• Category Archives Weather +Climate
  • Talmud Torah

    Summer and the Bar Mitzvah Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Sleep. The fan. Rain. Vince. Jamie. The dead Lodgepole. Books. Storm Before the Calm. Orgovyx on the way. Juneteenth. Love. Justice. Compassion. Irv. The Ancient Brothers. A dull white Sky. Little Breeze. The Mountains with their green clothes on. Rock outcroppings. Mule Deer. Elk. Fawns and calves. The life of June 21, 2024. Sweets from Durango via Melbourne. Where it is the Winter Solstice.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Low Fire Danger-in late June

    One brief shining: Opened a pocket-knife I bought when the shoe store in Evergreen went out of business, slit the tape on the box from Durango Chocolates, discovered a sealed foil bag, inside it paper shredded insulation, then two cool packs-colder than ice!-and below them a box wrapped in clear plastic announcing chocolates inside, the knife again, the box has yet more shredded paper inside covering a melt in your mouth chocolate bar, sea salt toffee, and Bear balm; a bar mitzvah present I received a day before the Winter Solstice in Melbourne where Mary sat with her computer and ordered it.

     

    Started torah study with Rabbi Jamie yesterday. Once a month we’ll read the parsha of the week and Aviva Zornberg’s commentary. The current torah readings are in the book of Numbers. Her commentary, “Bewilderment” will be what we use for now. Jamie’s also going to share a weekly commentary he gets from Art Green, his mentor and former president of the Reconstructionist Seminary.

    This is a rare privilege for me. He and I decided to continue our monthly sessions that had been focused on conversion lessons and turn them into torah study. When I was in seminary, the classes on the New Testament and the “Old Testament,” now the Tanakh for me, were my favorites. Something about studying source materials, getting to know them and their stories really well. About revelation and its history. About literature, ancient literature. About myths and legends. About adapting their meanings to the contemporary world. That fascination is still there.

    If I remember, I’ll share some from our sessions.

    Yesterday we discussed how to interpret God since neither of us are supernaturalists. How do we make sense of the character god’s role? Didn’t get far with that, but as I’ve thought about it since I found myself wanting to go back to Rabbi Toba Spitzer’s book, God is Here, about metaphors for god. Lowercase god is the way Rabbi Rami Shapiro differentiates the henotheistic deity of the Torah from the One who is all who is us who is becoming new right now and always.

     

    Just a moment: Heat. Across the U.S. Across the world. High heat. Record breaking heat. Don’t hear much, except in Florida, about climate change deniers. Down there in that puzzling state DeSantis has perfected the nah nah nah nah response to Black history, queer life, and climate change. If you don’t talk about them, they’re not real. DeSantis hasn’t passed the object permanence stage of human development. That’s when babies learn that peek-a-boo’s a game, not the way things are. Poor Florida.

     

     

     


  • Out. And, all aboard!

    April 7, 2024

     

    Spring and the last crescent of the Purim Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Generator. High winds. Lodgepole companion ok. Calm now. Travel plans in place. Art and San Francisco. Diane and her town. Internet down. Starlink available but no way to access it. Great Sol illuminating Black Mountain. A certain immediacy blocked. Another immediacy heightened.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Generator

    One brief shining: Charging, charging, the docking station for my medical guardian said, going off and on twice, the oxygen concentrator quit, then turned back on, twice, I heard the rumble of the generator’s engine through my wall, those winds that chilled the house yesterday and last night stopped the free flow of electricity from the grid and the internet connection made through Centurylink, glad to have the Kohler generator doing its emergency service.

     

    Rare. The DSL is down. So are my mini-splits. If it was colder, I’d turn on the gas heat. Not sure why the mini-splits are down but so are other electrical services on the west side of the house. Irony: the Starlink installation would bypass this problem, but I can’t access it without the internet.

    Change of weather systems can be brutal up here, bringing high winds that break electrical transmission lines and sometimes the telephone lines as well. Apparently what happened last night.

    Might make me reconsider Starlink. If you recall, I dropped it right after I had it installed because of Elon Musk’s anti-semitism. Still, if it’s the only way to have reliable internet…

     

    An odd moment when I realized the Centurylink connection was down. How could I host the Ancient Brothers? I can’t. What’s going on in the world? No NYT or WP. Are others up here also without power? Can’t check Nextdoor Neighbor. It’s on the internet. Felt as if a sensory organ had gone quiet.

