• Category Archives Denver
  • 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.

  • Shtetl Life

    Imbolc and the Ancient Moon

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

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Hoarfrost

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


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

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

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

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

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


  • The Kindness of Strangers

    Samain and the Choice Moon

    Friday gratefuls: The kindness of strangers. Prime rib. Mashed potatoes. Corn bread stuffing. Green salad. Charcuterie plate. Urban Farmer. Downtown Denver on Thanksgiving. A solid workout. Snow and cold. 11 degrees this morning. Flocked Lodgepoles. Black Mountain obscured in fog. Fog last night driving home. Snow falling gently. Good sleeping. BJ and Pammy. Diane. Recovering. Mark in Hafar. Mary in K.L. My son and Seoah in Songtan. Me on Shadow Mountain. A good Winter storm.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Snow and Snow Plows

    One brief shining: After parallel parking for the first time in a while, poorly, I closed Ruby’s door, looked over at Union Station and walked away from it toward the Urban Farmer which sits at 17th and Wazee, downtown Denver had cars in almost all parking spaces, lights were bright, and folks walked the streets hurrying to this meal or that bar when I went in and said, Buckman-Ellis for one.


    Thanksgiving day, 2023. I had decided a month ago that I wanted to eat a good meal in a fine restaurant downtown Denver. Why? Jon died a year ago and we had Thanksgiving up here with Jen, Barb, Ruth and Gabe. My usual Thanksgiving was with Jon and the kids, sometimes my son and Seoah joined us. I didn’t feel like repeating last year’s meal, but I wanted to do something special. So. Downtown, fancy restaurant.

    Though. Ruth called and invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. Her last at home before heading off for college. She cooked. Mia, my granddaughter from another mother came, too. It was a quiet meal. I couldn’t hear well so I didn’t join the conversation as much as usual. I enjoyed the food and the company.

    Afterward we played a hand of Uno. I said I needed to get home before dark, so I left a bit early. As I walked out, everybody came with me. Ruth gave me a hug. Gabe ran in and hugged me. Reminded me of that awful night when Ruth found Jon dead. Mia gave me a hug. Ruth and Gabe gave me another one. Sweet. Jen watched, much as she had when Ruth and Gabe ran to me when I arrived the night Jon died.


    The Urban Farmer buzzed. Silverware clanked. The hostess asked me if I would be ok with a hightop? No. She led me to a two top down a corridor beyond the bar. In my imagination I sat at a two-top in a quiet corner, eating, reading. Nope. A family on my left, an odd couple on my right. Three tables across the way with families. A busy, busy place. Wait people, bus persons, bartenders, chefs moved in and out of swinging doors. Every table in the place was full and before I left they lifted two sliding doors and opened yet another whole room for guests. Not quite the intimate, secluded meal I had fantasized.

    I did not want Turkey. Why I went to a steak house. Prime rib. Decided on it because I like it and it was Kate’s favorite. I could imagine her being pleased with it as much as I was. Delicious. The Corn bread stuffing equaled any I’d ever had. It was a fixed price meal. $90. Reasonable with all the sides and the salad and the charcuterie plate and the chocolate cake at the end.

    My waitress, a Latina, took good care of me. I noticed a young girl working as a bus person who moved fast, taking plates over here, clearing tables there. Always moving. I gave my waitress a five and told her to give it to her because I enjoyed her work ethic. My waitress smiled, said, “We call her Speedy Gonzalez!” A very sweet part of the evening because Speedy Gonzalez beamed the next time she came past my table. Thank you she mouthed.

    Took out my credit card after the last bite of the cake. My waitress sat down next to me and said, “You’re good. A table already paid your bill.” Wha…? I slipped her a tip and said, “Well. That’s something.” Didn’t say why. Maybe because I was an old guy eating alone on Thanksgiving? Or, just a kind gesture… I’ll never know because they were gone. At least I think so. I was a bit flustered. Left me smiling on Thanksgiving. Something to be grateful for.

