Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Friday gratefuls: Blue Sky over Black Mountain. A fading contrail. Sun hitting the solar panels. Wind. Muscles still healing. Luke. A sweet guy. So talented. Rabbi Jamie smiling, easy. Mussar. Kate’s yahrzeit tonight at CBE. Her plaque on the yahrzeit wall lit up. Kya. The road trip to meet her tomorrow. Ode on the Road.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: A possible buddy for Kep

Tarot: Six of Vessels, reunion


At first I thought. My class reunion in September. Read a note about it before I shuffled the cards. That’s pretty on the nose. But something deeper. The mound, a dolmen? Pouring out of it. Water. Into a pond on which six small vessels float, a light in each one. Ferns and arrow root frame the vessels. Two otters look intrigued. They might slide into the water and play. The sun is behind the trees, faint as if it were dawn or dusk. Long shadows jut out from the leafless, gnarled trees.

The deep and holy well of memory gushes into the pond of our everday, our present. Perhaps unexpected. Yet with strong emotion. Emotion that can illumine our life. If we let it. Maybe I’m the Otter, the one with his head up, looking at the Waterfall. Maybe I’m the Arrowroot, ready to offer stored up energy for the table of this life.

This continues the story from yesterday, of old bonds broken, other old bonds recalled and renewed. Gushing out of the dolmen, informing me. Philosophy. Acting. Writing about travel, politics. Writing itself. Friendships nurtured. Maybe movies. Art.

This is the Watercourse way. Following the River of self where it flows, not forcing it. Embracing the eddies and pools, the rapids, the sudden falls. Ah.


The war in Ukraine. America loves an underdog. The plucky Ukrainians against the old Russian empire led by Czar RazzPutin. The bare-chested bear baiter ruler against the comedian. Seems like an obvious win for the Empire, neh?

Funny how things are working out. As the military loves to say, the Ukrainians have taken the fight to the Russians. The supposed easy victims now become the aggressor. Must be confusing for the folks back at Russia military HQ. Heads will roll.

While I sit atop Shadow Mountain, fingers crossed that some event or another doesn’t pull us all in. Biden’s got this one right. Unite the allies. Send weapons. Money. Intelligence. Stay out of it otherwise. A larger war would serve no ones interest. A Ukrainian victory just might make the world safe for democracy. For awhile. As we’ve often claimed as our motive.


Of course. That assumes the electorate in the U.S. still wants a democracy. I’m pretty sure the majority do, but there’s that troublesome fringeĀ  of fascists, organized and strong. Trumpites. Trumpettes. Trumpists. Fascistii with too long red ties, those red hats, and hearts filled with sadness over the loss of white privilege.

Live free or die. Don’t tread on me. Those confederate battle flags. Flown in defense of a form of government that will, by definition, restrict freedom. Oh, well. May you live in weird times. We are.



Posted in Dogs, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Memories, Politics, Shadow Mountain, Tarot, US History, World History | Leave a comment

Breaking Old Bonds

Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Muscles healing. Lesson learned. I hope. Only one Mouse out of four traps. Making progress. Less for the Ravens. Fewer droppings. Seoah and Diane will be happy. Me, too. Worried about heart hardening to killing. Long sleep. Healing my back. Working. Invitation to dinner, Robbie. Kya. Hope she and Kep get along. Pete. Chandelier hung. Rosettes around both light fixtures. Jackie. Her hugs. Haircut.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Kya road trip. Saturday.

Tarot: Queen of Arrows

“A state of separation may exist, bringing with it privation, sorrow and misfortune. You may need to break old bonds, find new rivers to swim in to move beyond this place of darkness and loss.”



Old bonds. Not Kate this time. No. Intellectual curiosity that doesn’t feed me. As I said, done with kabbalah and astrology. Astrology probably for good. Kabbalah maybe later in a different vein. Or not. Also, leaning on the intellect. I feel separated from, what?

