• Category Archives Cinema and Television
  • Ouch. Judaism. Movies.

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Tuesday gratefuls: Marilyn and Irv. Great Sol. My Lodgepole Companion. Black Mountain. Those gravel roads in Indiana. Corn fields. Holsteins. Angus. Brahma. Highland. Duroc. Hampshire. Milky Sky. 35 last night up here after Sunday evening’s 82 in Denver. Altitude. Shadow Mountain. My Rock. Shadow Mountain Home.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mountains

    One brief shining: Disrobed, crawled up on the massage table, covered my groin with a towel, and waited for Jill to come in with the needles, went to physical therapy for 10 sessions with Mary, do squats and lunges and dips, cardio, take the occasional acetaminophen, have not tried the lidocaine patches yet, and still my back hurts, more and more. Discouraged.


    So far none of the treatment modalities I’ve tried have succeeded in calming down my back. Seems to get worse. That is, more painful more often. Guess I’ve got to return to the doctor. See what else can be done. I said no surgery, but if this keeps up? Might have to consider it. Of course at 77 surgery, especially anesthesia, comes with its own risks independent of the purpose. Getting to one of those fulcrum moments. Where none of the decisions seem good.

    Not going to project an outcome or its sequelae. Too many variables. And, could produce anxiety. Going to stay in this eternal moment. Doing what I can. As I can.

    Worked out on Sunday. Just cardio. And my hip and leg didn’t like it. Hurt enough yesterday that I skipped working out. Gonna work out later today. Not working out is a slippery, self-fulfilling slope. Been there and don’t want to go back.

    This is not life-threatening, but it is life threatening. Meaning I may have to modify my life in ways I’d prefer not to. Age.


    I’ve chosen some parts of the morning service that I want to do. I can learn the Hebrew to lead the congregation in the morning blessings and I can lead the Shema. This in addition to my Torah portion. Which I have pretty much down now except for inflection.

    With learning my Torah portion, Rabbi Jamie’s conversion classes, two mussar classes and prepping for all of these, it’s been a Jewish immersion. Not only in the mikveh. I’ve also added shabbat to my week. No other classes right now. After the bar mitzvah, all this will quiet down. I’ll be done with Rabbi Jamie’s classes. The Hebrew learning will at least shift focus. I’ll still be doing Torah study with Gary as well.


    My next enthusiasm is cinema. I got a subscription to the Criterion Channel, and have access to Prime Video and Turner Classic Movies. I have to learn Chromecasting so I can use the Criterion Channel downstairs. I’m going to take my dvd player downstairs, too.

    Got pushed on this when I watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers. I have it on DVD. It’s so much of a commentary on the 1950’s as well as on the subject of political manipulation and/or conforming to other’s expectations. A general practice doc is the main character, referred to as a man of science. His main squeeze wears cashmere sweaters and has very pointy bras. In the evening they have martinis, barbecue, and spend time in the outdoor room with friends. His office is quintessential g.p. from the 50’s. A nurse with a tabbed hat and a white uniform. A lot of deference from the town folk.

    In other words the non-horror aspects of this movie fascinated me as much as the pods. I want to be able to write, talk about it. But to do that I have to have a good way of watching. I’ve got several mediums that will work and I have so many classical movies to see. Many again. Many for the first time.



  • Hongbau

    Spring and the Moon of Liberation

    Monday gratefuls: Ruth. Gabe. April birthdays. Mark and Dad, too. The Ancient Brothers on listening. Alan on the Fountain of Sheep, Fuenteovejuna. Spending time with friends and family. Morning pages. Exercise. Its limits. Snow in the forecast. After 82 in Denver yesterday! Shadow Mountain. Shabbat. The Morning Service. Anxiety. Writing.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Red envelopes

    One brief shining: Walked past concrete temporary ballards, through high chain link fences in a maze leading to the Cheesecake Factory, found the entrance, secured a table from the front desk, walked back with the hostess, waved hi to Ruth and Gabe when they came in, and they found the table so we could celebrate Gabe’s 16th.


