Hokusai Says

Lughnasa and the full Harvest Moon

“Hokusai says Look carefully.
He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing.
He says Look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more of who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it’s interesting.
He says keep doing what you love.
He says keep praying.
He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient,
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.
He says everything is alive –
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees. Wood is alive.
Water is alive.
Everything has its own life.
Everything lives inside us.
He says live with the world inside you.
He says it doesn’t matter if you draw,
or write books. It doesn’t matter
if you saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn’t matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your verandah
or the shadows or the trees
and grasses in our garden.
It matters that you care.
It matters that you notice.
It matters that life lives
through you.
Contentment is Life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.
Peace is life living through you.
He says don’t be afraid.
Don’t be afraid.
Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.
Let life live through you.”

~ “Hokusai Says” by Roger Keys

You Know the Words

Lughnasa and the Harvest Moon

Gabe and his dog, Sushi

It wasn’t a set of magnets after all. What the surgeon found in Gabe’s small intestine was, wait for it, a rubber glove! When asked how it got there, Gabe said, “I don’t remember.” I texted Ruth, figuring she’d have an idea, “Don’t know. We’re all confused by that.”

At University of Colorado Children’s yesterday afternoon, Gabe was still in first day post-op pain. Not very happy, as you can see in this photograph. Ironically, just above his bed on the wall of his room were three boxes. Three sizes of rubber gloves.

We moved to Colorado to be here for family. Ruth’s tonsillectomy. Gabe’s appendectomy, port change. School events. Jon’s divorce. His art shows. To be in their lives in a direct, immediate way rather than one mediated by phone calls and videos.

In the morning Kate and I went to see a new pulmonologist, one from National Jewish Hospital, renowned nationwide for its pulmonary expertise. What a contrast to Colorado Pulmonology Intensivists. The nurse was upbeat, kind, knowledgeable in gathering vitals and other information. The doctor, David Taryle, had the air and appearance of a wise gnome.

He had read all of the charts, seen the cd of her cat scan. Yes, she has interstitial lung disease. No, we don’t know which of the two kinds. Diagnosis is especially important because the treatments are very different. He decided to redo her pulmonary function test and the ct scan. Get another data point. But, when asked, “Yes, I’ll probably want a lung biopsy.”

A funny moment. Dr. Taryle was explaining things in the lungs, using medical nomenclature. I don’t recall the exact terms. Kate responded to him with a couple of terms of her own. He looked up, mildly startled, “You know the words!” She had outed herself. “Yes, I’m a retired physician.”

Jackie also cut our hair yesterday. I left right after mine was done and went to the hospital. Kate came home and rested. Going all the way to Aurora and back would have been too much for her after being out all morning.

Another day filled with physicians, parking lots, and family.