  • A bit more on choosing Judaism

    Samain and the Choice Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Alan. Tara. Joann. Rabbi Jamie. Mezuzah hanging. Spiritual autobiography. Beit din. A drop of blood. Three immersions in the mikveh. Luke 4:18-19. The Devil. The crossroads. Robert Johnson. John Lee Hooker. BB King. Muddy Waters. Howlin’ Wolf. Etta James. Billie Holiday. Strange Fruit. Racial justice. The South. The West. The Midwest. The East. The United States of America. Democracy. Its enemies in our midst. Its champions. The old pale males.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Immersion in the mikveh

    One brief shining: Check your doorframes, are they wood or metal, I’ll need a hammer, nails or screws, we’ll talk about thresholds and liminal spaces, going out and coming in, there’s a prayer, we’ll get the mezuzah’s hung.



                                  On Tuesday morning the 28th of November. At Temple Emanuel in Denver. Its mikveh.



    A bit more on the ritual of becoming a Jew. The beit din, court of judgment, takes about 40 minutes. The three people involved Rabbi Jamie, Joan Greenberg, and a second rabbi read a spiritual autobiography I’m in the process of writing. At the court they ask questions of me based on it and on my awareness of matters Jewish. They confer, make a decision about admitting me to the tribe. After that a drop of blood from my private parts. Then, the mikveh.

    Three immersions. The first one, with all body parts in the water. Floating, feet off the bottom, fingers spread. Water needs to touch all exposed flesh. After the first immersion, I’m a Jew. The second immersion is one I have to do as a Jew because it is a commandment that I didn’t have to follow until the first immersion. A prayer is said. Then, the third immersion. I repeat the Shema. Dry off. Get dressed.

    A naming ceremony. I have chosen Israel for my Hebrew name. It means struggles with God which names my inner life. It is also the name Jacob gets after wrestling the angel at the Jabbok Ford, the parsha I chose. I will be given my Hebrew name which will be Israel ben Abraham and Sarah. All Jews by choice have Abraham and Sarah as their direct Jewish ancestors.

    Walk out with a new name and an old community now different for me. I will be a part of it forever and a day.

    A big morning.

    Appropriate to the Shema which starts with Listen, Israel, I have a 1 pm appointment with my audiologist that day, too.

    I’m excited and happy. Can’t say why but I feel I’m stepping into a civilization, a culture into which I fit and which fits me. Never intended to do anything like this again. Ever. Yet here I am.

    Veronica Grunig will go through the ritual the same morning. We’re sponsoring an oneg, an after service celebration on December 1st. We will also get called up during the service to hold the Torah for the first time and lead the congregation in prayer. This is an aliyah, an honor available only to Jews.





  • 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.


  • Learning my lesson. Again. And, yet again.

    Summer and the Summer Moon Above

    Monday gratefuls: Tal. Lid. Luke. Leo. Dick. Ellen. Rabbi Jamie. Laura. Lisa. Sagittarius Ponderosa. Roaming Gnome Theater. Aurora. Bad memories. Not blessings. Angry Chicken. Korean hot pot. Sundays. Shabbat. Seoah. Murdoch. Storms coming. The wettest June on record here. Keeping that Fire risk low. Traveler’s insurance. Allianz long term care insurance. Kristen. Travel medicine. Travel. Welcome to the journey.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Shakespeare

    One brief shining: Read some of the Tempest and Midsummer Night’s dream this morning reminded of the packed and punchy nature of Shakespeare his plays and his poems words all tight ricocheting off each other building meanings until like a Han Shan poem one line changes the meanings of all that came before a genius so luminous I feel like kneeling down before him to say, Master!


    Ooh boy. I keep learning and relearning the same lesson. Which I suppose means I’m not learning at all. Anyhow. Drove into Denver yesterday, then into Aurora near Jon’s old house. Left here about 11:45. My plan. Go to Stanley Market, eat at Rosenberg’s deli, then make the short trip from there to Roaming Gnome theater for the matinee performance of Sagittarius Ponderosa.

    About half way down the hill on 285 I saw all the cars streaming west, latecomers to the usual Friday boat and camper show headed to South Park and the interior of the Rocky Mountains. What’s this? Oh. July 4th traffic. Folks taking the week, leaving late to avoid the Friday afternoon traffic jams so common here. Wait. July 4th weekend.

    Oh. Stanley Marketplace. Will be packed. I might not get served in time. I had given myself an hour to eat after arriving. Began to run through alternatives. The Bagel Deli just past I-25. That could work. Pulled into their parking lot. Nope. Folks waiting outside. Confirmed my hunch about Stanley Marketplace. Well. New York Deli not far from that spot. Will be too busy, too. A holiday weekend.

