• Category Archives Asia
  • Asia

    Imbolc and the Ancient (77) Moon

    Friday gratefuls: New theme. Korea. Fried Fish restaurants. Barbecue and hot pot. The Fish market in Seoul. Gyeongbokgung palace Seoul. Sejong the Great. Okgwa, Seoah’s home village. Gwangju. Hutongs in Beijing. Firewalking in Singapore. Chinatown in Bangkok. Scorpions at Angkor Wat. Asia. Kanji. Hangul. Ideograms.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Asia

    One brief shining: The colorful ceremony of the changing of the guards at Gyeongbokgung palace preceded my unfortunate discovery that I had spinal stenosis; walking across the cobblestones and up steps into the palace buildings, a pain began to take shape, to flare over my lower right back, becoming so fierce that I hobbled, then sat down, willing to stay in that spot except the car was not in the palace but far, far away in the parking lot.


    Asia. Long now my focus. Brother and sister living in Southeast Asia for many years. Mary in Malaysia and Singapore, Mark in Bangkok. My son from the subcontinent. His wife from Korea. The Asian art at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Reading Chinese, Japanese, Korean fiction. K-dramas.

    Funny this Asian pivot. When I married Kate, of blessed memory, we honeymooned from Italy to Austria, Austria to France, France to England, England to Scotland. Seeing the great sites. The Colosseum. The Vatican. The Sistine Chapel. Pompeii. Venice. Florence and the Uffizi. The Vienna Opera and the Ringstrasse, Salzburg. The Louvre. Small cafes. London. Bath. Edinburgh. Inverness. All European, Britain. Not even Scandinavia.

    In the thirty plus years since then, I returned only once, in 1995, to stay in the residential library of Hawarden, Wales. I did write my novels from within the Celtic mythic universe, yet I was even then beginning to spend time with the teaware and bronzes, the Song dynasty ceramics, the mandalas and Buddha’s of the MIA’s Asian collection. Well before that Mary had moved to Kuala Lumpur, then Singapore and Mark taught in Bangkok.

    And that Asian kid grew up in my house, in my life and heart. He then married Seoah, a native of Korea. Kate, my son, and I flew to Beijing in 1998 or 1999. That was my first time in Asia. After Dad died, I used some of my inheritance to visit Mary in Singapore, see Bangkok, then Angkor Wat in Cambodia. In 2016 Kate and I went to Korea for my son and Seoah’s wedding, then onto Singapore where Mary graciously housed us in the largest hotel suite (the only hotel suite) in which we ever stayed. Last year I flew to Incheon, then stayed in Songtan for five weeks with my son and Seoah. Europe has faded from my awareness as a destination, a place I yearn to go.

    I didn’t mention several trips with Kate to Hawai’i, then even more trips there to see my son and Seoah after Kate’s death. Hawai’i, especially Oahu, has a definite Asian inflection.

    Here’s the thing. Obama declared an Asian pivot in our foreign policy and my son’s career has reflected it, but as a nation we know little of Asia. Did you have ever take a class, even have a lesson on Chinese history, Indian history? Outside of Mao and possibly Xi Jingping, maybe Kim Jong Un can you name three other significant Asian leaders. Make it even harder. Asian leaders, any nation, from history? Do you know any works of fiction written by Asian authors? Have you been in any Asian country?

    I know a few of you who read this will answer yes to some or all of these questions, but you are in the minority. This glaring gap in our base knowledge is not our fault. Asia simply didn’t show up in our curriculum at the public school level. Except as exotic enemies. Anti-Asian racism began for us with the Chinese who came to build the railroads and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Beyond that, we know little of Asians in our own history.

    Why is all this important? Mostly because these cultures are so rich, have figured out ways to be human that have not occurred to us. Also, of course, because Asia especially India, China, Japan, and Korea have begun asserting themselves in contemporary geopolitics. If you haven’t, take some time to learn. You’ll find Asia fascinating.


  • Wisdom is where you find it

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Tara. Rabbi Jamie. Great Sol, seen again. Taoism. Acupuncture. Needles. Meridians. Jill. Spinal stenosis. Theodicy. All is one. The one is all. Yet I am. Tom. Diane. Ginny and Bo Yi. Fan Kuan. Taiwan. The National Palace Museum. Korea. My son, Seoah, Murdoch. Joanne. The Mountains. Crisis of confidence. The Hazel Miller Band. Alan. Gary. Torah study. Shadow Mountain.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jazz Sax

    One brief shining: Wondering if there’s one place that provides music to acupuncturists and massage therapists that only has one recording which includes whale songs and related noninstrumental music, what I heard while resting face down, torso and feet bare as Jill needled my lower back and feet, the also not to be missed wallpaper image of the Milky Way rising in the desert.


