real as the chair she is sitting on as she writes this. Jill Zeller also writes under the pseudonym Hunter Morrison


Cosmic Quakes — 3 Comments

  1. Again a post that was an enjoyable read. A lot of the enjoyment comes from your ‘voice’, I am guessing, since I’m not sure how to best describe it. The voice here is that if a smart cookie, a little strained and tired, a bit wry for very good reasons, yet running through all is sparkling little current of an eye cocked somewhat humorously at oneself as well as all the surrounding world that has earned such scanning.