Animals

Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Kep. The insistent one. Doug, the painter. Starting the first week of March. Rich Levine. A smart guy. Breakfast. Alan, packing. Marilyn and Irv. Ice fisherfolk in Minnesota. May the water be crystal clear and filled with fish. Ice fisherfolk in Colorado. May the ice hold you up. Ice. Lighter than liquid water. We should all be very grateful for this anomaly. The James Webb, peeking behind the curtain of time that vast distance throws up.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rich’s class on practical philosophy

 

Kep has decided that 5:45 is his sweet spot. He wants out and me up. 5:45 is also a sweet spot for me. In dreamland. Guess whose needs come first? The good news is that he doesn’t wake me up in between so…

Mussar lesson this week focused on a Talmudic commentary on animals. Feed your animals first. The conversation got into some deep places about animals. Why feed animals first? Because, like infants, they can’t be sure food is coming when they’re hungry. They suffer from this uncertainty so it is our responsibility to see to their needs first. We can delay gratification, know that our food awaits us. Not so with the animal.

The conversation went toward the emet, or the truth, of the animal’s needs. We acknowledge the truth of their reality, their hunger, and their feelings. This encourages us toward chesed, or loving kindness, toward the animals for whom we have responsibility. In my world this includes Kep and my wild neighbors.

Interestingly though the human response is different toward our wild neighbors. We do not feed them at all. Why? Because they become habituated to human food and human contact. Begin to lose their fear of humans. Then bad things happen. Like Bears entering houses. Cars. Sometimes threatening people. When a wild animal threatens a human, that animal will be first relocated. But if and often when it returns, it is euthanized.

Our care and concern for their life shows up in other ways. Paying close attention to the road and Mountainsides for animals about to enter and/or cross. Maintaining good habitat that our wild neighbors can rely on. Learning about their habits and lives so we can interfere as little as possible. An example here is not allowing antler collection until May. Why? Because late winter and early spring sees the birth of Elk calves, Mule Deer fawns, and disruption of their lives during that time can lead to the death of the young ones.

And, yes, this all leads toward the vegetarian argument. Wish I could get there, but I can’t. Talk about habituation. Eating less and less red meat, but still eating fish. Chicken. Pork. Eggs.

 

If you haven’t read Heather Cox Richardson today, I recommend her. She makes the case for a liberal view of governments role in society. Here’s a paragraph:

“In contrast to the Republican theory, President Joe Biden and the Democrats have revived the theory embraced by members of both parties between 1933 and 1981. That theory says that the federal government has a role to play in the economy, regulating business, providing a basic social safety net, investing in infrastructure, and protecting civil rights. Rather than freeing capital for those at the top, Democrats want to invest in ordinary Americans who will, they believe, spend their paychecks, thus building the economy as they move money directly into the hands of their neighbors.” HCR, 2/4/2023

This is a minimal understanding, but perhaps an achievable one. Politics is the art of the possible.

Posted in Bees, Dogs, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Great Work, Jefferson County, Mountains, Politics, Shadow Mountain | Leave a comment

China.

Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

Friday gratefuls: Kep. His ailments. Award Winning Pet Grooming. Diane. Her performance tonight in San Francisco’s Symphony Hall. Community Music Center. All those dealing with bureaucracy. Anywhere. Critical thinking. Philosophy. Anthropology. College. The 60’s. Still resonating. Ukraine. That Chinese spy balloon. China. Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Monkey’s Journey to the West. Dream of the Red Chamber. Taoism. Chuang Tzu. Lao Tze. Tao Te Ching.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Chinese civilization

 

I know. Xi Jingping. The anointed one. The new red emperor. Facing a jittery economy. A nation tired of zero covid protocols. So tired they actually protested in spite of the authoritarian and expected response. A populace, some of it anyhow, wishing for a bit of democracy. Some taste of accountability to the people. Their ongoing push in the South China Sea. And, most of all, Taiwan. Just. Sitting. Out there.

Now a Chinese spy balloon over Montana? What the hell is a spy balloon anyhow? Seems like a pretty low tech idea. And one when found that has done what you might expect. Raised tensions after a lot of hot war talk from Air Force Generals and pundits.

