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  • Travel, Dreams

    Imbolc and the full Ancient Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Bereshit. Tetzaveh. Rashi. Creation stories. Becoming not being. Seeing things as they are. Finite. Decaying. Impermanent. Loosely tethered. Entropic. Dreams. Dreamers. Irene. CBE. The Socrates Club. Tom, feeling better. PSA. Testosterone. The truly ancientrail of cancer. Shabbat. Relaxing. No agenda. Reading, always reading.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dreams

    One brief shining: Buddy Mark as Mario and Elizabeth as Babette in Nice for Carnival, a bawdy parade with barbed floats critiquing world leaders, later a trip to a Picasso pottery museum, and an archaeology museum with a generous estimate of human habitation in Provence, taking Mark says calculated risks, for instance, a portrait class next week. Go, Mario and Babette!

     

    I admire my friend Mark’s travel jones. Every once a while he has to get up and get outta here. Road trips. Trips to Asia. Mexico. The Caribbean. Nice. I have some of the same urges, yet I mostly let them rise and fall away. Hoping once the possibility of snow passes that I’ll get on my pony and ride, ride, ride. Guess that’s up to me, eh?

    My son may make a short visit to Arizona in the next month. If he does, I’ll get down there to see him. I can motivate myself for family. I’ve driven from Arizona to Colorado before. Doable.

     

    Yesterday got back into the dream group that Irene has run for years. She’s a member of CBE and coordinates an online dream group and an in person dream group at CBE. Often has dreamers (as Irene call us) from far away. Yesterday Jane in England and Scott in Harlem. Marilyn and Irv are in the group, too. They introduced me to it.

    A session runs two hours. Irene puts the names of those who have dreams in a hat and pulls one out. One dream per hour so two folks get a chance. The dreamer reads or tells their dream then we discuss it using the conceit of saying “In my dream I…” This means we’re not interpreting the dream for the dreamer, but offering insights as if the dream were our own. Sometimes someone will say, “My projection is…” Jungian influenced. As you might expect.

    I find it both fun and psychologically intense. A chance to go deep into yourself and into another person’s dream world.

     

    Two other stories I’m following. The Alabama supreme court’s designation of all embryo’s as children. Wowzer. Trump and the Senate Republicans all of a sudden all over IVF. As a good thing! This underlines my observation yesterday that Roe v. Wade’s demise will play a significant role in the Presidential election. GOP bad. Democrats good. C’mon. Nobody’s fooled by those attaboys for IVF.

    Odysseus. The moonlander. On its side, antennaes not pointed toward home, but still broadcasting. Alive, but injured in the landing. We can all relate, right? Reminded me of Bella the sushi delivering robot at Sushi Win. Endearing to think of a compromised machine struggling valiantly to complete its work.

    We’re entering a new phase in our relationship with machines. Uncharted. Strange. Not to mention, A.I.

     

     

     

     

     


  • Shabbat and Political Optimism

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Tom. Alan. Diane. Marilyn and Irv. Ginny and Janice. Janet. Luke and Leo. Rabbi Jamie. Jewish prayer and liturgy. Wild Neighbors. Shadow Mountain. Black Mountain. My Lodgepole companion. Great Sol. Odysseus gone to the Moon. Living alone. 77. Blood pressure. Prostate cancer. Riley. Ginny. The next generation. Mark and Saudi. The MIA and its troubles.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Arts)

    One brief shining: Sat there in my serious reading chair, my long time buddy Tom on the newly reupholstered couch, both of us with a can of seltzer water, both engaged in that mutual investigation of our inner lives that typifies our relationship, enjoying seeing and being seen.

     

    Already looking forward to shabbat. Interesting. It beckons me, the sabbath bride waving, coming closer. She is the Shekinah, a feminine metaphor for the godliness of becoming. She represents malchut, the manifestation of becoming that we experience each day, the destination sought by all the sefirot on the tree of life. Once reached the destination changes to teshuvah, return, return to the crown of creation, the keter. That cycling of sacred energy, of thought becoming plan, plan becoming actions, actions flowing into this world, making it and keeping it vital, is the One. The one is becoming. The becoming is one.

    Once again those words from a post earlier this week: prana, chi, life force, breath, soul, love, the sacred, the divine. That buzzing, blooming mix in which we all live and move and have our becoming. No wonder ancient healing technologies want to find and direct that energy, turn it toward wholeness rather than destruction. Whether it can be found through the instrumentalities of scientific inquiry does not matter. Empiricism has its limits. And one very clear one is its understanding of life itself.