    If you’ve never been to the Cheesecake Factory, good for you. Over priced and decorated, at least the downtown Denver location, in a faux Egyptian style that makes no sense at all. Not to mention: NOISY. The kids talked about school, about college, about music, five women you need to listen to, and things that happened when they were “young.” I picked up headline words while the details got lost in the clanking of silver ware, the bouncing of multiple conversations off the hard coffered ceiling and the tile floors, the shifting of plates. Could have stayed home for all the signal I got out of the noise. But if I had, who would have paid for dinner?

    Took Gabe and Ruth their hongbau with $10 for each year of their birthday age, my main gift for several years now. Took Gabe a miniature claymore and a new pocket knife. As a hemophiliac, he has a certain obsession with knives. Which I indulge. Ruth got all of Kate’s tassels from high school, college, and med school as well as Korean artist’s paper I purchased in the first Korean city to have paper making.

    Walking back to the car I was short of breath and my back hurt, but felt good. Love spending special time with Gabe and Ruth. Family and its sinews. Ruth has committed to CU Boulder. She doesn’t know her FAFSA results, financial aid, so she can’t sign up for housing yet. I’m glad she’ll be in Boulder. I’ll be able to go see her, take her out to dinner, to the planetarium, stay in touch.

    Meanwhile Gabe has two more years of high school left. What’s next for him? He doesn’t know. And isn’t particularly concerned. College figures in somehow.


    Alan is assistant director again for a play in Wheatridge at the Wheatridge Theater Company. The director is a Mexican woman who directed plays for many years in Mexico City, Maru Garcia. Which explains how Fuenteovejuna or, the Fountain of Sheep*, shows up on a Denver metro stage with a very Jewish assistant director.

    Keeping up with the theater world through Alan’s journey. Don’t think I’m going much further with my own journey. At least for now I’ll allow my one act and performance last year to be my capstone.



    *Billing from the Wheatridge Theater Company:


    May 31 to June 16

    By Lope de Vega

    Directed by Maru Garcia

    First published in 1619, the play is based upon a historical incident that took place in the village of FuenteOvejuna in 1476. While under the command of the ruthless Commander Guzmán, the mistreated villagers band together and kill him. When a magistrate sent by the King arrives to investigate, the villagers, even under the pain of torture, respond only by saying “Fuenteovejuna did it” thus obtaining the pardon from the King and their freedom. A powerful play which depicts the triumph over the mistreatment from authorities.

    Rated: PG13 for descriptions & depictions of physical and sexual violence.

  • Ontario

    Imbolc and the Purim Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: DST. MST. Songtan time. Hello, darkness. Stratford Festival. Mark’s reprieve until April 16th. Seoah and Murdoch and my son. Zoom. Janice and Ginny. Scott. Shabbat. Adar II. Leap years Gregorian and Jewish. Aspen Perks. Kat and Travis. Reading. My great joy. Computer glitches. Ancient Brothers. Mario and Babette on the road.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Stratford, Ontario

    One brief shining: Those trips to the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario involved camping on the shores of Lake Huron, listening to the long trumpets with banners blare out a fanfare for the start of each play, Shakespeare on the stage, the lovely Avon wandering near by and the Black Swan Coffee House where I first encountered criticism of the U.S. role in Vietnam.


    When having breakfast with my friends Ginny and Janice, both theater folk, we discovered our mutual affection for the festival in Stratford, Ontario. I haven’t been back since my honeymoon with Judy, my first wife. 1969. A long time. But in talking with Ginny and Janice I reignited my interest. Much as I did last week with my passion for creating a sustainable presence for humans on our only Planet. Guess I should start paying attention. The psyche is a changin’.

    Those were highlights for me with our family. Driving into Canada, a foreign country! Crowns on top of the speed signs. Familiar cars with unfamiliar grills and looks. Colorful money. Crowns again. It all felt very exotic to me. The farm houses in distinctive shades of blue and yellow. Kincardine. A Scottish town. Ipperswich Provincial Park. Provincial. Not state. Provinces. When our time in Stratford finished, we would drive on north to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula.

    There we would motor on to the Chi-cheemaun, a car ferry run by the Owen Sound Transportation Company, and cross the Georgian Bay. The Flowerpot Islands in the distance. No car ferries in Alexandria, Indiana. It was all wonderful. Strange. Not in the U.S. We traveled to a foreign country. I didn’t know anybody else at home who’d done that.