All of this saddens me. I love Chinese culture. Its rich history. From sheep scapula bones used to predict the future, the first evidence of ideograms to the grave of Qin Shi Huang Di, the first unifier of China. The Han dynasty Ferragana horses in clay. The Song dynasty’s never equaled ceramics. Song dynasty landscape painting. The Chinese classics like Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Calligraphy. Taoism.

When Kate, Joseph, and I visited China in 1999, Beijing had a traffic problem. But it was bicycles. Not cars and trucks. Bicycles carrying all manner of goods, especially charcoal briquettes for home heating and cooking. The Great Wall showcased Chinese ingenuity and perseverance. The Forbidden City. No longer forbidden and opening on to Tienanmen square where Mao’s body lies frozen in time. And the new emperor’s government has its prominent buildings.

Most of the sites we visited had no central heating including the grim cloisonné factory, a place where workers were still in place well into the evening, which had both no heating and lighting only from bare light bulbs.

When we landed after a way too long flight from Minneapolis, there were no lights at the Beijing airport. No jetway either. We deplaned and walked into the airport building, lit dimly.

This was less than twenty-five years ago. China has taken a great leap forward. And lifted many of its citizens out of mind bending poverty. Not all, by any means, but many. It has become a world power. One determined to return to its perceived rightful place in the global order.

It’s not a friendly neighbor. Just ask Tibet, Vietnam, India, Korea. The Philippines. Its enmity with Japan is different since Japan invaded and tried to annex large chunks of China. At the present moment Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam all have reasons to want China to fail.

What does the U.S. want? It can’t want war with an adversary so far away, with an increasingly sophisticated military. We should want detente of some sort, a peaceful co-existence. Not sure that’s going to happen. We have a stake in the national integrity of all its unhappy neighbors. Especially Taiwan. It will not take much to set off a kinetic war.

And Joe, Seoah, and Murdoch so close by.

Posted in Asia, Dogs, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Korea, Politics | Leave a comment

Cuffed

Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Vascular Institute. Dr. Mubarak. All those blood pressure cuffs. Florida Avenue. Found it! Steak and Shake. Driving down the hill and back up again. My arteries and veins. Nichie. Helping me. Help. Tom and his careful reading. The Morning Sun. The Lodgepoles clear of Snow. Waiting. Kep. Grooming today. Busy days. Low T. A blue Colorado Sky with puffy white Cumulus.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Good blood vessels

 

I know I’ve done a lot of medical stuff but this one is interesting. Promise. So. Take off your pants and put on these shorts. Ooh, silky. Nice. Lie down and I’ll be back in. The pregnant nurse. I took off my shoes and socks, pants as requested.  Put on the shorts.

When she came back in, the nurse put blood pressure cuffs on both arms. Both thighs. Both calves. Both feet. And on my big toes. More cuffs than a major takedown of a criminal organization. She then snaked lines to each cuff. And one by one, or rather two by two, she took my blood pressure from my arms to my toes. Having your blood pressure taken on your big toe? Weird.

I sat for a while in an interior waiting room. A nurse finally came and got me to go see Dr. Mubarak. He came in the exam room and leaned against the wall. I have no idea why your feet were cold. Sometimes I have to put mine on my wife. My arteries and veins in my extremities are not impeded. At all.

Dr. Mubarak was in the room for 2 minutes. I left. Happy with a good report.  Back up the hill.

 

Distracted a bit this last couple of weeks. Missed a dental appointment as I said. Showed up late for my appointment with Kristie. Had difficult finding Florida Avenue yesterday. I know, use GPS. I don’t like to. But in the instance of unfamiliar locations in the future, I plan to. Also. Read my calendar more carefully. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but this cluster doesn’t feel good either. Nothing else. Otherwise on the ball. What does that even mean? On the ball.

My best guess. The money issues with cancer drugs and the question of how to handle the metastases. Plus my annual physical and med changes, new appointments. As I wrote the other day, I felt overwhelmed. This is a point where life without a partner really sucks. No one to do an oh that’s not a big deal check in with. Kate was great at that. Observant and honest. Always.