Of course, Kate. But. I looked in the mirror, literally, at Jackie’s yesterday while she cut my hair. I laughed at something she said. It was the old me laughing. Not the one burdened by grief. Sure, grief. Of course. Still. But. I’ve made my peace. It no longer brings a sense of misfortune, privation. Sorrow, of course from time to time.

In fact I’ve felt an urge to spread more of Kate’s ashes. Seoah said there is a belief in Korea that as long as the ashes are not spread the person is not free. More like the person who keeps them is not free, I suspect. Maybe both.

So. If not Kate, then what? Unamuno may be a clue. I once took delight in reading philosophy. Joy. But I’ve let that kind of reading become more obligatory. I do less of it and enjoy it less. Reading so much, too, about Judaism. Which is interesting and keeps me ticking along as a congregant at CBE, but is less what I need.

What do I need? The acting class is one clue. I need something that engages the heart as well as the mind. Being a docent did that for me. Political analysis is a possibility. Since I no longer feel eager to fight in the trenches, perhaps I can continue my work from the benches. Reading mythology. Writing in my voice.

Yes. I need to break old bonds, move beyond the me of the last few years, perhaps in particular the post-horticulturist years. Gardening fed my heart and mind and body. Been trying to replace it with no luck.

Nature writing. That’s a possibility. Hike and write about it. Tarot. That’s another possibility. Travel writing.


Mario has made travel the theme for this Sunday’s Ancient Brother’s conversation: “what did you bring back, or how did you incorporate travel into your life? … If you had to pick one concept on how travel altered your life, what would it be?” He’s in Taos on a long road trip through the Southwest. Apropos.

Maybe it’s the back whack and the resulting pain. Maybe it’s the details, but I’m finding travel interest waning. Gonna see how the road trip to Del Norte goes. 3 hours down 285. Maybe try to schedule a road trip, a short one. Maybe Taos. not far beyond del Norte. Feeling like I want to stay close to home.

Weird, eh? I mean after Covid. After the long years with Kate. Not making any for sures about this until the back heals and I’ve had my second thyroid level taken. Right now? Hawai’i sounds good because Joe and Seoah are there. Same with Germany if they go there. But not on my own.

I’ve done a lot of solo traveling and I like it. Maybe this is just a downward dip in my energy.

No longer melancholy, btw.



Posted in Astrology, Coronavirus, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Garden, Health, Judaism, Kabbalah, Tarot, Travel | Leave a comment

This is not that kind of fight

Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Wednesday gratefuls: CBD. THC. Heart. Inflammation. Life itself. In all its glory and misery. Whacked back. Still ouchy. Rain. Two falling Charlie’s. Our fragile government. Acting class. Falling out of like with Astrology. And Sefer Yetzirah. Weary of stuff that doesn’t feed more than my intellect. Melancholy. No. Melancholy lite.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rain in the Mountain West.


Feeling low. Melancholy lite. Don’t like it. Mostly related to the pain lingering from my Monday fall. Not intense, but reminding me every time I get up from sitting. Dingbat. Don’t wear tennis shoes in the snow. Will pass.

More into searching for and finding joy. Letting go of some now longstanding quests that have become merely intellectual exercises for me: Sefer Yetzirah and Astrology. I’ll finish these classes then I’m focusing on Tarot, on Acting class, on writing. Other reading, thinking that has impact on my heart as well as my head. Some more jazz.


In a fog. No, not my mind. My house. At 8,800 feet it happens sometimes. The cloud layer the dewpoint and the temperature converge on top of Shadow Mountain. This time it’s also raining and snerting. An odd mix. Not a mood lifter, but in my instance, a mood intensifier. Still. Moisture good. Drought bad.


How bout that Supreme Court? Ideological decisions, rank ideological decisions like overturning established law because they can. That will weaken the Supremes, make their legitimacy as a high court doubtful at best. And legitimacy is what makes any court what it is. The final arbiter of cultural clashes. A minority will feel heard, that’s true. Not the purpose of the Supreme Court.

And. That’s not good for our democracy. We need our institutions to manifest the authority granted them by our constitution. Not tilt themselves against it.