    Until the War. The Vietnam War. That bastard child of anti-communist fever dreams. Classmates began to disappear overseas. Dennis killed. Richard Lawson wounded. The Native American guy whose name I don’t recall right now killed. A few of us. Very few went to college. Exempted. The rest. Fodder for the meat grinder of an unnecessary war.

    This was the early 1960’s. They all blended together. Shakespeare. Coriolanus. The Black Swan. Lake Huron. The cranking sound of the Chi-cheemaun’s open maw closing. The quiet vanishing of young men my age. The end of high school. Mom’s death. The start of college. So long ago. So far away in time as to be of another century. Even another millennia.

    Which all segued into the movement. The anti-war movement. The days of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Which describes my experience well. As the Grateful Dead said, “What a long strange trip it’s been.”

  • The Rights of Nature

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Tara. Joanne. Jamie. Ginny. Janice. Scott. Wild Mountain Ranch tenderloin. The Rights of Nature. New Zealand. Maori persistence. The Whanganui River. Its legal rights. Constitutions that protect the rights of nature. My Lodgepole companion. Tree huggers. Regenerative farming. Land as itself, not property. Shadow Mountain. Its rights.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Rights of Nature legal revolution

    One brief shining: So I tried the Pomodoro method yesterday, work intensely for 25 minutes, 5 minute break, do that three times, take a 30 minute break, and found it helped me keep reading and not get distracted by oh, an e-mail, wait I’d like something to eat, maybe I should put that new light for zoom together; it’s for working on a longer project requires focus.


    No. I’m not going back to the work world. I like to increase my productivity if I can though and will try different methods from time to time. Right now I’m trying to get this book, The Rights of Nature, read by Saturday for the Rights of Nature bookclub. Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Land Library it’s in the sweet spot of my passion: our world and how we humans can live within it. Over time.

    If you want to feel better about our species, you might find this book worth a read. It summarizes the theoretical (jurisprudential?) movement of the same name. This legal movement is active in many nations around the world including the United States and Canada. It tends to gain ground through individual lawyers and certain types of NGO’s like the Community Environmental Defense Fund and GARN, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature, though in some places like Ecuador mass political movements have played a role, too.

    New Zealand has made important advances in their legal system by giving personhood to the Whanganui River and a former National Park with the unusual name of Te Urewera. It means burnt penis in Maori. Apparently a chief rolled over onto a fire and died there. Both the Whanganui and Te Urewera now own themselves and have human advocates who can file lawsuits and speak on their behalf to the New Zealand government. Imagine if the Mississippi had the same rights as a corporation Which is also a legal person in the U.S. Or, Shadow Mountain. Or, Lake Minnetonka. Or, Lake Superior.

    You might recognize that this movement has roots in the lifeway of indigenous people. It does. The Maori played a key role in changing New Zealand’s laws. A Maoriiwi,tribe, championed the Whanganui river personhood because the river is central to the iwi’s identity.

    Gonna add certain of these NGO’s to Charlie’s List. I’m beginning to see a web of interrelated ideas, actions, and groups that are already at work building a sustainable human presence here on Earth. For the future of humans as a species this is work that has to be done and done now.


    Just a moment: On Netflix. The anime series Blue-Eyed Samurai. This is a story of Shogunate Japan when Japan had closed itself off from the world. The plot follows a blue-eyed Japanese child, a pariah because of the child’s Portuguese father, one of four white men in Japan at the time. He raped the child’s mother. Revenge drives the story.

    For anyone familiar with the Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of the same era in Japan, you will see the careful attention the animators have paid to them as they created this series. Japanese puppet theater also gets a central moment.

    This is adult fare and a complicated, compelling story rendered in the most beautiful anime.

  • Rustin

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Tom. Cold night. 10 degrees this am. Canceling online subscriptions. Black Mountain, still 10,000 feet. Altitude. And, attitude at altitude. Dan. His gifts. Life. While it lasts. The Rights of Nature. Youtube. The Law. To whom it applies and to what. Rocky Mountain Land Library. Rustin. MLK. Civil Rights Movement. The March on Washington.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Fighting for what you believe in

    One brief shining: Watched Rustin last night, the story of Bayard Rustin’s role-he conceived and organized it-in the 250,000 person March on Washington at which Martin Luther King gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, while navigating not only internecine warfare in the Movement and the myriad challenges of organizing an unprecedented, and still unmatched, gathering of African-Americans and their allies, but his own life as a gay man in an unforgiving time.