    My maiden visit to the world of Chinese medicine. In a small strip mall not far from home just off 285. Near the Snowpack Tap Room. Jill shares an office with a chiropractor who looked like an ex-boxer. In the area that adjoins the restrooms some wag put up a skeleton with a doctor’s white coat. Not sure about the message of that. Bones? From Star Trek?

    Yes, it was an odd visit. And yet. My back feels better this morning. How bout that. Jill got a good sense of what I wanted. Trying to nail down methods to keep me traveling. Acupuncture as one modality. So she had me lie down next to the Milky Way, whale song filling the air, and proceeded to place the needles.

    I went to Medical Acupuncture on a whim, sort of. That is, Sue Bradshaw agreed with me that cortisone injections and back surgery were bad juju. Which leaves, she said, physical therapy, lidocaine patches, acetaminophen and the very occasional NSAID, and acupuncture. The only one of those that was new to me was acupuncture so I decided to try it out.

    In spite of my feelings about the context, a bit too latter day hippie for me, I think the needles will become my friend. Chinese medicine is an ancient art and science with wisdom we Westerners most often ignore. As with most of Asian culture for that matter. As my friend Bill wisely said, if you turn your back on a form of treatment it will do you no good. Well, then again. I turned my back on this treatment. Ha.

    So. P.T. exercises daily. Lidocaine patches, perhaps for touring days when traveling? The occasional pain med. Regular resistance work. And acupuncture. Keeping this old body rolling, rolling, rolling.

    I feel pretty good about this. A problem surfaces in Korea. Gets diagnosed and calmed down. Thank you, Mr. Lee. Western doc refers me to p.t. Mary the adopted Korean physical therapist helps me further along the road. Now Jill the acupuncturist introduces Chinese medicine as a prophylactic. And I have pushed myself back to three sets of resistance work. It takes a village and a couple of different cultures to get me to a good place. Worth it.

  • Asia

    Winter and the Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Diane home from Taiwan. Fan Kuan. Travelers Among Mountains and Streams. Japan and Taiwan. The Dutch and Taiwan. How little we Americans know about Asia. Bo Yi and Ginny. Taipei. Songtan. My son. Seoah. Murdoch. Seoah’s family. Gwanju, Osan, and Okgwa. A personal stake in the fortunes of South Korea. Great Sol and Cloudy and blue Colorado Sky.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Diane

    One brief shining: Hoo boy that 24th minute on the treadmill this morning my legs were moving, not very fast, a brisk walk and my back began to say hey up there, I’m here and I don’t feel good, really wanted to hit 30 minutes but those narrowed spinal processes said, no I don’t think so, not today anyhow, so I turned off the treadmill, did some apres workout stretches and went back downstairs.


    Yeah. Facing front. I can manage the stenosis, but it will kick up much sooner than I want. A definite factor in traveling from this point forward. Not much to be done about it either. My p.t. exercises are the best treatment. I don’t want to go to the next two levels: cortisone shots into the vertebrae or spinal fusion surgery. Saw that with Kate and it did not look good. Plus. My experience with cortisone shots in my knee? No help. Spinal fusion? Nope. Sets up other problems and I’ve seen them. Leaves me with p.t. and avoiding the long walks while traveling that do what I just did on the treadmill. I can do that. Takes a different sort of planning.


    I have folks I love and folks they love in South Korea. So these two articles upset me this morning: As if We Didn’t Have Enough to Frighten Us … and the one its author, Nicholas Kristof references in his January 17th article, Is Kim Jong Un Preparing for War?   Not to mention that my son works at and lives near a spot most likely already programmed in to a North Korean nuclear missile. Made his dad wince to read this.


    Talked with Diane this morning about her trip to Taiwan to see her niece and my first cousin once removed, Ginny, get married to Bo Yi, a Taiwanese national. Actually this was the Chinese version. They got married two years ago in Ohio where they live. Culturally appropriate in two cultures now. Along with a nine month old son. I have pictures and when I get them downloaded I’ll post a few.