    I had wanted to eat lunch at Rosenberg’s, then pick up some dinner at the Angry Chicken after the play. I love their Korean fried chicken, but it’s way too far to go unless I’m close by. Turned north as 285/Hampden became Havana. An Asian inflected part of the Denver metro. H-Mart nearby. Lots of pho shops. A Korean hot pot and barbecue restaurant. Hmm. May not be as invested in the holiday weekend. Could be easier to get in and get out.

    It was. I had never had hot pot before though it’s similar in nature to Khan’s Mongolian barbecue in the Twin Cities. Tables with induction coil wells over which a pot of broth sits. You pick up soup ingredients on your own, take them back to the table, and put them in the heating broth. Waitress delivers the meat in thinly sliced rolls on long platters. Spent more than I wanted to but I learned how to do it. Will be useful when I hit Osan. Could have been tasty but I was in a hurry and didn’t really realize the potential of the hot pot.

    Got to the theater a bit late. They had waited for me. But not long. Sag was already underway. In the small darkened space I fumbled my way toward a seat. Dick and Ellen Arnold were seating in the same four chair row.

    The play itself. Can’t tell whether my hearing made it difficult to follow or whether it was the script. Or, the direction. Anyhow it had funny moments, tender moments, and commentary on the difficulty of communicating our selves as we know them to others, especially family members. Perhaps my expectations were too high?

    Anyhow I left quickly after the play was over at 3:30. Not before greeting Luke, Leo, Tal, Dick and Ellen, Jamie and Laura. Realized I leave things early because the hubbub afterward makes it impossible for me to hear.

    Drove to the Angry Chicken on Havana. Blessedly on the way home. Put in my to go order. Ten wings and some corn salad. Waited twenty minutes. Plastic bag in hand I left.

    Then drove back across the south Denver Metro in 90 degree heat, AC blasting. This is the lesson. I left the Angry Chicken at about 4:30. With the hard part of the drive ahead of me. I’d already been gone from home for almost five hours. Exhausted. Still in the city. The drive wasn’t torture. Not exactly. But it was uncomfortable, unpleasant. I was worn out, wanted nothing more than to be home. In my chair. At 8,800 feet. Cooler. Quieter. Way less busy.

    I can’t drive that far anymore for that long and not get exhausted. Just can’t. I know it. But not well enough. Not sure what to do about it either. Stay home? Nope. Need human connection, some out of the house moments. Go with others? Maybe.

  • Nuggets Win!

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Michelle. Bond and Devick. Investments. Cold Mountain. Chinese Rivers and Mountains poetry. Acting. Acting class. Character study. The Hermit. Tarot. Herme. Neon. Water. Air. Earth. Fire. The comfort of my home. Black Mountain Drive. Brook Forest Drive. Evergreen. The detour. The Elk herds that cause Elk jams. Black Bears. Rummaged trash bins. Travelers. Tourists. A bit of each, I guess. Plant Stems. Tree Trunks. Sturdy. Allergens. Air purifiers. Cast iron skillets.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The four elements

    One brief shining: How often the Sun emerges after the darkness of night casually including us in its energy giveaway, how often the Moon rises after the brilliance of the Sun and bathes us in its soft reflected light, changing from tiny sliver to a full lantern then waning and disappearing only to return again and again, how often the stars dance a slow gavotte as our Earth turns and rushes around the Sun, how often we fail to notice them.


    Ah. A good day. Cardio. Two sets of resistance, feeling my muscles respond. Chorizo and home fried potatoes, an egg for breakfast. A Rockfish sandwich for lunch on Bread Lounge multi-Grain Sourdough. Frozen Mango chunks for desert. An apple and chunky peanut butter for supper. Organizing Cold Mountain poems, information on the MIA’s Jade Mountain, the Hermit card of the Tarot Major Arcana. Building my character.


    How bout those Nuggets! A gentleman’s sweep over the Heat in 5. First NBA title for Denver. Such a difference from the Twin Cities with the Timberwolves, the Cubs simulacrum Vikings. The Denver Broncos. The Avalanche. Superbowl and Stanley cup winners. Though. The Twins brought home two World Series titles while my son was young. And the Rockies may not reach that goal by the time he’s old. Sports. Not really my thing, but still… Fun. And, yes. F1. Basketball. So.


