• Category Archives Hawai’i
  • Lucky and Privileged

    Lughnasa and the Herme Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Cybermage Bill Schmidt. The Ancient Brothers. Alan. Joan. The Bread Lounge. Jamie and Benji. Rich and Ron. My son. Jon’s estate. Leo. Luke. Tal. CBE. The Parking Spot. Checking off my before Korea list. Close to done. Gray Skies before Great Sol has come above the horizon. Mountain Streams now running lower. That fourteen point Mule Deer Buck on Black Mountain Drive. Gracie and Ann. Janet. Metaphors, shaping our world. Shaping our metaphors, shaping our world. The brain. Consciousness. The sacred.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rain in the Mountains

    One brief shining: Pre-trip excitement beginning to rise, packing Artemis honey in bubble wrap (the last large jar), that Breckenridge tumbler, too, rolling up the t-shirts with Mountains and Buffaloes on them, the dish towels with Beavers and Mountain Goats, the children’s books about the Rocky Mountains, Colorado and Mountain stickers, carefully placing them all in that Chinese box that brought something here a while back, then packing tape, packing tape, packing tape along with an APO address and it’s off to Korea ahead of me.


    Feeling lucky and privileged this morning. Healthy enough to travel at 76. Money enough to travel. Family I want to see living in a place I’m excited to explore further. Korea. Feeling the collision of four big events coming in this next week: the showcase on my first ever play script on Saturday plus Tuesday class and Thursday dress rehearsal, my first lesson with Rabbi Jamie for my conversion on Thursday, finishing up my travel plans by counting my drugs and ordering what I need if any, talking to Vince, Luke, nailing down how much money I’ll need in my bank account, and my appointment with Kristie where my drug holiday will probably be officially begun.

    It’s been a while since I’ve traveled. Last time was to Hawai’i. My son and Seoah. I’ve not done any international travel since Kate and I went to Korea in 2016 for my son and Seoah’s wedding. This time I’m going radically light. Only a backpack with meds, electronics, one t-shirt, one pair of socks. I’ll buy socks, t-shirts, underwear when I get there. I already have some pants and shirts there as well as a split keyboard and a mouse. There’s been a lot of lost luggage this summer travel season and I want to travel light. Also, no direct flights. I don’t mind checking a bag onto a direct flight, but if there’s even one stop? Nope. Not sure yet what I’m going to do for Israel. Probably the same.

    My whole family travels much more than I do, so this would be no big deal for them, but for me it feels like quite the adventure.


    Looking at the devastation in Lahaina. Found my heart sinking, wondering most about the fate of the Banyan Tree around the court house. Relieved to see it was damaged, but not killed. A picture of a woman who spent five hours! in the ocean. So, so sad. 60 deaths. Knowing someday it could be Shadow Mountain captured by the news.

  • Fire and Memories

    Lughnasa and the Herme Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Mussar. Rebecca. Parkside. Morning chill. Pre-travel excitement/apprehension. Prostate Cancer. Kathy. Diane. Sally. All with cancer, too. Not statistics but people I know. And see often. Judy and Leslie. Kate, always Kate. Their memories are a blessing. Jon, a memory. Ruth and Gabe. Maui. Then and now. Hawai’i. Korea. Israel. Travel.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Travel

    One brief shining: An outdoor table metal, an orange umbrella, Sun cooled by a Mountain breeze, coffee and a glass of Water with ice cubes, a table filled with folks in their twenties loud in the way of good friends enjoying each other, and my sandwich, a Reuben, while I talked with my friend Rebecca, a good morning.


    Maui. So many memories. Kate had to talk me into going with her to Maui the first time. I had visions of a cheesy place with bobble-headed hula dancers, fake culture, and too many tourists. No thanks. Still, we were just married and I thought, well. At least it’s with Kate. She didn’t have to convince me the second time. While other folks played on the beach, I hiked in the interior where there was no one. Kate had her classes during the day and I drove our convertible rental car to the Iao Needle, up Haleakala, on the one lane road around west Maui. Or, I would hike into Lahaina from the hotel, have mahi-mahi and eggs for breakfast, go sit under the banyan tree.

    In the evenings Kate and I would go to Mama’s Fish House or to a spot in Lahaina for an evening meal. We both loved a good meal overlooking the ocean, being with each other. Never dull. Never nothing to say. I miss her and now I miss Lahaina, that long time tourist town which was also a link to Royal Hawai’i as well as a provisioning location for whalers and traders plying the Pacific. A lot of pleasant hours wandering in and out of its art galleries, its yes cheesy tourist shops, having a shave ice, or sitting on a bench near the ocean.

