• Category Archives Our Land and Home
  • A Bold Return to Giving a Damn

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Tara. Her new puppy. Cold. Snow. Sleep. Gabriella. A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm. Amazon. New Phone. Wallet. 2024 on the way. Poetry. Road Less Taken. Lines Written at Tintern Abbey. Kubla Kahn. Notes on a Supreme Fiction. Circles. Leaves of Grass. Ozymandias. The Raven. Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner. The Wasteland. Song of Myself. The Second Coming. And so much else.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Poetry

    One brief shining: The end of another year approaches, our penchant for deciding calendar dates as the always orbiting Earth’s journey around Great Sol continues, brings us to Pope Gregory XIII who chose in October of 1582 in his well known Papal bull: Inter gravissimas to change the rules for leap years to prevent the Julian calendar’s drift away from the solar holidays, oh you didn’t know, well neither did I but Wikipedia did.



    Gabriella. My adopted Axolotl. She’s swimming in the chinampas canals along with other wild Axolotls who will repopulate the ancient waterways of Xochimilco. I get excited about this project because it’s both the reintroduction of a wild species into its former habitat (see the five Timber Wolves released a week ago in western Colorado) and a project that supports indigenous farming methods healthy for the chinampas themselves. This kind of work will enable our grandchildren to have their best chance to adapt to a warming World.

    A Bold Return to Giving a Damn: One Farm, Six Generations, and the Future of Food relates the story of Will Harris and his disillusionment with Big Ag 30 years ago. The successful transition of his family’s farm to regenerative farming makes compelling reading if you care about the source of your food. This farm is in southwestern Georgia, but it’s an example, not singular.

    The USA Regenerative Agriculture Allliance, Inc trains farmers in regenerative practices. Yes, it’s about good food, food raised without pesticides, fertilizers and other “inputs” that defy the natural cycle and deplete the soil. But, it’s also about how to live in a warming World. Someday regenerative agriculture will use the perennial grains and other crops under development at the Land Institute.

    Want to volunteer in the work of Ecosystem restoration? Look at the Ecosystems Restoration Communities website. They do restoration projects all over the world. The expertise and practical knowledge developed as these organization go about their own individual missions will become the Seedstock for a World that can no longer afford any depletion of natural capital.

    What’s natural capital? An accounting method. That’s right. Accounting. The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University develops accounting methods that define the value of Ecosystems, Oceans, the Water cycle, Forests. Why is this important? Regenerative agriculture is a good example. Corporate farming, by far the dominant model in the U.S. and in most of the World, treats Soil, Crops, and Animals as so many widgets to be manipulated for increased profits. Their accounting methods do not have to take into account the value of the Soil, the Rain, the need for dna diversity in both food Crops and Animals. They don’t have to reckon with the future costs of ruined Soil, the dangers of monocultures in such critical crops as Corn, Wheat, Rice. Maybe they’re not as profitable as they think.

    OK. I’ll stop. For now. But I will return to these adaptive approaches that will help Ruth and Gabe survive in a much changed world.


  • Bonus Post on Paganism and Judaism

    Summer and the sliver Summer Moon Above


    From the beginning of my turn toward paganism I identified it as an ur-religion. That is, one all of us could embrace even if we layered on top of it another tradition like Buddhism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism.

    I’m still there. Why? My paganism locates the sacred, the holy, the divine in the stuff within me and around me. That is. The Lodgepole. Leo sleeping beside me on the rug. My lev. The Soil beneath me and the Rock beneath it and the core of the Earth beneath that. The Robin and the Magpie. The Fly and the Katydid. The Morel and the Candensis. The Worm and the Snake. The Stream flowing and the Pond resting. Beavers and Marmots. Mountain Lions and Bears. The Microbiome in my gut. The Mitochrondia in our Cells. Our Galaxy. Those Galaxies. Dark Matter. Multi-verse Worlds.

    I believe this non-dogmatic, non-sectarian sort of paganism crucial to caring for our Planet as we go through the fiery apocalypse of Climate change. And, it is not in conflict in any way with my Judaism which insists on a unitary view of all things. All things contain a shard of ohr, or holy light, holy energy. All things.

