Spring and the Kepler Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: Kate, who died two years ago today. Kep. Radiation #2. Jon, a memory. Ruth. Gabe. Both a year older this month. Another bright Mountain morning. Heat. Melting snow. Floods likely. The Colorado River. The Compact. Water and the West. The humid East. 10,000 Lakes and that really big one. Moose. Wolverines. Grizzly Bears. Gray Wolves. Coyotes. Great Horned Owls. Pine Martens. Minx. Mountain Lions. Black Bears.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Life after Kate’s death


Two years ago today I got the call from Sarah. She’s gone. Kate was the one. And no longer with me day to day. Of course I hear her. Have you zipped up? Do you trust the doctors? Turn the heat down and it’ll be fine. Add some vinegar. I love you. Flashed, too, with the ASL. I see her presence here in Jerry’s paintings, the few turtles I’ve kept from her collection. The Karastan rugs in the lower level. The Portemerion dishes we bought at the Reject China shop in London. The Stickley furniture we both loved. And most of all in Ruth and Gabe, her living legacies.

No memory, nothing tangible, however, can replace her presence. Her love. Her wisdom. Her wry humor. Her honesty. I miss all those to this day. She was my cooking consultant, offering me the lessons she’d learned as a great cook. We talked thing through together. Made joint decisions. Also had our separate lives. Her sewing room. My loft.

We began living her Jewish life from the first night at CBE. A class on King David. She gifted me the community that now sustains me here. Her IRA, earned over many years of work taking care of children, has given me financial stability. She’s far from absent in my life.

Last night I had a long dream. Kate and I had gone to a conference. I left the conference and went out to deliver a note to a guy that ran a drugstore nearby. It was London. A down at the heels and no straight roads at all London. With people struggling, kids trying to steal things from me. I wandered, hunting for the drug store. Thieves got my phone and my wallet. Got very, very lost. Night began to fall and I couldn’t call. I asked some folks about Randall Street. Oh, it’s very far away. How do I get to it? The directions made no sense to me. Then I woke up.


Yesterday, lying on the thin metal bed of the Cyberknife treatment room, I looked up at the rich wooden slats above me. The Cyberknife whirred and danced around delivering radiation according to the medical physicist’s plan.

I had asked for Southern Gospel Revival, a band, but I guess Kim only heard gospel. Oddly the second tune that came up was He Touched Me. Written by the Gaithers. My old high school French and English teachers. Put me in an odd, nostalgic place.

That transformed into a moment of existential aloneness. The Cyberknife clicking its way into different positions. Oh, I realized. This is a matter of life and death. And I’m in here alone on the altar because no one else can see the face of this modern God and live.

The moment passed. But in that moment I felt the truth of our essential isolation, limited to experiences mediated through our senses. Did not feel bad. Just real.


One Response to Kate

  1. Avatar Scott Simpson
    Scott Simpson says:

    I’ve been thinking about you. I have Kate’s death on my calendar which also reminded me it had been two years ago yesterday. And now I see that Kep has left. May you be consoled by those who are close by and by the good memories of former times.

    Thank you as always for sharing you life, your feelings, your fears, your thoughts, and your daily courage to keep moving through each day. You are an inspiration to me and I’m certain for your family, the Woollys, and for many others.

    May Peace and Love be with you, and may you be blessed by knowing that you are in the thoughts and prayers of distant friends.