We all walk ancientrails. Welcome to the journey.

Engaged

Lughnasa                                                             Eclipse Moon

The waning Eclipse Moon stands high in the southern sky this morning above Orion’s head and shoulders. The brightness of even a half moon obscures many stars, a good reminder that light does not always reveal. It can hide things, too.

sugar cream pieToday is a busy one. Once I’ve finished my writing, ancientrails and Jennie’s Dead’s 750 words, I’m going to make two sugar cream pies. One is for home, the other for the mussar leadership group that meets tonight. Sugar cream pies are a distinct cultural marker for the Hoosier state, but more than that, they’re really delicious. Why I don’t make them often.

At noon Rabbi Jamie and I are going to eat at Sushi Win, a sushi joint, excellent, in Evergreen. We’re going to discuss the Evergreen Forum, in particular the meeting with the four participants at 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. We have to decide on format, setup, a questionnaire. The topic, prayer and worship in each person’s tradition, is already chosen.

kaddish the first line from Bleichrode prayer book 1923

Judaism, evangelical Christianity, science of mind and Islam will present this coming Saturday night. This will be the first of what we plan to be quarterly events. I’m excited about it, a little nervous, since it’s my idea, but Beth Evergreen is a collaborative place and many others have helped move the concept to this point. Next up will be a Buddhist, a Sikh, a Hindu and a Native American. That will be December 5th. A visiting scholar will present in the first quarter of 2017 on Reconstructionist Judaism’s thinking on these topics.

After lunch with Rabbi Jamie I’m going back to Shadow Mountain. Kate needs to get to the library in Bailey for her patchworkers group which meets there. I’ll take the opportunity to to go over to The Happy Camper and pick up some edibles.

Back home for a nap, then over to Beth Evergreen for the meeting at 4:00. Following this is the mussar leadership group at 6:30. Home around 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. A very full day.

Family Matters

Lughnasa                                                                   Eclipse Moon

GwangjuJoseph. He and SeoAh were in Gwangju for a week plus during which Kim Jong Un and his hermit kingdom exploded another powerful atomic weapon and were said to have prepared an IBM test. They returned home a couple of days ago to Macon. Which is now, according to the most recent projections, directly in the path of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 hurricane when it passed by Puerto Rico. Wind speeds of 185 with gusts up to 200 mph.

Irma sept. 7Mark. Is in Bangkok on his way to work in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He wrote me yesterday that he went to Chinatown, which is where I stayed in 2004 when I visited Southeast Asia and spent over a week in Bangkok. Mark lived longest in Bangkok of all the places his traveling life has taken him. So far.

Mary. Turned 65 a week ago, but is still going strong as a professor and researcher at the national teachers university in Singapore.

Jon. This is his first week in the new house on Florence in Aurora without the kids. They moved in together a week or so ago. On Monday they went back to Jen’s for 9 days. Ruth’s first cross country meet is this afternoon, a meet which includes, she thinks, all the middle school teams in DPS, Denver Public Schools. The course is 1.8 miles of hills. Gabe thought putting together the Millennium Falcon lego set might take him “a couple of days. Unless I don’t take a break, then it might take 30 minutes. Or, maybe an hour.” No report yet on the actual time.

303Kepler has finished up his meds for the kennel cough and the barking cough (ha,ha) has subsided. Rigel’s second round of youthful predatory behavior continues as she heads to the shed every time she leaves the house and when she returns she sniffs the deck very, very carefully. Something’s down there! Gertie continues to be a rascal. (note the demonic eye) Yesterday we caught her with her front paws up on the side of a chair, her nose against the shofar. Does she know it’s the high holidays? Or, was she just happy to see it?

The Rav4 blows cool air out of its a.c., having been down to 0.09 pounds of coolant when the specs require 1.9. The detailing also left it super clean on the inside. But, we can fix that. The Challenger has returned to its stall.

We got a snowplowing agreement yesterday from Ted of All Trades. A true harbinger of Game of Thrones favorite epithet. Fire danger remains low, as we like it, thanks to cooler, wetter weather over the last month. Consistent cool weather is still some time away, unfortunately.

Now we wait to see what Hurricane Irma will do to Joe and SeoAh.