    I choose Judaism for my human and humane interactions. I choose paganism to undergird and focus attention on the World which holds us like a Bird’s nest holds fragile Eggs.


  • A Do Anything Day

    Summer and the Summer Moon Above

    Wednesday gratefuls: Tal. His new play. Learning Cold Mountain’s poems. Writing more for my character project. Acting. Acting class. Coffee beans. Coffee grinder. High altitude coffee maker. Writing. Ancientrails. A long road from my past through today. Bill Schmidt for helping me set it up. Allergies. Tree sex. Pollen, Pollen, Everywhere. Ruth. Gabe. Another bright blue Sky. Warm to hot days. The green. All the green. Everywhere the green. Mountain living. BJ. In her own personal Idaho.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth

    One brief shining: Life rises from thermal vents, creates itself in tidal pools, wanders onto Land, Seeds allowing Plants to walk away from the Shore, moving and changing as it stretches itself into new shapes, new ways of being until Animals big and small, until humans, now able to look back, all the way back to its beginnings, life looking at itself, wondering about its own meaning.


    Tuesday. Writing. Finding out more about Gaius Ovidius. About the Hooded Man. About Cold Mountain. Deciding to memorize one poem a day. Here’s the first one. From memory:

    Where’s the trail to Cold Mountain?

    Cold Mountain! There’s no clear way.

    Ice, in summer, is still frozen.

    Bright sun shines through thick fog.

    You will not get there following me.

    Your heart and mine are not the same.

    If your heart were like mine,

    You’d be there, already.


    Called the gas company. They wanted to change out my gas meter. Turned out they’d already met their quota. Why would they change it out? Each year a random number of meters get swapped out for identical ones and sent to a testing facility to determine their accuracy. I found that interesting.

    Then, Nielsen ratings called. You know, the famous one from the old days of ABC, CBS, and NBC. They’re still doing their thing. But since nobody here was in their target demographic I got a pass from them, too. I found it oddly reassuring that they were still in business. As if the 1950’s will never die.


    Plunked down some more hard cash to ensure aisle seats on my flights from Denver to Heathrow, Heathrow to Ben Gurion. Easy access to the bathrooms trumps a window seat every time at my age. Couldn’t do the same on the return for some reason. Maybe later.


    I’ve not written about the Summer Solstice. My favorite part. It means the nights grow longer and the days grow shorter. I do not like hot nights, nor do I like hot days. Some warmer days after the cold of Winter feel good. I’m enjoying the ones we’re having on Shadow Mountain right now, but as they get hotter? Not so much. Why I enjoyed Minnesota and its short summers. Shadow Mountain, too. Cool nights are the difference between a good night’s sleep and a bad one for me. Last night stayed warm for a while and disturbed my sleep in spite of my fan and my mini-split. Feeling a little loggy this morning.

  • A Thursday with Friends

    Summer and the Summer Moon Above

    Friday gratefuls: Tom. Ellen and Dick. Hail. Again. Cool nights. Good sleeping. God is Here. Metaphor. Kathy. Luke. Vince. Gutters. Psilocybin. Flower. Weed. Red Rocks. The Bread Lounge. A Cuban. Evergreen. Gracie and Ann. CBE. High water on the fish ladder. Maxwell Creek running full.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friendship

    One brief shining: Life in its fullness comes running at you, with you like a Mountain Stream after a heavy Rain, crashing over barriers, not allowing any obstacles, where necessary spreading out, then calmly, gently flowing into the placid waters of a great River, headed to the World Ocean.


    Yesterday. A full day. Talking to Diane, always a pleasure. Catching up on family news. A favorite cousin for all of us moved into hospice. We’re all in the aging range. This group that used to play with each other at Thanksgiving, during family reunions at Riley Park, on the farm outside Morristown. Family in its longue dureé as Ginny, daughter of Diane’s sister, Kristen, gives birth to a new generation of the Keaton clan as have children of other cousins. We will wink out one by one, but the family will continue.