Tom noted that I was in a much better place than a year ago. Birthday coming, but Rigel dying. Also not even a year after Kate’s death. Guess I can take his observation as a good sign.

 

After seeing Diane, I’m off to Bailey to Award Winning Pet Grooming. Keeping Kep sleek. Then back home. Handling stuff.

 

 

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More medical stuff. Skip if not interested.

Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Shirley Septic. Kristie. Nichie. Monty. Pam. Good lab numbers. Mets. No, not those Mets. Metastases. Prolia. For strong bones. Weight loss. Colorado River Compact. Snowpack. Water. So necessary, so scarce here. The West. The Rocky Mountains. Laurentian Shield. The Huronian Supergroup. Cratons. Erleada. Orgovyx. Award Winning Pet Grooming. Vascular Institute. Ultra Sound.

Sparks of joy and awe: Urology Associates. Has my back.

 

Whoa. 82 minutes for my workout yesterday. And, I mean whoa. Wore me out. In a good way.

 

Over to Urology Associates in Littleton for my three month checkup. The Orgovyx/Erleada combination keeps me in the undetectable range. Still aiming for taking me off of them late summer, early fall. So they don’t lose efficacy for me.

That last point may tip the decision about radiating my two active metastases sites. I don’t want to go off the meds with active cancer sites. Going to see Dr. Eigner on the 20th of this month. Will decide then. Kristie suggested I get his input, too, before I made a final decision. She said it’s a tough call. It is. I wouldn’t hesitate if it didn’t involve my spine.

After my medical consult and my every six month shot of Prolia, I went to see Nichie. A Nurse navigator. Glad. Choppy financial waters. Her specialty. She handed me a bottle of Orgovyx and a month’s supply of Erleada. Samples. Then she took my information and started applying for other possible sources of aid. We’ll give you free samples until we find something. OK.

Not sure how this whole thing turned around, but right now I’m paying very little. I think it’s the case that nobody understands the damned system. We’re all flying blind. Why we need a nurse navigator, I guess. Oops, mixed metaphors.

By the time I got back from my appointment, after a brief stop at Tony’s, I’d been rode hard and put away wet. Got home when the phone rang. Nichie telling me she had my application underway. And a lot of other stuff I was too tired to take in, especially since I was also feeding Kep.

After Kep ate, I sat down and felt overwhelmed. Tired and having necessary, but complicated information coming at me. Knew it would all seem less complex after a good night’s sleep. It does.

Later today. Left leg arteries and veins. Keep those doctors gettin’ paid.

 

I’ll close with this by Langston Hughes. Found by buddy Tom:

Southern Mammy Sings

Last week they lynched a colored boy

They hung him to a tree.

That colored boy ain’t said a thing

But us all should be free.

Yes, m’am!

Us all should be free.

Not meanin’ to be sassy

And not meanin’ to be smart.

But sometimes I think that white folks

Just ain’t got no heart.

No, m’am!

Just ain’t got no heart.

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It was a lynching

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Hot Water. My shower. Marilyn and Irv. Ageism. Aspen Perk. Aspen Park Dental. Darlene, the hygienist. Seeing the Magpies against the Snow as I sat in the dental chair. Clean teeth. Good gum health. No work needed. Yes. Grocery pickup. Home. Brined center cut porkchops. Cooked in the Air fryer. Mixed vegetables. Tangerine. Mary’s photos of her last days in Kobe. Eau Claire. Air travel. Sarah and Annie. The Jeep.

Sparks of joy and awe: Friends and family

 

A note I sent to my county commissioner, Lesley Dahlkemper, about a proposed Mountain bike park on Shadow Mountain Drive:

Hi, Lesley!

Met you at Marilyn Saltzman’s 70th birthday party. Before you became a commissioner. Congratulations!

I live on Black Mtn Drive. Up the hill about 2 miles from the proposed mtn bike park. Aside from the obvious degradation of a mountain side and a beautiful, clear running stream and aside from the obvious traffic nightmare on already difficult to navigate blind curves and narrow no shoulders Shadow Mountain Drive, I’d like to tell you about a 7 AM drive I took that passed by the bike park area.