Sine Me Up

Lughnasa                                                                Eclipse Moon

OK. Cataracts. The good news. Stable and not too bad. Bad news. The same. Sigh.

sine wayHad a nightmare last night. Not often I have those. This one involved a gradual decompensation from ordinary life to forgetfulness to a social worker coming to help me as a vagrant, finding me in a dilapidated house with some others, also disoriented. Frightening. Might have been instigated by a pun game I played last night at Beth Evergreen. I wasn’t very quick, sometimes had nothing. I felt a bit embarrassed, slightly intimidated. It had been a long day, I was tired and the games went on past my bedtime, so it wasn’t the best circumstances for me. Still.

This morning I’m off to Stevinson Toyota to see if I can get the air conditioning revved up again. Ironic because it was 40 degrees when I got up this morning. Down the hill is hot, record breaking hot over the last week with DIA hitting 96 two days ago, and we’re going in more often with Jon’s move to Aurora still underway. So. Fix the air con.

Electrical problem fixed. A wonky main circuit breaker. Fortunately Brian of Altitude Electric was nearby and had time in the early afternoon.

Kate had problems with hypoxia yesterday. The wildfires further west have filled our skies with particulates and ozone, making air quality tough on those with respiratory issues. Once she hooked up with her O2 concentrator, she improved quickly.

So. Life’s sine curves oscillate through our days. Yesterday had more trough than peak.

 

Bee Alive

Lughnasa                                                                     Eclipse Moon

2010 01 19_3455Trying to seat a new work habit. Write ancientrails, then my 750 words for Jennie’s Dead and after breakfast, do my 30 minutes on reimagining. Still cutting and filing posts. Workout. Lunch. Nap. Then, Latin and reading. After the writing, and before breakfast, catch up on the news. Worked yesterday. Ha. Takes awhile to get the body and mind to expect what I want at certain times of the day.

Kate went in to Jon’s new house on Tuesday after I got my hair and beard cut. New look! She took bedding for the kids. But going down the hill right now is fraught because our air conditioner has decided that above 85 degrees is just too hot for it to work. It blows, but it doesn’t cool. Denver, in the late afternoon, has been hitting the mid-90s.  Kate’s not a warm weather gal. Not in any way. She got overheated and it’s taking her a bit to recover. And, yes, the ac goes to the shop on Tuesday.

Artemis Honey, a good year

Artemis Honey, a good year

I went over to Rich Levine’s house last night for pizza and a salad. He’s the lawyer who did our estate work and a member of Beth Evergreen. He has also put lot of work into the new Beth Evergreen preschool project. The old preschool was about to shut down, taking with it not only the service provided to the kids, but a revenue stream for the synagogue. Rich and a few others, including Hal Stein, the new board president and Rabbi Jamie, who was a preschool teacher, led the effort to keep the preschool going under Beth Evergreen’s aegis.

The evening was cool and his beautiful house, which sits above Evergreen on the aptly named Alpine Drive has a mountain lawn; that is, one filled with boulders and native rock. After supper we walked up from his house, first on a short boardwalk, then on a trail over exposed rock, the mountain side, really, to a large open deck with an enclosed room where he does his academic work. Rich teaches constitutional law at the Colorado School of Mines.

Kate, decapping with the hot knife

Kate, decapping with the hot knife

The preschool’s Bee Alive theme this year correlates to Rich’s bee keeping project, which he began a year ago. We looked at his hives, he wanted my advice. His bee hives hang from a steel cable attached to a roof beam for the deck and about 50 feet away, a large ponderosa pine. This is a novel set up, mimicking, but with beehives, the way many people suspend bird feeders. Bears create the need. They love bird food and honey. A pulley system allows him to raise and lower the hives. Having their homes hanging in the air is just fine for bees.

I’m now, I think, an unofficial consultant and fellow worker in the preschool Bee Alive program. A lot of bee related work ahead. I have to do some research about mountain beekeeping.

 

 

 

Change Happens

Lughnasa                                                                        Eclipse Moon

20170731_182340Kepler has kennel cough, caused by the same organism, a bordetella variety, that causes whooping cough in humans, especially children. He got the bordetella vaccination, as did Rigel and Gertie, but he either got less of a dose-he didn’t want it-or he contracted a strain resistant to the vaccine. His racking, barking cough produces tenacious. Kate says this is a medical term designating a stringy, hard to clean up secretion. Well, it’s accurate. A visit to the vet later he’s on the mend, but the symptoms may last a while, depending on whether the organism is a virus or a bacteria, longer with the virus, shorter with bacteria.

