Monday, November 22, 2021

Seasonal Prayer

As I discovered last year there's a dearth of prayers for autumn, and particularly thanksgiving, without getting too religious in one direction or another.

As I am generally the person in my family responsible for bringing the thanksgiving prayer (and one of the few non-Christian members of the family), I decided it was worth the effort of writing something for myself that could be used as such a prayer.

good morning to the violets
who usher in the spring
who defy lingering frost
while winter still clings

good day to the hibiscus
whose midsummer blooms
hearken hummers and flutters
while the peak of heat looms

good evening to the marigolds
in the nigh frosty air
hold your tea a little tighter
while winter beckons near

good night to the witch hazel
and tuck the year into bed
spring will return soon enough
and the day begin again

more prayers

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Untitled (11 Nov 2021)

"Where are you going? You can't leave. We can't let you leave."

"Relax, I'm not going anywhere."

"No, I mean, I can't let you go out to your car. What's to stop you from trying to drive off? If you get into an accident, we're partially liable for letting you leave."

"I have stuff in my car. Supplies. I'm not spending the night without it."

"Anything you think you need can wait until the weather clears. I can't let you leave."

"You're not listening to me, and you're underestimating me. I'm frankly not sure what is worse."

"What the hell are you talking about?"

"I'm a prepper. I have camping equipment, food, stove, blankets, insulation... I could literally camp outside tonight with just the gear that's in my car and be perfectly safe. But that's not what I'm asking. I want to go out to my car, grab some supplies, and come back here. I'm not stupid enough to try and drive anywhere in this weather."

"How do I know you're not going to take off?"

"Why don't you come with me? You can help me carry things, make it easier to make one trip. If you like, you can even hold my keys so I couldn't run off even if I wanted to."

"That... actually sounds reasonable. But I have to check with my boss first."

"Are they in the building?"

"No, they worked from home today."

"You want me to wait on the word of someone who thought of themselves before anyone else? Someone who could have closed the building today instead of taking the chance that we'd all get stuck here for the night? Fuck that. You can either come with me or illegally detain me."

"I-- wait... wait!"


"Climb in."

"What? No, you're not driving anywhere."

"I wasn't planning on driving anywhere, but if you want to stand outside in this weather while I pull my pack together, that's up to you. I'm shutting myself in."

"What do you mean?"

"If you store down insulation packed up, it settles and doesn't insulate as well. So my blankets are loose in my car. I need to get them packed up, unless you want to carry them loose... but if you get them wet, you're paying for the cleaning fees."

"Fine, I'm coming."


"Okay, you've got the water, a first aid kit, and the stand. You ready?"

"We have first aid kits in the building."

"I'm sure you have all kinds of things, but if you run out of something that I have plenty of, do you want to come back out here and retrieve it? The worst hasn't hit yet and it's already pretty blustery out here."

"Fine, fine. Can we go now?"

"Yep, I'm all set."

"I still don't understand why you have the bag and I have this bulky loose stuff."

"For one, the straps are sized for me, and they're a pain to adjust; I finally got them comfortable and I'm not so eager to go through that trial again. For another, this bag wasn't cheap, nor was the stuff inside it. And if you think you're carrying the heavier load, you're sadly mistaken. If not for the water, I'd definitely be carrying more."

"But we have water in the building!"

"For how long? If I leave it out here, it will freeze, break the container, and be a waste. If I bring it in, and something goes wrong with the water source in the building..."

"I'm sorry I asked. Let's go. What are you waiting for?"

"You have my keys. Lock my car."

"Oh. Right. Sorry."


"You can't hang your hammock like that."

"Why not?"

"It's unsafe."

"No it's not. This is designed to hold a lot more weight than little me, and it's empty."

"But you still can't..."

"Tell me, is there anyone currently in the building who needs to sleep well tonight while still being trapped in here with the rest of us?"

"Security, probably."

"And you're security, yes?"

"Yeah, so?"

"Where are you sleeping tonight?"

"Probably at my desk."

"That doesn't sound very comfortable."

"It's not."

"What if I could bribe you to let me hang my hammock here?"

"With what?"

"A good night's sleep."

"And how do you plan on doing that?"

"I have another hammock."


"How'd you sleep?"

"I hate you."

"That well? Lucky you."

"Thank you."

"You're welcome."

"But you need to take them down now."

"No problem."

"Ah, shit."

"What's the matter?"

"State of emergency. Roads are closed. We're not going anywhere for a while."

"Nobody in, nobody out?"


"For how long?"

"At least one more day."

"How much longer does the back-up generator have?"

"Not that long."

"Well, sounds like you have your work cut out for you. Good luck."


"Can you hear that?"

"Yeah... I'm pretty sure this building isn't supposed to make that sound."

"Do you know what it is?"

"No, but I have a pretty good guess. You should probably get people out of the labs and into the warehouse."


"I think that's the roof."


"I hate you even more now."

"I haven't even said 'I told you so' yet."

"That's not helping."

"Are you still warm?"

"Warm and comfortable, despite everything. But..."

"I know."

"What do we do about everyone else?"

"Nothing we can do. It was a gamble. You know that."

"But was it the right gamble?"

"Won't know until we get out of here."


"Are you going to get even more insufferable now?"

"Why, because I was right? Or because I was prepared?"

"Yes. Either. Both."


"You're lucky it paid off."

"Either they were going to starve or they were going to freeze. I only had supplies for one or two. Better to put them in a position to get rescued sooner. If I'd tried to take more, we would have been in the same boat."

"I know, but it doesn't make me feel any better."

"There is something you can do about that, you know."

"And that is?"

"Carry your own kit. Maybe next time we'll have supplies for four instead of just two."

"I hate you."

"No you don't."