There in that meadow were thirty cow Elks and one magnificent bull, a fourteen pointer. A mist was rising from Shadow Brook. Now that may not be a logical argument against the bike park, but it’s damn sure a good one to me.

 

Tyre Nichols. Still think the role of police in our culture doesn’t need drastic and dramatic change? Tainted by the power given to them by a frightened white majority the police live out the violent fantasies of those at home watching TV. Their color does not matter. What matters is their intent, their willingness to step well beyond the bounds of decency. Remember Derek Chauvin’s knee? One of the officers who stood by was Hmong. The others who stood and watched? Rodney King?

Tom Crane found an interesting interview with Rev. Dante Stewart. His words on lynching are worth sharing:

“That was more than police brutality. That was a lynching. They wanted to kill him because, in some sense, lynching is about the spectacle. It’s about what someone with power does to another human being to ride and rid them of every ounce of their dignity and put it in the public to show this is what we think about this person.

“When those in the past put Black people up on noose, it was a message to them: This is our estimation of your life, and much more, this is our hatred of your life. And when Tyre Nichols was beaten and the just immense disregard to him, it showed us in public once again the estimation of Black life, white racism and white supremacy.”  WBUR

This sort of action by the police reimagines the whip of the plantation slave master. Sanctioned violence to keep the enslaved in place. We still fear the emboldened and empowered other. What might they do to us? What to do? Do it to them first.

 

On a better note, also from Tom. On Kernza Grain. “I just came across this perennial grain developed by the Land Institute. I also ordered some from a site which sells it as a cereal much like oatmeal. I’ll let you know how it is.”

The Land Institute is a solution finder. Glad Tom found this product, the first commercial fruits of the Institute’s work. I’ll let you know what he thinks.

Inbox
Posted in Aging, Commentary on the news, Cooking, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Great Work, Jefferson County, Judaism, Mountains, Plants, Politics, Shadow Mountain, US History | Leave a comment

A Festival of One Act Plays

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Monday gratefuls: Alan. The Mislaid Wife. The Festival of One Act Plays. Evergreen Players. Tal. Deb. Lisa. The audience. Jill. The Ancient Brothers on space. Between us. Within us. Center cut pork chops. Brining. Marilyn and Irv. Breakfast today. Aspen Park Dental. Cleaning. Also today. Grocery pickup. How to Become a Pagan. Learning Korean. Mary’s last days in Japan. Brother Mark in Oke city. Frozen vegetables.

Sparks of joy and awe: Theater

 

A medical week. Oh, joy. Teeth cleaning today. Kristie tomorrow. And the Vascular Institute on Wednesday. That should be plenty of body parts for one week.

Gonna go through the active metastases site with Kristie, then lay it to rest one way or another. Treat or not treat. Get a Prolia injection today, too. For ma bones. This is a treatment because of my other treatments which weaken my bones. Geez. Want to move the Prolia injections to Evergreen Medical Center. Closer.

Not sure what to expect at the Vascular Institute. They’ll do an ultrasound of my left leg. Looking for a spot of restricted blood flow. If they find one, I’ll probably have a stent put in which will allow the blood to flow normally. Kate had a blocked superior mesenteric artery. Putting the stent in was not a big deal.

Next week my birthday present to myself is a pulmonology exam. Big fun. Specifically asking the question about continued living at 8,800 feet.

Nuff.

 

February is Black history month and I’ll say one last time that Imani Perry’s South to America is worth the read. It lagged a little near the very end, but up till then it was charming, sensitive, and challenging. Taught me many lessons. Would be interested to hear her on the Memphis situation.

 

The Festival of One Act plays. Alan directed The Mislaid Wife. Precis. A man calls the police to report his wife missing. She was funny, made me laugh. Lots of energy. And she was sexy. Conceit. His wife has not gone missing. She’s aged. And still in the house. Funny and sad.