    Say you’re a defendant in a Federal case. Say you’ve stiffed lawyers your whole life. Not to mention contractors and probably the lunch room lady at school. Say you had a first court appearance tomorrow. Say available lawyers looked at your payment record and the case against you and said no I don’t think so. What then? Yes, what then, Donald?


    America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Feels like satire doesn’t it? And that makes me sad. I love our country, our experiment with liberalism, with the expansion of individual freedom while maintaining a sense of nationhood. I love our willingness to take in the huddled masses yearning to be free. When we do it. I love our insistence that all are equal before the law. I love our regional differences, accents, cuisines. I love our Mountains and Plains and Rivers and Streams. I love our rich Soil and all of our Wild Neighbors. I love my family and its deep roots here. I love the cities and small towns.

    Yet. We have these deep and lasting scars, don’t we. Slavery. The genocide of the First Nations. Our abandonment of working class families. Our treatment of women and those of differing sexual orientations. Of Jews and Catholics.

    We have a history filled with good deeds and bad. We are not the Great Satan nor are we the savior of the world. We’ve done well and we’ve done poorly. We’re human. We’re all trying in our own way to live in a country we can be proud of. Realizing that is an important first step in moving beyond our current impasse. More to come.


  • October 8th. Baseball.

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Gabe. The Rockies. The Mets. Rockies win! 11-10. Driving down the hill again on a beautiful Colorado day. Back aching as I drove back after a lot of time in a non-comfy stadium seat. Ancient Brothers this morning, poetry on aging, on celebrating and reflecting aging. I plan to post these poems over time here. Rains have paused. The Streams have begun to catch up, not quite so swollen. A catch in my throat as I crested the last Mountain on I-70 before the Continental Divide becomes visible. Home.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The games men and women play

    One brief shining: Why Gabe asked did we have to leave the Rockies game at 3 well I said I haven’t spoke to my son and his wife since they left Hawai’i and they have can talk at 5:30 pm Colorado time which means I have to take you home, drive back home up the hill before then. Oh. He said.


    The Ancient Brothers responded to my request for poetry. Lots of poetry discovered and read. About aging. About living until you die. About the common fate we share with the families of all living beings. Reading or reciting as Paul does so wonderfully gave these poems the shape and resonance of both the poet’s voice and the Ancient Brother who read them. A special and powerful morning.

    In part adding possible content for the October 8th Crossing the Threshold ritual I plan here at my house with Rabbi Jamie. Trying to figure out how to honor and name this time of life for men, men who have gone past career and the raising of family with health and vitality yet who have no cultural road map, no role to help guide their Winter season.

    In part digging into each Ancient Brother’s experience and claiming of this time, a time I referred to as the best time of my life. To nods. Yet it is a mystery, a cultural lacunae. Undefined and for many confusing, dispiriting.

    With your help perhaps we can figure out a ritual to help us move from the time of succeeding and achieving, of building and developing, of nurturing children to the time of… What? Fading out? Easing into oblivion. Or something more, something richer and deeper. If you have ideas for such a ritual, please forward them to me. If you have more poetry, other content that might either be read during such a ritual or inform it, please send them along.

    Also. If you want to come on October 8th, this is an invitation. The more we have the better the moment will be.


    Picked up Gabe a Rockies cap stuck amidst his luxuriant locks bought for him by Uncle Joe last year at a game. We drove to Coors Field, found parking, got into our shaded seats and proceeded to eat hot dogs, peanuts, and ice cream. One game a  year is more than enough given that diet.

    Speaking of rituals. Going to a baseball game, at a stadium. A most American though hardly only American outing. Ticket takers. Seats cascading down toward the green diamond. Blue Sky above. Vendors with hot dogs pretzels beer cotton candy Rockies shirts baseball bats ice cream in small plastic Rockies’ hats. All manner of folks in and around, up and down. Young mothers with babes in bjorns. Grandpas with grandsons. Those certain late 20’s, early 30’s women who have the body and aren’t afraid to share it. The loud and beery regular fans. America, the mixture of all for all. In that sense so wonderful.