    There is an apparent immediacy to the internet, one we rely on, one I rely on.

    Yet it is only apparent. It is instead highly mediated, requiring electricity, servers, available transmission modalities. Even Zoom or Skype, the video phone calls of Dick Tracy’s wristwatch, take place in cyberspace with no skin in the game.

     

    Odd. And telling. I can walk outside as I did a moment ago to get the mail. The Lodgepoles and the Aspen. The Granite and Gneiss. Right there. Great Sol warms me without need of electrical wires or gas piping. I move through space. While in the cyberworld no matter how it might appear we’re always seeing a two-dimensional screen. Even virtual reality doesn’t change that. The only movement for me is fingers on a keyboard or my hand on a computer mouse.

     

    Just a moment: On April 24th I board Amtrak, find my roomette and settle in for a 34 hour overnight journey to San Francisco. There I’ll settle in to the Chancellor, a boutique hotel on Union Square.

    Diane has a comedy night and a trip to Muir Woods planned. We’ll also avail ourselves of a fine restaurant or two. She also has memberships in the Asian Art Museum and two others.

    My main intention, my kavanah, for this trip is vacating Shadow Mountain for a bit. After that. Spend time with Diane. Spend time with art, something I feel starved for. See some sights. Test my back.

    Bon Voyage to me!

     

     

     

     


  • Matters Astronomical

    Spring and the waning crescent of the Purim Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Joanne. My blue silk tallit that she made. With the shema on it. Lunch at Nana with her. Parsha Shimini. Kate’s Creek. High Winds today. My Lodgepole companion dancing. New workout. Going well. Zornberg on the Golden Calf. The Navajo. The Beauty Way. Joanne among the Navajo. Cernunnos. Candle lighting for shabbat, for writing.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mountain Winds

    One brief shining: Joanne handed me a blue silk bag with a drawstring, opening it I found neatly folded a tallit, a prayer shawl with tzitzit, knotted fringes, which I removed and unfolded, the shema hand-embroidered on its collar, but I did not know how to put it on and she showed me, a quick pull with the right hand crossing over the left shoulder so the shema turned inward against my neck.

     

     

    Shabbat has changed with Great Sol. When I began observing it, the candle lighting ceremony, which happens eighteen minutes before sundown, took place around 4 pm. Yesterday it was 7:11 pm. Shabbat then extends until 8:11 pm on Saturday. Shabbat lasts 25 hours. I had not expected shabbat observance to ground me in seasonal change, but now I see that’s an inevitable and welcome part of it. Rosh Chodesh likewise. This is a monthly ritual which observes the coming of a new moon and with it a new Jewish month.

    The three pilgrimage holidays of Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot also have seasonal significance. Pesach, which celebrates the Exodus, the liberation of the Hebrew slaves, corresponds to planting season. Shavuot, which celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, is a first fruits holiday with loaves baked from new grains offered for sacrifice. Sukkot, the festival of booths, is a harvest celebration. Pilgrimage festivals were the high points of the Jewish year during the Temple periods when all Jews came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at the temple.

    There is a profound resonance in Jewish festivals and our lunar calendar with the Great Wheel. One this pagan appreciates as a Jew.

     

    Just a moment: Hawkeyes win! In a nail biter. Two close games in a row for Iowa. Now on to the championship.

    On August 20th of 2017 Kate, Ruth, Gabe and I drove north to Driggs, Idaho in a motorhome. Kate’s favorite mode of travel. On the 21st we sat on BJ’s porch eyes covered with Great Sol strength dark lenses and experienced the last total eclipse in the U.S. One arrives again on Monday, almost seven years after our wonderment in Driggs.

    Last one I can see here in the U.S. Unless I live another 21 years and make it to 98. Not impossible, but not at all probable. Glad I got to the one in Driggs. Good friends Tom and Bill will have a chance to see it in Dripping Springs, Texas at Bill’s daughter Moira’s home. Weather forecast does not look friendly.

    I checked it out, but the local Holiday Inn wanted $859 for room rates on and around the eclipse. Nope. If I hadn’t been to Driggs, maybe. But I had.

