• Category Archives Aging
  • Ruth and Gabe

    Samain and the Holimonth Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Ruth at Cedar Springs. Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak. Garden of the Gods. I-25. Gabe, on himself. A long drive. Getting lost. Kep, having a good time on the road. Sleeping in the bedroom last night. Ruby losing her AWD. Then getting it back? Family. People happy I’m staying here. Preparing for some more moving in the house. That mortgage at 3%. This house, this home, this Hermitage. Herme. Lit daily.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth, her journey to self knowledge

     

    Struggled to get Kep in the car. Neither one of us are as strong as we used to be. Got it done though. He panted nervously. Eventually laid down, grew calm. Picked up Gabe at his mom’s, then headed down I-225 to I-25, all south toward Colorado Springs.

    Colorado Springs. Where Ruth has spent the last three weeks at Cedar Springs Hospital. She says it’s a good place for her. We took Kep out of the car so she could see him. Couldn’t tell if he remembered her or not. His cues as to who’s who seem blunted.

    This hospital has an iron gate around its whole campus. The gates open only one car at a time and there are at two gates. The main building is older brick in the style of institutional gothic. The newer buildings have mid-to-late twentieth century school architecture. Buff brick, single story. A slightly conical roof. Glass entrance doors.

    Ruth told me there is an acute hospital in the building next to her for adults and young children. Her building, Juniper, is only teenagers. Next to it is a third building which houses the school and an adult residential unit. Therapy dogs come regularly as do therapy horses, sheep and goats.

    It all seems grim to me, but Ruth likes her therapist and says she’s doing better. She’s learning guitar, reading a lot, making art with markers. They’re also trying to recalibrate her meds. Find a mix that works for her.

    She will be there into January. I’m going to see her on December 24th which happens to be the last night of Hanukah as well as Christmas Eve. She’ll get a pass and we’ll go out into Colorado Springs, find some things to do, have a meal. Visitation is only on Saturdays and for one hour on Tuesday evening. Without a pass Saturday visits have a 2-4 pm limit. Ruth got tired, so Gabe and I left at 3:30. She lost sleep last night due to the readjustments of her meds.

    It was good to have the ride down and back with Gabe. We had long conversations. School mostly. He has actual ringlets, his hair is long. With a touch up for side curls he could be a Hasidic Jew. He’s grown a good bit over the last six months, maybe over 5 feet at last.

    He says he’s popular but doesn’t know why. He has good friends. Seems steady. Has no idea where he’s headed in terms of education. Sandoval High where he and Ruth go is a STEM school. He enjoys biology, putting things under a microscope. Photography. He’s also learning guitar. Dork. That’s his self-description. Yet. He also says others say he’s self-confident. He is. Probably why he’s popular.

    He loves muscle cars. Would I please buy him a 1968 Mustang? Here’s one for only $25,000. Shows me his phone. No.

    When Kep and I got back to the Mountain, Kep jumped out of the back, landed gracefully. I could tell he had a good time. He carried himself with more pizazz.

    Two hours down. Two hours there. Two hours back in heavy traffic at night. I was pretty tired. Getting back to the much less hectic pace of Shadow Mountain was a distinct relief.


  • The Way of the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine

    Fall and the High Holidays Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Erev Sukkot. Jen. Ruth. Gabe. Trees of gold flame. Early Sun. Cool night. Open Window. The Move. Leaving Shadow Mountain. Kep, the non-seeing eye dog. Warm against me last night. Creativity. Poetry. Sumi-e. The Night Sky. Ruth Gendler. Sad. Tal. Wendy’s. Rarely. Ukraine. Putin. Nuclear weapons. Anarchy at the international level of world affairs

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Flexibility

     

    I do not know how the mid-terms will turn out. And, neither do you. That’s a good thing because it means there are some statistical scenarios where the far right gets pushed back and the sane Americans retain control of at least one house, possibly two? Dreaming, I know. But a fellow can hope.