This may, just may because Democrats are fickle creatures, upend the midterms. An organizing tool that binds women, race, and economic condition, even religious conviction together against the Republican, Trump-led, anti-democracy party. The party of autocrats. That’s what I’d use as my slogan if I were the Democratic strategists.

The old free-market, pro-business blueblood, National Review at the extreme GOP is gone now. It’s become the party of grievance, of sweeping away America as I understand it with racist tropes, vote nullifying, voter nullifying, white supremacist, evangelical “piety”, and an astonishing new way saying know nothing.

This is no longer a culture war in the metaphorical sense, but in the naked grab for power, use whatever tools work, back alley street fight way. Democrats come ill-equipped for it. We still believe, even if weakly, in the public square, of debate among reasonable people. Taking the normal tensions of public life and using elections, governing bodies to sort them out.

This. Is. Not. That. Kind. Of. Fight.

(quick weather sidebar. Not only foggy. No. It’s a foggy snow. Strange weather. But. Still. Moisture.)

A liberal democracy has an exposed belly to this kind of attack. Turning its own strengths into weaknesses. Look at Putin, Orban, Egypt, Turkey. Almost France. Democracy’s with no democracy, rather autocracy with a democratic facade. Even Hong Kong. A future Taiwan. If we join them. Melancholy will become a world state of mind.

The Roe v. Wade leak could, at least for a moment, make us find a path that unites the very disparate parts of the Democratic coalition. This would strike at the heart of poor communities, especially poor communities of color. And, women, all women. Liberal religionists, too. Yes, there are such folks though their numbers and power have faded away, become almost ghostlike.

If this uniting does happen, we need to seize the moment. Find the political super glue to hold that coalition up as the shining beacon it still can be. Damn it, we are racists who want to end racism, not further it. Sexists who want women to enjoy full equality and esteem. Greedy fucks who want money to be distributed among the have nots so children do not die. So their parents might have a chance. Internationalists, yes, but internationalists who are pro-trade and pro-immigration.

We’re not that much different from the populist, fascist right in our deeply entrenched sin, but we know what sin is and want to repent. Tangibly, concretely. In public. Not sin more.

That’s our weird strength. And we must own it.




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Noh Mask At All

How I knew it was Ravens taking the Mice

Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Tuesday gratefuls: Acting. Old chops coming back. Found the third mouse from yesterday. Ravens. Achy. Feeling old, a little miserable. Back sore from banging against the deck. Note to self: don’t do that again. Bear. The generator repair tech. Really, his name was Bear. Pete. Centering the chandelier. Ana and Letty, a clean house. Acting class.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Acting


Found the third dead mouse from yesterday. Downstairs on my level. Did Ana and Letty accidentally move him? Or, did Kep find him and mouth him only to drop him far from the scene of his execution? I’ll never know. But, it does mean no mouse resurrections. No smart mouse.


Did not slip this morning when I tossed the dead bodies over the fence for the Raven clan. Man am I sore. Neck, back. Even intercostals on my left side. Quite a back whack. The good news? I slipped so quickly I didn’t have time to brace myself so avoided a broken wrist or other arm bones. Could use some how to fall training.

Not only did this make me sore. It also made me scared and sad. Remembering Kate’s bleed. The start of the long downhill slide. Not ready for my equivalent. Yesterday could have been it. I don’t want to think like that, but I also have to face the fact. Could happen in a flash. Want to shake this but the pain keeps reminding me. Coming on the heels of that damned cold. Grrr.

To add to it. See this: THC increases heart attack risk. Well, damn. Gotta back off the edibles until I know more. Sounds like CBD oil might help. Last night first without an edible in a couple of years. Maybe a bit more. Went ok. Pain might have influenced it a bit.


Well. As usual, writing it. Setting it out on the page in black and white. Better. Dispels demons. Easier. When life throws you lemons, throw’em back.


