The Time Has Come To Cross

Spring and the Mesa View Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Luke. Leo. Rommertopf. Psilocybin. Younger friends. Tal. Character study class. Murphy and Pete. Kat. My son and his wife. Their furry one. Snow. Melting. A Mountain morning. Sunlight on the Lodgepoles. The Snow that stays on the north side of my house. That Mule Deer Doe.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The threshold. *reposted the O’Donohue quote

One brief, shining moment: Liminal spaces, third spaces, often overlooked, undervalued, yet the Dawn and the Dusk, the doorway and the window, the death bed, the coffee shop, the neighborhood bar, churches and synagogues, neither home nor work, neither light nor dark, neither in nor out, neither life nor death, points of transformation, places where we can practice being another version of ourselves, meet people we would not otherwise know, thresholds between this life moment and the next, or between this life and what comes after.


I’m an old man. Been a lot of places. Experienced weirdness. I identify with the Grateful Dead’s: what a long, strange trip it’s been. Yet these last few days have left me marveling at what’s happening.

Now that I’m writing about it, I think it may have begun to crystallize when I spoke with my son last Sunday. Be spontaneous, he said. Go for it. Take the trip. We had been discussing my trip to Korea and the trip to Israel.

And, I did. I raised my hand. Yes, I’m going with you. I’ll be there in Jerusalem. Not an hour later.

Dismantling Racism class, a mussar approach came next. Mainlining my past with talk of injustice, the struggle, la lucha. Going down old pathways with new folks, from a new perspective.

A heavy workout on Monday. Another heavy one Wednesday. Where I was left shaky, feeling off. My resting heart rate actually increasing. Worried me. Made me feel vulnerable.

On Thursday I had breakfast with Alan, catching up. Then my massage and Thursday mussar. Where Rebecca and Leslie both kissed me on the head. After mussar I encountered Luke and Tal outside the synagogue. Tal told me the next acting class was going to be character studies. Sounds good to me. Ready to continue expanding.

On Friday I went to sign up at Anytime Fitness. With Dave, the 65 year old manager. Quite the talker. Where you from? Raised in Indiana. Really! Where! Alexandria. Anderson. Muncie. I know them. I was raised on the southside of Chicago. But we moved to Calumet. Ah, I said. Da region. He laughed. Right. My brother worked in the Calumet mill.

Not sure how the conversation veered to his life as a battery salesman working out of Madison, Wisconsin. His alcoholism, cocaine addiction. 25 years sober, he said. 43  years here. Instant deep connection. In the program. Lifers.

A thick, muscular young guy walked past. Clayton, Dave hollered. Clayton, meet Charles. 43  years sober. Clayton’s got 109 days. Clayton and I fist bumped.

A strange but instant fellowship, wrought by inability or unwillingness to contain appetites. Then, to wake up. See another way. And walk it. With others.

Went back home. Clicked on a zoom link. First time with the Dream group. Dreamers and dreams. The dream of of the White Tomb. Realizing the threshold had come to meet me. People on the call from Santa Fe, England, the Netherlands, Conifer, Evergreen.

Then. Later that day. In the desert of the afternoon hours. Feeling aimless. Projects around the house winding down. No Dogs or humans to care for. More hours than I needed.

Next morning. Off to Aspen Perks to have breakfast, begin my re-read of Why Liberalism Failed. Maybe see Kat. She was there. She smiled when she saw me, came over and squatted down. What  you reading? I showed her. I don’t agree with all of his arguments, but it’s a powerful read. She looked at it. Yeah, I have a Steven Hawking book like this. I put it down. Take it up. Well, I’m trying to really understand this guy’s arguments. So I’m doing something unusual. Rereading.

Ate my chorizo and scrambled eggs. Read Deneen. Got up to go. A tall man, maybe 50’s, sitting with an older man, closer to my age. Hey, I was wondering. What ya reading? I showed him the book. Gave him the two minute version. He reached over to shake my hand. Murphy. Matt Murphy. This is Pete. I want to have some time to bother you about that. What do they call ya? I told him. See you next time I come in maybe. We’ll talk.

Went over to Safeway. Picked up the Chicken, Carrots, Potatoes, Pearl Onions, Garlic for the Rommertopf Chicken. Back  home I did the prep. Soak the Rommertopf. Peel the Pearl Onions. Cut up the Potatoes. Slice and quarter an Apple. Stuff it in the Chicken. Put butter and Garlic under the skin of the breast. In the oven.

Luke came and stayed for three, four hours. Leo sniffing around. Finding things.

Can you feel the threshold moving toward me? I sure can. Definitely time. Gonna discuss a ritual with Rabbi Jamie, Tal.


*”At any time you can ask yourself: At which threshold am I now standing? At this time in my life, what am I leaving? Where am I about to enter? What is preventing me from crossing my next threshold? What gift would enable me to do it? A threshold is not a simple boundary; it is a frontier that divides two different territories, rhythms, and atmospheres. Indeed, it is a lovely testimony to the fullness and integrity of an experience or a stage of life that it intensifies toward the end into a real frontier that cannot be crossed without the heart being passionately engaged and woken up. At this threshold a great complexity of emotion comes alive: confusion, fear, excitement, sadness, hope. This is one of the reasons such vital crossings were always clothed in ritual. It is wise in your own life to be able to recognize and acknowledge the key thresholds: to take your time; to feel all the varieties of presence that accrue there; to listen inward with complete attention until you hear the inner voice calling you forward. The time has come to cross.” John O’Donohue in his book, To Bless the Space Between Us.