     

     


  • No Loyalty

    Spring and the Purim Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: My Lodgepole companion, Needles again covered with Snow. A cold Mountain morning. Remembering Andover (see header image). Being where you are. Wendel Berry. Regenerative Farming. Loving the place. Knowing the place. Where the Mule Deer come. Where the Creek blasts down the Mountain in Spring. Where the Dogwood blooms. Where Fawns and Calves move up and down the Mountains on wobbly legs.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Moisture on the Mountain and the Forest

    One brief shining: You know I looked out at the Snow yesterday, falling sometimes gently, sometimes vigorously, and I thought beautiful, then when I saw the same Snow coming down on my driveway I screamed enough, no more, we’ve had plenty thank you very much, however; I did not mean it, I meant bring as much moisture as long as you can and I will be grateful.

     

    Yes. Cabin fever time. That moment when what looked serene and beautiful a few short months ago now scrapes across the seasonal blackboard like bad chalk. Up here it produces a split personality. One tired of the cold, the Snow, driving on Ice, huddling up all about hygge. Wanting to run outside in a t-shirt, arms spread wide, soaking in Great Sol. The other remembering summers past when the Smokey the Bear sign pegged Extreme Fire Danger. Snow as far into April, hell, even May as you want. In fact, Snow until the Monsoons return. Please.

    I’m cutting a middle ground between these two. Gonna take off for San Francisco at the end of the month. See a lot of art, maybe a Redwood or two, visit my cousin in her native habitat. Eat. Sleep. Test my back in a safe environment.

    Of course. I would for sure wear Flowers in my hair if I had enough left. Gonna ride the Amtrak route between Denver and SFC. Really, Oakland, then a bus. Or, Diane. With a roomette. See the Rockies and the intermountain West without having to drive.

    A way to discover if I can travel, probably back to Korea again. Maybe to Israel if this war ever ends. Perhaps this year for both.

     

    Just a Moment: Caitlin Clark. Wow. 41 points. Final Four. Iowa! Once more, with feeling: Go, Hawkeyes! Iowa feels like Minnesota’s younger sister. Which would make Caitlin our niece? Always nice to see family doing well.

    45. His $175 million dollar bond. His legal peril. Or, from the MAGA perspective, the persecutions not prosecutions.

    Brother Mark asked if Trump won how would I be the loyal opposition?

    I wouldn’t. Be loyal. Though I would be in opposition. Loyal opposition as an idea implies mutuality, a framework in which political opponents serve as testers of ideas, as citizens of a shared form of government. A form of government which all sides agree has the best interests of a nation as its true purpose.

    Trump is not a politician in that sense. He is a politician though, one of the oldest kinds. A brute seeking total power. Power with which he can punish his enemies and reward his sycophants. Kings, Queen, Pharaohs, and Emperors, autocrats and dictators all are this sort of politician.

    Loyalty has as its sister virtue respect. No respect for pussy grabbers, for those who provide safe harbor for white supremacists, misogynists, anti-Semites. No respect for insurrectionists, for anti-constitutionalists. No respect for frauds, for payers of hush money, for election deniers. Therefore. Q.E.D. No loyalty.

     

     


  • Choice

    Spring and the Purim Moon

    Monday gratefuls: 9 degrees. Yet more Snow. The Dark. The Quiet. Ruth and Gabe coming up for Spring Break. Chamber Music. Inertia. Ginny and Janice. Bechira points. Kehillah. Mark still in Hafar. Exercise. The rain in K.L. Torrential. Travel. Pleasure. Guilty pleasure. Nuts. Pistachios. Salted peanuts. Alan and BBQ. Reney. Shiva.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: What’s App

    One brief shining: Said to my friends I’m done with winter but winter is not done with me and sure enough around three pm yesterday the Snow came again, hard, like rain in straight lines, the cold came too as the temperature fell into single digits making the night perfect for more Snow; in bed I felt Snow melt on my head, my window still slightly open.

     

    Open Snow and Weather5280 keep me informed. Open Snow has a handy feature that gives a Snow to date number for very specific areas. Intended for skiers tracking powder and the best Mountain conditions, it also works well for Mountain microclimates like Shadow Mountain. As of last night’s storm, we had 11 inches of new Snow bringing our running total to 136 inches for the year so far.

    Down in Denver they had blizzard warnings. Ruth and Gabe had planned to come up today and stay through Thursday. They’re on spring break. Probably not gonna happen today. Maybe tomorrow. April is their mutual birthday month with Ruth turning 18! on April 4th and Gabe 16 on April 22th. This is Ruth’s last semester of public school. College next fall.