Reeling in my travel ambitions a bit. Gonna start slow. Road trip to Del Norte with Kep. See how that goes. About 3 hours down, 3 hours back. Then, a short road trip. Maybe three days. Hawai’i in late June for Seoah’s birthday. Have to choose between Iran or Taipei. Old bones. Thinking about checking on the Road Scholars. Used to be Elder Hostel. Might be time for some group touring. Or, maybe I’m being more conservative following my slip. We’ll see.


Acting class. Huh. Enjoyed. In an exercise, How do I feel, I said I feel like a school boy on the first day of class. I feel exhilarated. I feel exhilarated. Even though ouchy and unable to bend as easily as usual (the back owie) I find myself intrigued and engaged. Next week we get a scene from a play. Start digging into it with the five questions:

1. Who am I? details of the character’s life: name, age, gender, economic status, social status, parents, siblings, birth order. Things like that.

2. Where, when am I? Where: Like Jane Crofut’s address in Our Town.

“Jane Crofut; The Crofut Farm; Grover’s Corners; Sutton County; New Hampshire; United States of America. GEORGE: What’s funny about that? REBECCA: But listen, it’s not finished: the United States of America; Continent of North America; Western Hemisphere; the Earth; the Solar System; the Universe; the Mind of God.”

When: Day, month, year. Also. when in life is the character?

3. What do I want?

Objective-Super Objective-Spine

Objective-what do I want in this scene

Super objective – what do I want in the whole play

Spine – what do all the characters in the play want?


4. How do I get what I want? Actions I take.

5. What do I do when I do or don’t get what I want?


Questions 3 and 4 have the most weight, but all are important according to Tal Arnold, Rabbi Jamie’s oldest son. He’s an actor himself and a director. He directed the play I mentioned a while back: Dementiaville. Alan was in it.

I’ve done some acting, but never learned acting in this way. The bones of it. The how. This has touched my heart, given me a new way of moving forward. Even if I go no further than this class.



Posted in Aging, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Health, Humanities, Literature, Myth and Story, Shadow Mountain | Leave a comment

This and That

Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Mice Eaters

Monday gratefuls: Groveland. The Ancient Brothers. Alan. Devolution. Thinking. Miguel de Unamuno. Philosophy in the key of human. Secular sabbath. An at home retreat each week. Kya. Will she be Kep’s new girlfriend? Snow. Falling. Not the Snow. Me. Because of the Snow. Ouch. Breakfast. Road trip. Del Norte. Saturday. Meet Kya.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Mouse that got away


I’ll post Devolution later in the day. I have to make some changes to the word file and I don’t have time right now. Going out to breakfast with Alan.

Enjoyed the presentation. Trying to write like I talk. More and more. Felt like it hit home for the folks listening. Though. It seemed to engender talk about climate change and that was not really my point. Though it is a subsequent point for sure.

Got me excited again about the book. The non-fiction book about faith in the seen. The known. Look at what you see.


Oh, man. Wore my tennis shoes. Mistake. Stepped down with my dog bowl of dead Mice and slipped on the rubber mat intended to make an unsteady place safe for Kate. Cue irony. Fortunately I hit only my back muscles, but I went down hard. Ooof. Have my help me I’ve fallen button on but I could get back up. Lucky. Shows the risks of living alone are real. Intractable.


Reading Miguel de Unamuno’s, The Tragic Sense of Life. He was a philosopher who intrigued me in college. Never went back to him. When I looked again at Santayana’s material, he reminded me of Unamuno. Bought books of both. Both Spanish though Unamuno is a Basque and might have resented that identification. He’s funny. And contrary. An existentialist. Reminded me again why I loved him long ago.

Like returning to this kind of reading. It informs my thinking and with a guy like Unamuno, my heart. I’m a secular guy with a heart attachment to the universe through the particulars of Mother Earth, Luna, and Sol.


This is the week of home maintenance. Altitude Electric for work on the generator. So it works next time there’s a power outage. House cleaning. So the house is, well, clean. Coyote HVAC for seasonal maintenance on mini-splits. And, a doggy time with Kep in for his shots and annual physical.


The usual classes in Kabbalah: Astrology and the Sefer Yetzirah. Mussar. And my first acting class tonight. Treading the boards again at 75. We’ll see.

