I do not.

Written By: Charles - Jun• 09•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Friday gratefuls: Tom. Alan. The Bread Lounge. Rebecca. Luke. Buying tickets today for Korea. Talking to my son last night. Kep, my sweet boy. Kate, her memory a blessing. Dandelions. Bunch Grass. Green Green Green. Not brown brown brown. Blue Sky. Warner Robbins. Oklahoma City. Rabbi Jamie. God is Here. Metaphors. Kindness. Chesed. Anshel.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mountains Green

One brief shining: Over the last few La Nina years by now the Meadows would have turned brown, the Lodgepole Needles would look starved of moisture, Smokey the Bear would have had his paw at High or Extreme Fire danger, my back yard would be desiccated, but this year, this building toward La Nino year has seen so much Rain the Mountains and Valleys and Meadows have plants in abundance all in different shades of green from the deep green of faraway Mountain sides covered with Lodgepoles to the brilliant chartreuse of the Aspens as they leaf out, blazing against their darker brethren like they do in the fall when their Leaves turn gold to Grasses and Flowers with the rich healthy green of Photosynthesis at its peak.


Conversation with myself. Going out and being with folks, especially at CBE makes me happy. My practice this whole month for the middot of simcha, joy, was to go to one more event at CBE. I’ve done that and it did make me joyful. Yet when two of my favorite CBE’rs were doing a gig on something I care about, Gun Violence, I couldn’t rouse myself to go. Evenings out. Driving at night. Late to bed. As I said before. Can’t quite get the handle on this one. It’s easier to go out at night now that the days are longer and the roads aren’t Snowy and Icy. That lowers the threshold for getting my butt out of my chair and in the car. Even so. I guard my early mornings because that’s when I have good physical and mental energy. Another event tonight. Gospel music shabbat. Already figuring out why I can’t be there. Even though I would enjoy it.

This inertia traps me as it might you. As we age, our energy supply does dwindle. And mine has chemically induced torpor. Low testosterone and the side effects of my chemotherapy drugs. Still. A life ruled by not doing begins to fade away, reduce itself to habit and routine. Why I’m pushing forward with travel plans in spite of impulses to not go, stay home where it’s comfortable. My goal as I may have said here before is to live until I die. Not become some sit around guy with no focus and no energy.

Let me be clear however. This does not mean I feel a need to accomplish anything of note. I do not. Been there. Done that. No, this refers to a state of being alive as one engaged with the natural world, with others in appropriate proportions, with getting up in the morning and being glad for another day.

Silver threads

Written By: Charles - Jun• 08•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Shirley waste. A solid workout, resistance & cardio. A weighted blanket. An electric shaver. Joe Pickett on TV. Mark’s new apartment. Psilocybin spores on the way. Reading the Rivers and Mountains poets of China. Finding my character. Cold Mountain. The Threshold ritual. Nights out. Booked flight to Israel. Oct. 25 thru Nov 10th. Excited. Getting some tips from a friend of Tom’s. Will probably buy Korea tickets this week or early next. On the road again.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Travel

One brief shining: Violet who served me breakfast said my hat and my shirt made a nice outfit which I assured her was totally coincidental she laughed as if that were not possible and I’d made an attempt at modesty later she looked at my book, Birchers, and asked me what genre was my favorite hers she offered was love stories if the book doesn’t make me cry I don’t like it.


Got hungry while writing, realized I had little I wanted in the house so I took myself to the Conifer Cafe. That’s three times including last Saturday. Unusual. Got to make a grocery order, get some breakfast variety available. Evening meals, I’m good.

Was gonna go to the synagogue last night for Richard Levine and Rabbi Jamie’s conversation about gun violence. Didn’t. No good reason except I didn’t want to drive to Evergreen or get home late. Late being 9:30 or 10. Acting class on Tuesday found me hitting the bed at 10:10. Don’t like that.