    Beautiful, yes. I can see that. Yes, I’ve stayed too long without a break. Not the winter’s fault.

     

    Which brings me to bechira, a Hebrew word for choice, especially as choice signifies free will. Mussar tradition talks about bechira points, choice points where we can exercise free will. According to Jewish tradition they’re not as common as you might think, though they’re not rare either. A bechira point occurs when the yetzer hara, the selfish inclination, and the yetzer hatov, the good inclination conflict. That is, when we choose between a selfish course of action, one we know is not the direction we need to go, and a good choice, one that enhances our life and the lives of others. In that moment we know, are conscious of, a choice. It is that knowing, that awareness that makes it a bechira point.

    Let me give you two examples. Yesterday I had a ticket for a chamber music concert at St. Laurence Episcopal. Which is about as close to me as possible. Less than ten minutes. And I love chamber music. At 2:30, the concert was at 3:00, I looked at the Snow. I thought about parking in a small lot, being crowded into a small sanctuary. Sank back into my chair and continued watching a not very good movie.

    The night before. The Purim speil at CBE. 7 pm. I wanted to go, intended to go. But as the time approached the same concerns cropped up, parking and a crowd. Added to that night time driving. I stayed home. Again.

    In and of themselves neither choice was a big deal. It’s the pattern, the bechira point pattern, that matters. These choices reinforce my inertia, my Covid hangover fear of crowds, my I like it here where everything is comfortable tendency.

    Here’s another way to consider this. I’m making choices that make sense for this time of my life, for my vulnerability as a cancer patient, for my safety. I need to consider the valence to give these choices, don’t I? They are still bechira points. The question becomes whether they are moving me forward in my life or hindering me. Right now I’m not sure I can tell.

    Making clear and healthy decisions drives our lives forward, advancing our capacity to love ourselves and to bear the burden of the other. It is the awareness of choice points that allow us to exercise free will. Otherwise we have become habitual, conditioned, acculturated.

     

     

     

     

     


  • The Storm

    Spring and the Purim Moon

    Finally solved the technical difficulties. Pictures of Shadow Mountain home during and after the storm. Somewhere between 3 and 4 feet of snow.


    Arcosanti Bell

    Garage and Loft

    Looking toward Black Mountain Drive

    Out my office window

    Lower level, Snow well over windowsills

    After

    After

     

     

     

     


  • Snow and Colds

    Imbolc and the Purim Moon

    Shabbat gratefuls: Lighting the candles. Big Snow. Cold night. Cold recovery underway. My torah portion. Bechirah. Choice points. Kehillah. Community. Next MVP. Me. Rich Levine. Ron. Tara. Susan. Jamie. Joanne. Rebecca. Alan. Luke and Leo. Snow burden on the Lodgepoles already diminished. Snow all round the house. 3 feet for sure. Four in some spots.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: A very, very Snowy Mountain Morning

    One brief shining: Roll over after waking up, raise head to see out the window, and Snow above the window sill, look again, same, oh right the big storm, Snow stretching out beyond the window to the Lodgepoles and fences in back, driveway buried in front.

     

    Though compacted some by weight the Snow remains impressive here. According to neighbors, Conifer got hit more than the rest of the state. Not sure I believe that though we sure got a lot. One guy had 65 inches on his tape measure. I know I got over three feet, less than four. Think of the Wild Neighbors who still have to forage through all of this. They have to eat each day, too. The burden of life.

    My regular plow guy, Vince, had surgery a couple of weeks ago and is having a tough recovery. He texted me before the storm, said he and his backup guy would come checkout my driveway. Well. Texted Vince yesterday. The backup guy is stuck in his own driveway. Ah.

    Onto Next Door Neighbors. Guys with heavy equipment have posted, one on Shadow Mountain. I’ve messaged them, maybe they can dig me out. Not a big deal really. Plenty of food, house is warm. And in true Colorado fashion this will all melt during the next week anyhow. Still, I’d like to get out and see the sights.

     

    My cold has faded away, leaving me fatigued and feeling off. Haven’t got the bounce back jolt of energy yet. Looking forward to it. For now, shabbating anyhow.

    When ill, at least for me in the acute phase, my world narrows. I become the slight fever, the runny nose, the aching body and not much else. Maybe hunger sneaks in around the margins. There’s even a sense that my eyes have a more compact field of vision. Everything contracts.