Kate’s yahrzeit observed at the Kabbalat Shabbat service this Friday. 6 pm. Jon and the kids coming up for that. Then Gabe’s meal at Brooke’s Tavern.


On Saturday a journey to Del Norte, about 3 hours south. To an Akita breeder. Rehoming a 9 year old female, Kya. She doesn’t like dominant females. No joking about this please. I’m taking Kep with me. We’ll see if they seem compatible. If so, I’ll bring her home for a trial. Kep needs a buddy. Bad.


BTW: As I suspected. Ravens. Eating the mice. A bit of Snow last night and I found their distinctive tracks. Happy to help these magnificent Birds. Cycle of life.

On one of the traps the red light blinked. The peanut butter had disappeared. But. No mouse? Smart mouse or a resurrected one? I dunno. A mystery.


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Beltane: You are alive!

Beltane and the Beltane Moon

Sunday gratefuls: Beltane. The growing season. Fire festival. Life renewed. Again. Still. My voice. Jon. Better. More insight, moving forward. Three dead mice. 2nd night, none in the kitchen. Edward Abbey. Mario. Taos. Road trip. Iran. Possible tour in the fall. Taipei, winter. Energy back. Got a lot done yesterday. Closing in on a finished downstairs. Feels so good. Jon’s idea about centering the chandelier. Smart guy.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Jon, taking hold


October, 2014 Andover


Beltane. Yes. The season I need. A Fire festival. Those crazy Scots and Swedes. All naked today, bonfires. Probably a lot of making love in the tall grass. Sympathetic magic. Maybe a few year and a day handfast marriages. The maiden goddess lying with the Greenman, with Cernunnos. Persephone with Pan. Ceres waving her hand, seeds unfurling, heading toward the sun.

A celebration of the Garden, the Prairie, the Pasture, the Woodland. Life giving. Soaking in the Sun. The Rain and the Snow melt. Mountain Streams full. Trout loving the cold Water. It’s Beltane. Ring out the fallow season for real. Ring in the season of plenty.

In the old days, the farthest away of the Celtic times, only Beltane and Samain. The growing season and Summer’s End. One or the other. Fertility or waiting, decomposition, getting ready. Resting. For this. The time of green. Of yellow and brown.

Oh, I’m so ready. I’ve had a long, long fallow time. Maybe since 2018 or so. Life with Kate had hit its late fall, early winter. The Covid. Her decline and death. Grief. Kate, always Kate. Now less Kate and more me. Alive still.

Beltaned. My Seed beginning to unfurl, blast its way through the Soil. Drinking in the Rain. Basking in the Sun, gaining power. My own Photosynthesis. Hands out, palms up, neck back, face lifted to the warmth of a new life season. Probably my last one. The fourth phase. Joyful. Rich. Headed toward joy.

Leave no bit of juice in the tank. Spill it all on the road, running the engine as long and as far as possible. Like Ode on his long road trip. Like Neal Cassidy and Ken Kesey. Like Walt Whitman and his powerful Yap.

That’s the message of the Great Wheel. Until you fall into the soil, become one with the next generation of life, you are alive. An agent. A whole universe swirling with galaxies of love, nebula of knowledge, Big Bangs of creativity.

Contra Dylan Thomas I do want to go gently into that good night. Not as one passive and resigned, but as one filled with experience. One who took the moments and lived in them, loved in them. Shouted. Danced. Acted. One who knows the night is nothing to rage against, rather something to embrace. These element’s fallow time after their long journey as me.

So. Take off those clothes. Throw away the inhibitions and the ambitions. Open. Spread out. Jump and twirl. It’s the Beltane festival. For you and for me.