    Diane, the lucky duck, has achieved my one item in my bucket list. She’s been to the National Museum of China. I’m gonna get there on my next trip to Korea. If the North stays quiet, that is. She did me a favor and got a museum gift for me of Fan Kuan’s famous work, Travelers Among Mountains and Streams.


    Conversion session with Rabbi Jamie today. Focused on Judaism’s classic texts. Torah. Nevi’im. (prophets) Ketuvim (writings). Mishnah (writing down of the Oral Law). Talmud (mostly rabbinic commentary on the Mishnah. Midrash. (rabbinic commentary on the Torah)


  • Its All Nature

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Rich. Tara. Jamie. Ron. Irv. Marilyn. Susan. The MVP squad. Tom. Diane in Taiwan. That Desert Eagle Mark saw. Ai Weiwei. Genius beyond genius. Art. Missing art. Missing music. Writing. My life. Shadow Mountain home. Cooking. Problem solving. Life. Death. Faith. Its all Nature. The Sacred. Talk about manifesting. Water Vapor. Clouds. Transience revealing permanence.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Life and death

    One brief shining: Protean a word embedded in the Greek vision of divinity, of gods and powers, able to change shape transform metamorphose Ai Weiwei Protean man building big cabinets and small cabinets, creating a marble toilet paper roll, challenging nations from his spot acquired through doggedness, brilliance, and a love of problems and, oh yeah, Legos.


    Wanted to make a black-eyed pea soup for the MVP gathering last night. But. Ordered black beans instead. What to do? In a fateful decision I chose to make a black bean soup with what I had on hand, using as well some of what I ordered for the black-eyed pea soup. OMG. How to make bad choices moi. I think it’s better than I originally thought but I took a bag of clementines to MVP instead. The upside is that I got interested in beans again and soup. Which I know I can make if I have the right ingredients and follow the recipe. So now I’m thinking bean soups, freezing.

    Part of the issue with the soups I looked at it including the black-eyed pea varieties were their use of ham hocks. Fine with me, I don’t share my coreligionists aversion to pork, but I respect it. And, one of our little group, Rich, is a vegetarian. So. Conclusion. I’m going to make some black-eyed pea soup for me with ham hocks and all the trimmings. Figure out something else to take next month.


    Coming home the thirty minute drive from the synagogue to Shadow Mountain in the night. Darkness. Trees. The occasional glow of nocturnal evolved eyes on the road side. Hoping for another flashy glimpse into the world of the sacred but fine with the clouds lit up by moonlight, the Lodgepoles and Aspens crawling up the Mountain sides, my own temporary life moving with and through them. Feelings of love for the Forest, the Mountains, Kate who once rode beside me, my friends at CBE, this solitary life I lead now. Some sadness floating up, accepted, yes sad without Kate, without Kep. Without.

    Further on as I make the sharp turn that leads to the top of Shadow Mountain already beyond the sadness welcoming myself back to my home. Enjoying the folks who savor their Christmas Trees and lights so much they can’t part with them quite yet. Enjoying the world I have and am for this time part of. How wonderful it is to be. To open up and let the moonlight in, to feel sad, to shift to feeling at home, to care deeply about friends. In the hospital. Wandering. Discussing faith and wonder.

    How wonderful is to have made bad black bean soup.



  • It’s a New Day, It’s a New Life, and I’m Feeling Good

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: The Shema. Hebrew. Decoding. Learning a language. Ooph. Sinking into the New Year. Great Sol blazes across another Colorado blue Sky. Black-eyed Peas. Black Beans. Black-eyed Pea soup. Cooking. In my remodeled kitchen. Tom’s poems and his depth. Mario’s optimism and self-confidence. Paul’s will and intellect. Bill’s steadiness and insight. The Ancient Brothers. Five years or so of honesty, authenticity, compassion, and love. Diane in Taiwan. Great photos. Tara and her skill as a teacher. My friends.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Soup in Winter

    One brief shining: Yes oh yes each morning a resurrection, each day a new life, new chances for love and justice and compassion, for leadership in your own heart, for doing what you can, surrendering when you must, for standing out as the unique and irreplaceable one that you are as part of the one that envelops all in its sacred embrace.