    So the experience of recovery becomes a widening, a gradual reembracing of thought, of other concerns like that to do list on my phone. Marveling at Great Sol on the vast expanse of white Snow. Letting the world beyond my own skin back into visibility.

     

    Just a moment: I have pictures of the Snow but due to technical difficulties, I can’t post them yet. Too unnecessarily complicated to explain. But soon.

     

     

     


  • Storms inner and outer

    Imbolc and the Purim Moon

    Friday gratefuls: SNOW. Guessing 4 feet here. Shadow Mountain home. Keeping me hygge. Heat pumps stealing heat from 20 degree air. Rice maker. Zojirushi. Black-eyed Peas. Mixed Greens, southern style. Lox and English Muffins. Storms of March. Good moisture for us. Generator. Diane. Riley. Richard. Zoom. Sue Bradshaw. Medicine.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Snow Storm

    One brief shining: Sent Ron a note about free will, he wrote back, “I’m in awe of the storm,” Susan sent out a note to us all in the MVP, “I’m in awe of the storm,” and I looked out the window with snow higher, a good deal higher, than my bedroom’s window sill and thought, “I’m in awe of the storm.”

     

    Great Sol awaits our turning toward his face so I cannot yet see what the night added to the Snow visible yesterday evening. This was a big one. Made me think of be the change you want to see in the world. Each Snow flake alone would melt on contact with the ground in March. Many, thousands, millions, cool the surface and make it survivable for those Snow flakes on the way, each alone as they drop from the Sky. Over time they build soft new shapes, white mounds of frozen water, altering the landscape for as far as can be seen. Changing the world.

    My Lodgepole companion has become visible now. Their Branches hang heavily with the Snow burden. Earlier Snow, less moisture dense, slides off as the Branches bend toward our Mother, this denser Snow adheres. Needles can only be seen from underneath the Branch.

    Finished, the Snow has moved on, leaving us with this beauty, this wonder.

     

    My cold followed the storm. I’m left with fatigue and some clogged sinuses, but otherwise feeling well. Glad it was mild.

    More disquieting than the cold was its capacity, as I wrote in Flip the Kayak, to turn my mood sour, headed toward self-pity and self-doubt. I fought it with rounds of Tal’s acting warmup: How do I feel? And, stepping back a bit, looking in toward the part of me oh so willing to find the negative, the downbeat, the self-critical. Oh, that guy. He’s back? Short-timer. He’ll leave soon. Worked. Most of the time. A persistent fog, cold and heavy lingered hinting at the long slide into the Shadow I could take.

    The body. The lev. The soul. All wrapped up in each other, each effecting the other, pulling each other sometimes in synchrony sometimes with dissonance. My soul remains calm beneath the swampy ebbs and flows of a tired, sick body and a lev which has forgotten compassion. Did Jamie just disregard me? Why didn’t Marilyn sign on to the post about how good I was at leading the group? Did those who did mean it or are they just knee jerk complimenters? Likely the latter my lev said. And the body agreed. Sank a bit behind the eyes where fatigue and emotional weariness drag down my clarity of vision.

     

    Just a moment: The Trials of Donald Trump, or, Devils in America. Coming to a Broadway stage in this the year of our Lord 20toodamnedhot50.

     

     

     

     

     


  • Big Storms

    Imbolc and the Purim Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Snow. A lot. More on the way. The generator. Good sleeping. Mountain late winter. The cold. Still there. Tired. Less sneezy. Mostly fatigued. Reading. New Joe Pickett novel. Jewish holidays. Come and Get It by Kiley Reid. Politics. So consequential, so out of whack. My storm larder. Bean soup. Pork steaks. Plenty of food for body and soul.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: A Winter Storm

    One brief shining: Sure enough, around noon Snow started off and on, tailing off around three, coming back an hour later in a steady, straight down imitation of a good drenching Rain, continuing all night with today predicted to add 9-13 inches and tonight another 6-10 both on top of the overnight last night total perhaps putting us past even the predicted three feet.

    Nota bene: At 7:30 am I took a yardstick out to my deck. I measured 21 inches of Snow.

