Trees in Winter

Oh, tree, once so full and green with leaves. How small you look now, with a single squirrel dropping acorn shells from your thinnest branch. How he balances on the lightest end, snatches his treat before it falls and flips back to safety nearer to the trunk, where he can rip that spare meat from its shell, and shed the rest to the ground.

Which is bare, too, you know. Bare and crumpled with dry, winter’s leaves that crunched beneath my feet as I came to you in the way of withered and dying things. At the stoplight, I spotted two faded butterfly wings, folded together like an overlarge purse before a polite departure. By the riverbed, which is always more stone than water, a bird nestled down into its coat, puffed itself into a ball and shivered into the wind. Shaking, I set my things down here, where my numb fingers could safely peck at the keyboard, a small defense against the advancing front.

But now I must leave, tree, as the air is cool and growing colder and it is time for me to slip back into a cave of my own. In the spring, we will both have fresh haircuts and emerge youthful and blushing to embrace the season.

Will this same squirrel join us then, or will he have leapt far away from here in his hunt for survival, ending his journey somewhere unknown to you and me? I cannot answer that, tree. But I look forward to seeing you then, and, too, all the furry rascals that call you home when times are good and the weather is fine and we are all so full of life and cheer.

 

How I Feel When Salespeople Call

Sure, we all get sales calls. But if you’re a business owner, you really get sales calls. For every one expert blogpost I’ve run for my business so far, I’ve gotten one sales call a day. And the thing is, they use all of these tactics that just play right into all of my weaknesses, namely my tendency to muse things over aloud, rather than just saying, “No/yes, I will/will not do this,” as well as my willingness to open up to anyone when they ask empathetic questions, even if they’re obviously BS. I just cannot tell you how much I hate these calls. They’re so manipulative that it’s impossible to tell if something actually is valuable to me, and, while I’m listening to them blather on without pausing, all I can think about is that I should be writing right now.

So, I’ve put a little comic together, just for you, salespeople who call me when I’m trying to write or get other things done…