Posted in Dogs, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Garden, Great Wheel, Health, Holidays, Memories, Minnesota, Myth and Story, Our Land and Home, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Shadow Mountain | Leave a comment

Erev Beltane

Spring and the Beltane Moon

Saturday gratefuls: Kate, always Kate. Pete and the chandelier. Better than I thought. More exercise. Call from Ode. Breakfast with Alan on Monday. No Mouse in the kitchen Rat zapper! Cool night. Wild dream. New Acorns. Still reading Amanda Palmer. Qin Empire: Alliance. TV. Outer Range. TV. High Country News. P-22, the Mountain Lion of Griffith Park in LA.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The predator eating the Mice


I throw the dead Mice over the fence. In a very short time they’re gone. Gonna watch this AM. See who this critter is. Glad to feed somebody. Makes this less onerous. A circle of life thing.


Presentation tomorrow for Groveland. Zoom. Quite the thing. Something I couldn’t have done otherwise. Devolution. Trying to follow David Sanders advice. Write as I talk. Still working on reimagining faith after all these years. Getting very close to what I saw originally. The key move may be asking why privilege faith in the unseen when the seen has as much power in our daily lives? Our whole lives. I will post Devolution after I’ve presented it. Happy for critiques, thoughts.


Ode called from the road yesterday. On his way to Taos. Blown away by the West. His sketchbooks, my blog. A daily discipline. Influenced by life in the moment. A confidant. To whom we tell our story. While other people listen in. Or see. Native to each of us. Over many years. A friend. He saw this similarity.

A legacy of a sort. Maybe a legacy in reality. I’ve ensured Ancientrails’ longevity past my death in my trust. Not really a bid for immortality or legacy, but a way for grandkids and kids to remember Dad or grandpop. What was he like? Oh, yeah. Kate’s quilts, mug rugs, shirts, dresses, wall hangings. A bit of us hanging over in the visible world: stitches, color and ink, words.


Healthspan. Asked Kristie about it. She said I could live 10 plus years with the treatments available for prostate cancer. Kristen, my PCP, said 90 was reachable with my current health conditions. Both positive and sobering. I mean, geez, even fifteen years. That would get me back to only 60. Not that long ago.

Still. Able to live, love, write, travel. Tomorrow is not promised. Only this moment is sure. Gonna keep at it until I can’t. Unafraid. Except about getting Covid. Damn that disease got under my skin. Stephanie, the PA I see at Conifer Medical said, “Covid’s weird.” She had a tone of respect in her voice. Wu wei.


The world. Odd things. Why my gratefuls include items like prostate cancer, death, grieving, illness, war, climate change. We see only dimly, though that darkly glass. Putin invades Ukraine. Awful. Ukraine stands up to Putin. Amazing. The fractured EU and Nato begins to heal, the West remembers itself. Wonderful. Ukraine pushes Russia out of Kyiv and begins to carry the fight to them. Wow. Biden’s handling of our response elevates him in world leadership.

As does his handling of Covid. Which we may now find ourselves sort of out of. As a pandemic anyhow. Not gone. Probably never gone. Like the flu. Will we need Covid shots, boosters now? Like flu shots. Annually? Maybe. Fine.

Covid has changed the nature of work. Created an economic recovery which has raised wages for the working class. Has cost us so many lives. So much time together. Made us realize how precious community is, even for solitaries like me.

We often see well only in what Kate used to call the retrospectoscope. Why we need history. So much. I love history. And art. And religion. And writing. And people. And Shadow Mountain. And Arapaho National Forest. And Maxwell Creek. And whatever eats my dead Mice. Even the Mice. And life itself. Death, too.







Posted in Colorado, Coronavirus, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Great Wheel, Health, Our Land and Home, Plants, Reimagine. Reconstruct. Reenchant., Shadow Mountain, Tarot, The West, US History, Weather +Climate, World History, Writing | Leave a comment

That old rascal wanderlust

Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

Kate with her good friend, Joan Countryman. High School Reunion, 2012

Friday gratefuls: Back to exercising. Slow, but will improve. Cold a memory. Mussar. Seeing folks. Just enough. An introvert’s solitary, but not isolated life. Herme. Its symbol. Two dead mice. Oh. More Rat Zappers otw. Blue Sky. Warmer weather. High school reunion. See you in September. The chandelier. Peter Praski. Nuts and dried Fruits. Changing diet.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Acting


Achooing past. Fatigue retreating. Feeling better. Yeah. May wear masks more often just to prevent this from happening again. Think the flu. Or, not. This. That. Flip. Flop. Covid influenced thinking no doubt.