  • Distance and depth

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: My son and his wife, moving into a house. Korea, far away across the waters of the Pacific. Alan and Tom. Diane. Leslie, composting. Marilyn and her grandson in Italy. Josh who grew the Cubensis. Memorial Day Weekend. The Indy 500. The Monaco Grand Prix. Shrimp and grits from Lucille’s. The Nuggets. Psilocybin. Mark and Dennis in Paonia. The Lodgepoles out my window, moved by a slight Wind, waving their Cones at me. Lightning and Thunder last night.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Flashes of Lightning

    One brief shining: Yesterday afternoon around four pm the psilocybin peaked and the Aspens with their upturned Branches praised the Sun by producing small yellow green Leaflets while the Lodgepoles bowed their Branches in perpetual prayer, both worshipers of the Great Sol, giver of energy and heat, and I did the same by standing on my driveway feeling the light that had traveled millions and millions of miles warm me.


    Korea is a long way away. 6,196 miles according to Travelmath. That is, as we would say in Indiana, a f’r piece. During my psilocybin experience yesterday afternoon I got hit with a deep wave of love for my son and his wife, then a sense of how far away they now are. Really far. I looked up driving distance on Travelmath and it said, complicated. You might even have to swim. True that.

    The military produces these long distance relationships over and over again. This is my son’s second deployment to Korea. He’s also been in the Middle East several times. Not to mention all those years in Georgia. And that one year in Singapore. Then, Hawai’i.

    Glad for Kakao and Zoom, e-mail. Even Facebook. Connecting us.


    While I got the mail yesterday, I walked over to the Iris bed which I had expanded at Kate’s request. Her purple Irises have begun to emerge. Some of her ashes fed them on August 18th of 2021, which would have been her 77th birthday. Tears came unbidden as I remembered the purple garden I planted for her 65th. Psilocybin seems to lure emotions to the surface with the least of stimulations. I enjoyed that part of the experience a lot. Sadness does not block joy and Kate’s memory is a blessing, however it comes up.


    Lucille’s Creole Cafe has three spots in Denver. Kate and I used to go down once in a while for beignets, cajun breakfasts. Alan and I went to the one on E. Evans. I had a huge cup of their cafe au lait and breakfast with poached eggs, red beans, and cheese grits. Ordered shrimp and grits to go. The Cafe itself is light and airy, filled with New Orleans jazz posters and memorabilia. Our waitress had on a t-shirt that read, Friends with Benedicts.

    It was fun to drive down the hill on a bright blue Colorado Morning. Felt like I was going on a mini-vacation. Lucille’s added to that.


    Taking Gabe to the Rockies game tomorrow. The all new spiffy New York Mets are playing.



  • Mushrooms and friendships

    Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

    Friday gratefuls: That red robin bobbin outside my downstairs door. Conversations with two of my best buddies today, Tom and Alan. A sunny drive into Denver, down the hill and over to E. Evans Avenue, Lucille’s Creole Cafe. A Thunderstorm, then clearing. A gentle psilocybin trip, just waning. Growing old. Poetry about growing old. This house, Shadow Mountain Home.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Mushrooms and friendships

    One brief shining: Thanks to Tom who nailed my blog voice as what it is, what I hope it is, that is a conversation with you, me sitting next to you or across the table, talking about my day, showing mine and always hoping you’ll show me yours.


    A wee late getting started. Like I usually write this about 6:30 am and it’s just now 6:30 pm. We’ve had Rains and Rains. Still cool up here at night, and only warmish during the days. Fine with me. Could hit the continue playing without pause button. Except. I do enjoy a few fiery Summer days. Maybe a weeks worth as we tail off toward autumn.

    These days I fill with two main activities, reading and conversing with friends or family. Evenings some tv. More reading. Workouts, yes. But that’s maintenance, taking the car into the shop for routine service. Will be some more hiking now that surfaces are less slippery and the Air a bit warmer.

    As Tom observed this morning, it has been an emotional week. Leslie’s funeral, Mark and Dennis’ visit. Found myself weary yesterday. After mussar ended, I came home and sort of did a laying in ceremony myself. Depleted. Today though talking with Tom, then driving down the hill for breakfast with Alan I felt energized.


    Took my remaining five psilocybin capsules after my nap. There was a bright golden haze on the meadow. For a couple of hours thereafter. Some tears when I walked by the expanded Iris bed after retrieving my mail. A bit of soulful time gazing at this old wrinkled visage in the upstairs bathroom mirror. A peaceful and reinforcing two or three hours. This is who I am now. And I’m more than good with that.

    Enough. See you tomorrow at the usual time.