    Over to the Bread Lounge to read a bit before Tom got here from DIA. Instead ran into Tal and Alan talking to each other. Alan in his  usual I’m here to assist you mode trying to figure out how he can help Tal’s new company, All in Ensemble.

    Alan’s decided to let his beard grow back. I’m glad. It was odd seeing him clean shaven. He shaved for his art, as he says. A role in Zorro!, the musical.

    Together we talked about Tal’s character study class, about mutual friends and family. The Bread Lounge serves as the student union restaurant for Evergreen. Go there and you see folks you know.

    After Alan left, Tal and I discussed my character Herme. He liked my idea of a one-act play to introduce the Rivers and Mountains Poets of China to Mountain audiences. He offered to help me in any way he can. He’s bringing an outline from a playwrighting class to our next Tuesday class. Who knows? Perhaps the Hooded Man will play up and down the spine of the Rocky Mountains. Could happen.


    Tom got to the Bread Lounge after navigating an overly busy DIA filled with summer travelers. We ordered sandwiches, which came late so we had to pack them up and head over to mussar. Where we discussed the role of metaphor in our daily lives and the implications of metaphor for understanding what we might mean when we use the metaphor God. A good heart/mind conversation.

    Following mussar Tom and I were hosted by Ellen and Dick Arnold, Rabbi Jamie’s parents. A wide ranging conversation which had as its focus the upcoming trip to Israel. Dick will be my roommate for the group part of the trip.


    When we got back to Shadow Mountain, Vince was here mowing and weed whacking. In the rain. Vince is a good guy. Lucky to have him as my friend and property manager.

    Tom and I were tired. We talked, then went to bed. Getting ready now for our trip this afternoon on the Royal Gorge Rail Road.



  • Waiting To Cross

    Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Dr. Eigner. Dr. Simpson. Kep, the early. Snow. More Snow. Mild temperatures. The Ukraine. Biden. The James Webb. Tom and Bill, the science bros. Max, getting older. Ode, the well-rooted wanderer. Paul, the steadfast. Alan, the cheerful. The Ancient Brothers, a true Sangha. Zoom. Korean fried chicken. Jon, a memory. Kate, always Kate. Ivory. Ruby. Oncology.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Ancient Brothers


    So I said it out loud. My reaction to mom’s death turned me from a confident, ready to take on the world teenager to a frightened, hesitant young adult. One who dropped German because he was failing it. Shame. One who convinced himself there was not enough money for Wabash because he was afraid to go back. Shame. One who entered then a great teacher’s college, but a mediocre university. Ball State University. Shame.

    Not a lot of shame in my life. Very little. That’s where it lies. Perhaps now having put it out there. So late. 76. It will fall away. It took me years, nearly three decades, to put the pain of her death in perspective. Treatment for alcoholism. Quitting smoking. Quitting the ministry. Years of Jungian analysis. Finally. Meeting Kate. 26 years later. I finally passed the threshold of grieving mom’s death.

    And started living my life. As a writer. A gardener. A dog lover. A beekeeper. An anachronistic blogger. With a woman who loved me as I was and one whom I loved as she was. A love where we wanted and supported the best life for each other. We traveled. A lot. We stood with both sons fully.

    Abundance. Yes. Ode’s word for our Andover home. Yes. Flowers. Meadow. Fruits. Nuts. Berries. Grapes. Honey. Plums. Pears. Apples. Cherries. Iris. Tulips. Spring ephemerals. Roses. Hosta. Gooseberries. Beans. Heirloom tomatoes. Leeks. Garlic. Onions. Kale. Collard Greens. Lettuce. Carrots. Ground Cherry. Raspberries.

    The fire pit. The woods.

    The dogs. So many dogs. Celt. Sorsha. Morgana. Scot. Tira. Tully. Orion. Tor. The Wolfhounds. Iris. Buck. Hilo. Emma. Kona. Bridget. The Whippets. Vega and Rigel. The IW/Coyote Hound sisters. Gertie, the German Short Hair. And Kep, the Akita.