Did a slow 20 minutes on the treadmill yesterday. Build up. Take it easy. I felt so much better when I was hitting 4-5 hours of exercise, mostly cardio. And, my O2 numbers showed it. Heart rate, too. The knock on effect of exercise keeps me coming back to it. Always. Easing back on the resistance in terms of sets. One set now. Moving up on weights. Sufficient according to the Mayo Clinic.


Blue highways. Gonna take Hwy. 36 from Colorado to Indiana in September for my high school reunion. Tired of interstates. Want to see some of ‘Murica. Small towns, speed traps. Cheap motels and drive-ins.

Hawai’i in late June for a couple of weeks. See Joe. Seoah. Murdoch. Oahu. Maybe Maui. Mama’s Fish House for Seoah’s 44th. Also got good info from Ming Jen Chen about Taipei and the National Palace Museum. She recommended a hotel right across from it, a great dumpling place, and night markets. That ole travelin’ gene has begun to express itself again. While I can.

If Joe goes to Germany, it will stimulate my European interests. Which are many, but got pushed aside by the Asian pivot the family took. Eurrail makes Europe so easy. Art. Food. History. White history anyhow. Including history of the Zikes on the Keaton side of my family and the Spitlers on the Ellis side. Both German families that came early to the U.S.

And now, as Ming Jen pointed out (she’s in Spain right now.), Google translate makes travel easier. Even, she said, in Taiwan.


As my energy gradually returns, I’ll work on finishing the Sewing Room transformation. Even after I prune all I can, there are still some design elements needed, but I don’t have ideas for them yet. They will come.

Gonna see Jon tomorrow for lunch. Alan for breakfast sometime soon. Schedule thrown off due to family visit and cold. The way of the solitary but not isolated.


Recommend Heather Cox Richardson on the far right’s two prongs of attack in the U.S. right now. Here’s the link. She’s not exploring the deeper roots of the Viktor Orban style fascism being promoted by Rick DeSantis, the Overlord of Florida and Disneyland. I will at some point here. The more familiar states-rights model pushed by Overlord Abbot of Texas we know how to handle.

Her analysis of the push and pull of movements for equality, equal rights especially, and the subsequent reaction of wealthy elites in American history is worth the read.






Posted in Art and Culture, Asia, Family, Feelings, Fourth Phase, Friends, Hawai'i, Health, Memories, Politics, Shadow Mountain, Travel, US History, World History | Leave a comment


Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

In the zone. 2019

Thursday gratefuls: Facing the killing. Cold waning, waning. Diane in the Redwoods camping. Kep nuzzling me about 11 pm. Needing to go outside. Mysteries to explore. Quiet days ahead. Presenting at Groveland. Chandelier. Wildfire risk: High. Prostate cancer. Kristie. Joe and Seoah. Hawai’i. Germany.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Recovery



Decided I had to face the dead mice. I’m doing this and I can’t hide. Instead of quickly dumping them in the trash, I put them in an unused dog food bowl, took them outside and tossed them over the fence for predators. Last night about a half an hour before I went to bed a sizzling sound. Then another. A pause. Another. Put the zapper down near a runway for the mice. Where I’ve seen them. Didn’t expect to experience the electrocution. Creeped me out.

Acknowledged this was my responsibility. A problem now for them as well as me. No longer one sided. But the price the mice pay is heavy. Mine could potentially be heavier.

This may seem overly sentimental or just dopey, but it does hurt me to kill anything. Diane and I talked about this yesterday on Zoom. Our hypocrisy in eating meat. Trying to eat less meat. Succeeding. Not gonna get to meat zero though.


Cold finally feels like its letting go. Or, better, my body’s immune response has begun to chill. No more cold viruses to fight. We can return to base. Train for the next attack. Almost rebound time.