Finally cracked the code for booking my flight. Get in at midnight. Stay in Tel Aviv that night, then a taxi to the group hotel in Jerusalem the next day. A friend of Tom’s had recommended Eddie, a tour guide, but he’s booked. Not sure whether I need a guide or not, but he sounded worth exploring. Korea in late August will see me in the Far East. Israel the Near East. Asia is a big continent.


How bout those Nuggets? Jokic and Murray both with triple-doubles. I’m taking the Nuggets in 5. Next Grand Prix is in Canada.


I’ve been reading books like Fever in the Heartland, Why Liberalism Failed, Birchers, Christian Nationalism, Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West so you don’t have to. Got Regime Change by Patrick Deneen in the mail yesterday. He also authored Why Liberalism Failed. Regime Change offers a road map to a post-liberal future. He says.

Not in my lifetime. He believes liberalism has two Satanic horns one Democrat and one Republican but still festooning the head of his fiery majesty and moving in unison when he thrusts his pitchfork. In brief he believes both Democrats and Republicans are classical liberal parties bent on expanding the amount of space each individual has for self-expression. Republicans work toward economic freedom and international markets while Democrats expand social realms like sexuality, racial engagement in the demos, and programs for the poor.

Deneen sees right through their often bitter electoral contests (academic x-ray vision) to focus on their mutual expansion of government as the guarantor of free markets here and abroad, human rights based on sexual and racial differences, leveling programs for those left behind economically.

I imagine if woke wasn’t already taken, he’d be saying Wake Up America.

There are many threads here. Beginning to come together. Later.

The Slow Crossing

Written By: Charles - Jun• 07•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: The Mule Deer in the back. The merry, merry month of June. Tal. Joan. Lid. Rebecca. The Bacchae. The Iceman Cometh. Tennessee Williams. The Dybbuk. Phaedra. Racine. House of Leaves. Mark Adams. Tip of the Iceberg. Issa. Haiku. Theater. Acting. Building a character study, presenting it in a project. The gospel singing at CBE last night. The Great Sol is so so lit. Trains. Booking a flight to Tel Aviv. Mark in an apartment. In Hafar. Those two Elk along the road last night.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Visitation of the Mule Deer

One brief shining: Those Elk the three one with only one antler come now to eat Dandelions instead this morning it was one Mule Deer inside my fence her buddies looking at her from outside it while my heart admitted mild disappointment wondering when those big Bulls would get here having come four years in a row I enjoy their visit.


A definite shift, a threshold crossing under slow way. I’ve added go anywhere days to my calendar. Yesterday after a solo breakfast at Primo’s I turned onto 285 headed toward Bailey instead of back toward home. Took the first exit and turned left instead of right to Staunton State Park. S. Elk Creek Road. What a beautiful drive. Elk Creek meanders back and forth across the road doing ox bows in a large Meadow just off 285 then crosses to become a fast moving wide Stream creating white Water as it smashes itself against Rocks again and again.

The homes on the first stretch had a similar style. They used the bark board cut at a saw mill when starting to mill a whole tree as siding. They perched on solid slabs of Rocky Mountain basalt (I think) looking down on the action generated by the Stream below. The Valley sides are exposed Rock in many spots. Tall Ponderosa Pine throw shade at the road. The road itself vacillates between asphalt, gravel, and graded rocky Soil. I had to turn around fifteen minutes into my drive because two county road levelers took up the whole of a barely two lane stretch of road.

Elk Creek road is one of my new favorite places up here. That’s the way of the Mountains. You learn the roads you use a lot, the Mountains and Streams, the Valleys, the way homes arrange themselves down in the Valley and up in the Mountains. You begin to imagine that’s the way the Mountains are. But no. Only an exit away a totally different experience exists, one you would never know unless you turned down that road, drove along it for awhile.