    On our first trip I got a permission slip from the sugar company that owned the land and hiked up to the Lahaina L, a large letter standing for Lahainaluna High School. Lahainaluna means overlooking Lahaina. I wandered up 2000 foot Mt. Ball, found the letter, and got lost coming back down. Hot and sweaty and covered in red dust I finally got back to the Westin. Oh, so good that shower.

    Mama’s Fish House, the second most reserved restaurant in the U.S. I celebrated my 60th and my 65th birthdays there since Kate’s continuing medical education events were always mid-February. On the menu is the name of the fisherman who caught that day the fish you were eating that night. While you eat you can watch the wind surfers on the bay. Hawai’i and Kate. Maui and Kate. We went so many times, so many. And loved each one. And each other.

  • Entheos

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Curiosity. The Ancient Brothers. Mark and Dennis. Coming May 23rd. Yet more Rain. Even more swollen Streams. Ancientrails as a life project. Tom and his time with Charlie H. Bill and his time with Bella. Mark and his time at the gym. Anytime Fitness. My treadmill. Marilyn. Ginnie. Josh. Jane. Kat. A banker. Vulcan Centaur.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rocket Scientists

    One brief shining: A beautiful woman with a long braid dangling over her t-shirt down to her space themed spandex had, on the back of the blue t-shirt an outline of the Vulcan Centaur rocket, on the front ULA and I asked, I’m too ignorant to know but is that a real rocket ship?


    Yes. She answered. And I was working on it until I quit my job a year and a half ago. What was your area of expertise? Vibration and acoustics. Oh. I see. Not sure why I keep running into engineers. But I do.

    CBE is amazing. All these smart people. This was at the Dismantling Racism class yesterday afternoon. Looked up the Vulcan Centaur and it’s been under development since 2014. Supposed to fly for the first time in July. Had a setback a month ago though with a second stage explosion during preparation for a launch.

    The class has gotten better. Taking a mussar approach to the work. I like it for the inner work though I chose an opponent for my practice this week. Four areas of possible practice each week: with HaShem (God), with Self, with a fellow, especially a victim of anti-black racism, or with an opponent.

    My practice involved an e-mail to a person with whom I’ve had long standing differences. Sent it last night and got a reply this morning. A sweet one. Maybe there’s something to this approach. The middah this week is kavod, or honor. Honoring self and other. The theological idea is the all made in God’s image trope. Said another way, we’re all human, all riding this blue spaceship our only home together with all the other critters and plants. Honor it all.


    During the Ancient Brothers session on curiosity I identified curiosity as my defining characteristic. And naming what I call the valedictory lifestyle. As a valedictorian myself I’ve occasionally become curious (see!) about what happens to others who graduate first in their class academically. Turns out usually nothing spectacular. Sure a lot go into academics. Some have successful careers in business or the sciences.

    But usually no stars. No one off achievements. No amazing inventions. Why? Because we’re generalists. We easily get sidetracked by something new and shiny. If purity of heart is to will one thing, we’re not at all pure.

    I call them enthusiasms. My enthusiasms can last a long time. Religion has turned out to be the longest lasting, but inside that broad category I’ve been all over the place. From existentialist atheist to Christian to Unitarian-Universalist to Pagan and wanderer with the tribe. There’s a piece of each of these, often substantial pieces that remain intact within me. All somehow glued together with Taoism.

    There’ve been many others. Art, my twelve years at the MIA. Politics, lasting almost as long as religion, but again all over the place in terms of action. Islam which I studied after 9/11. Horticulture. Cooking. Heating with wood. Beekeeping. Dogs. World travel. F1. Science. Tarot and Astrology. Cinema. Acting. Writing. Getting degrees. Tea. Korean and now Spanish. Oh, and one that actually has been lifelong, reading. Not sure when I learned but I’ve never ever stopped. Buying books, too. To feed the habit. I’ve dabbled in painting and sum-e.

    Enthusiasms in my life are more than dabbling but less than enough to gain full mastery. But I must admit it’s been, is being, a hell of lot of fun.





  • Stretched again. By love, by injustice.