    It was so good. Until the work became burdensome. Until I visited Colorado one year and Ruth ran away from the door because she didn’t expect me. A surprise visit. Then we had to come. The two. A push. The work of Seven Oaks had become too much. A pull. We wanted, needed to be there for Ruth and Gabe.

    So we packed everything up. And on the Winter Solstice of 2014 moved here, to the top of Shadow Mountain. 8,800 feet above sea level. Into the Wildland/Urban Interface, the WUI. With four dogs: Kep, Gertie, Rigel, and Vega. Again, thanks to Tom for helping with the dog move.

    When the time came, we put away Andover and envisioned a life together in the Rocky Mountains. Kate felt like she was on vacation every day until she died. Where she found the Jewish life she had always wanted. Where we both found ourselves immersed in the lives of our grandchildren, of their parents.

    Now Kate is dead. Vega is dead. Gertie is dead. Rigel is dead. Only Kep and I remain alive. I’m at another threshold, waiting to cross.

  • So much to see. To learn.

    Winter and the Wolf Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: 8 years in Colorado. On the Solstice. The long dog ride with Tom. Memories. Challenges. Family. Death. Divorce. Mental and physical illnesses. Beauty. The Rocky Mountains. The Wild Neighbors. Mountain hiking. Deep snow. Sudden. Then, suddenly gone. Living at altitude. Becoming a member of CBE. Elk and Mule Deer visiting our back. Blue Skies. Black Mountain. Vega. Gertie. Rigel. Kep. Kate, always Kate. Who loved the Mountains.

    Sparks of joy and awe: That dog ride 8 years ago. Talking story.


    Back of the car anthropology. Two vanity plates. YAHWEHS. ODACIOUS. The first on a jet black fancy Audi. The other on a Lexus sedan. Also. Stickers. I heart Aging and Dying. No baby on board. Feel free to ram me. Toyoda. With yoda ears on the T and the a. I love the way we express ourselves on the back of our vehicles. So revealing. Full disclosure. I have a large decal of Lake Superior on the back window of Ruby. And, an ADL Dissent is Patriotic on a side window. There are too the cars seemingly held together by stickers like the occupants got started on the project and just. couldn’t. stop.


    On December 20th, 2014 Tom Crane and I loaded Rigel, Vega, and Kep in Ivory. All three trazodoned. Tom drove straight through. We talked the whole way. Talking story. The conversation continues now, eight years later. Gertie rode with Kate in the rental van filled with stuff we didn’t want the movers to take. I remember Kate telling me she bought Gertie a hamburger at one of their stops. A satisfied dog.

    These have not been easy years. No. They have been fulfilling, satisfying years though. Deep intimacy between Kate and me, especially as she began her long decline. Putting cancer in the chronic illness box. Being here for the kids and Jon after the divorce. Now for Ruth and Gabe after Jon’s death. Becoming part of the CBE community. Making friends. Learning from the ancient civilization of the Jews. Kabbalah. The Torah. Mussar. Talmud. Mitzvahs.

    The Wild Neighbors. The Mountains. The Streams. The hiking. Mountain adjustments. Four Seasons. Eight Seasons. The Mountain Fall. Golden Aspens. Against green Lodgepoles. Black Mountain punctuated with gold, then green. Snow flocked in Winter. Wildflowers in the Mountain Spring. Fawns. Kits. Cubs. Elk and Moose Calves. The long Summers. Beautiful in their own right, yet also angsty with the ever present threat of Wildfire.

    Living here has been, is an adventure. In relationships. In deep learning. An immersion in the world of Mountains. After the world of Lakes and Rivers and rich Soil.

    So much more to see. To learn.


    Visited Carmax yesterday. The Jeep. Prepared to sell it, then Uber home. A first for me. But. Can’t take a North Carolina power of attorney. Colorado makes it difficult. Do you want me to get you the necessary papers? Yes. Talked to Sarah while the nice lady in the blue Carmax smock did that. Took fifteen minutes. Many pieces of paper. Post it notes. Sign here stickers. OK. Thanks. Back up the hill.