That’s true of Blue Creek Road which interests Brook Forest Drive. Maybe four miles toward Evergreen on a road I take several times a week. I turned up Blue Creek Road six months ago. Wow. Open meadows. Large horse farms. Big houses. Each road has its own character, a character defined by the different folds and peaks and Valleys and Streams that Mountains create.

Learning, exploring. Even in my own smallish section of the Rockies. That’s part of the slow way of the crossing.


Day to day

Written By: Charles - Jun• 06•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Great Sol. Light on the Needles of the Lodgepoles out my window. Black Mountain clear against blue Sky. The Elk Calves and their Moms on Lower Shadow Mountain Drive. That big Mama Bear and her two Cubs on Warhawk. It’s kiddy rearing time for our wild neighbors. Airline Websites. Travel details. Early Spring weather. Waiting for the sudden jump to Summer. Dandelions. Those three Elk Bulls. Waiting on their arrival. Soon. Travel agents. Crows and Ravens. Canada Jays. That fat Chipmunk. The Rabbits who live under the Shed. Mountain Lions.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Bear Cubs

One brief shining: In the Spring here in the Mountains Flowers emerge later Trees leaf out later but the Elk birth their Calves, the Mule Deer their Fawns, the Moose their Calves, the Mountain Lion their Kittens, the Black Bears their Cubs, the Fox their Kits while the Mountain Streams rush down, carrying the Water of Snow Melt and later Rains, while the temperatures fluctuate between warm and cold, while the days become longer and the nights shorter the Mountains and the Forests become a nursery for our wild neighbors.


In the morning I turn off my electric blanket, close the bedroom window, pick up my life alert button from its charging station, unhook my cellphone from its cable, turn off the oxygen concentrator, and go out into the next room for my hearing aid. I take my first pill of the day, synthroid for my funky thyroid, washing it down with some tap water. I set my phone’s alarm for one hour after the time I took they synthroid. That alerts me to take my morning meds which include my chemotherapy. Grabbing my phone I head upstairs to write Ancientrails in the home office. I often finish around the time my alarm rings, some days, like today writing takes longer.

Today I had to strip the sheets from the bed so Ana can put clean sheets on, arrange the blankets. Also I had to refill my seven day plastic pill containers. Took up some of the time I would have been writing.

I’m very aware of how dependent on electricity I am. Blanket. Charging for my phone, my life alert button, my hearing aid. The oxygen concentrator. And, medications. I’m alive thanks to the batches of pills I throw down each morning and evening. Life with cancer and hypertension. Life up high. 8,800 feet.

Bear comes next week to do the annual maintenance on my Kohler generator. It kicks in when heavy snows or lightning strikes take out my feed from C.O.R.E. Without it I would have no well-water, no cooking on my induction stove, no lights, no computer access. Electricity is the chi for my day-to-day life.

My life is quite a distance from the hibernating Bear in a rocky cleft or the Mountain Lion in their den. I am softer, less resilient than they are. Even though I can find food perhaps more easily, I require an automobile for the task while they rely only on their paws and their instinct. Which of us is more likely to survive global warming?


Worth the Journey

Written By: Charles - Jun• 05•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Monday gratefuls: The Rains. The cool nights. The Spanish Grand Prix. Those Nuggleheads. Max Verstappen, a phenom. Royal Gorge Railroad. Another rail journey with Tom. Israel trip becoming complicated. A bit. The Great Sol breaking up the gray Sky with Light. Brother Mark photographing his time in Hafar. Looks like a Nebraska small town with sand and Muslim architecture. Oh, and Arabic. Travel. Korea. A busy June. Life’s picking up its pace for me. And, why not?

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Cool nights

One brief shining: Tried to figure out a way to make Chicken tenders edible so I got out the tenderizer and smacked them a couple of times each, put a poultry brine in a gallon Ziploc and stuffed them in, let them sit in the fridge for a couple of days, put chorizo to cooking in my cast iron skillet, added the drained Chicken tenders and some cut up cooked potatoes, a short time for the Chicken tenders to heat through, then plated them with the potatoes and some collard greens.