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Josh. Rebecca. Marilyn and Rabbi Jamie. Beltane. May Day. The merry, merry month of May. Cubensis. Anger at injustice. Baku Grandprix. Sergio Perez. Charles Leclerc. Mountain Streams running fast and full. My son and his wife. No furniture. Aloha to Hawai’i. Workout today. Richard Powers.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: F1

    One brief, shining moment: Those F1 cars, slim and downforced, all speed and bones, threw themselves around the street circuit in Baku, two hundred miles per hour past twelfth century city walls and the eighth century Maiden Tower, marrying, at least for two hours, the ancient history of Azerbaijan with the manic movement of twenty-first century high technology.


    Quite a day yesterday. My first dose of psilocybin in about fifty years. A microdose. Floating. Peaceful. Glad to be alive and on the Mountain. Cubensis. Capsules from Josh. Delivered by Luke. Short lived, maybe two hours. The first step toward a psychedelic senior life. Feels right.


    The Ancient Brothers wrote letters to their future selves and their past selves. Here are mine:

    At 90

    Hey, old man. I mean. Wow, dude. Look at you.

    What? You’re 5’ 2” now? Sorry. I know. This spine, eh? How did you live so long?

    Fish and chicken. Some pork. Lotsa veggies and fruit. Exercise. Good friends. With warm hearts.

    I get that. That sounds like now. You know at our age, 76.

    Well. There you go. Stay on the path. It’s working.


    At 67

    Guy, I wish I could prepare you for the next eight years. But I can’t. They’re gonna be tough. Rock bottom, knock the bottle over, don’t win any prizes hard.

    Love. Death. Harsh illness. Family upset. All of that until you’re the only one left standing. With cancer.

    And yet. Live into them, live into it all. As you face each one, your life will change. Pivot. Deepen. Grow sadder and yet more stable, too.

    I love you and that gets you through, on the path.


    Talked with my son and his wife. Their house is bare. Only the furniture that will go into storage is left. The nomadic life of a military career. Each time I see them I love them more, as if love can expand and expand, not only filling the vessel it inhabits but enlarging the vessel, pressing it into new, better shapes, shapes brighter, more luminous than the ones that came before. May this continue. A real blessing.


    Watched the Baku Grand Prix on F1 TV. Slowly gaining a better understanding of race strategy, how drivers adapt to different tracks, how their cars get tuned for the specific challenges of the day. These F1 drivers are unicorns like all elite athletes. Reflexes and courage. Competitive. Glad to have this diversion, a hobby, I guess.


    Later in the day Dismantling Racism at CBE. Oh, so hard. Even deciding how to talk with each other about it. One person spoke with some force and came up with what I think is the most succinct way of understanding anti-Black racism in our country I’ve ever heard.

    We Jews, he said, left Egypt, left our oppressor behind. But Blacks in the U.S. have never had an Exodus moment, they have never left their oppressor behind and their enslavement follows them down to this day. Wow.

    He went on to wonder what life would have been like for the Hebrews if they had been freed from slavery, yet never left Egypt. Also an interesting, very interesting question.

    Which, come to think of it, makes me wonder how many instances in world history there are of whole peoples being subjugated as slaves.

    Not sure where this class is going. It’s a new model, one that tries to use the wisdom of mussar for the inner work necessary to fight our own racism. My sense is that writers of the curriculum have underestimated the learning required to understand racism, first, then mussar, second, then meld the two into something that aids the actual dismantling of this peculiar institution.

    I’m in it though, all the way. Trying to merge this round of struggle against racism with the reading I’m doing about the far right. Stretching. Yet again.


  • Four More Years!

    Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Kep, the early. Jon, a memory. Alan and Cheri. Their move. Next Thursday. Down the hill. Marilyn and Irv watching the John Cleese life after death video. Alan offering to chauffeur me for my colonoscopy. Selling myself short on physical activity. Animas chocolates from Mary. That Korean chicken place. The dumpster in front of the Rav4. Jon’s house about to get cleaned. A buoyed up feeling as I drove. Waiting to cross. Liminal spaces.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: A delightful Saturday


    Over to Cheri and Alan’s Saturday morning to help with packing. Packing is better with friends. I picked up a Bread Lounge order for Alan on the way. Multi-grain sourdough and fancy pastries. A tort and two cinnamon rolls. When I arrived, Alan made espresso. Cheri had me sit in the seat with a view. Their million dollar vista of the Continental Divide. Sold. Only theirs for a few more days.

    On Thursday they move from Genesee, right next to Evergreen, to downtown Denver. Right across from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. After 27 years. Cheri believes a crisis is coming for home insurance in the Colorado WUI. As a former owner/creator of a reinsurance company, she’s not to be ignored. Hope it gives me four years.