    Methuselah Walk USA Ca

    What I would like to put this thought over against is this article in New York Times: In California, Where Trees Are King, One Hardy Pine Has Survived for 4,800 Years. You know this tree, no doubt. Methuselah. Named after the Biblical Patriarch who lived 969 years. 4,855 years this Tree has kept its streak of living going. It follows its chi better than any other living creature. Wu wei all the way. Adapting to changing seasons, climates, insects. Poor soil and limited moisture.

    Methuselah and its fellow Great Basin Bristlecone Pines grow only in California, Nevada, and Utah. There are Bristlecone Pines here in Colorado but they live less long, some only 2,000 years. Only. I wonder what they communicate to each other over the depths of their millennia?

    These Trees. They exemplify the tao. If you live your life within the limits all lives have, you will flourish. Against this the hubris of oil. The tragedy of MAGA. The disaster crashing down on our only Planet. Even the simple problems that occur among us humans like probate, or loss of a partner. We must choose a life way that wends around and through the challenges that living presents.

    One way to do that is to stay engaged with life, but to not take detours from your desired outcomes as bad or good, frustrating or stressful. Just detours or the path going a different way. The old military cliche, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, sounds the same precaution.

    In my instance right now the Fed has pushed interest rates up and will likely go higher. Mortgage rates follow. This will impact the sale of my Shadow Mountain home. Probably negatively. The changes in Kep’s eyesight have created doubts in me about putting him through a long flight and adaptation to a very foreign environment.

    My move off Shadow Mountain needs to happen sometime in the mid term future. I’ve already said why many times. But when and to where? Uncertain right now. That’s ok. I have many options and will look for the one that offers the best for myself and for Kep. As well as I can understand it. I have no worry that we will land in a place that’s right for us for now. You could call this the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine way.

    Meanwhile I will continue to prune, to deaccession, getting ready for a move when the time and place present themselves.


  • Momentum

    Imbolc and the Durango Moon

    The Big Mo. 2021

    Monday gratefuls: Aerodynamics. Lift. Jet engines. Shrinking distances. The sweetness of family. Learning it in old age. Even sweeter. Kep. Home. Shadow Mountain. Evergreen. Ana and her coworker cleaning my house. Right now. Jet lag. Staying up as long as I can. Actual sleep on the plane! New for me. The idea of leaving Shadow Mountain. Landing in Honolulu.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Limbering up the mind for a new adventure

     

    Lililha Bakery, Ala Moana Mall

    Around 2 am Hawai’i time I was somewhere over CONUS. The Pacific in our rear view. The flight attendants had served a biscuit and coffee. Then turned the lights off again. I couldn’t read because it seemed too bright for my back to sleep seat mates. Chose to think.

    Realized that travel is the breaking of inertia. It is the liminal space between one form of inertia and another. Right then I was neither in Hawai’i or Colorado. I was up in the air. Literally.

    I had slept maybe 5 hours, in and out. But full awake then.

    It’s hard to change. Especially patterns or places of long standing. And, especially as we get older. Change gets more scary, seems to have more risks. Not sure it does. Just seems so.

    Kate and I took eight months to ramp up for the move to Colorado. And needed every day of it. Here’s the thing though. Once the idea got rooted Andover seemed over. Wonderful, special while it lasted. But over.

    I’m feeling the same way now. Driving home from the airport this morning it became clear to me that I’m tired of the hassles of home ownership. Car ownership. Ownership. This is independent of how I choose to solve the problem.

    I love Shadow Mountain as much or more than I did Andover. But without a partner to help with the necessary work of maintaining, sustaining a property, I’m ready to let it go. I can do it. Am doing it. Have done for the last year and four months. Really the last 4 years. Just don’t want the hassle anymore.

    Let somebody else call the plumber. Find the electrician. Think about the mortgage. Backing away from all this will take some time and I want it to. I want to slowly but carefully put away this American dream life and replace it with a life focused in other ways.

    Gonna spend at least six months testing the financial aspects. How much will I net if I sell the house for different amounts? How much will it really cost per month to live in Honolulu. Should I take my car or sell it? Use public transportation and rentals. Will entail some further time in Hawai’i visiting rental agents and rental properties. Looking at hidden costs. Potential hidden savings. How much will getting Shadow Mountain ready to sell take? That includes eliminating what I wouldn’t take with me. Most of the stuff I own. How much will it cost to move what’s left?