    Whew. Well. That took a dive into the deep end. Let’s swim back toward the middle depths.

     

    My inner pollster/pundit/analyst has begun to smile. I know, we’ve all been there before and gotten burned. However, hear me out. Listened to an Ezra Klein podcast, “The Strongest Democratic Party that any of us have ever seen.” Came away from that feeling hopeful.

    Been considering these several things: First and foremost, the vacating of Roe v. Wade. A decision against precedent, against stare decisis*. This will mobilize women in red and blue states, their allies, too. It will be a mobilization against not just Trump, but against the Republican party because red states have pushed quickly into the no abortion ever under any circumstances zone. And, of course, the most recent and perhaps the most egregious post-vacating instance (though there are many from which to choose) in the discovery of the Alabama Supreme Court that all embryos are children. Because God said so.

    Second, the evidence in the Ezra Klein show of a solid and working political party ready to dive into the most consequential election of our history. A good organization is the sine qua non of electoral victory.

    Third, the orange one who in addition to ironically selling clown shoes has gone further into the weeds of his fever swamped mind than ever before. A dictator for a day? Really? Punish enemies using the Justice Department? Sic the Russians on NATO countries that don’t meet his criteria? Not to mention all those criminal and civil actions against him. I know all this only makes his base love him more, but it will not play the same way in the hearts and minds of independents and Republicans who have not lost their sanity.

    Fourth, the evidence in Heather Cox Richardson’s book, Democracy Awakening, about the many times we’ve faced authoritarian threats and overcome them. She shows that though we cannot be complacent, the historical view finds we can rally and defeat the enemies of democracy. May it be so.

     

    *”Stare decisis is a legal doctrine that obligates courts to follow historical cases when making a ruling on a similar case.” Stare decisis


  • The Future is, again, Now.

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Old friends and newer friends. CBE’s beginning and its flounders. Sushi Win and Bella, that cute robot waitress. Tom. Happy Camper. Conifer Cafe, 80 decibels. Yikes. Naps. New Mexico. Arizona. Utah. Colorado. Short trips. Israel. Hamas. Gaza. Two-state solution. The Moon in the Sky like a big pizza pie. Amore! Love.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jews

    One brief shining: Hold your phone up to the bar code, press the link, up pops the menu, consider it while using the physical menu, order, then enter credit card data, press send, and a bit later Bella comes trundling out from her charging station with plates, Water, and glasses, wait a while longer and here comes spring rolls, tempura shrimp, and a pot of green tea, followed after another short wait by Bella’s return with a sushi roll, my hamachi carpaccio, press finish on Bella for the third time and she rolls away, her fetching backside complete with an LED sign reading Sushi Win that flashes across her darling metal shoulders.

     

    The future rolled up on Tom and me not in Silicon Valley or the tech wise Denver suburb called Tech Center, but in a sushi place trying to continue surviving. I met Bella last week on Valentine’s Day when I ate at Sushi Win with Luke. Tom and I share a fascination with scientific and technological breakthroughs, so we had fun meeting Bella, considering her potential future impact. We both took videos.

    As I wrote a week ago, many restaurants have experimented with new ways post-pandemic. Covid was hard on people, yes, but on restaurants, too. Fountain Barbecue has computer screens where you order and pay, wait until your order is done, then pick it up yourself. So last millennium.

    Each of the three times Bella came to our table, I found myself wanting to say hello, thank you, and good-by at the appropriate times. And, I did. This cued me in to a robotic future where our responses to the new machines in our lives vary by context. I responded to Bella as I was familiar to responding with a waiter. But a robot in my living room serving tea or cleaning floors would probably elicit a different response. Oh, excuse me. Could you be sure to get that area where the dog hair is? Thanks. Could you get me a beer and a hot dog? Yes, you can clear this up now. Different yet again. Could you hand me a 3/16th? Hold the car up here while I work on the tire. Sweep out the garage and return to your charging port. We’ll cut the grass tomorrow.

    Oh, the wonders we’ll see. The future rushing, leaping into our lives, coming soon to a restaurant table near you.

    Of course, A.I. Shifting the workplace yet again. Hitting some knowledge workers this time. Maybe covering school board meetings, reporting on last night’s football game, making travel plans and reservations, polishing or even writing that essay or think piece for work.