    As I moved boxes, helped Alan move bookcases, I realized I’ve still got enough energy to handle three hours of moderately heavy work. At least at their altitude. Which is 1300 feet below mine. Been minimizing my stamina. Want to stop doing that.

    I’ve allowed myself to sink into a diminished view of my body’s capacity. What I can do physically. Telling myself a story of low testosterone, altitude, and a paralyzed diaphragm. All true, yet not as significant as I imagine. Use it or lose it. Want to keep my body as strong and able as possible for as long as possible.

    Not sure how to challenge this view, but I suspect getting back to resistance work will help. My new tablet. Bought so I can watch workout videos downstairs. Body weight. Getting it setup. Bought an inch thick mat for the workouts. May bring some light weights down from the loft.


    See Eigner tomorrow. Oncologist. What’s my prognosis? With the mets on my spine. Should I do radiation? Is my sadness a typical feeling for this part of the journey? As I wrote yesterday, I’m at a threshold. These are the questions, hard ones. At least the ones about cancer. Wanting to face front, be as knowledgeable as I can. Not to scare myself, but to do what I can in the moment.


    Robin comes on Tuesday. I’ve gotten more work done since she and Michele were here last. Cleared out the home office, though it’s not finished for use yet. Got substantial work done on the guest room walk-in closet. Many shirts, sport coats, a suit, ties, coats ready to go elsewhere. Will do some work in there today. While eating the wonderful Animas chocolate Mary sent me for my birthday.

    They will work on removing what I’ve chosen to give away and getting all my art off the walls upstairs, off the mantle. Taking down all the art in Kate’s former sewing room. I’ll be ready then for Doug, the painter who will paint the upstairs and downstairs starting March 1st. When he’s done, I’ll have Vince over to get the art hung.

    Four more years!

  • A great birthday present

    Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Kep, the calm. Pulmonary function test. That nurse. Driving down the hill. Beau Jo’s. Pizza and cherry cobbler. Snow. Still coming. Into the Snowy months. Rocky Mountain Pulmonary. Wheat Ridge. A 1960’s ‘burb. CJ Box. Tal. Philpott. The Good Life. Vince. Who will plow my driveway. A good birthday. Ruby and her peculiarities. Gift certificate to Pappadeux’s. Animas Chocolates.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Friends and Family


    My peripheral arteries and veins are fine. Rocky Mountain Vascular Institute. My lungs, too, are fine. Rocky Mountain Pulmonary. A good birthday present.

    Drove down the hill to the quaintish suburb of Wheat Ridge. Had a chest x-ray. Always fun. Then to the campus of Lutheran Hospital where a very enthusiastic nurse administered a full pulmonary function test. This involves taking a deep breath. Well. Several. Then blowing out hard. Panting, very softly. Repeat 3 x. Into a plastic tube. Albuterol inhaler. 4 x. More inhaling and blowing.

    Hardest part for me. She enclosed me in a clear plastic cylinder that looked like a small dunk tank. Seated. We got 2 out of 3 repeats done before I tapped out. Claustrophobia got me. She kept saying I did very well. And, apparently I did.

    The pulmonologist, whom I wish Kate could have seen, was a young guy. Got his M.D. from U. of Minnesota like her. What are we seeing you for today? I want to know if there’s any pulmonological reason I’ll need to move to a lower elevation? Within four years.

    He leafed through my results. Your chest x-ray looks fine. An elevated left diaphragm. Polio? Yes. Some of your breathing tests are actually better than normal. Oh? Yes. Your lungs are very efficient at diffusing carbon dioxide out and oxygen into your blood stream.

    So when I get shortness of breath, my paralyzed left diaphragm plus my extremely low testosterone level and altitude explains it? Yes. And it won’t get worse. No. In fact you could probably go up another two thousand, three thousand feet.

    What a great 76th birthday present! Glad I scheduled it for yesterday.

    On Monday I see Dr. Eigner. My oncologist. He sees me once a year, the rest of the time I see Kristie, his p.a. We’ll make a final decision on the radiation though as I’ve said I’m inclined to do it. I’m also going to ask him straight up what the odds are for me since I have metastases that have gone to the bone. How much time have I got? No certainties. I know that. But he knows me, my medical history. More important though how long will my healthspan remain solid as it is now?