    Then there are the tough parts of leaving Colorado. Jon. Ruth. Gabe. Beth Evergreen. Getting a chance to see more of this wonderful area before I leave.

    Many other details to be considered, fussed over. Medical matters. Legal changes. Maybe a round of visits to family here, friends.

    A project for the time between now and Ruth’s graduation. At least I think I’ll stay that long. When Kate and I chose to move here, we initially gave ourselves a couple of years but once the momentum took over, we got ready and moved in more like eight months.

    It’s that feeling that Shadow Mountains over. Then. Honolulu is now. That could push me faster than I’m thinking right now. Momentum is a big deal. We’ll see.


  • C’mon Dude

    Beltane and the Living in the Mountains Moon

    art@willworthington

    Thursday gratefuls: Acting. Hiking. Sleeping. Wondering. Black Mountain. Ski runs. Lodgepole Pines. That other trail. Kep, the patient boy. Heat. Air conditioning. Left over Chinese. Sarah helping Jon, Ruth, Gabe. Waking up late. Late. Dressing myself for tomorrow. The dream with Ron Solomon. Talking with Diane yesterday. Our roots. Sadness and wistfulness.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Myself

    Tarot: Nine of Stones, Tradition

     

    Golly. This morning? 8:45 am. Beginning to think late nights sap more out of me than I thought. And, I thought they took out a lot before. One more to go. Friday night and the Beatles Shabbat.

    Meeting with Allen to run lines again. At the Parkside. I’m facing an existential crisis with acting at the moment. I know. I know. It’s just me. The way I grapple with the world. I didn’t do well yesterday and it made me want to run away. Because. I like to do things WELL. Tal said something however that stuck with me: Short-term memory is best in acting. That’s like sports. You can’t focus on the mistake, but on the next take, the next pitch, the next run through. Oh, but I can.

    That’s the existential crisis. How can I push myself past the need to do well and accept mistakes as part of the process? I know it’s a soul journey thing for me. Probably a middah though I don’t know which one. Yes, I do. Savlanut. Patience. Not only with others but with myself. Also still practicing ichi-go, ichi-e. This moment, the only moment, is unrepeatable, unique. Therefore precious and valuable as it is. Not as I wish it to be.

    So, my mission if I should choose to accept it is to recognize several things. First, I’m 75 and I haven’t acted in over 50 years. Second, I’m learning a new method and an almost new art form (for me). Third, I make mistakes. Of course, I do. And they do not diminish me as a person. Fourth. This is community theater. Not Broadway. Fifth. Come on, dude. Get over yourself. I mean…

     

    Well. That’s enough for today. I have to get ready to go run lines with Alan. Wish me many mistakes from which I recover gracefully and learn lots.

     

     

     

     


  • Introducing Herme

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Burning Bear Creek. Park County #60. A clean Kep. Geneva Creek. The hike. Good exercise. Outside. In the Mountains. The scent of Lodgepole Pines. Sweet. The sound of Snow Melt throwing itself down Geneva Creek. The Marmoset. The Raccoon. Those molting young Mule Deer Does near the Lariat Lodge. Hamish. Working on Alfieri and Eddie in View from the Bridge. 9:30 to bed. Up at 7:10. Shift already happening.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Marmosets and Raccoons

    Tarot: #8, The Stag

    “The Stag is a metaphorical image for the treasure of knowledge in the universe, where the energy of creativity awakens every human soul.” tarotx.net

     

    Kep emerged from Award Winning Pet Grooming shiny and sweet smelling. Grinning. He jumped up on me. Thanks for not forgetting me, Dad! He’s the sweetest Akita I’ve ever met. The longtime owner there. He’s the sweetest Akita I’ve ever met, too, but my experience is limited to Kep, Murdoch, and for a moment, Kya.

    Living in the Mountains continues today. Exercise at Maxwell Creek. I’ll see what it’s like at 9 am or so. Probably nobody. Which is what I want. Gonna start checking for lonely trails somewhere nearby. Even when working out I’m an introvert. A big reason I have my own home gym.