    Not to mention our machines headed to the moon, to low earth orbits and high. DNA editing. Zoom. Smart phones. Dumb users. Electric and self-driving vehicles. Gee whiz, Buck Rogers.

     


  • This. That.

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon (92% Waxing)

    Wednesday gratefuls: Mario and Babette go to France. Tom goes to Evergreen. Mark (brother) may leave Hafar. New Mexico. 5 hours away. Marilyn and Irv. Primo’s. The Cutthroat in Bailey. Happy Camper. Jamie the phlebotomist. Blood draws. PSA and testosterone. Murdoch. Kep of blessed memory. Rigel, too. Gertie and Vega. Kate, always Kate.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mario and Babette at the airport, ready to travel

    One brief shining: Unbutton my sleeve, roll it up above the elbow, set the elbow on the front rest of the phlebotomy chair, I’ll use a smaller needle she says to preserve that vein, little pinch, the needle is in and blood spurts out into tube number one, then tube number two, there you’re a tablespoon and a half less of a man.

     

    Yeah. Three months are up again. And this blood draw is significant. My testosterone should be up and as it goes up the likelihood that my PSA goes up rises along with it. Dr. Simpson told me, when we finished the second round of radiation, that there was a small chance I was cured. This is the test that might cancel that idea. Or, support the possibility if I get another undetectable PSA while my testosterone goes up. Not counting on either one. Results should be back this morning.

    On Friday I telehealth with Kristie. Assume I’ll have a new urologist/oncologist. As you may recall, my old one, Dr. Eigner, retired in December. Kristie and I will discuss what happens next in light of the results of the surveillance labs. Another step along this path.

    A bit of anxiety, peering into the unknown again. Between here and there.

     

    Breakfast with Marilyn and Irv yesterday. Always good to see them, get caught up. Primo’s. We were going to try the new Conifer bakery, Wicked Whisk, but it’s closed on Tuesdays. Driving to Primo’s on 285 there is a grand display of snow-capped Mountains in the distance, beyond the Platte River Valley.

     

    Going to be some folks here for my bar mitzvah. Some Ancient Brothers. Probably Pamela and BJ. I hope Gabe and Ruth can come. No real plans for an after party yet. The service is at 10 am so it would be way early for anything but a lunch or an enhanced oneg. The four of us haven’t gotten together yet and discussed what we might do. Whatever it is, it will involve food.

     

    I seem to have misplaced or outright lost a book. You might think this would not be unusual at my house, but you would be wrong. I have an excellent memory of where I last had a book. This one though, the Rights of Nature, which I’m reading for a Rocky Mountain Land Library book club has vanished from my sight. Frustrating because the book club meets on March 3rd.

    I’ve exhausted the possible places it could be and still not found it. I like to complete my assignments. Hard if I can’t find the book. Oh. Looked it up on Amazon. Bought it on Kindle. No hard copy to find. Guess that explains it.

     


  • Shtetl Life

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: The Ark of the Covenant. The Tabernacle. The very detailed instructions from Hashem for it. Hoarfrost on the Lodgepoles. Thousands of flocked Trees within my field of vision. My companion Lodgepole glistens as Great Sol reappears on this cold Mountain Morning. Kai, Seoah’s nephew. His writing. Asia. Fan Kuan. Taiwan.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Hoarfrost

    One brief shining: Family reaches across oceans, over national boundaries and time zones, does not diminish with distance: Mark writes from Hafar in the desert of the Arabian Peninsula, Mary from Kuala Lumpur, I see Seoah and my son, their dog Murdoch, in their 12th floor apartment in Songtan, Korea, I talk to Diane once a week from San Francisco, all these precious people so, so far away.

     

    Breakfast yesterday with Alan and Joanne. Always a treat. I handed over Lamb to Joanne. She’s also reading, she says carefully, my copy of Emily Wilson’s Odyssey. We discussed Joanne’s upcoming warts and all early history of CBE which she presents next Wednesday night. She’s well known in the congregation for her wit and rightly so. Should be an entertaining experience.

    Alan’s daughter, Francesca, who lives and works in Manhattan, returns to Denver Monday. She’ll be doing some work here, schmoozing donors for the Jewish charity she works for. I can’t remember its name. Something to do with organs and organ transplants, I think. Then on Sunday she will perform with a trio in the second of Alan and Cheri’s Inspire concerts held in their penthouse apartment on the 38th floor of Inspire Towers. All of the condos from the 38th floor to the 42nd received the appellation, penthouse. Marketing, eh?

