Out of Focus

Everything feels out of focus this week. Making order of the thoughts in my head has been almost impossible – an inability to hone in and complete most things without becoming distracted. Events occurring in the news are probably a major contributor to this mental, emotional and visual disarray. An aching, collective consciousness. I have a distant recall of watching a Ram Dass video years ago…..how he said we are all fingers on the same hand. We are all connected in some way, an extension of a greater body. And thus, we feel.

I’m not going to comment about what’s going on in the world right now. Amidst wonderous joys, simultaneously there runs shocking despair somewhere. You may or may not be feeling this too, due to news events or because of your own private reasons. I am sharing that I am a bit blurry this week, which even extends down to the photos I have been trying to take with my phone – most of them way blurrier than usual, perhaps a mirror of what is going on in my head. I’m not unhappy, just……out of focus. If that makes any sense.

So I’ve been trying to walk off the blur a bit (with limited success). One perk is that the spring peeper frogs are out and serenading, with a full chorus, like jingle bells. Peepers are still in my hearing range, which is somewhat functioning in the highest frequencies, so they are a treat. Bullfrogs are tough to hear, but peepers are a blast. This is the only somewhat clear (but not very impressive) photograph I took this week. It is of the peeper pond, and at the moment I took it, they were singing at full force. After this it’s been rather downhill with the photographs.

where the spring Peepers abound

While out walking the dog a couple of days ago, I heard an extremely loud bird call. “Pyu, Pyu, Pyu – Wheet Wheet Wheet Wheet!” over and over again. A Northern Cardinal. When I hear birds whose song falls within my still-existing hearing range, it is always cause for appreciation and excitement. I crossed the street trying to locate the bird – which I figured would probably be an easy one to spot. The challenge of course is that for me, directionals are often an issue. So I wandered back and forth, up and down the sidewalk in front of someone else’s house, until I was somewhat certain the bird was above me, high up in the branches somewhere. Finally I spotted him, just a little spot of bright crimson. With limited success, I tried to get my camera to focus on him without scaring him off.

He did not fly away, but suddenly stopped singing. I stood directly beneath the bird, trying to zoom in on him to get a better photo, while hoping he would not decide to drop a load of poop on my head. Thankfully, he didn’t.

No matter how many photos I tried to take, they were all still out of focus. Why was I even bothering? There are thousands of gorgeous, jaw-dropping photos of cardinals on the internet, including many which have been taken by friends and family who have excellent cameras. Most likely I would be deleting these photos I took anyway. The “why” is something I can’t quite explain. Maybe because I had followed its song and located it? It was our moment, me and the cardinal, to check each other out, just for a little while. Clearly it felt safe enough high up there to not want to fly away. I looked at him for a while. He looked at me. When I finally headed back towards the house, he started singing again.

The back yard motion camera has been catching an increased number of night visitors this week – the photos are also way more out of focus than usual. Something is definitely off kilter here; perhaps I should climb up there and try wiping off the lens. Neither the mostly-white-on-top skunk nor the opossum have made appearances over the last few days. Instead, there is a new racoon (or two) making the scene. One of them doesn’t seem to have much of a tail. I wonder if it was one of the ones involved in the racoon street fight from about a month ago….

racoon #1 with tail


visitor #2 with stumpy tail

All week there have been ghostly, frozen frames taken in the wee hours of morning. Aside from the usual cats (both feral and not), there has been a bunny and a fox. I can see them better on the videos, but cannot grab a good still capture of them. The fox came up along the fence, crossed the driveway and disappeared. Being a big fan of foxes (and crows), I’m hoping it will return. Despite the sub-par photos, I will share them anyway.

Ghost bunny takes a brief pause before hopping away 

Blurry ghost fox

Over the past couple of days I have been outside doing a bit of spring yard work, raking the leaves out of the garden beds that had been left as mulch and protection over the winter. There are many whole peanuts stashed between stones and under the steps. While raking, I looked up to see a squirrel perched on the fence post with what looked like part of a baguette in its paws, eating with great concentration. Oddly (and amusingly) enough, the high frequency sound of the squirrel-nibbling happened to also be in my hearing range. As a matter of fact, that is just about all I could hear – small, insistent crunching. I was standing pretty close to the squirrel, who was so busy enjoying his score that he didn’t immediately pay attention to me. Given the proximity, I should have been able to get a very clear photo of him…..instead, it is also out of focus.

“écureuil avec du pain”

Seeing this guy struggling to hold on to his big piece of bread made me laugh, which disturbed his repast, causing him to take off with his prize for a more private dining experience. I have to wonder if this is the same one that left a bagel on my front porch. Someone must deliberately be providing the baked goods, or perhaps they have discovered access to the local deli leftovers.

As an aside, my black tourmaline bracelet suddenly broke this morning, sending little black beads careening all over the bathroom floor. The pinging sound of them hitting the tile was also a high frequency, so I heard them bouncing around. Black tourmaline is supposedly a grounding and stabilizing stone – this bracelet was gifted to me years ago for just that very intention. Perhaps that’s another Big Sign that I’m not so centered right now. I think tomorrow I should probably restring it. Hopefully I’ve recovered them all.

scattered – a metaphor

I’m reading two books at once because I can’t stick with one story at the moment.

Of note, I am focusing on and mentioning those things I am still able to hear, hanging in that zone.

On the further subject of “out of focus”, my cooking has been off this week too. Despite having made it multiple times, the asparagus/gnocchi dish from the other night came out too salty. The Thai red curry vegetable dish over brown rice from last night was pretty lack-luster – so much so that I didn’t even save the leftovers or scrape the (usually) yummy stuff left at the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Nothing like a series of bummer meals. And I burned my thumb taking a grilled cheese sandwich out of the toaster oven this week too. I feel there is usually some telekinesis (see The Telekinesis of Grief) when things like this start happening – at least for me. When confusion dwells inside, it tends to extend outwards.

That said, I decided, with deliberate focus, to make a nice, safe, easy quiche for tonight. You can’t go too wrong with a quiche, can you? Throwing in whatever I have sitting in the refrigerator……broccoli, mushrooms, onions, parsley, cheddar and some harissa. With a side salad of various greens, cucumber, Moroccan preserved lemons, cilantro and peppered salmon. Sounds good on paper. I guess as a backup I can always resort to Chinese take-out. The reliability of eggrolls.

Hoping to emerge from the blurry abyss over the coming week……

within the blurry abyss


This entry was posted in Birds, Cooking, Deafness, Food, Hearing Impaired, nature, Perspective, Spring, The Urban Porch, Uncategorized, Wildlife and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Out of Focus

  1. Rachelle says:

    I feel your fuzz

    Liked by 1 person

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