Gertie went to Aurora with Kate and me yesterday evening when we took in the sleeping mats that came here late in the afternoon. She enjoyed the ride, she likes to go, but the heat, 95 degrees when we reached the Denver heat island, had her tongue lolling out of her mouth. Ours, too.

We got to the new house a bit before the kids and Jon returned from an initial trip to Target for essentials like food and clothing for Gabe, who’d forgotten to pack any. I suggested he go naked to school and he said, “No.” Ruth came in with groceries and began putting them away in the refrigerator. Gabe, also with packages, followed her, shouting in his high-pitched voice, “Gertie! She’s going to stay all night with us, right, Grandma?” Uhh, “No.”

Gertie and Ruth

Gertie and Ruth

Jon looked frazzled, a full day of teaching behind him and an evening and morning of single parenting ahead of him. This will be his first week on his own with the kids, except for the June vacation, since the divorce process began a year ago May. Right now there’s excitement and promise, enough to carry them through the first week, but not enough to ensure against upset and confusion.

Single parenting, as any of you who’ve done it know, has distinct challenges occasioned by full-time work and the rest of the time responsibility for the kids. Joint custody relieves this challenge half of the time, but creates challenges of its own. Jon and Jen are in the first weeks of creating a rhythm that not only serves Ruth and Gabe, most important, but that also serves them. It will take weeks, maybe months. In the meantime there is the potential for disagreements over pick up and drop off times, medical issues, school matters and the other things, large and small, that go with being a family, but a family divided by divorce.

Brother and sister filling the fridge for the first time

Brother and sister filling the fridge for the first time

As we drove home, back to the 35 degree cooler Shadow Mountain, both of us were a bit sad, a year plus worth of Jon living with us and the grandkids visiting on weekends behind us, memories now. There is, too, though, an exhilaration at having our house back. We can finish moving in.

 

Off the Road

Lughnasa                                                                          Eclipse Moon

20170821_103631_001This old body doesn’t bounce back like it used to. Driving 13 hours from Idaho to Conifer means a slow return to normal. It’s still underway today, Saturday, after our late Wednesday night arrival back home. Not at all unexpected. Still.

On Thursday we had to return the RV, pick up the dogs and chose to attend mussar, so Thursday during the day was not a time for recuperating. Yesterday was easier, some unpacking, our business meeting and going to the post office for held packages.

Today and tomorrow are slow, too, since the grandkids are with Jen for a hemophilia walk. I’m driving to Fairplay for a hike with Beth Evergreen to see an alpine bee research project on Pennsylvania Mountain. Tomorrow Kate and I will take a load of stuff in to Jon’s new house. He has the kids during the week for the first time this coming week, so he has to get ready for them. The 50/50 parenting arrangement takes effect now that he has a house. A big change for all involved, including us. He will move in over the next couple of months.

Gradually replenishing the battery. Realized just now that I’m like an older lithium-ion battery. I take longer to recharge and the charge doesn’t last as long.

 

Our Own Personal Idaho

Ruths polariods in the RV

Ruth’s polariods in the RV

8/21/2017         Lughnasa                                            Kate’s Moon

A saga of small proportions, but a saga nonetheless. After a late pickup of the RV due to the previous renter breaking a large outside storage container door, we were cramped in getting stuff into it. Ruth and Gabe slept in it in our driveway on Friday night and we finished packing Saturday morning.

We left around 7:30 am. Due to dire traffic predictions I picked a route that would minimize traffic though it would take a while longer to get there. I don’t mind using time on my own volition, but backed up bumper to bumper on an Interstate? Not so much.

Being a little bleary from the previous day I ended up missing the route I had chosen and finding the exit for an alternate instead. Instead of taking the turn for Empire and Granby, right next to Rocky Mountain National Park, we drove to my first idea, a routed going north out of Dillon on Co. 9. Some of the driving was on roads with narrow to no shoulders and I was still getting used to the hippotamus like wallowing of this big beast. One slight run off the road scared the bejesus out of me.

In an attempt to get back to the Granby route I took off east on Co 14. This was fun because it took us through the vast high plain known as North Park. There are three parks, South Park, Middle Park and North Park. South Park is in Park County, close to our home. We turned north again at Walden, a quaint little town that calls itself the moose viewing capital of the state.