    Joanne and I will head down to what she calls the pandemonium for a second time to hear Francesca. Joanne tutored Francesca for her bat mitzvah and loved working with her. These are the sort of intricate and intimate ties that make synagogues so personal, more like a village. Or, a shtetl.

    That may be, come to think of it, what appeals to me so much about CBE. It has characteristics familiar to me from growing up in a small town. I know some of the people very well. I know a larger number casually, some on sight only, yet there are times when see each other, acknowledge each other. The total number is not so big that I feel distance, at least not much.

    Very similar to walking downtown in 1950’s/60’s Alexandria. I’d see folks I knew well. I’d wave at the parents of kids I knew. Some store owners, clerks. We were important to each other whether we knew it or not. Our faces, our bodies, even our repeated locations added stability and confidence to our day-to-day lives. We lived embedded lives, lives where we were seen and known. Sure, this has its downsides, too. Folks gettin all up in your business. Having to interact with folks you despised or, worse, that despised you for some reason. Perhaps forgotten. Never feeling off stage. Yet I’ve found over the years that I gravitate back to contexts that provide this sort of experience.

     


  • Still Here

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: My birthday. Waking up. Soul returned. A new life ahead of me. 77. Made it. Whew. Friends and family greeting me. Cards in the mail and in email. Jacquie Lawson cards are so great. All the ones I got were different. Valentine’s Day. An odd holiday, but one near and dear to my heart. (ha) Being alive at 77 is its own present. One I am grateful for. Thanks to all of you.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Living

    One brief shining: My sister reminded me of early birthdays when our mom would make me a heart-shaped cake and decorate it with red-hots; poignant since this year will be the sixtieth anniversary of mom’s death at 47.

     

    No. No. I don’t have anything to say. What? Oh, well. If you insist.

    Birthdays, eh? Seen one you’ve all of a sudden seen 77 of them. Not a big deal to my Octogenarian and Nonagenarian friends, but to me? A big deal for some reason.

    77 has a certain je ne sais quoi. Two sevens to begin with. Threes and sevens. You know. Sacred numbers. Sevens doubled. So, 14! And my birthday is on the 14th. Think of that.

    My fellow super septuagenarian (anyone past 75) Paul did some research and found 77 was a special birthday in Japan.* I’m liking the age of happiness idea. Squares with my experience. Yes, in spite of this week’s slightly downer posts. Rabbi Jamie says that in Nepal when a person reaches 77 the whole village has a parade for them. After that birthday, the village takes care of you. Fine with me, but I’ve not gotten notice of any parades in my honor. Maybe it’ll come in today’s mail.

    Of course surviving is the main thing to celebrate at this phase, the fourth phase, of my life. Or, maybe not. I mean sure, survival is the sine qua non of reaching any age, but maybe the lessons on offer? Maybe that’s the point? Or, maybe finally having learned some lessons long available? For me, surrender is the key lesson making itself known right now. At 77.

    Surrender. Acceptance. Ceasing to strive. Suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Taoism. Wu Wei.

    Here’s a definition of wu wei that resonates for me:

    Concept in various Chinese philosophies, referring to a…state of unconflicting personal harmony, free-flowing spontaneity and savoir-faire

    Not sure how that French snuck in there. a bit jarring, neh? Still, helpful.

    Wu wei is often translated as inaction or nonaction, but this captures its spirit much better for me. Perhaps it’s not surrender that is the key lesson for me at 77, but wu wei in this definition. Inner calm, a willingness to go with the currents in my life, and a certain knowing about how to exist in any situation.

    I’ll finish with this. Whether 77 or 7, 80 or 8, we’re all living lives of forced isolation in a body and with an inner life which cannot be shared. For this very reason we need each of those around us to be kind, understanding, accepting. It is only in relationship that the true beauty of our isolated selves can grow and bloom. So be kind to yourself. Love yourself. That’s where love for the other must begin.

     

    *The seventy-seventh birthday is the occasion of kiju (喜寿), “happy age”, because the kanji 喜 is written in a way similar to seven-ten-seven or seven-seven-seven in the sōsho calligraphic style. (See Handwritten styles)

    In Japanese culture, turning 77 is also a cause for celebration. Because this is the “joyous year” or “age of happiness.” It is a rare occurrence for someone to live to this age. It’s known as ga no Iwai, or rite of passage.