    Leaning into the Jewish idea that each morning is a resurrection from the one-sixtieth of death that is a night’s sleep. Each day is a new life we could even say a new year since it’s the only time you have this new year, this day. What is your kavanah, your intention, for this new life you’ve been given? Yes, given. You woke up, didn’t you? Grief teaches us about the wonder and awe of this simple pleasure, waking up. And about the opportunity it is. This is not just any day, it’s a new day!

    Perhaps we should set aside New Year’s resolutions. As if we didn’t know that already, right? Instead let’s make new day intentions. Maybe find a bit more joy than yesterday. Imagine if you could find just a bit more joy each day. What could you feel like at the end of a month?

    Perhaps a bit more calmness. Not a lot. You don’t have to wind down, be chill in every moment. No. Take a breath now and then today. Try that 4-7-8 breathing or some other calming technique. At least once. See if it helps.

    In my case. Give focused attention to Hebrew while at Tara’s. Prep that black-eyed Pea soup for the MVP group tomorrow night. Consider driving into Denver to Listenup and buy a new cd player. Smile at that Lodgepole soaking up the heat and energy from Great Sol. Be easy as I do all these things. Not pressing as I might. Not pushing. Flowing with them. Letting the Water of my day find its own path to the gentleness of evening.


    And, in other news. In an 8-7 decision Israel’s Supreme Court had its Marbury v. Madison moment and came down on the side of judicial authority. We’ve not heard the last of this one. Also, a Korean presidential candidate got stabbed in Busan. Japan had another quake, a 7.6 with many aftershocks. Tsunami warnings in Japan and Korea. And 45’s star continues to rise among the ranks of the Grand Old Party. May it go nova and turn into a political black hole for all of them.



  • 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.


  • Others

    Fall and the Samain Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Lutheran Spine Center. Mary. Melody. Tara. RSV vaccine. Safeway. Israel. BA cancellation. Keshet. Conversion. Mikveh. Embracing the darkness as we move toward the Winter Solstice. Samain. The fallow time. Business mornings. Tuesdays. P.T. exercises. Workouts. Keeping up with it. My novels. The new one aborning. Kep, my sweet boy. Kate, always Kate. Seven Stones. Gabe. Ruth. Friendsgiving. Thanksgiving. Relationships. Family. My boy, Seoah, Murdoch. Friends. Deciding what comes next.

    Sparks  of Joy and Awe: Joann

    One brief shining: Once again confirming my medications, giving my date of birth, looking at my oxygenation, my blood pressure all fine as I prepare to meet yet another doctor, this time Melody, a p.a. physiatrist, who has me bend side to side and forward, who takes both of my legs and twists them this way and that, any pain, stops and says you have every reason to be hopeful as she left the room when we were done.


    Yes, my Korea experience still has me on the road for visits to physical therapy and then Lutheran Spine Center yesterday. Melody confirmed my conjecture that my recent neglect of resistance work probably led to my flare. Why did I do that? Not depressed. My best guess is. Got tired of it. Self care takes time. The older I get the more time it takes. Wanted to save a little time by not doing the resistance. Bad choice. Melody also made me feel good because she expressed surprise that I’d held off this back trouble for so long. Definitely your working out. And, she said, if you keep up your exercises you have every reason…

    I know these things to be true. I know. But. There’s a certain weariness that comes with repeating the same things over and over. Get on the treadmill. Do the squats. The chest presses. The lawnmowers. The dips. The bicep curls and the shoulder presses. The skullcrushers. Those core exercises. Now adding in physical therapy exercises for my back specifically. Guess I need an attitude adjustment. Working out keeps me able to do the things I want to do. Like travel. Go see friends and family. Take care of myself while living alone. Pretty important stuff.

    New attitude. Take the time. It’s worth it.

    Similar note. Got my RSV vaccine yesterday at Safeway. Still seems weird to me to go the grocery store for anything medical. Yet there you are. Some kerfuffle with my birthdate and my medicare card made me wait longer. Then a quick jab, a bandaid, thank you. Noticed while I was there that Safeway has renamed their aisles using local street names: Barkley Road and Shadow Mountain Drive, for instance.


    At breakfast with Tara yesterday I had an aha. At this point in my life relationships are what matter. Not even writing that new novel or finishing Jennie’s Dead. Not even traveling unless it includes building or deepening relationships. Hmm. That one may not be right. I still like to travel alone. Not even striking another blow for justice. I spend more time now having breakfast and lunch with friends, seeing Gabe and Ruth, my son and Seoah, than I do on anything other than taking care of myself. And it never gets old or repetitious. No, I’m not converting to extroversion. I still don’t like crowds or parties or too many people around. But one on one or with two or three others? Yes. That’s where the juice is in my life now.