Ruth, above the cab

Ruth, above the cab

Somehow though, after we passed into Wyoming, I missed Wy 130 and in the process took us off through the Medicine Bow National Forest. This was also beautiful, but much further south than I intended. This meandering took us about 100 miles out of the way. All good from a not all who wander are lost perspective, but it had a negative effect later on.

By the time we made it to Jackson, after a trip through another National Forest with mountains blued out as the sun sat behind them, a river flowing north beside the road, it was dark. Both Kate and BJ recommended against taking the Teton Pass at night, so I listened. We found a temporary home for the RV in the Jackson KMart parking lot.

For about three hours. At 12:30 pm a knock on the door and very bright lights outside announced the Jackson police department. Contrary to what we had heard KMart does not welcome overnight stays and “Jackson has an ordinance against illegal camping.” Oh. Well. If you put it that way.

So, again bleary eyed, this time after 12 hours or so of driving I put on pants and shoes, started the hippo and we moved away from KMart. Kate suggested we try the Motel 6, a place Jon stays when he comes to ski. $63 a night. They said rooms were $248 a night, a special rate just for the eclipse. Ha. However, the desk clerk kindly said we could stay in their parking lot for free. We did.

About 7 o’clock Sunday morning we fired up the hippo and drove to, wait for it, McDonalds for coffee, potato type food and an egg mcmuffin. We wanted to get out of Jackson and onto the Teton Pass. Which we did.

It’s not a difficult drive in the light, but it would have been treacherous in the hippo at night. Again, beautiful. Natural beauty surrounds us here in the West, especially following the Rocky cordillera north as we did. Sort of.

Once down the Teton Pass we passed into Idaho at Victor, then turned north toward Driggs. BJ, Kate’s sister, lives a half hour out of Driggs, up the side of the bowl that the mountains create here, a small version of a Park. Her home is rustic with wood flooring, weathered porches and an outbuilding that includes a sauna and a greenhouse. It’s quiet here, the opposite of Broadway and 78th in NYC, where she lives in the Beacon Hotel.

Tomorrow is the eclipse. We’ll see it from a meadow near here. More after that.

Losing the Sun

 

8/22/2017                                    Eclipse Moon

Kate, Jon, and BJ. On BJs deck.

Kate, BJ, and Jon. On BJs deck.

A black sun. Coronal flares shooting out, white against a blue-black sky. No birds flying, a sudden cool silence. Two minutes and twelve seconds passing fast. At 11:35 am, against a clear, just moments before hot blue. Gasps and exclamations came over these lower hills of the Big Horn Range, the ragged Tetons across the Tetonia valley, mute.

A moment of the occult revealed by darkness. The sun always moves across our spinning planet with those vast, hot flames reaching for the edges of the solar system. Unseen. Even the sun itself, except at a quick glance, or in the periphery of vision, stands hidden in its own brilliance. Not yesterday. Not for two minutes and twelve seconds.

A sight reminiscent of a secret society. Only initiates can see the truth. And it is so. It may be a secret society of millions or billions, but it is exclusive, often, as for me, happening, if at all, only once in a lifetime.

Six Olson/Johnsons: Jon, Ruth, Gabe, Anne, BJ, Kate and one Welsh Teuton sat on BJ’s east facing deck, eyes covered in glasses dark enough to make walking with them on impossible. At first we baked, heat from a late Idaho summer crackling down from the sun, naked and fierce as it can be at midday.

Totality

Totality

A small pinch of black intruded on the faded yellow globe we could see through the eclipse glasses. Baily’s beads, sunlight bouncing through valleys created by lunar mountains, shimmered for just a second then disappeared. The small pinch became a bigger one as our usually nocturnal moon, and a new moon, usually invisible, at that, showed up, its shadow cone moving at hundreds of miles an hour, racing across the U.S. from Portland to Charleston, passing us here just across the Big Horns from the vast potato fields of southern Idaho.

That image, black sun, coronal flares across the deeply bruised heaven is now a permanent resident in my memory. Brief though it was, its violation of the natural order so consistent over my life time, much like an earthquake disturbs our sense of the stability of the earth on which we walk, was so intense that it will stay available to me.

How often in a life do we get to shock ourselves in such a way? The sun shines in through the window of the RV as I write this, back to its old dangerously luminous self, too shiny for my eyes. “There are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.”