     

    Shedding, like an Akita blowing his coat, my old Self. Letting him go, rushing toward the River feeding the Collective Unconscious. He’ll always be there if I need him. He served me well over the last seven years, but it’s time to let the fourth phase me, the post-Kate me have his day.

    He’s a dig-in to this world deeper guy. A Living in the Mountains guy. Really see this wonder in which I live. He’s a Traveling Alone with a Crowd guy. Herme is his name.

    Instead of looking to go far he’s looking to go in and down, as has been my journey since I left the church over thirty years ago. Slipped away some in the Colorado years. Renewing that journey while rethinking transcendence. I get the need to move beyond ego, but I’m not sure transcendence is the right metaphor. Rolling this around right now.

    Rather than looking to go far Herme wants to investigate the close-by, the near. In his heart. In his inner world. In the Mountains near his home. In Evergreen and CBE. In family and friends. On Shadow Mountain. In his sumi-e brush.

    Herme wants to move on the Elder’s path. Finding his power. Communicating his truth gathered. No longer pounding the world with his fist. No longer seeking distant lands unless inhabited by family. Not seeking success in anything. Living in the World as he lives in the Mountains as his World.

    Herme appreciates the lessons of suffering. But no longer wants to live with them as a primary identity. Cancer will be what cancer is with the treatments available. Jon and the kids will resolve their issues from the divorce or not; Herme will remain in their lives. Kate will be of blessed memory.

    Farewell old man. You served me well, but it’s time for a new phase.

     

     


  • Oh, the Wonders We’ll See

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Deb. Robbie. Tal. Gretchen. Alan. Terrence. Jill. Nights. Lunar red. The full red Moon. Cloudy skies. Skipping Sefer Yetzirah. Learning things in astrology. Not enough. Reading plays. Loving it. Art is not only sculpture, prints, paintings, metal work. Literature. Theater. Music. Oh. Remembering.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Alfieri and Felix

    Tarot: #8, The Stag

     

    “The Stag shows our connection to the universe and…organic life on this planet. The hatchet is a symbolic image of the human will to alter the environment. In order for the environment to change more positively, we need not only more effective actions but also (to accept) our responsibility to nature. On the shield, the picture of a great Oak tree reminds us that we must preserve and protect natural resources.” tarotx.net

     

    Wow. Up at 9:22 am this morning. To bed at 10:30 pm. Acting class and pre-bed routine. Woke up and felt great. I went, huh? No time to write Ancientrails before Astrology class. No time to exercise so I skipped Sefer Yetzirah. Skipping class. For me? Hardly ever. I loved doing it this time.

    Had brunch, then exercised. Felt and feel great. Pay attention to accidents. Like the fall, yes, but in this case a late night, late morning. Well. I could do this, I guess. Just because for the last 30 years I’ve gone to bed early and gotten up early does that mean I still have to? No. It doesn’t

    If my acting lessons take me anywhere, which I’m not expecting, but if they do, rehearsal? At night. Performances? At night. Services at CBE? At night. It would open up a different lifestyle for me.

    On that note. I got stuck. My Minneapolis Institute of Arts experience led me to a Johnny-one note approach to the arts. Painted. Sculpted. Printed. Sewn. Splattered. Photographed. Videoed. Yes. If I couldn’t regularly see high quality art of this kind, well…

    Then my buddy Alan suggested I take an acting class. Sure. Why not? At the very least a reminder of a different art form. One I’d engaged in the long ago far away. Whoa. Heart work. Body work. Get the mind out of the way work. Reread some contemporary work like The Odd Couple, View From the Bridge, next American Buffalo. Act scenes from them. Develop the Self in a new way.

    I mean. Like the proverbial 2×4. Oh. Yeah. And music, too. Gotta get somebody, maybe Alan, to help get my audio world turned on here on Shadow Mountain. Will begin again to read classical literature. Metamorphosis first, I imagine.

    As Ode said, routines. The only difference betweeen a rut and a grave are the dimensions. Yeah.