A woman sat next to me. Older. Gray hair, a long flowing plaid dress. Gray vest. She seemed interesting. I wondered, as I occasionally do. Still no energy to pursue anything. We even chatted for a bit with Deb, the woman I took to my first acting class, after she finished her role as God. Maybe if I run into her again.

Joan Greenberg, member of CBE, and author of You Never Promised Me a Rose Garden wrote a country version of Orpheus and Eurydice. Highly stylized presentation. The best script of the batch by far.

Talked to Tal. He mentioned the acting class starting next week at the Synagogue. Jewish playwrights. Part of me would like to take it up, but I’ve told myself I’m focusing this semester on How to Become a Pagan. Though I’m not. At least not right now. Saying that out loud to him made me take a look at the way I’ve been doing my schedule. I really want to write this book. Not sure why I’m blocked on it. I have lots of research, years of thinking about the topic, and it matters to me. Maybe this was the jolt I needed?

 

Posted in Acting, Art and Culture, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Great Wheel, Health, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Woolly Mammoths, Writing | Leave a comment

New Labs

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Sunday gratefuls: The Ancient Brothers. Alan. Housing matters cleared up. Mostly. Ron. Luke. Bread Lounge. Evergreen. The ice fisherfolk on Lake Evergreen. The 8 outdoor ice hockey rinks on it. Those 30 or so Elk hanging out. The drive down. Rocks. Mountains. Ice covered Streams. Lodgepole Pines. Ponderosa. Aspen. Chinook Salmon toast and that Dulce le Lecha croissant. Coffee.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jew with Guns

 

Going to Evergreen Players today to see one-act plays directed by Tal’s last directing class as an employee of Evergreen Players. Alan has one in the showcase. Ron Solomon’s coming, too. Looking forward to that. A matinee. That magic word in my world of the performing arts.

Ron sat down with Alan and me at the Bread Lounge yesterday morning. He’s a screenwriter cum entrepreneur. He was part of the writer’s room for Saved By the Bell, but he didn’t like L.A. He wrote a book about Navy Seals published three or four years ago. Now he’s running a company that helps wholesalers make sure their retail prices hold up in the marketplace.

Ron’s also in the MVP group. He’s a very smart guy. Been around CBE for  years. He mentioned that later in the day he and Dan Herman, past president of the Synagogue, had an appointment at a gun range in Golden with a group called Jews with Guns. I’m not getting on a train. The Synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh pushed him over the edge.

I told them that if it came to it I’d get a rifle and help them defend the Synagogue. Friends are worth dying for. Family, too. A silly misadventure in Vietnam dreamed up by anti-communist old white men? Not so much. I’m no pacifist. Though Kate was. Thorough going. Miss her.

Alan’s house is sold. He was going home to pack after breakfast. They close on both deals next week. Move in February. Glad for him. Moving stresses. Not easy.

 

Glad I dropped back to learn Hangul. Still working at it, but when I get done learning Korean will be easier. Hope to get over there for a month next October. Though. CBE’s got an Israel trip planned at the same time. Always wanted to see Israel. This could be a good opportunity. Will clarify as we get closer.

 

The what will I pay for my cancer drugs circus still has its tent up. No word yet on the foundation the nice lady from McKesson told me about. I’ll have to pick up some more Erleada samples if I don’t get a call before Tuesday afternoon when I see Kristie.

Good news though. PSA still undetectable. Lab results came early this morning. Testosterone at 11. Low testosterone is 287 at which point fatigue becomes a factor. Alan’s getting his testosterone boosted for that reason. As for me. Well, I tire easily. But. My cancer doesn’t get its food. That’s the concept.

 

Ancient Brothers topic this morning is space. The space between and among us. Is it too far? Too close? Mussar has a lot to say about this.

 

 

Posted in Acting, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Judaism, Korea, Mussar, Travel, Woolly Mammoths | Leave a comment

Relationships. And possible war.

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Fund raiser for Ruth and Gabe. Photographs taken by Aurora art teachers. Bought two. Taking Ruth, Gabe, Jen to Katsu Ramen after. Kep fast asleep when I got home. Jackie. A sweet woman. Conifer Medical. Aspen Perks. Alan today. Ronda. Cold stretch coming. Solar Snow shovel off duty the last week. Driving back up the Hill. Shadow Mountain. The Hermitage.