Our common sense philosophy allows us to move through our days without recourse to constant surveillance. The earth is solid. The air breathable. Night follows day. Our heart beats. During the day the sun shines unless obscured by clouds. When our experience deviates from these home truths, our inner world shakes. Can’t get enough oxygen? Heart pauses? Earth moves. Night comes near noon on a cloudless day. Even if we know the why, the empirical fact of such an insult to the received wisdom of our lives alters our confidence in what we believe. Alters it in a deep and profound way.

Alpine glow during totality, looking toward the Tetons

Alpine glow during totality, looking toward the Tetons

Perhaps such events are the key to humility. What we assume is true may be mistaken, mistaken in some fundamental way. Once one pillar of our inner temple is shaken, we may need to examine them all.

 

August 23, 2017   Lughnasa            Eclipse Moon

The day of the eclipse has come and gone. Jon, Ruth, and Gabe left that day for Colorado. The eclipse was on the first day of Gabe’s fourth grade year and Ruth, though already in school for a week or so, missed classes on Monday, too. They had to get back. It took Jon 11 and a half hours to get home.

BJ, Kate, Anne at Kates birthday party apres eclipse

BJ, Kate, Anne at Kates birthday party apres eclipse

Later that day Kate’s two sisters, Annie and BJ, Kate and I, drove into Driggs for a post-eclipse return to this earth. Traffic in that small Idaho farm town was heavy, a traffic jam slowed us down getting to the art fair which was our destination. There were mumblings about how the expected 100,000 people had ended up being only 10,000 and artists seemed disappointed in their sales.

Since we never left BJ’s deck to see the eclipse we escaped any traffic getting into place for a viewing and the traffic coming up from Conifer was never heavy, even on I-80, so that small Drigg’s experience was it for us. Fine with me.

Annie and BJ put together a birthday party for Kate with a happy birthday banner, glow in the dark bracelets, flowers and color changing small candles. We had salmon, potato salad, baked beans and fruit for dessert.

Tetonia

Tetonia

The next morning we had breakfast up at the big house. (what Kate and I from the RV perspective called BJ’s place) Kate ended up feeling crummy and left early to spend the morning resting. I wrote a bit, read, talked with Annie and BJ.

In the afternoon Annie, BJ and I drove 15 minutes over to Tetonia, a smaller town than Driggs, with the same name as the county. As you drive east away from the Big Horn foothills where BJ lives, the Tetons dominate the horizon, especially four jagged peaks that have a distinct alpine feel. The tallest and most severe of the peaks is Grand. Between the Big Horn foothills on the west and the Tetons in the east is a flat plain dotted with fields of wheat, alfalfa and pastures with Angus and horses. There are barns with hay lofts, Harvestor silos, grain elevators and farm equipment dealers on the main road. If you bracketed out the mountains, it could be a location in Iowa or southern Minnesota.

We visited a small shop in Tetonia, a show case for Steve Horn, who makes furniture, carves wood into whimsical fire place mantels with dancing bears or curious elk. The quality of his work is high and the prices reasonable. There were also other local crafts such as white turquoise jewelry and woven pine needle baskets, various rugs of a rustic cabin sort and a few scattered antiques.

Ankole-Watusi Horn, an African breed of cow

Ankole-Watusi Horn, an African breed of cow

There were also four horns, two smaller and two larger, that made me wonder what animal could possibly have worn them. So I asked. The owner came down from her office area above the store. “You know, I’ve been meaning to look them up. Give me a minute.” I did. “Come on up here, I’ll show you.” These were the horns of a central African cattle breed called the Ankole-Watusi. The largest horns of any cattle breed. The pictures she pulled up showed large cattle, perhaps oxen size, with enormous horns.

BJ wanted to eat lunch at the Badger Creek Cafe, a Tetonia restaurant a couple of blocks beyond Steven Horn’s place. “Put together by two chefs from NYC. Really good food.” Also closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. We all liked the name of a small woodworkers shop nearby, Mortise and Tenon.

Because BJ’s realtor and friend, Bobbie, had invited us over for dinner, we went back into Driggs to pick up some dessert. The Austrian pastry shop was closed as was Cicerolls, so we went to Broulin’s, a local supermarket. While there, I told BJ I liked it. For those of you familiar with Minnesota supermarkets, it would have been between a Lund’s and a Bylery’s, nicer than Colorado’s King Sooper.

from Bobbie and Barney's deck

from Bobbie and Barney’s deck

Turns out the locals, Bobbie for instance, view it as an intrusion by Jackson Hole prices and tastes into the area over the Teton Pass in Idaho. Probably so.