    So I may become a later to bed, later to rise guy. For art’s sake.

     

    Here’s a realization I had today. When I take something from Taoism, I take it as a Taoist.When I take something from Christianity, I take it as a Christian. When I take something from Judaism, I take it as a Jew.When I take something from Islam, I take it as a Muslim. When I take something from Hinduism, I take it as a Hindu.

    Furthermore. When I take something from Japanese culture, I take it as a Japanese. From Colombia as a Colombian. From the Celts as a Celt.

    Syncretism and appropriation are dirty words in most intellectual circles. I’m not trying to create a new, smashed together religion, nor am I lifting ideas from their living culture to reorient in mine.

    Nope. When I say I’m a follower of Shiva, which I am, I mean I’m aware of and beholden to the cosmic dance of creation and destruction and Shiva is its name. When I say ichi-go ich-e is important for me, I’m saying this moment, this one while I’m typing on the keyboard, throwing these ideas out into the cyberether, will never happen again. And, is precious for that reason. When I say I follow the Great Wheel, I’m an ancient Celtic thinker noticing the stars and the changing of the seasons, tying them together in a long, yet repeating spiral.

    I don’t pick and choose. Nope to that either. Some ideas and concepts that come to me as I read, listen, see change my way. When they change my way, they become part of me, part of my ancientrail.

    Neither striving for nor hoping for a neat package tied up with a bow. Nicely systematized. Not important to me. Insights into life and how to live it? Very important to me.


  • A Change in the Mind

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    art@willwordsworth

    Tuesday gratefuls: Dead Mouse. Felix in the Odd Couple. A lawyer in View From the Bridge. Dinner at Robbie’s early. Back much better. Melancholy. Back. The Sun. My Rocky patch of Mother Earth. Kate fertilized Iris pushing up into the Light. Kep. A real sweetheart. Happy to see me last night when I came home from acting class.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: A script

    Tarot: Knight of Stones, Horse

    ” Healthy activity and independence adorn your path.  Boldness, pride, and love for the land lead you… Let the Horse take you away.

    Mentally, you may suddenly find yourself overwhelmed for no specific reason. You can try to control each issue at a time. You are going through a mental change when this happens. Remember that you change for the better.” tarot.com

     

    Suddenly overwhelmed. As the Knight of Stones says. A response to exhaustion from Saturday, then last night. An hour late getting to bed because of acting class. Still a bit achy from the fall. Body not quite right. Exercised hard yesterday as well.

    Melancholy. Things bite that wouldn’t have a week ago. Shorter fuse. Not my favorite state of being, but one that recognizes a truth. I’m going through a change, maybe the one I’ve been seeking, that new life I’ve perseverated about.

    Lots of clues. The Inner Work of Aging reading. This reply from my oncologists about my future.* That fall. The house nearing completion, Vince on tap for some more work inside and out. The acting class. Wondering if I’d be able to learn lines. My waning interest in kabbalah and astrology. Reluctance about travel.

    Mortality behind me. Mortality ahead of me.

     

    Got cast as Felix in the Odd Couple for a scene with Alan. And as a lawyer in a scene from Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge. This is scene study, the purpose of the class. It helps us develop an approach, a process for taking on a role. It was fun, but when I had to improv the Odd Couple scene, I felt out to sea. Like my memory had deserted me. Not true, yet it added a layer to the melancholy coming on the night air.

    After the class I stepped off a high curb, unlit, stumbled, hit a sewer cover, and tripped. Righted myself. With a quick FUCK! Another vulnerability message. Pay more attention at night, Charlie.

    An inner journey underway, headed to the shadow side on Shadow Mountain.