    Got two calendars as presents.  Aimed at different parts of me. A Zen Calendar from Tom. A New Yorker Cartoons calendar from Sarah and Jerry. Yep. I recognize both of those guys as resident within me. Wonderful to be seen.



  • Well…

    Samain and the Decision Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: No red wave. Judy’s courage. Tal. A fine director. Astrov, a wonderful character. Memorization. Rebecca. Georgeta. Nittya. Hamish. Emily. How do I feel? Relieved. Chekhov. Kate’s courage. Always Kate. Jon, a memory. Ruth and Gabe. Cold weather coming. A property manager. Vince. (have him handle appliances, too?) Hawai’i. Such a fine place to be. CBE, home turf. Shadow Mountain, home. Kep, dogged. Dan, who brought me home grown marijuana and honey from his own hives yesterday. Past president of the congregation.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Democracy’s faint pulse


    First. My friend Judy died yesterday. If she followed the path she had explained to me, she took the medication with a trusted friend by her side reading the Psalms. Her shiva minyan is tomorrow night. I’ll be there. Kate, too, chose her own death. This kind of courage needs celebration. It says we can choose to leave life with honesty, with compassion for ourselves and for those we love. It will never be an easy choice which insures its integrity. Judy leaves behind a collection of recipes for the foods she often brought to our meetings. I’ll make at least one this next week in her memory. May her memory be for a blessing.


    Second. No red wave. Odd, isn’t it, it just occurred to me. Who’s the red menace now? Dr. Oz will have to go back to celebrity medicine. Sad Stacey Abrams lost. I’ve not done a deep look at the results but when a Fox news commentator and Washington Post columnist says: “…the Republican Party has some major soul-searching to do following the 2022 midterm elections,” (Marc Thiessen reported in The Hill.) I’m encouraged.

    Gulled by Republican propaganda and Democratic whining to expect the worst, I opened the news this morning to find a horse race. Yeah, horses. Still could tip to Repub control I know. Yet. The fact that there’s a struggle suggests the Extremes and the Trumplicans have not prevailed. Our democracy may not end up in the political intensive care ward. At least not yet.


    Third. Acting class last night. A lot of memorization ahead of me. A lot. I’m going to devote hours each day until Thanksgiving. I can and will do it. The experienced actors are already off-book for their monologues. I could have been but I vacationed instead. Back to the books now. Literally.


    Fourth. The decision. Yes, I said I’d make it after the trip. That’s now. I’m leaving a small crack in the door but here are a few new reasons for remaining in place. I put in the mini-splits and remodeled the kitchen. I moved furniture and rehung art. This is my place now. And I worked hard to get it here.

    Do what brings you joy, RJ said. Funny how I’d missed that part of the equation in my logical and careful delineation of this and that. It brings me joy to go to acting class. It brings me joy to cook in my kitchen. It brings me joy to live in the Rocky Mountains, in spite of or because of the challenges. It brings me joy to see Hawai’i as the place I choose to live next. It brings me joy to exercise in my own small gym. It brings me joy to host Thanksgiving for my shrinking family here in Colorado. It brings me joy to light up Herme and think of the Hermitage. It even brings me joy to be so much a part of Judy’s life that her shiva minyan is important to me. So. Oh? See where I’m going with this?

    To that end I’ve contacted Vince. He’s coming by today. I may even have him take charge of all the stuff, including my appliances. If I have a need, he would contact the appropriate person and oversee their work. Maybe. Not sure about that. He will handle all the outside work. He’s excited about that and the handyman type work on the inside, too. This property is too much for me to handle. Alone. Might pay him a retainer against which he would bill his services. Then, I can let go of that stuff.

    When someone asked what did I want in a new place, I’d often say oh five years or so peace and calm. No drama. Knowing that wasn’t possible but really wanting some stability without headaches associated with home ownership. Yesterday I thought. Wait a minute. I’m upsetting a chance for peace and calm right here by going through this extended home selling, relocating process. Which will then entail a whole new period of upset and chaos. By definition. I can achieve what I really want most easily by continuing the work I’ve already begun here.