Later we met Bobbie and Barney at their home which overlooks the large agricultural plain with the craggy Tetons on display on its eastern edge. A very peaceful place.

Be Aware 8/16

Lughnasa                                                                     Kate’s Moon

At the Sasquatch Outpost in Bailey I asked, “Does anyone really believe in this?” referring to the Sasquatch. In asking the question to the two men and two women working there, I was aware of my genuine curiosity, my willingness to hear what these folks thought. It communicated to them, my willingness, and so we connected.

I received an eclipse related gift from my friend Tom Crane. While at the Outpost, I remembered that, his kindness, and became aware of the thread of friendship that has no distance, a quantum entanglement of the heart.

As I recall this awareness, I also recall the hand that Leah put on my shoulder as she passed me after making announcements at the shabbat service last week. Touch. Simple, no words. Powerful. Her awareness of me made me aware of myself as someone worthy of such a gesture. Also powerful.

Even though I know they’re silly, I do these quizzes I find on Facebook and in other places. A recent one, What is Your Jungian Archetype, has resonated with me. Part of the awareness is that even casual, non-deep encounters can change me. Even more though in this instance is my reaction to the conclusion:

The Innocent Child

Naive but a breath of new life and fresh ideas.

Your inner self archetype is that which closest matches your true personality. Your inner self is primarily influenced by the Innocent Child archetype.

It felt true, not as a total observation about me, of course, but as a part of me that I, at 70, celebrate, want to believe is true of me.

 

 

 

The Black Sun

Lughnasa                                                                               Kate’s Moon

PutrefactioA week from today we’ll be on the road in a rented R.V., Ruth and Gabe on board, headed to Driggs, Idaho. It will be Kate’s 73rd birthday.  I wrote a post on Ancientrailsgreatwheel.com about dark ecology and the ecocide. It occurred to me just now that the total eclipse might be the perfect metaphor for it.

As the extinction event occasioned by our rapidly changing climate, both already well underway, slides over the face of our inner sun and blots it out, we will not enter total darkness, but the corona of that black sun will flare in our consciousness, the heavens filled with the stars and galaxies of our inner universe will pop into view. We will have a chance then to consider the majesty of all of which we are a part, often hidden. We will see the world without us and know that it can and will be beautiful, more than we can imagine.

alchemyPerhaps this eclipse on August 21st is an opportunity for us all to merge the outer with the inner, to experience the same fear our long ago ancestors did when they imagined the world might die, the sun might never reappear. It may be a chance to integrate this slow motion catastrophe through which we are living, in which we are implicated, and consider it in a new way.

I’m going to try for that experience. Maybe you will, too.

 

 

 

For Tom

Lughnasa                                                                    Kate’s Moon

This is an overdue shoutout to my good friend, Tom Byfield.

So sorry to hear about your stroke, Tom. Gotta be scary, but if anyone I know can face down scary with a big laugh, it’s you. Moving to assisted living sounds like a big change, but there again, with books and arts and visits to the MIA when you’re able, I’m sure you’ll build a rich life.

It got me thinking about assisted living as an idea. Now that I’m past the 70 line, too, and with the history of strokes in my own family-Mom and Dad both-I know it’s always a possibility. I would find the transition to living in an apartment very difficult, but not impossible.

Tom, you’re a great role model for the 8th and 9th decades of life. You’ve met them with humor and passion, with intelligence and wit. You’ve stayed engaged and formed new friendships. I admire that. A great deal. Your poem at my moving to Colorado good-bye party is a treasure. I read it every once in while just for fun.

What happens after all this sturm und drang? Who knows? Maybe the afterlife for those of us who care about beauty is a vast museum with all the best art, good food, family and old friends. Plus all those dogs you’ve ever loved. It’d be pretty interesting to have DaVinci or Mary Cassatt or John Singer Sargent or a potter from the Song dynasty as a docent, wouldn’t it?

Right now the best I can come up with is that life is about friends and family, about love. That life, no matter what happens after, is a pretty damn interesting ride. As long as it lasts for both of us, I’m your friend.

 

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