     

    *You have had a great response to Orgovyx/Erleada combo thus far and could continue this way for years to come. Individual response varies incredulously. Regardless, there are a multitude of additional modalities beyond this to treat you. I believe you could live 10+ years but in what state of health is hard for me to say because I am also not as privy to the rest of your medical history as your primary care.” Kristie

     

    “I agree with Kristie. You are responding quite well and we still have plenty of ammunition unused for the future if needed. And we continue to make great progress with time. So for now you are good. What happens years from now we don’t know…so it is possible this does effect your longevity, but I am not willing to say that for sure at this time.” Dr. Eigner


  • Noh Mask At All

    How I knew it was Ravens taking the Mice

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Acting. Old chops coming back. Found the third mouse from yesterday. Ravens. Achy. Feeling old, a little miserable. Back sore from banging against the deck. Note to self: don’t do that again. Bear. The generator repair tech. Really, his name was Bear. Pete. Centering the chandelier. Ana and Letty, a clean house. Acting class.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Acting

     

    Found the third dead mouse from yesterday. Downstairs on my level. Did Ana and Letty accidentally move him? Or, did Kep find him and mouth him only to drop him far from the scene of his execution? I’ll never know. But, it does mean no mouse resurrections. No smart mouse.

     

    Did not slip this morning when I tossed the dead bodies over the fence for the Raven clan. Man am I sore. Neck, back. Even intercostals on my left side. Quite a back whack. The good news? I slipped so quickly I didn’t have time to brace myself so avoided a broken wrist or other arm bones. Could use some how to fall training.

    Not only did this make me sore. It also made me scared and sad. Remembering Kate’s bleed. The start of the long downhill slide. Not ready for my equivalent. Yesterday could have been it. I don’t want to think like that, but I also have to face the fact. Could happen in a flash. Want to shake this but the pain keeps reminding me. Coming on the heels of that damned cold. Grrr.

    To add to it. See this: THC increases heart attack risk. Well, damn. Gotta back off the edibles until I know more. Sounds like CBD oil might help. Last night first without an edible in a couple of years. Maybe a bit more. Went ok. Pain might have influenced it a bit.

     

    Well. As usual, writing it. Setting it out on the page in black and white. Better. Dispels demons. Easier. When life throws you lemons, throw’em back.

     

    Reeling in my travel ambitions a bit. Gonna start slow. Road trip to Del Norte with Kep. See how that goes. About 3 hours down, 3 hours back. Then, a short road trip. Maybe three days. Hawai’i in late June for Seoah’s birthday. Have to choose between Iran or Taipei. Old bones. Thinking about checking on the Road Scholars. Used to be Elder Hostel. Might be time for some group touring. Or, maybe I’m being more conservative following my slip. We’ll see.

     

    Acting class. Huh. Enjoyed. In an exercise, How do I feel, I said I feel like a school boy on the first day of class. I feel exhilarated. I feel exhilarated. Even though ouchy and unable to bend as easily as usual (the back owie) I find myself intrigued and engaged. Next week we get a scene from a play. Start digging into it with the five questions:

    1. Who am I? details of the character’s life: name, age, gender, economic status, social status, parents, siblings, birth order. Things like that.

    2. Where, when am I? Where: Like Jane Crofut’s address in Our Town.

    “Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America. GEORGE: What’s funny about that? REBECCA: But listen, it’s not finished: the United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.”

    When: Day, month, year. Also. when in life is the character?

    3. What do I want?

    Objective-Super Objective-Spine

    Objective-what do I want in this scene

    Super objective – what do I want in the whole play

    Spine – what do all the characters in the play want?

     

    4. How do I get what I want? Actions I take.

    5. What do I do when I do or don’t get what I want?

     

    Questions 3 and 4 have the most weight, but all are important according to Tal Arnold, Rabbi Jamie’s oldest son. He’s an actor himself and a director. He directed the play I mentioned a while back: Dementiaville. Alan was in it.

    I’ve done some acting, but never learned acting in this way. The bones of it. The how. This has touched my heart, given me a new way of moving forward. Even if I go no further than this class.

     

     


  • Self Compassion

    Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

    A bit blurry, but it shows Kate’s grace in any situation. Seoah’s mom has on traditional Korean wedding wear. April 10, 2016

    Sunday gratefuls: Kate, always Kate. Sarah. Her gift. Jon fixed my window! Ruth on a date. In her new realm now. Boygirl land. Gabe. Being Gabe. Scattered Snow. A dusting of white on the Lodgepoles. Kep. My loft Dog. This crazy, awful, wonderful grief. Kate’s yahrzeit coming up. Acting.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Wind

     

    Alan as the beggar in Fiddler

    Alan has finished three plays now with Evergreen Players. A couple of Irish plays and Dementiaville. He’s an actor. His role in Dementiaville called for emotional depth. It was there. His wife went down the memory gradient into dementia. Just like his now dead brother Dan did not all that long ago. This play was personal for many of the cast members.