Sparks of joy and awe: Jackie

 

Jackie is my hair stylist. She’s a Mountain woman. Heats with wood. She buys 6 cords of wood from her son and his boss, arborists, in the spring and lets it dry over the summer. Takes into the house by the wheelbarrow load. Jackie has two framed magazine covers of Sam Elliot on the wall of her salon. Always wears cowboy boots. Lives at 9,300 feet in Bailey. Kind. Caring. A friend.

The Good Life book points out the value of these relationships. The clerk at the Post Office. The grocery store check out person. Mark, my mailman. Folks who greet you, smile. The waitress at Aspen Perks. They’re like small charges of good feeling. They boost your day and your mood. And, if you’re lucky, you do the same for them.

Like Aspen Park Dental. When I missed my appointment last week, the receptionist called. We’re just glad  you’re ok. Like that.

Saw my phlebotomist yesterday. She’s another one. Always greets me by name. Then sticks a needle in my arm. Well… Blood draw for PSA and testosterone. Seeing Kristie next week. She’s another one. She works hard to see I get the best treatment possible. Surrounded by caring, loving people. And one dog. A lucky guy.

 

China. Joe and Seoah move to Korea in late May. They’ll be there for four years as Joe is first deputy commander, then commander of the Air Defense squadron at Osan AFB, a 44 minute train ride south of Seoul. Kate and I visited Osan when Joe had an assignment there in 2015. We went in April of 2016 for his marriage to Seoah.

Having said that this Ezra Klein podcast about China has a different bite for me as does this article about a USAF General’s comments: U.S. general warns troops that war with China is possible in two years. Korea shares a border with China. Though North Korea occupies that area it doesn’t change the fact that South Korea is very, very close to China.

Japan has started to increase its military spending. Taiwan, too. A good friend of Joe’s Kevin now has the Taiwan desk for the USAF. Seoah’s whole family lives in South Korea. Saber rattling over the Pacific. With folks I love over there. Concerned.

 

Went into Aurora for the Aurora art teacher’s annual show at DAVA. First time Jon has had no work in it in 20 years. A wall of photographs taken by other art teachers were on sale for $20 with the proceeds going to Ruth and Gabe. I bought two. One was a photograph of Montview Elementary where Jon taught the entire time he lived in Colorado.

A sad affair. Ruth was upset. Gabe was hyper. We took off early and went to Katsu Ramen for dinner. I had Japanese fried chicken and a salad. Gabe had a beef rice bowl. Ruth a poke bowl. Jen a ramen bowl. This place was also a favorite of Jon’s.

Back up the hill. On Shadow Mountain about 7:30 pm.

 

 

Posted in Asia, Colorado, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Hermitage, Politics, Shadow Mountain, US History, World History | Leave a comment

Interesting Times

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Friday gratefuls: Rich. Alan. Tom. Diane. The Ancient Brothers. Joe and Seoah and Murdoch. Mark and Mary. Ruth and Gabe. Marilyn and Irv. Tara. Jamie. Luke. Ron. Susan. Tal. Schecky and BJ. Sarah. Kate and Mike. Rebecca. Significant relationships for me. Blessed. Woollies, too. And, my docent friends. Sierra club folks. A good life with good folks in it. Kep, of course. Kate, always Kate. Her memory is for a blessing.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Relationships of all kinds

 

Yes, it might seem odd. Here in my hermitage. Atop Shadow Mountain. Kep and me. Yet my world has solid, ongoing relationships. Alone, but not lonely. Why? Because of the folks for whom I am grateful. I live alone, but I am not alone. I feel covered by family, by old friends, by newer friends. By folks whom I may not see often, but still count as significant in my life. The docents and the Minnesota Sierra Club folks for instance.

Saw a line the other day. You can’t make old friends. True. And I have the great good fortune of having had the Woolly Mammoths, now over 35 years and counting. From within that group the Ancient Brothers meeting weekly.