  • Israel. A bit more

    Fall and the Harvest Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Israel. Blinken. Biden. Hamas. Hezbollah. Iran. Mark in Saudi. Diane. Tom. Rain, cold Rain. News. Korea. North Korea. South Korea. Seoah and her family. My boy. Mary in K.L. Songtan. Osan. Shadow Mountain. Starlink. Creative Audio. Newspapers. Justice. A many splintered thing. Spinal stenosis. P.T. Mary. Murdoch. Kepler and Rigel. Gertie and Vega. Kate, always Kate. Jon. Ruth. Gabe.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: P.T.

    One brief shining: When an American Secretary of State says I come here as Jew and as a Jew who lost family in the Holocaust, when he says Israel will never stand alone, when the President of the United States declares the acts of Hamas evil and sends an aircraft carrier support group, when Jews lie dead in their home victims of ideologically sanctioned murder, then we know the enemy, the ones who hate Jews, hate Israel, and will not allow their own humanity to impede their actions.


    Got a note from Expedia today. Your travel to Israel may be affected. Go to your airlines website. I did. Yep. Can cancel with no charge for travel between Oct. 7th and December 4th. Also. No flights until December 5th at the earliest. Well, that about does it for the trip. I’ll wait until Sunday to cancel my flight, see what others plan to do, but if we can’t fly there we can’t go. What that means for the Keshet trip? Uncertain. Probably postpone. Maybe cancel instead and rebook.

    Having the trip planned. Hamas’ invasion. Reading Jewish newspapers. Learning about Golda Meir and other Israeli leaders during times of military peril. Studying Israel and Zionism for my next session with Rabbi Jamie on the 19th. Dancing with the Torah on Friday night as Hamas readied its fighters. Meeting yesterday morning with Geoff and others who also planned on this trip. An immersion in Jewish life. In the dark and lonely side of what it means to be a Jew. A heightened and deepened inner knowledge of the dream of Israel and its physicality, its critical importance for Jewish life in the diaspora.


    Like many, perhaps most of Beth Evergreen fearing too for the Palestinians in Gaza. For the also dream of a Palestinian state. For a permanent and viable solution to this awful, unjust life for them, for Israel, for Jews everywhere. For justice.

    No to murder of civilians and the taking of civilian hostages. No to anti-semitism. No to terror. No to Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran in their hatred of Jews. No. No. No.

    How to hold both of these feelings at such a time? How? Both necessary, both just, both compassionate. The world has its contradictions, its pain, its seemingly unresolvable conflicts. Look for a moment at our own country. Red and blue. MAGA and the rest of us. Ireland. China and the Uighurs. Afghanistan. Armenia. India. Sri Lanka. I suppose in each of these situations there are those torn by loyalties that seem irreconcilable.

    Some must live with their hearts opened, their eyes clear, their minds knowing. Mustn’t they?


  • This and that

    Fall and the Harvest Moon

    Monday gratefuls: A pink Cumulus Cloud over Black Mountain. The start of a new Day. A new life resurrected from the 1/60th death of sleep. Each Day a full book in the library of life. The vast wing dedicated to each life. Yours. Mine. The Mule Deer and the Butterfly. Rain. Fall weather this week. My son and his sweet note. Gabe. The Rockie’s game that wasn’t. Twins playing last year’s winner of the World Series in the playoffs. House cleaning today.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Life, the wonder and the miracle

    One brief shining: Small drops of Water hit my deck this morning, taking the Mouse trap outside to make  an offering to the Ravens, the dead mouse would not come out.


    Yes. When I got back it was late September and the Mice had made a new incursion. When I went to get my electric Mouse trap out, I noticed a blinking red light. The sign of a killed Mouse. ? Sure enough, in the worst decision of its short life, this particular Mouse had chosen the Mouse trap as its home.

    I don’t like killing mice. It makes me sad, feel guilty, puts me in a category of human behavior I never aspire to. Yet my team that came to help me clean a couple of years ago made me get over it. Too much of a health risk. And, I know. I know. Hamburgers. Bacon. Chicken wings. Who ever said contradiction was not a part of life? Even so.