    I admire his willingness to take on a difficult transition from corporate manager to community theater actor and singer. It keeps him meeting new people and exercises, as Hercule Poirot says, ze little gray cells.

    Rabbi Jamie’s son Tal is one of the principals in Evergreen Players.

    We had breakfast at the Bread Lounge where I picked up my Pullman loaf of Sourdough bread. It’s gone up in price. Way up. Inflation hits the bread line. I chose yogurt parfait in my ongoing journey to shift slowly toward a Mediterranean diet. I assured Alan that I had a filet mignon the night before so I wasn’t leaving carnivore land in toto. He seemed reassured.

    After breakfast the stop at Nellybelle’s General Store did result in a couple of purchases, but no center piece for my mantle. The large wheel like object is a cool work and the price was right, but the color’s too dull for the rest of what’s on the mantle. It’s going to go up here in the loft.

     

    Gabe’s bris

    Jon and Gabe came up yesterday afternoon. Jon fixed my bedroom window which didn’t quite close. It’s a casement. No problem during the winter months when I like cold in the room, a gift of Kate’s. But. In the late spring and early summer the allergens come out. Why I bought the mini-splits. So I could close all the windows and still sleep in a cool room. I have two air purifiers purchased and ready to go as well. That window had to close all the way.

    Pollen season in the Mountains has made me miserable every year I’ve been up here. Don’t need it. So, I took action. I hope this works. Also, the Pine Pollen, Lodgepole sex, is a yellow nuisance as well. It sifts inside, coats everything. I understand. Wind and Pine Cones and Pollen make Lodgepole Pines. And I love them. I just don’t want their fun times on my kitchen counter. Geez.

     

    Haven’t gotten as much done as I planned. We’ll see later today. People intervened. And, I’m glad. There’s time to finish. Goal is by next weekend. I want to have a larger dining room available for holidays and times like the week of the 18th. I’ll make it.

    I would say the major shift for me, opening itself right now, is just that. There’s time. Wu wei suggests there is always time if we allow the flow of chi to guide us. Things will get done. No need to push. Or resist.

     

    Her next to last day

    The imminence of Kate’s yahrzeit has affected me. Feelings more variable. Intensity increasing. My one shard of guilt, not being there when Kate died, blossoming in full force as the anniversary of that night approaches. Sarah wrote me a very sweet and powerful email which has allowed me to gain perspective.

    Here’s a bit of it:

    “You WERE there, Charlie. Kate could feel you I know. Don’t forget too that just 20 minutes more or less before she left she heard me say Charlie is going to be ok – Seoah’s coming on Tuesday, BJ came back from Idaho so we sisters are all here together until Wednesday for him, Jon and the grandkids are there for him too. Your love and dedication to her is enough. As she wrote.

    She was so concerned about your exhaustion and really wanted to ease the pain and fatigue she knew you were in for once she had passed. And it was not only a privilege for me to be entrusted with her last nights, Charlie, but it was also a profoundly deep and healing honor. I loved her so, too. Thank you to both of you. I hope this helps you let go of any feelings of guilt.”

    A lot of tears after I read this. Good, cleansing rib heaving sobs. I feel like I can put that guilt aside. I couldn’t be at the hospital twenty-four hours. I had dogs to care for and I had to sleep. Being there during the day for hours over her last week or so then going home to feed Rigel and Kep, and sometimes going back to the hospital in the evening. It overwhelmed me physically and emotionally.

    Family. So important.