    Movies that move me. Rustin tapped me in a deep place. My heart responds to people who choose to fight. Rustin fought for his sexuality, against war, for socialism, and against racism. This movie accurately displays the toll of a life devoted to justice no matter where or when. My admiration for the depth of Rustin’s commitment couldn’t be greater.

    Some of you know the story of the Leadership Minneapolis moment in which I participated. Here’s the short version. Leadership Minneapolis was (is?) a program of the Downtown Council, a Chamber of Commerce for downtown Minneapolis. Somewhat like Rotary each year’s class picked young leaders from specific fields: the police, religion, banking, medicine, corporate life, the arts, education, civil rights. Not sure I’m remembering this exactly right but I think we met monthly with an expert in some field of leadership. The idea was both to hone our skills and create a network of folks we could tap as we continued our careers.

    My then close friend, Gary Stern, and I headed up a committee, a committee devoted to the vision for us. With consultant and now long time friend, Lonnie Helgeson, we created a definition of leadership. Leadership we said was love, justice, and compassion. Not sure at this remove, this was the mid-1980’s if I recall correctly, how we differentiated love and compassion.

    This effort and its full acceptance by those of us who created it led to the firing of the entire Leadership Minneapolis board. Goes to show you. A nationally syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, Neal R. Pierce, wrote a column on our effort, a positive one. So there Downtown Council.

    OK. He said a bit chagrined. Enough about me.

    My point? Rustin epitomized leadership as love, justice, and compassion. So did King. Watching this movie reignited my passion, at least for a moment, made me cry. At what? At the power of the powerless gathering themselves and pushing for change. At the power and working without a net nature of political organizing. At my memories of those times, of the times that came later. At the slow but certain bending of the arc of the moral universe. So slow. Too slow.



  • The Fortress of Solitude

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Ackerman Furniture. My couch now back home with its William Morris designed fabric. The two guys who moved it out, then back in. A finished downstairs. Mostly. Rabbi Jamie. Leo. Luke. Moses and the burning bush. Fire. A mystery. Water.  Air. Earth. Elementals. Fountain Barbecue. Ribs. Mac and cheese. Baked beans with jalapenos. Bolognese Sauce. The Cold Moon.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Revelation

    One brief shining: Went into the synagogue, kippah in place, and there was Leo, wagging his tail and greeting me, I said hi to the other humans of course but Leo had my attention being my occasional buddy.


    Busy morning. Up a bit late, on with Diane, then a workout. After I waited on the Ackerman folks to return my couch. When it got here, I felt relief. It did go ok with the painting. If it hadn’t, well, I would have sucked it up and waited until it did. Not gonna repeat that journey. Too expensive.

    Left for mussar in Evergreen when they left. An hour and a half discussing fire, what it is, how it can be a metaphor, how it can be a metaphor for God. Or, as I prefer, a metaphor for the godliness in each of us. That is, how we each burn with the flame of sacred desire, of passion for truth and justice, of purity and cleansing. Of knowledge and insight. Of life itself.

    My solitude beckoned right after though. I needed to get home, back to Shadow Mountain. It was 55 in Evergreen, 46 here when I got home. Snow has melted back off the roads, off my driveway, cleared from my solar panels. In true Colorado fashion we may get 8 inches of new Snow tomorrow night and Saturday.

    Human interaction, deep and meaningful, grabs me, holds me while I’m in it. Afterward though. Whew. My every pore turns toward not only solitude, but solitude at home. That balance is a delicate one, one I can overshoot more on the interaction side than the solitude side. Oh, yes. Friends, classes. Oh, even more yes. This place. This Mountain. My home.


    Swifties. MAGA crazies. The NFL. The Kelce brothers. Travis and Taylor. Her Era tour. His Superbowl. Gosh.

    Not to mention. How about them Houthi’s? Screwing up shipping, playing the short, short game for their fans in Iran. What if the U.S. decided to land on you with both boots? Uh-oh.