Turned out well. The chorizo spiced up the bland Chicken tenders and the smacking and the brining plumped them up. Not overcooked, seasoned. A good meal.

Ate it while watching the second half of the Spanish Grand Prix. Max Verstappen drives to the front of the field from the pole, builds up enough of a lead to ensure that a pit stop won’t cost him his position and starts lapping the field. He makes it look so, so easy. Yet he’s so far in front of the best drivers in the world, the perfect union of man and Red Bull machine. Red Bull has won all of the Grand Prix’s so far this season, Sergio Perez has won two and Verstappen the rest. Dominance. It won’t last though. In a sport as demanding as Formula 1 it never does.


Looks like I may be in Israel on my own for five days before the group tour starts. I plan to fly in on October 27th, check in early to the group hotel. If a group trip to Petra happens before the trip, I’ll be on that, too. If not, more time to experience this ancient city. I love being on my own, wandering where I want, finding this and that, meeting locals, eating street food or in out of the way restaurants. This will be my first time in the Middle East, a place I studied extensively while in seminary and has been constantly present in my life since Joseph deployed to Bahrain, Mark started teaching in Saudi Arabia, and Kate and I joined CBE.

With me on this journey will be memories of New Testament stories like the Mount of Olives, the sites of Jesus’ crucifixion, burial and resurrection (The Church of the Holy Sepulcher), the garden of Gethsemane-that stained glass window in Alexandria First Methodist where my family sat all those years-as well as the Dome of the Rock where Muhammed landed after his night journey and then ascended to heaven. Jewish inflections too. The first temple site is coterminous with the Dome of the Rock. The wailing wall. The holocaust inspired push to create a contemporary homeland for the Jews. So much else of which I am ignorant.

Not to mention the crusades. A key focus of medieval piety. And early anti-Muslim bigotry. Lots of historical streams running this through this one spot on the globe.

Worth the journey.


The Hardest Problem

Written By: Charles - Jun• 04•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Kate, her memory, her sweet and blessed memory. Jon, a memory. Another cool Night, good sleeping. 41 this morning. Spanish Grand Prix. Nuggets game 2 tonight. Another gray Morning with Clouds slipping over the peak of Black Mountain. Reading the Bacchae and the Iceman Cometh for monologues. Dionysus. God as metaphor. Consciousness. The hard problem. The waning Shadow Mountain Moon. Ingenuity, the little helicopter that could. On Mars. American space exploration. Yes. The James Hubble.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Consciousness, hard problem or not

One brief shining: So the brain takes in information from the senses to predict how to survive in the next few moments its job for millions of years and in the process has to build a map of reality-remember though the map is not the territory-and then move our enfleshed DNA to find food, hide from a predator, find a willing partner for reproduction all the while keeping track of its own reactions to better enhance its performance and in the process creating a narrator who can sift through and identify learnings, help in non-immediately crucial tasks like talking and laughing and wondering thus creating the Self?


Been having lots of various ideas over the last week or so. One of them tentatively expressed above. A summary of this article in Quanta, What Is the Nature of Consciousness?. Then a building notion, one nurtured over years of skepticism tempered by yearning. About God. Got this new idea from a book I’ve bought but not read, God Is Here. By a Reconstructionist Rabbi. Its thrust is to update metaphors about God. Fair enough. They need it. But, I realized. What if even an update has the wrong end of the stick? Makes more sense to me that God is the metaphor. Satan, too, for that matter. As Shiva and Vishnu and Brahma and Ganesh and Kali. Allah. The Tao. Chi. Prana. Soul.

Metaphors for this ages old dance between organism and environment. What is Fire? Water? Earth? Air? Death? Love? Sex? God as a metaphor for the wrestling organisms do with a problem even harder than consciousness, how to survive in an often hostile world, a world accessed only through the mediation of the senses, a world we cannot know directly-Kant’s ding an sich, the thing in itself-yet in which we must move and love and have our becoming. A mystery compounded of mystery. The ineffable world critical to our next action. Did that work last time? Why? Will it work again? Why? Is there a way to optimize my/our reactions to ensure our life? At least for now?