    Not sure what pushed me down so far last week, but I’ve turned the corner on it. Back to doing what I can, then living my best life.


    Wondering about writing. Do I even want to do it? Yes, Ancientrails. That’s a well established habit. Now in its 18th year. But the other writing. Fiction. Non-fiction. Do I need to do it to feel good about myself? Not sure anymore.

    Maybe I’m at a point where leaning into the life I have is enough. Friends. Family. The Mountains. Hawai’i in four years. Learning Korean. Reading. Art. Movies. Hiking. Travel. Taking care of the Kep.

    A longer conversation.


  • A fascinating time to be alive

    Samain and the Holimonth Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Dinner with Tom at the Willows last night. Long time friends. Diane. A Mountain Wind. Snow knocked off the Lodgepoles. Snow and Ice on Black Mountain Drive. Advent. Sussex. The Jacquie Lawson advent calendar. Going to bed. Waking up. The Chrysalis Effect by Phillip Slater. CJ Box. Kep, the old dog. US vs. Netherlands. How to become a pagan. Acting class. Nitya. Teaching the Ancient Brothers.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Holimonth


    Acting class has been hit by illness. Tal, the teacher, has the flu or something like it. Nitya, a class member, spent several days in the ICU and is still recovering in the hospital. Not sure what will happen. Tal wants to hold a class on Friday, but I’m reluctant to go given the recency of his bout with the flu. A tough wind down for what has been an interesting and challenging experience.

    I was ready. I’d gotten both monologues memorized and somewhat polished. I knew all the lines in my two scenes. Not wasted work. Good work. Helps the brain. Adds some literature to the bank.

    Tomorrow morning I present in the Creativity class. Think I’m going to do my How to become a pagan piece. Wrote it yesterday. Gotta see how long it is when spoken. Going to lean into writing and art over the winter as I said yesterday. This was a start.


    High Wind warning today. The Lodgepoles have begun to sway. Dancing with each other as Sunlight makes their tops glow. I haven’t written about it but the Mountains and their Trees and Wild Neighbors? I would have missed them. A lot. Couldn’t imagine being in a city environment where no Pine Trees framed the Nighttime Stars. Will not trade this beauty for a place with less. Hawai’i matches the Mountains with its Oceans and old Volcanic Mountains, its rich fauna. Someday. But right now. This wonderful place is home.


    The world. Russia looking like a blind Bear in the Ukraine. Wrecking the place, striking out wildly. China finding that suppression and repression have their limits. Even with a newly anointed dear leader. The US struggling with divisions at home and new fractures among European allies. Not a great time to be a world power.


    It is however a fascinating time to be alive. Talks of a moon base. Be still my John Carter, Flash Gordon little boy heart. The James Webb showing us more and more of the universe in which we live and move and have our becoming. A world shifting its long term basic rules. Climate change accelerating. Women growing in power. China and Russia and the upstart USA. All in flux.

    Glad to have these years as my last ones.

  • Populists and Authoritarians

    Samain and the Decided Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Stevenson Toyota. Blizzaks. Gripping the Snow. Ruby oiled, new boots, tires aligned. A sweet ride. Took her in at exactly 39,000 miles. Could use a good scrub though. Inside and out. The Mountains this morning. Trees with Frost up and down Black Mountain, Conifer Mountain. The Sun shrouded by Clouds. Shadow Mountain Drive snaking its icy way to Hwy. 73. Jackie. Chance. Kristie. Diane and Tom. Me. The Lodgepoles and Aspens.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: My good friend Kep


    How do I feel? Joyful. How do I feel? Glad. How do I feel? Amazed. How do I feel? Stressed. How do I feel? Grateful. Leaving Shadow Mountain at 7:30 am the Mountains sparkled in filtered Sunlight. Like driving in a Christmas card. Could have seen a sleigh pulled by horses, jingling all the way. 16 degrees. Snow on the Ground. The Trees decorated on each Branch and Twig, Pine Needle and Trunk. I smiled and would have clapped my hands except you know driving.

    Further down the hill the Clouds gave way to Colorado blue Sky and the Hogsback, the front edge of the Front Range, was white with last night’s Snow. Beautiful. What a beautiful, delightful place to live. Glad I’m staying. Both going down and coming back up the hill in the morning I had the good luck to follow snow plows. No dangers at 20 mph.

    Handed Ruby off to Chance a Toyota advisor, got a ride to Enterprise rental and picked up a Corolla so I could come home, attend my creativity class and workout. Which I did.

