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© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

My dog cannot sleep through the night. (Therefore I do not get to sleep through the night.) She has needs. She needs to bark at the rabble rousers on the street. She needs to bark at the totally silent and invisible via amazing stealth skills cat that she knows is out there. She needs to do those out door tasks that dogs need to do, or so she claims, any where from 3-5 in the morning. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn’t. But I know that if I don’t get up, she will have to do it and it will be in the house. So I get up, and even though my yard is fenced, I grab some outer wear, put her on her leash and go out with her. If I don’t, she will be out there way too long, tangling with the occasional stray opossum or raccoon, barking at invisible cats or making a ruckus of some form or another that no one appreciates at any time, but especially so early in the morning.

If she wakes me early enough and she does her business in a cursory manner, I have enough time to get a little more sleep before I need to get up for work. I always hope that I had remembered to pull the sheets up to hold on to some of the warmth of sleep so I don’t have to climb into a once again cold bed.

Returning to Sleep on a Cold Morning

Last vestige of heat
Calls her back in warmth of sheets, 
Back into sleep.
Bedtime story by Jeanie Tomanek

Bedtime Story by Jeanie Tomanek

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

October is gone, the grayness of November is definitely here. I am greeted today by gray: the gray of the sky hovering over the drying brown of leaves on the ground, little by little giving way to mottled sunlight.

Gray Early November Day

Dawn blanket of gray
Lifts, falls away. Light nestles 
On brown leaf litter.

~~Brrrrrrr~~ by Paula Ford

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

There were different times in school, a teacher would ask us what we want to be when we grow up. I definitely did not want to be confined to one of the few socially acceptable options available for women at that time. Nothing wrong with being a mommy, a secretary, a nurse or a teacher. They were just not what I wanted to do or be.  I wanted to maybe be a spy, a comedy writer, a scientist, an architect, a linguist who was fluent in at least 7 languages (I like the number seven), an artist, a writer, a doctor, a healer, a shaman, or a mystic. Finally I realized that I wanted to be Leonardo Da Vinci, a renaissance man, or woman in my case. ( I love the word polymath.)

I have this horrible fear of being categorized, labeled and put into a box. I have a variety of interests and have studied a number of things and areas. But I am sadly not professionally fluent in any of them. If growing up means embracing that box, well then I may never grow up. But I have grown old, antiquated, obsolete. Just as one boxes up old stuff and shoves it in the attic or the dusty spider webbed corner in the basement or garage, I feel society is putting me in a box for not belonging, not conforming. I do not feel the here and now is my place. Do I belong in a time past, or a time yet to come? Is this box a portal to prepare, to let go and move on.


anatomia_leonardo_da_vinci-300x225Being Da Vinci

For ‘ere, when I grow, 
Da Vinci
I’ve wanted to be.
© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

Once during those years between childhood and full blown adolescence, I yelled at my mother, “I wish I had never been born!” (original dialogue, huh?”) “Well you were! So make the best of it.” she responded.

I remember thinking I did not sign up for this. I didn’t sign any contracts. As a child, this was not the life as I wanted it. And as an adult, I still think this is still not the life I wanted or had imagined.

Now in all fairness, there are parts of it I love. I love my children, and now, also my grandchildren, some family and friends. I have met some pretty neat people along the way. I have been given gifts, talents, and insights that not everyone has.  It is during the everyday struggles, the tests cutting away, molding, shaping, as on a piece of clay:  health and economic problems, the joy and sorrow of being alone, and just the general perversity, decay and destruction of the planet and all life systems at the hand of humankind-perhaps that should be human”unkind”, that I again think, “I did not sign up for this life, this very strange script of this very strange tour of duty.

I have read someplace, but of course I can’t remember where, that the soul chooses the conditions into which it is born in this realm that will create opportunities for growth. I don’t know if that is true or not. I do know that every day, every week, my whole life has seemed like tests. Opportunities for growth, maybe. Maybe I am still stuck in spiritual adolescence.  Every time I think I have figured something out, had an aha moment, thought I had grown a little, the script seems to change. There are scenes that never existed, never will exist, let alone make it to the cutting room. I would like to be a little more of the director and feel a little less like the player or the played.



The Cutting Room

Agreed to the script.
Director made changes-strange 
People and events.
Girl in a Chair by Al Lofsness

Girl in a Chair
by Al Lofsness


Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being….
Out of the clay of love I molded thee….

