Life of June 18 2024

Beltane and the Bar Mitzvah Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: My phlebotomist. Blood draws. The drive to Evergreen. Beauty everywhere. Wild neighbors, too. Like the Mule Deer Buck with velvet on his antlers. Eating some of the luxuriant green Grass. Healthy green Meadows, Leaves on Aspens and Willows, Needles (leaves) on Lodgepoles, Ponderosa, Spruce. Streams running at non-melt speed.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The look on the Mule Deer Buck’s face. Curiosity.

One brief shining: A rubber tourniquet tied above my right elbow the phlebotomist reaches for the cannula, inserts the needle with practiced care, venipuncture achieved, she takes a test tube with a rubber cap and inserts it into the cannula, my median cubital vein continues pumping blood back toward my heart unaware that my venous return has been rerouted for a different purpose, dark red blood fills the test tube; the cannula needle comes out, a swipe with alcohol, a tuft of gauze, some tape, and Bob’s your uncle, I’m done.


One solution to my sagging spirits. Focusing on the resurrection of awakening and the new life it portends. For now anyhow I’m living my life one day at a time. Within that day I live ichi-go ichi-e, each moment unrepeatable, unique. I will never again write this blog on June 18 2024 at 10:38 am. This is the only time I have, this day. This moment. No matter what my cancer decides to do or is able to do I still have right now, right here.

Even the blood draw this morning, so ordinary and repetitive, gave me an opportunity to tell the phlebotomist how much I appreciated her skill. The Evergreen Medical Center has switched from Quest Diagnostics to Lab Corp for their lab work. I told her I hoped she got the job. She smiled. That means a lot.

As I drive down Brook Forest Drive toward Evergreen I pass Kate’s Creek and Kate’s Valley. Of late I’ve begun to chat with her as I get near there. Sometimes newsy sort of talk. Finished my bar mitzvah! You would have loved the service. Other times. This last P.E.T. scan. Ouch. Has me a bit drug down. What would you say? Oh. Trust your doctors. Yes, I have. And, as you knew, it does help my obsessing. Yes. Yes. I do zip up, too. Each time passing the Valley or hiking up alongside Kate’s Creek is an ichi-go ichi-e moment.

I can feel it. The knowledge of ichi-go ichi-e infusing me. Giving me the grace I need to stay anchored to this June 18th life. If I lose touch and project out the whac-a-mole thoughts about radiating metastases, I can feel the finger on the keys, the elbow on the arm rest, see my Lodgepole Companion dining on the morning Light. Remember that this life, this June 18th life is the only life I have.


Just a moment: Where the Sycamores stand along the Wabash and the sound of the 500 roars through May and high school basketball comes as close to religion as anything secular, the Republican party broke ranks and put a MAGA stooge in as their Lieutenant Governor nominee over the wishes of the gubernatorial candidate.

Guess what this MAGA candidate said on the day after January 6th? “…Beckwith said that God had told him: “Micah, I sent those riots to Washington. What you saw yesterday was my hand at work.” He also claimed that the “progressive left has taken over the Republican Party in Indiana.”   read more in Michelle Goldberg’s piece in today’s NYT.