Tag Archives: moles


Mrs. N. had no intention what so ever of writing anything more here until her triumphant return from her visit to various dystopian European countries that, although they may have magnificent gardens, happy populations, and 21st century mass transportation systems…. are, my government informs me, misguided Hell Holes of Socialism tottering on the brink of collapse.  All that changed this morning.

As the sun rose I armed myself with rake, bucket and weed puller and headed out to crawl around my extensive perennial beds intent upon ridding them of weeds.  Engaging in active meditation if you will.  All was better than well as I noticed that so very many of my favorite perennials had self seeded themselves in dozens and dozens of new places, as if by some magical intention.  I was busy happily crawling around from shrub to shrub, plant to plant, popping out dandelions, stray grasses and weeds, picking up the odd fallen magnolia leaf when I came upon it.

There was no mistaking what happened here.  It was clearly cold blooded murder of an entire family of children.  Lives, barely begun, snuffed out by some evil heartless fiend who cared not for the suffering his actions had wrought.  I asked myself… “Who could have done this?… Who could have so little regard for the lives of others?…  I had no answers, only theories.  It could have been the evil serpent, the black snake who I permit to live unmolested in my giant mulch pile of magnolia leaves.  (Am I to blame?)  It could have been the raccoon who, so different from you or I, prefers to venture forth at night, wearing his mask, and praying with his little hands to what Gods I know not.  (Should I have shot him as my neighbors do?)  I don’t think I will ever know the answers to any of these questions, but, even if I did, it would do nothing to bring back the tender little lives that were ended so abruptly, and so brutally.

I thought about the endless news coverage of the bombing in Boston and its aftermath.  Hour after hour, day after day of coverage of every angle, every nit picking detail of everything and everybody involved.  Interview after interview, witness after witness, expert after expert…. and it made me ill to think that such a promising species should end up so hideously deranged.  This morning it was all talk of the Death Penalty.  Yesterday it was all talk of ending the quest to write a decent set of laws to deal with immigrants because, after all, the Boston bombers were immigrants.  The day before that it was all talk of the defeat of legislation to make firearms less easily available to the mentally ill and to people with criminal records.  Earlier today I read that two studies now point to a rather dramatic increase in autism in mothers who consumed drugs like Prozac to “balance” their “unbalanced” brain chemicals.  Who could have possibly guessed that taking drugs to alter the functioning of your brain could fuck up the developing brain of your unborn child?

Sometimes, times like this, times when there doesn’t seem to be any corner of sanity to crawl into with my blanket to suck my thumb and mumble to myself…  things oddly start to clear.  I find myself laughing at something stupid, and rejoice, in my heart, that I am somehow, or, some way, wired to appreciate the stupid (rather than ballet, or, liver pate).   That I cannot only see that it’s all the game of black and white, but, understand that for either side to win would be truly monstrous.   For either side to win would ruin it all.   For either side to win would be the end.

Before I came in from the garden today I decided to do a little patching of some bare spots in the lawn.  Anyone who follows my musings here knows full well the “problems” I had last year with moles turning my manicured lawn into swiss cheese.   Rather than poison, trap or otherwise end their little lives last year through murder I turned for council to the one place that has never failed me.

I watched The Godfather once again and, as usual the way to move forward became instantly clear.  It was after Sonny was hit at the causeway and it fell to Tom Hagen to tell his Godfather what everyone else seemed to already know.  He informed him that his oldest son had been murdered.  Upon hearing the terrible news Don Corleone said this…

“I want no inquiries made. I want no acts of vengeance. I want you to arrange a meeting with the heads of the Five Families. This war stops now.”

Instantly I knew what to do.  I left the moles in peace and met with the shrubs, flowers, trees, insects and birds… and a grand peace was made between us all.   This spring all the moles are gone.  It was when I was spreading some nice soil around the bare spots left by the mole tunnels and raking in some grass seed that it came to me.  I realized that I was getting out of the country just at the right time.  That I was removing myself from the endless blather of the talking heads on television who will continue to go on and on about the Boston Bombing until…. the natural end comes to the story.

What will the natural end be?”  you ask….