The Hidden Words, Arabic #13

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

This morning I was up before sunrise in the kitchen cooking. I noticed condensation on  the west window. Just a few nights ago the lows were in the 70’s. This morning and two before it, the night temperatures were in the upper 40’s. All of a sudden it seems that autumn is here. It always does that, but now more than ever, faster than ever. It is sudden, like the sonorous swell of cicadas morphing into the tambour and click of the cricket songs, the winds sneaking in from the North, and condensation on a window still chilled from the night air. It is beautiful and intense. There is a melancholy for me, knowing that hidden in this beauty is the awareness of trying to still find warmth and cheer in the unfolding blanket of brown of dying daylight. I know I must condense my desires and dreams into a shorter period of time. The occasional tear condenses and drips from my dreams that can no longer be.



Another season
Condenses on my windows. 
Winter is nearer.
The Window in Autumn

The Window in Autumn
By Henri Le Sidaner 1916

© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

The past several years my lament has been the same-I want spring, a proper spring, a spring with its share of sunny yet still cool days where one travels with a light sweater. I want days of gentle breezes on tender blades of grass. I want days with the flow of spring blossoms, from crocuses to tulips to irises and poppies, to alliums and spirea and to the night call of honeysuckle. I want a spring that starts with quietly emerging spikes of fresh green from a ground savoring the drops of melted snow and slow to let loose its hold of that chalice, winter’s gift to the new season’s life. I want a spring with softly blustery skies, that tease and wink and release their tears of joy, the gentle drops of rain that awaken the canopy of green, the drops that paint the bark of trees and the earth below them dark with the rich smell of life. I want gentle drops like the drops of white blossoms dotting the ground, swaying to the side as the grass stretches out of its imitation of death to fool the harsh winter winds. I want to walk with the song of my soul dancing with the symphony of the earth around, the soft swishing of the grass as it grows, reaching up from the ground to the warmth above, the soft call, the mystic music of the morning birds, quietly beginning when all is still dark, calling you from the night, from the night of all past seasons and to the mystic dawn of this day and of all the days before and yet to come.

But days have changed. This is a new climate, a climate of extremes. This year, as in other years the spring comes too late and is gone, too soon. My spring is gone, all too soon. Today, near the end of May, as I drove home from work I saw and smelled June. Summer is here.



May Melts Into June

Blue wisped sky drive home,
Leaves, mowed grass scent cloud-ward borne
May closes its door.
June Morning by Camille Pissarro

June Morning
by Camille Pissarro


© Jo Hewitt THE TEAL MANGO, 2014

Today I cried with my daughter and Maggie, her dog. Maggie,  Magoogles. Fragoogle, GeeGee, Smells, Maggie Moo, Snorty Moo, a dog of so many nick names, a dog with so much personality. Maggie lay stretched out on the floor, her poor body full of tumors and in so much pain. The two of them would be leaving, in a short time, journeying south.

I remember when my daughter called me at my place of employment, told me she was coming to the city to go to the Humane Society to get a dog and asked me if I wanted to meet her there. We went from kennel to kennel, she decided on “Princess”, as she was named, a brindled 6 month old pit boxer mix huddled in the back corner, anxious and a little afraid. An interview, an adoption fee, a collar and a leash, and a borrowed crate, a name change to Maggie, the two of them were headed south, back to the university.

Maggie, was small for her breed, but a mighty dog. She had so much energy and exuberance! She could drag you to to ground while you held on to her leash for dear life. She could jump and repel herself from wall to wall as high as a grown man’s head. She could jump,  straight up and down, Pepe LePew  style. No counter top was safe.  She batted a soccer ball around with the soccer team one day. She would hang out on the roof, accessed from an upstairs window and bark at people and squirrels. She hung out at parties and made it her job to clean up what ever dropped to or spilled onto the floor.

She had her moments, her quirks, her anxiety issues. She would claw through drywall, plaster and lathe, concrete if she had to. There were frequent battles of the wills. She was a dog with a cat personality. (We had commented how at times the name Princess had actually suited her.)  She could balance any size piece of food or treat for minutes on end at the very tip of her nose, pointed straight up, and then toss it up into the air with a flick of her head and catch every time. She loved to sun herself in full sunlight in the middle of a hot July day and then come in panting- so hot, or curl up so close to the fire place, her fur becoming so hot it was a wonder she didn’t spontaneously combust. She loved to sleep under the blankets in winter, going around in circles until she had the nest just right and then snuggling in close for sleep. She bounded like an antelope over drifts of snow and would throw herself to roll on cool green grass, refusing to budge when she was tired of a walk.  But utmost, she was my daughter’s loyal protector and friend.

She loved car rides-her front legs balancing her at the window, her head out, looking ahead, her ears flapping wildly in the wind. Today she took her last car ride.

We love you Maggie, and we all will miss you.



Going Home

 Saying goodbye to my dear friend Maggie Dog...letting her soul rejoin the universal energy ✨[?][?]
Our first day as two,
We drove home. Our last day, we
Drove, you going home.

March 15, 2001- May 7, 2014

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