Charlie’s Difficult, Wonderful Week

Written By: Charles - Feb• 18•22

Imbolc and the 3/4 Moon

At the VRCC, Jan. 2018

Thursday gratefuls: Rigel. Her death. Kep. That hole in my heart. Tom. Here. Cannabis. Leah. Marilyn and Irv. Susan Marcus and Thoreau. Rich Levine. Dr. Palmini. VRCC. The new kitchen. The new furniture and lamp. Snow. A good bit. Stopped early morning. Plowed Black Mountain Drive. Bright Sun. Robin Egg’s Sky. White Lodgepoles and a white Black Mountain.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rigel’s death. And, her life.


My life flows on in endless song,
above earth’s lamentation.
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn
that hails a new creation.    The Hymnary

Yes, it’s surprising, but this is how I feel. Eager for the new creation while sad about Rigel, about Kate, about the life that included them in the body. No, I’m not moving out of the present moment. I anticipate nothing. I regret nothing. I yearn for nothing.

Part of this equilibrium I have Tom Crane to thank for. He came here, to Shadow Mountain. And cousin Diane Keaton, my best person when Kate and I married. I speak with her once a week. Part of it has to do with the Great Wheel which has turned for Kate and Rigel and will one day turn for me. Part of it has do with the loving and loved members of Congregation Beth Evergreen and the Ancient Brothers. They hold me in a fine net of their care, mystic cords of love.

And, of course, part of it lies within me. One now turned toward the earth rather the heavens of the old three story universe. One reading the torah of mother nature, listening to midrash about her. Her oral torah loosed in the songs of birds, the bugling of the elk, the silence of snow falling.

Leaving now for breakfast with Tom. More in a while.

Kate, Nov. 29th, 2019

No, the deep sorrow has not left me. If someone says something kind about Kate or the conversation turns to death and dying, sometimes tears will press up, coming from a holy well of honor for her, for us. This will, I imagine, lessen over time. It did with my mother. It has with each of the dogs. Vega’s death took the longest to assimilate because she died suddenly and after we had been gone for four weeks.

Tom’s willingness to be here and his actual presence has, as my Jewish friends say of the deceased, been for a blessing. We know each other. Pain. Flaws. Joys. Anguish. Inner compasses aligned.

Kep and I have begun to negotiate life after Rigel. Just us boys. He comes up to the loft, but he’s not eager to stay. He likes to roam. Gertie would lie down on her bed, from time to time gaze up at me, and leave with reluctance.

Tom, Durango, Co.

Today is body-mind-spirit day. Breakfast with Tom. Therapy with David Sanders. Annual physical with Kristine Gonzalez. New workout with personal trainer, Deb Brown.

Did not finish this yesterday. So, I’ll just go on from here.

David Sanders called me an exceptionally intelligent person. Nice to hear. In these tough days a few compliments help. He also noted my breadth of knowledge. OK. Enough back patting. He convinced me to send him some of my work. I sent him the first fifty pages of Superior Wolf. And, I admitted that I probably had a book in me about the Great Wheel, tactile spirituality, the ur-religion. Feels like he moved the meter in my head back toward creative work.

Saw Kristine Gonzalez, my new primary care provider. What a delight! She loves taking care of folks over 65, listened to me, discussed my health with me like an adult. To my Bill Schmidt inspired question about what I needed to do to love (meant live, but this works, too) until I’m 90, she said, “Just do it. Your prostate cancer is under control. You should be able to.” A big sigh of relief to be in a smaller medical practice and with a competent, caring doc. I told her Kate would have liked her a lot.

Dave and Deb, owners of On the Move Fitness

Then, over to On the Move Fitness for a kick start to my workout routines which I’d let slide. Deb is the person who lost her husband David to glioblastoma in June of 2020 as the Covid pandemic began to wrap its coils around our lives. Dave and I bonded over cancer recurrences and now Deb and I have over grief. She gently guided me back to a new routine. Slowly, slowly.

By the time I got home I was exhausted. Called Tom and said so. He graciously agreed to let me rest. He’s coming here for breakfast before his board meeting, then we’ll probably head over to the Happy Camper. Might go to Scooter’s for lunch.

One of the upsides of all the angst this last year has been an immersion in love. Folks from all parts of my life from high school to college, family to friends, Minnesota to Colorado, Evergreen to Conifer, Judaism to Christianity have reached out, offered or given me support. It’s had the result I’ve needed. I’m not alone. I’m both needed and accepted as I am. Good to know at 75.



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