    By peace and calm I don’t mean stasis. The opposite in fact. I want to get back to writing every day. I want my daily life to flow, as I know it can. I want to see how my life unfolds, not keep putting new barriers in front of that unfolding.

    What’s the crack in the door? Health. I’ve got a pulmonology referral. When I meet with them, I’m going to investigate any lung related reasons I should move now. Or, sometime soon. If they exist, and I don’t think they do, I’ll recalibrate.

    Still gonna prune and paint.




  • This Medical and that Real Estate

    Imbolc and the Durango Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Timothy O’Leary, M.D. Kristie Kokeny, P.A. Linda Michaelsen, Realtor. Rain. Heavy Hail. Still Raining this morning. Zapping precancerous spots with liquid nitrogen. Discussing scan results. A sudden weariness around noon. Bad sleep. Achy legs. Heat as in hot, hot flash. Making the move more real. Possibilities. So many.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Getting things done, moving forward.


    Dermatologist. Belly button probably psoriasis, my old nemesis. Quiet for eight years here. A couple of precancerous spots on my scalp. May have been when your hair started thinning. You didn’t know to protect it so much. Also a couple of dark, symmetrical spots that will bear watching. A nice guy, Timothy O’Leary. Compassionate. Appreciated.


    Linda Michaelsen, the realtor who lives one minute away, came yesterday to look at the house, tell me what it needs. Not much. Some paint. Maybe a new two sink granite top in the upstairs bathroom. She says it will show well. The loft really got her going. Could be a rental unit, as could be the downstairs where I sleep. Lots of storage, room.

    When I asked the big question, she said I’d be between eight and nine hundred thousand. She didn’t think I’d have any trouble realizing $500,000 after the sale and paying off my mortgage. We’ll see what Robert Martin, Compass Real Estate, and Alice Carmody of Tupper’s Team have to say, but I felt some relief after hearing that.

    Talk with RJ this morning. Check out the impact of the capital gains exemption within two years of Kate’s death and after two years. $500,000 anytime before April 12. $250,000 after.

    After this conversation the route forward will become clearer. Linda said the easiest way to clear out the house is to have an estate sale. Pondering that. Not sure exactly what that would entail, how to prepare, but it sounds promising.

    Cousin Diane, bless her heart, offered to come out and help me get through the sorting process. She’ll be here October 11-16.


    Kristie essentially drew the same conclusions I did after reading my scans. My lymph nodes are no longer swollen. Good news. Means the Erleada is working. Prostate cancer cells, after they escape the prostate, learn how to produce their own testosterone. Geez, guys. Earleada works by blocking the testosterone receptors on the cancer cells.

    I will be talking today with Dr. Simpson, the radiation oncologist, who will further review my scans with me and talk about the hyperbaric chamber for healing my proctitis.

    So. Much. Fun.


    Felt off last night. Sudden heat flashes had me reaching for the Covid 19 test. Then the hot flashes receded. Short of breath. Feeling crummy. Continued into the night.

    Sleep was episodic. Restless. Felt sorta sick, sorta not. This morning I feel pretty good, just sleepy.



  • A visit to the oncologist

    Summer and the Aloha Moon


    Tuesday gratefuls: Kristie. Erleada. Orgovyx. Michelle, a real shot in the arm. Prolia. Prostate Cancer. Mortality. Colorado. Award Winning Pet Grooming. Kep. Today. Hiking. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Furball House Cleaning. Hawai’i. Alan. Technology. Zoom. This desktop. My laptop. Going with me. Flying over the Pacific. Korean. Duolingo.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Burning Bear Trail

    Tarot: Queen of Vessels, Salmon

    Questions-Where are you leaving yourself open or unguarded? What is enchanting you? What do you need to devote yourself to?  Wildwood Tarot Book, p. 112


    A visit to the oncologist. Geez, even now, 8 years in, sorta scares me. Or, especially now, 8 years in. Still. Good news. Undetectable PSA again. Twice in a row. Six months. Also, shot of Prolia, an osteoporosis fighting drug. I suppose a place I leave myself unguarded (see above) is to the side effects of these drugs. However, cue irony, they guard me against death by cancer. Complicated.