    Slept well the last two nights. Colon less vigilant. Yay. Jet lag waning, as it will. Perhaps today, maybe tomorrow I’ll shake free of Korea’s Sun and return to the one under which I now live. These transitions go unremembered after a journey is over. Their price part of the experience like airfare and taxis.


    Fall in the Rockies. A distinctive time here, one I’m glad I didn’t miss. The bugling of the Elk Bull’s searching for mates. Hyperphagic Bears tipping over garbage cans, raiding cars, going into houses after a portion of the 20,000 calories a day they need before their long nap. The Aspen’s gold, muted this year, against the evergreen of the Lodgepoles. Signs for snowplowing, ads. The Mountain Lions hunting for the straggling Mule Deer, the startled Rabbit. Skies as blue and as pure as new born Fawns, reflected in Mountain Streams and Lakes. The weather becoming more unstable, veering between heat and cold, changing. Nights that go into the electric blanket zone. Days that feel warm in the sun, cold in the shade. All of us, humans and wild neighbors, making sure we’re ready for the cold season that follows.


    If you read the NYT, you will find in this morning’s edition an article about Bishop Joseph Strickland: A Texas Bishop Takes on the Pope. It’s rare that I have a personal connection to any stories featuring Catholicism coming of good Protestant stock and about to become a Jew. In this case though. Paul Strickland, Joseph’s older brother, is and has been a close friend of mine for over thirty years. He’s one of the Ancient Brothers who meet by zoom each Sunday morning.

    Paul and all of us Ancient Brothers have a very different take on the world than Joseph. Yet. Not a surprise that Joseph is articulate, strong, and determined. Like Paul. Not a surprise that Joseph has catalyzed others. Like Paul and the 10,000 Friends of the Maine Coast which prevented a huge LPG terminal from taking over the tiny Maine town in which he lives. Even folks in the news have families.



  • Not all the way back yet

    Fall and the Harvest Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Jet lag. That Korean stomach bug. Surviving still. High winds today. Bright blue Colorado Sky. Great Sol out and shining. My son, Seoah, Murdoch. Their big apartment. Songtan. The family practice doc. The orthopedist. Bongeunsa. Seoul. Jeoju. K-dramas. Gabe. The Rockies. The Ancient Brothers on savoring. Korea. Repine. Bradshaw. Derm. Recollecting Korea. Distances made real by the body’s unwillingness to leave one place for another. Breakfast at home this morning.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Moments. This one.

    One brief shining: I could tell you my fingers curve, strike the keys from long muscle memory, my feet crossed on the small foot rest, my back slumping in the Henry Miller, now upright again, as the folded, bathed neuronic miracle between my ears sends messages and has them spelled out here in pixels by the keyboard’s link to the computer screen, no prior knowledge of what I’m about to say necessary, write this word, then that one, they come down from the boss organ.


    The unexplored regions of our own body. Have you seen your brain? Probably not. Yet, it works, anticipates, sees to fuel and motion and elimination and rest. All on behalf of… What?

    That was weird. Two blackouts. A third. High winds can screw up the power lines. Even cause fires. After the fourth pulse off the generator kicked on. Going now just below where I sit. Its reassuring purr makes me feel taken care of. Glad I had Bear out in May to do the maintenance on it.

    Before the blackouts, I planned to do a short disquisition on how the brain/mind sends messages without a conscious decision. That would be pretty slow, wouldn’t it? Let’s. OK. What’s next? See. That’s good. Where was I? We’d never get anything said or written if we had to will the words to come out. No, we talk. We write. And our brain/mind sees to the flow. And, oddly, the content.


    Had to send Gabe the tickets to the game, hoping he can find someone to take him and a friend to the Rockie’s last game. This jet lagged, stomach bugged elder was not up to it. Hate doing that, but self-care comes first. Nothing serious. Disoriented and tired of my colon saving me from myself. Real tired. Will pass. Sooner rather than later, I hope.


    I know. Sorry. A life full of the occasional woes these last few weeks. I try to document them and not over report, leave a trail so that if I want to know what happened right after Korea I’ll have enough recall it. Still, they’re not uplifting even though each one a part of this human experience.

    That said, I’m not into uplifting anyhow come to think of it. Thoughtful. Sensitive. Emotional. Descriptive. Questioning. A bit of diatribing. Analysis. Fun. Yes. But uplifting for uplifting’s sake? God, no.

    Gonna go slow today. Rest. Eat. Read. I will return to my former brightness when it happens and not before anyhow.