    After a lunch of Corn salad, Honeycrisp Apples with Peanut butter and Camembert cheese, I hopped in the Corolla and drove back down the Mountain to collect Ruby. Oiled, aligned, winter boots. Vitals checked. She’s in good health.

    Drove back up the hill to Aspen Park where Jackie cut my hair and trimmed my beard. She’s such a sweetie. Ronda, too. The conversation in Aspen Roots focused on preparations for Thanksgiving. Jackie’s doing two Turkeys! 22-24 people. Whoa. We talked about things as we always do. After talking about family a bit, Jackie said, Oh, yeah. Family. The other F word. That cracked me up. So often true.

    Back here on Shadow Mountain I fed Kep and came downstairs to write this.


    Still drifting politically. Got the book Cultural Backlash in the mail yesterday. Pippa Norris and Ronald Ingelhart. I mentioned it a few days back. Pippa was on the Ezra Klein podcast last week. Got as far as definitions of populism and authoritarianism. Really odd how they so often rise up together, yet directly contradict each other. Populists want each one of the real people to have a voice, to be in control. Authoritarians want to provide security to the real people. The price? Their voice, their impact on government.


  • Well…

    Samain and the Decision Moon

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

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Democracy’s faint pulse


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

    Still gonna prune and paint.




  • Closing in

    Fall and the Simchat Torah Moon

    Friday gratefuls: Darkness at 7 am. Sleep. Up before Kep. Acting. Dr. Artov. Monologue. Ground pork. Potatoes. Cheese. Eggs. Breakfast. Rabbi Jamie. Jon, a memory. Kate, always Kate. Honing in on a decision. Ruth and Gabe. Those Foxes. Ode. Tom. Bill. Paul. My Ancient Brothers. Hawai’i. Emily. Michelle. Robin. Diane.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: See’s Candy


    Forgot to write yesterday. Got up at 10 till 8, fed Kep, talked to Diane, worked out, went to mussar, then talked to Rabbi Jamie. Home. Cooked. Spaced out till bed time. Not often, but yesterday I just plain forgot. Back at it right now as you can tell.


    Wednesday was a very productive day. Robin came with Michelle. Michelle was the muscle, a younger woman with work gloves and a plaid shirt. A kind, caring person. We marked the things in the garage that I want to keep or that can be sold. Everything else will get picked up by Reid and Gone For Good while I’m Hawai’i. Also all the stuff Diane removed from the wood cabinets will be taken by Michelle and Robin for donation. I’ll come back to a spacious garage. Gotta get out that power washer for the floors.

    They’re also going to move all the banker’s boxes in from the garage so I can sort through them. With Diane’s help last week and the work on Wednesday we’ve made real progress. It feels great. That large sack I’ve been pulling behind me since I lived in Irvine Park has begun to decrease in size. Significantly. Where ever I decide to go, whenever I decide to do it, I’ll have a move that’s both cheaper and easier. A new home setup that will go faster.


    About that. In mussar we talk about a balance. A midpoint between say pride and meekness. Humility. A midpoint between anger and passivity, assertiveness. A midpoint between apathy and co-dependence, loving-kindness. A mid-point for this move it turns out is staying in Colorado. In particular the Golden area.

    Advantages: Cheaper. Quicker. Easier. New place, yet familiar. Gabe and Ruth seen through high school. Easy access to Evergreen and CBE. A college town. My oncologist and Kristie. Personal growth. A chance to see Colorado, which I still haven’t done. Utah. Taos. Santa Fe. Four Corners.

    Neither the all out adventure of a move to Hawai’i or a return to the forty years familiar Twin Cities metro. In some sense Colorado is like both. There’s still a lot of Colorado (most) that I haven’t seen. Like Hawai’i and California Colorado is a place people from all over the world travel to see. Like Minnesota I have good friends here.

    Definite top of my list right now. We’ll see after Hawai’i. I’ll make a decision then. A major factor in where and when I go, too, is Kep. A lot of places won’t take Akitas, Minnesota, Hawai’i, Colorado. With his recent blindness and deafness I may choose to stay in place until his death, an earlier plan I scuttled when I learned about the tax consequences of selling the house after April 12th. Money is far from everything.


    Have delayed thinking about the trip to Hawai’i with all the stuff going on. Gotta check my meds, pack, get ready. Every thing is set up. Dog/house sitter. Parking spot. Airline tickets. Should be straight forward. Still needs to get done.