     

    Around 3 am I awoke to jazz and my medical guardian announcing that it was “charging”, something it does each time I put it in its charging cradle at night. The rumble of the generator going off told me what had happened. Power had gone out, perhaps twice, and when it shifted this time back to the grid the guardian figured it had just been plugged in and the cd player with a Dave Brubeck disc in it somehow turned on. Late Winter/early Spring Snow storms with their wet, heavy snow often take out Mountain electrical lines. Not unexpected.

    Even so, the cool sound of Brubeck’s jazz confused me as did the mechanical voice repeating, “charging.” It took me a minute to orient myself to the storm and the generator.

    We’ve been prepped for this storm since last weekend. A big one. At first, maybe 2 feet of Snow! Then, no, more like 3. Giving what I’ve seen so far and what’s predicted we might exceed that. So many of the Snow forecasts this season have busted or been underwhelming. Not this one. We’ll remember where we were on March 14th in 2024.

    Big Snow Storms are like irregular holidays. Anticipated with either eagerness or dread. Often preceded by trips to the grocery store. A reason to stay home from work or school. The bigger they are, the more memorable. That Halloween blizzard in 1991. Minnesota. If you were in the state then, you remember that one. Over 2 feet of snow. The arc of this storm is far from over so just how big it will be is still unknown. But it seems well on its way to the history books.

     

    Just a moment: Well, my plea for Joe Biden to step aside fell on deaf ears. Mine included. He cinched the Democratic nomination. As has 45. We’re getting our dream matchup for the election that may determine the fate of democracy in the U.S. That dream, BTW, is, yes, a nightmare. A repeat of 2020. And the third time 45 has been on the ballot. Three times too many if you ask me.

    My nudge to the President did come before his State of the Union speech. He caught some air with that. Still not sure he’s the right one to carry us past the golden haired boy. But I gotta hope so.


  • Flip the Kayak

    Imbolc and the Purim Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Snow already falling. 3 feet! predicted. Whoa. Jackie and Rebecca, both canceled. Haircut and a friend lunch. March in the Mountains. Tom. The tire pressure sensors. The cold. Making a come back. Sleep. Naps. Tired. Anemia. Snow plows and their drivers. The roadgrader, too. Shadow Mountain and Black Mountain. Storm.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Lotta Snow

    One brief shining: Illness and its changing of the inner atmosphere, like a cloud scudding across the fearful ego; moods altered by digging down below to find dirty gems, sad regrets, remnants of life, of past mistakes, of old fears, a comprehensive muck raking that can destabilize the heart sending it spinning out, out, out faraway from its real home.

     

    Guess I didn’t pay attention when Kate was alive. 7-10 days for the common cold. Tom knew that. I thought I was getting better yesterday. But no. Still tired, sneezy, and drippy. (guess I’m one of the 7 dwarves) Fortunately I have almost no obligations right now, especially over the next few days. Should see me through this insult.

    Went to the doctor yesterday to talk about my bleed. She prescribed more of the suppositories because they seem to help. Having them on hand gives me a bit of security when my situation turns ugly. I went to a Walgreen’s to pick them up and experienced an oh my I’m old moment.

    As I got ready to pay, a phone number popped up on the card reader’s screen:  303-674-xxxx. Tell me the last four numbers for security purposes. Nothing. It simply wasn’t there. I was sick anyhow and this task overwhelmed me. I don’t have that phone anymore, I said. I lied. And regretted that, digging my hole deeper. The clerk put in my cell phone number, which I know. The minute she did what popped in my head? 5398. Yes, those four x’s.

    I recount this to show how, instead of going from strength to strength, we can, when old, go from weakness to weakness. Already sick I doubled down by freezing on that phone number. Which I instantly read as a sign of senile brain. Only later did I realize that the unexpected nature of the request combined with a number I already had trouble remembering (address-9358. last four numbers-5398) was the issue. Not memory.

    My reaction time when surprised has declined significantly. It’s not my mental capacity which continues vigorous and strong. It’s about capacity to adapt quickly to the unexpected. Don’t give me command of anything that requires sudden decisions. It’s also part of why I don’t like to drive at night anymore. My reactions are already compromised and the darkness amplifies them.

    How we can turn on ourselves, give ourselves short shrift. I needed some time and some distance to sort all this out. A fortunate aspect of aging is our capacity to see things for what they are, to not be fooled by momentary or unusual circumstances. To be able to flip the kayak underwater, then flip it back up to the surface where there’s oxygen again. Can’t say it always happens instantaneously though.