One of my favorite Torah stories: Jacob wrestling with the Angel at the Jabbok Ford. Yes. Our moment to moment struggle. Leaning into behaviors that have served us in the past yet finding ourselves blocked by new circumstances, ones inscrutable based on our learnings to this point. Or Abraham and Isaac. What must we be willing to give up to continue. To make our next actions a bit more likely to avoid serious injury or death? And, critically for God as metaphor, who or what says this behavior is the right one? That is, the one most likely to advance our DNA into the future?

Guess this work is appropriate to Sunday morning. Would not preach in a Presbyterian church, but a UU church or a Reconstructionist synagogue might hear it.

Small Town Life

Written By: Charles - Jun• 03•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Mark deep in the sands of the Arabian Peninsula. Mary coming here on June 16th. Korea. My son’s new apartment. Huge. Working on details for Israel pre-tour. A gray Sky. An El Nino on its way. Better weather for us here in the Mountains. Acting class. My monologue. Hunting for restaurants in Jerusalem. Traveling. An Ellis family trait. Marina Harris. Ana. Furball Cleaning. Taking myself out for breakfast. Aspen Perks. Reading Birchers. Finished Fever in the Heartland. Reading One Thousand Nights and the Mahabarata. Took a break from Korean, back to it today.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: This year in Jerusalem.

One brief shining moment: Gray skies put a shroud over Black Mountain and the bowed Branches of the Lodgepoles seem subdued this weather so different from June of years past when hot dry Winds raced across Shadow Mountain drying out the Grasses and the Needles of the Lodgepoles pushing Smokey the Bear to move his pointing paw into the high or extreme Fire danger positions now we Mountain dwellers can relax a bit as his paw remains where it has been since Winter-on low.


Taking a break here. Off to Aspen Perks with Birchers.

Met Murphy and Pete again. I slid into the booth with them. Murphy’s a South Carolina transplant as of four years ago. A handyman, but obviously well educated. He’s got a New England accent, slight, but as he said his wife reminds him he was lucky enough to marry a Southern gal. She’s a horse trainer currently back in South Carolina working with horses they still own. They sold their property but kept some horses. Near a little town just across from Augusta, Georgia in South Carolina.

Pete’s around my age, maybe a bit older. He’s a native Coloradan. Born in Denver. A happy right winger to Murphy’s gregarious lefty. Just before we got up to go I said my son was in the military. Pete had indicated he was, too. Yeah I said I was an anti-Vietnam war protester and my boy goes in the military. Pretty sure I saw Pete wince but he was headed up to pay and we were all leaving. Some stories remain fraught. Will have to have that conversation with Pete next time.

Nice to make a random connection up here. Like with Kat. Whom all three of us agreed is a top of the line waitress. She warned me, while they could hear, that these two are dangerous. Small town life.


Almost getting ready to spend real money on the Israel trip. I’ll go 6 days early. Explore Jerusalem on my own and take a before the tour starts trip to Petra with others who want that as a side journey. First step is an airline ticket. Then travel insurance. After that the two installments for the group tour.


Saw the new apartment near Osan. 4 bedrooms. Looks even bigger with little to no furniture in it. My daughter in law sent me a video. Murdoch followed her often showing up in the shots.


With Birchers and Fever in the Heart Land I’m beginning to get a great historical perspective on the odd and fraught political moment in which we find ourselves. A clear lesson is that there is no underestimating the darkness of the human heart when it fills with fear and narrows its intake valves.