Remember the coverage of the police firing hundreds and hundreds of rounds of bullets into the fishing boat the fugitive 19 year old brother had taken refuge in, in some guys back yard?  You will know that the end has arrived when you hear on television that the owner of the boat has shown up at the police station with this question.

“Hey… Who the fuck is gunna pay for all the fucking holes in my boat?”

At the beginning of Chapter One of “The Denial of Death” Ernest Becker writes…

 “In times such as ours there is great pressure to come up with concepts that help men understand their dilemma; there is an urge toward vital ideas, toward a simplification of needless intellectual complexity.  Sometimes this makes for big lies that resolve tensions and make it easy for action to move forward with just the rationalizations that people need.  But it also makes for the slow disengagement of truths that help men get a grip on what is happening to them, that tell them where their problems really are.”

Kiss, kiss

Mrs. N.



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     I’m in a rather pensive mood right now.  I can explain it.  It was hot as hell this morning in Central Virginia and the grass needed cutting and garden weeds needed pulling.  I did that.  Then, here is where the “mood” thing comes in, I vacuumed the pool.  Now, I don’t use a pole with a vacuum head on the end.  I strap on a weight-belt and a mask and snorkel, grab the hose and head to the bottom.  It takes a little over an hour.  It provides a kind of “anaerobic” exercise with a lot of breath holding.  The essential added benefit is the ocular-cardiac effect.  It’s how our mammal cousins in the sea who dive deep for a living stay down for so long.  Put a mammal’s head underwater and the water pressure on the eyes slows the heart.  Having done this for decades and despite my age and a lifetime of respiratory abuse, I can still, with no difficulty, stay down as long as an average south pacific pearl diver.  It the end of an hour covering every inch of pool bottom with due diligence, sucking up dead bugs and dirt, I emerge with a greater feeling of well-being than I ever got from any, traditional, meditation technique.  I think I invented it.  Even if I didn’t I’ll take the credit.  So, I got that going for me.

     It’s what happens in my head while I am down there that this is about.  It’s mindless work.  The thoughts take flight, or fin if you like and a degree of timelessness sets it.  It’s time spent out of time.

     This morning I ran into Yeats about two feet to the left of the main drain.  I had been thinking how fucked up the world is.  More people starving than at any time in mankind’s history.  A dominant economic model predicated upon producing and selling and sending to the landfill as much plastic garbage as humanly possible… as fast as possible.  A multi-cultural planet just discovering that if someone doesn’t share your God, your magic and the cultural bullshit you use to construct reality they ARE, by definition, destined to get under your skin.  Because they exist they challenge your carefully constructed comfort.  They are the “other” you read and hear about that are wrong.  Simply by “being” they are saying… “You are wrong”.

     Yeats was waiting for me there with this:


TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?


I am saddened to report that a fatality had apparently taken place some time during the night.  Beneath the solar cover I discovered the limp remains of a mole.  I knew him well.  For months I had played the role of Elmer Fudd and he the part of the laughing subterranean scamp tunneling at lightening speed between my legs and in corkscrewing circles inches beneath my manicured lawn.  The word “mole” begins with a to remind you that they eat meat.  Voles, with a V, eat vegetable matter.  That’s how you tell the difference.

     I had played the part of Bill Murray in CADDYSHACK for so long that I had, in spite of the damage caused, grown to respect the little guy.  I used no chemicals to deter his dining.  I just crushed his tunnels hoping he would move on.  Some mornings I actually thought he was trying to spell something out on my lawn.  I never figured out what though.

     In a way, it was war.  So, I gave him a full military send off.  I launched him into space on the end of my skimmer pole.  He flew high into the sun in the direction of my neighbors roof.  My neighbor claims to be a  Minister of some kind and I don’t like the looks of him at all.  His wife is a fat condescending bitch and he appears to be a ninny.  None of the neighbors can stand either of them.  The rest of us get along like peas in a pod.

     Not knowing the religious beliefs of the mole, I gave my neighbor an opportunity to practice what he preaches and show me the light.  What better place to be “close to GOD” can there possibly be than Up on the Ministers roof?  

     I await a miracle.  So far… nothing.


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