    Another bit of good news. No axumin scan. Apparently it only works when PSA is above 1.0. So surveillance this time is CT and Bone Scan. Probably cheaper.

    Kristie asked how I’m doing. For the most part, I said, fine. The Erleada side effects have calmed down. I get flushed once in a while. An occasional heating up, but no hot flashes for a month or so. The synthroid for my lackadaisical thyroid seems to have helped my energy level. On most days I don’t think about prostate cancer.

    Discussed the proctitis. She’s going to talk with the new radiation doc to see if he recommends anything.

    Kristie is a kind and compassionate woman. And, she likes me. Which means I get extra empathy from her. I met her right after Kate died.

    The Prolia shot hurt. A bit. Michelle showed me how much liquid she pushed into my arm. A lot. It stays there for six months, gradually releasing into the blood stream until the next shot.

    After my visit with Kristie I stopped at No-No’s for a Catfish P0′ Boy and some beignets. I like to treat myself after self-care. Still have not been to Pappa Deaux’s.


    Jon, Ruth, and Gabe came up just as I was leaving for my appointment. Jon finished mowing the yard, doing some weed whacking too. They cleaned up the back, took back the lawn furniture that belonged to him, as well as many of the brick paving stones. He left the paving stones and the lawn furniture when he moved in with us after the divorce.

    Ruth got a job at a Rocket Fizz candy shop. Her first. She’s on a new dose of meds and back to her normal beautiful happy self. Right now: black hair, pink pointed nails, and a brand new small nose piercing. It felt so good to see her feeling better.

    Gabe moved a bunch of branches to the front, away from the house. Some work left to do, but not much on cleaning up the back. Still not sure what I want to do there. If anything.


    Good workout day yesterday. Today Kep gets groomed at Award Winning Pet Grooming and I plan to hike the Burning Bear Trail that I couldn’t find two months ago. Think I can locate the trailhead this time. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my hiking days.

    Getting excited about Hawai’i. Miss those three to pieces. Oh, and beaches, sub-tropical flora and fauna. Great food.


  • My America

    Summer and the Aloha Moon

    Yesterday. In the front of my house.

    Tuesday gratefuls: The USA. America. The Rockies. The Great Lakes. The Great Dismal Swamp. The Appalachians. The Okefenokee Swamp. The Big Woods. Northern Minnesota. The Cascades. The Smokies. Blue Ridge Parkway. Natchez Trace. Mississippi Delta. The Bayous. The East Coast and the West Coast. The Mississippi and the Missouri. Hawai’i. Kilauea. Mauna Kea. Kauai. The Big Island. Bison. Elk. Mule Deer. Black Bear. Grizzly. Trout. Haddock. Lobster. Bass. Walleye. Muskie. The Tetons. The Great Plains. The High Plains. Denali. Tongass. Kodiak. Salmon. Seals. Otters. Sea Lions. Walrus. Lichens. Mushrooms. Douglas Fir. Lodgepole Pine. Ponderosa. Oaks. Maples. Ironwood. Woodchucks. Turtles. Grasses. Elms. Chestnuts. Hickories. All the wild things. All.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The soil of the Midwest.

    Tarot: Going to do a full spread


    I offer three long quotes from three different Americans. Tom Crane sent out the first a week or so ago. The other two have a central piece in my own thought and I’ve now added the Whitman piece. I present them to you after this 4th of despair and chagrin.

    They reflect, are, the America in which I still believe, of which I am a citizen, and for which I shall fight.



    Preface to Leaves of Grass

    by Walt Whitman

    “This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul; and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”


    From the Introduction to Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    “OUR age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and Nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs? Embosomed for a season in Nature, whose floods of life stream around and through us, and invite us by the powers they supply, to action proportioned to Nature, why should we grope among the dry bones of the past, or put the living generation into masquerade out of its faded wardrobe? The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. There are new lands, new men, new thoughts. Let us demand our own works and laws and worship.

    Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable. We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy.”


    Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod.

    “We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate for having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein do we err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with the extension of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.”