    Course it wouldn’t be an election season in 2024 without the many trials of the Yellow-Haired Hercules. Can he clean out the Aegean stables of fraud uncovered in New York? Can he tame the Nemean Lion of a Supreme Court that could bounce him from the presidency? Will he destroy the many headed Hydra of prosecutors after him for meddling in elections? When will he pay his struck by Aphrodite in the dressing room price, $83 million dollars worth?

    The election, the most important election in our history, with two candidates nobody wants. Oh, it’s so good to be an American.

  • Shadow Mountain Christmas Morning

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Christmas gratefuls: Hanukah. Bright, sparkly Snow. Flocked Lodgepoles. Black Mountain white. My son. Seoah and her family. Murdoch. Christmas in Korea. Shadow Mountain. My support and foundation. Tom and Roxann on Kauai. Washington County, Maine. Robbitson. Max. Paul and Sarah in Burlington, Vermont. Covid. Lingers still. Christmas. Incarnation. Imago dei. B’tzelem Elohim. Saturnalia. Christmas Trees and Yule Logs. Eggnog and Mistletoe. Holly and Ivy. Krampus. Great Sol lighting up Black Mountain

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The almost full Winter Solstice Moon last night

    One brief shining: T’was the night before Christmas and I got up at 2 am before I could get up and go to the bathroom the scene outside my bedroom window caught my eye and in spite of the 3 degree temperature streaming in through the slight opening I left I could not look away as the Lodgepole shadows, the Arcosanti bell’s shadow, the shadow of the shed created negative space around the sections of sparkly snow between and among them. A scene in which, if Santa had landed, I would not have been at all surprised.


    Christmas morning on Shadow Mountain. 8-10 inches of fluffy, twinkling Snow. 3 degrees. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney might swing by on a sleigh pulled by draft horses. Great Sol throws low angle sun beams at the Trees, lighting us up but not heating us up too much. Though. This is Colorado. We’ll see high thirties and low forties later on this week. Odd how a snowy, cold Christmas has been sold as quintessential for the celebration of a Levantine savior. That manger would not have been a safe place for a baby today in the Rockies.

    I’m listening right now to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This King’s College tradition is a staple of the Anglican Church and a Christmas Eve program. A musical entrée into the long fate of a Jewish boy born millennia ago. Irony, too. The Anglican Church hollowed out decades ago though as a state church its clergy still fill its remaining parishes drawing a government salary. Read this week that about 10% of them have formed a union. Godspeed.


    I might go out later today for Chinese food. A Jewish tradition that Kate and I followed for many years even before moving to Colorado. Usually includes a movie, too. My hearing has declined enough that movies are not as much fun as they used to be. I miss a lot of the dialogue, making the whole a muddle. Much better to be at home with closed captions turned on. Thanks to Christmas there are several first rated movies available: Saltburn, Maestro, and Rebel Moon by Zack Snyder to name three. I’ll get takeout, come back to Shadow Mountain. I have the best seat in the house.


    Talked to my boy last night. His morning, Christmas day while I was still in Christmas Eve. Always weird. Learned that the painful tests he had for compartment syndrome last week were diagnostic, not a treatment. The treatment is a fasciotomy, a 30% success rate. And, the surgeon who would perform the procedure is passionately against it. It’s also very painful. Probably not gonna happen.

    Saw Seoah’s sister, Seoah in pigtails. Murdoch. The oldest boy came on the Zoom and looked at me for a long time. Not sure what that was about, though I did meet him briefly in September. A bit of snow on the ground in Songtan. A sorta white Christmas. Seoah’s family wanted to go on base for good tacos at Taco Bell and good pizza at Pizza Hut. Not common foods in the Korean diet. And just as well if you ask me.


  • A Use for God?

    Samain and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Images. The eye and its mysteries. Our stories, the Ancient Brothers. Evoked by photographs: Orion, a candle, the symbol of the Tao, a leafless tree in winter with a sun on the horizon. Christmas Cactus. A light, fun drama. Alan as an assistant director. Cheri the salsa dancer. Leo, a true garbage hound. Luke in Granby with Tal and friends. Rabbi Jamie and Laura yesterday. Going on a mushroom journey on Tuesday. A celebratory steak dinner at Bastiens. Wednesday. Thanks, Alan. Reading now about covenant. All day today.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Alan

    One brief shining: Found the strip mall, found suite J, the Wheatridge Theater Company, delivered my phone as ticket, found a seat next to Alan and Cheri, a three sided stage with three sided seating, a woman next to Alan working the lights in a black curtained space, and settled in for the entertaining story of Christmas Cactus, the detective.