Plan to start exercising again today. Slowly. Back at it. I can tell the difference big time in my energy level and in my SOB (shortness of breath as abbreviated by doctors. gotta love it.)

On that note the no cheese, more veggies diet I’ve put myself on, headed toward the Mediterranean, has worked. Constipation eliminated. Thank you, Diane. Better hydration, too. It’s hard to be righteous. Working on it.

No longer interested in longevity. Like many of us, I imagine. Healthspan is way more important. How long can I stay upright, engaged, with agency? In fact, I just wrote Kristie and asked her what I might expect with prostate cancer over time. Will it debilitate me at some point?

That’s important for planning about housing and travel. Though. Still living for today, for this moment. Yet to not be aware of the present’s impact on the future is just silly.


Seeing Joe in Colorado Springs: 2018

The Ukraine situation seems to grow more serious by the day. Gazprom cutting off Bulgaria and Poland. The Russian defense minister rattling nuclear sabers. The US planning to cripple Russia’s army. I can imagine children of a future generation reading about these as the proximate causes of the Third World War. This time with China involved. OMG.

And, Joseph in the Air Force. Possibly headed to Germany, Ramstein AFB, for a NATO assignment. An AWACS squadron. Not sure yet, but if he does go could put him right in it.

Everything far away is near these days.


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Four Dead Mice

Spring and Kate’s Yahrzeit Moon

Seoah and Kate, Brook’s Tavern, 2019

Wednesday gratefuls: Trash pickup. Four dead mice. See how they lay. The new chandelier. Astrology. Sefer Yetzirah III. Luke. Leo. Kep. Findlay. Supermax. Snow mostly melted. 55 yesterday. Sunny. Cold waning, not gone. VRCC. Kep’s allergy shots. Recovery. Exhaustion. Illness.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Road Trips


Four dead mice. All in the trash. Zappers zap. Four d-batteries. Interestingly it says you can still use the batteries when the indicator shows they don’t have the oomph necessary to kill a mouse. Will kill 60 rats with fresh batteries, so I imagine many more mice. Still makes my heart sore, but a little less so this morning. Desensitization. Don’t like that. Taking a life should never be casual.

Still. All that evidence of mousey invasions. Chewing dog treats. Eating in to my new loaf of sourdough bread. Which I, for some reason, did not put the bread box. Gnawing the flap on the dog treat box. And all those turds. They must walk and poop at the same time.


Cold. Hanging on. Fatigue. Stuffy nose. Feeling blah. Head stuffed with cotton. Hard to think around it. Yecch.


Chandelier came. Custom made. Expensive. Not sure I like it. No. That’s not right. I love it. Not sure I like it for the place I wanted it for. Sigh. Gonna get it hung anyway. See how it looks. Might play with its location if I don’t like it over the common room table.

I need a week or two of feeling healthy, energized. Then I can dive into the last of the inside work. Discovering how much my workouts do for me. A lot. Especially the cardio.

Sewing Room area has more work. The chandelier needs to get hung. Kitchen. Still infrequently used items to put in high spots. Shelving to finish installing. Like that. The bookcase downstairs. The rotating shelf. A few items that need to find new homes. Either here or elsewhere. At least one more visit to Goodwill.

But already functional. Usable. Comfortable, as somebody said. A good word, happy to hear it.

The quotidian. Necessary for the soul to feel calm. What I want and need. Like most of us, I imagine.


Feel like I had made good progress, then got derailed by this cold. Have to start over again. That I can make progress is, I suppose, the point. Read the Mayo Clinic website and they counsel waiting until your body is ready to get back to exercise. Then, gradually. Feels like the story of my exercise over the last year or so. Get started, get feeling good. Injure something. Start over. Repeat.


Finished Matt Rose’s book on philosophers of the far right. It’s last chapter is interesting. In it Rose offers an apologia for Christianity against the critiques leveled by these extremist thinkers. Not sure why the chapter is there. Maybe the book was too short. Anyhow I noticed that some of their critiques and mine share a common theme. But not one that I would ascribe only to Christianity, but all major religions except one, Taoism.



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