     

     


  • the moment when change is possible

    Imbolc and the Moon of Seoah’s Citizenship

    Babar on Dick Cavett, Jon Olson, Spark Gallery

    Sunday gratefuls: Jon. Spark Gallery. Tom Liker. His paintings. Santa Fe Art District in Denver. Rocky Yama Sushi. Rabbi Jamie. Divorcing. Luke. The Mussar group. MVP. Snow. Cold. The Ancient Brothers. David Sanders. Kep. Ukraine. Zelensky. Kate, always Kate. Rigel. Kristine. Kristie. Erleada. Orgovyx. Prostate cancer. Deer Creek Canyon. Living with, living in spite of, living into. Living.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rabbi Jamie

    Tarot: Two of Vessels, Attraction

     

    Accent acute. Accent grave. The cedilla. Diacritical markings. “The word diacritic is a derivative of Greek diakritikos, meaning “separative” or “able to distinguish,” which is based on the prefix dia-, meaning “through” or “across,” and the verb krinein, “to separate.”” Merriam-Webster

    Kairos. Another Greek word. This one often used in theology, there translated as crisis. This from wikipedia: ‘the right, critical, or opportune moment’. In modern Greek, kairos also means ‘weather’. It is one of two words that the ancient Greeks had for ‘time’; the other being chronos. Another translation: the moment when change is possible.

    We have lived for this whole millennium in interesting times. Since 9/11/2001. That was the first and so far most impactful inflection point. It is easy to separate, to distinguish between the pre-9/11 world and its aftermath in which we still live.

    It was a kairos moment, a moment when change was possible, and we chose, through the dark machinations of Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and their likable stooge, George Bush, Osama Bin Laden’s exact goal: an asymmetrical war considered a holy war, or. better, an unholy war against Muslim’s who co-opted the idea of jihad.

    We were in the right; they were in the wrong. Let’s go get’em! Now 21 years later the wreckage of our intervention has left smoking ruins in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Lebanon and Palestine. We’ve spent lives, a trillion dollars or two, but who’s counting, and our reputation as a beacon of liberty. Coming well after another stupid war, the Vietnamese War, these twenty one years have eroded the idea of democracy and helped fuel the rise of oligarchs and autocrats.

    Kairos II. A macro problem, let’s call it. Because the next big shock was microscopic, a virus. Can’t even see the damned thing. We’re still not done with it, may never be done with it, and millions have died world wide. We’ve holed up in our houses, become afraid of our neighbors and friends, let alone the maskless vigilantes who so badly misunderstand liberty that they’re dying by the thousands without needing to.

    Kairos III. Sorta in the middle of all this, what?, horror? George Floyd. In my former home town, Minneapolis. The San Francisco of the Wheat Belt, a progressive’s dream city if there ever was one. Black Lives Matter. Riots and protests. All over the world. Where did we put that beacon anyhow?

    Of course riding high above all this was Kairo Prime of our time, climate change. Super wildfires. Ocean rise. Tumbling condos. Jacked up hurricanes and tornadoes. Changing weather patterns. A lot of record warmth. Uneven rains, 800 year droughts. Geez.

    We got a lot going on here as I head into my 75th year. Three quarters of a century and I’ve never seen any time like these last twenty. Even the Vietnam War and the movement seem preparatory, not diacritical as I once thought.

    And I have grandchildren. Who have to live into this world we’ve birthed. Yes, none of this had to happen. But cooler heads did not prevail and we got global warming. Peaceniks failed and we got forever wars. The civil rights era came up short and we got George Floyd, Trayon Martin, Ahmaud Arberry. How do I sit down with Ruth and Gabe and say sorry?

    I really, really don’t know. Yes, of course love. Yes, of course compassion. Yes, of course justice. Knowing this from the jump doesn’t seem to have saved me from implication as a failure in every kairotic moment, every event diacritically identified here.

    And, I’m tired. Not sure I have the eagerness or the energy necessary for another fight. Without a fight how can I hope to live with myself in my last quarter century? Or so.

    Yet. Joy. Patience. Loving kindness. Honor. Holiness. Also necessary. Perhaps I can evoke, provoke those? Keep tossing virtues into the collective until something catches fire? I don’t know and I don’t pretend to know.

    I do know that I cannot be silent, nor complicit. The chief sins of our age.