    On my heart this morning. A new vision, new eyes. Opened to a different wavelength, the band of sacredness. Since the drive the other day when the sacred pulse along the road began to insist, I have had my sensibility shifted. Not all the time, but much of the time. That tree, the Aspen there with its gray bark, its leafless Branches, its sturdy Trunk, and the roots below say to me: yes, I grow here, am here, one piece of this Forest whole. But not in words. The Lodgepole just out my window. Its curved Branches salute Great Sol as they soak up fusion energy, life giving energy. Their humility, their prayerfulness. I feel glad.

    Where these new eyes to see what I’m looking at have come from I don’t know. I can only report that I have them. Sleeping Leo gives me a swelling heart as he is the Dog, Leo, but also all Dogs, all animals.

    I hear the heat pump working, drawing what heat there is in the 35 degree weather into my house. Warming me. A marvel. Awesome. Sacred. Think of the water vapor also invisible, also in the air. When a cloud forms, the invisible water vapor becomes visible. Ah, we say. Water. But only a fraction of the story. Why? Because the water vapor is there right now, all around you, around that Aspen and that Lodgepole. The cloud functions as a reminder, a natural heuristic device.

    “See” the water vapor. Know it’s there. This is the same experience I’m having with the sacred right now. I can see it where before it was invisible to me. Perhaps I’m meant to be a cloud, a natural heuristic device.

    Different tact. Same vein. God. Does that word, that idea add anything to this experience. My inclination is no. In fact perhaps the word God with all its linguistic and historical baggage obscures rather than unveils. Yes. My immediate, knee jerk response after many years of abdicating myself from God language.

    However. As a word that might denote the totality of this experience, of seeing, being enveloped by, the sacred? There might be some purpose there. Not finished with this. Not at all.


  • Movies and Moving

    Samain and the Conversion Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Good sleep. Vikings win. My son and Seoah and Murdoch. Peace. War. Israel. Hamas. Public opinion of Israel. Anti-semitism. ADL. Taking sides. CBE. Luke. Tarot. Astrology. Purpose. Porpoise. Pronouns. Pamela. BJ. Sarah. Annie. Jerry. Whistler. Church. Group of Seven. The Yamantaka Mandala. Taoist influenced Chinese painting, especially the Song dynasty. Warhol. Brancusi. Seurat. Goya. El Greco. Art of all kinds. The world beyond and within us.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Odyssey, Homer

    One brief shining: Yesterday in my chair Odysseus strung his bow, shot loud Antinous first, then more suitors for his Penelope’s hand while godlike Telemachus gathered armor and weapons for his father and the two steadfast herdsmen: shields, bronze helmets, sharp bronze swords and bronze tipped spears with which they slayed those suitors left alive.


    Gotta gush again about Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey. OMG. Like seeing the movie in my mind. So much there I may reread it after I read Fagle’s Iliad. What a story. That Homer. What a guy.


    Purpose. As Tom reminded me. Burn away everything but love. That’s enough. Perhaps the mission of the fourth phase.


    Talking movies. We talked yesterday about movies we like so much that we revisit them. Here’s my list: Wizard of Oz. Seventh Seal. The original Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy. Casablanca. Black Orpheus. Seven Samurai. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I’m not big or rereading or reseeing so this was difficult for me. Though. I am right now engaged in rereading. And I want to find Fiddler on the Roof to rewatch it. Others mentioned: Dr. Zhivago. Sound of Music. Pulp Fiction. Rashomon. Monterey Pop. Woodstock. Newport Jazz Festival.  Star Wars, the first three. The Matrix. Many more. Got a phone call in the middle and missed a few.

    Movies touch our hearts. Can change our lives.


    Gradually reshelving the books I sorted out as keepers when I was still in full moving to Hawai’i mode. A year ago. Bending over and picking up things gives me fits because of my funky diaphragm and 8800 feet. A slow process. Need to get them all back up so I can have the loft cleaned and reorganized. Want to start painting again.

