A Glutton for Punishment

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

If you were to rank the Seven Deadly Sins, where would gluttony fall? Is gluttony better than sloth, anger, or lust? Is it worse than pride, envy and greed?

Were you a glutton over the holidays? Are you feeling porky? Did you take seconds from the dessert cart? Speaking for myself, I have been guilty of gluttony and have lost my self-respect.

Does gluttony have anything to do with the longer nights and the shorter days? How does the number of daylight hours affect our desire for food? Are we eating more because we are at-home close to the refrigerator, or are we eating more because of some “seasonal affective disorder”?

Birds - each bird taking baby bird bites. It makes you think about the phrase "eating like a bird."

The birds chock their cheeks. It makes you wonder about the phrase “eating like a bird.”

I watch the birds jostle at the feeders. When the tail feathers go up, watch out: aggression is not far behind. I wonder how many calories the sparrows expend trying to elbow their way to the food. The birds come in waves. For hours at a time, the feeders are deserted and then unexpectedly, the birds swarm like bees. Are they going from neighborhood feeder to neighborhood feeder – looking for the best assortment of seeds or will any seeds do? Which bird leads the charge from one feeder to the next? By what means did he/she get to call the shots? I can’t imagine that gluttony is an issue for birds.

At-home. Grazing at 301 South Second Street.

At-home. Grazing at 301 South Second Street.

We also feed the deer. On a regular basis we have a four-point buck with his Lady Fair and their two off-spring. They graze on the tender shoots of everything edible. My aluminum pie pans hanging from the lower branches of the aspen (see my October post, “Deter That Deer” ) seem to have done the trick. The deer have left the aspen alone, but they have eaten everything else. Nubs. My shrubs are nubs. The deer care not that we live in town only two blocks from Main Street. I can’t imagine that gluttony is an issue for the deer. Perhaps if I lived farther from the refrigerator and closer to the great outdoors, I would be glutton-free too.

Oh Christmas Tree!

Oh Christmas Tree!

It has been a good Christmas. But busy. Too busy. I remind myself that when I’m living in a nursing home, I’ll look back on these busy days as the best in my life.  Today, I look forward to reading more books and dare I say… writing on a more regular basis. I’ll number “poor time management” as the eighth deadly sin.

The drought continues and we, like some primitive people without the aid of satellite imagery,  watch the sky for hints of snow. Animal sacrifice is an option, but as far as I know, no one in Westcliffe has gone that far. What is it the gods want? Perhaps the gods would like us to show some initiative and take global warming seriously.

I am not surprised that my most visited blog is “Praying to a Rain God” posted on January 10, 2011. As to how strangers find my blog, I envision drought-stricken people typing some combination of prayer + rain + god into their search engine. What is it they want? Are they looking for statistics on the efficacy of prayer?

Taking time to read.

Taking time to read.


Writers’ Prompts:

John Updike‘s poem “December, Outdoors” begins: Clouds like fish shedding scales are stretched thin above Salem… I like this beginning. It reminds me of childhood – lying in the grass with friends and naming objects suggested by the cloud formations. Why not go outside, note the clouds, and write a short piece of what you see/feel?

Are you guilty of any of the seven deadly sins? If so, write about that sin and how it applies to you.

Or fictionalize that sin and work it into a short story or piece of flash fiction.

Or… like me, you could come up with an eighth deadly sin and write about it.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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