Cancer News

Written By: Charles - Jun• 02•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Friday gratefuls: Cool nights. Good sleep. Those Nuggets! Jokic and Murray. The Spanish Grand Prix. OK, shoot me, I can be a guy, too. Mussar. New metaphors for God or God as metaphor. Yourself as metaphor. Cancer. Griff and neuro-muscular massage. Diane in Ohio. Mark O. in Aspen with Dennis. Brother Mark exercising his eye with his camera. Mary coming here in mid-June. Jon Bailey, mobile car detailer. June 10. Getting details done on Israel trip, Korea. Brining tenderized Chicken tenders. Disinfecting my cutting boards in the sunlight. Seoah’s influence. Three days with little on the calendar. House chores. The Grand Prix. Like that.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Shadow Mountain Home with its art mostly hung.

One brief shining: You know sports basketball motor sports baseball football watching somebody else do something they are really, really good at can become an all consuming self-absorbing activity so passive so self-denying what would anybody watch me do that I am really, really good at you know pay good money sit in the nosebleed seats to see me handle my fingers on a keyboard I don’t know or sit down and listen to someone, listen hard for the big prize maybe sit in my chair reading with great concentration no I don’t think so.


For all you cancer watchers out there. New PSA is in. Still undetectable. Testosterone well below 10. I feel great, more energy. Lost five pounds. Kristie, oncology p.a., says the drug holiday looks like a go sometime in August, starting probably before I take off for Korea. The drug holiday is necessary because the androgen deprivation therapy drugs I’m on, Erleada and Orgovyx, wane in effectiveness if you’re on them too long. During the drug holiday my testosterone will bounce back which should give me more energy. Although. It also gives my dormant cancer cells food.

The question then becomes how well the drugs have pushed those cells into quiescence. Apparently in rare cases the PSA never starts to rise again. A sort of cure. That was the concept in radiating the two possible sites of active cancer in my lymph node and on my T3 vertebrae. Kill those active sites and if the other, less energetic cells stay quiet my PSA may stay down. Possibly for ever. Not counting on that though I would be pleased of course. The other benefit of killing those active sites is that even if my PSA does start to rise it should not be as soon as it would have been if those sites still existed.

Even if my PSA stays down for a good while, I’ll still have to have regular blood draws for PSA levels. Because my cancer will never be gone now, but it might stay quiet for a long time. May it be so.


Thought about going down to Brooks Tavern last night to watch the Nuggets game. Covid wariness and my general evening inertia found me following the game through regular updates on my phone. This could be the start of something big for the home team.


Written By: Charles - Jun• 01•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Kristie. Prostate Cancer. Orgovyx. Erleada. Drug holiday. Chatbotgpt4. A marvel. Adirondack chairs. Cool nights. Whacking all the moles. My son, working hard. Always. Advocates at AARP Advantage. Psilocybin. Gabe’s new yellow Converse tennies. Murdoch. Kep, my sweet boy. Kate, her memory a blessing. Jon, a memory. Hearing aid hard reset. Amy, my audiologist, following her soccer world to New Zealand. KFC. Mark in Hafar, Saudi Arabia. Getting ready for summer. Diane in the Hoosier State. Fever in the Heartland. A must read for all Hoosiers. Hate. Demagoguery. Trump was not the first.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The night Sky, the Shadow Mountain Moon with Spica, the brightest star in Virgo. May 30th.

One brief shining: Entering a zone of yearning a place captured by that German Romantic painting Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog if you turned him around right now he would have my face my hand would be on his cane and I would be happy with all that hair while looking at the Mountains in the distance in my case the Continental Divide wondering what crossing this threshold will bring into my life and eager to find out.


Here’s an aha you may have had long ago. Probably did. Insights don’t come on any particular schedule. The Gregorian calendar, which fixed the problems of the Julian. Ubiquitous now. The calendar of business. The standardization of the year. But at what cost? A heavy one, I think. It abstracts time, pretending we can define a day, a particular day, with a number and a month’s name, a so-called year. Of course we can. We do. But this is only a framing of natural cycles, ordering them according to our need for precision instead of admitting the messiness of accounting for time using the phases of the Moon as Lunar calendars do.

