Fourth Phase Life

Fall and the Moon of the Thin Veil

Wednesday gratefuls: A stained house, newly painted garage doors. Daniel. Alvin. Greg. Sandy, coming up to be with Kate’s ashes. Kate, always Kate. The Woolly retreat in November. The Mountains. The Rocks, Lodgepoles, Aspens, Creeks, and Wild Critters. Deep peace.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Roadtrip!

Tarot: Ace of Pentacles


Daniel stained my whole house in just over a day. A sweet man. The 3M window coverings reminded me of St. Paul, of the Twin Cities. Alvin, his partner yesterday, took down my blue lights. Think I’m gonna leave’m down. Lots of neighbors complaining about lights ruining the dark Sky, a true Mountain amenity. They’re not wrong. Does mean I gotta dig out the box of solar lights I ordered. I need something to identify our house at night. So easy to drive right past it.

January 2020

On Monday, Coyote HVAC. Then, choosing between bids for remodeling the kitchen. Probably won’t happen until later in the year. May seem strange, my doing all these things, spending a bunch of money. Not to me. They represent another phase of grief, one in which I celebrate what Kate and I had together while creating my fourth phase life. Hence, I’m enhancing the house she found and in which we shared our last years together.

Got a note from the Assistance Fund, the one that pays down my copay for Orgovyx from $800 a month to $10. I have to reapply for coverage on December 1st. Won’t miss that deadline.

Greg Lell, owner of the painting company, came by yesterday to get his check. We got to talking. He was, he said, a dairyCatholic.* He ran the words together. His parents figured out a three to four year gap system that resulted in six siblings for him, and, crucially, a new farm hand growing into the job as one left it. Oddly, he has a distinctive Texas accent, but he grew up in Colorado. Over 15 years in Texas he began to sound like a native.

Many Woolly brothers, Tom, Mark, Paul, have decided not to attend the retreat. Excellent reasons, probably ones that apply to me, but I need to get outta here, get on the road, be somewhere else. Not new, forty years a Minnesotan, but also not Colorado.

Largest wood fired kiln in the U.S. Bresnahan in sportcoat

I will be staying in retreat lodging at St. John’s Monastery in Collegeville. I have done retreats there before and visited many times. The ceramic urn which holds Kate’s ashes came out of the Johanna Kiln, shaped by Richard Bresnahan from clay dug not far from the monastery. The firing of the Johanna Kiln is a major event as it’s a dragon kiln with several bays snaking up a hillside. When it’s firing, volunteers feed split Wood into its firebox 24 hours a day until the ceramics finish their ordeal. Maybe I’ll finally buy a teapot.

Drew the Ace of Pentacles this morning. The aces are potential, the essence of their suit. Pentacles represent mother earth, malkut, this world, this physical world. In many cases this card may signal success in business, an inheritance, making progress in a career. It also can suggest deep peace, well being in this world. Feeling calm.

As I’ve entered this new phase of grieving, a great calm has settled within me. A deep peace. I’m more in my life than regretting, mourning Kate’s death. As I said yesterday, my life with her is the foundation for this phase, what I’m calling my fourth phase. I’m modeling this fourth phase idea on the Hindu life phase of renunciation and a focus on the spiritual.

The Ace suggests I’m on the right path. Let’s call it a new ancientrail. Though the road that led here connects to it, this ancientrail has made a sharp turn toward the West, toward the setting Sun. It is the final phase of life and one I want to walk intentionally. To walk it like a Celtic Christian saint. Peregrenatio.

*Yes, I did mention the other dairyCatholic I know, Mr. Bill!

This entry was posted in Aging, Art and Culture, Fourth Phase, Kabbalah, Memories, Minnesota, Myth and Story, Our Land and Home, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Shadow Mountain, Tarot, Travel, Woolly Mammoths. Bookmark the permalink.

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