    Although. As I do, I wonder about the latest matter scratching at my inner world. Alan’s been extolling the virtues of downtown living. And, through Cheri and other insurance friends making the point, the valid point I believe, that our insurance situation is going to get worse and worse. For those of us in the W.U.I. that is. As I think about that and my probable need at some point to make a move related to further aging or disease, a downtown condo doesn’t sound so bad.

    So. I poked around on real estate websites and it looks like I could pick up a 2 bedroom condo right downtown for between four hundred and five hundred thousand. That’s roughly what I stand to make if I sell.  The purchase would avoid capital gains thanks to reinvesting in a new property. I could pay for it with cash. HOA fees are not cheap but they’re far less than my mortgage.

    Trade-offs. Yes. My wild neighbors. Living at altitude. CBE easy access. My Mountain friends close by. My memories with Kate in this house. A house big enough for guests. And I like all the room. Over against. No wildfires. All on one level. Easy access to emergency medical care. Museums and restaurants and the State Capitol close by. Bookstores. Lots of places to walk. Jazz. Theaters.


  • More Spontaneous Than I Thought

    Summer and the Herme Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Movies. Books. Writing. Actors. Acting. Acting class. Pushing outside the comfort zone. Mussar. MVP. Judaism. Sabbath. Tom. Bill. Ode. Paul. Honorable men. The Ocean. Ocean Vents. Extremophiles. The Marianna’s Trench. Titan. Tides. King. Neap. High. Low. The Moon. Great Sol. Photosynthesis. Reconstruction. Reimagining the Sacred. Reimagining Revelation. Reconstructing religion. The Great Wheel. Travel. Korea. Israel. Life in the fourth phase.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: This Mountain Life

    One brief shining: That mug I made for Father’s Day when Kate took me to the Northwestern Clay Center so heavy and inelegant with spots of yellow glaze here and there a wonderful fits my hand perfectly handle fired with her thoughtfulness knowing no one was going to show up for Father’s Day that year oh I miss her and love that misshapen spectacular instance of her kindness.


    Be spontaneous. My son a few months ago the very day an information meeting happened for CBE’s Israel Trip. So I was. Now I’m going. In October the day after his birthday. I’ll see him and Seoah, Murdoch first though. On August 23rd. Be spontaneous. Trying. Although if I have to try, does that still count?

    Wondered this yesterday when I sat here looking at the movies at the AMC Bowles yesterday. Wanted to see Mission Impossible because my son loved it and said it had some provocative content re: AI. Heard him saying. Be spontaneous. Bought the ticket. Another Tom Cruise I can do this to show what a good stunt man I am movie yet also a thriller, edge of the seat come up for air at the end experience.

    Used the closed caption contraption for the first time. It helps. A lot. Clunky though. Fits in the cupholder, has a flexible arm that can be moved to a position in front of and below line of sight to the screen. Not ideal since to really see either the captions or the screen you have to change focus. Better, a lot better, than Wakanda Forever though where the dialects and accents made me miss half of the dialogue.

    There is, I’ve learned, a better option for me. Open captions like I currently use while watching TV. The problem is they’re usually available only once a day since they project the captions on the screen. Don’t want to “spoil” the experience for others, I imagine. Kate didn’t like subtitles, for example. Me, I can’t watch a movie without them anymore. Will only see Oppenheimer with open captions. This week.

    This still leaves out arthouse cinema, I suppose. Though I admit I haven’t checked. Need to do that. Exploring ways to have fun. An art day now and then. A museum day. I know. Is that nerdy fun? I suppose. Still, it counts for me.


    A short disquisition on spontaneous. Here are three definitions from Webster’s.

    1 : proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
    : arising from a momentary impulse
    : controlled and directed internally : self-acting


    I’m almost sure my son meant definition number 2. And I welcomed the prod. Break out of the last five year ties that bound me close to home. Do something just because. Without consideration, or at least much consideration.

    Yet. Those other definitions. I can’t claim to always act without external constraint. Hardly. I put on clothes, take showers, pay my bills, speak English, don’t hit people. Yes, that’s true. But in my day to day life I proceed almost always from natural feeling or native tendency, a life directed and controlled internally. That’s the joy of the fourth phase. I’m more spontaneous than I thought.