If we continued to use Lunar calendars, we would be attuned to the Moon, to the night Sky. We would have to acknowledge with the addition of leap months that time has no precision as well as no real linearity. Each month the Moon waxes and wanes. And it continues this lighting up and darkening down every time our Earth turns. We can walk outdoors and see its dark new Moon phase or wonder at its brightest fullness during the Autumn. Each lunar month the Moon repeats while on the Earth it graces with its lambent light seasons change. Then themselves repeat.

A Lunar calendar would remind us each month of the Moon’s presence its current phase. Then we could notice its phases against the backdrop of Spring’s build up to the growing season. See the Moon rise over Corn and Wheat fields, over Gardens lovingly tended. Watch as the Harvest Moon again shines down on the combines and the Corn pickers. Feel the Winter season’s Solstice that dark night and its relationship to the phase of the Moon.

We would once again feel our lives writ in the language of the Great Wheel. Birthed in the Spring. Growing strong and tall in life’s Summer. Maturing in the Harvest time. Becoming Sage and Elder as whiteness comes to our hair and to our fields. Then repeats in our grandchildren and their children until the fallow season for the Earth herself.

What a character

Written By: Charles - May• 31•23

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Alan. Noi. Lid. Joan. Marilyn. Rebecca. Tal. The character study acting class. Deborah and Abby, too. My passport, expiring 2029. The Conifer Cafe, tamale and egg with green chili. Ode, trippin’ thru Colorado. Psilocybin spores. On their way. Happy Camper. How do I feel. Or, personal inventory. The amphitheater at CBE. Finding a hermit character. Stretching the Self. My son and his wife. Murdoch. My dishwasher. Refrigerator. Induction stove. Sink. Solar Panels. Mini-splits, heat pumps.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Being There with Peter Sellars

One brief shining: We sat in a semi-circle in the social hall of Congregation Beth Evergreen the Rabbi’s son teaching us to move as an ensemble, to balance the space, and how to sit with a cracked egg running down our head loosening each part of the body it touched, running our tongues around our mouths to taste our last food, sniffing trying to smell ourselves, putting our hands on our knees to notice how it felt to the touch, listening listening listening as usual I could not hear much, finally opening our eyes and seeing something we hadn’t seen before looking looking looking closing our eyes and drawing it in our mind’s eye a Lee Strasberg exercise outside the usual Stanford Meisner work Tal prefers.


Yes. Back at it again. Acting class. Third one with Tal. I skipped the Winter semester. This one is character study. Met Noi a local artist and photographer. Lid, who identifies as non-binary and has their happy place in a city park in Nebraska. Alan is in it, coming in a bit late and when asked what his happy place was said having breakfast with Charlie. Joan Greenberg, the author of several published novels including her most well-known, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. Like Alan a long time member of CBE. Rebecca a former oil and gas lawyer is also in the class as she was in the two other classes I took. Deborah and Abby also in the class were not there last night.

At some point we all have to pick a character. Tal last night went through archetypes often used in playwriting classes: the Caregiver, the Hero, the Sage, the Jester, the Outlaw, the Ruler, the Member, the Lover, the Creator, the Explorer. Alan would like to study Lear. I’m interested in a hermit character, a Chinese scholar/sage type. Wanting to explore myself and my current situation. Might work this character study into my planned Crossing the Threshold ritual on October 8th.

These classes push me into a different place. More emotional. More thoughtful about my body as an instrument of artistic expression. Into the Charlie who took many theater classes as an undergraduate. Who did modern dance. Acted in high school and seminary. Who went with the family to Stratford, Ontario many summers to Shakespeare on the Festival stage. Who had season tickets so many years to the Guthrie. All the memorable performances there. A place of modest discomfort sometimes. Growing edge.

BTW: my happy place is my home.