  • A Man of Constant Sorrow. And Ecstasy.

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Birthdays. 77. Big Snow. Cold. All the Wild Neighbors hunkered down somewhere. Great Sol brilliant against the new Snow. Rain in the Desert. Brother Mark and the Storm near Hafar. Diane and the Atmospheric Rivers. L.A. and Southern California. Creating a sustainable human presence on the Earth. Thomas Berry. The Great Work. Shadow Mountain. Torah.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Snow, bright white new Snow

    One brief shining: Velcroed Snow boots, check, Leki hiking pole, check, watch cap, check, phone, vest, coat, gloves check and I’m ready to head out across my backdoor deck, take the few steps to the garage, then head up the stairs to the loft where it’s time to workout.

     

    A quiet river has flowed beneath my waking hours this week, a river of sorrows and modest angst. Not sure the genesis, the bereshit, of it. Has colored my moods when inner life calms down and the river touches consciousness. Enough to make me feel glum at times, off. Not enough to send me into melancholy, but a sea anchor on any up, energetic feelings. I don’t like it. Yet I can’t ignore it.

    I’ve not gotten serious with it though. By that I mean, welcomed it as a visitor, a guest worthy of hospitality if not affection. Perhaps that’s why it’s stuck with me. Going to put out the welcome mat after the Ancient Brothers call.

    I suppose it could be the ghost of birthdays future. At 77 their number is fewer than at 20. Or, it might be the looming lab test, PSA and testosterone I take next week. Well, enough. I’ll wait until we’ve sat down in the tent with our hookah, reclining on pillows on a brilliant rug.

    Gonna invite Rumi to the conversation.

     

    Just finished a conversation with the Ancient Brothers on what it means to be a man. These conversations increase my positive energy, buoy me up. This one pushed my mood up a lot. I think because the topic was one we had not explored before. And yet it was one around which we formed ourselves as a men’s group. I am going to post my private post here, the conversation convinced me it was an important part of this long running river of words.

    Perhaps it was my thinking about being a man that raised the river of sorrows close to the surface. Pardon this cliche, but there is agony and ecstasy in being human and the particular agonies and ecstasies are often meted out according to gender(s). When I think about being a man, I have to consider both. The agony of my shortcomings as a cisgender man, as a white man, as a white educated man, as an American white educated man. As husband, father, seeker of justice, as a seeker of the sacred. Then, too. The ecstasies. As husband, father, seeker of justice, seeker of the sacred.

    As I write, and this often happens for me, I’m certain thoughts about what it means to be a man caused this river of sorrows and angst to approach the surface from its usual stream bed deeper within my psyche.

     

     


  • The Very Deep End of the Pool

    Imbolc and the 77 Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Valentine’s Day. Alan. Joanne making me a tallit. Marilyn and all the fire. And, candles. Irv. That Cow Elk on the side of the road between two firetrucks. The smashed SUV. Mussar yesterday. Closing in on a new way of understanding the sacred. Torah study. Amber. Tom. Ellory. Wild Neighbors. Rabbi Jamie. Luke. Leo. My dreams last night. The world of dreams. Sleep last night.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The injured Cow Elk

    One brief shining: I came up the slope from Evergreen Lake, past the Conoco Station on my left, saw flashing lights, and with the usual curiosity wondered what had happened, oh, two firetrucks angled out into the right hand lane, cars alongside none damaged, then in a flash of sorrow between the two firetrucks, a Cow Elk lying on her side, still alive, but down, and beyond the second firetruck an SUV with its hood angled up toward the windshield. Oh.

     

    At mussar Ginny started crying as she recounted seeing the injured elk. I was upset and sad, too. Rabbi Jamie offered a prayer for the Elk, for all those others involved. Wild Neighbors lives matter.

    Seeing this healthy animal struck down gutted me. Senseless death. Elk cross the road all the way from Evergreen Lake to about the turn for the Hiwan Golf Course, a distance of maybe three miles or so. Evergreen puts up road signs to watch for Elk. And often has an LED caution sign about where this accident occurred.

    We tend to speed along this stretch of highway, too. Yes, I do it. Gonna stop. The slower speeds are for the Elk. If I think about it that way…

    When I’m on my better behavior, I remind myself that it’s a privilege to need to take care for our Wild Neighbors. I recently slowed down my speed on the Mountain roads for the same reason. Complacency and familiarity breed carelessness. Can breed carelessness and has for me. We moved in on those Animals. Not the other way around. We’re responsible.