Focused on this because I’m now reading The Good Life, a recap of learnings from the Harvard Longitudinal Study of Adult Development. To have a satisfactory and longer life the key element is relationships. According to the results of this 85 year old ongoing study. Loneliness kills. Glad I’ve always had the good fortune to find my people wherever I’ve gone. I don’t need a crowd, but I do need solid relationships. Apparently, at least according to this study, so do you.

 

Had a moment in conversation with cousin and old friend, Diane, that surprised me a bit. I got off on talking about some work from the old days, the way conversations sometimes go. I reflected. It’s been a good life. I’ve always been able to work according to my values. Here’s what surprised me. The depth at which I meant that. It came out as a simple truth. Guess I’ve done my life review.

Now I did notice that I said it’s been a good life. Diane jumped in and offered, It has been a good life. Implying so far. As in not over with. Yes. And yet. The sense of impending mortality that aging and having cancer brings forces me to own that time is shorter now. Much shorter. I’m ok with that. Death doesn’t feel imminent however. I’m ok with that, too. I love this odd life of mine.

Not sure yet how I feel about having my old age happen in a time of cascading crises. Climate change. Gun violence. Threats to our democracy. Mass extinctions. The pandemic. Tensions between China and, well, the rest of us. The Ukraine. Though I am sure that living with this broken American health care system is not to my liking.

You might think it’s an obvious bummer to live now and be old. No. Not for me. The world changes. Human life changes. Always. Mother Earth changes, too. Always. Makes for interesting times.

Posted in Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Hermitage, Judaism, Shadow Mountain, US History, Weather +Climate, Woolly Mammoths, World History | Leave a comment

Mountain Lion and other stuff

Winter and the Valentine Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Origins of North America. Canada. Oh, Canada. Mid-Continent Rift. Keweenaw Peninsula. The U.P. Porcupine Mountains. Copper mined by indigenous folk. Isle Royale. The Upper Midwest. My home turf. Rocky Mountains. My home. Sun through the Lodgepoles. Snow hanging around. Solar Snow shovel failing us right now. More cold to come.

Sparks of joy and awe: Cold

 

Cold air feels pure to me. As if all the sneeze causing stuff has been cleared away. As if its source were a temple mountain to the Goddess of all things clear and refined. Compare it to the muggy, insect and dust laden heat of a Midwestern summer. Cold air brings sleep. Hot air robs sleep. Part of my ongoing love affair with living at altitude, in Minnesota. Traveling in Canada.

Kate and I both loved the cold. Were happiest in the winter months. Except for the chance to garden that only heat and Sun brings. Oh those gardening days. Halcyon. At least in memory. No wonder Elysian fields, Paradise (a walled garden). Where we humans and the Earth are openly, even gleefully in symbiosis. No wonder farmers don’t want to quit.

 

Learning about synclines and anticlines, Cratons, native Copper, room and pillar mining, truck thumpers that produce seismic waves for investigation of the geological. The sheer joy of a person who loves his subject matter. What fun. Also, I don’t have to do anything except listen. Look. Think. What I needed at this point.

 

You’ve probably noticed I’ve stopped posting photographs and images. Took too much extra time and exposed me to the occasional wrong footing of using an image under copyright. Having said that I’m going to post this picture anyhow:

 

The hunter in this picture is a former Bronco’s defensive linesman. (a big guy in other words) This Mountain Lion got tagged by Colorado Wildlife officials for killing dogs. Lots and lots of commentary on this. Mostly negative. But. It was a legal hunt done under state auspices. Last week.

Not around Shadow Mountain but not far from here either. I wanted you to see the size of this animal. Not something to be trifled with. A wild neighbor, probably weakened in some way by injury or disease so focused on easy to catch prey.

 

Can you see the debt ceiling from where you are? It’s pretty high up. The economics of nation states is a mystery to me. I know it’s not at all the same as your budget or mine, an error made by conservatives quite often. For one thing nation states can print money. I can’t. On the other hand like Everett Dirksen famously said, I’m paraphrasing here: A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

Current national debt is somewhere north of thirty-two trillion dollars. Here’s a site that explains it.

Gosh that’s a lot. Eh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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