    When you consider the interconnectedness and oneness of all things, the sacred nature of all things, life becomes more and more precious. For desert Pigeons, for Camels, for Monitor Lizards and Pythons, for Elk and Mule Deer and Mountain Lions. For us, too.

     

    Here’s the new way of thinking about the sacred that’s beginning to surface for me. Whitehead’s advance into novelty puts creativity at the very core of reality and could suggest that God emerges from the becoming with each instance of creativity. I’ve always felt that a process metaphysics makes the most sense, that is a metaphysics that honors as primary the necessity of ongoing change and creation, nothing just “is”, everything is always becoming something new.

    What’s new for me about the notion of the sacred adds a filigree, well, maybe more than a filigree to the notion of creativity as the primary descriptor for the motor behind a process metaphysics. I’m thinking of adding a Jungian notion to the engine of creativity, an impulse toward individuation, a creativity that drives each instantation of its impulse toward its highest and best possibility. In this way of understanding creativity is the motor for process, yes, but the sacred adds a direction to the change, one toward the rock being as good and sound a rock as a rock can be. For a daisy to be the most functional flower for the continuation of daisies that it can be. For a Cow Elk to be the best Mother and Elk she can for the furtherance of Elks as a species. For all of the diverse realities created and decaying to work together to create the best possible Mother Earth. The best Solar System.

    No, this is not Voltaire’s Candid. This does not mean that best of all possible worlds will emerge. It does mean that even war and climate devastation could work to further the creation of the best of all possible worlds. But might not either.

     

     

     


  • Folks I know

    Imbolc and the waning Cold Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Chamber music. Marina Harris. Ana. A clean  house. A gift. Jazz. Coltrane. Brubeck. Mingus. Monk. Davis. Mozart. Haydn. Telemann. Pachebel. CD’s. Music. Books. Lamb by Christopher Moore. Biff. Mitch Rapp. Marilyn and Irv. Breakfast today. Tara watching Whales off Costa Rica. My son. Seoah. Murdoch. Missing them. Jackie and Ronda. Aspen Roots. Aspen Perks. Primo’s.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Irv out of the hospital and rehab

    One brief shining: Hit power on the treadmill, 15 minutes of cardio, off to the kettlebell for goblet squats, the TRX for lunges and rows, dips, dumbbells: chest fly, bench press, skull crushers, bicep curl with shoulder press, body weight: marches, ab crunch, crossovers, ab crunch on ball, and dead bug, then some balance work. repeat three times, another 15 minutes of cardio and one day’s worth done.

     

    Got a surprise Valentine’s gift from Marina Harris who owns Furball Cleaning. She likes me as a customer, as she says often. Kate found her and I’ve used her since Kate died. Ana and sometimes Lita come to clean every two weeks. They do a good job. They’re dependable and no fuss. Same with Marina. Could see having someone clean as a luxury, a good place to save money. Nope. A clean house gives me a good feeling. Self-care.

     

    My Hebrew lesson today got canceled since Tara, my teacher and friend, found an available Whale watch excursion, and headed off into the Ocean. What a great reason to cancel. Whales! Made myself sick on a similar excursion off Maui. I had binoculars. Neglected to give my stomach a rest from the magnified messages the lenses sent to my eyes. Ooof.

     

    Brother Mark, whom some of you know, has had a glitch in his current Saudi gig. His company has apparently lost their contract and will have to suspend operations in mid-March. Beware the ides of March, eh? Although. The new company has to recruit 115 teachers in the next two weeks. May not happen. If they can’t, then Mark and his colleagues would stay on until August. Saudi ESL companies come and go as do their contracts and the teachers. Mark’s done well this last year and a half so I imagine he’ll land on his feet. If not, he’s resilient.

     

    Meanwhile sister Mary and Guru live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the same country where she started her expat life now so many years ago. I’ve not been there but based on Mary’s reports it must have a close relationship with the jungle. Lots of Wild Neighbors like the Elk and the Mule Deer, the Black Bear and the Mountain Lion. And they come to visit. Lizards. Pythons. Monkeys. I’m sure there are others. IMO nice to have them in a large urban area though I’m not sure that’s how Kuala Lumpurites feel about them.

     

    And one more. Cousin Diane and her adopted home state of California. Atmospheric rivers. Too. Much. Rain. Not as bad in the Bay area as in L.A., southern California. But bad enough. Especially when you consider this is climate change driven. In other words, not going to diminish, rather more likely to increase.

     


  • A day with texture

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: New candle holders. Memorizing the prayer. Alan. Joe Mama’s. Rocket Bar. Wild Mountain Ranch. A dozen eggs and two beef tenderloins. New blinds. John Ellis. Evergreen Shutter and Blind. Shabbat. Parsha Yitro. Snow. Maybe in feet! Good sleeping. Israel. Hamas. U.S. Iran. Hezbollah. Saudi Arabia. Korea: South and North. Japan. Taiwan. Ukraine. Russia. U.S.A.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Wild Mountain Ranch, regenerative farming in Conifer

    One brief shining: Wouldn’t have found Joe Mama’s, again, if I hadn’t seen Alan sitting at a table near the window, and wouldn’t have thought it was a breakfast place anyhow since it had a pool table, not to mention the bar where three Wheatridge stalwarts sat each with a drink in front of them, one a yellow mug of beer, the others I couldn’t tell, at 9 am.

     

    Don’t usually go to bars. At all. Certainly not at 9 in the morning. But Joe Mama’s had moved from its ten foot wide spot on west Colfax to a new place in Wheatridge. Alan and I liked it, the food was good. We decided to try the new spot.

    They’ve become, I think, the kitchen staff for the Rocket Bar. A no frills spot which looks like the owner took over a small building that maybe housed a barbershop and a small bodega like grocery store. Four separate rooms. Pool table room. The room where Alan and I sat, larger and with tables, the bar room, a narrow area that might have been a wide hallway, and a fourth room with tables. The latter two rooms seemed to constitute the main working spaces for the Rocket Bar.

    Alan and I will not be going back. For one thing the politics of the place had a certain MAGA like feel. For another this alcoholic doesn’t like to eat breakfast while old guys belly up for their first shots of the day. Their choice, not disputing that. But my choice is not to be with them when they do that.

    Always good though to spend time with Alan. We discussed his and Cheri’s first in-home concert. Cheri floated after the morning. She loves music, loves playing, and arranging for others to hear music. And this time, at home. We also dissected the current state of Israel, Hamas, Gaza, the West Bank. Way complicated. But perhaps with a solid solution if Biden stays in office.

     

    Came home to be here when John Ellis, no apparent relation, came with my new blinds. They’re double honeycombed and have a slight green tint. The ones in my office will allow me to work in the morning without Great Sol in my face. The new blinds on the living room/kitchen floor improve on the faded ones that were there before. The blinds downstairs will reduce glare in the afternoons and early evening. It took John less than hour to install all of them. I paid him the balance due.

     

    After John finished, I hopped in Ruby to go find Wild Mountain Ranch, a local regenerative farm I discovered a week or so ago. Not an easy find. Had to turn left on a downhill slope of 285 onto a narrow dirt road. I needed to find Red Hawk Trail. Found it but it didn’t look like it went very far. Just behind Tucker’s horse training and riding facility. Drove past it, then noticed that it took a sharp right that I hadn’t seen. Turned around and went back. Down a steep slope on a muddy narrow road to the right hand turn.

    Drove a long ways on a one lane dirt road muddy from thawed Snow. All the while going up, a gentle rise. No signs for Wild Mountain Ranch. I had an address but I hadn’t paid attention since I imagined there would be a sign. The road ended in the driveway of the last house on Redhawk Trail. A man roughly my age came outside to see what I was up to. We chatted and he said,”Oh, yeah. You’re buying beef?” I nodded. “Turn around and go back down. It’s on the right and you’ll see some cattle, some big ones. A radical right hand turn.” Thanks, dude.

    Sure enough maybe a half mile further back from his small orange home I saw some Highland Cattle lounging in mud. I took a radical right turn, maybe 240 degrees, and found the parking lot. Rang the bell. Nothing happened. Rang it again. Still nothing. I went back to the car, found my phone and called. No answer. As I wondered what to do next, Brittany came out. “Have you been out here long?” No, not that long. She got my name went back in the house, got my dozen eggs and two tenderloins.

    Marketing and customer service are not Wild Mountain Ranch’s strong suit. At least not yet. I wanted to talk about their farm but Brittany seemed distracted. I’ll wait.

    Gonna go downstairs now and have a couple of their eggs before I workout.